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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  [2812 journals]
  • Effect of a multispecies lactobacillus formulation as a feeding supplement
           on the performance and immune function of piglets
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 July 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Tanja Lähteinen, Teemu Rinttilä, Joanna M.K. Koort, Ravi Kant, Katri Levonen, Miia Jakava-Viljanen, Johanna Björkroth, Airi Palva
      Lactobacilli are essential members of the swine intestinal microbiota, with proposed health promoting effects. There is a reduction in the abundance of intestinal lactobacilli around weaning; this has been considered to predispose piglets to gut disturbances, e.g. diarrhea. Therefore, dietary supplementation with lactobacilli may help in maintaining better host health around weaning. In this study, we assessed the efficacy of a bacterial supplement containing six strains of the genus Lactobacillus in a feeding trial conducted in recently weaned pigs. Twenty piglets were divided into two groups (n=10) based on litter origin. Piglets in the supplementation group were fed the lactobacilli mixture (total cell count 1×1010) daily for three weeks, while those in the control group were provided with a probiotic-free placebo. The aim of this study was to evaluate the intestinal survivability of the feeding strains, as well as the effects of the supplementation on the performance of the piglets. Furthermore, the expression of selected cytokines was analyzed in the gut mucosa. The main effect of the lactobacilli supplementation observed was immunomodulation in the piglet intestine, especially in the large intestine. Upregulated expressions of IL-4 and IFN-α were detected in the cecum, with downregulated expressions of IL-8 and TNF in the colon of the supplementation group. In addition, supplementation downregulated the expression of TGF-β1 in the jejunum, ileum and colon. An increased total bacterial number was detected in the jejunum of the supplementation group, but no change in the intestinal digesta pH or in the numbers of lactobacilli was induced by the supplementation. In addition, the strains which had been supplied could not be isolated from feces, indicating that they had been unable to colonize the piglet intestine in significant numbers. The lactobacilli supplementation had no effect on the weight gain or the intestinal mucosal morphology of the piglets. While the lactobacilli supplement used in this study failed to achieve a growth-enhancing effect, and the supplemented strains appeared to have a limited ability to compete with the indigenous intestinal microbiota of piglets, the supplement evoked immunomodulatory properties in the piglet intestine.


      PubDate: 2015-07-30T21:32:22Z
       
  • Dietary bromelain-C.3.4.22.32 supplementation improves performance and gut
           health in sows and piglets
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 July 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): M. Begum, H.L. Li, M.M. Hossain, I.H. Kim
      Ninety six multiparous sows (Landrace × Yorkshire, average parity=1.50±0.03) and/or their litters were used to investigate the effects of bromelain-C.3.4.22.32 (BR) on reproductive and growth performance, diarrhea score (DS), apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of nutrients, blood profiles, fecal microbiota and colostrum and milk contents. The pigs were randomly allotted to 1 of 4 treatments to give 24 replicates per treatment. Dietary treatments were as follows: 1) CON (basal diet), 2) BR1 (CON+0.5g/kg BR), 3) BR2 (CON+1g/kg BR) and 4) BR3 (CON+2g/kg BR). Fecal samples (1g) from each pen were diluted with 9mL of 10g/L peptone broth for evaluation of fecal microbiota. The piglets suckling sows fed the BR3 diet had linearly increased average daily gain (ADG) and weaning weight (P= 0.02 and 0.01, respectively). Lactating sows fed the CON diet had less fecal Lactobacillus and more fecal E. coli counts (linear P=0.03 and linear and quadratic P=0.01 and 0.04, respectively). At weaning, sows fed the BR3 diet had linearly higher apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of nitrogen (N; P=0.04). Lactating sows fed the BR3 diet had linearly lower blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and higher lymphocyte counts (P=0.02 and 0.04, respectively). Consequently, piglets suckling sows fed the BR3 diet had higher IgG counts and lower blood urea nitrogen (BUN; linear, P=0.03 and 0.04, respectively). Sows fed the CON diet had linearly higher colostrum and milk somatic cell counts (SCC; P=0.01 and <0.01, respectively). Milk protein was linearly higher in sows fed the BR3 diet (P=0.04). In conclusion, the results indicated that dietary supplementation of BR in late gestation and lactation improved performance in sows and suckling piglets.


      PubDate: 2015-07-30T21:32:22Z
       
  • Validation of a sensor-based automatic measurement system for monitoring
           chewing activity in horses
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 July 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): J. Werner, C. Umstatter, N. Zehner, J.J. Niederhauser, M. Schick
      The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of using a jaw movement measuring system developed for cattle, the “RumiWatchSystem”, on horses. The system records the chewing activity and consists of a noseband pressure sensor, integrated into a halter, and a software package. In order to investigate the accuracy of the system, 10 horses (5 mares, 5 stallions) were equipped with the device. Additionally, they were observed visually as a reference method, while feeding three different feeds (hay, haylage and concentrate). To ensure similar conditions, the horses were stabled individually and fed twice daily with roughage and twice or three times with concentrate. The results of the visual observation were compared to the automatic measurement as an evaluation of the accuracy of the automatic measurement system. The overall agreement of the observed and automatically measured data within all feedstuffs was 93%. The agreement of feeding roughage was even higher with 95%. However, for concentrate the visual observations and automatic measurements agreed only in 91.4%. The decreased agreement compared to the roughage is due to the high sensitivity of the automated system. Horses tend to display a high amount of lip movements towards the end of the concentrate intake. This is different compared to cattle behaviour and their feeding regime. However, the system was not specifically adapted to horses so far and can be optimized in order to improve accuracy. Consequently, the system has a high potential to become a reliable tool for research and practical use.


      PubDate: 2015-07-30T21:32:22Z
       
  • Effect of dietary inulin Supplements on growth performance and intestinal
           Immunological Parameters of broiler Chickens
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 July 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Qianqian Huang, Yinan Wei, Yajun Lv, Yuxi Wang, Tianming Hu
      The objective of this study was to assess the effects of dietary inulin supplementation on growth performance and intestinal immune parameters of broilers. A total of 280 one-day-old Cobb 500 male broilers were randomly allocated into four groups of seven replicate pens and given a maize-soybean basal diet supplemented with 0, 5, 10 and 15g/kg of inulin during the 42 days of the experiment. Feed intake (FI), body weight gain (BWG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were determined from d 1 to 21 (starter), and from d 22 to 42 (grower). Intestinal T lymphocyte subpopulations, the production of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and cytokines as well as mucin mRNA expression were measured at 21d and 42 d. Feed intake was increased quadratically (P=0.001) as the dietary inulin level increasing during starter period only. However BWG and FCR of broilers were not affected by inulin supplementation in either period. At d 21and as the dietary inulin concentration increasing, proportion of CD+4T lymphocyte and CD+4/CD+8 ratio in ileum tissue tended (P=0.05–0.087) to be linearly increased, IgA concentration in cecal content and mucin mRNA expression in jejunum tissue were linearly increased (P=0.006–0.01), whereas concentrations of interleuk-6 and interferon- γ in ileum tissue quadratically (P<0.05) decreased. The effects of dietary inulin on these intestinal immunological parameters were minimal at the 42-d age of broilers. These results indicated that dietary inulin at the levels of 5–10g/kg may have the beneficial effects on enhancing intestinal immune function of broiler chicken at younger age when the intestinal function is not fully developed.


