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The seed cake and kernel meal from this genotype have been demonstrated to be excellent protein-rich feed resources for addition to poultry, swine, turkey, fish and shrimp diets. It can also be safely fed to small and large ruminants FAO d. The seeds of this non-toxic genotype have oil and protein contents similar to those in the toxic genotype. Germplasm improvement for yields and other useful traits and cultivation of the non-toxic genotype of J.

Glycerol, a co-product of biodiesel production, is produced in a volume that is one-tenth of the original oil taken for biodiesel. A substantial amount of glycerol is available for the feed industry. It is a good energy source for animals and guidelines for its safe use for different animal categories are discussed in FAO d.

It may be noted that glycerol produced from biodiesel production from oil obtained from the toxic genotype of J. Other novel feed resources: Barley is fed to animals as grain, green foliage and fodder hay and silage and often has quality superior to that of other fodder crops McCartney and Vaage ; Abbeddou et al. It is a rapidly growing crop and has high nutritive value for both food and feed uses and requires fewer supplements for nutritive balance than many other fodder sources.

Barley is already a viable green fodder crop in developed countries, e. Barley occupies specific niches in cropping systems because of its response to cool weather, low water availability and productivity in marginal soil; it offers potential in enhancing land-use efficiency. Also mutants with low lignin, without awns and reduced lodging are available Meyer et al. These useful traits could be considered for introduction in local varieties in use in Asian countries. The improved lines of barley could be valuable feed resources that could fit well in the feeding calendar for the winter months especially in hilly areas where other feed resources are scarce.

Winter oat also enjoys many traits common to winter barley and it is also a useful forage Salgado et al. Further integration and incorporation of research work on other food-feed crops such as sorghum, millet, oat, wheat etc being conducted in a number of CGIAR and other international institutions with the aim to enhance nutritional quality of crop residues into the work of National Agricultural Research Systems will contribute to further increasing the utilization of crop residues.

In addition, spill-over effects of the intensive research efforts on utilization of crop residues for generation of second generation biofuel is expected to benefit livestock feed industry in future. Azolla also needs to be promoted, and thornless cactus is a good feed for small ruminants in the dry areas FAO, b. Leaves of Moringa oleifera are high in crude protein and almost all the crude protein is present in the form of true protein. In addition, the amino acid composition and protein digestibility is as good as soybean over 92 per cent.

Furthermore the leaves are rich in carotenoids, vitamin C and other antioxidants Makkar and Becker ; Foidl et al. Its intensive cultivation dense plantation with the application of fertilizer and water supply, gives a dry matter yield of up to tonnes per hectare, with seven to eight cuttings in a year Foidl et al. This is a novel approach in which a fast-growing tree such as moringa was densely planted and was not allowed to turn into a tree by cutting the plant every 45 to 50 days to obtain high forage biomass of high quality for feeding to livestock.

This approach of turning a fast-growing tree into a forage plant after dense plantation and frequent cuttings should also be tried on other fast-growing plants that give high quality forage. Examples of such plants are mulberry and leucaena, among others. Using forages such as moringa that have high leaf yield with high protein of as good a quality as soybean, an integrated monogastric and ruminant feeding system can be supported.

The protein content of moringa leaves is 25 per cent and that of soybean is 40 per cent both on dry matter basis. The fibre content of moringa leaves is also very low and so is lignin. Dry matter yield of tonnes per hectare and year of moringa forage, if containing approximately six per cent leaves and the remainder soft stems and twigs, would give approximately 7. The remaining Average soybean yield is 2.

This is one of the examples wherein a feed ingredient that competes with human food can be replaced in the diets of monogastric animals with a lesser-known or unconventional feed resource. Similarly, protein isolates prepared from unconventional oilseed cakes and agroindustrial by-products with the addition of synthetic amino acids, in case they are deficient in an amino acid s , could be attractive options for feeding monogastric animals. Scientific options are available to implement the concept of 'sustainable animal diets' being developed at FAO which consider the suggestion of reducing grains and other food materials in diets of monogastric animals as they compete with human food Makkar b.

Lesser known plants: A challenge facing animal nutritionists is to introduce and promote alternative feed resources that have high nutritive value and are adapted to harsh environmental conditions. Wild under-utilized plant resources should therefore receive more attention. A number of other lesser-known and under-utilized plants adapted to local, harsh conditions are available today. The neglect of such potentially excellent animal feed resources also results in loss of biodiversity.

