Main research question/goal
What is the nutritional value for animals of alternative feed components, such as concentrate feed materials, by-products of bio-ethanol industry, or new generations of roughages? The answer to this research question is crucial for farmers who want to minimize their feed cost and valorize by-products of the food production chain. Because the profitability of a livestock farm is predominantly determined by the feed cost, many farmers aim to lower this cost. The cost of conventional feed materials is increasing, therefore more and more in-house roughage and by-products are being used. These alternative feed materials can only be incorporated into the ration if they are palatable to the animals and contain the necessary nutrients. The knowledge of the quality and applicability of such products and feed materials for livestock needs to be deepened. Research approach
Using rumen incubation, digestibility trials and feed trials we evaluate the nutritional value and applicability of some alternative feed materials. In this project, we test various components such as concentrate feed materials, by-products of the bio-ethanol industry or roughage (grass-clover). At the same time we evaluate the effect of using alternative feed materials on farm profitability: can feed cost be minimized by using alternative products without negatively affecting zootechnical performance and animal health?Relevance/Valorisation
The cost of feed is becoming more and more important. An increasing number of new products are coming onto the market and it is crucial for the agriculture industry to get information on the nutritional value, possibilities and constraints of these novel products. This knowledge allows the farmer to efficiently implement certain products in the animals’ diet if appropriate to the specific farm management. The project’s results are disseminated to the animal production industry via articles in the agricultural press and presentations at symposia.