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Feeding young livestock
The first weeks of young livestock are characterized by the most challenging time of feeding, requiring all attention from nutritionists, to optimize nutrient and energy supply according to requirements, to understand the development of the gastrointestinal tract, and to find feed ingredients suitable for the intake behavior and growth rate of young livestock. For piglets and calves, weaning is a stressful time, often associated with reduced feed intake, little or no weight gain, high prevalence for diseases and marked changes in the structure and function of the gastrointestinal tract.
For poultry, a variety of physiological and morphological changes occur in young birds before and after hatching. Several nutritional factors affect immune response, nutrient and energy retention, development of the gastrointestinal tract, and meat quality. New methods to feed birds before hatch can increase hatching weight, growth performance, and proportion of muscle weight of broiler chickens. Optimizing this phase in life therefore lays the foundation for an optimized performance later on.
In the 18th BOKU Symposium Tierernährung 2019 several aspects related to the nutrition of young livestock are discussed.
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