Future Developments

The potential is great for improving our knowledge to optimize the nutrition of livestock, understanding the interactions between nutrients, quantitating the productive responses to varying nutrient inputs, and improving the economic return from the feeding of livestock. With genetic changes in livestock and the use of additives, the potential exists to produce livestock with improved efficiency that are better suited to consumer desires. Progress has already been made in increasing the leanness of animals with less waste fat (42). Through better understanding of metabolic processes, it may be possible to produce foods of animal origin with enhanced nutritional value. The potential impact of advanced technologies on animal productivity has been estimated (43).

Better and faster analysis of feed ingredients will enable more accurate formulation of livestock diets. Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy is a promising technique in this regard. Enzyme assay may give rapid estimates of nutrient bioavailability in feeds. New and improved methods of processing feeds will improve their utilization, resulting in less animal waste. Through plant breeding, introduction of new strains, and biotechnology (44), feed materials will be improved to better meet the nutritional needs of livestock or lower the content of natural toxicants. High-lysine corn and canola meal are examples of what can be accomplished in this regard.

Table 6. Intakes per Animal and Example Diets


g/kg Diet

Growing chickens, 20-160 g Id

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