Discipline: Animal Science
The simulation model initially developed by the International Potato Center (CIP) to assess the effects of year-round feeding strategies on live weight changes of beef cattle, and later adapted to the conditions of smallholder crop-livestock systems prevalent in Southeast Asia with the participation of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partners in the region, was tested using data collected from animals raised under tethering and feedlot fattening feeding systems in Don Montano, Umingan, Pangasinan. The model requires information on the animal, availability of pastures, the amount of feeds offered, and the nutritional quality and costs of pastures and other feed resources. It has sub-routines to contrast energy and protein intake with animal requirements for maintenance, thermal regulation and growth. The outputs of the model are voluntary intake, live weight gain, costs of production, manure excretion and methane emission. Model predictions and actual live weight and growth rate (ADG) values did not differ (P>0.05). The model also estimated possible changes in the value of the animals as influenced by price fluctuations and changes in animal performance due to feeding strategies applied. The reliability of the model, its flexibility and user-friendliness of the software makes simulation an important tool that could identify research gaps and provide appropriate management decisions to improve beef cattle fattening in lowland rainfed areas.