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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Poultry Research » Research » Research Project #443190

Research Project: Improving Sustainability and Resiliency in Commercial Broiler Production

Location: Poultry Research

Project Number: 6064-32630-010-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Sep 8, 2022
End Date: Sep 7, 2027

1. Develop advanced decision tools for environmental control and production management in commercial poultry environments. 1.A. Characterize control system error in modern poultry house integrated control systems. 1.B. Evaluate effects of varying thermal conditions on behavior of broilers during the heating period. 1.C. Establish baseline metabolic response data for enhanced environment rearing programs for input into advanced environmental control models. 2. Develop management and nutritional response strategies for supply chain disruption in commercial broiler production models. 2.A. Evaluate nutritional and lighting strategies to manage growth trajectory during market disruptions. 2.B. Evaluate extreme weather event frequency and impact on poultry operations and housing design requirements. 2.C. Evaluate extreme weather event frequency and impact on poultry operations and energy and water use projections.

Existing commercial broiler production systems provide limited decision support tools towards improved sustainability and resiliency. Precision animal management (PAM) methods and associated technologies seek to bridge the gap between animal response and environmental control to supplement conventional husbandry and housing management through data analytics and artificial intelligence. Recent advances in computing, data science, and cloud connectivity will ultimately offer the ability to optimize the production environment and revolutionize animal care. However, poor quality and availability of data, lack of sufficiently accurate mechanistic models, and antiquated design philosophy limit applications of these approaches. Data quality from on-farm automation systems will be used to assess variations from prescribed environmental setpoints and the impact those deviations have on the actual environmental conditions and the resulting animal responses and energy/water resource consumption. Updated estimates of metabolic response to modern production practices and diets will provide improved guidance on facility design and control strategies to reduce environmental stressors and ensure resiliency during adverse weather events. Management and nutritional strategies for growth trajectory control will be developed to assist producers in mitigating losses due to acute market contractions such as those experienced during pandemic conditions. Variability in weather patterns, particularly extreme temperature events and severe weather (thunderstorms, flooding, lightning) and subsequent impact on environmental conditions, energy and water use, and building environmental control capacity will be assessed to provide much needed guidance on facility design. The proposed project seeks to develop accurate and useful tools to enhance sustainability and resiliency in commercial broiler operations.