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Journal Cover Livestock Science
  [SJR: 0.715]   [H-I: 69]   [5 followers]  Follow
    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1871-1413
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2801 journals]
  • Natural gastro properties of ficus natalensis, Rhuss natalensis and
           Harrisonia abyssinica in native east african goats
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 February 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Dorothy Kalule Nampanzira, John David Kabasa, Constantine Bakyusa Katongole, Sam Okello, John Robert Stephen Tabuti
      The natural gastro properties of Ficus natalensis, Rhuss natalensis and Harrisonia abyssinica was evaluated with the objectives of determining the rumen degradation properties. Results showed that H. abyssinica presented the highest DM disappearance from the nylon bags throughout the different incubation times followed by F. natalensis and R. natalensis showed the lowest. The DM readily available soluble fraction (a), insoluble but degradable fraction (b), degradation rate (c), potential degradability (PD) and effective degradability (ED) differed significantly (P<0.05) across the three browse species. The CP a, b, PD and ED fractions differed significantly (P<0.05) across the three browse species. The CP c fraction was similar across the browse species. The NDF a, b, PD, and ED fractions differed significantly (P<0.05) across the browse species. The NDF c fraction was not different across the browse species. In conclusion, Rhuss natalensis subsp. romantica has inferior rumen degradability properties, an indication of low nutritive value for goats compared to Harrisonia abyssinica subsp. abyssinica and Ficus natalensis subsp. Natalensis.


      PubDate: 2016-02-11T08:44:22Z
       
  • Structure and genetic diversity of Brazilian Zebu cattle breeds assessed
           by pedigree analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 February 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): M.L. Santana, R.J. Pereira, A.B. Bignardi, D.R. Ayres, G.R.O. Menezes, L.O.C. Silva, G. Leroy, C.H.C. Machado, L.A. Josahkian, L.G. Albuquerque
      The monitoring of population structure, inbreeding and other related parameters has great potential to prevent major losses of genetic diversity in populations of Zebu cattle in Brazil. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to investigate the structure and genetic diversity of Brazilian Zebu cattle breeds by pedigree analysis. The national pedigree file of the seven Brazilian Zebu breeds was used, which included all registered animals (12,290,243) born between 1938 and 2012: Brahman, Gir, Guzerá, Indubrasil (IND), Nelore, Sindi (SIN), and Tabapuã. Almost all breeds studied undergo expansion in their census which, however, is not accompanied by the maintenance of genetic diversity. Problems were encountered in all breeds, but most of them can currently be considered less important. Using the calculation method considered as the most accurate for pedigree analysis when some population substructure exists, all breeds, except SIN, had effective population size greater than 100. The most common problems were the presence of tight bottlenecks in the pedigree, which were mainly due to the intensive use of few animals as parents and the high degree of population subdivision. The use of a wider range of sires is therefore recommended. However, most Zebu breeds can deal with breeding programs using high selection intensities. Greater care should be taken in the case of the IND breed since its census was reduced drastically over the last few years, a fact favoring the occurrence of serious problems related to inbreeding. Although SIN presents problems due to subdivision and possesses a relatively small census compared to other Zebu breeds, this population would have a promising future if its breeding policy were revised.


      PubDate: 2016-02-11T08:44:22Z
       
  • Effect of essential oils and distillation residues blends on growth
           performance and blood metabolites of Holstein calves weaned gradually or
           abruptly
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2016
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 185
      Author(s): Maryam Jeshari, Ahmad Riasi, Amir Hossein Mahdavi, Mohammad Khorvash, Farhad Ahmadi
      The objective of this study was to investigate preweaning calf performance responses and initial postweaning profile of some blood metabolites to dietary supplementation of calf starter with essential oils or distillated residues blend (Rosmarinus officinalis L., Zataria multiflora Boiss, and Mentha pulegium L.). Sixty Holstein calves, were randomly assigned to three dietary treatment groups: (1) starter with no additive (CON), (2) starter with essential oils blend (EOB, 300mg/kg starter), and (3) starter with distillation residues blend (DRB, 50g/kg starter). The blend was prepared by mixing the essential oils or the distillation residues (1:1:1) and then was added to the starter diet. Each group of calves was weaned based on two different methods: (1) gradual weaning during 4d [G], and (2) abrupt weaning [A]. Results of DPPH test showed that radical scavenging activity of EOB was higher than DRB (81.4 vs. 15.4%) (P<0.05). Supplementation of the starter diets with essential oils and/or distillation residues increased (P<0.05) feed intake and average daily weight gain of calves. These calves had about 3d lower age (P<0.05) and higher body weight (BW) at the weaning time. Calves fed EOB had higher (P<0.05) insulin concentrations during the weaning period, especially in abrupt weaned group compared to the group CON-A. The weaning method and treatment had no effect on total serum protein (TSP), serum albumin and globulin. It is concluded that supplementation of starter diets with a mixture of essential oils or distillation residues had a beneficial effect on the growing performance of suckling calves and may change some of blood metabolites.


      PubDate: 2016-02-11T08:44:22Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 184




      PubDate: 2016-01-31T10:11:10Z
       
  • Abortion occurrence, repeatability and factors associated with abortions
           in female pigs in commercial herds
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Ryosuke Iida, Carlos Piñeiro, Yuzo Koketsu
      Abortion occurrences disturb the projected production volume and increase non-productive days of female pigs. The objectives of the present study were 1) to define abortion occurrences including abortion rate and abortion risk, 2) to examine risk factors that were associated with abortions, 3) to determine repeatability of abortions and 4) to compare reproductive performance between aborting and non-aborting re-serviced female pigs. Datasets included 122,935 lifetime performance records and 630,363 mating performance records of females in 125 herds between 2008 and 2013 in Spain, Portugal and Italy. Annualized abortion rate was defined as the number of abortion records divided by the sum of the reproductive herd life days x 365 days x 100. Abortion risk per service was defined as the number of abortion records divided by the number of service records x 100. Generalized linear models with random herd effect were applied to the data. Annualized abortion rate (± SE) and abortion risk per service were 3.0±0.05 and 1.2±0.01%, respectively. Factors for an increased abortion risk per service were parity 0 or parity 5 or higher, re-servicing, servicing in July and August, delivering stillborn fetuses in a previous litter and having prolonged weaning-to-first-mating interval (WMI; P<0.05). Gilts (parity 0) and sows in parity 5 or higher had 0.3% higher abortion risk than parity 1 sows (P<0.05). Re-serviced females had 0.5% higher abortion risk than first-serviced females (P<0.05). Females serviced in July and August had 0.4-0.5% higher abortion risk than those serviced in March and April (P<0.05). Sows that had previously delivered stillborn fetuses subsequently had 0.1% higher abortion risk than those that had no stillborn fetuses (P<0.05). Sows mated 7 days or more after weaning had 0.2% higher abortion risk than those mated 0-6 days after weaning (P<0.05). Of the 7187 females that had aborted once, 4.1% experienced a second abortion in the same or a later parity. The repeatability of abortions was estimated to be 24.3-24.4%. Females that were reserviced after aborting had 0.6 lower total number of piglets born than re-serviced females that had not aborted (P<0.05). However, there was no difference in farrowing rate or WMI between aborting and non-aborting re-serviced females (P >0.11). It is recommended that producers closely monitor female pigs at risk of having an abortion in order to reduce non-productive female days.


      PubDate: 2016-01-31T10:11:10Z
       
  • Effects of phenolic compounds on ruminal protozoa population, ruminal
           fermentation, and digestion in water buffaloes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): E.M. de Paula, R.B. Samensari, E. Machado, L.M. Pereira, F.J. Maia, E.H. Yoshimura, R. Franzolin, A.P. Faciola, L.M. Zeoula
      The objective of this study was to evaluate different doses of phenolic compounds extracted from honey bees propolis on ruminal protozoa population, microbial protein synthesis, ruminal fermentation, solids’ passage rate, and total tract digestibility in water buffaloes. Four crossbred non-lactating female water buffaloes averaging 543.9±32.1kg of body weight fitted with rumen cannulas were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. The phenolic compounds were dosed in the rumen via rumen cannula in four doses: 0, 16.95, 33.9, and 50.85mg/d; respectively. The total mixed ration consisted of 800g/kg corn silage and 200g/kg concentrate. Phenolic compounds linearly reduced the Entodinium protozoa population (P<0.01) and quadratically increased ruminal acetate concentration (P<0.05) and there was a trend to increase microbial protein synthesis in the rumen (P=0.07). Phenolic compounds did not change total digestibility of dry matter and nutrients, solids’ passage rate, and the efficiency of microbial protein synthesis (P> 0.05). It can be concluded that phenolic compounds reduce the Entodinium protozoa population in water buffaloes and change ruminal fermentation pattern, favoring acetate fermentation.


      PubDate: 2016-01-31T10:11:10Z
       
  • Estimation of genetic parameters for milk traits in cows milked once- or
           twice-daily in New Zealand
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): F Lembeye, N Lopez-Villalobos, JL Burke, SR Davis
      The objective of the present study was to estimate genetic parameters for milk yields, average somatic cell score (SCS) and milk composition traits in dairy cows milked either once a day (OAD) or twice a day (TAD) in New Zealand. The data set comprised 124,620 and 194,631 lactation records from OAD and TAD populations, respectively, during the period 2008 to 2012. Overall, estimates of parameters were similar between milking frequencies (MF), although heritabilities of production traits tended to be greater in the TAD cows. Estimates of heritability in OAD and TAD were: 0.33 and 0.36 for milk yield; 0.21 and 0.26 for fat yield; 0.22 and 0.25 for protein yield; and 0.12 and 0.12 for SCS, respectively. Estimates of correlations were similar across MF, in particular the genetic correlation between milk yield and protein yield (0.84 for TAD and0.85 for OAD). Estimates of genetic correlations between SCS and other traits tended to be close to zero in both populations. The results indicate that genetic progress can be lower in the OAD population due to lower phenotypic and genetic variances compared to the TAD population. However, a potential disadvantage is that evaluating both dairy populations together could lead to systematic inaccuracies and biases in the estimation of breeding values for the population milked OAD as future dams.


      PubDate: 2016-01-31T10:11:10Z
       
  • Survival analysis of productive life in Brazilian holstein using a
           piecewise Weibull proportional hazard model
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2016
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 185
      Author(s): Elisandra Lurdes Kern, Jaime Araujo Cobuci, Claudio Napolis Costa, Vincent Ducrocq
      The objectives of this study were to assess the most important factors that influence productive life (PL) of Brazilian Holstein cows and to estimate genetic parameters for PL using a piecewise Weibull proportional hazard model. Records of PL from first calving to last recording (culling) of 132,922 cows coming from 945 herds were used. They had to have their first calving occurring between 1989 and 2013 and they were daughters of 6,804 sires. The model included the time-dependent effects of region within year, class of milk production within herd-year, class of milk production within lactation number, class of fat and protein contents within herd and (variation in) herd size as well as the time-independent fixed effect of age at first calving, the random effects of herd-year, sire and maternal grand sire. All fixed effects had a significant effect on PL (P<0.001). The relative risk (RR) for within herd class of milk yield varied from 3.16 for the worst 20% class to 0.41 for the best 20% class. RR also increased as protein and fat decreased, but to a lesser extent compared to milk yield. Significant effects on PL were found for region-year, with large yearly changes in some cases. RR increased with age at first calving and with herd size but lower risks were observed when herd size was increasing or decreasing, compared to stable herds. The Weibull shape parameters (and therefore RR) increased with lactation number and with stage of lactation. The sire genetic variance estimate was 0.030±0.002 which corresponds to an equivalent heritability estimate of 6.1% accounting for censoring. A positive genetic trend of PL was observed. These results may contribute to the development of a routine genetic evaluation necessary to improve PL of Brazilian Holsteins.


