Below is a CIEL Member Research roundup for 2020-21 Monogastrics
Automated, early warning system to detect tail-biting in pigs
CIEL’s support enabled global animal health company Zoetis, working in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), to develop an algorithm that automatically quantifies social interactions between pigs. This was based on the hypothesis that increased social interaction precedes tail biting outbreaks and could therefore be used as an early warning system. Further investigation is planned to support the development of a new tool capable of predicting tail biting outbreaks, offering a viable on-farm solution to this major welfare and economic problem for indoor pig producers worldwide.
Up-littering: valorisation and synergies for use of commercial poultry waste litter
Moy Park led this project in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast to explore the potential of utilising poultry litter as a resource and not as a waste stream. Poultry manure has potential in several waste valorisation streams. Exploring each of these avenues could have far reaching impact for the poultry sector. Potential valorisation streams examined included compostable packaging and construction products. The focus is on recycling these products, for example, as insulation for broiler houses (reducing heating or cooling operations) or structural elements within the poultry houses (reducing the use of plastics or other petroleum-based products). This project was designed to inform discussions on design, technologies and policies that will assist and enable a transition to net-zero poultry production.
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EggFootPrint – Natural variation of GHG intensity from a carbon footprint tool for egg production
Eggbase Ltd worked with SRUC to demonstrate the value and strength of their specific carbon footprinting tool which uses data entered into Eggbase cloud software for daily production recording, data visualisation and legislative compliance. Applying the carbon footprint tool to a large database of historical egg production data generated from historical research trials enabled sight of the natural variation in the carbon footprint and the potential production efficiency range for each trial dataset. Direct, accessible visibility of their carbon footprint provides the producer with an opportunity to identify ways of reducing the environmental impact of their business, allows packers to report to their retailers and suppliers to test the environmental impact of their products.
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Assessment of broiler welfare using thermal imaging
Moy Park teamed up with researchers at Newcastle University in a bid to develop a mobile application that leverages thermal imaging technology to assess bird welfare, in real time, across its farming base. Many current indicators solely focus on measuring negative welfare experiences and cannot capture the positive welfare experiences the birds encounter every day. This project was deemed to be a milestone in how the welfare of poultry is assessed, providing a less subjective metric over more traditional welfare indicators whilst also enabling the quick and easy measurement of welfare, furthering our understanding of what delivers high welfare.
Concludes Member Research roundup 2020-21 Monogastrics
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