United States
What came first, the chicken or the lettuce?

Iowa State University researchers are conducting experiments to determine what advantages may arise from integrating chickens into vegetable production systems.

The researchers must balance a range of concerns, including environmental sustainability, costs and food and animal safety. But Ajay Nair, an associate professor of horticulture and a vegetable production specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach, said finding ways to integrate vegetable and animal production may lead to greater efficiency and healthier soils.

The experiments, currently in their second year, take place at the ISU Horticulture Research Station just north of Ames. The researchers are testing what happens when a flock of broiler chickens lives on a vegetable field for part of the year.

The chickens forage on the plant matter left behind after the vegetables are harvested and fertilize the soil with manure. This integrated approach could reduce off-farm inputs and also provide producers with sustainable crop rotation options.

The researchers are testing three different systems on a half acre of land at the research farm. The first system involves a vegetable crop – one of several varieties of lettuce or broccoli – early in the growing season, followed by the chickens, which are then followed by a cover crop later in the year.

The second system involves the vegetable crop, followed by two months of a cover crop, with the chickens foraging on the land later in the year. The third system is vegetables followed by cover crops, with no chickens.

The experiment involves roughly 40 chickens, which live in four mobile coops that the researchers move every day. Moving the coops around ensures the chickens have access to fresh forage and keeps their manure from concentrating any particular part of the field. An electric fence surrounds the field to keep out predators.

Moriah Bilenky, a graduate assistant in horticulture, checks on the chickens every morning to make sure they have food and water. She also weighs them periodically to collect data on how efficiently they convert food into body mass. The researchers designed the trial to uphold animal health, and Bilenky said she keeps a detailed log on how foraging in the fields impacts the birds’ health and performance.

Nair said the researchers are looking at several facets associated with sustainability. Nitrogen and phosphorous deposited in the soil from the chicken manure could alleviate some of the need for fertilizer application, while working cover crops into the system can prevent the loss of nutrients into waterways. Economics must also factor into the research, he said.

“We might come up with results that really help the soil, but if the system is not economically stable, I doubt growers will be willing to adopt it because it has to work for their bottom line as well,” he said.

The trials also adhere to food safety regulations. For instance, all vegetables are harvested before the chickens are introduced to the fields, ensuring none of the produce is contaminated. The researchers consulted food safety and animal science experts at Iowa State while designing their experiments, and the work undergoes regular IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) inspection and documentation, he said.

The trials remain ongoing, so the researchers aren’t drawing any conclusions yet about the success of their integrated system. The project is currently supported through a SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) grant. Nair said he’s seeking additional funding to investigate the animal health and integrated pest management aspects of this research.

So why did the chicken cross the road? It’s too early to tell, but maybe so it could get into the lettuce and pepper fields.
Published in Environment
Alltech presented the 35th Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award to Cristiano Bortoluzzi, a doctoral student at the University of Georgia, during the 107th annual Poultry Science Association (PSA) meeting, held in San Antonio, Texas, on July 23 to 26.

This award is given to a student who is the senior author of an outstanding research manuscript in Poultry Science or The Journal of Applied Poultry Research, and only students awarded Certificates of Excellence for research presentations at an annual PSA meeting can compete.

Bortoluzzi’s winning paper — entitled “Sodium butyrate improved performance while modulating the cecal microbiota and regulating the expression of intestinal immune-related genes of broiler chickens” — evaluated the effect of sodium butyrate (SB) on performance, expression of immune-related genes in the cecal tonsils, and cecal microbiota of broiler chickens when dietary energy and amino acids concentrations were reduced.

The paper results confirmed that SB had positive effects on the productive performance of broilers fed nutritionally reduced diets, partially by modulating the cecal microbiota and exerting immune modulatory effects.

"Alltech is proud to sponsor this award, as innovation is the core of our business," said Dr. Kayla Price, poultry technical manager for Alltech Canada. “We support advancements in the poultry industry and encourage students to publish their research and communicate their discoveries, which can positively influence the future of poultry production."

Cristiano Bortoluzzi is a doctor of veterinary medicine and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the department of poultry science at the University of Georgia.