In lieu of this, the cultivation and judicious use of such plants as feed resources is expected to enhance plant biodiversity. Thus, there is a need to identify such potential feed resources and use them to conserve biodiversity. Many lesser-known plants with good nutritional values and high palatability are already in use in some pockets of the world; if their use as animal feed is promoted, they would enhance animal productivity in addition to contributing to conservation of plant biodiversity. Twenty lesser-known plants with potential for use as livestock feed have been identified FAO e.

Collaborative efforts among scientists and farmers must particularly be directed towards establishing and developing innovative feeding systems using high-protein fodders from promising species of trees and shrubs that are adapted to harsh environmental conditions. The ultimate objective of future research on lesser-known plants should be to:. In addition, tropical and subtropical areas house plants that have a wide range of bioactive compounds.

Due to harsh environmental conditions, the levels and distribution of compounds with bioactivities are much higher in tropical areas than in temperate zones. Most developing countries have tropical and subtropical climates and they need to recognize the tremendous plant wealth they have. The use of natural plant products in the developed world is in vogue and tropical plants could be valuable sources of a number of bioactive compounds that could replace synthetic ones that have adverse effects on humans, animals and the environment. Concerted efforts including South-South cooperation are required to exploit these untapped and hidden resources present in the form of lesser-known or lesser-used tropical plants.

Insects: Some insects such as the black soldier fly or Hermetia illucens , maggots larvae of the housefly Musca domestica , yellow mealworm Tenebrio molitor , silkworms Anaphe infracta and grasshoppers e. Oxya hyla hyla are also good sources of protein and macro-and microminerals. The protein content of insects could range from 40 to 60 per cent on a dry matter basis, with protein quality as good as muscle protein Feedipedia They are also good sources of iron, zinc, vitamin A and polyunsaturated fatty acids; and have been found to be good feed ingredients for poultry and pig diets Newton et al.

1. Introduction

In addition, insects are considered to be better converters of feed into protein than conventional livestock and they may also release lower greenhouse gases per unit of protein production than ruminants. The challenge at present is to establish economically viable insect mass-rearing techniques that give large and regular outputs of insects for use by the feed industry. Also, a regulatory framework needs to be developed for safe use of the insects as animal feed, which also includes registration of insects as a feed.

Preparation of protein isolates from non-edible insects and feeding to monogastric animals including aquaculture species could also be an attractive option. Preparation of protein isolates from such insects could be a way to eliminate toxins and anti-nutritional factors present in non-edible insects. In addition, insects could also be a source of several bioactive compounds with agricultural and pharmaceutical applications.

Cultivated land under fodder production has decreased in Asia. In India, the area under cultivated fodder has decreased by approximately 10 per cent in the last decade GOI This means that more fodder needs to be produced from a smaller area.

However, in Asia, fodder production is largely carried out using uncertified seeds. As a result, the fodder yields are low. A number of steps e. There is a need to strengthen the fodder seed production system through enhancing coordination between these organizations. Also strengthening collaboration between crop and animal husbandry research institutions and public-private institutions will further strengthen the production and distribution of certified and transparently-labelled fodder seeds. In addition, policies must encourage private companies to produce and market fodder seeds.

From the same land area, use of certified or transparently-labelled seeds could double fodder production.

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In addition, common lands should be developed for fodder production. Globally, out of 14 billion hectares, 4. Rao describes approaches for using common lands for fodder production.

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Production and use of Napier grass in the dairy areas around Chiang Mai in Thailand, promoted through an FAO project, have also resulted in increased availability of fodder and higher profit for farmers Waritthitham The farmers have been successful in reducing the cost of feeding while obtaining the same or slightly higher milk yield personal observations.

In many situations, the cost of nutrients protein, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A supplied through green fodder is expected to be much lower than that from other sources. Use of green fodder could decrease the cost of feed and contribute to decreasing dependence of livestock industry on imported feed ingredients, thus enhancing their sustainability and making them more resilient.

Control of intestinal parasites: Internal parasites divert feed nutrients from the production of animal products to their own development. In addition, the presence of parasites decreases intake and digestibility of feed. Smallholder farmers find anthelmintics expensive and under such systems the use of validated herbs and plant materials could be used to control internal parasites. A study conducted in Bangladesh, the Philippines and Indonesia showed that the efficacy of pineapple leaves in controlling helminthes is equivalent to fenbendazole IAEA , , and also feeding of calliandra, sericea and cassava leaves and other tannincontaining plants was also effective in controlling helminthes Min et al.

