Animal breeding and genetics is at the core of our business and in this field we are closely connected and involved in many new developments.
Outside our natural scope, new technologies, new insights are introduced that will have their impact on our business. To meet the need to stay connected to these developments, we founded Hendrix Genetics Innovations in 2016. The goals of Hendrix Genetics Innovations are to:
- Explore new technologies to understand their potential impact on our business, partners, and clients.
- Support innovative startups and ventures with our network, expertise, and funding.
This dedicated team is guided by the transformative technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Blockchain, Internet of things, Artificial intelligence, Robotics, Biotechnologies, Sensor technologies, Vision technologies. Our aim is to examine each of these technologies and try to understand how these concepts could enhance the field of genetics and animal breeding. To achieve this, we practice open innovation and foster collaboration with partners inside and outside of the sector. Below some examples of the innovations that are on its way.
Measuring egg quality
Advancements in the fields of robotics and sensor technology have led Hendrix Genetics Innovations to develop the Eggxaminator, a robot capable of automatically measuring egg quality traits. With the Eggxaminator, we will generate more accurate data on our egg quality traits, removing the possibility for human error and subjectivity. The Eggxaminator was recently installed in our egg lab for intensive on-site testing. We plan to scale up the technology for full implementation in the layers breeding program. By selecting with even more accuracy for enhanced egg quality, our customers will reap the benefits of increased shell strength, breaking strength at the end of a bird’s laying cycle, and better consistency of egg shell shade.
Hendrix Genetics is among the first companies in the world to pilot the use of blockchain in the animal protein value chain. Blockchain allows secure sharing of real-time data, increasing transparency and efficiency. Successful implementation requires close cooperation with value chain partners, including farmers, feed suppliers, slaughterhouses, and certification bodies. Data points are recorded on the blockchain to map the supply chain from hatch to processing in order to guarantee product authenticity. Read more about blockchain technology and one of our blockchain initiatives.
We are currently facing the challenge of feeding the world in a sustainable manner, leading to consumers’ active interest in food production. Hendrix Genetics is actively involved in several initiatives to change the way animal protein is produced. We have become a partner of Protix, one of the world’s largest insect production companies. In addition, we are actively supporting animal and environmentally friendly farming concepts, like the Kipster Farm. We also support initiatives that may prevent the culling of day old male chicks and improve animal welfare in the egg supply chain.
Our facilities have the highest biosecurity standards in order to protect the health of our genetic lines. However, it is important to us to show transparency and leadership for the rest of the industry. To overcome this obstacle, we created several virtual reality tours of our facilities, giving visitors the opportunity to visit our farms while maintaining our high biosecurity standards.
Animal breeding is all about selecting the best animals for breeding. As we adapt to changing industry demands, more and more traits need to be measured in our animals. Breeding is all about data. Therefore, Hendrix Genetics is actively working with artificial intelligence (AI) specialists to incorporate the latest sensor technology and most advanced data analysis technologies in our breeding programs. In parallel, we are also exploring opportunities to apply AI in the rest of our business. Read more about the use of AI technology in our Swine Business Unit.