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New experimental building for poultry trials: more research capacity, more statistical power, more animal welfare

Euronutrition SAS, the first European private research center for animal nutrition and monogastric farming, commissioned a new building at the end of 2016. This building is dedicated to digestibility studies in poultry. It will allow scientists to study the impact of nutritional solutions intended for poultry (cockerel, hens, layers, chickens, turkeys) under controlled conditions.

Adaptation to the new 2017 welfare standards for poultry and improvement of working conditions

The Euronutrition SAS research center recently set up a new building aiming to improve the quantity and quality of experiments run on poultry. These welfare cages currently meet the new animal welfare standards which have been put in place since January, 1st, 2017. These standards apply to all animals used for experimental purposes. From now on, Euronutrition’s brand new facility will replace the old systems previously used for measuring digestibility, such as the old flat-deck and battery (whose activities ceased at the end of 2016).

The ergonomic design of equipment used by livestock technicians has also been improved to allow for easier feces collection. The trays have been adapted in size and height. The animals’ welfare cage surface has also been increased substantially. The protocols implemented in this building have been approved by the Atlantic Loire region ethic committee on animal experimentation.

 

Two rooms dedicated to poultry digestibility measurements

A 42-welfare cage room is now intended to house 42 adult cockerels of Isabrown breed. It will allow scientists to measure the digestibility of entire cockerels in accordance with the metabolizable energy protocol (ME) established by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA, Bourdillon and al).

The other 72-welfare cage room will accommodate up to 360 chickens or 144 turkeys. It will be used to assess the digestibility of animals in growth phase. There is indeed a constant need for a more thorough knowledge of raw material composition. In order to address this issue, the experimental capacity of Euronutrition facilities has been increased so that the digestibility of animals in growth phase can be assessed more accurately.

  • Up to 25 sets of Digestibility trials per cockerel can now be carried out every year; which corresponds to the capacity to analyze 100 raw materials a year.
  • Up to 9 series of digestibility trials on Growing Chicken can be realized, which equates the capacity to analyze 60 raw materials a year.

The digestibility trials focus on the various nutritional criteria applying to raw materials: metabolizable energy, digestibility of proteins and amino acids...The raw materials concerned are the new raw materials (byproducts, dried distillers...) but also commonly used raw materials (cereals, oilseeds...). It is essential to analyze them each year in order to evaluate the slightest evolution in their nutritional values ​​due to the improvement of plant genetics, cultural practices, climate...

Two other rooms dedicated to zootechnical trials

Two other rooms will be dedicated to zootechnical trials. The first room consists of 96 welfare cages, the other one of 144 welfare cages. These rooms will be used to measure animal performance, establish nutrient response curves and to test additives. A welfare cage can house from 1 to 5 poultry (chicken, turkey), according to the new animal welfare standards established as of January 2017.

These devices will be dedicated to nutritional studies which require an acute assessment of growth performance: response curves to amino acids, effects of additives... The experimental schemes have been designed to perform up to 12 occurrences of 5 chickens for each tested group. The result will provide our database with exceptional statistical power.

Each welfare cage is equipped with a tray system allowing for feces collection if the protocol requires it (as in the digestibility room). It is also provided with differentiated water lines or meters which will enable us to perform further studies on water quality and water consumption.

Balancing scientific accuracy, improved working conditions and animal welfare — such is the challenge taken up by the new Euronutrition building. Do you want to know more about our trials or the benefits of our new devices? If so, please don’t hesitate to contact our experts!

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