Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 12

studies.
The entire facility is monitored by video
cameras that can be used for observing animal
behavior and other data collection.
Feed Intake Monitoring Technology
Unique to the U.S.

In the summer of 2015, phdR&D installed
twenty-four BioControl gates, which are
electronically controlled feeding tubs that are
used to monitor individual cow feed intake.
Each cow in an experiment is assigned to a
specific BioControl gate that is programmed
to open only for a cow's specific RFID tag.
The gate closes automatically once the cow is
finished eating so that no entry can occur by
other cows.
According to Cooney, phdR&D is
currently the only dairy research facility in the
United States that features BioControl gates.
"We are very excited to offer the BioControl
gates to our clients. Having the ability to
record intake for an individual cow over
an entire experiment can be very powerful
information."

A Confidential Advantage

"Having a research facility tied to a large
commercial dairy operation like Pond Hill
Dairy allows the client to have a very specific
pool of cows to choose from. They can narrow
down specific areas for base milk, lactation
or any other status for the cows they want to
test," says Cooney.
Since opening, phdR&D has been the site
of more than twenty trials, with numerous
ongoing projects happening to date and more
scheduled to begin in early 2016.
The phdR&D Facility Infrastructure

phdR&D is comprised of twelve main pens
that can each hold around eight cows apiece.

12

Perspectives Magazine

This number is important for pen replicates
to occur, says Cooney. "For instance, if your
experiment includes three treatments, you
would then need four pens per treatment when
you factor in the control. Based on the number
of variables in your experiment, we can have
numerous different trials happening at once."
The facility has nine tie stalls that can be
used for monitoring individual feed or water
intake, and as metabolism stalls for total
collections. There are also calf hutches used to
monitor individual animals for effects of health
and gain on treatment, according to Cooney.
The farm also has nine rumen-fistulated cows
that can be used for digestibility and bypass

phoenixfeeds.net/magazine

According to Cooney, one major advantage
phdR&D has as a private research facility is
that the client owns one hundred percent of all
trial data collected during each experiment.
"It's entirely up to the client whether they
want to publish the data, use the data for their
marketing, or keep it private," says Cooney.
While Feed Components is a major driver
behind the phdR&D center, Cooney stresses
that phdR&D is a completely private facility,
and that Feed Components is considered a
client just like every other company. "The data
collected at the phdR&D facility is in no way
tied to Feed Components. All research data is
kept confidential from client to client."
According to Dr. Patrick French-a
third partner/owner of phdR&D and Feed
Components-phdR&D does not require
their clients to publish findings from any trials
conducted at the facility. This is especially
important to companies testing products that
are in a pilot testing stage, says French.
"It's inevitable that there will be some
failures during pilot testing that you
wouldn't normally want to have published or
publicized, so the fact that we don't require
our clients to publish data collected at our
facility is important to lots of companies,"
says French. "While pilot testing is done in
labs most of the time, a company still needs
a dependable, controlled venue to test product
performance on animals. This allows phdR&D
to be involved on all phases of product testing
from discovery until it's ready to be brought
to market."

A Hub for Dairy Advancements and
Industry Networking

According to Cooney, phdR&D is more
than just a research facility, but a must-see


http://www.phoenixfeeds.net/magazine

Perspectives - Winter 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Perspectives - Winter 2016

Contents
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Cover1
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Cover2
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Contents
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 4
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 5
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 6
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