New poultry research unit at Nottingham Trent University

A new world-class poultry research unit – one of just a handful of its kind in Europe – has opened at Nottingham Trent University.

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Dr Emily Burton outside the new poultry research unit

The purpose-built single-storey unit, at the university’s Brackenhurst Campus, focuses on improving the nutrition, welfare and sustainability of poultry production.

It comprises two pen rooms with biological sampling rooms and a bespoke laboratory, a feed manufacture room, feed storage areas and office space.

The unit, part of the university’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, focuses on tackling poultry industry research needs by using feed and nutrition as a tool to improve welfare and to increase environmental and economic sustainability of poultry production.

It replaces the current, much smaller poultry research unit – housed in a Victorian farmyard – which will be redeveloped as part of the ongoing regeneration of the campus.

The research unit has very strong links to the UK animal feed industry and benefits local businesses, multinational companies and students.

The new unit has increased feed manufacture capability and houses specialist equipment capable of using the latest techniques and smallest possible sample sizes for nutritional analysis.

The project is part of the university’s multimillion pound redevelopment of the Brackenhurst Campus, which was revealed last year.

Ambitious plans as part of the five-year redevelopment include a main reception and state-of-the-art environment centre, the redevelopment of equine, canine and animal facilities, and additional student accommodation.

“We provide a vital platform for both industry technologists and scientists to explore the interplay between nutrition, welfare and sustainability of poultry production,” said Dr Emily Burton, Head of the Poultry Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University.

She said: “This important new facility, with its increased capacity, will allow us to enhance our research event further, for the benefit of global industry impact. We will be able to undertake more collaborations, such as with developing countries where our research could allow families to improve their efficiency of poultry rearing.”

Previous research at the unit has identified how ‘superdosing’ poultry diets with the enzyme phytase could result in huge savings to the poultry industry. In other work it was found that chickens could be the unexpected beneficiaries of the growing biofuels industry, feeding on proteins retrieved from the fermenters used to brew bioethanol.

More recently, the team found how specially-bred wheat could help to provide some of the key nutrients essential for healthy bones in poultry, reducing the need to supplement the feed.

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    More on Nottingham Trent University’s poultry research.

    Nottingham Trent University was named Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. The award recognises NTU for its strong student satisfaction, quality of teaching, overall student experience and engagement with employers.

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has been awarded the highest, gold, rating in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework for its outstanding teaching and learning.

    NTU is one of the largest UK universities with nearly 28,000 students and more than 3,500 staff across four campuses, contributing £496m to the UK economy every year. It is one of the most environmentally-friendly universities, containing some of the country’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    The University is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable Nottingham Trent to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is the sixth biggest recruiter of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the country and 95.6% of the its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.

    NTU is home to world-class research, winning The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 - the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula and combat food fraud.

    With an international student population of approximately 2,600 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook.

New poultry research unit at Nottingham Trent University

Published on 1 November 2017
  • Subject area: Animal, equine and wildlife
  • Category: Press office; School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences

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