Pigs and poultry

The Pigs and Poultry Science Program is part of the SARDI Livestock and Farming Systems Research Division.

Research areas:

  • pig health and reproduction
  • poultry nutrition
  • pig housing
  • welfare and husbandry.

Specific areas of research interest for the pork, chicken meat and egg industries include:

  • animal nutrition
  • housing and free-range systems
  • animal reproduction
  • animal health and welfare
  • meat hygiene.

Research aims

We provide expertise and technology to increase the economic value of Australia’s pork and poultry industries. The research program aims to assist industry to develop production systems that:

  • are sustainable, cost and energy efficient
  • meet consumer expectations of clean, healthy food and safe food
  • meet consumer and society expectations of animal welfare-friendly production systems.

Dr Cameron Ralph leads this program, which has 3 interacting subprograms:

  • Pig Reproduction, Health and Welfare
  • Product Quality and Safety
  • Poultry Nutrition, Health and Welfare.

Subprograms and research focus

Pig Reproduction, Health and Welfare

Our research ranges from basic scientific studies of endocrinology and embryology to highly applied studies covering:

  • nutrition-reproduction interactions
  • seasonal effects on fertility
  • and the management of breeding pigs in confinement-free housing.

This research supports the local and national pork industries and the sustainability of pork production internationally with a focus on developing countries.

We also provide education and advice, and diagnostics in support of healthy pork production.

Subprogram contacts

Dr Cameron Ralph
Phone: (08) 8313 7781
Email: cameron.ralph@sa.gov.au

Product Quality and Safety

Our research focus includes:

  • food microbiology
  • virology
  • toxicology
  • risk modeling
  • statistics
  • epidemiology and molecular epidemiology
  • food technology
  • sensory science
  • packaging
  • risk communication.

We apply molecular diagnostics in the surveillance of invasive pests and development of microbial screening tools for gut micro-organisms.

Subprogram contacts

Dr Valeria Torok
Phone: (08) 8303 9688
Email: valeria.torok@sa.gov.au

Dr Greg Nattrass
Phone: (08) 8313 7608
Email: greg.nattrass@sa.gov.au

Poultry Nutrition and Health and Welfare

Poultry nutrition continues to be a major focus of research and teaching activities at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy Campus.

Our research capabilities at Roseworthy Campus extend from basic science through to highly applied projects. We also provide support for undergraduate practical projects, and higher degree research students.

Poultry welfare science is underpinned by core capability in endocrinology, husbandry and behavior spanning a range of areas including:

  • cognitive bias
  • preference testing
  • stress
  • welfare
  • ethics
  • production systems
  • reproduction.  

Poultry health research focuses on problems in the diagnosis and control of economically important diseases of poultry.

Our team also offers diagnostic services which include:

  • poultry necropsy and clinical diagnosis
  • bacteriology
  • mycology
  • molecular diagnostic testing
  • histopathology
  • serology.

Subprogram contacts

Dr Bob Hughes
Phone: (08) 8313 7788
Email: bob.hughes@sa.gov.au

Dr Reza Barekatain
Phone: 08 8313 7720
Email: reza.barekatain@sa.gov.au

Dr Carolyn Dekoning
Phone: 08 8313 7654
Email: carolyn.dekoning@sa.gov.au

Education, training and research groups

Education and training capabilities are an important part of the Pig and Poultry Program’s national research.

Our team helps The University of Adelaide to meet the education needs of veterinary and animal science undergraduate and post graduate students.

The program runs poultry training courses for local and overseas groups.

Program contact

Dr Cameron Ralph
Science Leader, Pigs & Poultry

SARDI Livestock and Farming Systems
DS Davies Building
Roseworthy SA 5371

Phone: (08) 8313 7781
Email: cameron.ralph@sa.gov.au

Page Last Reviewed: 12 Feb 2016
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