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Mellata lab's virtual reality poultry research featured on local news and radio

hens in a VR-enriched enclosure.

Recently, the Mellata lab has had an exciting pilot study featured on local news and radio.

Their interdisciplinary research examined the effect of virtual reality stimuli on chicken wellbeing.

Virtual reality screens depicting free-range animals were installed in 15-week old laying hen enclosures. Birds that enjoyed a VR experience were found to display decreased stress indicators and increased immunity indicators compared to their untreated peers.

Dr Mellata is quoted as saying “We need more research, but this suggests virtual reality could be a relatively simple tool to improve poultry health in confined environments and improve food safety.... Future research in collaboration with our partners in veterinary medicine is also needed to investigate the neurochemical mechanisms linking the visual stimuli to changes in the chickens’ intestines."

Read the news stories here:

Radio Iowa: ISU research finds health benefits for chickens watching virtual reality

KCRG news: Researchers at ISU say virtual reality could boost health in poultry

Iowa State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences news release