The Territorial Delegation of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the University of Almería analyze the situation of the poultry farming sector in the region of Alto Almanzora.

The territorial delegate, Aránzazu Martín, affirms that although the poultry sector is not the most developed in the province of Almería, where the weight of sheep, goats and pigs is much higher, “poultry farmers are providing a very important dynamism to the rural areas of our regions”.

The study of the data offered by the Integrated Livestock Management System of Andalusia (SIGGAN) reveals that, as a whole, poultry farms in the province of Almería exceed the capacity of 2,300,000 birds, not counting self-consumption farms and commercial operators, with more than 80% of the squares dedicated to production chicken meat. The number of laying hens for human consumption represents 4%, behind turkeys (5%) and partridge for repopulation (4.5%).

Based on these figures, the students and teachers of the subject “Nutrition and Hygiene in Animal Production” of the Master of Agronomic Engineering from the University of Almería, with the collaboration of the technical staff of the Comarcal Agrarian Office of Albox and of poultry farmers in the municipality of Oria, they have made an x-ray of the sector in the Alto Almanzora, given the unique typology of farms in this region, which are committed to alternative productions to conventional eggs and meat chicken.

The farms of the Alto Almanzora they have a capacity of 27,136 places for laying hens, surpassing the rest of the regions of the province. As a peculiarity, currently all chickens are raised in alternative systems (soil, free-range or organic), there are no cage layers, and organic layers already exceed 50% of the total regional census.

The Alto Almanzora It is also at the forefront in the production of fattening turkey, with a capacity for 86,974 animals and is the first in the ranking of partridge production for repopulation, with almost 30% of the census of the entire province and about 60,000 places. It also leads the laying quail census, with more than 10,000 places.

Given that the poultry sector, in terms of conventional chicken and egg production, satisfies market demand, the production of turkey or free-range / organic eggs seems to focus the producers’ interest, together with the breeding of partridge for restocking.

University and technical of the Comarcal Agrarian Office They went to the municipality of Oria to learn about the development of poultry farming on the ground and to count on the experience of the ranchers, first visiting the modern facilities of a turkey farm, with a capacity of 40,135 animals distributed in 4 buildings. , whose owner is the farmer and rancher Pedro Guillén Conchillo.

From the farm manager’s hand, the students saw on-site the equipment of a state-of-the-art agricultural warehouse that has a photovoltaic installation for the supply of clean energy, the automation of all means of production and the operation of the software it manages this farm and that allows monitoring the entire fattening process, ensuring optimal conditions not only from a productive point of view but also from that of animal welfare.

Later they visited the facilities of the companies Holsanmargal SL and Explotaciones Avícolas Ecológicas SL, which manage three production units in this municipality: free-range laying hens, quail and organic laying hens.

In operation since its discharge in 2017, they have a global capacity of 7,638 free-range and organic chickens and 7,200 quail in various locations in the field of Oria. As a complement to family income or as the main occupation, the so-called “rural poultry”, which refers to small-medium-sized family farms / organic laying hens, represents an opportunity for the diversification of production of the ranchers and farmers, as well as for the revitalization of the interior regions, responding to the demand of an increasingly demanding consumer with the conditions of animal welfare, quality and food safety and the environment.

Aránzazu Martín He thanked the farmers for their disinterested collaboration and the university students for their interest in knowing in depth the characteristics of livestock in Almería, a key sector in the economy of regions such as the Alto Almanzora.

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