NE1442: Poultry Production Systems and Well-being: Sustainability for Tomorrow
(Multistate Research Project)
NE1442: Poultry Production Systems and Well-being: Sustainability for Tomorrow
Duration: 10/01/2014 to 09/30/2019
Statement of Issues and Justification
Over the past several decades improved poultry production systems have contributed to significantly enhanced performance traits (egg production, growth rates, meat yields, livability, feed conversion) and have provided economic, nutritious, and safe food choices. However, the poultry industry is also increasingly being challenged to address consumer and general public concerns about animal welfare and environmental issues. Additionally, legitimate changes to production systems, such as novel housing systems, are being developed with little knowledge as to their appropriateness and impacts positively and negatively on bird welfare, productivity, food safety, and economic sustainability. Tensions between efficient production (safe, affordable food) and perceptions of consumers will certainly continue and intensify in the near term. Therefore it is imperative that the basis for future production practices be based on sound science that includes a strong emphasis on bird physiology and behavioral indicators of well-being in all types of production systems, as well as considerations of the social and environmental sustainability of these practices.
The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and Egg Industry Center, primary organizations that represents the poultry industry, have identified the development of energy/resource efficient production systems for poultry as a research need. This includes consideration of animal welfare, nutrition, ventilation, lighting, air quality, environmental footprint, and food safety/security. A related research need identified by these organizations is the environmental, welfare, and economic effects of the movement toward alternative production systems. [http:// http://www.uspoultry.org/research/] [http://www.eggindustrycenter.org]
Poultry production systems are continuing to change to address both welfare and environmental issues. However, the efficiency of energy/resource use must be optimized to ensure the sustainability of the poultry industry; otherwise poultry products will be compromised from a security, quality, and affordability perspective.
If the poultry industry does not remain sustainable it will be impossible for them to remain competitive in the global market, which will result in more poultry production occurring outside the U.S. This may lead to a decrease in poultry production within the U.S. and an increase in importation of poultry products.
Historically, this has been a successful interdisciplinary multistate research project involving nutritionists, environmental physiologists, neuroscientists, ethologists, engineers, operations researchers, extension specialists and economists. The broad scope of interests allows for research to be conducted in relation to a range of numerous aspects of poultry production. These collaborators have the facilities (both lab and commercial scale) and equipment necessary to continue work in the proposed areas.
Collaborators at the experimental stations in AR, CA, CT, GA, GA-ARS, IL, IA, IN-ARS, MD, MI, MN, MS-ARS, NE, NC, PA, TX, WI, Bern Switzerland, will work on research related to the following objectives.
1. Energy/resource efficiency
This will include shared efforts on feed and fuel energy sources for poultry and facilities by geographical region; facility design, equipment efficiency, management, and modeling energy use in poultry systems.
2. Evaluating commercial poultry production systems
This will include joint efforts on the characterization of the performance of conventional, alternative, and organic poultry production systems relative to air and water quality, nutrient management, acoustic environment, and animal health and welfare.
3. Establishing parameters influenced by the production system and strains utilized within the poultry industry
This collaborative research will encompass the areas of poultry nutrition, physiology, behavior, well-being, food safety and quality, and economic evaluation of poultry production systems.
Some of the critical and unique instruments and facilities that will be shared/used collaboratively are spectra radiometers (CT) and audiology analysis systems (CT, NE), hypo/hyperbaric chambers (TX), emission chambers (PA, IA, MI), portable air emission monitoring trailers (IA, IL, MI), multi-channel telemetric body temperature sensing system with ingestible sensors (IA), infrared thermal imager for quantification of surface temperature distribution (CA, IA, GA, MI), multi-station individual bird feeding units (IA, MI, NC), environmental chambers (IL, MS, CA, PA), and four large-scale indirect animal calorimeters/emission chambers that allow for simulation of commercial production settings (IA). We also have state-of-the-art poultry production facilities (IL, CT, GA, MN, IA, MI, MS, NC, PA, Bern Switzerland) and energy monitoring equipment (MS-ARS) available. The project includes advanced food safety and egg quality laboratories (GA-ARS, NC) and a pilot shell egg processing plant (NC, PA). In addition, there is a network of established relationships with poultry producers that allows collection of large-scale data in a commercial setting (CA, MI, MS, NC, IA, PA). These are highly specialized pieces of equipment and/or facilities already in place that would be prohibitive to reproduce at other universities. Collaborative use through this project maximizes both efficiency of use and research productivity. This project now adds the use of biotechnology and avian genomics to use mRNA expression to develop new molecular biomarkers that can be used to assess nutrient status (WI). In addition, this project has the distinct advantage of poultry behavioral expertise (CA, IN, GA, MI, NC) that is lacking in other poultry regional projects. We also have expertise from colleagues abroad (Switzerland, Spain, Canada, etc.) who can offer insights and practical experience with changes in poultry production systems (with their outcomes, expected and otherwise) that have occurred in their own countries and that U.S. producers and special interest groups are considering.
