ANALYSIS - This week, ThePoultrySite team has been busy at the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, where the latest research and new products in the industry have been presented.
At the International Poultry Scientific Forum, poultry scientists described developments in diverse areas such as vaccination, nutrition, litter management and food safety.
On Monday we heard from Joseph Purswell from the USDA-ARS Poultry Research Unit, who talked about a prototype machine for vaccinating birds in large barns without the need for human intervention.
The device aims to improve biosecurity by preventing the need for personnel entering the house to vaccinate the birds.
It works using spray nozzles suspended above drinkers, which are lowered when poultry are triggered to drink - click here to read more.
On Tuesday, Dr Randall Singer from the University of Minnesota presented an interesting keynote lecture questioning whether reductions in antibiotic use in animals would actually lead to falling levels of antibiotic resistance.
He said there are only limited studies showing resistance decreasing following reduction in animal antibiotic use, and it is not clear whether the policy changes caused the resistance effect, as resistance can vary naturally in the bacterial population anyway.
More research is needed to look into these questions, if we are to avoid unintentionally making the antibiotic resistance situation worse, Dr Singer warned.
However, he said there are opportunities for the poultry industry to lead the way in the fight against resistance - read more.
Looking to market conditions for the coming year, analyst Dr Paul Aho from Poultry Perspectives described how commodity price falls had improved margins, but the possibility of recession in China could put pressure on the poultry industry.
He said that feed prices are likely near the bottom of the price cycle, but predicted that low prices should persist for some time to come, boosted by strong yields and exports in countries like Argentina and Ecuador - read more.
We will continue to add further articles from the huge Expo, so keep an eye on ThePoultrySite for more.