Main research question/goal
Efficient animal production depends not only on performance and feed cost; the value of the end product and the emissions to the environment are also important. In this project we examine which feeding strategies lead to both optimal performance and minimal excretion into the environment.Research approach
We test the effect of different feeding strategies on performance results and emissions of nitrogen into the environment. To do so, we do performance trials with optimal or suboptimal amino acid levels in different growth stages. The effect on growth performance (daily gain, feed conversion ratio) and carcass quality are the main outputs. Based on these results, the amount of nitrogen excreted per kg of growth is calculated.Relevance/Valorisation
Livestock production represents 58% of total final production of agriculture in Flanders. Environmental legislation is becoming stricter, together with growing pressure from the European community. Nitrogen emission is a major problem and the livestock sector has a great responsibility for this. The pig industry is also facing a crisis based partly on a sharp increased cost of soybean products, which are an important source of protein. This is another reason why an optimal feeding strategy, one which accounts for both economy and ecology, is more important than ever for sustainable pig farming.