Fresh new approach to deliver holistic answers back to the Australian Chicken Meat industry


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The AgriFutures Chicken Meat Program Open Tender is now open. The Open Tender is a fresh new approach for the AgriFutures Chicken Meat Program’s research, development, and extension (RD&E) investments.

The new approach calls for multi-disciplinary research teams to collaborate and deliver a three-year program of research, rather than individual projects, with the aim of producing outputs and outcomes that will help industry to deliver a sustainable chicken meat production system.

Via the Open Tender, proposals will be assessed by the AgriFutures Chicken Meat Advisory Panel, with AgriFutures funding one proposal. One consortium will be awarded the funding to undertake the program of research as per the Terms of Reference.

It is expected that consortium members will hold their own discussions to pull together the expertise to deliver against the key focus deliverables of the AgriFutures Australia Chicken Meat Program RD&E Plan 2019-22.

AgriFutures Chicken Meat Manager, Research Georgie Townsend said, “The research will leverage existing knowledge of broiler nutrition, diet composition and feed efficiency; their impact on gut health; and interactions with the in-shed and external environment.”

“The program of research seeks to understand the complex interactions between these elements, and it is hoped that by further unravelling this story, the findings will contribute to chickens that are able to optimally develop while continually improving the industry’s impact on the environment.”

“Understanding the interactions of dietary nutritional composition, the impact on gut health and the internal and external environments, will deliver research with holistic answers back to industry, that result in better performance from individual birds and the overall flock,” said Ms Townsend.

All proposals must address, at least, the first three key focus areas as listed below that are key objectives of the AgriFutures Australia Chicken Meat Program RD&E Plan 2019-22:

  • Improved nutritional management and feed use efficiency
  • Improved management of the internal shed environment
  • Reducing pathogens before and during processing
  • Enhanced chicken welfare
  • Management strategies for chicken health
  • Determining options to reduce environmental impacts
  • Improved management of chicken production systems
  • Improved options to manage litter.

AgriFutures Chicken Meat Manager, Research Annie Lane added, “Consortia are encouraged to bring cash contributions, with a budget request for this program of research expected to be up to $1.5 million per year for three years.”

“Our preference is for proposals to include both cash and in-kind contributions. The AgriFutures Chicken Meat Advisory Panel will consider all proposals put in front of them and the merits of each.”

Consortia considering making an application are also encouraged to review past research funded by the Program.

“We’re interested in funding fresh new ideas that build on this past research and support the program goal of a diet that allows birds to reach their full genetic potential through improved health and welfare, reducing the reliance on antibiotics and optimising the shed environment, while mitigating the impact on the external environment,” said Ms Lane.

The Open Tender portal is now open and will close on 4 March, 2021. Proposal assessment will commence in mid-March 2021.

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