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SUCCESSFUL COOPERATION FOR 25 YEARS

Norbert Mischke

BOTH PARTNERS ARE WINNERS

THE SUCCESSFUL COOPERATION BETWEEN SVERDLOVSKAYA POULTRY FARM AND LOHMANN


When 25 years ago, in May 1995, the management and specialists of “Sverdlovskaya Poultry Farm” (Director G. V. Kochnev, Chief Technologist V. A. Chichkina and Chief Farm Veterinarian V. G. Burun) and Prof. W. Bonitz, – the representative of LOHMANN in Russia – met together at Koltsovo Airport in Ekaterinburg to receive the first shipment of day-old chicks from the LOHMANN LSL parent stock flock, none of the participants knew that this was the beginning of a long and very successful cooperation between the companies.

It is a form of cooperation that has made each party become acutely aware of the deep sense of the word “partnership” during these 25 years, and has emphasised of the value and meaning of being able to completely rely on each other.



Prof. Bonitz opened up wide opportunities in Russia

At the beginning of the 1990s, LOHMANN was very lucky to employ Professor Winfried Bonitz, the former head of the Institute of Genetics of the GDR and manager of the laying hen breeding programme in all countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA), as the head of the sales department in the territory of the former Soviet Union.

His excellent knowledge of the Russian language, Russian mentality and poultry farming in Russia opened up wide opportunities for cooperation, both at state and enterprise level.

Initially, the supply of LOHMANN breeders to Russia at the end of the 1980s, resulted in the development of local strains Rodonit (Sverdlovsky State Poultry Plant), Ptichnoye (Ptichnoye State Poultry Plant) and Kuban’ (Labinsky Poultry Breeding Plant).

The supply of LOHMANN breeders to Russia at the end of the 1980s, resulted in the development of local strains Rodonit (Sverdlovsky State Poultry Plant), Ptichnoye (Ptichnoye State Poultry Plant) and Kuban’ (Labinsky Poultry Breeding Plant).




Photo 1. Visit of Galina P. Gracheva to Cuxhaven in August 1990. Photographed together with prof. D. Flock – after the first supplies of LB breeding stock to GPZ Sverdlovsky in 1989.

In the 1990s almost every poultry farm in Russia had its own parent flock. At that time 70-80% of hatching eggs were used as table eggs.


In the early 1990s, we started negotiating for the supply of parent stocks to Russia. The first company that took the risk and decided to change from the Belarus-9 domestic white-shell strain cross to the imported LOHMANN LSL was Sverdlovskaya Poultry Farm.

In the 1990s almost every poultry farm in Russia had its own parent flock. At that time 70-80% of hatching eggs were used as table eggs. The parents were just a little more expensive than the commercials, so it did not matter whether they produced hatching eggs or “breakfast eggs”. The archive of Prof. Bonitz contains a very interesting historical table, “Breeding enterprises of Russia in 2003”.



Today, LOHMANN and Hendrix Genetics together do not have as many pure lines and GP as Russia had in 2003. The total number of grandparent flocks were enough to meet the country demand almost 20 times.




Table 1. Breeding enterprises of Russia in 2003-2004

Preparations for this supply of birds were made carefully, of course. The specialists and management of the poultry farm visited Cuxhaven several times for training sessions.

After the shipment arrived, training the farm staff and getting used to a new way of poultry farm management became even more important.

First supply of parent stock

    Let us come back to the first supply of parent stock to Sverdlovskaya Poultry Farm from Germany.
  • The first delivery was actually planned for March 1995, but it failed, because no permission had been obtained from the State Veterinary Department.
  • In May 1995, the second attempt has made. It was impossible to deliver 17,500 chickens of LOHMANN White (the former name of LSL Classic) in a single flight – Lufthansa managed to deliver them in three flights.


Time has shown that choosing Sverdlovskaya as a business partner was the right decision. This has been proved by the results, which have improved from year to year (Table 2).



All LOHMANN’s recommendations (in respect of flock management, feeding, lighting programmes, etc.) have been implemented without question, shortly after they were received, since the specialists of both companies trust each other.