      PubDate: 2015-07-30T21:32:22Z
       
  • Genetic association between leg conformation in young pigs and sow
           reproduction
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Hong Thu Le, Katja Nilsson, Elise Norberg, Nils Lundeheim
      Lameness is an issue of concern in pig production due both to animal welfare and to economical aspects. Lame sows are believed to suffer from pain and stress which is reported to have a negative influence on reproduction. Leg conformation and locomotion traits in young animals are associated with the risk of lameness at higher age. The purpose of this study was to estimate the genetic parameters of leg conformation traits recorded at performance testing (around 5 months of age) and their genetic correlations with reproduction traits. Information on leg conformation traits from 123,307 pigs scored and on reproduction traits from 22,204 litters in the first and second parity from Swedish Yorkshire nucleus herds were available for genetic analysis. Eight conformation and locomotion traits, coming from the old or the new scoring system in Sweden, included old movement, old overall leg score, new movement, new toes quality, new front leg quality, new rear leg quality, standing-under-position syndrome and new overall score. Four reproduction traits were analyzed by parity: the number of total born piglets, the number of liveborn piglets, the number of stillborn piglets and weaning to service interval. Estimates of heritabilities and genetic correlations between traits were obtained using a multi-trait linear animal mixed model. The heritability estimates were low to moderate, ranging from 0.02 to 0.20 for conformation traits and from 0.06 to 0.10 for reproduction traits. Significant genetic correlations were found between new toes quality and new overall score and the number of liveborn piglets in the 1st parity (−0.35 and −0.31, respectively), indicating that sows with even toes and better overall leg score tend to have higher number of liveborn piglets. Old movement score showed significant correlations with number of total born and number of liveborn piglets in both parities (0.20 to 0.36) and with weaning to service interval in the 2nd parity (−0.35±0.11). Similarly, standing-under-position syndrome was highly associated with number of total born and number of liveborn piglets in both parities (−0.54 to −0.35), indicating that sows with better movement and not suffering from standing-under-position syndrome are likely to have larger litter size and shorter interval to return heat after weaning. Heritabilities and significantly favorable genetic correlation estimates suggest the possibility of simultaneous improvement of both leg quality and reproduction performance by selecting on sound leg conformation and locomotion of young pigs.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effect of cysteamine hydrochloride supplementation on the milk performance
           of dairy cow
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): C. Wang, C.J. Dong, Z.Q. Wang, F. Yang, H.L. Mao, Z. Wu, Q. Zhou, H.F. Wang
      Cysteamine (CS) can increase serum growth hormone concentrations and the growth performance of broiler, sheep, and pigs. However, information of CS supplementation on the milk performance of dairy cows is limited. An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of dietary cysteamine hydrochloride (CSH) supplementation on lactation performance of dairy cows. Forty-eight multiparous mid-lactation Holsteins were fed a control diet or supplemented with 15, 30, or 45g/d CSH preparation (cysteamine HCl 20%) for 63d, including 7d for adaptation. The base diet was formulated to meet the nutrient requirements of lactating dairy cows according to the Chinese feeding standard (China Standard NY/T 34,Feeding standard of dairy cattle 2004 Issued by Ministry of Agriculture of People's Republic of ChinaBeijing) and the DMI, milk yield, milk composition, and plasma parameters were measured. Milk yield was 7.1% and 6.3% higher for the two higher supplementation amounts (SEM=0.50, P<0.05), and milk protein content was 7.7%, 8.7%, and 8.1% higher for the three supplemented groups (SEM=0.077, P<0.05), respectively, than the control. Plasma urea N were lower for the 30 and 45g/d CSH groups than for the control. Level of plasma somatostation was reduced and plasma growth hormone was enhanced in CSH groups compared with that of control (P<0.01). Supplementation of CSH preparation at 30g/d increased milk production of dairy cows while 15g/d has no positive effect on milk yield or milk efficiency.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Intake, digestibility, and nitrogen efficiency in Holstein heifers fed
           treated jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) kernel cake
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): L.D. da Silva, O.G. Pereira, S.C. Valadares Filho, K.G. Ribeiro, R.F.D. Valadares, T.C. Silva, S.A. Santos
      The effects of dietary substitution of soybean meal (SBM) with ethanol-treated jatropha kernel cake with seed shells (TJC) on nutrient intake and digestibility, nitrogen balance, pH, rumen ammonia nitrogen (NH3–N), serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT, EC 2.6.1.2) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST, EC 2.6.1.1), and ruminal degradation kinetics of SBM and TJC crude protein (CP) in Holstein heifers were evaluated. Four rumen-cannulated heifers were distributed in a 4×4 Latin square design, [body weight (BW)=379±2.13kg]. Each experimental period lasted 15 days, with eight days for diet adaptation and seven days for data collection. The heifers were fed four complete isonitrogenous diets containing 65% corn silage and 35% concentrate on a dry matter (DM) basis. The treatments consisted of four levels of SBM substitution for TJC+urea/ammonium sulfate: 0, 33, 67, and 100%, on a DM basis. Ethanol treatment of the jatropha kernel cake removed >99% of the phorbol esters. The effective degradability of the CP for TJC was 425.6g/kg. Intakes of DM, organic matter (OM), CP, ether extract (EE), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and total digestible nutrients (TDN) decreased linearly with the substitution of SBM with TJC. The DM intakes were 18.0, 16.2, 16.8 and 11.3g/kg BW for 0, 33, 67 and 100% substitution, respectively. There was no effect of the TJC inclusion level on nutrient digestibility. The rumen pH increased linearly with increasing substitution levels. The rumen NH3–N was not affected by the inclusion of jatropha (7.79mg/dL overall mean). The amounts of ingested and absorbed nitrogen (N) and the N-balance decreased linearly with increasing TJC levels. The serum levels of ALT and AST were not affected by the inclusion of TJC in the diets. Despite the decrease in phorbol esters, ethanol treatment of jatropha kernel cake was not enough to promote adequate nutrient intake by the heifers.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Growth performance and carcass characteristics of three chicken strains in
           response to incremental levels of dietary Moringa oleifera leaf meal
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): N.A. Sebola, V. Mlambo, H.K. Mokoboki, V. Muchenje
      A 90-day feeding trial was conducted to determine the effect of Moringa oleifera leaf meal supplementation on growth performance and carcass characteristics of three chicken strains (male and female) that are normally reared under extensive production systems in South Africa. Moringa leaves were harvested by hand, air-dried and milled into M. oleifera leaf meal (MOLM). The MOLM was chemically analysed and used to dilute a commercial broiler finisher diet at 0 (MOLM0), 25 (MOLM25), 50 (MOLM50), and 100 (MOLM100) g/kg DM, producing four dietary treatments. Two hundred and sixteen (216) Potchefstroom Koekoek (PK), Ovambo (OV) and Black Australorp (BA) chickens were raised on a commercial starter mash for 4 weeks. On the fourth week, experimental diets were offered and growth performance data were collected over a period of 13 weeks. Carcass characteristics were measured upon slaughter at the end of the 13-week feeding period. Diet×strain interaction was significant (P<0.001) for feed intake but not (P>0.05) for growth rate and FCE. Feed intake responded to incremental levels of MOLM in an asymptotic fashion. Maximum feed intake was achieved at dietary MOLM inclusion levels between 50 and 70g/kg DM. Black Australorp chickens had the highest feed conversion efficiency (FCE) of 2.35, while OV and PK chickens had lower FCE values of 2.09 and 2.05, respectively. Diet, strain and gender, all had significant effects on dressing percent (P<0.001), leg and thigh weight (P<0.05), and wing weight (P<0.05). Male chickens attained higher (P<0.05) carcass weight, leg and thigh weight, dressing percent, and breast mass than female chickens (P<0.001). In female chickens, diets containing MOLM resulted in chickens with better carcass weight, leg and thigh weight, dressing percent, and breast mass compared to the control. In conclusion, Black Australorp chickens were better at utilizing diets with higher levels of MOLM compared to OV and PK strains. Inclusion of MOLM in chicken diets positively affected growth performance and carcass characteristics of the birds.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effects of a supplement containing multiple types of gluconeogenic
           precursors on production and metabolism in Holstein bull calves during
           heat stress
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): M. Hossein Yazdi, H. Amanlou, H.R. Mirzaei-Alamouti, M.T. Harkinezhad, A. Nabipour, E. Mahjoubi, N. Aghaziarati, G.R. Noori, L.H. Baumgard
      Glucose appears to be a preferred systemic fuel during heat stress (HS) in a variety of species. Increasing the dietary grain content can enhance the post-absorptive carbohydrate status, but providing excessive fermentable starch can cause rumen disorders and this is especially true during HS. Current study objectives were to evaluate the effects of a glycerol based supplemental product on growth and metabolic variables in Holstein bull calves during controlled HS. Before the start of the experiment, bull calves (n=14; 163.6±30.1kg body weight) were subjected to thermal neutral conditions [26.5±3.4°C and a temperature–humidity index (THI) of 70.4±2.8] for 7d (period 1; P1). During this period, productive parameters as well as blood metabolites were measured and used as covariates for the subsequent HS period. Following P1, a cyclical HS pattern was implemented for 21d (P2) where daily ambient temperatures ranged from 29.1 to 39.7°C and the THI was >74 for 24h/d and >83 for at least 14h/d. During P2, half of the HS calves (n=7) received a control diet (CON) and the other half received the control diet supplemented with a product (300g/d) containing gluconeogenic precursors (GLU). Throughout each period respiration rate, rectal temperature and skin temperature at the shoulder and rump were recorded at 0600, 1100 and 1500h daily. Blood samples were obtained prior to and 4h post the a.m. feeding during both periods. Although HS markedly reduced DMI (18%) and growth as expected, supplemental GLU did not affect body weight gain. Supplemental GLU decreased the shoulder temperature at 0600 and 1500h (P<0.01), and decreased respiratory rate at 1500h (P<0.02). Feeding GLU did not affect blood urea nitrogen (BUN), glucose or nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) concentrations, but increased circulating insulin prior to the a.m. feeding (P<0.03) and this demonstrates that GLU was effective at enhancing the post-absorptive carbohydrate status. Our results suggest that feeding supplemental GLU improves some body temperature indices but did not enhance growth performance in Holstein bull calves during HS.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Evaluating complementary effects of ethanol extract of propolis with the
           probiotic on growth performance, immune response and serum metabolites in
           male broiler chickens
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): A. Daneshmand, GH. Sadeghi, A. Karimi, A. Vaziry, S.A. Ibrahim
      The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of propolis (a natural resinous substance that bees collect from different sources of plants) extract alone or in combination with probiotics on the growth performance and immune response of male broiler chickens. A total of 256 broiler chickens were randomly assigned to 4 treatments: maize-soybean meal basal diet with no supplement as control, the basal diet containing propolis (0.20g/kg), probiotic (0.45g/kg), or a combination of propolis (0.20g/kg) and probiotic (0.45g/kg). Each treatment consisted of 4 replicated pens with 16 broiler chickens per pen. Broiler chickens had ad libitum access to feed and water and the light program was 23h light/1h dark. The inclusion of propolis extract decreased (P<0.05) body weight and feed intake. Propolis extract alone or in combination with probiotic increased (P<0.05) the relative spleen weight in broiler chickens at 42d of age compared to the control and probiotic. The relative weight of bursa of Fabricius was greater (P<0.05) in broiler chickens receiving probiotics, propolis extract, or their combination compared to those fed the control diet. Supplementation of diet with probiotic, propolis extract, or a combination of both caused an increase (P<0.05) in the concentration of antibody titer to Newcastle Disease virus. In conclusion, supplementation of the diet with propolis extract decreased the body weight of broiler chickens, however, inclusion of propolis, probiotic, and their combination in the diet caused an immunomodulatory effect in broiler chickens.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effects of maize crop maturity at harvest and dietary inclusion rate of
           maize silage on feed intake and performance in lambs fed high-concentrate
           diets
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Carl Helander, Peder Nørgaard, Konstantinos Zaralis, Kjell Martinsson, Michael Murphy, Elisabet Nadeau