He grew up on a farm in southern Brazil with dairy cows, pigs and poultry, so his passion for animal production started when he was young and has influenced his career path.

Bortoluzzi completed several internships in his first year of vet school and found that poultry nutrition and health interested him the most.

Throughout his studies, he was actively involved in research trials, attended scientific meetings and learned about the intestinal health/immune system of broilers and the importance of nutrition.

While working toward his master’s degree, he spent three months working with the United States Department of Agriculture/Agriculture Research Service (USDA/ARS) in Indiana.

In January 2015, he started his Ph.D. in animal science at Purdue University, later moving to the University of Georgia. Bortoluzzi has published 18 papers and will finish his Ph.D. in the fall. He is looking forward to working in and contributing his expertise to the poultry industry.

Alltech has sponsored the Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award since 2000, recognizing young leaders in scientific innovation for their commitment to publishing and sharing their work within the poultry sector.
Published in Researchers
Perdue Farms Inc., one of the world’s biggest producers of organic chicken, wants to bring the premium meat to the masses.

The Salisbury, Maryland-based company will convert its Simply Smart prepared chicken brand to organic later this year, chief marketing officer Eric Christianson said in an interview.

The line, which includes frozen products such as nuggets, tenders and breasts, will be sold at about half the price of comparable organic products at retail, which often go for about $15 a pound, he said. | READ MORE
Published in News
Jamesway Incubation Company Inc., incubation and hatchery equipment manufacturer, announced that Denis Kan, CPA, CMA, will assume the role of president replacing former president Christopher Omiecinski.

In his former positions as Jamesway C.O.O. and director of finance, Kan has led the company through many new processes and has used his formidable organizational skills to propel the company to new achievements. As president, Kan can be expected to continue this forward surge as Jamesway continues to acquire market share in the hatchery sector.

Denis brings a strong set of technical and analytical skills in financial management, reporting, and organization and planning coupled with key knowledge in operational monitoring, analysis and control and strong business acumen in strategic analysis and planning and tactical business and process alignment.

He has experience directly in field sales and national accounts as well as a history of partnering with sales to work with strategic customers. Jamesway welcomes the senior management change and looks forward to continued growth with Kan at the helm.
Published in Company News
A Greener World (AGW) the independent, nonprofit certifier and home of North America's farm certifications--Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW--is recognized as an industry leader in a recent higher animal welfare comparison chart released by Compassion In World Farming, a global farm animal welfare nonprofit.

Compassion In World Farming (CIWF) compared 34 initiatives across 10 countries to assess which certifications meet CIWF's higher animal welfare criteria. CIWF analyzed each certification program on 15 metrics and animal welfare criteria--including access to pasture, spacing requirements for housing, animal breeds, ability for animals to exhibit natural behaviors, health and animal welfare monitoring programs, and more. The Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW label was the only program that met all of CIWF's higher animal welfare criteria--including recommendations and requirements--for laying hens.

Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW is the only food label in North America that ensures high-welfare on pasture from birth through slaughter for all species certified.

The label is free to farmers, ensuring certification is impartial, independent and accessible to all farms. Along with AGW's ISO/IEC Guide 17065 accreditation demonstrating excellence in auditing and certifying, AGW offers integrity and transparency in a market dominated by unverified claims. Demand for verified sustainability is growing globally: Currently available in the U.S. and Canada, AGW's certifications will soon launch in the UK and South Africa, with other countries following.

AGW executive director Andrew Gunther says, "We're honored to be recognized by Compassion in World Farming as an international leader in the field. While there is an ongoing industrial effort to rebrand conventional practices as high-welfare or sustainable, it's vital that organizations like CIWF evaluate labels from an objective, science-based perspective, and report back on which ones are really doing what they say. We're proud to lead the pack on that front--and with our certified farmers, demonstrate our commitment to transparency and verified, high-welfare, farming practices.

There are a lot of misleading labels out there, but there are also some very good ones. CIWF's charts help consumers, buyers, advocates and policymakers distinguish between meaningful labels--like those from A Greener World and our high-scoring peers--and meaningless greenwashing. If we're ever to achieve truly sustainable agriculture, we have to ensure the label on the package matches the practices on the farm. We're proud to be a label that delivers on its promise, and thank CIWF for keeping the market honest."