The antiparasitic effect of pineapple leaves is attributed to the presence of bromolein a cystein protease Makkar et al. These and other tropical leaves could be effective substitutes for expensive synthetic anthelmintics, against which resistance of internal parasites has also been increasingly recorded.

Mineral addition in the diet: For maximum nutrient availability in the rumen for the production of microbial protein and other fermentation products required for productive purposes such as milk production, growth, reproduction etc. Suboptimal rumen fermentation can decrease nutrient availability from feed by up to 15 per cent, which is a loss of valuable nutrients.

It may be noted that for ruminants, 'We feed the microbes and microbes feed the animals'. Correction of mineral deficiency in the field has been shown to increase milk production by 10 to 15 per cent in dairy cows. In sheep 60 per cent of anoestrus females came into oestrus within 15 to 21 days and the remaining 40 per cent after 42 days of mineral supplementation FAO b.

Conventionally, when compared to ruminants, monogastric animals are considered to have higher efficiency of protein production from feed. However, following the current feeding practices, almost all the sources that provide protein to the diets of monogastric animals compete with human food, while this is not the case for ruminant diets. Over one billion people go to bed hungry every day for want.

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On the other hand, meat plays an important role in meeting protein and mineral requirements of pregnant mothers and growing children in developing countries. Therefore, producing meat from ruminants using feed that does not compete with human food would be a viable and attractive option for enhancing food security. Furthermore, in future, increase in cost of cereals, energy and other inputs compounded by increasing competition for arable land for fuel, food and fuel will impose a challenge on economic viability and overall sustainability of the present monogastric production system.

Two billion tonnes of straw are produced worldwide and considering feed conversion efficiency of potential exists to produce million tonnes of live animal annually million tonnes of meat , which could support four billion people at 25kg per year Devendra and Leng A study on the effects of supplementation of a low-quality pasture hay with cottonseed meal CSM , barley or sorghum grain young cattle were given poor quality pasture hay and minerals and then given graded amounts of the various supplements according to their live weight - McLennan et al. Using data from a number of growth trials on the effect of supplementing young cattle kg live weight, grazing dry pasture or given straw with a protein meal such as CSM, the analysis of Leng can be summarized as:.

In practice, a supplement such as oilseed meal, which is usually more expensive then the basal feed here basal feed being crop residues , should rarely be fed at above 0. Interestingly, daily oilseed cake supplementation in the diet at a level of 0. When used strategically, the utilization of oilseed cakes as useful products in ruminants should not be undervalued. The absolute value of the efficiency of oilseed meal conversion into body weight will depend on the type and quality of the crop residues and genetic potential of animals, and hence call also for enhancing the genetic potential of local ruminant livestock.

In a similar vein, rabbit production also needs the attention of policy-makers and science managers as they can be reared on a diet containing high content of forages Makkar and Singh ; de Blas and Wiseman and their reproductive efficiency is very high. Greater emphasis on development of ruminants and rabbit production for meat production would also contribute substantially to pulling smallholder farmers out of poverty and in making economic growth inclusive because these species are generally reared by poor farmers.

It is evident from the aforesaid discussion that technological options are available to meet the high demand for animal products while conserving the environment, biodiversity and natural resources; however for optimal delivery of solutions proper institutional support and sound policies are required. Technology and institutions must work together, and policies must provide an enabling environment for this to come about.


Common sense must prevail. Animal diets have the same importance for animals as human diets have for humans. Animal nutrition must get due attention, especially at the policy level and funding by donors. So far this area has remained neglected. As a result of this neglect the full genetic potential of animals is not realized in the field and the animal health and animal reproductive interventions are not as effective as they should be.

Animal feeding is the foundation of livestock production systems and animal breeding and reproduction and animal health are the two pillars. If the foundation is weak, the building is likely to crumble. Abbeddou, S. Rihawi, S. Hess, H. Brochures Press releases Videos Newsletter. Project results. Scientific papers. Effect of feed restriction on the environmental variability of birth weight in divergently selected lines of mice. Genetics Selection Evolution, Formoso-Raferty N. Use of a dynamic mechanistic broiler model to reduce environmental footprint.

Dukhta G. A decision support tool for sustainable swine nutrition. Halas V. Dissecting total genetic variance into additive and dominance components of purebred and crossbred pig traits. Journal of Animal Science, 23 May Tusell L. Tusell et al Sanchez et al Sarri L. Sarri et al Deliverable D6.

