Poultry Unit

Poultry, which includes broilers, turkeys and eggs, is North Carolina’s largest agricultural industry, contributing more than $2.8 billion to the state’s economy annually.

Constructed in 2004, the Poultry Unit at the University Farm is a modern facility that serves this industry by meeting the needs of students, researchers and the poultry farming community.


At the Poultry Unit, students in the Department of Animal Sciences learn all aspects of commercial broiler and egg production. They also participate in faculty research projects to broaden their understanding of the science behind poultry health, management and productivity.

For more about education in poultry science and management, check the animal sciences curriculums in the Department of Animal Sciences


Recent research projects are guided by the needs of commercial poultry farms, current trends in food safety, and the production needs of small-scale and limited resource farmers in North Carolina. Recent studies in poultry science at the University Farm include:

  • Managing rearing environments to limit common poultry pathogens, including salmonella and campylobacter − the number one cause of foodborne illness in humans.
  • Using of alternatives to antibiotics for optimizing animal health, including the use of probiotics and extracts from herbs and mushrooms.
  • Evaluating breeds, production systems and food safety issues for small-scale pasture-raised poultry operations.


Coordinator: Mark Paylor, mpaylor@ncat.edu, 336-398-8680