The University of Connecticut is launching a $10 million project aimed at enhancing broiler production sustainability by improving bird health, human health and environmental health, and increasing consumer acceptability and economic returns to farmers.
The U.S. broiler industry produces nine billion birds annually. Antibiotics have been a huge part of poultry, and broiler, production. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is phasing out antibiotic growth promoters (AGP’s) used to enhance poultry performance, feed efficiency and general health.
The UConn project has the following objectives:
- control necrotic enteritis and coccidiosis in broilers
- develop novel feed ingredients for improved performance
- promote bird welfare
- increase broiler meat safety
- control antimicrobial resistance dissemination in broiler production
- develop strategies for recycling of poultry litter
- enhance consumer confidence and acceptability of broiler meat
- develop an outreach program targeting poultry producers and other stakeholders
- empower the future workforce with skills needed for sustainable broiler production
- assess the socio-economic-environmental impact of proposed interventions
The UConn project is one of nine research projects announced Monday by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which is providing $90 million to fund the projects, which the agency said aim “to improve the sustainability of the nation’s food supply.”