For more information about AGW's nonprofit work, including farm certification, educational resources, membership and volunteer opportunities, technical papers and a directory of certified products, visit agreenerworld.org.
Published in News
In 2014/2015 an outbreak of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (AI) struck British Columbia. A total of 13 poultry farms were affected and approximately 240,000 birds died or were destroyed to control the outbreak.

In addition, the disease was detected in the U.S. where more than 48 million birds were lost and the outbreak was estimated to have cost US$3.3 billion and resulted in shortages and price increases for certain poultry products.

Wild waterfowl are known to be the reservoir for AI, and although wild bird AI surveillance programs were already in place in Canada and the U.S., it was limited to collecting and testing individual wild birds.

To improve the surveillance to include environmental monitoring, in 2015 the BC Ministry of Agriculture, BC Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory, and University of British Columbia joined forces to develop a new approach - a genomics-based test that identifies and characterizes AI viruses (AIV) in wetland sediments.

This work, funded in part by Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) and led by Drs. Chelsea Himsworth, Jane Pritchard, William Hsiao, Natalie Prystajecky, and Agatha Jassem, successfully demonstrated that this novel approach worked, as AIV was detected in a significant proportion of sediment samples, compared to less than one percent rate of detection in the current Canadian national wild bird AI surveillance program.

Additionally, the outbreak virus was found in wetlands throughout the Fraser Valley, information that could have been used to mitigate the outbreak had this technology been available.

To further evaluate this novel surveillance approach, a new project, Genomic Analysis of Wetland Sediment as a Tool for Avian Influenza Surveillance and Prevention, represents a combined investment of over $2.5 million from funders and delivery partners including Genome BC, the BC Ministry of Agriculture, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, and the Sustainable Poultry Farming Group.

This phase follows on from previous work and is looking at what steps are required to move the technology from a successful proof-of-concept initiative to implementation. This includes scientific validation of technology, as well as its incorporation into Provincial and National Wild Waterfowl AI Surveillance Programs. It is anticipated that this innovative approach will be adopted nationally and internationally for surveillance of AI and/or other diseases associated with wildlife.

"This investment allows Dr. Himsworth and the team to refine and validate the AI sediment surveillance with genomics technologies, methodology and field approach," says Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, chief scientific officer and vice president, sectors, at Genome BC. "Most importantly it allows for the identification of the optimal combination of AI surveillance techniques for maximum efficiency and efficacy."
Published in Health
Auburn University's College of Agriculture, in conjunction with other schools around the nation, will conduct a study to ensure that poultry litter does not pollute surface waters with excessive amounts of phosphorous.

The three-year study is being performed to combat the 1.8 million tons of waste produced annually in Alabama from its $15 billion poultry industry.

Phosphorous-rich poultry litter is a big concern in Alabama and other states where the litter is used to fertilize fields. If the nutrient leaks into waterways, it can cause toxic algae blooms which can lead to deficient oxygen levels and destruction of life in the water.

The study will look at the Sand Mountain region of North Alabama and a row-crop field in Wisconsin, two large agro-ecosystems that are currently having issues with managing their phosphorous levels. | For the full story, CLICK HERE.
Published in Environment
AGCO Corporation, a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agriculture equipment and solutions, will begin manufacturing Farmer Automatic egg production equipment in North America to better serve its largest market for these products.

The decision also supports Canadian producers transitioning to new Code of Practice standards for the care, welfare and handling of their flocks.

Farmer Automatic’s enriched colony housing and aviary systems will be produced at AGCO’s plant in Bremen, Alabama beginning later this year. The first products will be shipped from that facility in January 2019, with normal distribution to be maintained during the transition.

“Manufacturing in North America is a long-term investment providing enhanced service and support for North American egg producers and a signal to the market that Farmer Automatic will continue to deliver high quality and innovation for years to come,” said Scott Becker, director of North America Commercial Egg for Cumberland Poultry, AGCO’s poultry production equipment brand.

The state-of-the-art Bremen plant manufactures a broad range of Cumberland products used in poultry production facilities, including fans, heaters, tunnel doors, broiler nesting systems, power curtain machinery and environmental controls.

