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Livestock and feed

Luke’s livestock research develops animal production and improves its cost-efficiency and end-product quality. We study the nutrition and welfare of pigs, poultry, horses, dairy cows, beef cattle and fur animals. Bovine production is our main livestock research field, and in dairy cow feeding, Luke’s research is of top international standard.

Photo: Eetu Ahanen

Livestock research

We have extensive infrastructure for a wide variety of production animal feeding, welfare or behavioral studies. Our two dairy cow research barns and one beef cattle barn are fitted with the latest technology for measuring animal and production parameters. In our intensive studies unit, feeding studies can be performed, for example, with bovine animals, pigs, sheep, goats, and poultry. Reproduction trials and methodology development are also available.

Research in production environments and welfare is a growing field. The production environment is linked to the economy of production, whereas the welfare of the animals improves yield and also concerns production ethics, which increasingly influence consumer choices.

Feed research

The objective of Luke’s nutritional research is an ideal state of feed consumption, where animals utilise their nutrition effectively and nutrient discharge into the environment is minimised. Our research is rooted in thorough knowledge of nutritional physiology as well as expertise in the entire production chain and the circulation of nutrients.

We can test novel feed ingredients, side streams and feeds for ruminants and single-stomach species. Quick studies can be performed in laboratory scale with an artificial rumen. Our goal is to explore and test the suitability of different side streams for animal feed or other value-adding purposes.

Breeding value estimation

The MiX99 software for breeding value estimation is an effective program for many types of genetic evaluation and research. One of the most important applications is solving large genomic prediction models for national dairy cattle evaluations. However, MiX99 is a general tool that fits a variety of models. Besides cattle, the software is used for genetic evaluation of species such as pigs, horses, sheep, goat, fish, foxes, and poultry as well as for barley.