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Emma O’Flaherty – 2018 Nuffield Scholar

Emma O’Flaherty from Sydney, New South Wales received a Nuffield Scholarship supported by AgriFutures Australia.

For her research topic, Emma studied ‘contributing factors to floor egg issues’ across different nesting systems. Floor eggs are deemed second grade or ‘dirty’ eggs as soon as they are laid because they are in contact with more contaminated material.

This results in lower hatchability and increased labour as they must be collected from outside the nest.

Emma has recently moved from Griffith as a breeder farm manager for poultry production company, Baiada Pty Ltd to Wales, UK, working for Avara Foods as Breeder Laying Area Manager . She came across this opportunity through her Nuffield travels and helps manage a two shed rearing farm from day old chicks to 18-week transfer of breeder broilers. Experience in rearing has increases Emma’s understanding on knowledge of the Ross breed and how early stages can affect bird behaviour at laying sites.

Several farms are experiencing issues with floor eggs across different nesting systems leading to lower profits and inflated labour costs. Emma aimed to research factors contributing to floor eggs so as to seek to remedy these problems.

“Any agricultural industry wants to minimise costs and maximise profits,” Emma said.

“If we can use the contributing factors to minimise floor eggs then we can minimise costs in labour and maximise the output of first grade eggs.”

On her study tour, Emma travelled to The Netherlands and the United Kingdom to visit poultry sheds and factories.

Scholarship report: click to download
Verbal presentation: watch video
Media profile: click to view

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