Environmental monitoring is crucial to poultry research

Recording and monitoring data about the environment can help ensure more reliable treatment results during a research trial.

Doughman Headshot3 Headshot
lilai | BigStock.com
lilai | BigStock.com

Recording and monitoring data about the environment can help ensure more reliable treatment results during a research trial..

“I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve started looking at different studies, only to ask about temperature, relative humidity or ammonia concentration. A lot of people forget to collect that data, which can make it difficult to determine if they have a true treatment effect,” Brian Fairchild, Ph.D., Professor of Poultry Science at the University of Georgia, said July 20 during the 2020 Poultry Science Association Virtual Annual Meeting.

Water usage

Water usage is an important – but often overlooked – source of environmental monitoring data.

“Water usage is important to monitor. It’s a good indicator of feed conversion, how birds are distributed throughout the room and can tell us about bird health,” Fairchild said.

“One thing to keep in mind is we’re not measuring water consumption; we’re measuring water usage because some water is lost as birds try to drink.”

More is better

Digitalized sensors make it easy to collect environmental monitoring data. However, it’s important to make sure to use multiple sensors to ensure that the data is correct.

“One sensor is not enough. You need a minimum of two,” Fairchild explained. “Equipment failure happens. Different locations in a room can be different temperatures. We need to know this before we can interpret results.”

Abnormal or outlier data

The most important thing, however, about environmental monitoring is that it can standardize research results. This makes it easy to pinpoint the cause of abnormal or outlier data.

“One of our goals for research should be to ensure that all birds on a treatment have the same environment during a trial. This helps explain any abnormal or outlier data,” Fairchild concluded.

“My philosophy has always been that you can’t have too much information. My biggest regrets have been when I forget to record something or something fails, and I don’t have the data needed to explain my observations.

Like what you just read? Sign up now for free to receive the Poultry Future Newsletter.

Page 1 of 83
Next Page