Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


Big boost for livestock research & innovation in Ontario

At the announcement of the new funding envelope for the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) in Guelph this week, Minister Leal announced that as part of the CAP program the Province would be partnering with LRIC on initiatives relating to livestock research and innovation in the Province of Ontario.
This is great news for LRIC's members who will continue to have a strong advocate for livestock research and innovation with government and an expansion of the R&I services LRIC performs on their behalf.
For more details on the Ministers announcement see below:

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) will launch in early April 2018. The federal and provincial governments will be committing up to $1.5 billion to the Ontario agri-food sector: $1.1 billion for Business Risk Management funding and $417 million for strategic initiatives to help grow Ontario's agri-food and agri-products sectors. For m ore information click here.

Shayan Sharif named chair of pathobiology at OVC

Dr. Shayan Sharif is the incoming chair of the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College. A professor of poultry immunology at OVC since 2001, Sharif's research focuses on how microbes interact with the chicken immune system.

New research chair awarded to egg sustainability expert

Canada's leading expert in egg sustainability has been awarded an Industrial Research Chair by the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Dr. Nathan Pelletier will use the award to expand his research program as the first ever NSERC/Egg Farmers of Canada Industrial Research Chair in Sustainability.
Full Article

  Making News
Nominations open for annual poultry industry award

Do you know someone who has made a significant contribution the Canadian poultry industry? Nominations are due before March 1, 2018 for the 2017 Ed McKinlay Poultry Worker of the Year Award, presented by the Poultry Industry Council to recognize an individual's outstanding service to the industry.

  LRIC Update
Calls for Poulty Proposals Currently Open

Details on open calls for research proposals are available online. Log into LRIC's research management system by clicking here

Note: Poultry Letters of Intents are accepted on-line year-round.  A response on a letter of intent can normally be expected within 6 - 8 weeks from submission.

Any questions can be directed to

Coming events 

Feb 21 - 22, 2018: Beef Farmers of Ontario Annual Meeting, Toronto ON,

Feb 22, 2018:  Composted Bedding Pack Workshop, Durham Region, ON, 

Feb 26, 2018: Western Poultry Conference, Red Deer AB, 

Feb 27 - 28, 2018: Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario Annual Conference, London ON,

Feb 28 - Mar 2, 2018:  BC Poultry Conference, Vancouver BC,

Mar 1, 2018: Equine Research Priorities Session, Guelph ON,

Mar 7, 2018: Veal Farmers of Ontario Annual General Meeting, Tavistock ON,

Mar 8, 2018: Composted Bedding Pack Workshop, Durham Region ON, 

Mar 15, 2018: LRIC Research Update - Cultured 'Meat' Protein - Disruptor, Opportunity or Threat? Guelph ON,

Mar 19, 2018:  Chicken Farmers of Ontario Annual General Meeting, Mississauga ON, 

Mar 20 - 21, 2018: Ontario Pork Annual General Meeting & Banquet, Guelph ON,

Mar 21, 2018: Ontario Goat Annual General Meeting, Woodstock ON,

Mar 27 - 28, 2018: London Swine Conference, London ON,

Mar 27 - 28, 2018: Egg Farmers of Ontario Annual General Meeting, Niagara Falls ON,

Apr 4 - 5, 2018: Canadian Poultry Expo, London ON, 
Apr 11, 2018:   Farm & Food Care Ontario Annual Conference , Milton ON,
Apr 12, 2018: Poultry Industry Council Ag Lenders' Day, Guelph ON, 

May 2, 2018: Poultry Industry Council Research Day
Details to Come

June 28, 2018: LRIC Annual General Meeting, Guelph ON
Details to Come

Oct 15 - 19, 2018: World Dairy Summit, Daejon South Korea

Quick Links to Our Partners, Friends & Members


PigGen Canada

Research and Innovation Driving Livestock Sector Success
Research Snapshots 

New proteins: Farmed insects provide antimicrobial properties in livestock feed
The food source used to raise farmed insects can impact the antimicrobial properties available in the resulting protein that commonly used in livestock feed. Black soldier fly larvae are good converters of organic waste. Researchers compared different rearing substrates for the larvae and found that a higher protein content and sunflower oil in the substrate could induce stronger immune responses in larvae.

Feed: Mealworms convert infected wheat into safe poultry feed
University of Saskatchewan researchers have discovered that yellow mealworms are unaffected by mycotoxins present in fusarium-infested wheat. The discovery opens new opportunities for infected wheat that is harmful to livestock and humans but could be fed to mealworms and provide a worm-based new protein source for poultry.

