How Poultry Reseach Has Impacted Industry and Consumers
A major part of PSA’s mission is to promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge generated by poultry research. The benefits of that effort for both the industry and the
consumer have been many, varied, and profound. But they have also been little publicized.
Did you know that poultry research has contributed directly to:
A per-pound retail price of chicken today that is, accounting for inflation, only about one-half as much as it was in 1966? This is due to improved efficiencies brought about in breeding,
nutrition, management, health programs, processing and marketing by poultry scientists through research, education and technology transfer.
Specific applications in the integrated poultry industry that have saved poultry processors millions of dollars and contributed to a safer, inexpensive and better product for consumers?
Feather-sexing – a cost-saving alternative to vent-sexing that saves the industry millions of dollars annually and reduces the cost of table eggs and broiler meat
for consumers – is based on the discovery of the slow feathering gene by poultry researcher A. S. Serebrovsky in 1922.
Automated in-the-egg injection, a technology providing more effective and efficient vaccination, is based on the research of J. Sharma.
The resolution of nutritionally-related leg problems and fatty livers that plagued the early poultry industry was based on basic research on the choline, methionine, and
folic acid interactions.
Mapping of functional genes and sequencing of the chicken genome were made possible by advancements in control of Marek’s disease and ascites in poultry.
Blood screening of poultry breeding stock for the elimination of carriers of Salmonella species and other pathogens resulted from research demonstrating vertical
transmission of pathogenic organisms from infected hens to offspring.
Specific applications in the human and animal health and medical professions, including the pharmaceutical industry? For example:
One of the best models for studying human thyroid disease is the thyroiditis line of chickens. This line resulted from the basic study of chickens with an autoimmune
disease that caused the bird’s body to reject its own thyroid cells.
The best model for studying the human autoimmune disease vitiligo is the Smythe line of chickens, which was developed through basic research by J. R. Smyth on chickens
The discovery of “B” cells responsible for the humoral arm of the immune system in chickens led to the discovery of human “B” cells having the same
function. These discoveries – and the elucidation of the function of “B” cells – derive from basic research by Bruce Glick on the Bursa of Fabricius in
The first effective vaccine against a parasitic organism, Eimeria spp., was developed to control intestinal coccidiosis in chickens by Allen S. Edgar.