Poultry welfare research focuses on commercial strategies

Projects involving industry provide practical information at the intersection of management, well-being and production.

Poultry welfare research at the University of Saskatchewan highlights the importance of industry collaboration in the efforts to improve the productivity and well-being of commercial turkeys, broilers and laying hens.

“We have an overarching object of trying to find simple ways that growers and producers can incorporate change or figure out if they have to change,” Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner, associate professor, University of Saskatchewan, said.

“The majority of our research projects involve industry, so we have a strong working relationship, and we work with them, in some cases, when we’re designing the experiment.” The Schwean-Lardner laboratory collaborates with producers, growers and companies within the poultry industry to solve issues on the farm, create fact sheets for public use and present at company meetings. The lab also places students at poultry companies for real world experience.

Benefits of welfare research to industry

The first project, partially funded by Evonik, will explore if diet composition can help broilers better cope with heat stress. The second project will study the effects of LED light flicker on the health, welfare and productivity in turkey hens and is aided by the Canadian Poultry Research Council, Aviagen Turkeys and the Turkey Farmers of Saskatchewan. The third project, in collaboration with the Canadian Poultry Research Council and the Turkey Farmers of Saskatchewan, aims to develop better transportation guidelines for turkeys.

The projects are also funded by $647,000 from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) grant program.

“These three projects really focused on the interface between management and then welfare and production,” Schwean-Lardner said.

Regardless of the results, growers and producers can come away with practical information “that’s going to improve the well-being of the birds and still give that excellent productivity that people make their living off of,” she added.

Par : Elizabeth Doughman (08/12/2021)

Source : wattagnet.com

Photo : Brenda Timmermans (pexels.com)