Laboratory of Animal Growth LNCA

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The Animal Growth and Nutrition Lab research efforts center around the bioenergetics of growth. We try to understand how nutrients, genetics and hormones control growth and the composition of growth (e.g. muscle and fat). Our main animal model is the ruminant, particularly beef cattle. Development of computer models to predict growth rate and body composition have been developed. These models are also used to predict nutrient requirements for growth. Models were developed into Optimising Softwares used in Decision Making to predict profitability and the optimal end point for quality beef production. Studies at the molecular level aim to understand how nutrients (e.g. conjugated linoleic acid) and hormones (e.g. growth hormone and insulin) alter nutrient partitioning, fat synthesis and regulate whole animal growth. The Lab is pioneer in the studies of feed efficiency and Residual Feed Intake in Nelore cattle. The lab extension efforts include: 1) lab analysis including fatty acid profiles in fats; 2) provide to the industry Softwares for Feed Formulation and Optimisation; 3) provide Software to predict Nutrient Requirements; 4) Conduct experiments with different feed and genetics treatments for the industry; 5) Develop computer models to determine Optimal Slaughter End Point and beef quality; 6) develop automation procedures for feedlots (precision farming solutions).