THE U.S. Poultry & Egg Assn. (USPOULTRY) and the USPOULTRY Foundation announced the completion of a research project at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Gainesville, Fla., regarding a new method to control flies on poultry farms.
As part of the project, ARS researchers said flies' rapid development of resistance to insecticides has led to an "urgent need" for new methods of fly control.
Dr. Christopher Geden, in a research project funded by USPOULTRY, has developed a novel method to apply an insect growth regulator, pyriproxyfen (PPF), to prevent fly larvae from developing into adult flies.
PPF is a synthetic analogue of an insect hormone that can be used to block fly larvae from reaching adulthood in a manner similar to cyromazine.
However, Geden said, direct treatment of manure is problematic because treated areas quickly get covered over with fresh droppings.
Based on a recent discovery in mosquito control, Geden studied a novel application method, called autodissemination, in which egg-bearing females are lured into a station where they acquire a payload of PPF that they then transport to egg-laying sites.
In the study, Geden made three dust formulations by combining liquid concentrates of existing commercial products with diatomaceous earth and allowing them to dry. The three dusts, each with a maximum potency of 5% PPF, were equally effective for fly control, he said.
Autodissemination tests in small cages demonstrated that dusts with greater than 5% PPF were needed to provide adequate fly control, Geden said, because of the limited payload flies can carry on their feet. Therefore, new formulations were made with different carriers and sticking agents that had potencies of 22-80% PPF. These formulations provided greater than 93% control, Geden reported, noting that treated flies retained PPF for at least six hours after treatment.
Geden concluded that the autodissemination concept using PPF to control flies is feasible, but further development/implementation of the technology will depend on field tests and the commercial availability of dust formulations of sufficient potency.
USPOULTRY is celebrating 50 years of achievement in research for the poultry and egg industry. According to an announcement, USPOULTRY's research program began 50 years ago in response to the poultry industry's need for research directed toward solving the most important problems facing the industry.
During the early years of the development and organization of the U.S. poultry industry, one of the most limiting factors to success was the widespread incidence of disease in broiler, breeder, layer and turkey flocks, USPOULTRY said. As farms grew larger and production intensified, new diseases appeared for which control measures did not exist.
The poultry industry desperately needed research conducted that could find solutions to some of these disease problems.
Over these past five decades, USPOULTRY said its research program has advanced in size, scope and organization to become an important asset of the U.S. poultry industry and has helped the industry overcome many of the hurdles that initially impaired its development and success.
"As a researcher and professor, the funds provided by the USPOULTRY research program have been invaluable to my work on infectious proventriculitis of broilers. Without the program's funding, the research I have conducted would not have been made possible," Dr. James Guy, a professor at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, said.
Guy was the first recipient of the Dr. Charles Beard Research Excellence Award, a USPOULTRY award named for Dr. Charles Beard, former director of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory and former vice president of research at USPOULTRY.
"The impact of the USPOULTRY research program has been very significant. Many of the great advances in disease control, nutrition, poultry production, genetics, animal welfare, food safety and environmental management in the poultry industry have come about as a direct result of research funded by USPOULTRY," Dr. John Glisson, director of research programs at USPOULTRY, said.
New research program. Just last week, the boards of USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announced the creation of a new research program to address current issues facing the poultry industry.
The USPOULTRY Board Research Initiative will operate alongside the current USPOULTRY research program and will augment the success of the existing program by focusing additional resources toward defined areas of research, according to the announcement.
The boards said they have selected two research topics for funding this year.
The first area of focus is the exploration of systemic salmonella infection in chickens and turkeys and the determination of the relationship with salmonella contamination of ground poultry products.
The second topic will address animal well-being and will seek research that leads to advances in the poultry industry in that area.
First-year funding for this initiative is estimated to be $250,000. Detailed requests for proposals will be released later this year, and the deadlines to submit proposals will be in the spring of 2014.
"Our association recognized the need to fund research that is timely and addresses specific needs for the industry. The Board Research Initiative program fulfills this need," USPOULTRY president John Starkey said.
USPOULTRY is an all-feather organization representing the complete spectrum of today's poultry industry, with a focus on progressively serving member companies through research, education, communication and technical assistance.
Cold weather tips
In a recent newsletter, Quality Technology International shared several tips for winter broiler house management from Jesse Campbell with the National Poultry Technology Center at Auburn University.
Campbell noted that cold weather will be here soon, and the focus won't be on getting rid of heat but trying to conserve it.
Noting that there will always be new technologies in the pipeline, he focused on getting existing equipment in good working order before cold weather happens.
For example, he suggested that broiler house managers:
1. Maintain relative humidity. Campbell suggested running heating and ventilation systems in such a manner to keep in-house relative humidity at or lower than 70% in cold weather. Once chicks are placed, wet litter is nearly impossible to dry without running the heating and ventilation systems excessively and running up the fuel bill. Start chicks off in cold weather with at least 4-6 in. of dry bedding across the entire floor.
He also suggested purchasing an inexpensive relative humidity meter and monitoring in-house conditions early in the morning. Minimum ventilation cycles will run at their lowest settings throughout the night, causing the relative humidity and litter conditions to be at their worst.
2. Stop air leaks. It is not uncommon for as much as 50% of the yearly heating fuel consumption of the farm to be used in the two turns of the house during the coldest weather, Campbell said. Since cold air falls and warm air rises, cold air coming in through a crack or around a curtain will drop straight to the floor.
Cold air does not remove moisture from litter but instead wets the litter, increases in-house humidity levels, increases ammonia production and fouls the bird environment, he explained. Cold air leaking onto the temperature sensors can also cause heating systems to operate excessively.
3. Manage perimeter inlets. Check air inlet openings and static pressure because a modern broiler house relies on the proper inlet opening and the proper static pressure to throw air to the center of the house, Campbell said. In winter, a static pressure of about 0.10 in. for 40 ft.-wide houses can be achieved with inlets opened to about 1.0-1.5 in. for ceiling inlets and 1.5-2.0 in. for sidewall-mounted inlets to get proper air travel and mixing.
Incoming air will be well below target brooding temperatures, so the air needs to mix and heat sufficiently before it reaches the birds, Campbell said, explaining that when perimeter inlet openings are less than specified, it tends to throw air directly on the birds and litter, thus causing problems.
4. Stir the air. Consider using stir fans to complement the heating and ventilation system during cold weather flocks, Campbell suggested. Stir fans mix in-house air to eliminate temperature stratifications when heating systems operate for long periods of time and ventilation systems are on for short periods of time. Stir fans can be used to help preheat the litter before placing chicks, throughout brooding and well into turning chickens out into the full house.
5. Adjust minimum ventilation run-times. Take a hard look at minimum ventilation run-times. Getting a good start is a must, but maintaining the gradual increase in fan run-time is essential and can be more difficult to calculate, Campbell said, noting that many tables and charts have been developed to help growers and company representatives adjust fan run-times.