      PubDate: 2016-01-31T10:11:10Z
       
  • The effects of gender and muscle type on the mRNA levels of the calpain
           proteolytic system and beef tenderness during post-mortem aging
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Christopher Heinz Hunke Mberema, Georg Lietz, Ilias Kyriazakis, Olivier A.E. Sparagano
      The objective of this study was to determine the effects of gender and muscle type on the mRNA levels of the calpain system and the tenderization of beef meat. The Longissimus thoracis (LT) and the Semimembranosus (SM) were sampled from each bull, steer and heifer after routine slaughter (Six animals per group). The mRNA levels of µ-calpain, m-calpain, calpain-3 and calpastatin were quantified using real-time PCR. Concurrently, tenderness was determined following the Warner-Bratzler Shearforce (WBSF) procedure and rate of tenderization during post-mortem storage was calculated from the WBSF values of 7d and 35d aged steaks. The results show that bulls had significantly lower (P<0.01) WBSF values than heifers which were accompanied by higher (P<0.01) levels of µ-calpain and calpain-3 mRNA but similar levels of calpastatin as compared to heifers. There was a significantly higher (P<0.05) calpastatin expression in steers, as compared to heifers. However, µ-calpain expression was lower (P<0.05) in heifers whose meat was significantly tougher (P<0.05) than that of steers. Steer meat was slightly tougher than that of bulls, while steers had had a tendency to express higher levels of calpastatin but similar µ-calpain and calpain-3 mRNA. The LT had lower (P<0.05) WBSF values than the SM but these muscles tenderised at the same rate, and had similar mRNA levels for all investigated genes. M-calpain mRNA levels were not significantly affected by muscle and gender (P>0.05). Moreover, calpain 3 was negatively correlated to 7d WBSF values (P<0.05). Despite the small sample size, these results suggest that variations in beef tenderness could be modulated through the differential expression of the members of the calpain system, specifically, µ-calpain, calpain 3 and calpastatin.


      PubDate: 2016-01-31T10:11:10Z
       
  • Effect of conventional and extrusion pelleting on in situ ruminal
           degradability of starch, protein, and fibre in cattle
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A. Razzaghi, M. Larsen, P. Lund, M.R. Weisbjerg
      Rumen degradability kinetics was investigated for pelleted compound concentrates differing in physical functional properties of pellets. Six compound concentrate meals were produced containing either 100% wheat, 100% maize, 50% wheat+50% soybean meal (SBM; as is basis), 50% maize+50% SBM, 50% wheat+50% sugar beet pulp (SBP), or 50% maize+50% SBP. Meals were pelleted by either conventional pelleting, or by cooking extrusion using two distinct settings giving pellets with either high density (HD) or low density (LD). Ruminal degradation of starch, crude protein (CP) and NDF, and intestinal digestibility of CP were evaluated using in situ methods in cattle. Overall, processing (pelleting, extruding HD, or extruding LD) increased effective starch degradability (ESD) of pure maize and maize mixtures. The ESD increased with intensity of processing (Extruding LD>Extruding HD>Pelleting>Meal). In contradiction, ESD for pure wheat and wheat mixtures was reduced, though differences were minor. Conventional pelleting reduced the effective protein degradability (EPD) for pure wheat, but extrusion did not further affect the EPD. In contrast, the most intense processing with extrusion LD increased EPD for pure maize. Processing reduced EPD in both cereal+SBM mixtures, and further, the most intense processing with extruding LD led to the lowest EPD in cereal+SBM mixtures. In contrast, extruding increased EPD in both cereal+SBP mixtures as compared with meal and pelleting, but extruding with steam addition did not further increase the EPD. Compared to meal and pelleting, extruding without steam addition increased the effective NDF degradability for maize+SBP. The observed responses in EPD were not associated with decreases in CP disappearances from mobile bags. In conclusion, pelleting and extrusion affected ruminal degradability of starch, protein, and NDF differently depending on both type of cereal and composition of the concentrate mixture.


      PubDate: 2016-01-24T17:18:44Z
       
  • Coefficients of repeatability for colostrum and milk composition of PLW
           and PL sows over three consecutive lactations
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Magdalena Szyndler-Nędza
      To date, there have been no studies determining the coefficients of heritability or repeatability for colostrum and milk composition of sows in successive lactations. In the case of sows, estimation of such coefficient of repeatability may give a preliminary indication of whether these traits can be used in the breeding and selection of pigs. The aim of the experiment was to make preliminary estimates of the coefficients of repeatability for the content of the Polish Large White (PLW) and Polish Landrace (PL) sow colostrum and milk components over three consecutive lactations. Subjects were 72 sows of the PLW (30 sows) and PL breeds (42 sows). During three consecutive lactations, samples of colostrum and milk on day 14 of lactation were collected from the first, third and sixth teats of the sows (each sample from teats 1, 3 and 6 totalled 50ml in volume). In total, 432 samples of colostrum and milk were collected from sows of the two breeds. The samples were analysed for fat, crude protein, lactose, solids, and non-protein solids. Summarizing the results, it is concluded that the highest coefficient of repeatability was estimated for colostrum lactose and solids content over two consecutive lactations: second and third (r=0.3). Also in the milk of second- and third-lactation sows, the lactose content was characterized by the highest coefficient of repeatability (r=0.18). Considering the three consecutive lactations, it was found that colostrum produced by the sows had a consistent content of lactose (r=0.18) as well as solids (r=0.17) and protein (r=0.16). Therefore, it can be stated that the lactose content of sow colostrum in the first lactation could be indicative of a female’s predisposition to produce colostrum and milk with similar lactose content over two consecutive lactations.


      PubDate: 2016-01-24T17:18:44Z
       
  • Effects of long-term restricted feeding on digestion and energy
           utilization in Balady versus Shami goats
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A.R. Askar
      Twenty four non-lactating goats (Age=3.5±0.08 years; Balady goats, n=12 and Shami goats, n=12) were used to evaluate the effects of long-term nutrient restriction on digestion and energy utilization. Six animals of each goat breed were fed a concentrated mixture and alfalfa hay diet (50:50 as DM basis) to meet metabolizable energy (ME) of maintenance (MEm, CON). The other six animals were fed 50% of this amount relative to actual BW (RES). Animals were individually housed for a 90-day period and then moved to metabolic cages in two sets of 12 animals each, three per treatment and breed for each set. Total Energy expenditure (EE) was estimated by a heart rate (HR) monitor for 48 hours after its individual calibration by oxygen consumption with a face mask open-circuit respiratory system. Body weight and digestibility were negatively affected by long-term restricted feeding, without differences in digestibility between goat breeds. Energy expenditure was greater for CON vs. RES (417 vs. 355kJ/kg BW0.75/day respectively, P<0.001) and lower for Balady goats compared to Shami goats, particularly in terms of RES intake treatment (312 vs. 399kJ/kg BW0.75/day respectively, P<0.01). As a result, the energy balance (EB) was similar for both goat breeds on treatment CON, while it was greater (P<0.05) for Balady goats than Shami goats when they received RES treatment (−133 vs. −208kJ/kg BW0.75/day respectively, P<0.01). In conclusion, Balady goats, but not Shami goats, have the ability to reduce their EE in order to improve their EB as a mechanism of adaptation when their ME intake is restricted below MEm requirements.


      PubDate: 2016-01-24T17:18:44Z
       
  • Preparation of synthetic alkane waxes and investigations on their
           suitability for application as dietary markers in farm animals
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Martin Bachmann, Monika Wensch-Dorendorf, Karsten Mäder, Michael Bulang, Annette Zeyner
      Synthetic alkanes can be applied as external markers to estimate faecal output, digestibility and passage kinetics and are furthermore easy to combine with plant alkanes for the estimation of feed intake. Successful application requires an accurate and uniform labelling of boluses or feedstuffs, which is in turn supported through simplified handling of the markers during preparation. We hypothesized that melting synthetic alkanes to wax might enhance accuracy and uniformity of subsequent bolus labelling and further simplify it, which is particularly required when multiple alkanes are combined or large quantities of boluses are needed. The aim of the study was to test a procedure of preparing alkane waxes on model scale by use of a portion of approximately 1:300 basing upon a dosage recommended for application in large livestock when administered 2 times a day. Additionally, the temperature sensitivity of a range of synthetic alkanes was studied to clarify so far non-explained losses of alkanes, which were observed frequently during the labelling of boluses and feedstuffs or the processing of samples for analysis. Using n-octacosane (C28), n-dotriacontane (C32) and n-hexatriacontane (C36) synthetic alkanes, three single-component waxes (of C28, C32 and C36, respectively), three binary waxes (C28:C32, C28:C36 and C32:C36) and one tertiary mixed wax (C28:C32:C36) were produced with 30 repetitions each. To assess the impact of melting and re-crystallization, the individual alkanes were determined by gas chromatographic analysis (GCA) in untreated crystals, crystalline mixtures (GCA1) and the finished model waxes (GCA2). Additionally, sub-samples of the waxes were heated for 30min at 100°C or freeze-dried for 48h, respectively, to simulate baking of boluses or freeze-drying as an alternative method for preparation (GCA3). The temperature sensitivity of n-tetracosane (C24) to n-octatriacontane (C38) even-chain alkanes was studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) with consistently increasing temperature (20 to maximal 600°C at 10K/min, TGA1) and under isothermal conditions (180°C, 20min, TGA2), respectively. Statistical analysis was performed with SAS 9.4 using linear regression analysis to study the relationship between alkane quantities in crystalline or wax samples that were originally weighed with those measured by GCA and to determine the specific difference of the slopes of respective regression lines from one (GCA1 and GCA2). To assess the difference between additionally treated (baking or freeze-drying) and untreated waxes, the specific difference of the slopes of general and variant specific regression lines from zero was determined in GCA3. The level of significance was pre-set at P<0.05. The relative difference between weighed and measured alkane quantities is given as the mean±standard deviation among the repetitions of each sample variant. Depending on chain length and thus molecular weight of alkanes, weight reduction by emergence of soot during heating-up started between 176°C (C24) and 227°C (C38) and further increased rapidly. Throughout isothermal treatment, weight loss from alkanes was lowest with highest chain length (0.0% for C38) and vice versa (23.8% for C24). The weighed and measured quantities of crystalline alkanes did not differ (P>0.05), except for single C36, where the measured quantities were always higher than the weighed ones (P=0.019). The weighed and measured quantities of individual alkanes in single-component and of total alkanes in multi-component waxes were similar with a maximal relative difference of 6.6±5.5%. The relative difference between weighed and measured quantities of individual alkanes in multi-component waxes was maximal 47.4±25.7% and was highly variable. Unexpectedly, the relative difference between weighed and measured quantities was low for C28 (5.9±5.8%) and C32 (5.7±4.3%) in their combined binary waxes. The additional treatment (baking or freeze-drying) did not alter the recovery of alkanes from the model waxes. Synthetic alkanes are thermolabile why exposure to high temperature during preparation of boluses or labelling of feedstuffs needs to be assessed critically. Reasons for that might be complex disorders of the conformation of alkane molecules particularly during the melting of alkane mixtures and the apparently incomplete separation following re-crystallization from the melt. This may lead to displacements within waxes, which cannot be foreseen or quantified, and thus to the loss of their suitability as dietary markers. Alkane recovery from binary waxes of C28 and C32 was unbiased on model scale and whether this can be confirmed on original scale needs to be validated further. For practical use, alkane waxes might nevertheless be beneficial because the handling is easier than that of alkane crystals.