Becker said establishing production in North America provides several important benefits to Farmer Automatic customers, including reduced shipping time, faster response to meet their needs, currency advantages and a full-system solution enabling producers to access the breadth of Cumberland’s product offerings.

Farmer Automatic products were previously manufactured in Laer, Germany. Design and engineering functions will remain in Germany with the creation of the Farmer Automatic Engineering Innovation Center in the area later this year.

Supporting new guidelines
Farmer Automatic systems currently meet new guidelines in the Canada Code of Practice introduced last year requiring all laying hens to be housed in enriched or cage-free systems by July 1, 2036.

“Our Canadian dealer, Clark Ag Systems, works closely with its customers to ensure their systems have enough space, feed, water, nest area and scratch surface to meet the Code of Practice requirements for their production method,” Becker said.

The Eco II System from Farmer Automatic provides all of the required enrichments and easy access to the flock with its large access doors. Farmer Automatic’s Combi II provides a solution for customers who may transition from enriched to cage-free in the future. The Combi II can be operated as both an Enriched Colony System with the doors closed or as a Cage-Free Aviary System with the door open.

For those producers ready to transition to cage-free production today, the Loggia system offers excellent access to the flock, nests and egg belts with walkable floors and low system heights for easy inspection and management. The slight slope of the floor allows system eggs to roll onto the egg belt. The Loggia line was recently expanded to include the new Loggia 3 Plus, providing additional living space with a third tier allowing for greater bird density in many operations.

Pullet rearing is easier with the Combi Pullet, capable of preparing birds to be housed in either enriched and/or aviary systems in the future. Multiple floor mesh sizes for the lower tier allow producers to tailor the system to their operation, and additional half levels create more space for greater stocking densities.

Farmer Automatic systems can be installed in new egg production facilities or retrofitted to existing operations. For additional information, producers can contact Clark Ag Systems or visit www.farmerautomatic-inc.com.
Published in Companies
For anyone wondering why Donald Trump has been tweeting about Canadian agriculture lately -- Justin Trudeau insists that he is the instigator.

The prime minister said Thursday that the U.S. president's complaints on Twitter about Canada's trade barriers are the result of his refusal to give in to Trump's demands to do away with the country's supply management system.

Trudeau's comments were meant to address fresh criticism from Canadian farmers who fear he is prepared to open up the system to provide more access to American competition.

In recent days, Trump's Canada-focused tweets have included: "Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time. Highly restrictive on Trade! They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers!" | READ MORE

Related: Exploring a future without supply management 
Published in News
B.C. businesses are watching closely as Canada’s trade dispute with the U.S. heats up, with the latest threat directed at protected dairy, egg and poultry production.

Soon after extending its “national security” tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to include Canada, U.S. president Donald Trump took to Twitter to warn of demands for increased access to the Canadian agriculture market.

Canada’s government-protected dairy, egg and poultry market has been a trade irritant for the U.S. and other countries for years. Only minimal foreign access to those markets was given up in the recently concluded Canada-European Union trade deal, and the Trans Pacific Partnership discussions that Canada has been involved in. | READ MORE

Related: Exploring a future without supply management
Published in News
DATE: June 10, 2018

LOCATION: 36 states

DETAILS: Multistate outbreaks of salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks. As of June 1, 2018, 124 people infected with the outbreak strains of salmonella have been reported from 36 states.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings link these outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, which come from multiple hatcheries. In interviews, 55 (74 per cent) of 74 ill people with information available reported contact with chicks or ducklings in the week before their illness started. People reported obtaining chicks and ducklings from several sources, including feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries, and from relatives.

A total of 70 outbreaks of salmonella infections have been linked to contact with backyard flocks since 2000 [see URL for link to PDF]. In 2017, CDC reported the largest number of illnesses ever recorded linked to backyard flocks.

SOURCE:
http://www.promedmail.org/post/5848079

ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org/

ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
http://www.isid.org

Published in Disease watch
DATE: June 7, 2018

LOCATION: San Bernardino County, California

DETAILS: USDA confirms additional cases of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard birds in California.

