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Regulation and prediction of intake of grazing dairy goats

Thesis : regulation and prediction of intake of grazing dairy goats
Understand and predict variations of intake of grazing dairy goats in link to different grazing management techniques.

Grazing: an action way to strengthen food autonomy in goat farms

Goats farms of main French area of productions including Poitou-Charentes (31% of national dairy goats, Agreste, 2012a), work mainly with food systems based on conserved forage and a high consumption of concentrates (2010: only 8% of goats had access to pasture, Agreste, 2012b). Today the cost of inputs is increasing while the price of goat milk tends to stabilize or even decreasing. Plus the specification of products under a protected origin appellation, the development of organic farms and the costumers demand for a production the most natural possible.  In these contexts, promote the development of grazing would strengthen the autonomy in forage and protein of systems and thus the economic sustainability of farms but also environmental sustainability while promoting the image of the products in the goat sector.
In complementarity of livestock research conducted by Idele (ferme du Pradel) and systemic research conducted by Inra (Patuchev program of EU Ferlus, Lusignan) on goats to pasture, the UMR Pegase is committed to understanding the regulation of intake and the adaptability of dairy goats through more analytical experiments. Insert into two research projects, one national (Casdar Cap'Herbe, 2016-2018) and another regional (PSDR Go Fleche, 2015-2019), this thesis program have for aims to develop the basis for a prediction model of grazing intake compatible with Inra feeding systems for ruminants, integrated to Inration software.

Paturage chèvre

Aims of the thesis

Understand and estimate intake variations dairy goats grazing in relation to the different grazing management techniques, to anticipate responses in terms of milk production and goat’s behavior. This will make it possible to adapt the grazing management and rationalization of the supply of grazing goat herds.
For this, according to the knowledge acquired with the bibliography, we would answer the following questions:

  • What are intake and production response laws to the herbage allowance, which defines both the performance per animal and per hectare?     
  • What is the influence of other management elements (complementation, daily access time to pasture, organization of the day) on this response?    
  • What are the behavioral mechanisms involved and the individual adaptability of goats?

Alexia Charpentier has been working on this thesis which is co-funded by Inra Phase and Poitou-Charentes Region, since 1st november 2015 for a period of 3 years. She is framed by Rémy Delagarde in Syslait team, Francois Gastal and Hugues Caillat of UE Ferlus (Lusignan).

Contact

Alexia Charpentier  alexia.charpentier[at]lusignan.inra.fr (PhD sutdent)
François Gastal  françois.gastal[at]lusignan.inra.fr (supervisor)
Rémy Delagarde  remy.delagarde[at]rennes.inra.fr (co-supervisor)
Hugues Caillat  hugues.caillat[at]lusignan.inra.fr (co-supervisor)

Bibliography [in french]

  • Agreste, 2012b. L’élevage caprin : hausse du coût des aliments, baisse du prix du lait ; des exploitations caprines à l’épreuve. Agreste Poitou-Charentes 13, 4p. [Link in french]
  • Agreste, 2012a. Recensement agricole 2010. L’élevage caprin : production caprine, vers une concentration et une productivité toujours plus fortes. Agreste Poitou-Charentes 12, 4p. [Link in french]