Animal Husbandry

Feed trials and digestibility trials are done with cattle, pigs and poultry to determine the nutritional value of new or modified feeds and additives, to study the efficiency of additives, and to evaluate the effect of such feeds and additives on animal performances and on the quality of the animal products, especially for the benefit of the animal feed sector. ILVO also researches how to improve the health of highly productive animals via nutrition. Further, ILVO studies the effect of nutrition on emissions of minerals and gases into the environment, and possible residues of veterinary medicines in animal products. That research is done on assignment by the government and in public interest. In addition, using validated methods, ILVO scores the welfare of farm animals and seeks measures to remediate behavioural and animal welfare problems. Last, ILVO also audits safety on agricultural and horticultural farms.

Animal trials consistent with ethics code

Feed Evaluation and Preservation

Research on the nutritional value of cattle feeds. Examination of the effect of ensiling techniques and silage additives on the fermentation characteristics of forages.

Feed evaluation and preservation

Contact person

Johan De Boever

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Zootechnical Dairy Research

Animal Husbandry: feed and digestibility experiments with Holstein cows.
Agricultural Engineering: measurement of the teats of dairy cows and (early) detection of lameness in cows based on gait analysis.

Zootechnical dairy research

Contact persons

Sam De Campeneere (Animal Husbandry), Stephanie Van Weyenberg (Agricultural Engineering)

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Zootechnical Beef Cattle Research

Feed and digestibility experiments with Blue double-muscled cattle.

Zootechnical beef cattle research

Contact person

Sam De Campeneere

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Zootechnical Swine Research

Animal Husbandry: feed and digestibility experiments with piglets, fattening pigs, sows and boars.
Agricultural Engineering: monitoring the daily eating and drinking pattern of fattening pigs, determining the weight distribution of sows, and imaging of the posture of sows to detect problems with health and production at an early stage.

Zootechnical swine research

Contact persons

Sam Millet (Animal Husbandry), Annelies Van Nuffel (Agricultural Engineering)

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Zootechnical Research Small Livestock

Feed and digestibility experiments with broilers, layers and rabbits.

Zootechnical research small animals

Contact persons

Luc Maertens, Evelyne Delezie, Saskia Leleu

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Behaviour and Welfare of Farm Animals

Animal Husbandry: behaviour and welfare of the most important farm animals (including cattle, pigs, chickens, rabbits).
Agricultural Engineering: (early) detection of lameness in cows based on gait analysis and early detection of problems in fattening pigs through individual monitoring of the daily eating and drinking pattern of the animals in group housing and by determining the weight distribution over each of the pigs’ legs.

Behaviour and welfare of farm animals

Contact persons

Frank Tuyttens (animal husbandry), Annelies Van Nuffel (agricultural engineering)

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Scientific research and advice concern the use of glucocorticoids like cortisol and its metabolites as a classic, non-specific stress hormone.

Contact person

Johan Aerts

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Aerial Emissions from Cattle

Animal Husbandry: determination of the gas emissions from dairy and beef cattle.
Agricultural Engineering: services to the Flemish government in matters of aerial emissions of naturally ventilated animal housing systems (e.g. measuring techniques for airflows and gases).

Aerial emissions cattle

Contact persons

Sam De Campeneere (animal husbandry), Nico Peiren (animal husbandry), Peter Demeyer (agricultural engineering)

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Excretion Tests for Poultry

Determination of the possible carry-over from residues to poultry meat and eggs.

Excretion tests for poultry

Contact persons

Evelyne Delezie, Els Daeseleire

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Advice on safety in agriculture and horticulture.


Contact person

Bart Sonck

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