Mississippi State also recieved a $147K grant.
WASHINGTON – Scientists at the Univ. of Maryland received two poultry-research grants totaling $1 million from the US Dept. of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The first $500,000 grant will back testing mitigation of heat stress in broiler chickens on early-life thermal conditioning. 

The study will cover complete physiological analysis of the effects of heat stress, with and without prior thermal conditioning, across multiple tissues that are likely to play a role in the bird's metabolic and stress responses to heat stress.

The project hopes to provide information on body temperature regulation for improving the well-being of poultry, while sustaining or enhancing broiler meat production during summer heat waves when temperatures are above 95 F.

The second $500,000 grant deals with the development of poultry immune reagents.

The study will look at two challenges with poultry disease control:

•    The lack of poultry-specific immunological reagents, since mammalian reagents do not recognize poultry proteins.

•    The lack of methods to effectively measure host immune response to many poultry infectious diseases.

Mississippi State Univ. also received a $147,000 grant to look at the transcriptomics analysis of early B-cell development in the chicken embryo. The project hopes to uncover the precise process that leads to the beginning of the development of B-cells in the embryo.

The project aims to use its findings in breeding programs by improving the outcome of vaccinations for better survival in a typical poultry production environment.