Animal behaviour and animal nutrition science working together to support livestock production

S.A. Edwards, H.A.M. Spoolder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperProfessional


Within livestock production and welfare science, many of the interesting and important questions lie at the interface of traditional fields of study and benefit from an interdisciplinary approach. The effects of nutrition on the behaviour of animals have been widely studied. They range from the basic influence of diet quantity and quality on foraging motivation, and its role in modulation of other important behavioural domains and in abnormal behaviour development in restricted environments, through the more nuanced effects of dietary imbalances on food choice and the effect of specific nutrients on mood and cognition. The effects of behaviour on nutritional questions have perhaps been less well appreciated, though the importance of feeding behaviour and intake patterns on the efficiency of nutrient utilisation are receiving increasing study. New precision
farming technologies, which allow large-scale automated monitoring of feeding and drinking patterns, not only facilitate such studies, but also the use of knowledge of these behaviours in health monitoring and in optimising feeding systems and grazing management. Another important area of research relates to the behaviourally-mediated social constraints and facilitators of feed intake. This includes not only influences from the immediate social environment, but also learnt responses with long term developmental implications and even transgenerational effects. Given these diverse interactive effects of animal behaviour and animal nutrition on livestock production, collaborations between ethologists and nutritionists will continue to be important for future improvements in both efficiency and animal welfare.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 67th annual meeting of the European Association for Animal Production
PublisherEAAP scientific committee
ISBN (Electronic)9789086868308
ISBN (Print)9789086862849
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016
EventEAAP - 67th Annual Meeting 2016: 67th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science - The Waterfront Conference and Exhibition Centre , Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Aug 20162 Sept 2016


ConferenceEAAP - 67th Annual Meeting 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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