The Department of Animal Nutrition and Fodder Farming started its activity at the Agricultural Experimental Centre in Gorzyń in 1946. The team, led at that time by Professor Kazimierz Gawęcki, conducted research on breeding swine and in the field of ensilage. In 1960, an experimental pheasant farm was launched to conduct nutritional research on game pheasants. As part of the expansion of the existing experimental centre, in 1979 an experimental henhouse for research on poultry was built. Furthermore, in 1980-1981 a building for research on sheep was built. On April 1, 1993, the existent Station of the Department of Animal Nutrition in Gorzyń was transformed into an independent unit: Animal Nutrition Experimental Centre, which is a specialized teaching and research unit of the University. Currently, the Centre has an experimental henhouse, piggeries and a general animal house. In addition, there is a department of agritourism animals.
The experimental henhouse with an area of 1,200 m2 has 3 rooms for feeding tests on adult poultry (laying hens, turkeys): 240 individual cages for balance tests, 120 collective cages for laying hens (4 birds in each cage) and 6 boxes of 15 m2 each. Experiments on growing birds are conducted in the next three rooms. Chickens are kept there in metal cages, for 10 in each cage. In one room there are 60 cages. In addition, research is carried out on turkeys, ducks, Japanese quails and pigeons.
The piggery has 72 individual pens for carrying out growth tests and 20 metal cages for balance tests, including 52 pens for weaners.
The general animal house was built in 1997. It is intended for conducting strict research on pigs - digestibility tests; and poultry - 144 individual cages for the determination of metabolic energy and amino acid availability. Recently, a room for research on zebra fish (Taeniopygia guttata) has been allocated in the form of 2 aviaries and 24 cages.
The Centre carries out numerous research works under the Scientific Research Committee (KBN) grants, international agreements (Eureka project and the 6th EU Framework Program), own research and statutory activities. Every year, master thesis and other promotional works (doctorates and habitations) are carried out. Most of the research work is carried out for the Department of Animal Nutrition and Fodder Farming. In addition, the Centre performs experiments on the basis of services for other scientific units of the University of Life Sciences in Poznań and for other research centres. Close scientific cooperation includes the Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Jabłonna, the Institute of Animal Science in Kraków, the Universities of Life Sciences in Wrocław and Lublin, the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, the University of Agriculture in Kraków, the Warsaw University of Life Sciences and the Agricultural University of Szczecin. The Centre, under the contract signed with the Agricultural Property Agency of the State Treasury, carries out research work for game breeding centres. Moreover, the Centre carries out cooperation with foreign research centres. In recent years, it mainly involve the Institute of Animal Nutrition of the University of Martin Luther in Halle, TNO Wageningen in the Netherlands and the Univers Aarhus in Denmark.
The main research topic in the poultry department concerns the use of domestic feed (including triticale, post-extraction rapeseed meal and legume seeds) in place of imported components (maize, soybean meal) in mixtures intended for growing and adult poultry. Research is also carried out on the improvement of domestic fodder by using new generation feed enzymes and extrusion techniques. In addition, as part of learning about the nutritional value of feed, the metabolic energy and availability of amino acids in chickens are determined. Research is being carried out on the microbiological status of the gastrointestinal tract.
The research conducted on pigs concerns, inter alia, determining the intestinal digestibility of feed on fistula pigs. This allows for a more accurate knowledge of the nutritional value of the feed. Growth tests are also carried out on weaners and porkers.