Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) and Performance Group Estimation Based on Predicted Feed Intake for the Optimisation of Beef Production

Chris Davison*, Craig Michie, Christos Tachtatzis, Ivan Andonovic, Jenna Bowen, Carol-Anne Duthie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


This paper reports on the use of estimates of individual animal feed intake (made using time spent feeding measurements) to predict the Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR), a measure of the amount of feed consumed to produce 1 kg of body mass, for an individual animal. Reported research to date has evaluated the ability of statistical methods to predict daily feed intake based on measurements of time spent feeding measured using electronic feeding systems. The study collated data of the time spent eating for 80 beef animals over a 56-day period as the basis for the prediction of feed intake. A Support Vector Regression (SVR) model was trained to predict feed intake and the performance of the approach was quantified. Here, feed intake predictions are used to estimate individual FCR and use this information to categorise animals into three groups based on the estimated Feed Conversion Ratio value. Results provide evidence of the feasibility of utilising the ‘time spent eating’ data to estimate feed intake and in turn Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR), the latter providing insights that guide farmer decisions on the optimisation of production costs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4621
Issue number10
Early online date10 May 2023
Publication statusFirst published - 10 May 2023


  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • precision livestock farming
  • Feed Conversion Ratio
  • feed intake estimation
  • Machine Learning
  • beef production
  • Eating
  • Problem Solving
  • Electronics
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Animal Feed


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  • PrecisionBeef

    Ross, D., Duthie, C., Hyslop, J., Rooke, J. & Dewhurst, R.


    Project: Research

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