PHA successful funding for 2022 announced

Poultry Hub Australia has recently signed off the final round of grants that we have awarded this year. We would like to thank all those that submitted a project and congratulate those that have been successful and encourage others to keep up the great ideas. This year for a project to be considered it was crucial to have a direct industry collaboration and to demonstrate how the project would have impact in the poultry industry in the future.

We have invested over $500,000 in a range of exciting projects. In total we awarded 5 projects to researchers and their industry partners at two different Universities. We look forward to seeing how their projects progress over the coming months and how their exciting research will impact our fantastic industry. Specific details of the projects, the lead researcher and their associated institutes as well as the aims of each project are detailed below.

Project Title Researcher Name Institution Project Aim
Ability of fermentable fibre, xylo-oligosaccharides and xylanase to enhance nutrient digestibility and performance in broilers and laying hens Dr Natalie Morgan University of New England There is an ongoing need to improve nutrient digestibility, reduce wastage and find alternatives to wheat in the Australian poultry industry. The aim of this project is to examine if it is possible to accomplish this in part, in both broilers and layers, through establishing a gastrointestinal microbiota that is adept at utilising dietary xylan. The hypothesis of this project is that founding a microbiome with xylan-degrading capabilities, through supplementing diets with XOS + xylanase and fermentable fibre, will result in improved utilisation of dietary xylan, and thus heightened diet digestibility and bird performance. This will be examined in broiler chickens across two trials, in which the effect of these supplements in sorghum, barley and wheat-based diets will be tested, and their influence at different dietary phases explored. The impact of these supplements in laying hens, at early- and mid- lay, will also be explored, with prediction that these supplements will have a comparatively greater influence in laying hens, due to their more mature microbiota. Xylanase application is common practice in Australian poultry diets, but it is anticipated that the addition of XOS alongside xylanase will result in even greater xylan degradation and utilisation.
The effect of AM/PM diets on feed efficiency, egg quality and welfare parameters for free-range layer hens Dr Amy Moss University of New England To compare a conventional layer hen diet with an AM/PM feeding diet from 20 to 40 weeks of age in free-range layer hens, to demonstrate if AM/PM feeding will improve the efficiency of production, egg quality, reduce faecal nitrogen (and thereby environmental pollution) and provide positive welfare benefits (fewer bone fractures, reduced feather pecking and more time spent ranging/perching).

We hypothesise that hens offered the AM/PM diet will have an improved nutrient utilisation (protein, energy and calcium) and therefore an improved production efficiency and parameters of egg quality. This should also have a flow on effect to reduce excretion of nutrients, and improve the skeletal health and reduce the incidence of cannibalism in laying hens.

We will achieve these objectives by running a 20 week free-range laying hen study to assess the effects of AM/PM diets on performance, egg quality, digestibility, skeletal and welfare parameters.

Nutritional strategies to mitigate coccidiosis Dr Amy Moss University of New England The aim of this project is to determine if the nutritional strategies of post-pellet whole wheat, XOS, high fat (vegetable oil), high carbohydrate, Thr + BCAA or SCFA inclusions may assist broilers to combat the severity of the coccidiosis challenge. It is hypothesised that one or multiple of these strategies may return performance to that of the NC diet and reduce faecal egg counts.
Determining the order of limiting amino acids in practical Australian reduced protein diets for laying hens Dr Amy Moss University of New England Inclusion of Met, Lys, and Thr in poultry diets is a common industry practice. This study aims at determining the limiting order of essential AA after Met, Lys and Thr in practical Australian reduced protein diets based on wheat and sorghum for laying hens. The deletion method as described by Fernandez et al. (1994) will be used to determine the limiting AA order including Trp, Arg, Ile, Val, Leu, His, Phe, and Gly equivalent.
Rapid On-farm Diagnostics for Bacterial Respiratory disease Outbreaks in Poultry (RODBROP) Associate Professor Seyed Ali Ghorashi Charles Sturt University The overarching goal of the project would be to develop evidence in support of LAMP being a viable inexpensive, rapid, robust, highly specific and sensitive ‘on-farm’ alternative to traditional lab based diagnostics for bacterial respiratory disease; which also offers opportunities of broad disease surveillance and early intervention to reduce disease associated losses in the poultry industry.

The Major objectives of the project would be:

1)    To evaluate the application of LAMP methods for detection of three bacterial pathogens in collected clinical samples from commercial poultry farms.

2)    To develop/improve a quick DNA extraction procedure that does not require laboratory equipment and is doable at the farm/clinic with minimal technical competence or requirement.

3)    Validate LAMP results by comparing specificity and sensitivity of diagnosis against PCR

Collect further evidence in support of LAMP being a viable inexpensive and rapid, ‘on-farm’ alternative test to laboratory-based diagnostics such as bacterial culture and PCR for detection of nominated bacterial pathogens.


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