Why in animal production feed efficiency is so important?
Feed efficiency improvement in farms is a global challenge because:
- Feed efficiency is important for farmer’s profitability
- Available surface for agriculture and feed/forage production is decreasing
- Human population and food demand are increasing in quantity and quality (animal proteins)
- Feed costs are increasing (direct and inputs)
In the future we should produce more goods with less resources. Feed efficiency is one of the main levers to achieve this target.
Feed efficiency can be measured by different systems according to the type of production. Feed conversion is the ratio between quantity of products produced (eggs/milk/meat…) and feed resources (expressed in dry matter) used to produce it.
- The feed consumption rate is a major challenge in the industrial production of pork and poultry.
- In ruminant production it is complicated to calculate the feed conversion ratio because of the animals heterogeneity in the flock or the grazing period… Nevertheless, as shown in the graph it is still has to be improved.
- In this graph, milk ratio is expressed in litre (about 85% of water). As for the rest of the data they are expressed in kg with a low level of water.