In this research field, FiBL focuses on fostering sustainable grassland utilization with ruminants. Such systems should and indeed can meet the full range of demands: ecological aspects, the animals’ physiological and ethological needs, and the demands of food security and food safety. Key issues with a view to meeting these demands include the development of indicators (feeding and ruminating behaviour, digestion parameters, production quality) for the management of grassland-based feeding systems.
A second key issue concerning ruminants and even more so pigs and poultry is the reduction in imported protein concentrate feeds. Here the focus is primarily on developing alternatives to soya based on domestically produced, sustainable sources of protein. Other research is concerned with the efficiency of protein conversion in animal digestion as well as issues concerning defined objectives such as desirable carcass qualities.