Avian - Nutrition & Management
Research and teaching at the avian division focus on housing environments and nutrition of egg-laying poultry and broilers. Important areas of research cover interactions between food composition production and product quality and health of the animals as well as effects of housing systems on behaviour and health. Our different research programs include both conventional, alternative and organic models for housing. Most of the research is performed at the research station. At the moment the division holds about ten people, including scientists, PhD students, technicians and administrative staff.
We have been engaged in many international projects and cooperate with several organisations. Our research is supported by governmental bodies, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, research councils, foundations, funds, departments and the industry. Cooperation with other departments and faculties within SLU, other national and international universities, EU projects and the industry are important features in our research.
Examples of projects
Through the years we have taken part in several larger investigations and report panels for official bodies both on national and international level, e.g. Swedish Board of Agriculture, EFSA, EU and overseas’ official bodies e.g. in Australia, Canada and USA.
Our research has in many cases led to practical applications especially in terms of animal welfare directives, and/or designs of housing systems or their details and management issues in poultry production. Several of these also represent cooperations with the industry, e.g the pharmaceutical-. manufacturing-, and feed industry. Examples are furnished cages and their optimum group size, claw abrasives, nest linings and perch designs for layers, plumage quality, vaccine developments for broiler parent stocks and fatty acid pattern and phospholipids concentration in egg yolks for medical use.
At the moment a considerable part of our research is put into studies of organic production in both layers’ and broilers’ nutrition looking at genotype interactions with feed diets/components where alternatives to synthetic amino acids – methionine mainly - must be found according to the IFOAM-EU directives from 2011. One of the most interesting developments in this work is the use of dried mussel meal which both serves as a natural and alternative methionine source and where the production of mussels per se filters our see waters from algae caused by the surplus use of N and P mainly by agriculture.