Assessing keel health in commercial laying hens and potential methods for improvement

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Clinical Veterinary Science

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.
 
Description The international workshop attended by key UK and US researchers in the field of poultry welfare and bone biology constituting the major opinion leaders in the field, was convened in Bern Switzerland. The major outcome from this was a technical leaflet, endorsed by all the delegates, detailing the nature and extent of the problem, how best to assess this, and defining all the terms associated with the field. This is now used as a reference document for research groups internationally.
Exploitation Route The guidelines established as part of this award are used by principle researchers and opinion leaders in the field.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

 
Description A collaboration between US Partnering Grant members (specifically Michigan State University and Purdue University), University of Bristol, and University of Bern, and a US based nutrition company (Alltech) to fund a trial using a specific omega-3 product in an effort to reduce keel bone damage. Alltech Nutrition contributed 29,688 USD, plus their specialty omega-3 product, valued at an additional 1,000 USD. - Work on the project is completed. - Funds were used for a 2014 Collaborative meeting in Bern, Switzerland Prof Tarlton (PI) and Dr Toscano (Co-I) organised a NE1442 Scientific meeting in Bern, Switzerland, Bringing 18 US collaborators together with 24 UK and other EU collaborators, co funded by USDA education grants and The Federal Government of Switzerland, alongside BBSRC funding for UK and US delegates. Dr. Toscano (Co-I) organized and chaired a symposia on Keel Bone Damage at the US Poultry Science meeting in July 2015 where Partnering Funds were used to support travel fees of the various participants Dr. Tarlton (grant PI) and gave a keynote presentation at the symposia. Additional funding (4,000 USD in total plus travel expenses for 1 speaker) was also received from two industrial partners for the symposia (Alltech Nutrition, Hendrix Genetics) This project, and the collaboration it involved , has led to a major Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research grant in collaboration with UC Davis of £310,000.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Data-driven housing design to improve bone health and welfare in laying hens
Amount £82,600 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L016842/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2014 
End 08/2018
 
Description Development, validation and refinement of protocols to improve the welfare of pullets and laying hens
Amount £32,100 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/N021959/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2016 
End 05/2019
 
Description Functional housing systems for high welfare in laying hens: promoting natural behaviors in safe environments
Amount £540,500 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/N00860X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2016 
End 06/2019
 
Description Functional housing systems for high welfare in laying hens: promoting natural behaviours in safe environments
Amount £540,600 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/N00860X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2016 
End 05/2019
 
Description GENESIS: Modular Insect Bioconversion System for On-site Animal Feed Production
Amount £572,566 (GBP)
Funding ID 104387 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2018 
End 09/2020
 
Description Health and Welfare Consequences of Maladaptation of High-Producing Cross-Bred Dairy Cattle to Environmental Stressors in India
Amount £39,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/M027767/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2015 
End 06/2017
 
Description Identifying causes and solutions of keel bone damage in laying hens
Amount € 520 (EUR)
Funding ID CA15224 
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 02/2016 
End 01/2020
 
Description Impacts of the rearing environment on keel bone integrity, spatial awareness abilities of laying hens
Amount $431,998 (USD)
Organisation Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States
Start 11/2018 
End 10/2022
 
Description Increasing insect consumption by laying hens in free range systems to reduce feed costs, enhance food quality and improve welfare
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Soil Association 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2015 
End 10/2015
 
Title Development of twin sensor triaxial accelerometer 
Description The tri-axial accelerometer has included an innovative hardware development of combining two sensors, one within the main body of the unit, and another on the end of a cable. This allows the specially designed firmware to exclude impact data from one sensor only, and only records data when both accelerometers register an event. Therefore trivial and irrelevant information, such as pecks to one of the sensors, to be excluded. Other firmware advances are an either/or threshold. 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The hardware and firmware innovations built into this technological development has allowed precise measurements of hen activity and exposure to hazards, whilst excluding irrelevant information. This has been utilised by groups in the US and Switzerland. 
 
Description Effect of an Omega-3 diet in reducing keel fractures in laying hens 
Organisation Alltech
Country Global 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The research was carried out by us
Collaborator Contribution They funded the research
Impact o Funds were used for a 2014 Collaborative meeting in Bern, Switzerland
Start Year 2014
 
Description Examine keel bone damage in caged systems using the logger system 
Organisation United States Egg Industry Centre
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We examined keel bone damage in caged systems using the logger system developed by Drs Tarlton and Toscano
Collaborator Contribution They funded the research
Impact None
Start Year 2014
 
Description Study of keel fractures in laying hens 
Organisation SDC Trailers
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Performing on-farm assessment of keel fractures Research activities relating to externally funded garnts
Collaborator Contribution Funding a study Providing access to farms Partner on a number of grant applications (two funded)
Impact Two successful grant applications (BBSRC and Soil Association)
Start Year 2013