The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed three additional cases of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard birds in San Bernardino County, California.

Virulent Newcastle disease has not been found in commercial poultry in the United States since 2003.

SOURCE:
http://www.promedmail.org/post/5844854

ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org/

ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
http://www.isid.org

Published in Disease watch
Broiler litter is a mixture of poultry manure, bedding, feathers, and spilled feed. The actual nutrient content of a manure sample varies. Nutrient concentration of broiler litter is variable due to age of bird, composition of the diet, how the manure is handled, and the number of batches of birds raised since the last house clean out.

The average nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) content of broiler litter is 62, 59, and 40 lbs/ton, respectively. Having your manure analyzed for its actual plant nutrient content is recommended. Armed with this and appropriate soil test information you can decide on the best plan of action to use poultry litter for specific cropping needs. | READ MORE
Published in Manure Management
USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., in which a researcher showed how infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) can spread from vaccinated flocks.

Dr. Maricarmen Garcia, at the University of Georgia, recently completed a research project that studied how well a recombinant ILT vaccine protected broilers when various doses of the vaccine were used.

She found that all dosage levels used protected against the clinical signs of the disease, but none of the dosage levels prevented the broilers from shedding the ILT challenge virus to other broilers. This study reinforces the observation that biosecurity is very important to control spread of ILT from vaccinated flocks.

The research summary can be found on the USPOULTRY website, www.uspoultry.org.
Published in Health
As it did for most livestock species, substantial genetic improvement in turkeys started in the 21st century. In the 1960s, hybridization of turkey varieties began, followed by the development of pedigree programs for large white turkeys in the 1970s.
Published in Genetics
Research has shown that the consumption of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids provides a myriad of health benefits, including lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

Yet, few Americans are consuming enough of this vital nutrient to reap those benefits, a deficiency researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences hope to change by fortifying foods people frequently eat — eggs and chicken — with the heart healthy long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

"With the incidence of obesity, heart disease and insulin resistance increasing toward epidemic proportions in the United States, people must make changes to improve their health," said Kevin Harvatine, associate professor of nutritional physiology in the Department of Animal Science.

"Production of nutritionally enriched eggs and poultry meat will help consumers meet health goals and help egg and poultry producers to increase the value of their products."

Harvatine and Robert Elkin, professor of avian nutritional biochemistry, have collaborated in this research area since 2011, conducting numerous studies at the Penn State Poultry Education and Research Center with both laying hens and broiler (meat-type) chickens. Elkin has expertise in poultry nutrition and a long history of work aimed at modifying egg cholesterol content, while Harvatine has expertise in lipid (fat) nutrition and metabolism in dairy cattle.

The researchers explained that alpha-linolenic acid is an 18-carbon omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, nut oils and leafy vegetables. It is one of two essential fatty acids that the human body cannot produce on its own but is vital for cardiovascular, cognitive and immune system health. It also is touted for its anti-inflammatory properties.

The other essential fatty acid, linoleic acid, is an 18-carbon omega-6 fatty acid commonly found in corn, many vegetable oils, and a wide variety of snacks and fast foods. While omega-6 fatty acids can be beneficial, consuming too much — which many people do — is not good because it promotes inflammation, Elkin pointed out.

In addition, linoleic and linolenic acids compete for the same set of enzymes in the liver that convert them into longer-chain derivatives, which have opposing functions in the inflammatory process. As a result, when the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids favors the former, fewer heart-healthy long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are produced by the liver and transported to tissues such as the brain and retina, where they have other important physiological functions.

Harvatine said omega-3 needs vary, but, in general, healthy adults should set a target of about 250 milligrams per day of each of the two most important types: eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid — commonly referred to as EPA and DHA, respectively. For people with known heart disease, higher dietary intakes are recommended.

EPA and DHA contain a greater number of carbon atoms and unsaturated double bonds, and because their consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, they are referred to as the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Foods rich in long-chain omega-3s include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring; however, few people eat two to three servings each week per American Heart Association recommendations.