      PubDate: 2016-01-24T17:18:44Z
       
  • Genotype by environment interaction in organic and conventional production
           systems and their consequences for breeding objectives in Austrian
           Fleckvieh cattle
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Christina Pfeiffer, Christian Fuerst, Hermann Schwarzenbacher, Fuerst-Waltl Birgit
      Improvement of breeding and management resulted in a considerable increase of production traits in Austrian dairy cattle. Apart from production systems with a high intensity farm management, sustainable and organic dairy production systems are an integral part in Austria. Possible genotype by environment interactions (G x E) depending on the method of production and intensity of farm management might exist and lead to a re-ranking of animals. Thus, an adaptation of the breeding programs would be required. Therefore, genotype by environment interactions were estimated between milk yield, persistency, functional longevity, somatic cell score, clinical mastitis, early fertility disorders, cystic ovaries, milk fever, non-return rate at 56 days of cows and interval from first to last insemination in Austrian Fleckvieh cows milked in three different production systems (organic, conventional low and high level of farm intensity). Genetic correlations between production systems were estimated using an approximate multivariate two-step approach applied to yield deviations and de-regressed breeding values. In general, no severe G x E were found. Genetic correlations between the production systems organic and conventional low level of farm intensity, organic and conventional high level of farm intensity, conventional low level of farm intensity and conventional high level of farm intensity ranged from 0.952 to unity, 0.890 to unity and 0.886 to unity, respectively. The lowest genetic correlations were observed for non-return rate at 56 days of cows (0.890) between organic farms and farms with high intensity management and for functional longevity (0.886) between farms with low and high intensity management. For all other traits, genetic correlations were close to unity. From the breeding perspective, autonomous breeding programs for different production systems within Austria are currently not needed.


      PubDate: 2016-01-20T17:10:01Z
       
  • Bolus matrix for administration of dietary markers in horses
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Martin Bachmann, Monika Wensch-Dorendorf, Manuela Wulf, Maren Glatter, Michèle Siebmann, Christian Bierögel, Erika Schumann, Michael Bulang, Christine Aurich, Annette Zeyner
      External markers are useful or required to estimate forage intake, digestibility, faecal output and passage rate in horses. Oral administration is challenging because of horses’ high sensitivity and selection skills. A suitable bolus matrix should ensure high and consistent acceptance. Boluses were investigated with and without labelling. Synthetic alkane wax, embedded in filter paper or contained in hypromellose capsules, was used as a test marker. Boluses were baked (100°C, 30min) or freeze-dried. The freeze-dried boluses varied in size (1.5, 2, or 3cm Ø) and drying time (6, 12, 24, or 48h). In two tests (AT1 and AT2), acceptance by the horses was assessed with scores between 1 (complete intake) and 4 (refusal). In AT1, marginal rejection of the marker was recorded, whereas the following tests were performed with placebos only. In two bending tests (BT1 and BT2), the force required to break the boluses (FL, flexural load) was determined because this may affect acceptance. Pre-selected variants were stored for 4 weeks in closed boxes under controlled conditions (20°C and light for 16h/d, 16°C and night for 8h/d, and 65% relative humidity) and were subsequently analysed for residual moisture (RM) and spoilage-indicating microbes. In baked boluses, the alkanes were partly found outside of the inner matrices. This was not evident in the freeze-dried variants. Acceptance of the labelled boluses (scores≤1.7±0.18, AT1), baked placebos (scores≤2.2±0.35, AT1) and the freeze-dried placebos (scores≤1.1±0.31, AT2) was consistently high. This was explained by the BT, with a mean FL of 202±16.5N for the baked (BT1) and up to 257±22.5N for the freeze-dried placebos (BT2) being obtained, which was close to the masticatory forces in horses. However, when the boluses distinctly exceeded a size of 3cm Ø, this size probably led to increased FL (BT1), thereby depressing the acceptance of the dried placebos (AT1). The results indicated that the adaption to suitable boluses can lead to increased acceptance. Limiting the drying time to at most 24h seemed justified, especially for the smaller boluses. After 6 and 12h, the RM was 7.5±0.52% (1.5cm Ø) and 5.7±0.52% (2cm Ø), which make the risk of microbial spoilage appear low. Tested boluses were unspoiled for up to 1 month after preparation. It was suggested that the variable sizes of the boluses may enable the use of various marker dosages and, incidentally, also use in different target animals. A freeze-dried matrix is likewise open to use with other thermolabile markers or substances. We recommend the pre-administration of placebos prior to marker administration to ensure high acceptance of the labelled boluses.


      PubDate: 2016-01-20T17:10:01Z
       
  • Early exposure to and subsequent beef CATLE performance with saline water
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A. López, J.I. Arroquy, R.A. Distel
      Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the impact of early life exposure to high salt water on later cattle performance with saline water. In Exp. 1, 24 cow/calf pairs were randomly assigned to one of two treatments: exposure to high salt water [HSW; 7478mg/kg of total dissolved solids (TDS)] or to low salt water (LSW; 512mg/kg TDS) when calves were 2 to 6mo. old. Then all calves drank low salt water for 6mo, and subsequently high salt water for 30d. During the last period HSW tended to eat 10% less DM (DMI; P=0.07) and drank 22% less water than LSW (WI; P<0.01). Total tract DM digestibility (TTDMD; P=0.92), blood parameters (hemoglobin and hematocrit; P>0.13), plasma glucose (P=0.18), serum minerals (P>0.08) and weight gain (ADG; P=0.85) were not affected by treatment. In Exp. 2, 24 pregnant heifers in the last month of gestation were randomly assigned to either HSW (10827mg/kg TDS) or LSW. The exposure period ended when calves were 3 month old. Then all calves drank low salt water for 95d, and subsequently high salt water for 30d. During the last period no significant differences between treatments were observed for DMI (P=0.43), WI (P=0.61), TTDMD (P=0.92), blood parameters (P>0.42), plasma rennin activity (PRA; P=0.35), and ADG (P=0.16). However, HSW drank less (P<0.01) high salt water than LSW during the first two hours of drinking water restoration after a water deprivation period of 20h. Overall, in the conditions of our study we did not find evidence that early exposure to saline water induces tolerance and improves later performance of beef cattle with salty water. However, reduced water intake (Exp. 1) and increased thirst threshold (Exp. 2) of animals early exposed to saline water need further consideration.


      PubDate: 2016-01-20T17:10:01Z
       
  • The effects of chromium picolinate and simvastatin on pig serum
           cholesterol contents in swine muscular and adipose tissues
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Carmen Burgos, Pedro Latorre, Pascual López-Buesa
      In this study, the effects of two hypocholesterolemic drugs, simvastatin (a statin) and chromium dipicolinate, on serum cholesterol levels, and cholesterol contents in muscular and adipose tissues were tested. Although we find no significant effects of both drugs on cholesterol serum levels, we found a 25.5% and 18.9% reduction of cholesterol content in adipose tissue in statin and chromium dipicolinate-treated pigs, respectively, compared to controls. We also found a significant reduction in cholesterol content in Longissimus thoracis (9.6% reduction) and Psoas major (13.0% reduction) after statin administration. On the other side, chromium dipicolinate significantly reduced the cholesterol content only in Longissimus thoracis (10.0% reduction) but not in Psoas major. As a drawback, we have found that chromium dipicolinate significantly enhanced the ω6 fatty acid content in adipose tissue; simvastatin also enhanced PUFA ω6 fatty acid content to nearly significant levels.


      PubDate: 2016-01-20T17:10:01Z
       
  • Design of rooting yards for better hygiene and lower ammonia emissions
           within the outdoor concrete area in organic pig production
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Anne-Charlotte Olsson, Jos Botermans, Mats Andersson, Knut-Håkan Jeppsson, Christer Bergsten
      Large fouled concrete areas outdoors and high nitrogen emissions are a problem in organic pig production. This is not consistent with the goal of organic farming to minimise the environmental impact of agricultural production. Introduction of a special rooting yard with rooting material in the outdoor concrete area could possibly be a way to create more activity in one part of the outdoor area, in which the pigs do not want to excrete. In the present study, the aim was to find an optimal design for such a rooting yard in the outdoor area. Four different designs of rooting yards, with varying sizes and wall heights (LH = large (8.4m2) with one high wall (1.0m); LL = large (8.4m2) with low walls (0.3m); SH = small (5.3m2) with one high wall (1.0m) and SL = small (5.3m2) with low walls (0.3m)), were tested in parallel and compared with a reference pen (R) without a rooting yard. Peat was used as rooting material in all the outdoor rooting yards. In total, two batches, in a research facility with eight pens of 16 pigs each, were studied. Data on performance, location and activity in the pen and hygiene and ammonia emissions in the outdoor area were used for evaluation of the designs. No significant differences were seen in performance, total activity and total rooting activity between treatments. However, the pigs in the pens with rooting yards were observed rooting outdoors significantly more than those in the reference pens. Significantly better hygiene and a tendency for lower ammonia emissions from the area with rooting material were recorded in the pens with rooting yards compared with the same area in the reference treatment. It was concluded that use of a rooting yard in the outdoor area in organic pig production allows the excretory behaviour of the pigs to be steered in the desired direction, improving hygiene and the appearance of the outdoor area. A large rooting yard with one high wall was found to be the best design, giving a 14% reduction in chamber NH3 emissions (ECH) from the total outdoor area compared with the reference pen.


      PubDate: 2016-01-20T17:10:01Z
       
  • Effect of Leucaena leucocephala on methane production of Lucerna heifers
           fed a diet based on Cynodon plectostachyus
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): I.C. Molina, E.A. Angarita, O.L. Mayorga, J. Chará, R. Barahona-Rosales
      A rapid growth of the meat production industry is necessary to satisfy increased demand for this commodity, which might have negative impacts on the environment. The objective of this study was to assess enteric methane (CH4) emissions when a forage legume is introduced in the diet of animals consuming a tropical grass. Eight Lucerna heifers, 218±18kg live weight with an average age of 19±3 months were used in two experiments following a changeover design. The diets evaluated were 100% star grass (Cynodon plectostachyus, S) or 76% star grass plus 24% leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala, S+L). Throughout the experiment, animals were housed in two chambers, in which the diet was offered four times daily. Each chamber had a small wind tunnel, which housed a fan set to a constant speed of extraction. Air samples were obtained every hour during 24 hours both inside and outside (ambient) the tunnel. Methane concentration in these samples was determined by gas chromatography. Temperature and relative humidity both inside and outside the tunnel were recorded using a thermo-hygrometer. The S+L diet had greater protein content whereas the S diet had greater content of neutral detergent fiber. Average intake (kg/d) of fresh forage and dry matter (DM) was significantly greater (23.7 and 5.6) for the S+L than for the S diet (18.9 and 4.7), respectively (P<0.05). The maximum recorded temperature and humidity inside the chamber was 35.5°C and 99%, respectively, but the minimum values were 19.1°C and 38%, respectively. Methane production (L/kg DMI) was 37.7 for the S+L treatment and 43. 6 for the S treatment. The energy loss in the form of methane emitted was 8.0% for S+L and 9.4% for the star grass based diet (P=0.32). These results suggest that while increasing animal productivity by increasing dry matter intake, the inclusion of leucaena does not increase methane emission per animal, thus significantly decreasing methane emissions per kg of meat or milk produced.


