Research-based public-sector services

The Department of Animal Science performs research-based public-sector services in relation to animal nutrition, health and welfare and contributes to a considerable number of the focus areas established at DCA – Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture.

Within conventional as well as organic livestock production we perform research-based public-sector services in relation to:

  • reproduction technology
  • animal physiology and nutrition, including feed and feed evaluation
  • animal health
  • animal behaviour and stress biology
  • overall evaluation of production principles
  • decision support systems and health economy
  • indicators for biological traits in animals to be used in management and breeding, such as e.g. disease resistance, physiological state and health, feed efficiency, methane production, temperament and adaptability

The Department of Animal Science focuses on a sustainable livestock production and the research and services therefore include development of new technologies for improving production systems and for the monitoring, documentation, surveillance and decision-support in relation to measuring of emissions, food quality, animal health and animal welfare in an efficient livestock production.

In addition, the department plays a central role in the research-based public-sector services in relation to the environment and climate, where we

  • prepare standards for the content of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in manure
  • contribute to the calculation of annual nutrient balances for nitrogen and phosphorus
  • develop feed strategies to improve the animals’ utilization of nutrients in a sustainable utilization of fertilizers and manure as well as optimize feeding to reduce the emission of ammonia and odours from livestock farms
  • develop feed- and welfare-related environmental technology for the livestock production
  • elucidate methods to reduce animal impact on the environment in the form of heavy metals, hormones, antibiotics, carriers/adjuvants and other xenobiotics used in agriculture and contribute to reducing the dependency on carriers/adjuvants in organic farming
  • examine the opportunities to reduce the emission of methane from the animal production, e.g. via the choice of feeding strategies and feed composition.

Furthermore, the department contributes to the research in food quality, for instance through feeding strategies that improve the nutritional value of food or reduce boar taint in meat.

Finally, the Department of Animal Science supports a sustainable crop production by verifying more eco-friendly and nutritionally balanced feed crops.