University of British Columbia. Dept. of Poultry Science

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University of British Columbia. Dept. of Poultry Science

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Dates of existence

1918-1986

History

Established after World War I, the Department of Poultry Science was initially called the Poultry Husbandry Department, and was primarily a place where war veterans could gain practical knowledge of poultry farming. Professor A.G. Lunn, as the first department head, was to oversee the progression of poultry farming from a supplementary form of income for the farmer to the great industry it was to become. The original farm comprised twenty-two acres, with thirty-two breeding pens. The initial chicks were brooded under briquette fired stoves, but this soon changed to the more modern electric or gas brooders. Breeding of chickens, at the time, operated under the R.O.P. (Records of Performance) program, directed from Ottawa. British Columbia became known as a source of good breeding stock, and largely due to the work being done at The University of British Columbia, this was considered the golden era for B.C. poultry prominence. Two early instructors, professors E.A. Lloyd and V.S. Asmundson developed unique breeds, and Lloyd was instrumental in introducing chick sexing from Japan. The depression of the 1930s essentially brought such promising research to an end, and funding was so reduced that Professor Lloyd was, for a time, the sole member of the department. World War II brought a boom to the industry and the department as well. A graduate of the department, Jacob Biely, became first a professor and then, when Professor Lloyd retired in 1953, the head of the Department. It was at this time that the department changed its name to the Poultry Science Department. Professor Biely retired in 1968, and was replaced as head of the department by Professor Warren Kitts. Professor Kitts would become Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences in 1975, yet it was under his auspices that the Poultry Science Department would grow to be the second largest of its kind in Canada. By the late 1970s Dr. Darrell Bragg was department head, and in 1986 the department was discontinued and their programs transferred to the new Department of Animal Science.

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