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New poultry text holds international appeal

By Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia

Gene Pesti looks at an international impact when he stares down at his new text, "Poultry Nutrition and Feeding."

"The better educated producers are about poultry nutrition, the more efficient they will be and the lower the cost," he said. "And lower costs mean more food for people around the world."

Only eight university departments teach poultry science in the United States, said Pesti, a University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences professor of poultry science and animal nutrition.

"There are many more poultry teaching facilities in the rest of the world," he said. "There's actually a higher international demand for the book."

The demand for poultry is growing worldwide, and Georgia depends on the growth of that demand. In 2004, broilers were Georgia's top farm commodity, accounting for 40.78 percent of the state's agriculture with a farm-gate value of just under $4.2 billion.

"Poultry meat production passed beef production a few years ago," he said, "It's just a huge industry here. There are so many jobs for our graduates -- good jobs. And the industry is still growing."

When included with eggs, which ranked fifth in the state with a $439.3-million farm value, poultry accounts for more than half of Georgia's agriculture.

"But that's just farm-gate receipts," Pesti said. "Broilers and eggs are both processed in Georgia, adding much more value to the poultry industry in terms of number of jobs and impact on the Georgia economy."

The U.S. is a major source of poultry meat and eggs on the world market, he said.

"Since feed cost is about 70 to 80 percent of the cost of live production, nutrition is of fundamental importance to producing poultry meat and eggs," Pesti said.

Pesti wrote "Poultry Nutrition and Feeding" along with four others:

* Remzi Bakalli, a University of Prishtina (Kosovo) professor of poultry science who is also a UGA poultry science research coordinator.

* John P. Drive, a Jackson Laboratory (Maine) postdoctoral associate.

* Anel Atencio, a UGA postdoctoral associate.

* Elaine Foster, UGA poultry science laboratory director.

The "Poultry Nutrition and Feeding" text covers all chickens and turkeys. Key concepts and learning objectives are covered at the beginning of each chapter.

"It's the only poultry text written specifically for students, designed for learning and teaching," Pesti said. "Chapters are organized with anchoring concepts, learning objectives, vocabulary and study and discussion questions. Those are not found in other poultry and nutrition books."

The book covers topics ranging from bioenergetics to basic principles of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.

"Several chapters focus on feed formulation techniques, with examples using a widely available spreadsheet program," Pesti said. "The chapters emphasize the economic aspects of feed formulation. The spreadsheets may be downloaded from our Web site at http://www.pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/ES- pubs/WUFFDA.htm and are available in 12 different languages."

(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia Public Affairs Office.)

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