The University of Murcia has recently taken center stage as the spokesperson for the SUSTAvianFEED project in three significant international events. These events provided a unique platform for the dissemination of research conducted within the project, directly aligning with its main objectives. The University of Murcia’s substantial contribution to sustainability and animal welfare in poultry production further emphasized its dedication to these critical goals.
In this article, we will explore the University of Murcia’s participation in each event and the crucial role it played in promoting sustainable solutions for poultry nutrition, in accordance with the objectives of the SUSTAvianFEED project.
Jornadas Doctorales 2023
The International Doctoral School of UM (EIDUM), together with the International Doctoral School of UPCT (EINDOC) and the Campus Mare Nostrum (CMN), was organized the VIII Doctoral Days 2023 on June 26th, 27th, and 28th, 2023. These sessions were intended for doctoral students from UMU, UPCT, and other Spanish or foreign universities who request participation, promoting the project’s objectives of fostering creative study and research skills among doctoral students and highlighting the value of a Ph.D. degree in accessing the job market.
As a member of the UMU team and a doctoral student, Ana Montalbán Pérez participated in these sessions, sharing information about the well-being of the pilot’s hens in Spain and presenting some highly intriguing preliminary results that contribute to the project’s goal of improving animal health and welfare.
The work presented, titled “Effect of Including Alternative Protein Sources and Insects in the Diet on Stress Levels in Laying Hens,” directly aligns with the project’s objective of improving animal health and welfare while demonstrating the feasibility of alternative nutritional formulas in real poultry farming contexts. The sessions were very enriching, with a student-oriented atmosphere suitable for doctoral candidates, reinforcing the project’s multi-actor approach by involving relevant actors from the academic and research community. Numerous questions were posed by the participants about the project, showcasing its potential to impact both research and industry practices positively.
European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition Congress 2023
The 27th Annual ESVCN (European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition) Conference was held in Vila Real, Portugal, from September 7th to 9th, 2023. Hosted by the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, this event focused on comparative nutrition, specifically in the nutrition of farm animals, pets, and wildlife. ESVCN congresses typically bring together veterinarians, animal nutrition scientists, researchers, and professionals in the fields of veterinary medicine and nutrition to discuss the latest advancements in animal nutrition. Therefore, it proves to be an ideal platform for disseminating results related to our project, which aims to develop a sustainable nutritional formula for poultry farming.
During this congress, a member of the University of Murcia team, Josefa Madrid Sánchez, as part of the SUSTAvianFEED project, together with other members of the UMU team, participated by delivering an oral communication and two posters.
The presentations revolved around the welfare status of the hens obtained in the pilot study conducted at the University of Murcia in recent months, yielding some interesting results that directly address the project’s objectives.
The oral presentation, titled “effect of dehydrated black soldier fly larvae inclusion in the diet on the welfare status of laying hens at 32 weeks of age,” investigated the impact of adding dehydrated black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae to the diet of laying hens during peak laying on their welfare. This study directly contributes to the project’s goal of reducing the environmental impact of the poultry sector while offering quality, safe, and affordable products.
The first poster, titled “effect of dietary supplementation with 5% black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) on production parameters of laying hens from 23 to 27 weeks of age,” aimed to assess the impact of incorporating dehydrated larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) into the diet of laying hens before peak laying, with a focus on productive performance. This research aligns with the project’s objective of demonstrating the feasibility and suitability of alternative nutritional formulas in real poultry farming contexts.
The second poster, titled “effect of partial substitution of dietary soybean with other vegetable ingredients on production performance in laying hens,” addressed the need to reduce the environmental impact of importing animal feed ingredients, especially prevalent in Spain. This study directly contributes to promoting local economy, socioeconomic growth, and local resilience of Mediterranean areas by using locally sourced ingredients.
The feedback from the congress was highly positive, with participants showing keen interest in how these research findings support the project’s objectives of improving animal health and welfare, reducing environmental impact, and promoting sustainable practices in poultry farming.
XIXth European Symposium on the Quality of Eggs and Egg Products and XXVth European Symposium on the Quality of Poultry Meat
The Symposium is jointly organized every two years by Working Groups 4 and 5 of the European Federation of WPSA. It took place from September 7th to 9th, 2023, in Kraków, Poland. This event presents a unique occasion for the scientific community, practitioners, and all those involved in the poultry sector to share recent advancements, discuss trending topics, and anticipate forthcoming challenges in the realms of poultry meat, eggs, and their products’ quality. This conference aligns with the project’s objectives of offering quality and safe poultry products while reducing the environmental impact of the poultry sector.
At this conference, two members of the University of Murcia team, Silvia Martínez-Miró and Ana Montalbán Pérez, as part of the SUSTAvianFEED project, participated by delivering two oral communications.
Both presentations revolved around the quality of the eggs obtained in the pilot study conducted at the University of Murcia in recent months, directly addressing the project’s objectives.
The first work presented was: “Effects of reduction of soybean meal in the diet of laying hens on the quality of the eggs.” This study directly aligns with the project’s goal of developing a sustainable nutritional formula for poultry farming by reducing the use of high environmental impact protein sources.
The second work presented was: “Effect of including alternative plant-based protein sources and hermetia illucens in laying hen diets on the sensory characteristics of eggs.” This research directly supports the project’s objective of promoting local economy, as it assesses the sensory qualities of eggs produced using alternative plant-based protein sources and Hermetia illucens larvae in the diets of laying hens.
The feedback from the participants during these presentations reaffirmed the project’s multi-actor approach, involving relevant actors across the entire value chain, and the importance of developing sustainable nutritional solutions in the poultry sector.
In conclusion, the University of Murcia’s active involvement in these international events not only showcased its dedication to the SUSTAvianFEED project’s objectives but also highlighted the role of the project as a leader in advancing sustainable solutions for poultry nutrition, reducing environmental impact, and promoting animal welfare. These events have played a significant role in disseminating the project’s findings and fostering collaboration among relevant stakeholders in the poultry industry and research community.