"Some people don't like fish, can't eat it due to allergies, or simply can't afford it," Harvatine said. "Whatever the reason, most don't meet the requirement. And, if every person on the planet ate the number of fish needed to achieve omega-3 targets, there would be no fish left — it is just not sustainable."

While over-the-counter supplements are available, the researchers believe it is better to reach omega-3 nutritional targets through food such as enriched poultry meat and eggs because, as Elkin noted, "it's perhaps a more effective way to reach a greater number of people who are concerned about health risks (methylmercury) associated with consumption of certain fish species, the sustainability and environmental effects of aquaculture, or simply prefer to not eat fish for a variety of reasons."

Eggs find their way onto American plates with frequency. According to the American Egg Board, per capita consumption of eggs is about 267 a year, which works out to about five eggs per person per week. In addition, Americans consumed approximately 91 pounds of chicken per person in 2017, according to the National Chicken Council.

Unlike typical nutritionally enhanced eggs found in grocery stores, Harvatine's and Elkin's goal is to create poultry products that are richer in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids but lower in omega-6 fatty acids. Although the chicken is able to convert the 18-carbon omega-3 fatty acid found in plants to the heart-healthy long-chain omega-3s, the process is very inefficient. Humans also have a very limited ability to convert linolenic acid to EPA and DHA.

In a recent study published in Lipids, Elkin and Harvatine hypothesized that reducing the dietary level of linoleic acid (the 18-carbon omega-6 fatty acid) would promote greater conversion in the liver of linolenic acid to EPA and DHA, while supplementing the hens' diets with a high-oleic acid soybean oil would simultaneously further enrich eggs with oleic acid without influencing egg EPA and DHA contents.

Oleic acid is the principal fatty acid found in olive oil, which is the main fat source in the Mediterranean diet, heralded as one of the healthiest diets for cardiovascular disease prevention.

The researchers found that, as compared to controls, supplemental dietary flaxseed oil resulted in an enrichment of egg yolks with EPA and DHA, but simultaneously supplementing the hens’ diet with both flaxseed oil and high-oleic soybean oil maximally reduced the yolk deposition of linolenic acid, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, and total omega-3 fatty acids by 37 per cent, 15 per cent, and 32 per cent respectively.

These results suggested that dietary oleic acid was not neutral with regard to the overall process by which dietary linolenic acid was absorbed, metabolized and deposited into egg yolk, either intact or in the form of longer chain/more unsaturated omega-3 fatty acid derivatives.

Based on their knowledge of fatty acid metabolism, as well as triglyceride positional analyses of the experimental oils, Elkin and Harvatine hypothesized that oleic acid may simply have out-competed linolenic acid for absorption from the intestine, which ultimately would result in less omega-3 fatty acid enrichment of egg yolks.

In addition to being the first study to report this, according to Elkin, the findings also have implications for human nutrition because the initial steps of intestinal fat digestion and absorption are similar in chickens and humans.

"It is possible that oils rich in oleic acid might hinder the body's ability to reap the full nutritional benefits of EPA and DHA if consumed along with fatty fish or omega-3 fatty acid supplements, such as fish oil capsules."

"This also could be occurring in people consuming a Mediterranean diet, in which oleic acid-rich olive oil is the principal source of fat, and moderate to low amounts of fish are eaten," he added.

Studies are underway to confirm this finding in laying hens with other oils that are rich in oleic acid, in order to demonstrate that it is an "oleic acid effect" and not an effect that is specific for high-oleic soybean oil only.

"The importance of this research to the (egg) industry is that we have learned of a potential new hindrance to enriching eggs with omega-3 fatty acids, and that information can be used when trying to develop the next generation of ‘designer’ eggs," Elkin said.

Undergraduate student Alexandra Kukorowski, a Schreyer Honors Scholar, contributed to the research.

The Pennsylvania Soybean Board and the Pennsylvania Poultry Industry Egg Research Check-Off Program supported this work.
Published in Researchers
This year, Hayden Farms, in Philpot, Kentucky built four new broiler chicken houses. One of these state-of-the-art barns will be the first in the U.S. to include a viewing room.