      This study investigated the effects of maize maturity at harvest and dietary inclusion rate of maize silage on feed intake, average daily gain (ADG) and carcass traits of growing ram lambs fed high-concentrate diets. Precision-chopped maize was harvested at two stages of maturity (Early: dough stage and Late: dent stage) and ensiled as round bales. Early or late cut maize silage was fed as the sole forage or together with grass silage, to 40 ram lambs in each of two consecutive years. The four treatments in each year were: (1) early cut maize silage as 50% of the forage dry matter (DM) proportion (E50), (2) early cut maize silage as 100% of the forage DM proportion (E100), (3) late cut maize silage as 50% of the forage DM proportion (L50) and (4) late cut maize silage as 100% of the forage DM proportion (L100). The proportion of forage in each of the diets was on average 42% on a dry matter (DM) basis and the concentrate consisted of dried distillers’ grains plus solubles, rolled barley and cold-pressed rapeseed cake in year 1 (Y1) or heat-treated rapeseed expeller in year 2 (Y2). Daily DM intake (DMI) was 1.24 and 1.40kg, averaged over treatments, in Y1 and Y2, respectively. Increasing the dietary inclusion rate of maize silage from 50 to 100% of the forage DM proportion resulted in increased DMI in Y1 (P<0.05) and increased carcass fatness in Y2 (P<0.01), whereas increased maturity stage at harvest tended to result in increased DMI in Y2 (P<0.10). Feed conversion ratio (FCR; kg DMI per kg ADG), was lower for the treatments E100 and L50 than for E50 and L100, respectively (P<0.01) in Y2. The body weight of the lambs increased linearly over time, in both years. In conclusion, maize silage can replace grass silage in the diets of high-producing lambs. Increased metabolizable protein (MP) to metabolizable energy (ME) ratio of the diet increased ADG of the lambs. Also, increased ADG decreased mega joule ME intake per kg ADG, in finishing lambs.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Genetic parameters of type traits in two strains of dual purpose
           autochthonous Valdostana cattle
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Serena Mazza, Cristina Sartori, Roberto Mantovani
      The main objectives of this study were (i) to investigate the best fitting model for the genetic analysis of type traits and (ii) to estimate the genetic parameters of 4 composite (body size, muscularity, body shape, and udder) and 22 individual type traits between and within the two strains of the Valdostana dual purpose breed: the Aosta Red Pied (ARP; n=25,183 records) and the Aosta Black Pied and Chestnut (ABP-CHES; n=14,701 records). All type traits were scored from 2000 to 2012 on primiparous cows using a 1 to 5-point scale system. A model comparison was undertaken by considering the Akaike Information Criterion values obtained from the analysis, producing a final model that took into account the effects of herd-year-classifier, days in milk, age at calving as fixed and the animal additive genetic effect as random. Heritability estimates obtained through single trait animal model analysis varied from 0.03 for thinness (in both strains) to 0.32 (ARP) and 0.29 (ABP-CHES) for stature. Medium-low heritability estimates were obtained for individual muscularity traits (0.22 for ARP and 0.13 for ABP-CHES), and for individual udder type traits (0.12 on average in both Valdostana strains). The highest genetic correlations between composite traits were for muscularity with body shape in both Valdostana strains (0.55 for ARP and 0.52 for ABP-CHES). Different and opposite values of genetic correlations were found for the composite body shape and the composite udder traits (0.13 for ARP and –0.25 for ABP-CHES; P<0.01), probably due to the different breeding purposes set up for the two Valdostana strains. Regarding the individual type traits, for the ARP strain the highest genetic correlation was 0.97 (between thigh, buttocks side and rear view), whereas for the ABP-CHES strain it was 0.98 (between stature and body length), meaning that improving one trait of each pair led to a positive variation in the other. Most of the genetic correlations between the individual muscularity traits and the individual udder traits were negative, especially those involving udder volume (from –0.19 to –0.42 in ARP, and from –0.17 to –0.41 in ABP-CHES; P<0.01), indicating a substantial antagonistic situation of type traits related to dairy and beef traits. In conclusion, the selection for the dual purpose in local breeds such as in Valdostana cattle implies a thorough consideration of opposite morphological traits.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Nordic dairy cow model Karoline in predicting methane emissions: 2. Model
           evaluation
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Mohammad Ramin, Pekka Huhtanen
      Models are widely used to predict methane (CH4) emissions, and can be used to develop mitigation options and policies. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the performance of the Nordic dairy cow model Karoline in predicting CH4 emissions. Karoline is a dynamic, deterministic and mechanistic simulation model that describes the digestion and metabolism of nutrients, and production in a dairy cow. The model was evaluated against observed data from studies reporting CH4 emissions from respiration chamber studies. The dataset included a total of 184 treatment means from 31 published papers. The dietary and animal characteristics used for the model evaluation represent the typical range of diets fed to dairy cattle. When analyzed with a fixed model regression, there was a good relationship between predicted and observed CH4 emissions measured from respiration chamber studies with a small root mean square error of prediction (R 2=0.93, RMSPE=10.1% of the observed mean). The mean bias was small (1.9%) but statistically significant, and there was no slope bias. Most of the error was due to random variation (96.4%), whereas the contributions of mean and slope bias were small. By considering study as the random effect in the model (mixed model regression analysis), the fit improved to R 2= 0.98 and RMSPE decreased to 6.1% of the observed mean. The influence of some input variables such as total dry matter intake, proportion of concentrate, dietary concentrations of crude protein, neutral detergent fiber and ether extract, and organic digestibility (OMD) on the residuals (observed–predicted) of CH4 emissions were not significant. The residuals of both CH4 emissions and OMD were significantly related to each other, indicating the Karoline model requires accurate estimates of digestion kinetic parameters as input variables. When the laboratory was used as a class variable in the model, the residuals of CH4 emissions were significantly different both between the laboratories and also between experiments within individual laboratories. It is concluded that the Nordic dairy cow model Karoline is a useful tool in predicting CH4 emissions and understanding the system behavior. The model can also be used in developing mitigation strategies for the national inventories of CH4 emissions.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Nordic dairy cow model Karoline in predicting methane emissions: 1. Model
           description and sensitivity analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Pekka Huhtanen, Mohammad Ramin, Peter Udén
      Decreasing methane (CH4) emissions is necessary both environmentally, as CH4 has a strong greenhouse gas effect and nutritionally as CH4 represents a loss of feed energy. Karoline is a whole dairy cow mechanistic, dynamic model predicting nutrient supply and milk production. The objectives of this study were to revise the digestion and CH4 emissions modules of the Karoline model. In addition, a sensitivity analysis was conducted to evaluate the importance of the accuracy of input data required in predicting CH4 emissions. Modifications were made in the equations predicting digesta passage kinetics, microbial cell synthesis, digestion in the hind-gut, and utilization of hydrogen. The Karoline model predicted similar decreases in both organic digestibility (OMD) and neutral detergent fibre digestibility (NDFD) and improvements in the efficiency of microbial nitrogen synthesis with increasing dry matter intake (DMI) as reported in the literature. The proportion of ruminal digestion of total NDFD (0.95) and fecal metabolic and endogenous output (98g/kg DMI) also agree with the literature data. Predicted total CH4 emissions increased with a diminishing rate by increased DMI. Predicted CH4 emissions as a proportion of GE intake decreased linearly with increased DMI. The relationships between feeding level and CH4 emissions (a decrease of 7.8kJ/MJ gross energy per multiple of maintenance) were in good agreement with experimental data. The sensitivity analysis suggested that feed variables related to digestion kinetics of NDF [indigestible NDF (iNDF) and digestion rate of potentially digestible NDF] have a strong influence on predicted CH4 emissions; for example, predicted CH4 emissions decreased with increasing iNDF concentration. Digestion rates of starch and insoluble protein had smaller effects on predicted CH4 emissions than NDF digestion rates. Fat had a strong negative influence on predicted CH4 emissions (0.27kJ/MJ gross energy per 1g fat/kg DM). The sensitivity analysis suggested that accurate values of digestion kinetic variables are required for satisfactory predictions of CH4 emissions with mechanistic models. Based on reliable predictions of digestibility, microbial protein synthesis and CH4 emissions, it can be concluded that the revised Karoline model is a promising tool for predicting CH4 emissions and understanding the underlying mechanisms.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effects of extracellular polysaccharides of Ganoderma lucidum
           supplementation on the growth performance, blood profile, and meat quality
           in finisher pigs
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): X.L. Li, L.P. He, Y. Yang, F.J. Liu, Y. Cao, J.J. Zuo
      The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the addition of extracellular polysaccharides of Ganoderma lucidum (EPG) on growth performance, blood profile, and meat quality of longissimus muscle (LM) in finisher pigs. A total of 60 castrated finisher barrows [(Duroc×Yorkshire)×Landrace] with an average initial body weight (BW) of 54.6±0.6kg were randomly allotted to 1 of 2 treatments (3 pens/treatment and 10 pigs/pen): control (basal diet) and EPG (basal diet+800mg/kg of EPG). The duration of the experiment was 70d. Results showed that dietary EPG addition increased serum concentrations of immunoglobulin G (IgG) (P=0.017), interleukin-2 (IL-2; P=0.008), and globulin (P=0.024) and reduced albumin (P=0.032) and the ratio of albumin to total protein (P=0.035). Serum concentrations of triglyceride (P=0.043), total cholesterol (P=0.023), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (P=0.014), and creatine kinase (P=0.006) decreased in the EPG treatment group. Dietary supplementation of EPG affected fat traits by increasing marbling score (P=0.015), the content of total fat (P=0.045), and the proportion of oleic acid (P=0.023) in LM. Moreover, inclusion of EPG reduced stearic acid expressed as percentage of total fatty acids (P=0.018) in LM. Furthermore, the addition of EPG in diets increased the pH of LM of pigs at 45min (P=0.042) and 24h (P=0.036) post-mortem, and the redness (P=0.031) of LM. Increased content of inosine monophosphate acid (IMP) (P=0.044) and decreased drip loss (P=0.020) in LM of pigs were also observed in the EPG treatment group. In addition, dietary EPG addition has no adverse effect on the growth performance of finisher pigs. In conclusion, EPG is a potential feed additive for promoting animal health and improving quality of pork.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Close relationship between pre- and post-calving reticuloruminal pH levels
           in dairy cows
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): A. Steinwidder, M. Horn, R. Pfister, H. Rohrer, J. Gasteiner
      The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of prepartum reticuloruminal pH values on postpartum pH values of lactating cows at two concentrate supplementation levels. An indwelling pH measurement system with a wireless data transmitting unit was given to 9 heifers and 11 cows orally 2 weeks before expected calving. The pH was measured from week 2 prepartum to week 6 postpartum. Prepartum, all animals were fed hay and grass silage only. After parturition the animals were assigned to one of two concentrate supplementation levels (Con and Low). During the first 6 weeks postpartum, 5.6kg and 2.9kg dry matter per day of concentrates were fed to cows in groups Con and Low, respectively. Before parturition, no effect of the week on the mean pH was found, but pH values varied considerably between individual animals. During the last week prior parturition, the median, lower and upper quartile values of the mean pH values were 6.47, 6.41 and 6.59 for heifers and 6.29, 6.19 and 6.39 for cows, respectively. Standard deviations of the mean pH values for heifers and cows were 0.15 and 0.12, respectively. After parturition, no diet effect on the mean pH and maximum pH values was found. The minimum pH differed between Con and Low, but the absolute levels were almost equal (6.02 and 6.04, resp.). A strong correlation (r>0.8; P<0.01) between the mean pH value before parturition (pHweek−1) and pH values after parturition was found. Animals having lower pH levels before parturition continued to have lower mean pH and minimum pH values during weeks 1 to 6 postpartum. Furthermore, these animals had stronger short term fluctuations of H3O+ concentrations and a longer time span with pH values below 6.2. The results support the theory of the existence of cow-specific baselines concerning rumen pH, pointing to individual differences in the rumen environment, fermentation and metabolism and emphasising the importance of further research on this topic.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Maintenance energy requirements of young Holstein cattle from calorimetric
           measurements at 6, 12, 18, and 22 months of age
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): H.P. Jiao, T. Yan, D.A. Wills, D.A. McDowell
      Twenty five-month old Holstein cattle (10 steers and 10 heifers) were used in a four-period (28d/period) study with measurements made at the age of 6, 12, 18, and 22 months, to evaluate effects of gender on energy utilization efficiency and maintenance energy requirement. Cattle were offered perennial ryegrass silage mixed with concentrates. In each period, the cattle were housed together in a cubicle accommodation for the first 20d, individually in metabolism units for the next 3d, and then in indirect open-circuit respiration calorimeter chambers for the final 5d with feed intake, feces and urine outputs, and gaseous exchange measured during the final 4d. There was no difference (P>0.05) in any period between gender groups in terms of growth performance, energy intake, energy output, or energetic efficiency, with the exception of period three when the steers had a greater (P<0.05) feed and energy intake than heifers. Data from the two groups were therefore pooled to develop relationships between metabolizable energy (ME) intake and retained energy (RE) for each measurement period and for the whole experimental period. Retained energy was strongly related to ME intake (P<0.001), with R 2 values ranging from 0.85 to 0.93. Net energy (NE) and ME requirements for maintenance (NEm and MEm) derived from these relationships were greater for cattle at the age of 6 months than those at 12, 18, and 22 months (NEm=0.57, 0.48, 0.47, and 0.41MJ/kg0.75; and MEm=0.78, 0.62, 0.59, and 0.63MJ/kg0.75, respectively). These maintenance energy requirements were greater than those recommended in energy feeding systems currently used in Europe, North America, and Australia. The results indicate that current feeding systems may underestimate maintenance requirements for young dairy cattle, resulting in a reduced estimate of the efficiency of production.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Animal performance, carcass characteristics and beef fatty acid profile of