The complexity of the questions and problems that will be addressed by this project could not be accomplished at any single station, thus requiring a multi-state approach to evaluate the tradeoffs that might exist in the alternative production systems. The level and diversity of expertise that this project brings together cannot be found at any single institution. Additionally, the equipment and facilities available for use in this research would also not be found in any single location. The decrease in funding sources requires collaborative efforts from individuals in various disciplines to assess the questions being asked. This multi-expertise/multistate effort will eliminate duplication of effort and conserve resources.
Successful completion of the endeavors outlined in this proposal will lead to 1) increased knowledge of basic physiological and behavioral processes in poultry; 2) identification of meaningful relationships between environmental factors and their associated production and economic ramifications; 3) enhanced management-decision making and action taking initiatives; and 4) enhanced understanding of poultry feed/fuel energy parameters and ramification for sustainable and profitable production. With this information, housing environments can be optimized by defining environmental conditions (aerial, thermal, spectral, spatial) and management practices (nutritional, behavioral) that will result in production systems, which promote bird welfare, performance, food safety and security, environmental soundness, and ultimately sustainable development of the U.S. poultry industry.
Related, Current and Previous Work
A CRIS search on poultry environment or production system did not identify any active multi-state project other than the existing NE-1042. Contributions of NE-1042 investigators. NE-1042 was founded in 1978 to facilitate research in the area of poultry production recognizing collaboration and communication amongst the research institutions would advance poultry management strategies. NE-1042 has grown from 11 universities in 1999 to 22 universities and USDA-ARS labs for the 2009 renewal and expanding to 25 universities, USDA-ARS labs, and additional international partners for this 2014 rewrite. An annual meeting is held each October to discuss research results and plan collaborative projects for the coming year. The NE-1042 philosophy is to help implement sustainable practices in poultry production for the industry from a multi-state collaborative approach recognizing more advances can be made than working as a single investigator initiated grant. The complexities of the animal-environment interactions overlaid with animal welfare and consumer perceptions require a multi-discipline, collaborative approach to identifying ways to best achieve the producer and societal goals. Examples of sustained endeavors by NE-1042 participants include: 1. History of publication in the scientific literature. Over the last 5 project years (2009-2013), this regional poultry research group has published 412 abstracts, 119 peer-reviewed journal articles, 10 popular-press articles, 9 peer-reviewed extension reports, and 55 proceedings at national and international meetings. 2. Success with joint proposals demonstrates the capacity of NE-1042 to coordinate ideas, resources, and execute multi-state research projects. The multistate research group has secured over $22 million in grants to conduct research with the NE-1042 project during the last project cycle (5-year) period. 3. Collaborative research previously conducted and currently being worked on by these research stations is listed below.
Energy/resource efficiency. This will include collaborative efforts on feed and fuel energy sources for poultry and facilities by geographical region, facility design, equipment efficiency, management, and modeling energy use in poultry systems.
Evaluating commercial poultry production systems. This will include collaborative efforts on the characterization of the performance of conventional, alternative, and organic poultry production systems relative to air and water quality, nutrient management, acoustic environment, and animal health and welfare.
Establishing parameters influenced by the production system and strains utilized within the poultry industry. This collaborative research will encompass the areas of poultry nutrition, physiology, behavior, well-being, food safety and quality, and economic evaluation of poultry production systems.
