CRF has a strong history in advancing broiler nutrition research. In fact our first trial in 1954 looked at the use of synthetic methionine in broiler rations. Since then CRF has conducted 636 trials with broilers that have enhanced production and aided our members in developing unique, proprietary feeding programs.
Today the mission of CRF’s broiler program is to provide programs/information which will allow CRF members to produce innovative, competitive and socially acceptable animal feeds; thereby improving the return on investment (ROI) of poultry producers by improving the profitability of producing poultry meat, by developing products that promote opportunities to compete in new markets & enhancing the performance in existing markets, and by being proactive in providing products to meet the concerns in animal welfare management. Current broiler research objectives are to…
- Reduce carcass downgrades via diet manipulation.
- Develop an all-vegetable non-medicated feeding program which will give comparable results to our standard broiler program.
Today CRF’s broiler research is primarily conducted at a dedicated and state of the art facility located in St. Jean-Baptiste, QC, Canada that is owned by our member La Coop fédérée. Some of the broiler research farm features include…..
64 pens with a capacity of 25 to 35 birds per pens (1,600 to 2,240 birds). Each pen is equipped with one feeder and one drinker (plus one starter plate for days 0 to 7 of age). The research unit features a fully automated ventilation system, a solar wall and heated floors. Broilers are fed manually and ad libitum.
- Typical trial duration is 36 days, but can be extended if necessary.
- Per CRF’s standardization trials, the coefficient of variation allows for up to 8 treatments with 8 replications in order to measure a 5% difference.
- CRF member La Coop fédérée owns the breeder farms and hatchery. This allows CRF to add a treatment in the breeder farm, collect the eggs and grow-out the birds at the research farm. Neonatal feed treatments can be provided at the hatchery and during transportation.
- Strains that can be used include Cobb 500, Ross 308 and Cobb Sasso.
- Potential to obtain yield and other processing data.
- Cost savings by marketing research birds, improving the cost effectiveness of CRF poultry research.
- All research diets are manufactured under CRF’s specific operating procedures.
- Typical observations and measurements include, but are not limited to:
- Birds and feeders are weighed five times during the trial at days 0, 7, 10, 22 and day 36; or when changing diets.
- Nipple waterers and bird health (injury and mortality) are checked daily.
- Data collected per phase includes the feed intake per pen, body weight per pen, feed conversion, etc.
- If necessary, trials can include water treatments (2 injectors), water consumption per phase for 32 pens, and separate feeders for special ingredients.
- An on farm lab can also provide: intestinal biopsy, litter alternative testing, sample of litter per pen, blood samples, skin resistance measurements, bone breaking force, gizzard erosion score and weights, foot pad scores, foot toe collection for analyzing mineralization, cellulitis scores and breast blister scores, intestinal integrity scores, meat yield, and meat quality. All collections which require a veterinarian are conducted by La Coop fédérée’s staff veterinarian.
- Other procedures and analysis can be included upon request.
- Confidentiality and efficiencies of research. The CRF Poultry Research Team reviews all broiler trial protocols, provides an assessment & interpretation of the results, and prepares an economic analysis.