A dynamical model describing the evolution of muscle, viscera and fat in response to different levels of energy intake over time in sheep is presented. The model shows responses consistent with observations of compensatory growth in sheep and cattle over a range of energy intake levels. Model parameters are derived from data measured by Ferrell et al., (1986) to investigate compensatory growth in lambs. The model is shown to generally reproduce the behaviour of the muscle, viscera and fat components of the lambs in this trial. The utility of the model for designing optimal nutritional management strategies for raising animals for slaughter is discussed, as well as the potential of the model to advance the understanding of animal nutrition by investigating different functional forms for relationships such as maintenance requirements.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 59, , 275-278, 1999
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