           grazing steers supplemented with corn grain and increasing amounts of
           flaxseed at two animal weights during finishing
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): L. Pouzo, N. Fanego, F.J Santini, A. Descalzo, E. Pavan
      The objective of this study was to determine (1) the effects of increasing flaxseed addition to the corn grain supplemented at finishing to grazing steers on animal performance, carcass characteristics and longissimus muscle (LM) fatty acid profile, and (2) whether dietary treatments effects are affected by animal body weight (BW) at supplementation. Forty eight steers were assigned to eight treatment combinations defined by four dietary treatments (CNTRL, no supplement; FLAX-0, 0.7% BW of cracked corn grain; FLAX-1 and FLAX-2, FLAX-0 plus 0.125% and 0.250% BW of unprocessed flaxseed, respectively) and by two animal BW treatments generated by supplementing steer in early spring (EARLY) or late spring (LATE). Steers assigned to EARLY received their dietary treatment when reaching 366±27.3kg BW (August, 3rd) and those assigned to LATE when reaching 458±42.8kg (October, 10th). After 70d on trial, carcass data and LM samples (12th rib region) were collected for fatty acid (FA) analysis. Total DMI was greater in supplemented treatments (FLAX-0, FLAX-1 and FLAX-2) than in CNTRL, with no flaxseed level effect. Dietary treatment effects on performance and carcass characteristics were not affected by BW treatments. Increasing flaxseed supplementation linearly increased subcutaneous fat thickness; whereas increasing BW at initiation of supplementation decreased average daily again, but increase final BW, hot carcass weight, and LM total fatty acid content. Animal BW at initiation of supplementation affected dietary treatments effects on LM n-6/n-3 ratio; ratio was highest in FLAX-0 and lowest in CNTRL and FLAX-2 in both BW treatments; did not differ between BW treatments in CNTRL and in FLAX-2, but was greater in EARLY than in LATE in FLAX-0 and FLAX-1. Trans-vaccenic acid proportion was greater in CNTRL than in supplemented treatments, but was not affected by flaxseed level; similar trend was observed for CLA cis-9, trans-11 proportion. Linolenic acid proportion did not differ between CNTRL and supplemented treatments, but was linearly increased with flaxseed level. Fatty acids changes with increasing animal BW at supplementation were associated with the increased in total muscle fatty acid content; total and individual polyunsaturated fatty acids were lower in LATE than in EARLY, whereas trans-vaccenic acid and CLA cis-9, trans-11 were greater. Adding flaxseed to the corn grain supplemented increase subcutaneous fat thickness of grazing steers without negatively affecting fatty acid profile, except for a reduction in trans-vaccenic acid proportion. Therefore, adding flaxseed to the corn supplemented to grazing steers increases carcass fatness while reducing the negative effect of corn supplementation on LM n-6/n-3 ratio but not on trans-vaccenic acid. Increasing BW at supplementation reduces supplementation effects on LM n-6/n-3 ratio.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Ammonia and amino acids modulates enzymes associated with ammonia
           assimilation pathway by ruminal microbiota in vitro
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Pengpeng Wang, Zhiliang Tan, Leluo Guan, Shaoxun Tang, Chuanshe Zhou, Xuefeng Han, Jinhe Kang, Zhixiong He
      The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of ammonia and amino acids (AA) supplementation on activities of ruminal enzymes involved in ammonia assimilation. In addition, the temporal changes of ruminal bacterial populations and enzyme activities during in vitro incubation were investigated. Rumen fluid from four ruminally fistulated goats was used in a 3×3 factorial arrangement of treatments with ammonia equivalent to 1, 4, and 15mM ammonium chloride (NH4Cl), and with an added AA mixture (containing 992g casein acid hydrolysate plus 1.4g l-cysteine plus 8.68g l-tryptophan) at 0, 1, and 15.5g/L in the in vitro culture solution. Both ammonia and AA supplementation increased (P<0.01) ammonia–nitrogen and volatile fatty acids concentrations. There was an interaction (P=0.04) between NH4Cl and AA concentrations on the yield of microbial crude protein. The population of total bacteria was dose-dependent with ammonia concentration (P=0.01), but was increased following AA increment (P<0.01). Supplement of AA activated (P<0.01) enzymes of glutamine synthetase (GS), glutamate synthetase (GOGAT), and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), but inhibited (P<0.01) enzyme of alanine dehydrogenase (ADH), all of which were important in ammonia assimilation for ruminal microbiota. And all these four enzymes were more active at the later period of process. The GDH activity was significantly associated with the population of Prevotella ruminicola (r=0.66; P<0.01), while the correlations between ADH activity and Fibrobacter succinogenes (r=0.41, P=0.04) or Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens (r=0.45, P=0.02) were not strong. Enzymes of GS, GOGAT and GDH had strong correlations (P<0.01) with yield of MCP. These results suggest that AA supplementation alters fermentation pattern, and stimulates the GS–GOGAT and GDH pathways of ammonia assimilation.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Production attributes of Merino sheep genetically divergent for wool
           growth are reflected in differing rumen microbiotas
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): I. De Barbieri, L. Gulino, R.S. Hegarty, V.H. Oddy, A. Maguire, L. Li, A.V. Klieve, D. Ouwerkerk
      Divergent genetic selection for wool growth as a single trait has led to major changes in sheep physiology and metabolism, including variations in rumen microbial protein production and uptake of α-amino nitrogen in portal blood. This study was conducted to determine if sheep with different genetic merit for wool growth exhibit distinct rumen bacterial diversity. Eighteen Merino wethers were separated into groups of contrasting genetic merit for clean fleece weight (CFW; low: WG− and high: WG+) and fed a blend of oaten and lucerne chaff diet at two levels of intake (LOI; 1 or 1.5 times maintenance energy requirements) for two seven-week periods in a crossover design. Bacterial diversity in rumen fluid collected by esophageal intubation was characterized using 454 amplicon pyrosequencing of the V3/V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Bacterial diversity estimated by Phylogenetic distance, Chao1 and observed species did not differ significantly with CFW or LOI; however, the Shannon diversity index differed (P=0.04) between WG+ (7.67) and WG− sheep (8.02). WG+ animals had a higher (P=0.03) proportion of Bacteroidetes (71.9% vs 66.5%) and a lower (P=0.04) proportion of Firmicutes (26.6% vs 31.6%) than WG− animals. Twenty-four specific operational taxonomic units (OTUs), belonging to the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes phyla, were shared among all the samples, whereas specific OTUs varied significantly in presence/abundance (P<0.05) between wool genotypes and 50 varied (P<0.05) with LOI. It appears that genetic selection for fleece weight is associated with differences in rumen bacterial diversity that persist across different feeding levels. Moderate correlations between seven continuous traits, such as methane production or microbial protein production, and the presence and abundance of 17 OTUs were found, indicating scope for targeted modification of the microbiome to improve the energetic efficiency of rumen microbial synthesis and reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of ruminants.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • The camel faecal metagenome under different systems of management:
           Phylogenetic and gene-centric approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Suchitra S. Dande, Vaibhav D. Bhatt, Niteen V. Patil, Chaitanya G. Joshi
      The study investigated the composition of microorganisms in the camel (Camelus dromedarius) faecal samples, maintained under two groups of intensive (group 1) and extensive (group 2) systems of management at Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, India by using culture-independent approach. The study included the comparison of camel faecal microbiota to other currently available gut/faecal metagenomes, in order to reveal potential differences in these gut environments. After shotgun sequencing of the camel fecal microbiome, we used the Metagenomics-Rapid Annotation Server Tool (MG-RAST) to identify the microbial diversity and metabolic potential of the camel gut. Of the sequenced data that passed quality control, 1.3% and 2.2% sequences contained ribosomal RNA genes in groups 1 and 2, respectively. The annotated protein features which were assigned to functional categories were 63.6% and 69.5%, in groups 1 and 2, respectively. The domain level breakdown of our samples revealed bacteria was the major domain in both systems of management. At the phylum level, Firmicutes (61.40% and 29.17%), Proteobacteria (11.10% and 47.85%), Bacteroidetes (8.04% and 3.83%) and Verrucomicrobia (7.48% and 10.35%) were predominant in the fecal microbial community of groups 1 and 2, respectively. The fecal metagenomes revealed Euryarchaeota phylum with Methanobrevibacter smithii as the major archaeal species in both these groups. Functional analysis using subsystems of MG-RAST revealed that sequences for protein metabolism were abundant in group 1 and those for metabolism of carbohydrates predominated in group 2. Glycoside hydrolases of carbohydrates functional category were seen in group 2. High taxonomic similarity of group 1 with cow rumen metagenomes, cattle faecal pool, canine gastro-intestine as well as group 2 camels with the termite gut was observed. Functional similarities of camel faecal metagenomes of groups 1 and 2 with cattle faecal pool and camel foregut were noticed. Altogether, these data suggest that agricultural and animal husbandry practices can impose significant selective pressures on the gut microbiota. The present study provided a baseline for understanding the complexity of camel gut microbial ecology while also highlighting striking similarities and differences when compared to other animal gastrointestinal environments and in future could help in developing strategies for improving the existing management conditions.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Breeding programs for dairy goats generate profits in Brazil
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Leonardo Hunaldo dos Santos, Ana Maria Bezerra Oliveira Lôbo, Olivardo Facó, Heraldo Cesar Gonçalves, Raimundo Nonato Braga Lôbo
      This work aims to evaluate the economic feasibility of a breeding program for dairy goats in developing countries. A traditional scheme was compared with a scheme using a progeny test. In the traditional scheme, farm records are used and the selection of bucks is based on reproduction and milk yield of their dams, while the selection of does is based on their own performance and on their dam's performance. Analyses were performed using the ZPLAN software, which uses a deterministic approach to estimate genetic and economic gains in breeding programs. The traditional selection scheme showed no economic viability and did not cover the costs for maintenance of the breeding program. The scheme using progeny tests of young bucks was viable, with considerable genetic profits for the objectives of selection and individual traits. The economic returns of this program exceeded its costs, with a return on investment of approximately 3%. In this scheme, somatic cell count was the trait with the largest economic impact, followed by milk yield. The intensity of use of young bucks in progeny testing should not exceed 10%. Above this value, no substantial monetary gains were obtained for the objective of selection, besides the reduction of the net present value of the breeding program.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Polymorphisms of the membrane-associated ring finger 4, ubiquitin protein
           ligase gene (MARCH4) and its relationship with porcine production traits
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): K. Ropka-Molik, A. Dusik, K. Piórkowska, M. Tyra, M. Oczkowicz, T. Szmatoła
      Membrane-Associated Ring Finger (C3HC4) 4, E3 Ubiquitin Protein, encoded by MARCH4 gene, plays an important role in protein ubiquitination. MARCH4 gene may be one of the candidate genes related with some phenotypic traits due to its function and chromosome localization in QTLs associated with pork quality (meat color, pH, water holding capacity and texture parameters). In the present study, all exons and their flanking regions were screened for the presence of SNPs with the use of High Resolution Melt (HRM) method. The frequencies of two of eight identified polymorphisms were estimated on a large number of pigs represented by five breeds. The association study showed that SNPs ENSSSCG00000016176:g.576T>G (localized in the promoter region) and ENSSSCT00000017613.2:c.675+5C>A (in the second intron) affected growth traits and characteristics of carcasses as well as meat quality in pigs. Both SNPs were related with lean meat percentage, the weights of the most valuable cuts for example as ham and loin, loin eye area and backfat thickness (p≤0.01). Furthermore, analyzed polymorphisms affected the length of fattening period, feed:gain ratio and test daily gain. The presented influence of MARCH4 polymorphisms on meat quality parameters was not conclusive. The ENSSSCG00000016176:g.576T>G polymorphism was associated with meat pH, while ENSSSCT00000017613.2:c.675+5C>A SNP was related with meat color. The present research showed that porcine MARCH4 gene is an interesting candidate gene associated with important pig production traits.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178




