Poultry Production, Efficiency and Sustainability.

Poultry meat and eggs represent highly nutritious proteins of choice for much of the world’s population. While poultry are among the most efficient agricultural animals in terms of converting plant stuffs into high quality protein, more research is needed to sustain efficient production and to address emerging pressures on production due to population growth, climate change, changing consumer demographics and expectations, shifts in economic models, etc. Therefore, a primary research effort area for our Department focuses on poultry production, efficiency and sustainability, particularly as these issues relate to broiler chickens. More specifically, our research addresses broiler performance, feed manufacturing and quality, and muscle development.

Broiler Performance

Approximately one billion broilers are produced each year in Alabama. Therefore, much of our research aims to improve and sustain commercial broiler performance, predominantly via nutrition and feeding strategies, a better understanding of factors affecting male and female broiler fertility, as well as best management and husbandry practices.

As examples of current research priorities in this focus area, our faculty are working on two key, but broad topics:

  1. Nutrient Availability, Digestibility and Utilization
  2. Broiler Breeder Performance and Efficiency

FACULTY

Faculty experts who conduct research in the Broiler Performance focus area include:

Wallace D. Berry
Associate Professor
260 Lem Morrison Drive
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-2607
William A. Dozier
Professor
302E Poultry Science Building
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-8477
Joseph B. Hess
Extension Specialist/ Professor
302C Poultry Science Building
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-2611
Wilmer Pacheco
Extension Specialist & Asst. Professor
302D Poultry Science Building
Auburn, AL 36849
334-844-2627
Charles Starkey
Assistant Professor
260 Lem Morrison Drive
202-A Poultry Science Bldg.
Auburn Univ., AL 36830
334-844-4136

FACILITIES

The Department has state-of-the art facilities that provide unique capabilities and the capacity to conduct basic, applied or translational research related to commercial broiler performance. These facilities include:

Feed Manufacturing and Quality

Feed represents the major live production cost for broilers, and therefore, feed milling is a major component of the commercial broiler industry. Moreover, feed quality, which can be affected greatly by manufacturing factors, can ultimately influence live performance.  To this end, the department maintains a research focus on feed manufacturing and feed quality.

Particular topics under investigation include: the interaction of feed milling and broiler nutrition, stability of feed additives during the feed manufacturing process, and feed mill process control and efficiency.


FACULTY

Faculty experts who conduct research in the feed manufacturing and quality focus area include:

Wilmer Pacheco
Extension Specialist & Asst. Professor
302D Poultry Science Building
Auburn, AL 36849
334-844-2627
Charles Starkey
Assistant Professor
260 Lem Morrison Drive
202-A Poultry Science Bldg.
Auburn Univ., AL 36830
334-844-4136

FACILITIES

The Department has the state-of-the art Alabama Poultry & Egg Association Feed Mill and Nutrition Center, a modular, pilot-scale feed mill with the precision and accuracy to manufacture high quality research broiler diets. This facility provides unique capabilities and the capacity to conduct research related to commercial poultry feed manufacturing and quality.

 


PHOTOS

Muscle Development

Research into basic muscle growth and development is needed to not only enhance our knowledge regarding skeletal muscle cell function, but also to devise strategies to maximize efficiency of broiler meat production while maintaining bird health and well-being, and product quality.  A key goal is to determine how muscle-specific stem cells known as satellite cells respond to different internal and external factors.

Exploring the impact of nutrition and production management strategies on the cellular and molecular regulation of skeletal muscle (i.e., meat) development is an example of ongoing research in this area.


FACULTY

Faculty experts who conduct research in the muscle development focus area include:

Jessica D. Starkey
Assistant Professor
202-C Poultry Science Building
Auburn Univ, AL 36849
334-844-2790

FACILITIES