Spain: pilot activities at the University of Murcia proceed successfully

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Laying hen of the Isazul breed

Five pilot activities are planned under the SUSTAvianFEED project to demonstrate the innovative approach to feeding poultry for sustainable products. The pilot activities are being developed in four different regions of the Mediterranean: Spain, Tunisia, Italy and Turkey.

Pilots perfectly complement each other, as they share similarities in terms of climate and environment, but also remarkable differences not only in the type of farming systems, but also regarding socio-economic aspects. They will combine the production of meat and eggs

In particular, the pilot at the University of Murcia (UMU) started in November 2022. In this pilot, the UMU is working with Isazul breed hens, a breed adapted to the climate of the southeastern Mediterranean.

Hens eating the insects

UMU is studying the effect of 3 diets (1 control, and two alternatives, where raw materials with higher environmental impact are replaced by other ingredients with less environmental impact). The study will analyze the effects on production data, egg quality, bird behavior and welfare parameters. For this purpose, an experimental design with 5 replicates per treatment was used.

Eggs from Isazul laying hens

In order to study the behavior, video cameras have been installed in the pens. The insect in the third diet is offered daily in the morning and its acceptance is optimal.

The hens have currently reached 80% of laying. The eggs of these hens are generally light-colored, although great heterogeneity is observed. In the first week of December 2022, a first complete control of production indicators, such as consumption, egg production and quality, as well as the evaluation of animal behavior and welfare, is being carried out, so that during this phase we will be able to obtain the first results. In addition, two more complete controls will be carried out until the end of the trial, to complete the pilot tasks

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