An increasing global population and an increasing demand for animal protein has increased the pressure on commercial farming systems. Efficiency is therefore critical, ensuring appropriate growth, balanced with maintaining high standards of welfare. Animal feed represents a significant outgoing for farmers and many commercially purchased feeds also come at significant environmental cost. Growing crops at distance to the farm increases the carbon footprint and the use of imported soya is problematic. Adapting ways of working is crucial, ensuring a balance between optimum growth rates of livestock, ensuring the health and welfare of the animals is maintained, whilst sourcing feed sustainably and locally, potentially complementing farming practices such as crop rotation. For farmers to have confidence in changing feeding regimes, evidence is required demonstrating that pigs will consume locally grown food and reach weight targets in a timely manner. Furthermore, such a change in diet for the animals should be confirmed to result in no negative impact on consumer experience.
Together with our industrial partner at East Durham College, we are undertaking a project which aims to showcase the potential benefits of producing animal feed on the same site as the animals are reared.
Any questions to Dr Amy Miller
Contact details and further information here: https://research.tees.ac.uk/en/persons/amy-miller