      PubDate: 2016-01-15T12:31:18Z
       
  • Differences between dairy cows descending from artificial insemination
           bulls vs. dairy cows descending from natural service bulls on organic
           farms in Switzerland
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A. Spengler Neff, S. Ivemeyer
      This study investigated differences between phenotypes of daughters of artificial insemination (AI)-bulls and daughters of natural service (NS)-bulls, respectively, on organic dairy farms in Switzerland. Organic rules recommend the use of natural mating. Therefore it is of interest whether those two groups of phenotypes show different characteristics on organic farms. Only farms using both AI and NS with sires of the same dairy breed as the inseminated cows were included in the study. First lactations of 594 cows from 29 farms were analysed for daily milk yield (DMY), somatic cell score (SCS), and calving interval (CI). Furthermore, veterinary treatments and fat/protein ratios >1.5 and <1.1 in milk samples during the first 100 days of lactation indicating risks for metabolic disorders were investigated. General linear models and-for binary variables-logistic regression models were calculated to explore differences in health parameters and DMY. Service method (AI or NS) and DMY (except when DMY was the target variable) were included in the models as fixed effects and farms as random effects. Distances between farms where the bulls had been bred and farms where their daughters lived were calculated with a common route planning tool. Additionally it was examined whether the bull’s farm of origin was organic or not. Dairy cows descending from NS-bulls showed a lower SCS and tended to have shorter CI and a trend to lower DMY compared to cows descending from AI-bulls. No effects of service method on other health parameters were found. Around 70% of NS-bulls and 26% of AI-bulls had been bred in the same regions (<100km distance) as their daughters. No NS-bull, but 35% of AI-bulls came from abroad (≥300km within Switzerland or from another country). 1.8% of AI-bulls and 30.8% of NS-bulls had been bred on an organic farm. One explanation for the effects found in cows descending from NS-bulls might lie in their better adaptation to local conditions. However, effects of the service method and the bull’s environment of origin cannot be distinguished and it cannot be excluded that the chosen NS bulls had incidentally higher genetic merits for CI and SCS than AI-bulls. Further research on differences between NS- and AI-bulls and also on genotype x environment-interactions between organic and conventional environments is necessary.


      PubDate: 2016-01-15T12:31:18Z
       
  • Variants and haplotypes within MEF2C gene influence stature of chinese
           native cattle including body dimensions and weight
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Xiu-Kai Cao, Zhao-Yang Zhan, Yong-Zhen Huang, Xian-Yong Lan, Chu-Zhao Lei, Xing-Lei Qi, Hong Chen
      Myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C) gene was annotated for its potential phenotypic effects on bovine stature including body dimensions and body weight. The aim of this study was the analysis of MEF2C as a candidate for bovine stature. Four SNPs including two novel SNPs were identified and the polymorphisms were genotyped by (forced) PCR-RFLP. Using a population of 805 cows from two Chinese native breeds, we report confirmation of this effect, demonstrating strong association of different components of bovine stature with MEF2C genotypes. Six combined haplotypes were constructed as well and diplotype H1H6/H3H5 (CTGGTCAA) affected bovine stature negatively, including body weight, hucklebone widt, and withers height (P<0.05). Our results suggest that the four variants within bovine MEF2C can be used as candidate SNP markers for marker-assisted selection in beef cattle breeding programmes.


      PubDate: 2016-01-15T12:31:18Z
       
  • KINEMATIC AND MORPHOLOGICAL TRAITS AND THE PROBABILITY OF SUCCESSFUL JUMPS
           OF YOUNG BRAZILIAN SPORT HORSES
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Fernanda Nascimento de Godoi, Fabio Luiz Buranelo Toral, Ana Luisa Soares de Miranda, Hans-Joachim Karl Menzel, Fernando Queiroz de Almeida, José Aurélio Garcia Bergmann
      In this study, logistic regression methodology has been used to identify and quantify the relationships between conformation and kinematic traits of young Brazilian Sport Horses on successful free jumps. The young horses (n=108) aged 22-25; 23-32 and 36-39 months old (age Class I, II & III) recorded on five attempt jumps in each age Class over a vertical fence that was 0.60, 0.80 and 1.05m high, respectively. Jumps were recorded by a 100Hz camera and analyzed by the Simi Reality Motion Systems® software. Traits were selected from a previous principal components analysis and used as independent traits in a logistic regression model. The most important traits for each age Class, from 45 independent traits presented in this study were selected as follows: 17 traits were selected for Class I; 19 for Class II; and 18 traits for Class III. On the logistic regression model to the Class I only the neck angle in the stance horses was significant. The logistic regression models to the Class II and III presented kinematic related traits that were significant, such as: last stride length prior to jumping, take-off distance, forelimb height at jumping, vertical distance between humeroradial and metacarpophalangeal joint, head angle, neck angle, femorotibial angle and vertical distance between the femorotibial and metatarsophalangeal joints. In conclusion, to increase the probability of a young horse jumping successfully, it is necessary to reduce stride length prior to the fence and to increase take-off distance, thus resulting in a higher height of forelimb over the fence and also to present smaller values of head and neck angles when jumping.


      PubDate: 2016-01-11T12:10:51Z
       
  • Intestinal immune cell quantification and gram type classification of the
           adherent microbiota in conventionally and artificially reared, normal and
           low birth weight piglets
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Sara Prims, Bart Tambuyzer, Hans Vergauwen, Véronique Huygelen, Steven Van Cruchten, Chris Van Ginneken, Christophe Casteleyn
      To be able to raise larger litters, the influences of alternative rearing strategies on piglets are currently assessed. This study compared the predominant Gram type of the adherent intestinal microbiota between conventionally and artificially reared piglets and quantified their major mucosal immune cell populations. In addition, the potential influence of the piglets’ birth weights was examined. To this purpose, 40 neonatal piglets consisting of 20 normal birth weight (NBW) and 20 low birth weight (LBW) piglets suckled the sow for three days after which 20 piglets (10 NBW and 10 LBW) continued to suckle the sow and 20 piglets (10 NBW and 10 LBW) were transferred to brooders and raised on milk formula. At the age of 10 or 28 days, five piglets of each group (birth weight x rearing strategy) were euthanized and the jejunum was sampled. The presence of adherent Gram+ and Gram- bacteria was scored and the volume densities of CD8+ cells, CD4+ cells and CD172a+ myloid cells were determined. Irrespective of birth weight, sow-fed piglets possessed a predominant Gram+ microbiome at 10 days of age, whereas formula-fed animals had more Gram- microbiota. With increasing age, however, Gram+ microbiota took the upper hand in these animals. The volume densities of CD8+ and CD4+ cells rose with increasing age and were consistently lower in LBW piglets. Both rearing strategies had a similar influence on the volume densities of these cell populations. . In contrast, the volume densities of CD172a+ myloid cells did not differ significantly between the birth weight, rearing strategy and age groups. Three observations allow to conclude that artificial rearing could be a valuable alternative for suckling the sow. First, within each birth weight category, the mean weight of the 28-day-old piglets was similar for both rearing groups. Secondly, the effect of milk formula on the composition of the intestinal microbiome was only temporary since formula-fed piglets restored the more beneficial Gram+ microbiome by the end of the artificial rearing period. Finally, artificial rearing did not influence, either positively or negatively, the volume densities of CD8+, CD4+ and CD172a+ immune cells when compared to conventional rearing.


      PubDate: 2016-01-11T12:10:51Z
       
  • Grazing behaviour of Miranda donkeys in a natural mountain pasture and
           parasitic level changes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): M. Couto, A.S. Santos, J. Laborda, M. Nóvoa, L.M. Ferreira, L.M. Madeira de Carvalho
      The Miranda donkey (Equus asinus) has an important role in the maintenance of rural landscape and traditions in inland of Portugal. Breeding and keeping of these animals rely on mountain pasture areas, known for their characteristic botanical diversity. However, their grazing behaviour in these areas has not been described and this knowledge is important to set the best management practices that promote an efficient use of these particular feed resources that could be related with parasitic level of these animals. In this way, this study aimed to assess feeding behaviour, diet selection, and relate the total phenolic and tannin content of ingested plants with the parasite load in a group of Miranda donkeys under free ranging system in natural mountain pastures. For this purpose, eight adult non-pregnant Jennies from the Miranda donkey breed were managed under continuous grazing on a 1.6 ha natural mountain pasture from late May to late July. Body condition score (BCS) and grazing behaviour of the Jennies was assessed in two different occasions. Additionally, the level of gastrointestinal nematode infections of the herd was assessed throughout the study. Results showed that animals spent 75.6% of total observation time in search/prehension activities corresponding to an average of 16h/day. Jennies showed a preference for herbaceous species, although they were able to incorporate in their diet up to 30% of shrubs, suggesting that they can be used as biological tool for controlling and reducing shrub encroachment in these mountain areas. Parasite level increased from 0% positive samples in June to a maximum of 25% in July. The increase of EPG may be related with the observed decrease in the shrub consumption throughout the observation period. Having in account the presence of phenolic and condensed tannins in shrubs, their potential as natural anti-parasitic compounds and the possibility of taking part in donkey diet, these preliminary results can be of the utmost importance regarding an integrated approach of Miranda donkey parasite control.


      PubDate: 2016-01-11T12:10:51Z
       
  • Intra-chromosomal estimates of inbreeding and coancestry in the spanish
           holstein cattle population
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): D. Kleinman-Ruiz, B. Villanueva, J. Fernández, M.A. Toro, L.A. García-Cortés, S.T. Rodríguez-Ramilo
      In recent years, inbreeding and coancestry are being estimated from genome-wide molecular information using a large number of SNPs. Molecular inbreeding and coancestry can be calculated for the whole genome or for particular regions of the genome. In this study, genome-based inbreeding and coancestry were estimated per chromosome and at intra-chromosomal level in a group of Holstein animals genotyped with the Illumina BovineSNP50 BeadChip. After applying filtering criteria, the genomic dataset included 36,693 autosomal SNPs and 10,569 animals. Genome-based inbreeding and coancestry at intra-chromosomal level were calculated using sliding windows of approximately 5Mb. The results showed differential patterns of inbreeding and coancestry on specific chromosome regions. These patterns provide a more detailed picture of genetic diversity that could be used, for example, for the detection of regions with low levels of genetic diversity that require a specific genetic management in conservation programmes.


      PubDate: 2016-01-07T13:36:10Z
       
  • Pedigree analysis of the endangered Old Kladruber Horse population
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): H. Vostrá-Vydrová, L. Vostrý., B. Hofmanová, E. Krupa, L. Zavadilová
      The Old Kladruber horse, along with the Lipizzaner horse, Andalusian horse and Lusitano horse, is of the original Italo-Spanish type. The Old Kladruber horse is kept in two colour varieties (grey and black). Because the population is closed, there is a concern about the loss of genetic variation. The genetic diversity and population structure were analysed in the Old Kladruber horse breed based on the pedigree information of animals that were registered in the Studbook to identify factors that may have affected the genetic variability of the breed. Pedigree records collected from 1729 to 2013 contained information on 7971 animals that were used in the analyses. The pedigree depth was up to 33 generations, with an average of 15.1 complete generations. The effective number of founders and ancestors contributing to the current genetic pool was 92.69 and 17.16, respectively. The average values of the inbreeding coefficient were as follows: 13% (with a maximum value of 29%) for the reference population (individuals that can currently take part in reproduction, n=612), 11% for the grey variety (with a maximum value of 25%) and 15% for the black variety (with a maximum value of 29%). The proportion of inbred animals was high (99%). The average rate of inbreeding in the reference population was 1%: 0.8% for the grey variety and 1.1% for the black variety, and the respective estimates of the effective population sizes were 52 for the reference population, 62 for the grey variety and 45 for the black variety. The estimated percentage of genetic diversity lost due to non-random mating within subpopulations and the reference population was 1.0, 1.0 and 1.2%, respectively. The total loss of genetic diversity in the reference population, in the grey variety and in the black variety was 11%, 13% and 17%, respectively.