MethodsObjective 1. Energy/resource efficiency. (MS, IA, CT, AR) Studies will establish methods to reduce energy usage and improve resource efficiency in poultry production. This objective will be achieved through studies evaluating: 1) building design and operation, and 2) management practices. The expected results will provide insight into building design and operation to maximize resource efficiency while maintaining a high level of animal welfare allowing for a sustainable poultry enterprise. 1a. Building design including lighting technologies, thermal and non-thermal parameters, and energy consumption. Evaluation of lighting devices (CFL, LED, SSL) will be tested under commercial poultry housing conditions for reliability, light output, energy savings, bird performance, and suitability for various production systems. In addition, laboratory scale tests will be conducted to determine the interactive effects of differing lighting programs (photoperiod and illuminance) and lighting devices on bird performance and physiological response. Energy use in different poultry housing systems for laying hens and broilers will be monitored over extended period (covering different production seasons and stages) and analyzed. Partitioning of energy consumption into classes of equipment or operations will be determined, e.g., ventilation (fans), lighting, feeding systems, and fuel for supplemental heating (if equipped). The energy use will be expressed in the amount of electricity (kWh) or fuel (liter or gallon) per dozen or kg of eggs produced or per kg of live meat birds marketed. Practical means to reduce electricity or fuel usage, reduce energy transfer through the building envelope using heat flux sensors and assessment of radiant heater efficiency will be explored through lab experiments and field verification. 1b. Evaluation of management practices including litter sources, lighting and ventilation programs. Research will be conducted on litter sources for broilers and turkeys as a sustainable cycle, i.e., utilize vegetative buffers (grasses, willow, etc.) as litter sources, generate energy from litter for heating houses, and determine nutritive potential for feeding ash residue. Additionally, drinker systems to improve litter moisture and maintain turkey growth will be evaluated. A range of lighting programs and temperatures will be assessed to determine their impact on heat and moisture production in modern broiler genetics. The thermal parameters and heat flux rates through the chicken surface will be measured in a custom-made wind-tunnel apparatus to allow examination of heat transfer coefficient and water vapor evaporation. The relationship between air velocity, ambient temperature, relative humidity and heat transfer coefficients will be developed. In addition, energy usage for different ammonia control strategies will be assessed. Objective 2. Evaluating commercial poultry production systems (IL, NC, MI, MN, IA, CA) Studies will characterize the performance of conventional, alternative, and organic poultry production systems. The objective will be achieved through examining: 1) nutrient management and impacts on air and water quality, 2) housing environment, 3) food quality and safety, and 4) animal health and welfare. 2a. Nutrient management and impacts on air and water quality. Field studies will be conducted that evaluate the operational characteristics of certain housing features. These features may include, but not limited to, a new ventilation system or strategy, a new manure-drying system or strategy, and a different lighting system. Portable monitoring instrumentation systems will be used in the field studies. Current collaborative, long-term studies concerning indoor air quality (i.e., concentrations of ammonia, carbon dioxide, and particulate matters) and air emissions of conventional cage, enriched colony and aviary housing systems, along with other components (animal welfare, egg quality and safety, food affordability, and worker ergonomics) of the project will continue during this phase of the multi-state project. One particular area is to explore practical ways to reduce ammonia and PM concentrations and emissions of the aviary houses through combination of laboratory tests and field verification. Field production data will be analyzed for alternative egg production systems under different U.S conditions. From the collected information life-cycle analysis will be performed to assess the environmental impact of alternative egg production systems. The Egg Industry Center has recently performed two LCA studies: one on the Midwest U.S. egg industry (Pellieter et al., 2013a), and the other on the advancement of U.S. egg industry in environmental footprint over the past 50 years (Pelletier et al., 2013b). 2b. Housing environment among the different poultry production systems. A thorough literature review will be conducted and methods assessing bedding and litter conditions will be compiled and reviewed. From these methods and others as developed, a new standard method of assessment will be developed and applied to characterizing litter in production systems with turkeys and other poultry. Turkeys will be reared under different environmental conditions, feeds and different bedding types and litter assessed under these different conditions. Measures of well-being will include bird performance, behavior, bone/foot measures, feather scores and gait scores along with carcass quality measures (foot pad score and breast lesion scores at processing), condemnation, and meat quality. Laying hen housing will be investigated with commercial strains of white and brown egg-type