Poultry: Modified Marek's vaccine could give broader protection
English scientists have made a breakthrough in creating a vaccine for Marek's disease that could also protect birds against infectious bursal disease (IBD), avian influenza and Newcastle disease. The genetically modified Marek's disease vaccine could reduce the number of vaccines needed in poultry operations, reducing costs and improving animal welfare.

Poultry: Growing a healthier gut flora key to antibiotic-free market
Good gut health is key to successfully raising antibiotic-free poultry. Work by Alltech UK promotes a Seed Feed Weed (SFW) system that involves seeding the gut with poultry-derived favourable bacteria, feeding them to promote their growth and weeding out the pathogens.

Poultry: Farmers and researchers work together to improve welfare
The EU-funded Hennovation project saw researchers partner with farmers to develop practical new measures for improving the health and welfare of farmed poultry. The project developed innovation networks as a way to introduce practice-led innovation in sustainable animal welfare.

Swine: Maximizing piglet weights at weaning
Recent research in Northern Ireland looked at developing nutrition and management strategies to maximize piglet and litter wean weights. The researchers were able to achieve a total wean weight per litter of 115 kg at 28 days, driven mainly by sow fed intake.

Swine: Low-oil DDGS doesn't lower grower performance
A new process that removes some of the corn oil in distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) for biodiesel production does not alter the performance of grower-finisher pigs. University of Illinois researchers compared the effects on performance of feeding conventional DDGS (10-12% fat) versus low-oil DDGS (6-9%) to pigs from weaning to market and found pigs grew equally well on both diets, with no difference in carcass characteristics.

Beef: Bovine tuberculosis shows genetic diversity across Africa
Bovine tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis that's widespread in Africa and affects cattle, other animals and humans. Portuguese researchers have genotyped M. bovis samples across Africa to better understand the diversity and evolution of the disease.
Full Article

Dairy: Plant oils in the diet can decrease methane output
A group of Finnish researchers have discovered that adding plant oils to a grass-fed dairy diet can reduce methane output and provide a beneficial effect on fatty acids in the milk. They looked at four different plant oils and concluded that supplementing the grass diet reduced methane emission without interfering with digestibility, rumen fermentation and microbial quantities, or milk production.

Dairy: New remote weighing project underway in UK
Farmers will soon be able to monitor their calves remotely as part of an extensive new project involving a tech company, Nottingham University and British Telecom. Y-Ware - the name of the new smart solution - involves inserting a small bolus in the calf's rumen that provides remote weighing and diet data on calves, sending information including animal temperature wirelessly to a farmer's computer or mobile device.

Dairy: Industry experts discuss consumer trends and demands
A trio of international dairy industry experts shared their insights on how the dairy category can stay innovative and relevant with consumers. Representatives from Valio, Agropur and Food for Health Ireland took part in a recent webinar to discuss what innovation means to the industry, including balancing consumer-led and technology-led innovation.

Dairy: Focus on milk's nutritional quality, consumer survey finds
A consumer survey by North Carolina State University researchers suggests the dairy industry should focus on the nutritional value of milk and educating consumers about milk. With fluid milk consumption declining and non-dairy alternatives increasing, the study looked at what drives the purchase in each product category.

Veal: Researchers study veal calf health in Canada
Ontario Veterinary College researchers assessed the risk factors for male calf health in a study of the management practices with male calves on more than 1,000 Canadian dairy farms, following them from birth to harvest. Overall, male calves were treated well, but 9% of producers did not feed colstrum to male calves, and 17% reported feeding male and female calve differently.
Full Article 

Aquaculture: Coinfection can hinder vaccine efficacy
A study to evaluate the interaction between the protective effects of fish vaccinations and the detrimental effect of coinfection may explain the reduced efficacy of some vaccines and highlight the need to test fish vaccines in more diverse conditions.
Full Article

Aquaculture: Omega-3 fish provide better cancer fighting potency
A new University of Guelph study found that marine-based omega-3s are eight times more effective at inhibiting tumour development and growth than plant-based sources like flaxseed. The study is the first to compare the cancer-fighting potency of plant- versus marine-derived omega-3s on breast tumour development.

Whatever next?!? A look at the weird and wacky

Don't look at me like that
Dog owners may look like their pets, but horses and people have a striking number of similar facial movements. A recent study at the University of Sussex found horses are capable of 17 different facial expressions. That's only 10 less than humans, but one more than dogs and four more than chimps.

Fresh milk on tap
A dairy producer on Vancouver Island is selling fresh, pasteurized whole milk for $2/litre on tap. It's one of a few farms in the province that process and sell their own milk. The business offers consumers a chance to buy local and reduce waste by using their own glass containers or jars.