Animal feeding and nutrition

The aim of the research is focused on nutrition and feeding of domestic ruminants (cattle, sheep and goats and buffaloes). Ruminants provide almostall the milk and over a quarter of the meat consumed worldwide and are fed with fibrous forages and low-quality protein products thanks to the protein bacterial ruminal biosynthesis. The progress of knowledge of ruminants’ metabolism is therefore essential to increase the feed efficiency and reduce the extraction in the environment, in a global context of food and feed shortage.

The research activity is focused on the design and use of laboratory systems for long and short term ruminal fermentation studies, useful for rumen metabolism investigations and feeds and diets nutritional evaluation. Thanks to these laboratory cultures no animals are used for the trials (cruelty-free trials) and cost and time of the experiment is reduced.

Specific research topics concern the mitigation of emissions into the environment (i.e. CH4, N and P), conventional feed or new by-products nutritional evaluation, study and evaluation of functional additives for the improvement of efficiency, reduction of the dysmetabolic status and to the study of the role of the rumen as detoxifying agent of anti-nutritional and toxic substances.

Often, the research activities are carried out in a context of projects with national and international university partners or funded by seed and feed companies. The research group cooperate with University departments of Austria, Scotland, UK and USA.

Scientific staff

Research topics

  • Studies to increase the feed efficiency and reduce the extraction in the environment
  • Conventional feed or new by-products nutritional evaluation, study of functional additives
  • Studies of the reduction of the nutritional dysmetabolic status
  • Animalnutrition and welfare
  • Feed hygiene e food safety