chickens. The North Carolina Layer Performance and Management Test (NCLP&MT) has been an ongoing extension project since 1958, examining the impact of commercial strains of laying hens and their selection on performance and feed utilization and for the past 30 years the production environment on performance and feed utilization. Research will be conducted in the NCLP&MT at the Poultry Research Unit of the Piedmont Research Station at Salisbury, NC and Laying Hen Research Facility at Michigan State University. Pullets will be reared in environmentally controlled housing with various combinations of nutritional or management programs that affect the productivity of the layers. Factors could include: light programs, dietary regimen, body weight program, molt techniques, husbandry practices, environment control programs, alternative production environments, and egg handling programs. Productivity will be defined by various measurements of body weight, skeletal structure, feed consumption, immune competence, physiological health, and egg production criteria. The welfare status will be defined by the behavioral profile and hormonal response of the birds. Egg quality will be defined by the USDA egg quality standards, physical shell and membrane measurements, and through microbiological testing of the shell and contents. The potential of poultry manure as an organic fuel source will be evaluated from commercial sources and based upon governmental standards for emissions. The general experimental design will be a factorial arrangement allowing for examination of multiple factors simultaneously. Additionally, the enriched colony cage for laying hens will have resources evaluated including nests, perches, foraging scratch areas, and the effects of the provision of those resources on hen health. Different housing designs and ventilation systems for alternative hen housing systems will be evaluated in commercial production facilities with regards to indoor environment (e.g., uniformity of air distribution) and hen production performance during different production seasons. 2c. Alternative production systems on food safety and quality. Scientists from USDA-ARS, Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit, Athens, GA will collaborate with faculty from North Carolina State University and Michigan State University to examine the food safety and product quality impacts of alternative hen housing systems. Through these collaborations, the microbiological diversity of the eggs, as well as the production environments will be determined. Total aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, and yeast and mold populations are enumerated (counted). Total aerobic bacteria are indicators of the overall microbial levels present on and in eggs, as well as the production environment. Enterobacteriaceae is the group of organisms containing most of the human pathogens. Coliforms are also found within the group and are indicators of fecal contamination. Yeast and molds are important organisms to enumerate since they are spoilage organisms. Additionally, the presence of mold growth on or in an egg renders it inedible according to U.S. egg grading guidelines. When considering food safety, human pathogens are always of concern. During the collaborative research efforts assessing the impacts of alternative hen housing systems, the pathogens of concern are Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., and Listeria spp. The prevalence of the pathogens in the production environment, as well as on and within eggs, will be determined. The speciation of each pathogen will be determined to assess if certain species of the organisms more readily exist in the various housing systems. The impact of housing systems on egg quality will also be assessed during the collaborative projects. Egg quality analyses to be conducted through the collaborations include: micro crack detection (technology unique to USDA-ARS), shell dynamic stiffness, static compression shell strength, shape index, shell thickness, egg weight, Haugh unit/albumen height, yolk index, vitelline membrane strength and elasticity, apparent viscosity, color measurements, total solids determinations, percent ash, and egg functionality. Additionally, USDA-ARS and the Piedmont Research Station, NC has a pilot egg washing system, which allows for the experimental washing of shell eggs and subsequent analysis. 2d. Analyzing poultry health and welfare in different production systems. The refinement of on-farm welfare assessment/auditing measures, including measures of physical condition; behavior and fearfulness will be used to assess the differences in production systems for all types of poultry. The evaluation of the health and behavior of laying hens and broiler chickens in conventional and organic production systems will be investigated with factors affecting range use in systems with outdoor access. Broiler strains utilized for the live-market and alternative rearing systems will be evaluated for growth and efficiency while commercial stains of turkey toms will be evaluated for growth, feed conversion, and carcass yield. Objective 3. Establishing parameters influenced by the production system and strains utilized within the poultry industry. (CA, CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, MS, NC, NE, WI, Bern Switzerland) Research studies will be conducted to investigate the parameters influenced by the production system or genetic strain used. The objective will be achieved by evaluating the areas including: a) poultry nutrition, b) physiology, c) behavior and well-being, d) food safety and quality, and e) economic implications. Studies can overlap into several areas. 