Chicken Feed

Agricultural Research Service Units: Poultry Nutrition

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has a robust research program that includes studies of poultry nutrition, especially as it relates to poultry health. Here are the ARS units performing research in this area.

(Go here for a complete list of all ARS units working on poultry)


Food and Feed Safety Research Unit

2881 F&B Road
College Station TX 77845

The mission of the Food and Feed Safety Research Unit is to: 1) develop cost-effective means to prevent Salmonella and other enteric pathogens in poultry, swine, cattle, and other livestock through use of competitive exclusion and management strategies, and develop an increased understanding of competitive exclusion through microbial ecology; 2) identify and isolate immune cytokines from poultry and other livestock to control Salmonella and other enteric pathogens and develop cytokine gene transfer technology for use in ovo in poultry to improve the immune responsiveness at the time of hatch; and 3) identify occurrence of microbial resistance to enteric non-pathogens and pathogens transmitted via food animals under various antimicrobial regimens and develop practical recommendations to prevent the development of drug resistant pathogens.

Food and Feed Safety Research Unit

1100 Robert E. Lee Boulevard
New Orleans LA 70124-4305

The mission of the Food and Feed Safety Research Unit addresses priority areas of food safety, health and nutrition, and is directed towards (1) using a genomics approach to gain understanding of the genetic regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis; (2) characterization of compounds and genes governing production of the antifungal compounds for use in applications to control toxin-producing fungi or other fungi that reduce the quality and safety of food and feed; (3) elucidation, using genomic and proteomic tools, of the complex mechanisms governing expression of genes/enzymes which regulate aflatoxin synthesis during the plant-fungus interaction; and using this knowledge to enhance host-resistance against fungal invasion; (4) manipulation of agroecosystems involving complex interactions between the toxin-producing fungus, other endemic microflora and the crop plant (particularly as affected by climate change) to reduce levels of fungus and/or toxin in field environments; and (5) integration of research information into practical procedures for assuring a safe, domestic supply of food and feed; and enhancing global food security through sustainable agriculture.

Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit

Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center
950 College Station Road
Athens, Georgia 30605

The mission of the Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit is to research issues affecting the quality and safety of poultry and other agricultural products and develop commercially-viable systems relative to stakeholder needs in both industry and government by: - detecting physical and chemical quality attributes of foods, feeds, and their byproducts with nondestructive methods including dielectrics, spectroscopy, and sensory, - detecting physical, biological, and chemical contamination of foods and processing streams with rapid optical methods.

Animal Biosciences and Biotechnology Laboratory

10300 Baltimore Avenue Building 200, Room 217, BARC-East
Beltsville MD 20705

The mission of the Animal Biosciences and Biotechnology Laboratory (ABBL) is to develop the knowledge and technology to improve the genetic, reproductive and feed efficiency of livestock and poultry by the application of functional genomics and proteomics. Research emphasis includes: identification of genes and their products responsible for nutrient intake and utilization; development of stem cell lines and enhanced nuclear cloning technologies; optimize transgene integration efficiency and fabricate candidate antimicrobial genes; enhance embryo, fetal and neonatal development and survival; improve semen cryobiology and storage techniques and develop alternative strategies for germplasm preservation.

Poultry Research Unit

P. O. BOX 5367
Mississippi State MS 39762

The mission of the Poultry Research Unit is to improve poultry health and to improve poultry production efficiency. Disease, engineering, management, nutrition, and rearing environment research are conducted with a multi-disciplinary approach. Poultry health research is directed toward Mycoplasma infections with emphasis on identifying the infections, measuring the losses caused by the infections, and developing technologies to reduce the losses. Poultry production research strives toward reducing costs and improving efficiency which includes the major cost factor in poultry production – nutrition- and also acquiring and applying basic poultry house environmental data to developing systems for maintaining optimum poultry housing conditions. The staff includes an agricultural engineer, an immunologist, two molecular biologists, a research poultry physiologist, two research poultry scientists, and a veterinary medical officer.