The Ruminant Nutrition System: An Applied Model for Predicting Nutrient Requirements and Feed Utilization in Ruminants

(Second Edition)

Tedeschi CoverAuthors: Luis O. Tedeschi and Danny G. Fox

Hardcover: 622 pages

ISBN: 978-1-50669-775-8

Price: $132.50 suggested retail

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About the Book

The purpose of the Ruminant Nutrition System (RNS) software is to integrate and apply current scientific knowledge and to encourage creative and innovative ideas to solve practical feeding and nutrition problems. This is accomplished by using the accumulated scientific knowledge to establish relational and conceptual links among key variables and quantify their values. The foremost goal in developing the RNS was to provide a framework that could be used for incorporating and implementing new scientific knowledge and submodels to more accurately predict nutrient requirements and biological values for ruminants currently used in food production. The ultimate purpose is to improve animal productivity and profitability while reducing nutrient excretion per unit of production.

This book is intended for teaching and research by faculty and graduate students at the master or doctoral levels in life sciences, animal science, wildlife and fisheries sciences, ecosystem science and management, veterinary medicine, and biology and zoology. This book will also be of use to practicing nutritionists who are seeking advanced information on applied ruminant nutrition (in cattle, sheep, and goats) and to understand biological and nutritional modeling of nutrient requirements by ruminants and nutrients supplied by feedstuffs undergoing ruminal fermentation, postruminal digestion, and absorption.

The goals of this book on ruminant nutrition science are to document information, share knowledge, stimulate thinking and discussions, provoke criticism to build a better system, challenge the system with new discoveries, and foster learning by young students and teaching of scientists for the future.

The first edition of The Ruminant Nutrition System: An Applied Model for Predicting Nutrient Requirements and Feed Utilization in Ruminants was published in October 2016. Since then we have received much positive feedback, which has encouraged us to revise and expand it. In this second edition, we have updated concepts and added new information, clarified and enhanced the discussions of important topics, included new and improved and standardized existing graphics and illustrations, rearranged some of the text, and included indexes for subjects and authors.

Although we believe this second edition of The Ruminant Nutrition System is a lot more inclusive and complete, we are not content to stop here. We must be alert, always seeking for new ideas and how to implement them. Some branches of sciences experience rapid progress because of their economic relevance, as well as the pace of their development and application of novel technologies. One example of such progress is the ability to manipulate microorganisms genomically to produce biofuel more efficiently and in a more sustainable way. For example, Davidi et al. (2016) successfully added a laccase, or lignin-degrading enzymes, from the aerobic bacterium Thermobifida fusca into a designer cellulosome, a multienzyme complex structure commonly found in anaerobic bacteria. The resultant chimera had the ability to degrade cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin simultaneously. This use of laccase may be an early example of the rapid application of this long-known enzyme (Claus, 2004; Thurston, 1994) in biofuel production and other industries, such as pulp and paper and crop biotechnology. Applications of such technology in ruminant nutrition might yield enormous benefits not yet realized, even though its adoption may not happen in the near future. This technology may eventually change the way we understand indigestible dietary compounds. Rapid scientific developments such as this pose an interesting challenge for nutrition modeling. They require nutritionists to be constantly aware of discoveries and determine how to adopt them in the livestock industry. It is imperative that nutrition modeling follow the same pace of technological evolution and be responsive to new breakthroughs.

More information is available at the authors’ website.

View the full Table of Contents


About the Authors

Luis Tedeschi is a professor in the Department of Animal Science at the Texas A&M University. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy Engineering and Master of Science degree in Animal and Forage Sciences from the University of São Paulo (Piracicaba, Brazil), and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Animal Science from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY). His research focuses on the integration of accumulated scientific knowledge of ruminant nutrition into mathematical models to solve contemporary problems. The nutrition models he has developed are being used to develop more efficient production systems while reducing resource use and impact on the environment. He has published more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and presented at more than 80 modeling nutrition conferences and workshops worldwide. Tedeschi is a Texas A&M AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow and the recipient of the 2017 American Feed Industry Association in Ruminant Nutrition Research award. He has served on a committee at the 2016 National Research Council of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to revise the 1996 nutrient requirements for beef cattle.

Dr. Danny G. Fox is a professor emeritus of the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University. He received his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from The Ohio State University. His 35 years of research focused on the development of data, methods, models, and computer programs to accurately predict cattle nutrient requirements, as well as nutrients derived from feeds to meet cattle requirements in unique production situations worldwide. His team at Cornell developed the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System cattle nutrition model and software, which has users in more than 42 countries, for formulating rations for beef and dairy cattle. Fox has been a member of numerous national committees, including National Research Council committees on Animal Nutrition, Feed Intake, and the 1996 Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle. His growth and energy reserves models were adapted by both the 1996 Beef Cattle National Research Council committee and the 2001 Dairy Cattle National Research Council committee. He conducted many workshops on the use of these models in the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe.


Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction

Ch. 1 – The Utility of Nutrition Models
Ch. 2 – A Historical Perspective
Ch. 3 – A Contemporary Perspective

Part II. Modeling the Dietary Supply of Energy and Other Nutrients

Ch. 4 – The Foundation of Dietary Supply
Ch. 5 – Measuring the Useful Energy and Protein in Feeds
Ch. 6 – The Tabular Level of Solution
Ch. 7 – The Empirical Level of Solution
Ch. 8 – The Mechanistic Level of Solution
Ch. 9 – Other Methods of Determining Energy of the Diet
Ch. 10 – Predicting Feed and Water Intake

Part III. Modeling the Animal Requirements for Energy and Other Nutrients

Ch. 11 – The Foundation of Animal Requirements
Ch. 12 – Maintenance Requirements
Ch. 13 – Lactation Requirements
Ch. 14 – Pregnancy Requirements
Ch. 15 – Growth Requirements
Ch. 16 – Body Reserves
Ch. 17 – Minerals and Vitamins

Part IV. Developing the Feed Library

Ch. 18 – The Development of Feed Libraries