3a. Evaluating poultry nutrition in production systems and genetic strains. The proposed research will cover the breadth of poultry feeding programs by examining feed form, dietary ingredients, feed additives, and individual nutrients. This research will create replicated data to investigate the relationship between pellet quality, nutrient segregation, current meat bird genotypes and bird performance and health. Additionally, identification of bird strain and feed form effects on bird performance and nutrient utilization will be determined. Alternatives are needed to the use of antibiotic growth promoters in diets of broilers and turkeys. Prebiotic and probiotics additives will be evaluated for use in antibiotic free diets by assessing growth efficiency as well as ammonia emissions in broilers and turkeys. Byproduct ingredients (algae meal and reduced-oil dried distillers grains with solubles) will be assessed in poultry diets by inclusion of different dietary levels. General growth performance, meat yield, intestinal development, intestinal enzyme secretion, intestinal microflora, physiological reaction, and production cost will be determined. Metabolizable energy measures will be conducted as appropriate for poultry (TME, AME) and these ME values will be used to incorporate these ingredients in diets fed to turkeys maintained under different environmental (temperature) conditions. The energy value of alternative feed ingredients will be determined as well in laying hen rations. Nutritive organic sources of methionine will be studied for efficiency and feasibility for feeding layers, broilers, and turkeys. The skeletal problems and eggshell quality issues require a systems approach to evaluation of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D within the diet. The increased activity in alternative housing systems may impact the nutritional regulation of the skeletal, muscular and cartilaginous portions of the body. Calcium particle size will be evaluated throughout the laying hens life cycle. A better understanding of micro-mineral nutrition will help to refine the specific requirements within poultry diets. Poultry species have unique requirements compared to other animal models and development of specific biomarkers will help to refine minimal requirements and/or identify toxic levels such as being suggested for the model to study selenium nutrition. 3b. Poultry physiology and production systems. Aspects of production systems interact with the physiology of the bird and subsequent performance and well-being. Feather pecking (FP) and cannibalism occur in all the current egg production systems including cage and free range, which is an eminent cause of mortality in untrimmed chickens. Beak trimming (BT) is a common practice to prevent FP and cannibalism. Serotonin and its receptors appear early during prenatal development. Researchers will test the hypothesis that serotonin treatment immediately before egg incubation will affect brain development in chickens and prevent FP and cannibalism. The goal of the study is to develop an animal-friendly method for preventing FP and cannibalism and eliminating BT. Another area of concern in laying hen production systems are bone fractures. Osteoporosis is widespread in todays commercial laying hens and contributes to approximately 20 to 35% of all mortalities during the egg production cycle of caged hens. Bone fractures during production are a huge welfare issue because of the chronic pain these hens may experience. The effect of pullet rearing on skeletal quality during egg laying has not been extensively studied. Perches will be examined for their impact on bone mineralization during rearing. The expected outcome of the project is that due to endocrine response to exercise, pullets using perches during the growing phase will have increased bone mineralization as compared to pullets not using perches and that further use of perches during the adult phase will have no additional benefits in improving bone integrity. Heat stress is a critical factor affecting hen health and production. With the conversion by the egg industry from conventional to enriched cages, perches in enriched cages could be modified to improve hen thermal comfort. Our long-term goal is to identify intervention methods to reduce heat stress in laying hens. Hens will be evaluated for skeletal and foot health, feather quality, egg production traits, feed efficiency, causes of mortalities, body temperature, behavior, and endocrine responses in systems with and without modified perches. High atmospheric levels of CO2 do affect broiler and turkey performance. Previously, research has found levels of 2,500 and 4,000 ppm affected turkey poult metabolism and activity. Thus, experiments will be conducted to test additional CO2 ranges to determine what level CO2 exposure broilers and turkeys tolerate and still perform to their maximum capacity. The effects of varying wavelength of light will be examined using male turkeys. They will be reared under different wavelengths of red, blue, and green and different intensities of light. Growth rate, feed intake, gait score, feather score and behavior will be evaluated. Studies will be performed during the brood and grow finish phase of turkey production. Similar studies will be conducted in broilers evaluating different lighting programs during incubation and post-hatch. 