After graduating in Veterinary Science at James Cook University, Dr Jodi Hopper has been employed by Bell Veterinary Services, a mixed practice in Bell (near Toowoomba, Queensland). Having expressed a keen interest in gaining experience in poultry, independently attending two AVPA scientific meetings and PIX 2012, Jodi has recently taken up a Poultry CRC industry internship with poultry consultancy Zootechny Pty Ltd.
Under the guidance of Zootechny’s Dr Peter Groves, Jodi will provide a local veterinary service to D.A. Hall and Co. (Halls), a large layer client near Toowoomba. Both Zootechny and Halls are participants in the Poultry CRC. Initially, Jodi is scheduled to visit and consult to Halls on a monthly basis, with visits from Dr Groves around every three months.
Jodi explains, “I’ve had a number of days at Halls now and it has been great. Seeing the free-range side of their operation, with large, mobile sheds was a highlight along with their organic egg production.” While on site, Jodi performed a number of post-mortems on chickens from each shed, taking numerous photos to form a historical record. In addition, Jodi took swabs from birds in the conventional cage-egg production sites for subsequent lab analysis.
As Jodi frequents other sites such as piggeries in her duties for Bell Veterinary Services, she must ensure good biosecurity practices when visiting Halls. Many bacteria that can cause disease in chickens are common to these sites.
Zootechny has had around three years involvement with Halls, and works with Baiada in many locations across Australia. Dr Peter Groves is delighted with the opportunity the Poultry CRC internship allows both he and Jodi, and how she is progressing. “She’s really keen, getting into it boots and all, and really starting to enjoy it I think”, he said. “It saves me travel, and adds a young, vibrant and committed vet to the Zootechny team.” Jodi concurs, “I’m very keen on working within the poultry industry, with many aspects transferable to, and from, other intensive animal practices. It’s great to work with someone who’s so keen to help, which Peter is.”