      PubDate: 2016-01-07T13:36:10Z
       
  • Relationship between morphology and performance: Signature of
           mass-selection in Pura Raza Español horse
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): M.J. Sánchez-Guerrero, A. Molina, M.D. Gómez, F. Peña, M. Valera
      Horse conformation is considered an indicator of performance, which plays an important role in breeding decisions. Apart from conformation, Pura Raza Española horse (PRE) breeding goal is to improve its functionality, and they are being selected by some studs over the last decades as a dressage sport horse. This process may be accompanied by a mass selection which has probably caused morphological changes in recent decades. This paper has three main aims: to evaluate the development of body conformation in PRE over the last three generation intervals (GI), to evaluate the current morphological differences of PRE selected for dressage competitions by specialized stud farms with others with the others and to estimate the genetic parameters in order to show the response to individual mass selection. A maximum of 26 morphological measurements (MM) from 52,681 PRE collected between 1980 and 2013 were split into three groups of 11 years (GI). The GLM showed that gender and GI were significant factors in all the MM analyzed in the last 30 years. In the current PRE population, gender and belonging to a stud attached to the official dressage improvement program were significant factors for 17 and 16MM respectively. The heritabilities ranged from 0.31 (angle of shoulder) to 0.80 (height at withers). There 57.5% of the genetic correlations were higher than 0.50. The predicted breeding values were different for dressage and non-dressage subpopulations.


      PubDate: 2016-01-07T13:36:10Z
       
  • Feed composition at the onset of feeding behaviour influences slaughter
           weight in rabbits
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): T. Read, S. Combes, T. Gidenne, N. Destombes, L. Grenet, L. Fortun-Lamothe
      This study aimed to assess the influence of feed composition at the onset of solid feed intake, at 18 to 28 d of age, on growth performance and health in young rabbits until slaughter age (70 d). 796 rabbit kits, issued from 64 does followed during two successive reproduction cycles, were divided into 2 experimental groups differing in the diet that the suckling rabbits received from 18 to 28 d of age. From 18–28 d, young rabbits in the RF group were fed a diet that met the needs of reproductive does (R; 10.57 MJ DE/Kg, 128g DP/kg, 199g DF/kg), while young rabbits in the FF group were fed a diet that met the needs of growing rabbits (F; 9.35 MJ DE/kg, 98g DP/kg, 258g DF/kg). From 28–70 d rabbits of both groups were fed the F diet. Does received the R diet throughout the experiment thanks to experimental cages that allow separate feeding between mothers and their litters. In both groups, feed was offered ad libitum before weaning (35 d) and from 63 to 70 d of age but was restricted from weaning to 63 d. Feed intake, animal weights and health status were recorded weekly. Mortality was recorded daily. Feed intake was higher in the RF group than in the FF group from 18–21 d (+ 27%, P <0.001) and 21–28 d (+14.7%, P <0.01). Feed intake was similar in both groups from 28–35 d (34g/d/kit, NS). This resulted in a higher average daily gain from 18–28 d (+13.9%, P <0.001) and a higher weight at weaning (+7.7%, P <0.001) in the RF group compared to the FF group. This difference in live weight between the two groups was reduced at 70 d (+2.4%, P <0.05) due to a lower feed conversion rate in the FF group at 42–49 d and 63–70 d (P <0.05). Mortality was low before (1.2%) and after weaning (0.4%), and no differences were seen between the groups concerning mortality and morbidity (NS). This did not support the hypothesis that suckling rabbits regulate feed intake based on energy content of the diet at the onset of solid feed intake, but suggests that the moment of distribution of fattening feed before weaning has an impact on weight at weaning and kit health during the fattening period.


      PubDate: 2016-01-02T15:01:40Z
       
  • Suckling strategies in the pig: The Göttingen Minipig as a model
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Janko Skok, Martina Gerken
      Göttingen minipig (GMP) has gained importance as model animal in human medicine. However, little is known about the suckling behaviour of GMP. Suckling is considered as a fundamental behavioural trait in mammals, most important for development and survival of the individual. Understanding its development and changes due to artificial selection is important when planning selection on reproductive traits in sows. GMP is a highly valuable model for studying the suckling behaviour in the pig, because its key features are intermediate between commercial breeds (CB) and wild boar (WB), namely, similar teat number as CB, similar litter size as WB and balanced muscularity of extremities. We compared the suckling behaviour of GMP and CB based on measures of suckling stability (the probability of consecutive sucklings on the same suckling position), suckling ranges (number of teat pairs in the range of the outermost teat pairs that piglets occupied) and piglets’ distribution along the udder by use of the MDE-model (effect of geometric constraints, normally expressed as a hump-shaped distribution of organisms). We also incorporated published date on suckling preferences of WB. Our study revealed alterations of suckling behaviour in piglets, wherein GMP showed intermediate suckling strategies (i.e. suckling ranges). However, there appeared to be a certain degree of behavioural conservatism. Domestic piglets maintained the tendency to prefer abdominal (middle) teats, which are anatomically posterior in WB and preferred by wild piglets. It can be suggested, that this general tendency seen in domestic piglets (GMP and CB), is not generated by geometric constraints (mid-domain effect), but appears to originate from the wild ancestor. Results of the present study suggest that the selection of CB for increasing litter size and higher number of teats might have led to imbalances between suckling behaviour, teat number and udder space availability.


      PubDate: 2016-01-02T15:01:40Z
       
  • The effect of early lactation concentrate build-up strategy on milk
           production, reproductive performance and health of dairy cows
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A.J. Dale, B. Hunter, R. Law, A.W. Gordon, C.P. Ferris
      The objective of this study was to examine the effect of two early lactation concentrate build-up strategies on cow performance, fertility and health. The study was undertaken on five Northern Ireland dairy farms, and involved 385 multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows. Cows were allocated to either an ‘Immediate’ or ‘Delayed’ concentrate build-up strategy postpartum. All cows were offered a ‘basal’ diet comprising forage and concentrates (mean, 7.4kg concentrate/cow/day), with a target crude protein (CP) and starch concentration of 145 and 170g/kg dry matter (DM), respectively. An additional 7.0kg of concentrate (mean across the five farms) was then introduced into the diet of each cow, at an incremental rate of approximately 0.5kg/day, over days 1–14 of lactation (‘Immediate build-up’) or over days 21–35 of lactation (‘Delayed build-up’), with the target CP and starch concentration of the total diet being 175 and 200g/kg DM, respectively. While average daily milk yield and fat-plus-protein yield was reduced (P<0.05) during weeks 2 to 5 of lactation with the Delayed concentrate build-up strategy, treatment had no effect on milk yield, milk composition or milk fat and protein concentration over the first 305 days of lactation. Cows on the Delayed build-up strategy produced milk with a higher somatic cell score (P<0.05), while no treatment x time interactions were observed on body condition score during the experimental period. Conception rate to first service was higher with the Delayed build-up strategy (P=0.047), although treatment had no effect on conception to first and second service, calving interval and cows confirmed pregnant during the study (P>0.05). The Delayed build-up strategy tended (P=0.051) to reduce the incidence of fertility related health issues within the first 30 days of lactation, but increased the incidence of mastitis (P<0.05). Treatment had no effect on any other health measures, the reasons that cows were culled, or the stage of lactation when cows were culled (P>0.05). Although concentrate build-up strategy had short-term effects on milk yield and fertility in early lactation, no long term benefits in performance, fertility, health or survival were observed with the Delayed Build-up strategy.


      PubDate: 2016-01-02T15:01:40Z
       
  • Monitoring of genetic diversity in Taiwan conserved chickens assessed by
           pedigree and molecular data
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Manh-Hung Pham, Xuan-Hoan Tran, Cécile Berthouly-Salazar, Michèle Tixier-Boichard, Chih-Feng Chen, Yen-Pai Lee
      Local chicken breeds face high risks of extinction. A conservation program has been set up for eight Taiwan conserved chicken populations (TCP). The research presented here aims at estimating effective population size (Ne) and conservation priorities of TCP populations using pedigree and molecular data. Genome diversity was assessed by genotyping 22 microsatellite markers in 45 to 50 animals per breed. Results from the pedigree-based analysis showed that most Ne values ranged between 50 and 100 except the Shek-Ki breed which exhibited the smallest value (46) so that most breeds could be considered as safe from a conservation point of view. The change in inbreeding per generation varied between 0.7 to 1.9% depending on breeds. Ne values estimated from molecular-based analysis were generally lower than those estimated from pedigree-based analysis, suggesting a loss of diversity between the onset of the conservation program (from 1983 to 1995) and the start of pedigree recording in 2002. According to Ne values, the TCP populations do not appear to be at a high risk, but mating plans by a rotation mating system should be designed in order to limit the increase in inbreeding. Regarding the conservation strategy within the TCP, the Shek-Ki and Hua-Tung breeds showed the highest priority for conservation in terms of genetic risk status and contributions to total diversity across pedigree- and molecular-based approaches. In conclusion, this study of TCP populations shows how different types of data can be combined to define conservation priorities considering risk, diversity, or utility of local chicken breeds.


      PubDate: 2016-01-02T15:01:40Z
       
  • Cilostamide and follicular hemisections inhibit oocyte meiosis resumption
           and regulate gene expression and cAMP levels in bovine cumulus-oocyte
           complexes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): F.T.G. Bezerra, A.W.B. Silva, V.B. Rissi, P.A. Rosa, M.P. Cesaro, J.J.N. Costa, P.B.D. Gonçalves, J.R.V. Silva
      This study investigated (1) the effects of cilostamide and follicular hemisections on in vitro oocyte meiotic resumption during a pre-maturation period of 12h, (2) the levels of cAMP in bovine cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) after pre-maturation, and (3) the expression of mRNA for CONNEXIN 43(CX43), HAS2, MATER, NPM2 and ZAR1 in denuded oocytes and cumulus cells from COCs that were subjected to both pre-maturation and maturation in vitro. To evaluate the effects of follicular hemisections and cilostamide on meiosis resumption, COCs were subjected to pre-IVM for 12h in TCM-199 alone or in presence of 10µM cilostamide, follicular hemisections and both cilostamide and follicular hemisections. After 6h, COCs were used to measure the levels of cAMP, while after 12h of pre-IVM, COCs were fixed to assess meiotic progression or stored to evaluate mRNA expression. At the end of this pre-IVM period, COCs were matured in vitro and meiotic progression was evaluated. The results showed that the presence of both follicular hemisections and cilostamide in pre-maturation medium increased significantly the percentages of oocytes at germinal vesicle stage (94%) when compared with COCs cultured in control medium alone or in presence of either follicular hemisections or cilostamide. After this pre-maturation period, 75% of oocytes reached metaphase II after 16h of maturation, emphasizing that cilostamide did not have a toxic effect on oocytes. Moreover, oocytes cultured in medium containing cilostamide and follicular hemisections had significantly higher levels of cAMP when compared to other treatments. The presence of both cilostamide and follicular hemisections also increased the levels of mRNA expression for NPM2 and maintained those of MATER, ZAR1, HAS2 and CX43 similar to control. In conclusion, cilostamide and follicular hemisections interact and promotes the maintenance of oocytes at germinal vesicle stage by increasing the levels cAMP in cultured COCs.


