A new assistant professor at Mississippi State University understands the needs of the poultry industry as she works to create cost-effective, nutritionally sound, high quality feed formulations.

Kelley Wamsley recently joined MSU’s Department of Poultry Science and is building a research program focused on developing new cost-effective diets for poultry, Mississippi’s top agricultural commodity. Feed and feed-related manufacturing costs account for 60 to 70 percent of total production costs for poultry producers.

“One small change in a diet, whether in its formulation or manufacture, can have big implications for poultry,” Wamsley said. “It is my job not only to determine how the changes in feed formulation affect its nutritional value, but also to determine how that formulation will affect feed manufacture, feed quality, and ultimately bird performance and economic return.”

An example of a recent change in feed involves the alternative feed ingredient corn distilled dried grains with solubles, called DDGS. This byproduct of corn ethanol conversion has been incorporated into poultry feed for about ten years, but now the market has changed.

“Facilities have begun to extract the oil from DDGS, which has the potential to change its nutritional profile,” Wamsley said. “Thus, it is important to understand the effect of the oil removal on feed manufacture and poultry performance.”

Wamsley and her colleagues are also researching other feed with the goal of saving producers money on poultry diets.

Working on poultry feed and its manufacture is familiar to Wamsley. Her graduate research involved helping improve the feed production and quality of a poultry integrator in West Virginia.

As a researcher in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Wamsley will work closely withthe state’s poultry industry.

“We are thrilled to have someone with Kelley’s experience to assist the industry in new diet formulations and producing outstanding feed products,” said Mary Beck, head of MSU’s Department of Poultry Science. “She is a great asset to the university and to Mississippi’s poultry industry.”

Wamsley, a West Virginia native, earned her bachelor’s degree in animal and nutritional sciences and her master’s and doctoral degrees in animal and food science with a concentration in poultry nutrition and feed manufacture, all from West Virginia University.