      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Polymorphisms in the promoter of interleukin-12β2 and interleukin-23
           receptor genes influence milk production traits in Chinese Holstein cows
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Yongjiang Mao, Xiaorui Zhu, Shiyu Xin, Meirong Zhang, Xiaolong Wang, Dan Cheng, Huiming Zhang, Sven König, Zhangping Yang, Liguo Yang
      Interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interleukin-23 (IL-23) are proinflammatory cytokines produced by macrophages and dendritic cells in response to infection with intracellular pathogens. Given the importance of IL-12 and IL-23 for modulating inflammation and the host immune response, the IL-12 and IL-23 receptor genes may be suitable candidate genes for studying disease resistance in dairy cattle. Twenty Chinese Holstein cows were selected randomly for PCR amplification and sequencing, and used for SNP discovery in the bovine IL-12Rβ2 and IL-23R promoter region. One SNP(c.-246G>T) in IL-12Rβ2 gene and 2 SNPs(c.-856A>G and c.-207T>C) in IL-23R gene were identified. Chinese Holstein cows (n=866) were then genotyped using Sequenom MassARRAY (Sequenom Inc., San Diego, CA) based on the 3 identified SNPs, and the associations between SNPs or haplotype of the genes and milk production traits, SCS were analyzed by the least squares method in the GLM procedure of SAS. The IL-23Rc.-856A>G and IL-23Rc.-207T>C showed close linkage disequilibrium (r 2=0.89). No association was found with SCS, but associations were found between 3 of these SNP with milk protein content and lactose content. The software MatInspector revealed that these SNPs were located within several potential transcription factor binding sites, and may alter gene expression, but further investigation will be required to elucidate the biological and practical relevance of these SNP.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effect of supplementation with molecular or nano-clay adsorbent on growth
           performance and haematological indices of starter and grower turkeys fed
           diets contaminated with varying dosages of aflatoxin B1
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): A.O. Lala, A.O. Oso, A.M Ajao, O.M. Idowu, O.O. Oni
      A 12-wk feeding experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of supplementation with molecular or nano-clay adsorbent on growth performance and haematological indices of starter (0–56d) and grower (56–84d) turkeys fed diets contaminated with varying doses (0, 60, and 110ppb) of aflatoxin B1. Two hundred and sixteen 1-d-old male turkeys were assigned to 9 diets supplemented with no adsorbent, molecular clay adsorbent, and nano-clay adsorbent and contaminated with 0, 60, and 110ppb aflatoxin B1 in a 3×3 factorial arrangement of treatments with 3 replicate pens and 8 turkeys per pen. The turkeys were housed in an open-sided, deep litter system, which was partitioned into 27 pens (2×1.5m2) using wire mesh. As aflatoxin contamination increased from 0 to 110ppb, feed intake and weight gain decreased and feed conversion ratio (FCR) increased in starter turkeys, but the adverse effects of aflatoxin were progressively less from those fed the diets with no adsorbent to molecular clay adsorbent and then to nano-clay adsorbent (adsorbent× aflatoxin. P<0.044). Grower turkeys fed the diets with adsorbents consumed more feed and had better FCR than those fed the diets without adsorbent, and those fed the diets with nano-clay adsorbent had better FCR than grower turkeys fed the diets with molecular clay adsorbent (P<0.001). The highest mortality was observed in starter and grower turkeys fed the diet with no adsorbent and contaminated with 110ppb aflatoxin (adsorbent×aflatoxin, P=0.002). As aflatoxin increased in starter and grower turkeys fed the diets with no adsorbent, white blood cell (WBC) and lymphocyte counts increased and packed cell volume (PCV) decreased, whereas aflatoxin had no noticeable effect on those response criteria in turkeys fed the diets with molecular clay and nano-clay adsorbent (adsorbent×aflatoxin, P<0.05). Starter turkeys fed the diets with adsorbents had a greater Hb and monocyte concentration (P<0.001), whereas grower turkeys fed the diets with adsorbents had less heterophil and eosinophil counts (P<0.043) than those fed the diets with no adsorbent. In conclusion, supplementation of aflatoxin-contaminated diets with clay adsorbents seemed to improve weight gain and reduce mortality, and reduce adverse effects of aflatoxin on PCV and Hb in turkeys. Grower turkeys fed the diet supplemented with nano-clay adsorbent had better growth performance than those fed the diet supplemented with molecular clay adsorbent.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Impact of fermentation and addition of non-starch polysaccharide-degrading
           enzymes on microbial population and on digestibility of dried distillers
           grains with solubles in pigs
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): G.V. Jakobsen, B.B. Jensen, K.E. Bach Knudsen, N. Canibe
      Fluctuating prices on feedstock has led to a growing interest in alternative feed ingredients. Co-products from the biofuel industry are hence interesting to include in pig feeds, primarily due to the high protein content. Low nutritional value due to a high content of dietary fibre, however, limits the use of these ingredients. The current study aimed to increase the digestibility of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), based on 80% wheat and 20% barley, by fermentation and enzyme addition. Four experimental diets were prepared based on 60% DDGS (fermented or not, without or with the addition of carbohydrases) and 40% of a basal diet composed mainly of maize starch: (1) a nonfermented liquid feed treatment (n-FLF); (2) a fermented liquid feed treatment (FLF); (3) the FLF supplemented with a mixture of xylanase and β-glucanase (XylGlu); and (4) the FLF supplemented with a mixture of cellulase and xylanase (CelXyl). Microbial population during fermentation of the treatments was determined and apparent ileal and total tract digestibility were measured on eight barrows surgically fitted with a simple T-shaped cannula at the distal ileum and fed the four treatments according to a double-Latin square design. Microbial activity of the three fermented DDGS treatments was relatively low with lactic acid bacteria counts between 8.8 and 8.9logcfu/g and lactic acid concentrations between 60.2 and 70.5mmol/kg. The addition of CelXyl to DDGS resulted in a significant decrease in the amount of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) compared to the fermented DDGS (from 341.8g/kg DM to 312.9g/kg DM, P<0.001). Furthermore, addition of CelXyl to DDGS showed a reduction in the level of putrescine (46.5mg/kg DM in the DDGS versus 3.7mg/kg DM in the DDGS added CelXyl). Fermenting DDGS prior to feeding led to significantly increased apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of NSP (P=0.02), and apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of DM (P=0.01), CP (P=0.003), and P (P=0.04), along with tendency to increased ATTD of NSP (P=0.1). Addition of XylGlu and CelXyl resulted in further increases of both AID and ATTD of NSP compared to n-FLF (P≤0.03); with the greatest effect on the CelXyl treatment. In conclusion, the digestibility of DDGS in pigs was increased by fermentation. Addition of carbohydrases during fermentation can be a way of further increasing the NSP digestibility of DDGS.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effect of dietary supplementation of butyric acid glycerides on
           performance, immunological responses, ileal microflora, and nutrient
           digestibility in laying hens fed different basal diets
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): R. Jahanian, M. Golshadi
      A total of 150 laying hens (55-wk-old) were used to investigate the effect of different levels of butyric acid glycerides (BAG) on performance, egg quality, ileal microbial populations, and nutrient digestibility in hens fed different basal diets. Dietary treatments consisted of 2 different basal diets (corn- or wheat-based diets) and 3 supplemental BAG levels (0, 2.5, and 5.0g/kg) in a 2×3 factorial arrangement with 5 replicate cages and 5 hens per cage. The study lasted for 77d, including 7d for adaptation and 70d as the main experimental period. In addition to performance variables, antibody responses to different antigens were assessed after the inoculation. Furthermore, ileal digesta was collected from 3 euthanized hens per replicate at the end of the study to determine microbial count and ileal nutrient digestibility. Results showed that dietary BAG supplementation (2.5 and 5.0g/kg) increased egg production and egg mass, but it had more impact in hens fed wheat-based diets (basal diet×BAG, P<0.05). Dietary supplementation of BAG increased both egg production and egg mass, but those response criteria were greater with 5.0g/kg compared with 2.5g/kg. The heavier egg weights were observed for the hens fed corn-based diets (P=0.001), however, feed intake was not influenced by dietary treatments. Supplemental BAG (2.5 and 5.0g/kg) improved feed conversion ratio and it was lower in hens fed 5.0g/kg than those fed 2.5g/kg of BAG, especially in those hens fed the wheat-based diets (basal diet×BAG, P=0.022). Yolk color index was greater (P<0.001) in eggs produced by hens fed on corn-based diets. In contrast to Newcastle antibody titer, dietary inclusion of BAG (2.5 and 5.0g/kg) increased (P=0.011) antibody response against sheep red blood cell during primary response. Serum concentrations of triglycerides and cholesterol were lower (P<0.01) in hens fed wheat-based diets, and they increased (P<0.01) as supplemental BAG level was increased. Total bacterial count and Escherichia coli (E. coli) population were greater (P<0.05) when hens were fed wheat-based diets, and dietary BAG supplementation (2.5 and 5.0g/kg) reduced (P<0.05) total bacteria and ileal E. coli enumerations. Supplemental BAG (2.5 and 5.0g/kg) increased digestibility coefficients of ether extract (P=0.009) and also total ash, even though there was the interaction on total ash (P=0.045). The present findings indicate that BAG supplementation of diets could increase production performance of laying hens, probably because of the decreased intestinal E. coli count, and this effect was more obvious in wheat-based diets.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effects of grape seed procyanidins on growth performance, immune function
           and antioxidant capacity in weaned piglets
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Ruirong Hao, Qinghong Li, Jiaqi Zhao, Huifeng Li, Weiwei Wang, Junjie Gao
      The trial was conducted to investigate effects of grape seed procyanidins (GSP) on growth performance, immune function and antioxidant capacity in weaned piglets. A total of 160 Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshine piglets weaned at 21 days of age (body weight, 6.99±0.11kg) were randomly assigned to one of the five treatment groups with 4 replicate pens per group and 8 piglets per pen. The treatments included control group (fed a basal corn–soybean meal diet, BD), antibiotics group (BD+20mg/kg of flavomycin+100mg/kg of aureomycin), and three different GSP level groups (BD+50, 100, 150mg/kg GSP respectively). The trial lasted 28 days. Diarrhea scores were recorded daily, and the average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed/gain ratio (F:G) were calculated. Blood samples were collected on d 14 and 28 for the measurement of serum immune parameters and antioxidant indices. Dietary GSP or antibiotics supplementation did not exert significant effects on ADG, ADFI and F/G during overall experimental period. As compared with the control group, supplementation with antibiotics or different levels of GSP decreased the diarrhea incidences in piglets significantly (P<0.05). Pigs offered diets supplemented with GSP at doses of 100 or 150mg/kg generated higher (P<0.05) serum immunoglobulin (Ig) G, IgM, complement 4 (C4) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) concentrations, produced stronger (P<0.05) serum total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and lower serum malondialdehyde (MDA) content than those fed basal diet or antibiotics diet. In conclusion, administration of GSP in weaned piglets diet had no effect on the growth performance during the whole experiment. However, the beneficial effects on diarrhea incidences, immune responses and antioxidant abilities suggested that GSP has a positive role in weaned piglets.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Addition of inulin, alfalfa and citrus pulp in diets for piglets:
           Influence on nutritional and faecal parameters, intestinal organs, and
           colonic fermentation and bacterial populations
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Sebastián Brambillasca, Pablo Zunino, Cecilia Cajarville
      The effects of the inclusion of inulin, fresh alfalfa and fresh citrus pulp in diets for piglets on intake, nutritional and faecal parameters, digestive tract size, fermentation kinetics and colonic microbial populations was evaluated. Twenty-four cross-breed piglets (initial BW: 9.75±1.63kg) in a randomized complete block design were housed in metabolic cages and assigned to one of 4 treatments: 100% corn and soybean meal control diet (CON), 97% CON+3% inulin (INU), 95.5% CON+4.5% fresh alfalfa (ALF) and 95.5% CON+4.5% fresh citrus pulp (CIT). The experiment consisted of a 12 d adaptation period followed by 12 d for samples collection. The last 2 days of the experiment all animals were euthanized, the digestive tract of each animal was removed and an individual sample of colonic digesta was collected. Feed intake tended to be lower in the fibre supplemented groups (P=0.098), and was lower in ALF than in CIT (P=0.026). Groups receiving fibres tended to excrete more faeces (P=0.088), evacuated softer faeces (P=0.041) and presented a lower digestibility of CP (P=0.003). Retention of N was higher in the CON group than in fibre containing diets (P=0.009), and lower for ALF than for CIT (P=0.034). Colonic pH was lower in CIT and ALF treatments than in INU (P=0.016), in vitro gas volume was higher in the fibre-supplemented groups than in CON (P=0.048), but no differences between colonic bacterial counts were noticed among treatments. From the data obtained we conclude that the addition of fresh alfalfa and citrus pulp produce some beneficial effects in terms of promoting an increase in the hindgut fermentation, but negative aspects related to poorer nutrients absorption and N utilization can limit the usage of these fibrous sources.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effects of Lactobacillus brevis preparation on growth performance, fecal
           microflora and serum profile in weaned pigs
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): H. Liu, H.F. Ji, D.Y. Zhang, S.X. Wang, J. Wang, D.C. Shan, Y.M. Wang
      This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of Lactobacillus brevis ZLB004 on growth performance, fecal microflora, and serum profile in weaned pigs. A total of 144 weaned pigs (Duroc×Yorkshire×Landrace) with an average initial body weight of 15.60±0.13kg were randomly assigned to 3 treatments, with 4 replicate pen per treatment and 12 pigs per pen. Pigs were fed the basal diet supplemented with 0, 0.4, and 0.8g/kg of L. brevis ZLB004. All pigs were given free access to feed and water for 30d. The results showed that pigs fed diets with L. brevis ZLB004 increased average daily gain, average daily feed intake, and gain to feed ratio (P=0.026, 0.031, and 0.022 respectively), while decreased diarrhea incidence (P=0.044) compared with the control group. On d 30, dietary L. brevis ZLB004 increased lactobacillus populations (P=0.001), reduced fecal coliform populations (P=0.022). Supplemental L. brevis ZLB004 increased serum interferon-γ and total protein concentrations (P=0.024 and 0.044, respectively), while decreased serum haptoglobin and blood urea nitrogen (P=0.014 and 0.040, respectively). The results showed that L. brevis ZLB004 had beneficial effects on the improvement of intestinal microflora balance, immunity, and growth performance of weaned pigs.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effects of feruloyl esterase, non-starch polysaccharide degrading enzymes,
           phytase, and their combinations on in vitro degradation of rice bran and
           nutrient digestibility of rice bran based diets in adult cockerels
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Q. Liu, D.Y. Zhou, L. Chen, R.Q. Dong, S. Zhuang
      The objective of this research was to evaluate the feasibility of improving the nutritive value of rice bran used as poultry feed ingredient by the combination of feruloyl esterase (FAE), non-starch polysaccharide degrading enzyme cocktail (non-starch polysaccharide enzyme containing xylanase, cellulase, and β-galactosidase, NSPase), and phytase. After analyzing the phenolic acid profile of defatted rice bran (DFRB), an in vitro degradation experiment, and an in vivo metabolism assay were conducted. The effects of FAE, NSPase, and phytase were assessed in a 2×2×2 factorial in vitro experiment using DFRB as substrate. Feruloyl esterase, NSPase, and their combination increased the release of ferulic acid from DFRB (P<0.001). Non-starch polysaccharide degrading enzyme cocktail increased reducing sugar production (P<0.001). Phytase addition increased the dry matter disappearance (P<0.001), but resulted in a reduction in the levels of ferulic acid and reducing sugar released when combined with FAE and NSPase, respectively. In in vivo experiment, 40 adult cockerels (BW=2.2±0.1kg) were randomly divided into 5 treatments with 8 individual cockerels per treatment. Cockerels in 1 treatment were force-fed 1 of full-fat rice bran based diets [without enzyme supplementation (RB), with NSPase (RBN), NSPase+FAE (RBNF), NSPase+phytase (RBNP), or NSPase+FAE+phytase (RBNFP) addition, respectively]. Enzyme additions improved the nutrient digestibility of rice bran. The greatest enhancements in digestibility coefficients of dry matter (P=0.036), gross energy (P<0.001), ether extract (P<0.001), and neutral detergent fiber (P=0.01) were found in the RBNF and RBNFP diets. The apparent metabolizable energy of full-fat rice bran based diets increased from 12.05 (RB diet) to 13.05 (RBNF diet), and, then, to 13.13MJ/kg (RBNFP diet). In conclusion, combining FAE with NSPase and phytase improved both in vitro dry matter degradation and ferulic acid release, and in vivo nutrient digestibility of rice bran based diets. It showed a high potential in improving the use of rice bran as poultry feed.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Measurements of body composition during late gestation and lactation in