      PubDate: 2016-01-02T15:01:40Z
       
  • Genetic parameters for longevity and informative value of early indicator
           traits in Danish show jumping horses
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): T. Seierø, T. Mark, L. Jönsson
      The study aim was to investigate the usefulness of different longevity measures in Danish show jumping horses as well as potential early indicator traits for longevity in jumping. The analyses comprised jumping competition data from 9,592 horses born during 1981 to 1994, 30,435 young horse records, and their pedigree. Genetic parameters and breeding values were estimated using AI-REML and mixed models including fixed effects of birth year, age at first placing, sex and number of offspring. Four longevity traits were investigated: no. years in competition from first to last entry (NYC), no. active years in competition i.e. only years with a registered start/placing (NAY), NAY plus no. foals carried to term by mares (NAYF), and accumulated lifetime points (LDP) combining longevity and competition success. Longevity defined as NAY was found most useful for the Danish Warmblood. The heritability of NAY was 0.11. Young horse jumping traits had moderate to high genetic correlation with longevity (rg: 0.51-0.74) and highest value as indicator trait among young horse traits (rg×rIA: 0.23-0.44). Conformation had lower informative value for longevity (highest rg×rIA was 0.10). Including information of young horse capacity and rideability during jumping in a multivariate analysis increased the accuracy of NAY breeding values of younger horses from 0.32 to 0.49 and increased model predictive ability compared to a univariate longevity evaluation.


      PubDate: 2015-12-29T14:31:55Z
       
  • Nutritive value of common tree leaves for livestock in the semi-arid and
           arid rangelands of Northern Pakistan
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): G. Habib, N.A. Khan, A. Sultan, M. Ali
      The aim of this study was to establish a database on nutrients and mineral profile, in vitro dry matter digestibility (DMD) and in situ ruminal degradability characteristics of leaves from 21 fodder tree species commonly fed to livestock in semi-arid and arid zones of Northern Pakistan. Leaves from 13 fodder tree species: Albizia lebbeck, Ailanthus altissima, Bauhinia variegata, Butea frondosa, Celtis australis, Ficus carica, Grewia oppositifolia, Leucaena leucocephala, Mallotus philippensis, Melia azedarach, Morus alba, Morus papyrifera and Ziziphus mauritiana were sampled from semi-arid zone. Leaves from 8 fodder tree species: Acacia modesta, Albizia lebbeck, Capparis aphylla, Olea cuspidata, Prosopis juliflora, Tecomella undulata, Ziziphus jujuba and Ziziphus mauritiana were sampled from arid zone. Within each ecological zone, leaves of each tree species were collected at four sub-locations, from three randomly selected trees. The results showed a large variation in the concentration of all measured chemical components, DMD and ruminal degradation characteristics among the tree species. The contents of crude protein (CP) varied from 8.76% (T. undulata) to 24.0% (M. alba); ash from 7.41% (O. cuspidata) to 22.4% (C. australis); and neutral detergent fiber from 20.6 (L. leucocephala) to 56.5% (C. aphylla). Except for T. undulata, leaves from all tree species had CP content of >10%, and 60% of the species had leaves with >15% CP, demonstrating that leaves from majority of tree species can be used as low-cost CP supplement. The mineral composition revealed that, except for C. aphylla, leaves from all tree species were rich sources of Ca, whilst most of the species were deficient in P, Na and Cu. The DMD of the majority (66%) of tree leaves were <50.0%, ranging from 33.1% (M. philippensis) to 67.6% (M. alba). The in situ data further showed that a large fraction of ruminal degradable dry matter was instantaneously degraded (soluble). The potentially rumen degradable (D) fraction and rate of degradation (kd) was highly variable, ranging from 0.234 to 0.958 and 0.026 to 0.99/h, respectively. The effective ruminal dry matter degradability (EDDM) was higher than the in vitro DMD, ranging from 0.34 to 0.84, at an outflow rate of 0.05/h. This information on nutrients and mineral profile, in vitro DMD and in situ ruminal degradability characteristics of leaves from 21 fodder tree species, obtained under well replicated and uniform experimental conditions can be used to optimize diet formulation in terms of nutrients supply to the animals that will ensure better utilization of this nutrients-rich feed resource and will increase economic profitability of subsistence livestock farmers in the region.


      PubDate: 2015-12-25T14:09:35Z
       
  • Non-infectious causes of pre-weaning mortality in piglets
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2016
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 184
      Author(s): R. Muns, M. Nuntapaitoon, P. Tummaruk
      Piglet pre-weaning mortality (PWM) is one of the major reproductive components that affects herd productivity in the swine industry. Knowledge of factors that influence piglet PWM are important to improve animal welfare, to reduce production loss and to raise profits in commercial herds. The main objective of the present work was to review the most important non-infectious causes of piglet PWM and to present the main factors influencing them under commercial conditions. Piglet pre-weaning mortality is a multifactorial process, the small size of piglets at birth, together with their low body energy storage and their immature immune system, make them prone to chilling, starving, or being crushed by the sow. In general, factors causing piglet PWM are usually classified into three major groups: piglet (i.e., birth weight, vitality, and gender), sow (i.e., colostrum, parity, maternal stress, and sow nutrition), and environmental factors (i.e., season and temperature, housing, and management). Birth weight is the most determinant factor for piglet survival with direct impact on thermoregulatory capacity and growth; piglet vitality is also correlated with survival and growth and is strongly influenced by the degree of intra-partum hypoxia suffered by the piglet; additionally, piglet PWM appears to be sex-biased, with males showing greater susceptibility to causal mortality factors. Newborn piglets are highly dependent on colostrum to use it as energy substrate for thermoregulation and growth, and also to acquire passive immunity crucial for their future survival; however, sows' parity is a factor with contradictory effect on PWM which requires further research; a proper sows' comfort is also important for maternal stress around farrowing might have a negative impact on offsprings development and also increases the risk of crushing; sows' nutrition will influence foetal development and piglet birth weight, and is determinant to ensure a proper colostrum/milk production. Finally, ambient temperature has an important impact on piglet survival because piglets are very sensitive to cold stress. The housing system used in the farrowing room seems to influence the incidence of crushing. Promising results have been obtained using recent designs that combine initial confinement of the sow with the subsequent ability to move within the same pen. Different management strategies to deal with PWM are usually performed by producers around farrowing. However, there is a lack of scientific evidence on techniques, such as oral supplementation of piglets, cross-fostering, nurse sow systems, or artificial rearing of piglets, and further research should be of interest.


      PubDate: 2015-12-25T14:09:35Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2016
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 183




      PubDate: 2015-12-21T13:53:33Z
       
  • Low birth weight affects lifetime productive performance and longevity of
           female swine
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): D. Magnabosco, M.L. Bernardi, I. Wentz, E.C.P. Cunha, F.P. Bortolozzo
      It is commonly known that large litter size leads to lower average birth weights, with more piglets born weighing <1kg, resulting in a negative impact on piglet growth performance. Conversely, there are few studies showing the long-term impact of low birth weight on productive performance of female piglets selected for the breeding herd. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of birth weight on reproductive performance and longevity up to the third farrowing of Landrace x Large White crossbred gilts. For most variables, 835 gilts selected for breeding were included in the analyses. When the analysis concerned the number of days in the herd from birth onwards, data from 1,495 females were analyzed. Gilts were retrospectively classified into eight classes of birth weight (BiW), with approximately 12.5% of gilts in each group. Overall, gilts were 196.8±0.6 days old at first estrus manifestation, which occurred in 23.8%, 44.4% and 64.6% of gilts within 10, 20 and 30 days of boar exposure, respectively, with no difference (P>0.05) among BiW classes. Age at puberty was similar among BiW classes in gilts that showed estrus within 30 d of boar exposure (P≥0.428), but PG600-gilts weighing 410-1160g reached the puberty later than those weighing >1400g (P<0.05). Removal due to anestrous was higher (P≤0.093) in female piglets of 410-990g (22.9%) compared with the other BiW classes (overall 9.6%). There were no differences among BiW classes in the first (P=0.480) and second (P=0.400) farrowing rate but piglets of 1000-1160g and 1510-1610g had lower third farrowing rate (P=0.041) than piglets weighing >1620g. The total number of piglets born (P=0.08) and piglets born alive (P=0.028) were lower for the lightest BiW class in the first farrowing but they were similar among BiW classes in the second and third farrowing. The percentage of first-mated gilts that reached the third farrowing (68.7%) was not affected by BiW (P>0.05). The third farrowing was reached at 627.4±1.17 days of age on average, with no significant difference among BiW classes (P=0.806). Females born weighing less than 1kg produced about 4.5 fewer piglets along three parities than the other BiW classes (P≤0.05). Female piglets weighing between 1.0 and 1.28kg at birth were also negatively affected in terms of lifetime herd days, although to a less extent than those weighing less than 1kg, in comparison with piglets weighing >1.28kg. However, the number of herd days, from selection for entry into the breeding herd to the third farrowing or removal, was not different (P=0.257) among BiW classes. The results of this study show that low BiW (<1kg) negatively influences the production of piglets and longevity of female swine.


      PubDate: 2015-12-21T13:53:33Z
       
  • Thermographic Assessment of Hoof Temperature in Dairy Cows With Different
           Mobility Scores
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A.R. Rodríguez, F.J. Olivares, P.T. Descouvieres, M.P. Werner, N.A. Tadich, H.A. Bustamante
      The aim of this study was to determine if temperature varies in hooves of cows with different mobility scores (MS) using infrared thermography. A total of 120 Friesian, Kiwi cross and Jersey cows were used, which were grouped according to their mobility scores (MS 0-3: n=30 in each MS group). Animals were introduced in a crush for clinical examination and then thermograms from the anterior, posterior, lateral and sole views were taken. Thermogram analysis of different anatomical hoof zones was performed. The temperatures obtained for different views were: anterior (20.8°C–24.7°C), posterior (20.7°C–25.9°C), lateral (19.2°C–22.4°C) and sole (16.5°C–20.1°C). The observed zonal temperature for each view was independent and similar for all MS, however significant differences between cows with MS 0 and MS 3 are described. For this purpose, a threshold temperature for the sole view>16.6°C was set allowing the identification of 83% cows with MS 1 and 60% those cows with MS 0. The best trade off was obtained for the posterior view, with a threshold temperature>23.5°C, allowing the identification~70% of both cows with MS 0 and MS 3. Using IRT we were able to show that cows with MS 3 had higher hoof temperatures compared to cows with MS 0 in the anterior, posterior and sole views. None of the evaluated thermographic views showed significant temperatures changes for cows with MS 1 and MS 2. IRT is not a practical method to be used on farm and does not contribute to early lameness detection.