Table 2. Key performance indicators of OJSC “Sverdlovskaya Poultry Farm” in 1995-2019

25 years of substantial improvement

Over the past 25 years, the performance of both LOHMANN PS and commercial flocks has improved substantially.

In order to keep slightly more than 1 million commercials in production, it was necessary to have 70,000 PS in 1995. We delivered 35,000 of DOC PS twice a year.

Today the size of the commercial flock of the farm has increased 2.5 times and the parent flock has decreased 1.5 times respectively.

There is now only one delivery (35,000 PS DOC) every 10-11 months. The average annual commercial flock number in 1995 was 1.1 million, in 2019 this was 2.8 million (Table 2).


Each visit of LOHMANN’s specialists to Ekaterinburg (Photo 1-5) or each visit of Russian specialists to Germany immediately resulted in a practical effect.

The efficiency of the PS flock utilisation increased almost four-fold in this period. The farm managed to achieve these results thanks to the steady growth in the genetic potential of Lohmann’s PS flocks and a new approach of the local specialists to their daily work, with a focus on optimal financial returns.




Photo 1, 2. Dr. Bonsak at Sverdlovskaya PF (2006) and Mr Lee in a new hatchery, teaching the correct way to sort chicks. Photo 3, 4, 5. Specialists of Sverdlovskaya Poultry Plant in Germany (2007 and 2012).

Our clear feeding recommendations and their smooth implementation, as well as new ideas initiated by Sverdlovskaya specialists have significantly improved all indicators.


Milestones in the partnership

Describing this partnership, it is important to mention some events which had a significant influence on the condition of the poultry farm and that of our company, LOHMANN, and the constant development of our relationship.

The first of these significant events was the decision of the farm management to build its own feed production plant.

The recommendations and experience of Prof. W. Bonitz and the work of farm specialists laid the foundations for the success of new production. The feed mill, and its heat treatment system for feed, manufactured by Avila, was launched in 2002.

It is still successfully operating today, and provides compound feed for the entire poultry flocks. Our clear feeding recommendations and their smooth implementation, as well as new ideas initiated by Sverdlovskaya specialists have significantly improved all indicators.



Photo 6. Ekaterinburg 2005 – Prof. W. Bonitz, Minister for Food & Agriculture Lower Saxony Hans-Heinrich Ehlen, Jürgen Reimers LTZ Präsident and G. Kochnev at LOHMANN Klub and touring the new feed mill facility.

When the management of LOHMANN considered the possibility of supplying the parent stock from our own grandparent flocks in Russia, it was clear that Sverdlovskaya Poultry Farm was the first point of contact. It took several years to implement the decision.

In the winter of 2007, LTZ specialists, headed by Prof. W. Bonitz, came to investigate the opportunities for placing LOHMANN grandparent flocks in Russia.



Photo 7. Prof. W. Bonitz and G. Kochnev (2004 and 2005)

Each company follows its own path of development, but I am sure that neither Sverdlovskaya Poultry Farm nor LOHMANN would have reached the position we enjoy today without these 25 years of cooperation.


And now, almost 10 years later, LOHMANN has a subsidiary, LOHMANN BREEDERS RUS, its own GP farm in Emanzhelinka (Chelyabinsk Oblast) and its own genetic research site there. All PS DOC are still produced by our holding hatchery in Yasnogorsk (Tula Oblast), but we hope to supply DOC from the hatchery in Emanzhelinka in the near future.

Our goal is to include Russia in LOHMANN’s world supply system.

Each company follows its own path of development, but I am sure that neither Sverdlovskaya Poultry Farm nor LOHMANN would have reached the position we enjoy today without these 25 years of cooperation.



Photo 8, 9. Hanover 2004

And I’d like to remember the people who were involved in the very beginnings of our 25-year cooperation: Professors Winfried Bonitz and Dietmar Flock, Director of Sverdlovskaya Poultry Plant Gennady Veniaminovich Kochnev with his team of specialists and his successor, Director General Alexander Sergeevich Rogalev. I’d like to add that I have dedicated 17 years to this cooperation and I am grateful for the opportunity to meet these excellent specialists and work with them.


Norbert Mischke
General Director of LOHMANN BREEDERS RUS LLC


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