USSEC held its exclusive training course devoted to recent advances in poultry production and nutrition at the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieros Agronomos of the Madrid Polytechnic University (UPM), Spain. Dr. Gonzalo G. Mateos, USSEC consultant and professor at UPM, coordinated the course. The event’s audience was composed of commercial nutritionists of key poultry integrators and compound feed manufacturers from Turkey, Poland and the Czech Republic, who were recruited and accompanied by two USSEC local representatives, Sirri Kayhan (Turkey) and Jerzy Kosieradzki (Northeast Europe).
The lineup of lecturers included twelve Spanish academics and commercial experts and one Norwegian scientist. The classroom portion of the course began with digestive physiology that prepared the ground for more in-depth broiler nutrition topics such as feeding programs and flock management, genetic improvement, and health and animal welfare, all of which are nutritional factors affecting wet litter problems in poultry. The focus on optimal utilization of various nutrients began with starch and fat digestion, fiber, energy sources, and protein sources, with a special focus on soybeans and soybean products, to move to the use of feed additives.
A special section was devoted to broiler production in hot weather, microbial contamination in feed production and feedstuffs, and final feed products’ quality control programs, with soybean meal being widely commented upon. Two speakers shared practical aspects of feeding broiler chicks and the effects of management on carcass quality in finished broilers. Some time was given to feeding the modern laying hen that included feed form, particle size and nutrient requirements and influencing egg quality with nutrition, etc.
Feed mill design, with special attention to its effects on hygiene, cost efficiency and product quality, was followed by feed milling technology. Both topics were taught on the second day. The speakers discussed quality and feed safety programs in the EU-28 with the participants.
After three days of long and intensive classes, the participants went on a bus tour of the Spanish feed labs (Cargill’s Central Quality Control Lab in Madrid), poultry growing complex (Cesar de Escalona’s farm at Malpica de Tajo), commercial feed mill (Veravic integration at Casatejada), and commercial broiler farm (Julian Cepeda at Caceres) to supplement theoretical and practical training. The participants were especially pleased that Dr. Mateos traveled with them as a chief trainer and was able to explain the many professional issues raised during the field visits and discuss the content of some of the lectures as well.
Speaking on behalf of all training course participants, Elzbieta Pietkiewicz, a poultry veterinarian and nutritionist at the third largest feed company in Poland, said, “It was the best training program I have ever participated in, with the exception of a similar one held also by USSEC in Madrid three years ago. In just a week’s time we had a chance to learn so much and discuss the many practical issues we face in our daily work. We were honored by having such a great group of speakers sharing their knowledge with us.”