Control of yolk sac infections associated with escherichia coli and enterococci with alternatives to antibiotics in broiler chickens

Project Details

Status: Active
Investment: $248,000
Commodity: Chicken
Organization: University of Saskatchewan
Investigator: Susantha Gomis

The Canadian broiler chicken industry is transitioning to antimicrobial-free farming.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

Yolk sac infection is one of the major devastating disease problems of the broiler chicken industry in Canada. Preventative use of antibiotics has been discontinued in Canada; however, therapeutic use is still required to treat yolk sac infections in young chicks. The Canadian broiler chicken industry is transitioning to antimicrobial-free farming.

Antimicrobial use (AMU) is important to the commercial poultry industry to maintain health and welfare, but there are growing concerns about the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) strains of bacteria that may eventually adversely affect animal and human health and the environment.

What benefits can producers expect from this research?

The development of novel immunostimulants and alternatives to antibiotics against bacterial pathogens. Alternatives to antibiotics will minimize the practice of prophylactic use of antibiotics; hence, reducing the emergence of AMR microbes and soil/water contamination via fecal excretion of antibiotics in poultry manure. Such innovation will improve flock health, profitability and animal welfare. It will also help to reduce the carbon footprint of intensive livestock production.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

This is an applied research program, and the results will be demonstrated to farmers, seed growers, funders and the media through field days. A number of scientific papers will also be published with results.