Adapting the feed, the animal and the feeding techniques to improve the efficiency and sustainability of monogastric livestock production systems
Adapting the feed, the animal and the feeding techniques to improve the efficiency and sustainability of monogastric livestock production systems

WP3 Modelling biological functions with emphasis on feed use mechanisms

WP leader: Veronika Halas (Kaposvár University)
Involved partners: KU, INRA, UNEW, IRTA, COBB, AFZ

Objectives

The aim is to develop models and a tool for predicting and assessing feed and nutrient utilisation in pigs and poultry of different genotypes maintained under different environments, including access to different feeds. Emphasis will be given to the interactions between genotype and nutrition at digestive, metabolic and output levels, including nutrient excretion. The framework will be used as the basis to develop a Decision Support System (DSS). The specific objectives are:

  • develop a simulation model to predict digestive utilisation of feed and nutrients in pigs and poultry;
  • develop a simulation model to predict the metabolic utilisation and partitioning of nutrients;
  • develop models to account for (environmental) disturbances and robustness in pig and poultry systems;
  • include variation in the different components of the system (i.e., environment, feed composition and animal genotype) to account for their effect and for variation in the response among individual animals;
  • deliver a Decision Support System integrating the concepts and models described above.

Approach

In the proposed models, a dynamic and mechanistic approach will be used. This approach enables a generic representation of digestion and metabolism in different monogastric species. It focuses on biological commonalities among monogastric animals, while allowing the representation of aspects that are species or production specific. Apart from quantitative aspects of feed efficiency and nutrient transformation, qualitative aspects of meat and egg production will also be addressed. An innovation in the developed models is that they can cope with disturbances of environmental factors and the response of the animal to these disturbances, and predict the variation in the responses among individual animals within a herd or a flock.

Tasks

  • Task 3.1: Digestive utilisation of feed and nutrients (M1-M36)
  • Task 3.2: Metabolic utilisation of feed and nutrients (M1-M36)
  • Task 3.3: Accounting for environmental variability, system disturbance and robustness (M4-M42)
  • Task 3.4: Accounting for variation among individuals (stochasticity) in nutrient digestion and metabolism processes (M1-M48)
  • Task 3.5: Delivery of a Decision Support Tool (M6-M60)