Atlantic Industry Research Chair update

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Since 2018, Dr. Deborah Adewole has been fulfilling the role as the Poultry Industry Research Chair in the department of Animal Science and Aquaculture at Dalhousie University located in Truro, Nova Scotia.  In this role, Dr. Adewole focuses on research and technology development in nutrition/nutrigenomics, related to sustainable antibiotic reduction for chicken production.

To date, Dr. Adewole has led a number of research projects to address issues the chicken industry is facing. Dr. Adewole and her team recently completed a trial that focused on finding nutritional strategies to prevent oxidative stress in white stripping (WS) and wooden breast (WB) myopathies on broiler chickens.

The results from this project showed promising results with using folic acid for reducing white stripping score in female birds and the inclusion of grape pomace showed potential benefits to protein metabolism and liver function of the chickens. Breast meat abnormalities such as WS and WB are major problems affecting the broiler industry.

The fillets affected by these muscle defects could potentially compromise the quality of the meat and negatively affect the visual appearance leading to increased rejection by the consumer. Dr. Adewole’s research could be of great benefit to elucidate the muscle defects and improve broiler meat quality.

Another important research area Dr. Adewole has focused on is improving broiler gut health with the inclusion of dietary ingredients and/or in-ovo delivery of bioactive substances.  One study demonstrated that the injection of the probiotic product in-ovo yielded better feed conversion compared to the in-water and in-feed delivery of the probiotic treatment during the grower phase.

In another study, the inclusion of dietary fiber (3% oat hulls) indicated the potential to improve growth performance and carcass weight. Producers may also see direct economic benefits associated with replacing a portion of corn in the diet with 3% coarse or extruded oat hulls.

This type of research is crucial to Chicken Farmers of Canada’s (CFC) Antimicrobial Use Strategy. The exploration of various approaches to improving broiler gut health and providing the birds with an optimal start can assist in reduced use of antimicrobials for disease prevention.

The Research Chair position was established by CFC, the Atlantic Poultry Research Institute, Dalhousie University, and the province of Nova Scotia. CFC is proud to support the work being led by Dr. Deborah Adewole.