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EGS-ABG : European Graduate School in Animal Breeding and Genetics

Resource allocation in farm animals

Nr : 7-SLU-APT

Topic :
Resource allocation in farm animals

Host Institutions :
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden)
AgroParisTech (France)

Summary :
The purpose of this project is to construct mathematical models that combine resource allocation and feed efficiency, and use those to explore the consequences of various breeding objectives. The project involves mathematical modeling, stochastic simulation and comparative analysis of data from dairy cows and sows. These two livestock species differ in their reproductive pattern and resource allocation strategies. Existing resource allocation models will be expanded to include heritable variation for key parameters of these models. Moreover, integration with nutritional models describing the digestive process is anticipated. Experimental data are available for calibrating and validating the models. Resource allocation theory suggests that genetic relationship (trade-offs) between measurable traits depend on environmental conditions, and defining breeding in terms of such measurable traits may lead to suboptimal genetic progress. The project will evaluate this hypothesis, particularly focusing on the effect of feeding regimes and in the context of increased emphasis on feed efficiency in livestock production. Global feed security and environmental friendly livestock production are high on the international agenda.

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