Egg Industry Center

comparison of gut and lung microbIOMES of hens raised in conventional and cage-free houses to determine disease susceptibility

Total Funded: $59,010
Project Duration: 14 months

The objectives of the study are: a) to compare hens raised in conventional and cage-free houses at different stages of their maturity for their susceptibility to infections, using high-throughput sequencing of the gut and lung microbiota and in-vitro assays b) to determine how housing conditions affect chicken health.

Results from this study are expected to produce an in-depth characterization of hens’ innate immune functions and their microbiota from cage and cage-free housing and provide information that may be used to decrease disease susceptibility in laying hens in cage-free housing systems. The results are also expected to benefit consumers through improved food safety and potentially decreased economic cost of cage-free eggs.

Scientists working on this project include: Dr. Melha Mellata, assistant professor in food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University; Dr. Angelica Van Goor, postdoc research associate in food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University; and Dr. Hongwei Xin, director of Egg Industry Center and professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University.

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© 2019 Egg Industry Center. All rights reserved.