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Student and expert exhange at the University of Pannonia again

Student and expert exchange - last year’s programme of great success – continued this June with a new team of participants. On the basis of earlier experiences, this year’s programme was formulated in the way that participants can have the chance to gain new information through presentations by practicing professionals on the one hand, and gain personal and first hand experiences by visiting farms and plants in operation.

As first programme point, a presentation was made about research activities on feedstuffs and nutrition conducted in Keszthely. Such activities include digestibility examinations taking place on the experimental farm of the Georgikon Faculty of the University of Pannonia. With relation to the research, the theoretical background was also presented, including methods to define the nutrient content and digestibility of different feedstuffs. The importance of this research direction lies in the fact that, in case of sick animals, digestive disturbances tend to occur, and the digestibility of nutrients may dramatically change.
Another topic of the presentation included the effect of micotoxins (the toxins of mould) on digestibility, which is a current field of research CEPO project. The speaker highlighted the importance of this field by presenting earlier results achieved in the frames of the project, and gave detailed description about the research concerning the efficiency of different toxin binders. Research on early nutrition was the third topic of the presentation. The importance if this area lies in the fact that, according to experience, the delayed nutrition of day chicks (after hatching) has a negative impact on the development of the immune defence system in the hindgut as well as on body weight gain.

Afterwards, participants listened to a most interesting presentation illustrated by numerous examples from practice and plenty of photos on considerations regarding the formulation of biological defence programmes on farms, in hatcheries and feedmills. The objectives of these programmes are to prevent the entry of pathogens into the flock, which may cause subclinical and clinical diseases as well as zoonoses (disease spreading from animal to human); and to ensure optimal production free from disease.
The presentation included epidemiologic considerations: the outbreaks of epidemic, ways of its spreading and major characteristics, latest prevention and detection methodologies.

After the presentations, the group visited the feed test laboratory of the department of animal sciences as well as the experimental farm mentioned earlier, where detailed information was provided on the work conducted and equipment used.

On the second day of the programme, the group visited the hatchery of Gallus Ltd., the slaughterhouse of Sága Foods in Sárvár and the turkey farms of Pannon Pulyka Ltd. in Bögöte. 
At present, Gallus Ltd. has the best equipped and most modern hatchery with the greatest capacity in the Western-Transdanubian region. The company operates a so-called integrated production system covering a whole range of activities „from field to table”, that is, from producing its own crops to feed its own flocks to making the final meat products ready to cook. In order to be able to supply the system with the necessary amount of feedstuffs, the company keeps contract-based contacts with a network of crop producers (cooperatives as well as private farms) in the area of - among others - Vas, Zala and Győr-Moson-Sopron counties. The slaughterhouse and meat processing plant belonging to the company is in Sárvár. This structure, which may stand as an example for others, is not yet a widespread practice. On the third day of the programme the group visited a typical breeding farm in operation (typical means it represents the average Hungarian farm characteristics). Here, participants got first hand information on challenges emerging in everyday production and efforts made to meet them.

By the help of the network of professional contacts of the organizing party, graduating students of veterinary medicine and experts taking part in the programme had the opportunity to get access to information and aspects that had been less pronounced in their education or everyday work so far. We would like to express our gratitude to the speakers for their presentations tailored to purpose, and look forward to hosting the team of vetmeduni next year again!