The School of Sustainable Food and Farming have been investigating a low-cost method to monitor feed efficiency of cattle at farm level. This study aimed to determine if activity sensors could be used to predict feed efficiency in beef cattle, as well as look at the effect of residual feed intake (RFI) status on animal physiology and behaviour. 

This research found that animals classed as low RFI consumed less food per day than high RFI - which could be a saving of approx £73 per head (depending on feed prices and age of slaughter). The study also highlights the potential role of small-stature calves in the beef supply chain for sustainability. 

A summary of the research, and how it can be used by industry, can be found here, with the full research report available here.