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College advances poultry research through $100,000 equipment donation from BRI

BioResource International Inc. (BRI), a North Carolina agricultural biotechnology company, donated to North Carolina State University a new set of state-of-the art battery cages for poultry research. The cages, valued at nearly $100,000, will be used by Department of Poultry Science faculty, staff and students, as well as industry partners, for small-scale research trials on campus.

“We’re very grateful for the generosity of BRI and its co-founders Jason and Giles Shih,” said Dr. Sam Pardue, head of the N.C. State Department of Poultry Science. “These cage systems will significantly expand our research and teaching capabilities.”

The cages, which have battery-operated heating units to keep the animals warm, meet or exceed all current standards for housing chickens and turkeys, Pardue said. They’re also a bit larger than the old cages, which will give researchers more flexibility by enabling longer trials.

“These types of cage systems will facilitate poultry research that has a direct impact on many fronts, including better animal health and nutrition for the future,” said BRI president Giles Shih.

BRI grew out of technology developed in the N.C. State Poultry Science Department by now-retired poultry science professor and BRI co-founder Dr. Jason Shih. The company develops and markets enzymes from nature to enhance animal and human health.

“Our ongoing collaboration with the N.C .State Department of Poultry Science has contributed significantly to our progress since the company started 10 years ago,” Shih said.

In 2005, BRI launched an enzyme feed additive called Versazyme®. A year later, BRI introduced Valkerase®, an enzyme-based product that breaks down feather keratin, allowing it to be processed into an animal feed supplement. Since 2007, the company has doubled its revenues on an annual basis as its products enter emerging global markets such as Brazil, India and China.

– Written by Suzanne Stanard