Reproductive performance

Achieving good reproductive performance is a key factor to improve animal health, production efficiency and, as a result, economic profit. However, it can be challenging as reproductive performance in animal husbandry is a wide concept and can be composed of several parameters depending on the species and the industry target. Improving reproductive performance is achieved by focussing on fertility, gestation, the birthing process and lactation. For example, the calving-fertilization interval, number of artificial inseminations, semen quality, date of oestrus, foetus mortality, hatching results, colostrum quality and milk yield are figures to take into account. In fact, reproductive performance will not only affect the parents (such as bulls, breeders, sows, goats) but also the progeny (such as lambs, foals, chicks, juvenile fish). In other words, recording of offspring performance will also give a good indication of the reproduction efficiency.

Several factors can affect the fertility such as nutritional deficiencies, presence of toxins, impacted immunity, metabolic diseases and challenging environmental conditions. These factors will result in reproductive disorders and reduced fertility of animals. Nutritional solutions and feed additives can benefit reproduction by, for instance, promoting nutrient absorption, supporting a good functioning of the immune system and enhancing nutrient supply to the offspring via the placenta, eggs, colostrum or milk. A well balanced diet with specific nutrients will improve fertility while supporting health status of animals during gestation and lactation. Feed additives can therefore increase production of the progeny, resulting in higher margin on the long-term.