           first and second parity sows and its relationship to piglet production and
           post-weaning reproductive performance
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): L.A. Rempel, J.L. Vallet, C.A. Lents, D.J. Nonneman
      The objective of this study was to characterize multiple body condition traits in a white crossbred composite population of first- and second-parity sows and, determine if these traits relate to litter production and reproductive parameters. Differences between parity or time were determined using a mixed model and reported as LSM±SE. As expected, parity 2 dams were heavier (P<0.0001; 202.5±1.57kg versus 174.1±1.35kg) than parity 1 dams. Of interest however, parity 2 dams lost more (P=0.0340) loin eye area from late gestation to weaning (−4.1±0.78cm2 versus −2.5±0.60cm2) but had a greater (P=0.0026) recovery in loin eye area from weaning to post-weaning (2.8±0.76cm2 versus 0.6±0.59cm2) versus primiparous females. However the period between weaning measurements and post-weaning measurements tended (P=0.0978) to favor parity 1 dams (16.0±0.35d) versus parity 2 dams (15.4±0.43d). Parity 2 dams also had a greater (P≤0.05) ovulation rate following weaning than parity 1 dams. Regression analyses indicated body weight of dams at several time points had a positive (P≤0.05) relationship to ovulation rate (range 0.03±0.012 to 0.05±0.013corpora luteakg−1). Piglet ADG was positively (P≤0.05) associated with dam body weight (range 0.30±0.103gkg−1 to 0.49±0.106gkg−1) and dam backfat thickness (range 0.93±0.363gmm−1 to 1.14±0.378gmm−1) regardless of parity. Regression analyses indicated interactions (P≤0.05) between parity and backfat thickness at weaning (−0.11±0.023pigletsmm−1) and post-weaning backfat thickness (−0.12±0.025pigletsmm−1) were negatively associated with number of nursed piglets weaned among parity 1 dams. Furthermore, loin eye area at weaning (−0.06±0.024pigletscm2 −1) and loss of loin eye area from late gestation to weaning (−0.05±0.020pigletscm2 −1) were negatively (P≤0.05) associated with number of nursed piglets weaned but were not influenced by parity in regression analyses. In conclusion, these data provide knowledge on differences in body composition before and after the lactation period in young dams under similar conditions. Of interest, second parity dams appear to have greater lean tissue elasticity versus primiparous females. Future studies will further refine the relationship among body composition in primiparous females and subsequent impact on sow longevity.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Comparing groups of Brazilian cattle farmers with different levels of
           intention to use improved natural grassland
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): João Augusto Rossi Borges, Alfons G.J.M. Oude Lansink
      This study used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to analyze the intention of Brazilian farmers to use improved natural grassland. The TPB hypothesizes that the adoption of an innovation is driven by the intention to use it, which in turn is determined by three socio-psychological constructs: attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. These constructs are derived from beliefs. The theoretical framework and model were applied to a sample of 214 Brazilian cattle farmers. Based on the socio-psychological constructs that influence intention, two groups of farmers were identified; farmers that were willing and farmers that were unwilling to use improved natural grassland. Results showed that compared to unwilling farmers, willing farmers evaluated the use of improved natural grassland on their farms more favorably (attitude), they felt a greater social pressure upon them to adopt this innovation (social norm), and they reported a higher capability (perceived behavioral control) to use improved natural grassland. Willing and unwilling farmers also differed in their behavioral beliefs concerning the outcomes of using improved natural grassland, their normative beliefs concerning important others, and their control beliefs concerning factors that could facilitate or inhibit the use of improved natural grassland. The two groups did not differ in most of their socioeconomic characteristics, but did differ in their goals and relative risk attitudes.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation during late gestation and
           lactation of sows affects myofiber type in their litters
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Renli Qi, Ying Chen, Han Peng, Shan Jiang, Rong Xiao, Jinxiu Huang
      The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of dietary conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation of pregnant and lactating sows on muscle growth and myofiber type of their piglets. There are thirty healthy, pregnant Rongchang sows with similar body condition and closed expected day of parturition for the experiment in vivo. Three experiment groups carry out with/without CLA (1%, 2% and 0%). The experiment began on 85th day of gestation and ended at 28th day after piglet birth. The results show that (1) piglets from CLA-fed sows had heavier longissimus dorsi and higher percentages of slow myofibers than control piglets (P<0.05); (2) moreover, real-time PCR showed that CLA supplementation induce increasing expression of MyHC 1, MyOG, and MyOD genes while decreasing expression of MyHC 2a, MyHC 2x, and MSTN genes in piglets. We also check the expression of genes which appear in 2 in vitro experiment. c9, t11-CLA acted to induce the differentiation of cultured pig skeletal muscle cells and up-regulates the expression levels of MyHC 1 and MyOG, but t10, c12-CLA strongly inhibited cellular differentiation and down-regulates expression of MyOG. These findings suggest that dietary CLA during early life may affect muscle development and myofiber type in pigs.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effects of organic, inorganic, and nano-Se on growth performance,
           antioxidant capacity, cellular and humoral immune responses in broiler
           chickens exposed to oxidative stress
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): A. Boostani, A.A. Sadeghi, S.N. Mousavi, M. Chamani, N. Kashan
      The present study was designed to compare different sources of Selenium (Se) on growth performance, antioxidant capacity, cellular and humoral immune responses of male broilers subjected to oxidative stress. In a completely randomized design, 320 broilers were assigned to a 2×4 factorial arrangement comprising 4 replicates of 10 birds per each. Broilers were divided in two groups for oxidative stress; a group as control (no oxidative stress) and the other one was peritoneally received tert-butyl hydro peroxide (tert-BHP) as oxidative stress inducer. Birds in each level of oxidative stress were received either supplemented Se diet (CON) or diets supplemented with 0.3mg/kg nano-Se (NAN), organic Se (ORG), and inorganic Se (INO). Sources of Se, oxidative stress, and their interaction had no effect on the feed intake, daily body gain and feed conversion ratio (P>0.05). Se supplementation increased glutathione (GSH) content and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity compared to the control group (P<0.05). However, birds in oxidative stress had lower glutathione (GSH) content and GSH-Px activity as compared to non-stressed ones. Se supplemented groups had lower malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations compared to the control groups (P<0.05), and birds on oxidative stress conditions had higher MDA level as compared to non-stressed birds. The IgM and IgG levels were significantly increased in NAN group compared to CON and other experimental groups (P<0.05). The highest serum IgG and IgM concentrations were recorded for non-stressed birds received nano-selenium and organic selenium. Birds in oxidative groups had lower foot swelling response value as compared to non-oxidative groups only at 24h following the phytohemagglutinin-P (PHA-P) injection (P<0.05). The oxidative condition decreased the lymphoid organs weight compared to non-oxidative condition. These increases in antioxidant enzyme activities have been considered as a protective response against oxidative stress. It was concluded that supplementation of diet with 0.30mg/kg of different sources of Se increased the antioxidative capacity of broiler chicken under oxidative stress and nano-Se effect was higher than organic or inorganic source.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Zn status of sows and piglets as affected by diet and sow parity
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): Roger Davin, David Solà-Oriol, Edgar Garcia Manzanilla, Imke Kühn, José Francisco Pérez
      The objective of the present study was to evaluate if changes to dietary P, Ca and phytase concentrations and sow parity number affect mineral transfer to piglets during lactation and productive and reproductive performance in sows. In experiment 1, sows (n=112) received the same gestation and lactation diets, and were grouped according to parity number. Colostrum and milk on d 21 of lactation were sampled from sows and analyzed for Zn, Fe and Cu. Hair from piglets was also collected at the 21st day of lactation and analyzed for Zn. In experiment 2, sows (41) were distributed into 3 groups based on parity and 4 dietary lactation treatments: dietary treatments were a lactation diet with recommended concentrations of Ca, P and Zn (Rec), a lactation with reduced concentrations of Ca, P and Zn (Low0), the Low diet supplemented with 250FTU of phytase/kg feed (Low250), and the Low diet supplemented with 500FTU of phytase/kg feed (Low500). Titanium dioxide (TiO2) was added as indigestible marker to all diets. Fecal samples were obtained between d 21 and 25 of lactation and analyzed for Ca, P, Zn, Fe, Cu and Ti. Blood and colostrum samples were obtained on day of farrowing, and blood and milk samples were collected on d 21, for Zn, Fe and Cu analysis. In experiment 1, no differences in trace minerals were observed between parity groups for colostrum, milk and hair except milk Cu concentrations were greater in older sows (6th–10th parity number) and milk Zn concentrations tended to be greater in older (6th–10th parity number) sows. In experiment 2, sows fed Rec had greater intake and excretion of Ca, P and Zn than the other three treatments. Sows supplemented with phytase (Low250 and Low500) had greater P digestibility than those without phytase (Rec and Low0). Zn, Fe and Cu concentrations in plasma and milk did not change with treatment. Parity did not alter any of the variables measured except plasma Cu levels, which were greater following farrowing in youngest sows. Large amounts of Zn are secreted in milk in relation to the body Zn stores during lactation. This research suggests the amount of Zn secreted by sows appears to be constant and independent of parity or phytase use in lactation diets low in P and Ca.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effect of linseed dietary supplementation on adipose tissue development,
           fatty acid composition, and lipogenic gene expression in lambs
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): O. Urrutia, J.A. Mendizabal, K. Insausti, B. Soret, A. Purroy, A. Arana
      The objective of this study was to examine the effect of linseed supplementation on growth and carcass parameters, adipocyte cellularity, lipogenic enzyme activity, fatty acid (FA) composition and expression of lipogenic genes in subcutaneous (SC) adipose tissue and intramuscular (IM) adipose tissue of longissimus thoracis muscle of lambs. Thirty-six male Navarra breed lambs allocated into 3 experimental groups (15.2±0.18kg) were fed a control diet (containing barley and soya) and two experimental diets (5% and 10% linseed, L5 and L10 respectively) and slaughtered at 26.5±0.28kg. In the SC adipose tissue and muscle, the activity of fatty acid synthetase (FAS), glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3PDH), glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) and NADP-Isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICDH) was studied and the expression of lipoprotein lipase (LPL), acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 or alpha (ACACA), stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD), fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1) and 2 (FADS2) and fatty acid elongase 5 (ELOVL5) was quantified. Addition of linseed, rich in α-linolenic acid (C18:3n−3), had no effect on growth and carcass parameters. Linseed supplementation increased C18:3n−3, C18:1t10 + C18:1t11 and total n−3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) contents of SC and IM fat (P<0.001) and decreased C18:2n−6 and C18:3n−6 (P<0.05). The n−6/n−3 ratio was also decreased by linseed addition (P<0.05). There were no significant effects of linseed on C18:2c9,t11, eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5n−3), docosapentaenoic acid (C22:5n−3) and docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6n−3) contents of SC and IM depots. In the SC fat, expression of ACACA and SCD was downregulated in L10 compared to C group (P<0.001) and LPL was upregulated in L5 group (P<0.001); however, there were no effects of diet on FADS1, FADS2 and ELOVL5 mRNA levels. In the IM fat, downregulation of ACACA (L5 and L10), SCD (L10), FADS1 (L5 and L10) and FADS2 (L5) was observed (P<0.001). Expression of LPL was upregulated in L5 compared to C group (P<0.01). It was concluded that dietary linseed raised C18:3n−3 and n−3 PUFA in SC and IM fat in Navarra breed lambs and modified the FA synthesis through the regulation of key-lipogenic gene expression. Dietary linseed regulated de novo FA synthesis and shifted monounsaturated FA formation at the transcriptional level by downregulating ACACA and SCD, respectively. Hence, linseed supplementation did not appear to enhance the synthesis of C18:2c9,t11. Moreover, dietary PUFA affected the expression of genes involved in long chain PUFA synthesis (FADS1, FADS2 and ELOVL5) in a tissue-specific manner.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Effect of fish meal and oil on hormone profile and reproductive variables
           in ewes inseminated by laparoscopy
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): R. Nieto, M.T. Sánchez-Torres, O. Mejía, J.L. Figueroa, L. Olivares, J.G. Peralta, J.L. Cordero, P. Molina, M. Cárdenas
      The addition of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) to the diet of ruminants can benefit the reproductive process in the female. The current study was conducted to assess the effect of a short period of feeding a diet that included fish meal and oil on the progesterone (P4) and insulin (INS) profile, and on reproductive variables including estrous onset, pregnancy and prolificacy in virgin ewes artificially inseminated by laparoscopy (AIL). Forty-two Dorset ewes were assigned into two experimental groups: These groups were no supplementation (CON; n=21) and a group supplemented with fish meal and oil (4 and 0.8%; FMO; n=21). Ewes were fed the experimental diets for 15 days, beginning four days before inserting sponges for estrus synchronization and ending the day the vaginal sponges were removed. Each ewe received 0.8kg d−1 feed in individual pens. Ewes were pre-synchronized with prostaglandin F2α and later synchronized with chronolone sponges for 11 days. When sponges were removed, the ewes received 200 IU of eCG. The AIL began 48h after sponge removal and estrus detection. The time of estrus onset was different among groups (P<0.05; CON: 35.1±2.1; FMO: 41.0±1.8h). No differences were found in P4 (FMO: 3.8±1.2; CON: 3.5±1.4ngmL−1) or INS concentrations in serum (FMO: 0.12±0.02; CON: 0.13±0.03ngmL−1). Adding fish meal and oil to the diet did not affect pregnancy percentage (FMO: 52%; CON: 55%), but it did affect the prolificacy index (FMO: 1.63; CON: 1.25) (P<0.05). It was concluded that the addition of fish meal and oil to the diet of virgin ewes over a short period time delayed onset of estrus and enhanced prolificacy.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Identification of embryonic/fetal mortality in cows by semiquantitative
           detection of pregnancy-associated glycoproteins
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 178
      Author(s): J Engelke, H Knaack, M Linden, M Feldmann, N Gundling, Y Gundelach, C Egli, M Greiner, JF Beckers, NM Sousa, MM Meyerholz, M Hoedemaker, M Piechotta
      Late embryonic and early fetal mortality (EM/FM) might occur following a pregnancy diagnosis, decreasing the accuracy of pregnancy diagnostics in dairy cattle. Therefore, the detection of EM/FM may be useful in dairy reproductive management. Comparatively low concentrations of pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs) have been previously associated with EM/FM. The aim of the present study was to test the ability of a semiquantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of PAGs (PAG-ELISA) to either diagnose (EM/FM has already occurred) or to predict (EM/FM will occur) EM/FM. Three experiments were carried out as follows: (1) PAG-ELISA validation, (2) a retrospective verification of 141 PAG results in cases with suspected EM/FM and the identification of cut-off values for EM/FM, and (3) a field experiment, testing the proposed PAG-ELISA cut-off values defined in Experiment 2 under farm conditions by comparing transrectal ultrasound (TRU) results with PAG-ELISA results. The PAG-ELISA validation (Experiment 1) demonstrated that an optical density (OD) range of 0.4–2.8 reflected a linear relation to the PAG concentrations. The results from Experiment 2 indicated that more cows (85.7%) with PAG-OD values ranging from 0.40–0.79 showed EM/FM compared to cows (21.7%) with PAG-OD values ranging from 1.2 to 1.5. A cut-off value of 2.2 (sensitivity [SEN]=87.6%; specificity [SPE]=72.8%) was determined using ROC-curve analysis for prediction of EM/FM and a cut-off value of 1.2 for diagnosis of EM/FM (SEN=50%; SPE=94%). However, in the field experiment, EM/FM was best diagnosed using a cut-off value of 1.5 (SEN=26.7% and SPE=96.5%). Hence, the high SEN detected in Experiment 2 could not be confirmed in the field experiment indicating that a singular PAG value is not a convenient tool to diagnose EM/FM. Though, the combined use of PAG-ELISA and TRU showed remarkable results (SEN=84.2%; SPE=98.1%) by revealing a technique for diagnosis of previously occurred EM/FM and for prediction of subsequent occurring EM/FM.