      PubDate: 2015-12-21T13:53:33Z
       
  • Authentication of “mono-breed” pork products: Identification
           of a coat colour gene marker in Cinta Senese pigs useful to this purpose
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): L. Fontanesi, E. Scotti, M. Gallo, L. Nanni Costa, S. Dall'Olio
      The possibility to authenticate food products is crucial to defend local livestock production chains from frauds. Cinta Senese is an autochthonous pig breed reared under extensive or semi-extensive management systems, mainly in the Tuscany (Italy). A Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) brand for Cinta Senese meat was recently obtained. The breed is characterised by a typical black with a white-belted coat colour pattern. We analyzed a coat colour gene (KIT) to identify a DNA marker that could be useful for Cinta Senese meat product authentication. An informative single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was identified among different KIT gene haplotypes that were obtained from several pigs of different breeds. This SNP (g.43597545C>T; position on porcine chromosome 8 in the Sscrofa10.2 genome assembly) was genotyped by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) in 631 animals of 11 different pig breeds and one wild boar population. Allele T was almost fixed in Cinta Senese (95.9%) and absent in many breeds and was considered the tag SNP of the belted allele. Probability to correctly assign an unknown meat sample to Cinta Senese was 0.97–1.00. This DNA marker can be useful to distinguish meat of Cinta Senese pigs from meat of non-belted pigs. Thus, it could be an important tool not only to defend Cinta Senese pork chain from frauds but also to design breeding plans to eliminate non belted alleles from this pig population.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-12-21T13:53:33Z
       
  • Influence of prepartum dietary energy on beef cow performance and calf
           growth and carcass characteristics
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): T.B. Wilson, D.B. Faulkner, D.W. Shike
      Objectives were to evaluate the effects of prepartum dietary energy intake on cow performance as well as performance and carcass characteristics of subsequent progeny. Spring-calving, mature cows (n=106 total) were blocked by BW and allotted to 1 of 2 treatments: ground hay and dried distillers grains plus solubles (REQ: TDN=61.8%, CP=11.0%, fat=2.1%), or corn bran and ground cornstalks (HE: TDN=70.3%, CP=10.0%, fat=5.7%). Treatments were limit-fed as isonitrogenous rations with REQ and HE providing 100% and 125% of TDN requirements, respectively, and were fed from 83±10 d prepartum to calving. All cows were fed a common diet postpartum. Cow BW and BCS were recorded at the beginning of the feeding period, 24h post-calving, and at breeding. Milk production was estimated via the weigh-suckle-weigh technique 65±9 and 120±9 d postpartum. Calf BW was measured at birth and at weaning (120±9 d of age). Calves (n=86) were fed a common feedlot diet beginning 21 d after weaning, and individual feed intake was monitored using GrowSafe. Progeny were slaughtered in 3 groups at an average 12th rib fat thickness of 1.3cm. From initiation of experiment to breeding, cow BW change was greater (P<0.01) and BCS change tended to be greater (P=0.09) for HE relative to REQ cows. Birth BW was greater (P=0.02) for calves born to cows fed HE with no increase (P=0.30) in percentage of unassisted births. There were no effects (P≥0.27) of treatment on calving date, milk production, or subsequent pregnancy rate. Calf weaning BW, initial feedlot BW, final BW, and days on feed were not affected (P≥0.20) by treatment. Feedlot DMI, ADG, and G:F were not different (P≥0.35). There was no effect (P≥0.27) of treatment on progeny morbidity. Although progeny born to HE dams tended (P=0.10) to have greater marbling scores at weaning, there was no effect (P≥0.60) of treatment on carcass marbling score or other carcass traits. Feeding cows 125% of TDN requirement during late gestation increased cow BW change and progeny birth body weight. Feeding cows 125% of TDN requirement during late gestation had no effect on pregnancy rate or progeny performance.


      PubDate: 2015-12-17T13:41:04Z
       
  • AN EXPERIMENTAL MODEL FOR STUDYING CLAW LESIONS IN GROWING FEMALE PIGS
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Anne-Charlotte Olsson, Jørgen Svendsen, Jos Botermans, Christer Bergsten
      Problems with claw lesions leading to lameness are a growing concern in pig production. However, the causes and development of claw lesions are poorly understood and studies on prevention of claw lesion problems in gilts and sows are limited. This study tested a new experimental model which facilitates evaluation of the impact of different risk factors on pig feet lesions. The model consisted of using young gilts with a well-known background and promoting traumatic claw lesions for study purposes by increasing social and agonistic activity through regrouping on concrete flooring. Then claw lesions were assessed systematically and objectively on feet after slaughter. To test the model, two levels of exposure to concrete flooring were compared; normal activity in groups of gilts (no regrouping = NR) and increased activity in groups of gilts by performing several regroupings (repeated regrouping = RR). A total of 72 gilts (pairs of litter mates) in two batches, aged 4 months, were randomly distributed to the two treatments (NR and RR) in group pens (3 gilts per pen) with concrete flooring. The gilts were given approximately 200 g of straw per gilt every day. At 8, 9 and 10 months of age, half the gilts (36 animals) were regrouped with each other. At 11 months of age, all gilts in both treatments were slaughtered and the left rear foot from each was removed and collected for detailed studies of claw lesions. Lesions of the heel, transition heel/toe, white line, wall and toe and over-growth of the heel were assessed on the outer and inner digit. Blind scoring of claw lesions on a scale from 0 to 3 was carried out in laboratory conditions on cleaned claws. Body lesions were also blind-scored on a scale from 0 to 3 one week after the third regrouping. The results showed claw lesions on the soft and hard horn of the claws and significantly (p=0.004) higher claw lesion score in RR gilts (0.40) than in NR gilts (0.23). It was concluded that as expected, regrouping gilts on concrete flooring resulted in both more numerous and more severe claw lesions than ungrouped gilts. Likewise, body lesion score was significantly (p<0.001) higher in RR gilts (1.71) than NR gilts (0.46).It was also concluded that the proposed model could be a successful experimental design for challenging different risk factors, e.g. flooring and management, for development of claw lesions in pigs.


      PubDate: 2015-12-17T13:41:04Z
       
  • The Effects of purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) powder on growth
           performance, carcass characteristics, antioxidant status, and blood
           metabolites in broiler chickens
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Ghorbanali Sadeghi, Ahmad Karimi, Foad Shafeie, Asaad Vaziry, Danial Farhadi
      This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of Portulaca oleracea L. powder (POP) on growth performance, carcass characteristics, antioxidant status, and blood metabolites in broiler chickens. A total of 280 one-day-old male broiler chickens were randomly assigned to 5 treatments: corn-soya bean meal as the basal control diet and the basal diet containing 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, or 1.00% of POP. Each treatment consisted of 4 replicate pens with 14 broiler chickens per pen. The results indicated that dietary inclusion of POP had no effect on broiler chickens body weight (BW) and body weight gain (BWG), whereas feed intake (FI) decreased compared to control (P<0.05). Broiler chickens fed diets supplemented with 0.25, 0.75, and 1.00% of POP had a lower (P<0.05) feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared to control at days 11 to 25 and 1 to 43 of age. At day 43 of age liver superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities were not affected by the treatments, whereas a greater (P<0.05) liver catalase activity (CAT) was recorded in broiler chickens fed 0.25 or 0.75% POP. Erythrocyte GSH-Px activity was also greater (P<0.05) when 0.50 and 1.00% of POP was added to the diet. Serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and serum and liver malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations were not affected by POP supplementation. Carcass characteristics, serum cholesterol, glucose, albumin, total protein, high density lipoproteins, and low density lipoproteins as well as haematocrit and haemoglobin values were not affected by POP treatments, whereas serum triglycerides increased (P<0.05) in broiler chickens fed POP supplemented diets. Supplementation of diet with POP increased Lactobacillus population and decreased Escherichia coli population in the ileum (P<0.05). In conclusion, POP improved feed efficiency and antioxidant status and can be considered as a feed additive in broiler chickens.


      PubDate: 2015-12-13T09:31:48Z
       
  • Comparisons of manual and automated incubation systems: Effects of venting
           procedures on in vitro ruminal fermentation
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): M. Wang, R. Wang, S.X. Tang, Z.L. Tan, C.S. Zhou, X.F. Han, J.H. Kang
      Gas produced was measured based on headspace pressures in both manual and automated in vitro incubation systems, which were always vented at pre-set fixed times (FT) and at a pre-set threshold of fixed pressure (FP) respectively. This study was to investigate these two venting procedures (VP) on kinetics of total gas, methane (CH 4 ) and hydrogen gas (gH 2 ), substrate degradation and volatile fatty acid (VFA) production. Corn grain, rice straw, rice grain and tall fescue were selected for in vitro ruminal batch incubation. Headspace pressure of FT procedure was manually released at incubation times being 2, 4, 8, 12, 20, 28, 36, 48 and 72h in manual incubation system, while headspace pressure of FP procedure was automatically released at threshold pressure being 9 kPa/bottle in automated incubation system. The FT procedure had particular high venting headspace pressure (> 40 kPa) at some incubation times for corn grain and rice grain. The FT procedure had a lower gas volume (P<0.001) and fractional rate of gas production (P<0.001) than FP procedure, which was caused by the decreased (P=0.01) substrate degradation and increased partial dissolution of CO2 under higher venting headspace pressure. The FP procedure had higher (P=0.016) fractional rate of CH4 production than FT procedure. The FT procedure had lower final asymptotic gH2 volume (P=0.01) and fractional rate of gH2 formation (P=0.002), and higher propionate production (P=0.05), in comparison with FP procedure. The higher propionate production under FT procedure indicated that more H2 was entering to VFA production, leading to less gH2 released into the headspace of bottle. In summary, the rate of gas, CH4 and gH2 generation could be different between VP and VT procedure, and higher venting headspace pressure caused by FT procedure altered kinetics of gas, CH4 and gH2 volume, substrate degradation and VFA production.


      PubDate: 2015-12-13T09:31:48Z
       
  • Estimation of the pasture intake of individual yearlings by controlled
           supplementation with 13C or natural alkanes and alcohols
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): D.J. Cottle
      This study compared measuring the stable isotope, 13C, in the faeces with measuring alkanes and alcohols, using a system for automatically dispensing supplement, to determine the proportions of C3 (temperate legumes and grasses) and C4 (maize grain supplement) dietary components. These proportions enable the estimation of the total pasture intake of individual animals if the intake of one dietary component (the supplement) is known. Pasture intakes of 32 Hereford yearling bulls that had been fed known amounts of maize grain mixed with paraffin wax, while grazing C3 pasture, were estimated. Intake estimates from 13C results corrected for both diet discrimination and organic matter digestibility, using a C4 supplement, were more credible than solely correcting for diet discrimination. 13C values were similar for the C3 plants in the study so the assumed mixture of C3 plants in the diet had minimal impact on the ranking of animals for total intake. Intakes determined by alkane and alcohol concentrations in the faeces did not appear to be more credible than intakes determined by 13C due to the analytical variability that can occur with measuring alkanes and alcohols. The rank correlations of the bulls’ feed efficiencies (estimated as liveweight gain over 76 days / estimated intake) determined by different intake marker methods and assumed pasture mixes in the diet were all 0.95–0.96. When total pasture intake estimates are required, rather than intakes of all dietary components, the most cost- effective method studied was to use 13C as a marker and a C4 plant, such as maize grain, as a supplement.


