Improving the economic benefits and competitiveness of ruminant farms through technological innovation is at the centre of this programme’s research. It focuses on dairy and meat cattle management, nutrition and behaviour in order to reduce their environmental impact and ensure animal welfare and milk and meat quality. It also works on the development of new recombinant proteins that improve animal efficiency at a low cost, as well as on the isolation and identification of new probiotic/prebiotic agents to prevent uterine diseases and improve intestinal immunity and ruminal function.
Other research lines are the management and nutrition around weaning calves, reduction of antibiotic use, identification of new markers of animal nutritional and health status, and the temporal regulation of ruminant metabolism during stressful periods. In dairy cows, the programme is also working on precision feeding and the optimisation of the dry period. In beef, research is focused on the impact that transport can have on animal welfare and animal recovery, and on improving feeding strategies and water supply.