Poultry Teaching & Research Center
Dr. Darrin Karcher
5252 E. Jolly Road
Lansing, MI 48910
The Poultry Teaching and Research Center is located on the south side of Jolly Rd between College Rd and Hagadorn Rd.
At this time, there are no open visiting hours. Please call the farm manager at 517-355-0360 to schedule a tour. Visitors must not have visited a foreign country in the 7 days prior to visiting the farm.
The Poultry Teaching and Research Center’s Mission is two-fold. First to provide facilities and resources for the education of animal science students interested in Poultry Science as a career and second to conduct basic and applied research that will benefit the poultry producers of the State of Michigan.
The poultry Research Farm consists of a service building, 11 pole barn type buildings, two storage sheds and several outdoor pens. The service building contains office space, shower and restroom facilities, egg storage cooler, a tool room and garage.
- Building # 2 has 16 floor pens in the east end that house the exhibition bird flock. There are 8 light control pens in the center of the house that can be used as floor pens or that can accommodate small caging systems. The west end of the building contains the incubation room and has 6 Petersime incubators, each capable of holding approximately 1900 chicken eggs.
- Buildings # 3 and # 6 are identical in design. Each building contains 28 10 ft x 15 ft floor pens. These houses are used to conduct turkey or broiler trials. Building #3 also has additional partitions which can increase the number of pens to 56 pens that are 10 ft x 7.5 ft or 84 pens that are 5 ft x 10 ft.
- Building # 4 is currently used by USDA researchers. It contains incubation and hatching rooms and rooms with caging systems capable of raising birds from day-old through egg laying.
- Building # 5 contains 2 environmentally controlled rooms used in experiments requiring constant temperature and humidity. This house also contains a small commercial laying-hen cage system capable of housing 1500 hens. A pullet rearing cage system capable of raising 1500 pullets from day old was recently added.
- Building # 8 consists of six 30 ft x 40 ft floor pens and houses the feed storage room, the fertile egg flock, replacement fertile egg flock, quail room and two rooms capable of housing ducks in cages.
- Buildings #9 and #10 are currently used for storage.
- Building #12 is a relatively new turkey building built in 1998 with Animal Industries Initiatives funds. It is 50 ft by 100 ft and is divided into two identical rooms each housing 16 8 ft x 10 ft pens and a workroom area at the east end approximately 20 ft x 50 ft. Each room is capable of housing approximately 400 turkeys.
Animal Inventory and Production
The poultry research facility differs from other farms in the Department of Animal Science in that it is not run as a production oriented facility. The number of animals on hand at any given time is determined by the research projects going on at that time. In addition, the majority of projects are started in the springtime to minimize the cost of keeping young birds warm. With the exception of the exhibition birds and quail, we do not produce our own replacement birds; all birds for research trials are purchased from commercial sources.
Birds are typically raised to meet the following production parameters:
- Broiler-type research projects: Birds are raised to between 6 and 7 weeks of age and weigh 4.5 to 5 pounds live weight.
- Turkey research projects: Birds are raised to about 18 weeks of age or to about 37-38 pounds live weight.
- Laying-hen research projects: Hens start laying eggs at approximately 20 weeks of age and are kept in production for approximately 52 weeks. An average hen will lay about 290 eggs in those 52 weeks.
Feed and Nutrition
Most of the feed for birds on the farm is purchased from commercial sources. Special diets are mixed at the feed mill located at the swine facilities. Mink diets are mixed on the farm.
Please contact the farm manger for more details and place hatching egg orders at least one week in advance.