      PubDate: 2015-12-08T09:13:25Z
       
  • Economic values and evaluation of breeding schemes for non-market traits
           with applications to an endangered pig breed
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A.D.M. Biermann, E. Rommelfanger, J. Anthe, H. Frevert, S. König
      For the sustainable conservation of local breeds, alternative breeding programs are needed to compete against conventional breeds. Alternative breeding strategies in pig production place more emphasis on meat and sensorial quality for economical competiveness. Hence, two main objective of this study were 1.) to derive economic values for meat and sensorial quality traits based on a consumer’s survey, and 2.) to design and to evaluate alternative breeding schemes for the endangered German pig breed “Bunte Bentheimer” (BB). The consumer survey included a total of 101 respondents, which were asked for their willingness to pay (WTP) for tasted meat samples, and for further quality trait characteristics concerning the appearance of meat, presented as photographs. Based on the average WTP for different quality classes, economic values were derived. Economic values per trait unit using tasted meat samples were −0.78 € for shear force (SF), 57.52 € for intramuscular fat content (IMF), −0.43 € for meat color (COL) and 14.65 € for drip loss (DL). In contrast, economic values for same appearance traits, but based on the WTP using photographs (O_COL and O_DL), were −2.72 € and −5.18 €. Those divergent results indicate utilization of photographs for the derivation of economic weights for traits which are not ascertainable by tasting (e.g., color and drip loss). Economic values from the first part were used to design and to evaluate alternative breeding schemes for the BB breed. Breeding goals were defined in order to improve meat and sensorial quality. Economic evaluation criteria were discounted profit and annual genetic gain. Breeding schemes using an on-station test for full-sibs of selection candidates were not profitable due to high breeding costs. As an alternative, a breeding scheme based on phenotypes for in vivo ultrasound measurements for backfat thickness (BFiv), were designed. BFiv can directly be recorded on selection candidates and was considered as index trait to improve meat quality. Discounted profit for this breeding scheme was positive denoted with 35.92 € per animal due to a substantial reduction of breeding costs. As expected, annual genetic gain for IMF was lower compared to direct selection on IMF, but desirable higher genetic gain for SF was achieved. In consequence, profitability and furthermore sustainability of alternative breeding programs primarily depends on its applicability and corresponding breeding costs. A breeding scheme based on the index trait BFiv measured on selection candidates implies low breeding costs, and simultaneously moderate genetic gain for meat quality traits.


      PubDate: 2015-12-03T14:23:36Z
       
  • Interaction of dietary energy and protein on growth performance, carcass
           characteristics and digestibility in finishing barrows when fed at a
           constant digestible lysine to metabolizable energy ratio
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 November 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): P.M. Cline, T.C. Tsai, A.M. Stelzleni, C.R. Dove, M. Azain
      The objective of this study was to determine the performance response to changes in dietary fat, protein, and fiber content in finishing barrows while maintaining a constant apparent ileal digestible (AID) Lys to metabolizable energy (ME) ratio (AID Lys:ME). The experiment was conducted in 2 trials, each containing 25 individually penned pigs. In both trials, barrows (initial wt=85.3kg) were blocked by weight and assigned to one of five experimental diets (0.40, 0.44, 0.48, 0.52, and 0.56% digestible Lys) with a constant AID Lys:ME (1.44g/MCal). Lysine content was changed by altering the proportions of corn and soybean meal and energy was altered by the addition or removal of cellulose and fat. Diets contained 0.2% titanium dioxide as a digestibility marker. Pigs were fed experimental diets for 28d, and body weights, feed intakes, and ultrasound measurements of tenth rib backfat (BF) and loin eye area (LEA) were recorded on d 14 and 28. Blood samples were taken on d 28 to determine serum urea nitrogen (SUN), insulin, T3, and T4. A quadratic effect of increasing dietary Lys was seen on ADG on d 28 showing that the addition of Lys increased gain (P<0.01). Additionally, feed efficiency, energy intake, and Lys intake increased linearly as dietary Lys concentration increased from 0.40 to 0.56% AID Lys (P<0.01). Levels of T3 increased with increasing Lys (P<0.01), but there was no effect of diet on SUN, T4, or insulin. Ultrasound estimates of BF and LEA tended to increase linearly and quadratically, respectively, as dietary Lys increased (P<0.10). Digestibility of energy, protein, NDF, and hemicellulose increased linearly in pigs fed 0.40 to 0.56% AID Lys (P<0.05). These results demonstrate that formulating diets to meet the recommended AID Lys:ME is not sufficient to ensure optimal growth. Therefore, the concentration of protein and energy of the diet must be individually evaluated and corrected to obtain optimal growth and efficiency.


      PubDate: 2015-12-03T14:23:36Z
       
  • Feed intake and methane emissions from cattle grazing pasture sprayed with
           canola oil
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): C.S. Pinares-Patiño, F.E. Franco, G. Molano, H. Kjestrup, E. Sandoval, S. MacLean, M. Battistotti, J. Koolaard, J. Laubach
      Effects of canola oil spraying on feed intake, ruminal volatile fatty acids (VFA) concentrations and methane (CH4) emissions were investigated in cattle grazing a temperate pasture. Sixty 1-yr-old crossbred steers were allocated into two groups (n=30/group), balanced for body weight (293.8±14.0kg). Following acclimatisation the groups were randomly assigned to one of the two grazing treatments: daily grazing pasture strips (0.1ha) sprayed daily with canola oil (Oil-spray, 12L/strip) and no oil sprayed (Control). The experimental phase involved two periods (Period 1 and 2), for which a paddock of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) was subdivided by electric fences into 0.1ha strips. Period 1 lasted 5 d, whereas Period 2 lasted 12 days. Treatments were applied only in Period 2. Methane emissions were measured using the SF6 tracer technique over 3 days in Period 1 (baseline emissions) and over 4 days in Period 2. Individual animals’ feed dry matter intake (DMI) were estimated only in Period 2 using TiO2 as faecal output marker and in vitro digestibility of forage dry matter (IVDMD). Concentrations of VFA in rumen fluid were determined in samples collected at the end of the study by stomach-tubing. Baseline CH4 emissions did not differ between the cattle groups. In Period 2, the herbage eaten by cattle on Oil-spray treatment had higher fat content than on Control (8.9 vs. 3.9% of DM), with no apparent difference in other chemical entities. Cattle grazed on Oil-spray pasture had higher (P=0.02) DMI than those on Control pasture (8.29 vs. 7.51kg/d). Methane emissions from cattle on Oil-spray treatment were lower (P<0.01) than those on Control pasture both on gross (138.6 vs. 156.1g/d) and per unit of feed intake (17.2 vs. 20.9g/kg DMI) basis. Oil spraying of pasture resulted in lower (P<0.001) acetate/propionate ratio in rumen fluid compared to Control pasture (4.2 vs. 5.1). It is concluded that enhanced dietary lipids contents is an effective means of reducing CH4 emissions from grazed pasture. Longer term evaluation of oil supplementation effects on CH4 emission and feeding value of grazed herbages may aid in defining forage breeding avenues targeting lipid content of forage species.


      PubDate: 2015-12-03T14:23:36Z
       
  • Longitudinal Analysis of Body Weight, Feed Intake and Residual Feed Intake
           in F2 Chickens
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 December 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Hakimeh Emamgholi Begli, Rasoul Vaez Torshizi, Ali Akbar Masoudi, Alireza Ehsani, Just Jensen
      The aim of this study was to estimate covariance functions, using B-spline random regression models for body weight (BW), feed intake (FI) and residual feed intake (RFI) in F2 chickens. Feed intake and body weight were recorded on each bird every week from 2 to 10 weeks of age. The F2 population was derived from a cross between a fast growing Arian broiler line and Iranian native fowl. Sex, hatch and age in week were fitted as fixed effects and additive genetic and permanent environment as random effects. Variance components were estimated by the means of a Bayesian analysis, using Gibbs sampling. Covariance components for cumulative FI and RFI were obtained as a function of week on test. The heritability estimates for BW ranged from 0.19 to 0.34 and were high at the early ages, decreases with age to a moderate value. A similar pattern was observed for FI, where the heritabilities decreased from 0.29 to 0.12 from the second week to 10th week of age. Estimates of heritabilities for RFI along the growth trajectory ranged from 0.10 to 0.29 and increased over the time. Cumulative FI and RFI had medium to high heritability (0.24 and 0.41, respectively). The posterior means of genetic correlations between BW at different age were moderate to high from 2 to 10 weeks of age, ranging from 0.26 to 0.99. These estimates for phenotypic correlations were lower than the corresponding genetic correlations for all the weeks. The posterior means of genetic correlations between different weeks of age ranged from 0.10 to 0.99 for FI and -0.15 to 0.96 for RFI. The genetic and phenotypic correlations consistently decreased as the time interval increased for all traits. However, for the cumulative FI and RFI traits were increased with increasing the age interval from 2 to 9 weeks of age. The genetic correlations and expected response to indirect selection showed that the optimum test length for FI and RFI can be reduced to 2 weeks without a large loss in overall genetic gain in FI or RFI. In general, spline model showed that there was genetic variation in the BW, FI and RFI curve of individual chicken. The results indicated that random regression models can provide a good description of the data and is recommended for genetic selection in chickens.


      PubDate: 2015-12-03T14:23:36Z
       
  • Genome-wide association study of growth and body composition traits in
           Brangus beef cattle
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 November 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Ziqing Weng, Hailin Su, Mahdi Saatchi, Jungjae Lee, Milton G. Thomas, Jenelle R. Dunkelberger, Dorian J. Garrick
      The availability of high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotypes, such as BoveineHD770K, provides opportunities to identify genomic regions associated with traits in cattle. The objective of this study was to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with growth and body composition traits in Brangus beef cattle using actual and imputed 770K SNP genotypes. A total of 1537 Brangus beef cattle were genotyped with the Bovine50K, GGPHD77K, or BovineHD770K SNP chip and deregressed estimated breeding values were derived and fitted as observations in analyses. BayesB approach was used to map QTL for each trait, and significant windows and SNPs were identified. A total of 18 QTL were identified, in which 7 were associated with more than one trait, while the remained 11 QTL were trait-specific. One pleiotropic QTL of particularly large-effect was identified on chromosome 6 at 38Mb, which influences direct birth weight, weaning weight, and yearling weight, and harbors growth-related genes NCAPG and LCORL. Biological pathways of pleiotropic QTL were also performed using gene ontology term enrichment analysis. The QTL mapping results obtained from this study will aid in better understanding the biological processes accounting for variation in growth and body composition traits in Brangus cattle.


      PubDate: 2015-11-15T23:30:30Z
       
  • Genotype-by-environment interaction on genetic relationships between
           lactation persistency and conception measures in Japanese Holstein cows
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 November 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): K. Togashi, K. Moribe, S. Iwama, S. Matsumoto, S. Yamaguchi, K. Adachi, T. Takahashi, S. Saito, T. Nobukuni, T. Yamazaki, T. Ikeda
      The objective of this study was to examine the genetic relationships between first-lactation persistency and four measures of conception accounting for heterogeneous genetic (co)variances over a wide range of milk production and fertility management environments. The combination of genotype and management environment conditions (genotype-by-environment (GE) interaction) was studied by using a reaction norm model. Data were obtained on 421,999 cows from 9,296 herds for first parity and 257,815 cows from 8,318 herds for second parity. Conception status during the first two parities from calving to 70 days in milk (DIM) and 180 DIM were evaluated, leading to a total of four conception measures. Under poor reproductive management, the genetic correlations between first parity lactation persistency and conception to 70DIM were 0.408 and 0.242 for the first and second parities, respectively, compared with 0.178 and 0.116 for the respective genetic correlations between lactation persistency and conception to 180DIM. These positive correlations indicate that increased persistency would help to improve conception to 70DIM or 180DIM. The genetic correlation between persistency and conception to 180 DIM during the first parity was −0.211 under a high level of reproductive management and moderately high milk production, suggesting that conception to 180DIM for low-persistency cows of first parity was increased by improving reproductive management under this situation. In contrast, the genetic correlation between persistency and conception to 180DIM in second parity was 0.351 under high management of milk production and reproduction. The genetic correlations between lactation persistency and conception to 70DIM or 180DIM for the first two parities ranged from negative to positive, depending on the combination of genotype and management environment conditions. Therefore, it is important to consider GE interaction when combining lactation persistency, conception measures, and milk yield to select for sustainable milk production systems.


      PubDate: 2015-11-12T16:11:12Z
       
 
 
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