Both pig and poultry units host contract research for government and private sectors. It also provides a focus for SRUC's porcine and avian-related research, technology transfer and education.
About the poultry unit
SRUC’s poultry unit, the Allermuir Avian Innovation and Skills Centre, builds on decades of strategic and applied poultry research, learning and consultancy activities. It encompasses all aspects of poultry science, including nutrition, behaviour and welfare, product quality and safety, and gut and skeletal health.
The Unit delivers scientifically robust, hypothesis driven trials from small-scale through to near commercial conditions to meet industrial and academic poultry research requirements.
This is achieved through a research and delivery capability that includes a series of small animal rooms. Home Office approved raised-floor units, enriched housing layer facility and large floor pen facilities. A nearby hatchery can cater for a range of incubation studies (under development).
SRUC designs, manages and delivers major research projects in poultry science to an internationally-recognized high standard, from concept through to robust demonstration of the application.
About the pig unit
We own farms and research facilities covering the major livestock species. These support our research, teaching and knowledge exchange/consultancy functions.
The pig unit is a farrow to finish, 100 sow herd. We use PIC genetics, with Large White x Landrace sows and Pietrain terminal sires. Our biosecurity measures and closed herd (breeding replacement gilts on-site) ensure high health status. The herd’s high welfare standards are recognised by the membership of the QMS farm assurance scheme.
Pig research centre
The majority of our pig research is conducted at our pig unit and we also undertake a number of projects on selected commercial farms.
Our research staff have experience in designing and managing major research projects in animal science to a high standard, publishing in refereed international journals (Quality Assurance ISO 9001:2015).
Our skills and experience cover a wide range of animal husbandry and research methodologies, including:
- Nutritional trials monitoring feed intake and growth
- Studies of pathogens and parasitic organisms
- Behavioural observations and behavioural tests
- Designing and evaluating alternative housing systems
- Welfare measurement using various scoring systems, including Qualitative Behavioural Assessment
- CT scanning: e.g. for growth studies, predicting carcass composition from live animals
- Minor surgical procedures e.g. to implant catheters and telemetry devices for continuous monitoring of physiological variables
- Our Veterinary Laboratories are located close by providing a wide range of analytical and diagnostic services
- The collection of physiological samples including blood, saliva and faeces and a variety of post-mortem tissues including nervous tissue, adrenals, liver etc
Find out more about our services
Our work addresses health and productivity in animals, animal welfare and crops, promotes low carbon farming and increases farm output through efficiency and innovation.
Vet & laboratory services
Our leading experts provide support to clients in areas animal disease, diagnosis and surveillance.