Research in the poultry sector

Two years ago I joined Vencomatic Group as a researcher and I never thought my job would be so varied! Research is very important because we want to contribute to a sustainable and poultry-friendly industry and animal welfare plays a crucial role in this. In addition, poultry farmers must be able to work with our systems easily and we therefore investigate what impact changes in our systems have in practice.

Research is always carried out from the R & D department. This consists of around twenty people who mainly focus on the development of our existing and new products. An investigation always begins with making a plan of action; what is the purpose of the research, how are we going to tackle it and what results will necessitate adjustments?

Often, research takes place at our customers’ farms and if necessary, adjustments are made to the system. After this, the measurements can begin. Additional help from colleagues or trainees is necessary in some studies. A nice side effect is you will also get to know your colleagues from other departments better.

I mostly do research for laying hens and broilers. Tests that influence animal behavior and animal performance. In practice this means, among other things, catching, weighing and counting chickens and  observing them during the day and night, but also assessing feed and eggs. Every day is different and it is great to work with the birds.

In order to combine knowledge and research well, we work together with our colleagues from the knowledge team. These are the poultry specialists who advise our customers all over the world. From time to time research and advice together visit a customer. This is fun and very instructive for both parties! We also work closely with external parties, such as the University of Bristol and Poultry Research center in Geel (Belgium).

It is our goal to further optimize animal performance, animal welfare, sustainability and ease of working for the poultry farmer in the coming years and of course I will gladly contribute to that!

Marcella Merkelbach, Researcher