The viewing room is an extension of the control room, which is placed in the middle of the barn. Visitors can enter the large control room and find a seat to experience the ins and outs of a modern poultry house without risking biosecurity of the flock. Four large windows allow visitors to easily see all of the controls as well as the 30,000-chicken facility. | READ MORE
Published in News
The National Breeders Roundtable brings together poultry breeder specialists and geneticists from the industry, universities and government to discuss the latest poultry breeding research developments and genetic trends.

The 67th annual National Breeders Roundtable agenda will include topics on Advanced Technologies for the Detection and Analysis of Breast Meat Affected by Novel Myopathies in Broilers; Genetic Engineering for Sustainable Food and Fiber Production - Separating the Myths from Reality; GMO/CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) in Research Populations; and more. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view the Food Evolution documentary.

Registration is now open for the National Breeders Roundtable. Sponsored by the Poultry Breeders of America and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, the conference will be held May 17 -18, at the Renaissance Airport Hotel in St. Louis, Mo.

To view the agenda, register and reserve hotel rooms, click here or visit www.uspoultry.org.
Published in News
Iowa State University researchers have completed testing of a key component of a new concept for disposing of animal carcasses following a disease outbreak.

The research someday may help producers facing animal disease emergencies, such as in 2015 when avian influenza resulted in disposal of millions of chickens and turkeys in Iowa and other states.

Jacek Koziel, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, said animal health emergencies occur around the globe each year due, not only to disease, but also to hurricanes, flooding, fire and blizzards. These incidents often require the disposal of numerous animal carcasses, usually accomplished via burial. In research published recently in the scientific journal Waste Management, Koziel and his team analyzed a method that could help livestock, poultry and egg producers deal more efficiently and safely with crises that lead to sudden increases in animal mortality.

Koziel and his team focused their research on improving on-farm burial, the method most commonly employed for large-scale carcass disposal due to its low cost and ability to quickly reduce the spread of airborne disease and foul odors. But emergency burial can contaminate nearby water resources with chemical and biological pollutants, and many locations in Iowa are considered unsuitable for such practices by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Buried carcasses also decay slowly, sometimes delaying use of burial sites for crop production and other uses for years, Koziel said.

To overcome these problems, the researchers studied a hybrid disposal concept conceived at the National Institute of Animal Science in South Korea following a massive outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2011.

The method combines burial with aerobic digestion, a method commonly used for treating sewage in which air is pumped through the content to speed decomposition.

The experiment also included burial trenches lined with flexible geomembranes like those used to prevent seepage from landfills and wastewater treatment ponds to protect water quality. The researchers then injected low levels of air into the bottom of the trench to accelerate carcass decomposition and treat the resulting liquid contaminants.

The experiment tested the performance of the aerobic component of the hybrid method in a lab using tanks containing whole chicken carcasses, water, and low levels of oxygen that occasionally dropped to zero as would be likely in emergency burial trenches.

Results of the study showed low levels of oxygen accelerated carcass decay significantly, reducing carcass mass by 95 per cent within 13 weeks, while similar tests without air produced no noticeable decay. The air and water used for the experimental method create an ideal environment for bacteria to break down the carcasses quickly, a “shark tank,” as Koziel described it.

Chemical contamination in the liquid waste met U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criteria for safe discharge to surface waters. The hybrid method also eliminated two common poultry pathogens, salmonella and staphylococcus. Aeration also reduced odorous gases sometimes associated with mass burial.

Koziel said the the encouraging laboratory results could pave the way for follow-up field studies that will include evaluation of alternative geomembrane liners, aeration system designs and components, and performance testing of the complete hybrid disposal system.

The research was supported by funding from the Korean Rural Development Administration.
Published in Bird Management
A company has recalled more than 200 million eggs after an outbreak of salmonella was traced to one of its farms in North Carolina.

The federal Food and Drug Administration reported Friday that eggs from the affected farm were distributed to nine states — Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia — and were likely connected to 22 reported cases of salmonella infections.

The agency learned about a cluster of salmonella outbreaks in multiple states last month, and investigators worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state authorities to trace the source of the illness, the F.D.A. said. That led them to an egg farm in Hyde County, N.C., owned by Rose Acre Farms of Seymour, Ind. | READ MORE
Published in News
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