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Peter Ferket

William Neal Reynolds Professor — Nutrition and Biotechnology

Associate Department Head

Director, Animal Food and Nutrition Consortium


Scott Hall 203A


Area(s) of Expertise

Dr. Ferket’s research interests complement his Extension activities: applied nutrition research of commercial meat-type poultry and utilization of agricultural co-products as feed ingredients for poultry. Most of his research is done with turkeys, broilers and some fish species (tilapia and striped bass) in the following areas: 1) nutritional factors that affect immune function, skeletal development, enteric development, growth characteristics and meat quality; 2) the use of supplemental enzymes to improve feed digestibility and gut health; 3) the study of in ovo and neonatal nutrition on development and epigenetic responses; 4) the evaluation of alternatives to anti-coccidials and antibiotics in feeding programs; 5) the effect of feed manufacturing on nutrient utilization and gut health; and 6) the effect of nutrition and feed formulation on the microbial ecosystem of the gut.

Dr. Peter Ferket earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, and his Ph.D. from Iowa State University. He conducts nutrition and metabolism research and education programs related to enhancing productivity and health and the formulation and manufacture of quality feeds. His extension program focuses on the nutrition and feeding practices of commercial poultry and fish. He is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor, the highest honor open to faculty members in CALS.

Extension Responsibilities

My extension program deals with issues related to the nutrition and feeding practices of commercial poultry, with an emphasis on meat-type turkeys and broilers. Educational nutrition programs include the Carolina Poultry Nutrition Conference, the Poultry Nutritionist Workshop, the Feed Technology School, feed science workshops, the poultry production workshop, and various short courses, workshops, and seminars about poultry nutrition and feed formulation held periodically throughout the state and abroad. Topics include feed formulation, feed manufacturing technology, quality and nutritional value of ingredients, efficacy of feed additives (coccidiostats, antibiotics, probiotics, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc.), and nutritional factors that affect enteric development, health and meat quality. A considerable effort is focused on in ovo and early nutrition, the evaluation of supplemental enzymes to improve the nutritional value of feed, the evaluation of feed additives that improve enteric health, and the utilization of animal and plant processing co-products as added-value feed ingredients.


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B.S., Agriculture, Animal Science Major, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada (1981)
M.S., Poultry Nutrition, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada (1983)
Ph.D., Animal Nutrition, Meat Science Minor, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (1987)