3c. Behavior and well-being influenced by production system and genetic strains. The proposed work seeks to establish whether the observed relationship between latency to transition and keel fractures observed by others can be identified in a commercial aviary using newly available technology that allows tracking of individual birds. Productivity will be monitored of individual birds using colored feed dye allowing egg productivity to be monitored and compared across birds with and without fractures. A tracking system in combination with developed accelerometers worn by the birds will be used to identify locations in the aviary where high energy collisions occur, specifically, those exceeding values using ex vivo testing to cause fracture (Toscano et al., 2013). Several experiments are proposed to examine keel damage and the relationship with bird productivity, mobility, and collisions as a causal factor. To quantify impacts of keel damage on productivity, birds will be palpated and then administered a dyed capsule to allow for identification of eggs from hens with keel damage or not. Assessments of mobility and collisions will be made using custom designed surveillance equipment and a tri-axial accelerometer designed to be mounted on the keel of the bird allowing for unobstructed and normal locomotion. A series of lab experiments will be conducted that examine the responses of pullets and layers of different breeds to various housing or production management factors. These influencing factors will include, but not limited to, bird stocking density, perch space and configuration in an enriched colony setting, cage/colony configuration, and lighting intensity and light type. RFID sensing and machine vision technologies will be employed to aid in the behavioral measurements. Euthanasia techniques (captive bolt non-penetrating, and gas inhalation) in poultry production systems will be evaluated for effectiveness and future improvements. Studies to evaluate what management factors affect the incidence of pendulous crops in turkeys will be studied. Pendulous crop incidence can affect bird health and increase contamination in the processing plant. Research to understand what factors affects incidence will be helpful in improving bird health. 3d. Food safety and quality differences in production systems and genetic strain influence. Plant derived antimicrobials such as trans-cinnamaldehyde, carvocrol, capryllic acid and eugenol will be administered to commercial laying hens and broiler chickens in their feed and the birds will then be tested for levels of salmonella enteritidis in the ovaries, liver, muscle, crop and ceca. 3e. Economic implications of different production systems. Where appropriate, production income and costs will be calculated and compared for research previously described. These analyses will assist producers when implementing the research knowledge generated from these studies. The methodological approach frequently used in economics to evaluate projects or policy proposals is referred to as benefit-cost analysis. The approach relies on measuring benefits and costs of different scientific or engineering projects or regulation policy proposals, and if the benefits are larger than the costs, or if the so-called benefit-cost ratio is greater than 1, the project or policy passes the test and is recommended for adoption or approval. The proposed methodology for conducting the benefit-cost analysis relies on the standard enterprise budgeting techniques (Boehlje and Eidman, 1984). A typical enterprise budget reflects two sides of the profitability equation: revenues and costs. The standard approach for estimating economic benefits (revenue side) is to look at the change in prices consumers would be willing to pay for the new or improved product or service. For example, the potential economic benefits associated with improved living conditions in confined animal production facilities would materialize if consumers’ willingness to pay for this additional attribute would increase as the result of consumers' perception or as the result of some measurable product quality improvement. In most of the work in this project we will focus primarily only on the cost side of the profit equation, whereas the imputed values for total revenue will be calculated based on the break-even price, which implicitly assumes the zero-profit condition, for details see Vukina et al. (2014). The cost estimation methodology typically involve three steps. In the first step, the baseline cost structure and the break-even price for the relevant commercial enterprise is established. In the second step, we analyze the impact of the new technologies or practices on the baseline cost structure. All aspects of the cost of production that could have an effect on the representative operation’s baseline costs will be quantified to obtain the new cost structure and the new break-even price. The comparison of the new technology or practice and old (baseline) break-even prices will be expressed as a percentage increase or decrease in the break-even price relative to the baseline. In the third and final step, we try to calibrate the obtained results to capture possible economies of scale associated with different commercial sizes of targeted operations. To the extent that the analyzed project could have wider market implications, we rely on the partial equilibrium framework.
Measurement of Progress and Results
- Data is published in peer review high impact journals and presented at major scientific venues including Poultry Science and the World Poultry Science conferences
- Data and results are translated for lay publication in extension bulletins, articles for popular press and other medium made accessible to stakeholders including industry and the public. Periodic briefings/presentations and feedback from stakeholders.
