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Mike Persia

John W. Hancock Professor and Extension Specialist, Poultry Nutrition & Management
Professional photo of Dr. Mike Persia.
School of Animal Sciences
3060 Litton-Reaves Hall
175 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

The overarching focus of Dr. Persia’s research program aims to increase the efficiency of poultry (meat and egg) production through the characterization, understanding and manipulation of bird digestive processes. This aim will be accomplished by generating a better understanding of the nutrient requirements and costs of maintaining healthy gastro-intestinal structure and function and by quantifying the effects of various dietary treatments on nutrient utilization and overall bird performance. Diverse tools will be developed and utilized to evaluate progress, including classical nutrition, physiology, histology and molecular techniques.

Increasing dietary efficiency directly translates into the second research goal/interest of nutrient management. Not only does the efficient use of dietary nutrients to generate salable eggs or meat products result in increased profit, it also reduces the amount of nutrients lost in fecal material (a low value by-product of poultry production). The effects of dietary manipulation of poultry diets will be evaluated in collaboration with college colleagues to minimize the environmental impact of poultry production and result in data leading to a more sustainable poultry model.

A third research goal/interest of the Persia research program is related to the direct needs of the poultry and allied industries in the State of Virgina, the Mid-Atlantic region, the Nation and Internationally. This research will be in collaboration with the industry and will be responsive to short-term critical needs and longer-term more strategic needs and discovery type research.

APSC 2104 – Poultry Laboratory (1 credit spring semester)

APSC 4404 – Poultry Enterprise Management (4 credits fall semester)

  1. Persia, M.E., Interviewed by US News and World Reports for Why Are Eggs So Expensive Right Now? Published online March 28, 2024.
  2. Persia, M.E. Evaluation of aragonite as a calcium source in laying hen diets. Video hosted by  Feb 15, 2024.
  3. Persia, M.E. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza 2022-2024. Presented at the 2024 VCE Virtual Winter Meeting.  February 5, 2024.
  4. Persia, M.E. Exploring Energy Optimization in Laying Hens. Presented on the Poultry Nutrition Blackbelt Podcast #24. November, 29, 2023.
  5. Persia, M.E. Nutrition101: Feeding chickens in small flocks. Presented at Do’s and Don’ts of raising chickens, Chatham, VA, May 24, 2023.
  6. Persia, M.E. Hen Nutrition and Egg Quality. Presented at the 29th Annual National Egg Quality School, Minneapolis, MN May 22, 2023.
  7. Persia, M.E. Evaluation of corn particle size on the growth performance, gut permeability, pellet quality, and litter moisture of turkey hens. Video published by Feb 24, 2023.
  8. Persia, M.E. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza 2022/2023 5 Minute Update. Presented at the VCE Winter Meeting – Program Area Updates. Feb 9, 2023.
  9. Persia, M.E. Why Are Eggs So Expensive? Article published by The Dispatch on Jan 26, 2023.


Selected Publications    

  1. Lyons, A.M., J.S. Moritz, J.W. Boney, and M.E. Persia. 2024. Evaluation of corn particle size on the growth performance, intestinal permeability, pellet quality, and litter moisture of turkey hens raised without antibiotics. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 33:100420.
  2. Fritzlen, C.J. K.M. Wilson, J.M. Studer, and M.E. Persia. 2024. Effects of essential oils and betaine on male broilers raised on used litter seeded with coccidia oocysts. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 33:100417.
  3. Lyons, A.M., C.A. Granghelli and M.E. Persia. 2023. Estimating energy utilization in laying hens: What are the best response criteria? J. Appl. Poult. Res. 32:100357.
  4. Sizmaz, O., N.W. Barrett, J. Lewis, H. Yakout and M.E. Persia. 2022. Effect of various concentration of butyric acid on growth performance, intestinal lesion scores, and body composition of broilers raised on used litter. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 31:100296.
  5. Sarsour, A.H. and M.E. Persia. 2022. Effects of sulfur amino acid supplementation on broiler chickens exposed to acute and chronic cyclic heat stress. Poult. Sci. 101-101952.
  6. Sarsour, A.H., D.A. Koltes, E.J. Kim and M.E. Persia. 2022. Effects of a direct fed microbial (DFM) on broiler chickens exposed to acute and chronic cyclic heat stress in two consecutive experiments. Poult. Sci. 101-101705.
  7. Granghelli, C.A. and M.E. Persia. 2022. Non-phytate phosphorus requirements of egg laying pullets from 0-3 weeks of age and carryover effects of phosphorus deficiency of pullets at 6, 9, 12 and 18 weeks of age. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 31:100227
  8. Sarsour, A.H. and M.E. Persia. 2022. Lysine and sulfur amino acid requirements of broiler chicks over short time periods within the starter phase.  J. Appl. Poult. Res. 31:100201
  9. Sarsour, A.H., J.T. Lee, K. Haydon and M.E. Persia. 2021. Tryptophan requirement of first-cycle commercial laying hens in peak egg production. Poult. Sci. 100:100896.

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