Interpretive Summary: A revised model of energy transactions and body composition in sheep
By: Victor Hutton Oddy, James C H Dougherty, Mark Evered, Edward H Clayton, James W Oltjen
Based on prior work by Oltjen et al. (2006), a revised dynamic, mechanistic model was developed to improve the prediction of the composition of protein and fat in the body of growing ruminants. The revised model calculates heat production (HP) internally as a function of fasting HP, heat associated with feeding, and HP from changes in fat and protein within the body. Heat associated with product formation is calculated from changes in body protein and fat, with separate efficiencies for each, while heat associated with feeding is a constant proportion of metabolizable energy intake and applies at all levels of feeding above and below maintenance. When evaluated against novel data, the revised model performed similarly to current Australian feeding standards (Freer et al., 2007) Unlike the Freer model, the revised model captures variation in HP arising from feed as well as gain of protein and fat. The revised model explicitly represents protein in the body as two pools with markedly different rates of energy expenditure, improving representation of the underlying biology compared to current feeding systems. This provides a more flexible way to predict energy requirements and body composition in growing animals while achieving similar performance to current feeding systems.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.