A new poultry facility, featuring controlled and fully-monitored housing and hatching facilities, will be opened at the University of Bristol’s Veterinary School at Langford early next year.
The unit has been purpose-fitted for research into both laying hen and broiler health, welfare, behaviour and productivity and is the result of its link with the Centre of Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL).
Focused poultry research
Opening in January, the new unit will provide unique opportunities for industry focused poultry research, complimenting Bristol’s exciting specialist facilities for cattle, pig, sheep and aquaculture. It is designed to bridge the gap between commercial systems and small-scale experimental units, combining industry standard housing with state-of-the-art poultry monitoring, both at flock and individual level.
Bristol is 1of 2 poultry focused CIEL centres – the other is at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). 2 years ago, Bristol join with academic and industry partners to form CIEL, which is funded by Innovate UK.
CIEL is a national consortium of world-class research institutes and industry partners that work together to generate practical solutions for producers. It provides a focused gateway to a core of 12 world-class research institutes to develop new industry needed solutions as well as commercial trial farms for real world results.
Andy Butterworth, Reader in Animal Science and Policy at the University of Bristol’s Veterinary School, said each of the 8 rooms in the facility would have its own cameras for ongoing monitoring of the birds.
Dr Butterworth said he was currently in discussion with potential partners over a robotics project, which could be one of the first to get the green light at the Langford site.
Among the poultry members of CIEL are the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (Bfrepa), Flockman, Devenish Nutrition and DraperGroup.