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Feed-a-Gene, April Using group records of feed intake to select for feed efficiency in rabbit. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics. Piles et al preprint. Dusart et al Dusart et al Powerpoint presentation. Phenotype and multi-tissue transcriptome response to diet changes in laying hens. Brenet M. Brenet et al abstract. Deliverable D2. Feed-a-Gene, February The post-weaning environment in which gilts are raised can ultimately impact reproduction as well.

Moreover, Kuhlers et al. Gilts reared in the smaller groups ultimately farrowed one more pig per litter than did gilts reared in larger groups. Thus, an enormous amount of research has been conducted to determine the effect of various environmental factors to which gilts are exposed from birth onward, with reproductive capacity they ultimately achieve as the measured endpoint.

Indeed, an exciting and growing body of evidence supports the notion that the maternal environment in which gilt fetuses develop plays a profound role in the development of the reproductive and other physiologic systems. Cell division begins soon after and the fertilized egg passes into the uterus by the third day post-mating. Cell specialization and rearrangement begins by the sixth day. Eleven day-old embryos begin to show signs of attachment to the lining of the uterus and true implantation and formation of the placenta occurs around day By this time within the embryo the ectoderm, mesoderm, and entoderm are clearly formed and cell specialization continues.

From the ectoderm arise the skin, mammary and sweat glands, hair and hoofs, the intestinal lining, teeth enamel and the nervous system. From the entoderm arise components of the digestive tract, thyroid gland, trachea, and lungs. From the mesoderm arise the skeleton, skeletal muscle, connective tissue, blood vessels, blood cells, heart, smooth muscle, adrenal glands, reproductive organs, and the kidneys.

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  7. Many of the major organs can be seen by day 20 post-mating. The size of the developing fetuses increases tremendously during the last half of the gestation period. Shown in Table 1 are some important chronological events in the prenatal growth of female swine, and emphasize the development of reproductive organs. Fetal programming refers to the process by which an acute or chronic stimulus in utero i.

    When reviewing the time course of fetal development of the pig described in the preceding paragraph and Table 1, it becomes intuitive that depending on the nature and timing of the stimulus, various physiological systems can be differentially impacted. In that study, gestating crossbred sows were allocated to one of two treatment groups: control or stressed. Female offspring were checked for estrus twice daily beginning at days of age. This method of sow housing, however, is the most contentious welfare issue facing pork producers. This restricted freedom of movement has been, and continues to be, robustly criticized by animal rights and animal welfare activists who proclaim that gestation stalls are inherently stressful and do not provide for sow well-being.

    On the basis of a comprehensive review of the scientific literature, however, McGlone et al. We conducted an experiment utilizing a total of 56 gilts, which compared pregnancy rates and the number of embryos present 30 days post-mating in females group-housed in pens of three or housed individually in gestation stalls. Between groups, there were no differences in the proportion of animals displaying stereotypies, defined as repeated movements, oral activities without obvious finality, rooting and nosing. Group-housed gilts gained significantly more weight than did gilts housed in stalls.

    We are now in the midst of an investigation funded in by the Virginia Pork Industry Board, the objective of which is to determine if the type of housing in which sows gestate impact subsequent reproduction in gilt offspring. Gilts were mated by artificial insemination AI and allotted to one of three types of gestation housing: I. At day of gestation, gilts were moved to the farrowing barn. Data for the experimental females is contained in Table 2 and graphically depicted in Figure 1.

    Barrow pigs were cross-fostered among litters within a treatment group so that sows were nursing an approximately equal number of pigs There were no significant effects of treatment on litter size, although there was a trend for a greater number of pigs born alive for females kept in stalls throughout gestation or in stalls for the first thirty days post-mating and group pens for the remainder of pregnancy, compared to gilts kept in group pens throughout gestation. The body weights of gilts pigs were similar at birth and at weaning At weaning, gilts were placed in nursery pens each containing three pigs farrowed exclusively by gilts exposed to one of the three gestation housing systems described above.

    During the 5-week nursery phase of the study, average daily gain and feed conversion efficiency were similar among groups Table 3. Thus, piglet growth during the lactation and nursery phases was unaffected by the type of gestation housing to which the dams were exposed. This suggests that if gestation housing does indeed affect gilt offspring performance via fetal programming, the effects are manifested later in life and not during early postnatal growth.