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Efficient pig and poultry production: what did we learn from Feed-a-Gene?

Abstract : The objective of Feed-a-Gene (H2020 grant agreement 633531) was to adapt the feed, the animal and the feeding techniques to improve the efficiency and sustainability of monogastric livestock production systems. Efficiency is a complex trait affecting the components of sustainability. Imported soybean meal is a high-quality protein source, but its use can have environmental and social impacts. Technological treatments applied to European-grown protein sources (i.e. soybean meal, rapeseed meal, and green biomass) allow to obtain fractions with different nutritional characteristics that can be fed to different livestock species. Replacing Brazilian soybean meal with locally-produced protein sources reduced energy cost and impact on climate change, but resulted in a transfer of land-use and in more arable land use. Novel traits indicative for feed efficiency were developed and tested (e.g. individual feed intake in broilers, genomic information on nitrogen efficiency, large-scale measurements of digestibility in individual pigs, blood metabolites, and behavioural traits). These traits can be used in livestock management strategies, and digestibility, microbiota, and blood biomarkers appeared promising for genetic selection. Different mathematic models were developed to assess digestive and metabolic efficiency, animal robustness, and variation among animals. A userfriendly tool was developed allowing users to work with these models. Prototypes of precision feeding systems were developed for broilers, growing pigs, and sows. These systems adjust the type of feed to the daily changing nutritional requirements of individual or groups of animals. Precision feeding in pigs reduced key environmental impacts and increased profitability compared to conventional feeding systems.
Keywords : pig poultry efficiency
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Conference papers
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Contributor : Jacob van Milgen <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 5:36:30 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 4, 2021 - 2:40:21 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-03047211, version 1



Jaap van Milgen, K Bach Knudsen, A Jansman, V Halas, J Pomar, et al.. Efficient pig and poultry production: what did we learn from Feed-a-Gene?. 71. Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), EAAP, Dec 2020, Virtual meeting, Portugal. ⟨hal-03047211⟩



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