Precisievoeding en duurzame pluimveehouderij

As in all fields in agriculture, sustainability, environment, animal welfare and economic impact are also hot topics within poultry farming. This concerns sustainability in the broadest sense. Topics such as nutrition, circularity, animal welfare, health, housing, behaviour, digitalization, and other sustainability-related issues have the attention within our research scope. In addition, the poultry team gained knowledge in insect rearing (for feed) in recent years as this newcomer to the agricultural sector is closely related to circularity and the protein transition.

Sustainable feeding

The search for sustainable protein-rich raw materials plays a role in the transition to circular livestock farming. A current example is the use of residual or by-products as feed for poultry. In this, insects can play an important role by converting natural waste products (e.g. waste products from agriculture and manure from livestock farming) into protein.

Animal welfare and Animal-Centric Farming

Animal welfare is an important topic in the societal debate. An amendment to the Act on Animals, leads to an imminent shift towards animal-centric farming in Dutch livestock farming. The Dutch Council for Animal Affairs (RDA) has delineated six guiding principles for animal-centric farming. The starting point is respect for the intrinsic value and integrity of the animal (discouraging interventions on the animal itself), whereas good nutrition, a good husbandry environment and good health are the basic conditions for the animals. Moreover, an animal must have the opportunity to express 'all' their natural behaviours and be able to fulfil behavioural requirements. The ultimate goal within animal-centric farming is that animals experience a positive emotional state in which the animal is able to respond appropriately to the changing social and physical environment. This can be achieved, among other things, by tailoring the housing environment to accommodate the needs of the animal instead of adapting the animal to their housing environment. This transition to animal-centric farming offers research questions in which the research group wishes to contribute.


The insect sector is expected to have a huge growth in the coming years. Insects are of interest because they contain many important nutrients and can be used as food for people and animals. To rear insects, already available GMP+ certified raw materials are currently used that, for example, could also be used in poultry feed. However, insects can convert various organic waste or by-products from agriculture and the food processing industry into high-quality raw materials, such as insect protein. Insects can therefore make a substantial contribution to the circularity of Dutch agriculture. Furthermore, feeding whole insects and insect-derived products (oils, meal) has proven to be beneficial for the welfare and health of poultry.

Poultry Star Foundation

The Poultry Star Foundation was founded on February 14, 2019 on the occasion of the inauguration of Laura Star, professor in sustainable poultry farming in a circular business. Aim of the foundation is to encourage young poultry professionals to develop as best as possible and gain experience for a job in poultry farming. The foundation can financially support poultry students for extra-curricular activities that contribute to knowledge development and positioning for start at the job market. Read more here.

Connection with education

Poultry farming is always on the move, and as a result, the education curriculum is therefore constantly evolving. The research group responds to ongoing developments in poultry farming, aiming to integrate the latest knowledge into the curriculum. The poultry team (comprising the researchers and lecturers) provides access to a global network of researchers, knowledge institutes, farmers and periphery & industry who recognize the added value of their contribution to higher education in poultry farming. Consequently, the research group plays a pivotal role in connecting education with current events and advancing knowledge in an applied way. The engagement with students is particularly valuable, because the way of thinking and acting of students in projects helps the research group in maintaining focussed and keeping a critical mindset, and remaining open to insights from young professionals involved in current and future research.

Poultry Expertise Centre

The research group works in close collaboration with the Poultry Expertise Centre (PEC). PEC is supporting poultry farming in the Netherlands and around the world, based on a strong and positive ecological and economic profile. PEC focusses on the development and dissemination of knowledge and innovations. Within education, new modules and e-learning options are developed in the field of poultry and insects. Within the research, applied and fundamental research are linked to accelerate innovation. Read more here.

About us

The following people are the core of the lectureship:

Together they have broad expertise in the field of poultry and growing knowledge about insect rearing and use of insects in animal feed. The research group collaborates with teachers and Aeres Farms. In poultry related topics, for education as well as research, there is also collaboration with Aeres MBO Barneveld, Aeres Training Centre International and Poultry Expertise Centre