Poultry

Facilities

At AU Foulum the total area dedicated to poultry housing is more than 4,500 m2 and is accommodated so that many different kinds of research and development projects can be carried out.

The buildings can accommodate 6,000 egg-layers and 10,000 broilers and have facilities for breeding roosters and chicks and include hatcheries.

The unit is well suited for projects regarding optimisation of production, nutrition, breeding and behaviour. The houses are built so that it is possible to register on the individual and group level. It is also possible to collect digestion, manure, blood and tissue samples.

Hens and roosters
The individual units are built so that they are as flexible as possible with regard to housing conditions and project aims:

  • Special cages, e.g. warm and cold cages for balance experiments
  • Experimental setups with equipment for housing hens and roosters in individual cages
  • Experimental setups with equipment for housing hens and roosters in batteries with cages for four hens and enriched cages

The battery sections are specially fitted for feeding experiments, controlled egg yield and breed, etc. Floor room can be established ad hoc (according to the needs of the project).

Broilers
In research projects involving broilers each of the four buildings can be divided into up to 48 small rooms that have equipment for feed registration and measurement of water consumption. Feeding is carried out via a computer-controlled feeding system with pneumatic distribution of up to 16 different feed mixtures per room.

Hatchery
There are incubators and hatching machines for hatching breeding chicks.

SPF
A building is equipped for a flock of SPF poultry.

Research and development
The primary goal of the activities is to produce basic and applied knowledge in the areas of nutrition, nutritional physiology, health and behaviour, immunity, and reproduction. The overall aim in many of the projects is to optimise energy and nutrient conversion with a focus on sustainable food production while taking into consideration the health and welfare of the animals.

Projects regarding housing equipment, ventilation and climate, IKT and other technical solutions that are relevant to commercial farms are also carried out in the facilities.

Department of Animal Science has people with the relevant skills for carrying out many kinds of research and development projects in all poultry categories, including extracting and handling feed, blood, urine and tissue samples.

The research and development projects in the facilities are often carried out in collaboration with external partners with a close connection to other laboratory facilities at AU Foulum with a focus on feed, urine, blood and tissue analysis.