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

Factsheet N°3 Models and tools for predicting feed and nutrient utilization in pigs and poultry

Authors: 
Kaposvár University, INRAE, Newcastle University, IRTA, Topigs Norsvin, Cobb, AFZ
Publication date: 
27 January 2020
Full title: 
Factsheet N°3 Models and tools for predicting feed and nutrient utilization in pigs and poultry
Publishing information: 
Feed-a-Gene, January 2020
Abstract: 

Feed-a-Gene Factsheet N°3 The challenge

How are nutrients digested? How are digested nutrients used in metabolism to produce meat and eggs? How does the genotype influence nutrient partitioning? Is it possible to detect perturbations that impair feed intake and growth? Is it possible to estimate the individual variation in a population if we have only a limited number of animals?

These questions can be explored by modelling, since this provides insight in the response of the animal to different scenarios. Different nutritional models have been developed and published, and some have served as a basis to develop software tools. However, few models are readily accessible for users.

Our solutions

Feed-a-Gene has further developed existing models of nutrient digestion and metabolism for pigs and poultry. A robustness module has been developed that detects perturbations and characterizes the response of the animal in terms of resistance and resilience. A stochastic module simulates variation of individuals animals in a group and estimates the heterogeneity of the population.

These models have been implemented in the FeedUtiliGene software tool. Users can play with the models and visually understand their functioning. FeedUtiliGene is a demonstration tool with a modular structure and interactive interface for a better understanding of the response of the animal to different conditions, including feed use mechanisms.
 

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