      PubDate: 2015-07-19T01:59:43Z
       
  • Performance and body composition of light and heavy early-weaning piglets
           subject to different dietary energy levels
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 July 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): M.S. Vieira , A.M.L. Ribeiro , A.M. Kessler , L.I. Chiba , L. Bockor
      This study aimed to evaluate the effects of dietary metabolizable energy (ME; 3.40, 3.60, or 3.80Mcal/kg) and weaning weight (WW; 4.5±0.4 and 6.7±0.5kg) on growth performance, body composition, and energy utilization in early-weanling piglets. The diet with 3.40 Mcal/kg was formulated based on standard energy and nutrient recommendations in Brazil, and amino acids, Ca, P, and lactose levels in diets containing 3.60 and 3.80Mcal/kg were adjusted for the increased ME to maintain constant nutrient to ME ratios. Thirty-two male piglets were housed in metabolic cages individually for 28d in a 2×3 factorial arrangement of treatments with 5 barrows per treatment, except light and 3.8 ME and heavy and 3.4ME/kg treatments, which had 6 barrows per treatment. Body composition, nutrient deposition rates, and energy efficiency were measured through a comparative slaughter procedure. There were no WW×ME interactions for any of the response criteria. Heavy piglets had 15% greater average feed intake, 16% average daily gain, and 19% body weight on d 28 than the light piglets (P=0.021), but there was no effect of WW on energy and nutrient digestibility. Dietary ME content did not affect growth performance, but increased digestibility of dry matter, gross energy, and crude protein (P<0.001). Heavy piglets had greater carcass weight (20%) and empty body weight (18%) than the light piglets (P<0.001). Energy efficiency was not influenced by WW or dietary ME content. Heavy piglets at weaning consumed more ME (P<0.022) and had greater body protein accretion in the carcass and empty body weight (P<0.05), but fat deposition was not affected. There was no interaction between WW and ME content of post-weaning diets, and increasing dietary energy level did not affect the post-weaning performance of light piglets at weaning. The results of this study did not support the hypothesis that light piglets at weaning do not exhibit compensatory growth because of limitations in energy and nutrient intake.


      PubDate: 2015-07-05T17:46:41Z
       
  • Milk yield, feed efficiency and metabolic profiles in Jersey and Holstein
           cows assigned to different fat supplementation strategies
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 July 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): L. Alstrup , M.O. Nielsen , P. Lund , J. Sehested , M.K. Larsen , M.R. Weisbjerg
      The study aimed to analyze the combined effect of lactation stage and fat supplementation. Either protected or unprotected fat was fed to dairy cows to quantify effects on dry matter intake (DMI), mammary nutrient uptake, energy corrected milk (ECM) yield, milk composition, and energy, N and feed efficiency. Additionally, we studied the effect of adding Hydroxy-methionine-analog-isobutyrate (HMBi) to the ration supplemented with protected fat. A total of 107 Holstein cows and 54 Jersey cows were assigned to one of four different mixed dietary treatments: Control (CON), control supplemented with whole cracked rapeseed (WCR), control supplemented with rumen protected vegetable fat (Lipmix 40/60, Lipitec, NLM Vantinge Aps, Ringe, Denmark) (RPF), and RPF supplemented with HMBi (MetaSmart, Adisseo, France) (RPFA). Rations contained 2.63, 5.63, 5.55, and 5.59% crude fat on dry matter (DM) basis and 1.77, 4.29, 4.59, and 4.63% FA of DM for CON, WCR, RPF and RPFA, respectively. All cows were offered the same concentrate in the automatic milking system in addition to the mixed rations. After calving, cows were fed CON until they had gained 11kg (Jersey) or 15kg (Holstein) body weight, compared to their lowest recorded weight after calving. Subsequently, the cows were randomly assigned to one of the four treatments until the end of lactation. There was no effect of feeding strategy on DM intake during week 9 to 40 of lactation. Fat supplemented rations (WCR; RPF) increased yield of milk, ECM and lactose, but decreased milk protein and urea concentrations compared to CON. No effects of HMBi on milk yield and composition were detected. Lactation persistency was improved for all fat supplemented treatments for multiparous cows, particularly with WCR. Fat supplemented rations decreased energy efficiency in Jersey cows but increased energy efficiency in Holstein cows. Because fat supplementation reduced dietary protein concentration and increased milk production, protein intake was lower and N efficiency was higher on WCR and RPF than on CON. Metabolite concentrations in jugular vein blood plasma and concentration differences between jugular and milk veins, which reflect nutrient uptake by the mammary gland, were not affected by the ration fed, breed, or time from calving until ration change. In conclusion, fat supplementation during weeks 9-40 of lactation increased ECM yield and N efficiency irrespective of source of fat, whereas additional supplementation of HMBi showed no effect. The effect of fat persisted throughout lactation.


      PubDate: 2015-07-05T17:46:41Z
       
  • Comparing environmental impacts of beef production systems: A review of
           life cycle assessments
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 June 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): M. de Vries , C.E. van Middelaar , I.J.M. de Boer
      Livestock production, and especially beef production, has a major impact on the environment. Environmental impacts, however, vary largely among beef systems. Understanding these differences is crucial to mitigate impacts of future global beef production. The objective of this research, therefore, was to compare cradle-to-farm-gate environmental impacts of beef produced in contrasting systems. We reviewed 14 studies that compared contrasting systems using life cycle assessment (LCA). Systems studied were classified by three main characteristics of beef production: origin of calves (bred by a dairy cow or a suckler cow), type of production (organic or non-organic) and type of diet fed to fattening calves (<50% (roughage-based) or ≥50% (concentrate-based) concentrates). This review yielded lower global warming potential (GWP; on average 41% lower), acidification potential (41% lower), eutrophication potential (49% lower), energy use (23% lower) and land use (49% lower) per unit of beef for dairy-based compared with suckler-based systems. In suckler-based systems, maintaining the mother cow is the dominant contributor to all impacts, which is attributable to the low reproductive rate of cattle and the fact that all emissions are allocated to the production of beef. GWP was slightly lower (on average 7%) for organic compared with non-organic systems, whereas organic systems showed higher eutrophication potential, acidification potential and land use (36%, 56%, and 22% higher), and lower energy use (30% lower) per unit of beef produced. Except for GWP, however, these results should be interpreted with care because impacts were compared in few studies. Lower GWP (on average 28% lower), energy use (13% lower) and land use (41% lower) per unit of beef were found for concentrate-based compared with roughage-based systems, whereas no clear pattern was found for acidification and eutrophication potential. An LCA comparison of beef systems that differ in type of diet, however, is limited because current LCA methodology does not account for the competition for land between humans and animals. To enhance future food supply, grassland less suitable for crop production, therefore, might be preferred over high productive cropland for direct production of animal feed. Furthermore, studies included in our review did not include all relevant impact categories, such as loss of biodiversity or water use. We concluded that beef production from dual-purpose cows or dairy cows inseminated with beef breeds show largest potential to mitigate environmental impacts of beef. Marginal grasslands unsuitable for dairy farming may be used for production of suckler-based beef to contribute to availability and access to animal-source food.


      PubDate: 2015-06-27T13:07:03Z
       
  • Crude glycerin changes ruminal parameters, in vitro greenhouse gas
           profile, and bacterial fractions of beef cattle
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 June 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): E.H.C.B. van Cleef , M.T.C. Almeida , H.L. Perez , F.O.S. van Cleef , D.A.V. Silva , J.M.B. Ezequiel
      As the biodiesel industry produces a large surplus of crude glycerin, this by-product is increasingly being considered as an attractive source of energy to replace corn in livestock diets. The objective of this study was to evaluate how the inclusion of up to 30% crude glycerin in Nellore cattle diets affects ruminal parameters such as pH, ammonia, and volatile fatty acids as well as greenhouse gas production, and concentration of the protozoal and bacterial fractions. Five ruminally cannulated Nellore steers were randomly assigned in a 5 × 5 Latin square design and fed diets containing 30% corn silage and 70% concentrate composed of sunflower meal, corn grain, soybean hulls, minerals, and 0, 7.5, 15, 22.5, or 30% crude glycerin (860g glycerol/kg). After 14 d of adaptation, animals were submitted to rumen content sampling for 7 d. With the supplementation of glycerin in the diets, total VFA and acetate concentrations decreased (linear, P= 0.03, P< 0.0001, respectively), and propionate concentrations increased (linear, P= 0.007; quadratic, P= 0.008), leading to an acetate to propionate ratio decrease (linear, P< 0.0001). The rumen ammonia was not affected while pH was quadratically affected and was lesser for glycerin treatments (quadratic, P= 0.04). Methane production was reduced (linear, P< 0.0001) when glycerin was added, as well as the CO2 (linear, P< 0.0001; quadratic, P= 0.0001; cubic, P< 0.0001). The concentration of liquid phase microorganisms was not affected, while the concentration of particle-associated bacteria fraction was decreased by the addition of crude glycerin in the diets. The inclusion of up to 30% of crude glycerin in diets for beef cattle decreased ruminal concentration of total VFA and acetate, increased propionate, reduced concentration of particle-associated bacteria, and decreased production of methane.


