Poultry CRC Student Learns about US Industry

AUSTRALIA - Poultry CRC-supported Postgraduate Student (USyd), Tugrul Durali, attended the Alltech 27th International Health and Nutrition Industry Symposium at Lexington, Kentucky (US) in May 2011.
calendar icon 8 July 2011
clock icon 4 minute read

While there he also participated in a Fieldale Farms broiler farm visit to see chemical-free broiler production on a vegetarian diet, following this with University of Georgia Poultry Diagnostic & Research Centre presentations about poultry production in the US.

Mr Durali said: "This was a great opportunity to see antibiotic free broiler production farms in the US and to make contact with a number of poultry scientists working in similar areas of research to me.

"Free-range broiler production is really in its infancy in Australia, however, production is increasing rapidly due to consumer demand. To see how antibiotic-free production is comparing to conventional production was a highlight of this experience."

The Alltech symposium was centred on antibiotic-free production with alternative products and management systems.

Mr Durali added: "Being able to participate in this symposium was a big opportunity to understand the challenges faced in these types of production systems. Speaking with attending poultry scientists, veterinarian, nutritionist and producers from all over the world to discuss solutions to these challenges was really very exciting."

Alltech's Technical Manager, Dr Andreas Kocher, organised the site visit to Fieldale Farms, a contracted broiler farm.

"This opportunity gave me a better understanding of the direct effects of management strategies on broiler intestinal health; and being able to see different production systems on another continent was very enlightening," said Mr Durali.

This enthusiasm was carried onto the following visit to University of Georgia’s Poultry Research & Diagnostic Centre. Here, Mr Durali attended presentations by molecular bacteriologist, Professor Margie Lee and Clinical Avian Expert Associate, Professor Stephen Collett. Professor Lee focussed on differences between Australian and US broiler production systems.

Mr Durali explained: "A well known fact is that most US poultry producers do not clean out sheds for every batch. Their management system allows them to reuse litter."

Professor Stephen Collett then spoke on intestinal health of broilers, particularly relating to micro-flora.

Mr Durali said: "I understand now more than ever how important retro-peristalsis, retention time and bacterial community are, as is the need for correct microbial profiling (using 16S rRNA method)."

The challenge remains to be able to pull antibiotic growth promoters out of poultry feed without damage to the intestinal microflora community and without creating welfare problems for the birds. Mr Durali believes improving the understanding of intestinal microflora and that community’s relationship with the immune system are key areas to focus upon.

He said: "I strongly believe that antibiotics are not the right instrument for protection and growth. We must be well aware of possible misuse and unforeseeable problems in future.

"The market we have in Australia is rapidly changing as a result of consumers demands relating to animal welfare and/or antibiotic-free production. I strongly believe with support from industry and the Poultry CRC I will deliver useable research on antibiotic free production for Australia, and help industry to implement this system as it becomes more commonplace”.

"This trip has changed my perspective, future destination and research career. I gratefully acknowledged the support from Professor Mingan Choct, Dr Andreas Kocher and my supervisors, who all willingly took on additional duties to allow me to gain this experience," added Mr Durali.

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