Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, NARO

Energy Metabolism Unit

It is important and difficult to calculate nutrient requirement, because nutrient requirement is changed in different stage of cattle and environment. Nutrients obtained from consumed feed are used for not only obtaining energy and maintaining body temperature for living but also producing milk and meat in cattle. During the process, they also excrete urine, feces and methane gas. Since the partitioning of nutrients for food production depends on the life stage of the animal, such as growing, lactating or fattening period, and on environmental factors, such as temperature. It is also important to clarify characteristics of various feeds, nutrient contents or degradability in the digestive tracts, since available nutrient mass could be different depending on the origin of the feed and the combination of multiple feeds.

To develop novel feed management techniques with great accuracy to enhance digestibility and absorption of nutrients and efficiency of the products in cattle, 1) we study the optimal feeding program of available feeds at each stage (growing, lactating and fattening) through nutrient metabolism and rumen digestible fermentation, 2) we clarify the characteristics of new forage or feed stuff by feeding to cattle, and develop effective feeding technique. The part of results is reflected to Japanese feeding standard for dairy cattle and for meat cattle, and standard tables of feed composition in Japan.

Unit Leader


Unit Members

Research Publications

  • Higuchi K et al. (2016) Mammary and whole body energy metabolism in lactating cows fed high-roughage diets. Energy and Protein Metabolism and Nutrition 137: 129-130
  • Higuchi K et al. (2016). Effect of low-crude protein diet with rumen-protected Lysine supplementation for energy and nitrogen metabolism in lactating cow. The 17th Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies Animal Science Congress Program and Abstracts 310
  • Hayashi M et al. (2016) Changes in plasma ghrelin concentrations in vitamin A-restricted Japanese black steers. Bull NARO Inst Livestock Grassland Science 16: 11-19
  • Nonaka I et al. (2016) Effect of growth stage and environmental temperature on metabolizable energy requirement for maintenance and efficiency for growth of Holstein heifers. Nihon Chikusan Gakkaiho 87: 115-123 (in Japanese)
  • Higuchi K et al. (2015). Estimation of metabolizable energy requirement for maintenance by both energy balance trials and integration of energy costs for activity in dry cows fed whole crop rice silages. Nihon Chikusan Gakkaiho 86: 169-177 (in Japanese)