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Development of predictive systems to relate animal and feed characteristics to amounts and patterns of forage intake - DS0409

The main objective is to establish a set of biological rules which can be used to predict the amounts and patterns of forage, and total food, consumption by ruminant animals (especially dairy cows) based on measurable characteristics of the forages , other foods and the animals. The rules will be incorporated into biologically sound computerised models which, with little further development coud be applied in practice. Development of models will be the integrating theme for the proposal from the SAC consortium. Models will be of two kinds: (a) biologically sound and statistically based refinements of existing ''predictors' using genetic and physical descriptors of cows, and new analytical information on forages; and (b) theoretical models, of a kind which have previously been developed successfully with non-lactating animals and which will be enhanced for application to lactating animals and to deal with the challenge of understanding within-day feeding behaviour.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 1998

Cost: £530,934
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Scottish Agricultural College
Fields of Study