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#2018 - 10/07/03 05:25 PM Conversation with Tyson
Anonymous
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This afternoon I received a phone call from Dr. Roy Brister of Tyson Foods in Springdale, AR. Since I grew up in the Fayetteville area, we had memories of the same places and so on. In high school I caught chickens (broilers) for O'Brien Foods of Pineville, MO (and had a huge crush on Kathy O'Brien, but I was from the wrong side of the tracks and she is about 4 years younger than I) and Dr. Brister told me that Tyson had bought O'Brien foods some time ago. Oh well, my youth is only a memory now.

Dr. Brister and I talked about several things, one of which was the issue of adding yeast to chicken feed. In his case, broiler feed. The thinking in the broiler industry is that anything you can do to get the boilers to eat more will make them grow faster. That is the mantra whether it is right or not, I won't argue.

So, our experience with feeding our 'ferment' is that the hens just love it to the extent that they over-eat an alarming amount. Fat hens don't lay well so our ferment is not something you would let them eat all they want of it, because they would eat too much. If it has that effect on layers it might have the same effect on broilers. I wanted to know if Tyson adds a yeast to their broiler feed for this purpose.

Answer: They don't.

Roy (Brister) told me that many years ago they tried some Diamond V dry yeast but it had no measureable effect on broiler food intake. We are feeding a wet feed 'gruel' to our layers which is very different from feeding a dry yeast and the gruel is teaming with live yeast.

Roy agreed that the gruel may well have such an effect but that it isn't presently feasible to feed a wet feed in confinement broiler operations.

He did say that they have observed a significant variation in gut length when they do the disecting of their broilers for inspection purposes.

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#2019 - 10/07/03 06:20 PM Re: Conversation with Tyson
Anonymous
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Did they add oil to their feed? Corn Oil I believe. It's supposed to have the same effect as your yeast.

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#2020 - 10/07/03 07:28 PM Re: Conversation with Tyson
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
Maybe they will go to a wet feed eventually, the hog industry uses a wet feed, it is in vertical tubes in each pen/cell and the hog can free feed as desired. What I faiked to note was if there is also a seperate water source.

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#2021 - 10/07/03 07:52 PM Re: Conversation with Tyson
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm not sure what set up Rob is speaking of but when I use to manage a hog farm we'd only wet feed lactating sows and then only in the dog days of summer.We used misters and of course cool cells to help keep them cool.Getting them to eat was a chore untill we stumbled upon wet feeding .Yes they also had a seperate water source.

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#2022 - 10/07/03 08:00 PM Re: Conversation with Tyson
Anonymous
Unregistered


He said the fat (vegetable oil) has the effect of slowing down the feed through the digestive tract (enhancing the 'residence time') so that more of the feed is absorbed.

He also mentioned that in Tyson's hog operation they have a wet feed system in which the feed is mixed with water at the point of feeding.

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#2023 - 10/08/03 03:50 AM Re: Conversation with Tyson
Spotted Crow Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 855
Loc: Massachusetts
Interesting...

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#2024 - 10/08/03 05:01 AM Re: Conversation with Tyson
Anonymous
Unregistered


I spoke with Dr. Roy Brister for more than half an hour and keep remembering things the we talked about.

One point I failed to mention but may have mentioned in another post is that there is some evidence in the literature suggesting that live yeast inhibits bad bugs like salmonella and E. coli. This is something that all of us are interested in. Roy said that, if this attribute of yeast proves to be correct, it alone would be a compelling reason to use live yeasts in feedstocks. Tyson would very much like to go to a wet feed system for their broiler operations but they don't see that it is feasible at this time. It's a matter of designing the automatic feaders that would mix and carry the wet feed to the animals. I got the impression that Tyson hasn't seriously looked at wet feed systems for poultry to date because of the liklihood of contamination of the feed by bad bacteria. But, if yeast will inhibit them effectively, then that might be a solution.

I mentioned our discussions here about gut length and the issues surounding the development of a long-gut chicken. From his reaction I believe the thought that could be a good thing to do. He said that they see "very significant" differences in the length of the gut in their broilers (they routinely disect birds for examination and make numerous observations of internal organs). His comment regarding the design of a research project to accomplish the task of developing a long-gut chicken was to assume that the trait would run in families and then butcher a small number of birds from each family to measure the gut length. I don't like that approach for a couple of reasons. It would require a larger population of birds than I am able to maintain and you would miss the variation in gut length within the family. If we undertake this project, I want a way to test each bird in a non-destructive way.

I'm not sure Tyson had had the idea of developing a long-gut chicken and I may have given away the store when I brought it up. But Roy did confirm that the variation in gut length just in Tyson's broiler lines is significant. This means that a properly designed breeding program aimed at developing a long-gut chicken would be successful.

P.S. Roy said that he knows of our own Ron Okimoto who is on the faculty of the University of Arkansas (where I got my Ph.D. in 1979 - Gov. Bill Clinton was our graduation speaker).

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#2025 - 10/08/03 06:34 PM Re: Conversation with Tyson
Anonymous
Unregistered


Leee,
Do you think it may be possible to clear the gut of all feed stuffs as you would prior to butchering, then feed them and time how long it takes for the food to pass through their systems? This may give you a fairly good idea of how long the gut is by how long the pass through period is. Just a thought.

Dan

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#2026 - 10/08/03 10:08 PM Re: Conversation with Tyson
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dan, it would be possible to do what you suggest. But, imagine the manpower needed. Someone would have to observe the bird eating in the morning. That person would have to watch that bird for a poop all day and perhaps into the night. For such a process to be accurate, a single person could not monitor many birds at a time.

It would certainly be possible but it would be a "crappy" job!

We would need at least 50 graduate students (or 100 undergrads) from the University of Arkansas (they're not too smart, you know).

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#2027 - 10/09/03 08:53 AM Re: Conversation with Tyson
Anonymous
Unregistered


Lolol,

Thank you for the good humor Leee, I think that was the wake up call I've been looking for. wink

I hadn't even considered the enormity of the task. That would be a thankless stink of a job wouldn't it. At least I can say I made an attempt, albeit a slightly lame one.

Dan

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