The inherent efficiency of ruminants and restoring their natural productivity

Dr Javier Martin-Tereso discusses the inherent efficiency of ruminants and the goal of restoring their natural production capacity, which is yet another step towards producing sustainable animal protein.

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The inherent efficiency of ruminants and restoring their natural productivity

Dr Javier Martin-Tereso, Manager of Ruminant Research for Trouw Nutrition, was interviewed after he addressed the audience during the symposium which marked the official opening of Trouw Nutrition's new Calf & Beef Research Facility in the Netherlands last April. In his interview, Dr Martin-Tereso spoke about the inherent efficiency of ruminants and about Trouw Nutrition's goal of restoring their natural production capacity.

Contrary to popular belief, Dr Martin-Tereso explained that ruminants are actually inherently quite efficient. And, as such they are, in fact, a truly sustainable means to produce animal protein. And how exactly are they inherently efficient? He pointed out that ruminants have the unique ability to transform resources that are otherwise inedible, such as fibres and non-protein nitrogen, into edible proteins such as milk and meat. Since they can consume resources that other animals cannot use, ruminants are quite efficient. Indeed, while other species need to consume food stuffs that could be consumed by other animals or humans, it is ruminants alone that can eat resources that are otherwise not food and transform them into food.

Dr Martin-Tereso also emphasized that Trouw Nutrition is further improving sustainability in the dairy sector by optimizing calf rearing, which has been shown to have a positive impact on future performance. Traditional systems which have restricted the amount of milk fed early in life have stunted the health and milk production capacity of bovines. He underscored that through the provision of higher planes of nutrition, and the implementation of additional calf management techniques, as Trouw Nutrition's LifeStart program advocates, bovines can reach their full genetic potential. As Dr Martin-Tereso points out, helping them reach that potential is yet another step towards higher levels of sustainability, through gains in health, longevity and performance.

And, in Dr Martin-Tereso's eyes, sustainable production of animal protein is truly the goal.

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