The advent of high-throughput technologies to study an animal’s genome, proteome, and metabolome (i.e., ‘omics’ tools) constituted a setback to the use of reductionism in livestock research. More recent development of ‘next-generation sequencing’ tools was instrumental in allowing in-depth studies of the microbiome in the rumen and other sections of the gastrointestinal tract. Omics, along with bioinformatics, constitutes the foundation of modern systems biology, a field of study widely-used in model organisms (e.g., rodents, yeast, humans) to enhance understanding of the complex biological interactions occurring within cells and tissues at the gene, protein, and metabolite level. Application of systems biology concepts is ideal for the study of interactions between nutrition and physiological state with tissue and cell metabolism and function during key life stages of livestock species, including the transition from pregnancy to lactation, in utero development, or post-natal growth. Modern bioinformatic tools capable of discerning functional outcomes and biologically-meaningful networks complement the ever increasing ability to generate large molecular, microbial, and metabolite datasets. Simultaneous visualization of the complex inter-tissue adaptations to physiological state and nutrition can now be discerned. Studies to understand the linkages between the microbiome and the absorptive epithelium using the integrative approach are emerging. We present examples of new knowledge generated through the application of functional analyses of transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic datasets encompassing nutritional management of dairy cows, pigs, and poultry. Published work to date underscores that the integrative approach across and within tissues may prove useful for fine-tuning nutritional management of livestock. An important goal during this process is to uncover key molecular players involved in the organismal adaptations to nutrition.