Poultry is West Virginia’s leading agricultural product, and poultry scientists are an increasingly important output of West Virginia University. Two fledgling scholars caught the eye of their peers at a recent meeting of the Poultry Science Association.

John Boney and Brian Glover, Ph.D., students in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, earned certificates of excellence for their paper presentations.

“This demonstrates the high quality of poultry research being conducted at WVU,” said Joe Moritz, professor of poultry science in the Davis College and poultry specialist with the WVU Extension Service. “I’m very proud of the way our students represented themselves and WVU.”

Boney, of Caldwell, Ohio, and Glover, of Franklin, W.Va., are doing their doctoral work in Moritz’s lab. Both earned their master’s degrees under Moritz’s mentorship.

Boney’s research focused on the potential value of algae as a binder of poultry feed pellets.

“Energy companies are conducting research to extract the oil from various strains of algae as a means of creating biofuels,” Boney said. “The goal of my study was to provide the poultry industry with data demonstrating that small inclusions of a specific algae could increase pellet quality without diluting the nutrient value.”

For his doctoral research, Boney will explore the effects of steam conditioning temperature and time on salmonella in poultry feeds in an effort to provide the birds with safe feed and ultimately yielding a safer product for consumers.

Glover’s research aimed at providing more predictability in the feeding process.

“In this study, we wanted to compare the performance of a mixed group of male and female birds receiving either a standard pellet or a modestly improved one, in either a large floor pen or a small floor pen,” Glover explained. Finding the right level of pellet quality is difficult due to the demands of providing adequate feed in a timely fashion.

Glover is grateful for “great lab mates who are willing to pitch in and help when needed. We work very well as a team, and the success I had a the PSA meeting was due to the teamwork we have as a lab group and the guidance Dr. Moritz has given me through the years.”

In addition to Boney and Glover, WVU students and faculty presented five different papers at the meeting.

The PSA is a professional organization consisting of approximately 1,500 educators, scientists, extension specialists, industry researchers, administrators, producers and college students who are committed to advancing the poultry industry.

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