The HQ building of Arbor Acres Farm
Arbor Acres Farms Inc was started in 1917 near Glastonbury, Connecticut by Frank Saglio and his brothers, John and Charles. At the beginning it was a fruit and vegetable farm and the first chicken house was built from a discarded piano crate in 1923. Poultry production grew and continued growing until in 1939 when Henry?? Saglio and his two brothers commenced poultry breeding. The company produced layers and broilers and was most noted for the female line broiler in the US and international market. With the broiler the original breeding plan was to produce a female line that produced large number of broiler chicks. Each broiler production company choosing the male best suited to their market needs. The most successful cross in the post World War 2 years was with the Vantress male. Charles Vantress developed the Vantress Cornish male and with the Nichols female won the first and second (and last) “Chicken-of-Tomorrow Contest”. The Arbor Acres female was the most successful female worldwide up to the 90’s when meat yield performance became increasingly important in the major markets. Arbor Acres marketed a White Rock broiler in the early 1950’s and very soon went worldwide and by 1958 50% of all broilers included some Arbor Acres genes. In 1969 they produced two female lines the AA 50 and the AA 60. Then finally in 1976 they produced the AA broiler breeder male line and female line sold separately or as a package.
In layers initially Arbor Acres sold the Mt Hope Queen when Mt Hope ceased business. Soon after they produced the AA 26 white egg layer in the late 60’s to replace the AA Queen. This was followed by the AA Leghorn in the late 1970’s. In 1964 Arbor Acres purchased a well known layer breed produced by Howard A Richards, the Harco. This was a Rhode Island Red x Barred Plymouth and was first produced by Richards in 1924. In the 50’s his Rhode Island Red and Barred Plymouth Rock pure breeds produced yearly egg yields of 250 to 260; which yields were then among the highest of any pure breeds in the US.
To produce brown eggs they purchased the Harco Black lines when H. A. Richards sold his company Harco Orchards & Poultry Farm, Inc. in the early 60’s and marketed it as the AA Sex-Link. Then they produced a brown egg layer in the late 80’s. In 1986 Arbor Acres finished their involvement with layer breeding in the US and set up a partnership with Babolna to breed and market the layer strains from the Hungarian base of Babolna. In the US the company focussed entirely on broiler breeding.
The Saglio brothers did not own the breeding company once it had international renown. The Rockefeller brothers founded the International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC) to boost the profitability of the economies of developing countries. IBEC progressively purchased Arbor Acres and owned 82% by 1964. Booker plc in turn progressively purchased IBEC and had the majority shareholding by 1985 at which time Henry Saglio left the company. He then became involved in setting up Avian Farms with his son Robert. Booker plc owned Arbor Acres until 1999 when it was purchased by BC Partners a British private equity fund. Arbor Acres is now one of three brands of broilers breed and marketed by Aviagen based in Scotland. In April 2005 Aviagen was purchased by the Erich Wesjohann Group.
Henry Saglio was a Director of Perdue Farms, Inc. and a Charter Member of the National Broiler Council and a Director of the Connecticut Opera Association.