- Enhanced collaborative research and networking by engaging members in development of research proposals for submission to federal agencies to tackle the complex problems.
- Successful extramural competitive funding obtained from industry and government programs will target specific collaborative research goals outlined in the project and to support graduate student and post-doctoral trainees
- Resource and energy efficiencies will improve producer economic situations
- Output 6 Data generated from nutrition trials will be utilized by producers for feed formulations; Output 7 Producers will have access to data related to poultry well-being to supplement decisions related to management practices; Output 8 Human capital from the graduate student and post-doctoral training programs supported by this project and entering the professional workforce; Output 9 Industry adoption of recommendations emanating from the recommendation of research findings for use in commercial production and allied industries; Output 10 Annual progress reports and published material are made available to the public and stakeholders through various media including a website developed for the project
Outcomes or Projected Impacts
- Improved productivity (feed conversion, weight gain, dozen of eggs produced)
- Reductions in Salmonella spp. shedding as a result of feeds or management practices
- Adoption of new technologies reducing energy consumption in poultry facilities
- Standards will be developed for assessing and comparing litter substrates in poultry housing that allow producers to make sound decisions that improve animal and human well-being
- Management recommendations on alternative housing systems for laying hens that will assist producers in making sound business decisions on which systems are most suitable to their operations; and identify best practices to be adopted to allow these systems to function to full potential
- Outcome/Impact 6 Recommendations for LED lighting for turkeys based on well-being and performance that not only reduce energy use footprint but improve turkey performance and captures operation efficiencies
(19):li>Conduct initial study using biomarkers for super nutriti
Projected ParticipationView Appendix E: Participation
Study findings will be disseminated in a timely manner to the academic communities, industry stakeholders, and the general public through press releases, web publications, extension reports, presentations at professional conferences and industry educational workshops (e.g., Annual Industry Issues Forum organized by the Egg Industry Center, www.eggindustrycenter.org), extension publications (e.g., Animal Industry Report produced at ISU, NCLP&MT Reports at http://poultry.ces.ncsu.edu/layer-performance/), graduate student theses, and peer-reviewed journal articles. While some of the outreach will be passive (user identifies information through web searching or other means), other outreach will be active (planned "events"). The "events" will tend to be planned by the Extension specialists participating in the project including seminars, field days, and workshops at which results of the research technologies will be discussed/disseminated to poultry producers. On-farm demonstrations will be conducted when feasible to allow farmers to see firsthand the results of the research in conjunction with established producer education programs. Members of the group will identify relevant information to share with interested clientele groups within their states or regions. Engagement of the poultry industry stakeholders (United Egg Producers, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, US Poultry and Egg, etc.) will allow for input on relevance of research being conducted and provide feedback on strategic ways to actively share information as well as provide ideas on future research topics. We believe a partnership between industry, government, and academia must exist to improve poultry production systems and well-being.
The Technical Committee is responsible for the planning and supervision of the Multi-State Research Project. The membership of this committee shall consist of an Administrative Advisor, a technical representative of each participating agency or experiment station, and representative of the USDA Cooperative States Research Service. Each participating agency or experiment station is entitled to one vote. The Technical Committee shall be responsible for review and acceptance of contributing projects, preparation of reviews, modification of the regional project proposal, and preparation of an annual report. Annual written reports will be prepared by each technical committee member and distributed at the annual meeting. Annual reports will be complied and distributed to Technical Committee members and Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. The Technical Committee will meet yearly and conduct an election for the office of Junior Executive. The position should alternate between Poultry Scientists and Agricultural Engineers. The person elected to serve as Junior Executive will rotate through the remaining offices of Senior Executive and Secretary and will serve as Chair in the fourth year. All voting members of the Technical Committee are eligible for office. The Chair prepares the meeting agenda and presides at meetings. The Chair is responsible for preparation of the annual report. The Secretary records minutes and assists the Chair. The Senior and Junior executives help with policy decisions and nominations. The Technical Committee functions as a unit with sub-committees formed as necessary. i.e., preparing nominations for elections.
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