The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit established in the US 2014 Farm Bill, awarded three grants totaling $1.4 million USD to Purdue University, University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and University of Edinburgh, respectively, to improve the health and productivity of egg-laying hens.
The three grant awards are the result of a competitive call for innovative proposals for research to reduce keel bone fractures in egg-laying hens. The following principal investigators will lead three distinct research efforts to reduce bone fractures in egg-laying hens.
- Ian Dunn, Ph.D., a research scientist at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, and collaborators at the major poultry genetics companies Hy-Line and Lohmann Tierzucht, will lay the groundwork for breeding hens with stronger bones by developing a novel x-ray based measurement system adapted for on-farm use.
- Darrin Karcher, Ph.D., Purdue University assistant professor and Extension specialist, along with collaborators will conduct research to determine the impact of nutritional interventions on the gut microbiome in addition to management interventions that help producers to reduce keel bone fractures in laying hens housed in cage-free systems.
- Maja Makagon, Ph.D., UC Davis assistant professor, will lead a team of collaborators from UC Davis, University of Bristol, University of Bern and Iowa State University. The team will explore the impacts of poultry housing design, particularly vertical space, on the prevalence of keel bone injuries in egg-laying hens.
More information is available HERE.