      PubDate: 2015-06-27T13:07:03Z
       
  • High pasture allowance does not improve animal performance in Supplemented
           dairy cows grazing alfalfa during autumn-winter
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 June 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): J.L. Danelon , M. Gaggiotti , R. Gallino , R.A. Palladino
      The aim of this study was to assess the effect of three alfalfa pasture herbage allowances on milk yield and composition during autumn-winter grazing season on early autumn calving dairy cows. Eighteen multiparous Holstein dairy cows were assigned to one of three treatments in a 3 × 3 Latin square design: low herbage allowance (14kgDM/cow; LHA), medium herbage allowance (27kgDM/cow; MHA) and high herbage allowance (41kgDM/cow; HHA). Dry matter disappearance was lower at LHA although remained similar between MHA and HHA (P<0.05). However, as herbage allowance (HA) increased, lower grazing efficiencies (as the proportion of material removed) were registered (P<0.05). Total dry matter intake (DMI; kg/d) was also lowest for LHA and similar between the other two treatments (P<0.05). Milk yield, 4%FCM, milk fat (g/kg) and casein (g/kg) tended to increase from LHA to HHA (P<0.10). Cows at LHA tended to loss weight whilst cows at MHA and HHA had a tendency to increase BW according the season progressed (P<0.10). In summary, managing cows at HHA will allow cows to a slightly increase in individual milk production and BW gain but in detriment of herbage utilization and potentially, milk production per hectare.


      PubDate: 2015-06-25T13:02:53Z
       
  • Effect of rearing systems and diets composition on the survival of
           probiotic bifidobacteria in the digestive tract of calves
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 June 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Věra Bunešová , Eva Vlková , Martina Geigerová , Vojtěch Rada
      The effect of rearing systems and diets composition on the survival of administered probiotic bifidobacteria in the digestive tract of calves was examined. Two bifidobacteria strains of calf origin with suitable physiological properties, which were identified as Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. animalis and B. longum ssp. suis, were administered to 8 Charolais calves reared in an extensive farming system fed the full-milk diet and 8 Holstein calves from an intensive system fed the combined diet. Skim-milk fermented by rifampicin-resistant bifidobacteria variants of the B. animalis ssp. animalis and B. longum ssp. suis strains were administered once to 2-day-old calves. Survival of the administered bifidobacteria and the numbers of other bacterial groups in faecal samples was monitored by culturing. Probiotics administered to Charolais calves survived at higher counts than 107 CFU/g in the digestive tract for at least 26 days. Significantly lower bifidobacteria survival rate was observed in the Holstein calves. Three days after administration of bifidobacteria were detected in counts 107 CFU/g; however, their numbers rapidly dropped reaching a value of about 102 CFU/g on day 26 after administration. Bifidobacteria dominated the faecal flora of 5-day-old calves in both groups. Significantly higher lactobacilli counts were detected in the Charolais calves than in the Holstein calves. Our results showed that administration of probiotics is more effective in calves fed the full-milk diet reared in an extensive farming system. To achieve a probiotic effect in intensively reared animals, repeated application would probably be required, because the tested bifidobacteria were not able to colonise the digestive tract of calves fed the combined diet from an intensive rearing system.


      PubDate: 2015-06-25T13:02:53Z
       
  • Genetic parameters and predictions for direct and maternal growth traits
           in a multibreed Angus-Brahman cattle population using genomic-polygenic
           and polygenic models
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 June 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): M.A. Elzo , M.G. Thomas , D.D. Johnson , C.A. Martinez , G.C. Lamb , D.O. Rae , J.G. Wasdin , J.D. Driver
      The objectives of this research were to compare variance components, genetic parameters, and EBV rankings for birth weight (BW) direct and maternal, weaning weight (WW) direct and maternal, and postweaning gain from 205 d to 365d (PWG) direct using three genomic-polygenic and one polygenic model representing four plausible beef cattle genetic evaluation scenarios for growth traits under subtropical conditions in the US southern region. In addition, EBV trends as percentage Brahman increased from 0% to 100% were evaluated for each trait and model. The dataset included 5,264 animals from a multibreed Angus-Brahman population born from 1987 to 2013. Genomic-polygenic models 1 (GP1; pedigree relationships for all animals; genomic relationships for genotyped animals), 2 (GP2; pedigree relationships for non-genotyped animals; genomic relationships for genotyped animals), and 3 (GP3; no pedigree relationships; genomic relationships for genotyped animals) used actual and imputed genotypes from 46,768 SNP markers. Variance components and genetic parameters were estimated using REML procedures. Variance component and genetic parameter estimates from GP1 were the most similar to those from the polygenic model, followed by those from GP2, and the least similar (especially for maternal traits) were those from GP3. Similarly, the highest rank correlations were those between animal EBV from the polygenic model and GP1, followed by those between animal EBV from GP1 and GP2 and between the polygenic model and GP2. Model GP3 performed poorly for maternal traits due to ignoring calf-dam relationships. These results indicated that the polygenic model and genomic-polygenic model 1 should be preferred. However, high genotyping costs still make the polygenic model preferable for commercial beef cattle operations. Brahman animals tended to have higher EBV for BW direct and WW direct, and lower EBV for PWG direct, BW maternal, and WW maternal. However, low regression coefficients for EBV on Brahman fraction ensured that high, medium, and low EBV animals from all breed compositions existed in this multibreed population.


      PubDate: 2015-06-25T13:02:53Z
       
  • Assessment of finishing beef cattle mortality in a sustainable farming
           perspective
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 June 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Clelia Rumor , Marta Brscic , Barbara Contiero , Giulio Cozzi , Flaviana Gottardo
      Cattle mortality has a relevant economic and environmental impact but it has been scarcely investigated in finishing beef cattle farms. Aim of this study was to investigate mortality rate in 45 intensive beef cattle farms located in North-Eastern Italy from 2010 to 2013 and to evaluate potential risk factors affecting it. Information from the Italian National Cattle Movement database, as source of mortality data, were crossed with descriptors of barn features and farm management gathered by an on-farm survey to identify factors influencing mortality at farm level, which could be of direct utility for the farmers to reduce cattle losses. Results showed an overall average mortality rate in the 4-year period of 1.4% ranging from 0% to 5.3%. Mortality occurred within the first half of the finishing period, on average 3.4 months after the arrival at the fattening unit. A multivariate regression model showed that mortality was affected by breed (P=0.020) and by floor type as trend (P=0.083). Pure Charolaise (Odds ratio=1.70, 95% Confidence interval=1.11-2.59; P<0.005 and Limousine breeds (Odds ratio=1.96, 95% Confidence interval=1.26–3.05; P<0.005) showed higher odds for mortality compared to other beef breeds or crosses. Bulls housed on fully slatted floor showed higher odds compared to those on deep litter (Odds ratio=1.45, 95% Confidence interval=1.01-2.08; P<0.005). Season at arrival affected mortality (P=0.013), with summer (Odds ratio=1.45, 95% Confidence interval=1.14–1.84; P<0.005) and autumn (Odds ratio=1.74, 95% Confidence interval=1.27–2.38; P<0.005) being the most critical seasons. Differently from expected, space allowance and barn features such as presence/absence of roof insulation and/or ventilation devices as well as the managerial choice of separating or not newly arrived bulls in a dedicated receiving area for quarantine did not affect mortality. Based on findings from this study, it could be concluded that the avoidance of rearing specialized French beef breeds, of using fully slatted floor and of importing young cattle during warm seasons could be considered as preventive measures to reduce the risk of mortality in intensive beef cattle farms.


      PubDate: 2015-06-25T13:02:53Z
       
  • Production and environmental impact of dairy cattle production in Denmark
           1900-2010
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 June 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Troels Kristensen , Ole Aaes , Martin Riis Weisbjerg
      Cattle production during the last century has changed dramatically in Western Europe, including Denmark, with a steady increase in production per animal and in herd and farm size. The effect of these changes on total production, herd efficiency, surplus of nitrogen (N) at herd and farm level and emission of greenhouse gasses (GHG) per kg product has been evaluated for the Danish dairy cattle sector based on historic information. Typical farms representing the average situation for Danish dairy cattle farms and land required for feed supply was modelled for the situation in: A) 1920 – representing a local-based production, B) 1950 – representing a period with emerging mechanization and introduction of new technologies and a more global market, C) 1980 – representing a period with heavy use of external resources like fertilizer and feed protein and D) 2010 – today with focus on balancing production and risk of environmental damage. In A, B and C, other livestock such as pigs and hens also played a role, while the dairy farm in 2010 only had cattle. In 1920 and 1950 the farm was based on 7-8 dairy cows producing typically 1800-3400kg energy-corrected milk (ECM) per cow annually and fed primarily on pasture and hay, only to a limited extent supplemented with imported protein. In 1980 the herd size had increased to 20 dairy cows producing 5000kg ECM each, and feeding was with silage instead of hay, but still included grazing and there was a larger proportion of imported feed. In 2010 the herd had increased to 134 dairy cows producing 9000kg ECM per cow and fed indoors all year. During this period net energy used for milk and meat in % of total intake and land use per 1000kg of milk has steadily decreased as a consequence of higher milk yield per cow and higher yields of forage per ha. In opposition, the utilization of N in the herd, while increasing from 1920 to 1950 and to 2010 showed a drop in the 1980 system, where also the environmental N surplus per ha farmland was highest (40; 65; 226; 148kg N per ha farmland in the respective periods). The lower N efficiency in 1980 also resulted in an increased GHG emission per kg milk than in the preceding and following periods (2.23; 1.38; 1.94; 1.20kg CO2-eq. per kg ECM in the respective periods). It is concluded that the biological and technical development has made it possible to reduce the environmental load of dairy production significantly, but that this requires a strong focus on nitrogen management at the farm level and production efficiency in the herd.


      PubDate: 2015-06-25T13:02:53Z
       
  • Influence of genotype and feeding strategy on pig performance, plasma
           concentrations of micro nutrients, immune responses and faecal microbiota
           composition of growing-finishing pigs in a forage-based system
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 June 2015
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A.G. Kongsted , J.V. Nørgaard , S.K. Jensen , C. Lauridsen , H.R. Juul-Madsen , L.R. Norup , R.M. Engberg , K. Horsted , J.E. Hermansen
      In free-range pig production it is important to reduce the input of nutrients from supplementary feed to reduce nutrient leaching and improve the resource efficiency of the system. A promising development might be to encourage foraging behaviour of the pigs. However, very little is known about pigs' ability to take advantage of direct foraging to cover their nutritional needs and how this interacts with breed and affects robustness. Pig performance, plasma concentration of micro nutrients, immune response and faecal microbiota composition were studied in 72 growing pigs (34 to 105kg live weight) of either a traditional (Tamworth×(Landrace×Yorkshire)) or a ‘modern’ crossbreed (Duroc×(Landrace×Yorkshire)) fed a pelleted diet as supplementary feed either according to recommendations (NORM), or restrictedly with (RES+) or without (RES–) a supplementary vitamin and mineral mixture. The pigs ‘strip grazed’ a diverse pasture with a grass–clover mixture and forage herbs (338m2 pig–1) and root chicory (34m2 pig–1). The results revealed that a 33% reduction in feed allowance of a pelleted diet reduced daily gain with up to 25% but improved conversion of supplementary feed into live weight with up to 15%. There were no significant differences in pig performance between RES+ and RES–. The two breed combinations responded similarly to the reduction in feed allowance with regard to growth performance and feed conversion. Across feeding strategy, the traditional crossbred had 20% lower daily weight gain and used 25% more supplementary feed per kg live weight gain compared to the ‘modern’ crossbreed. Omitting a mineral and vitamin premix to the diet had no consistent effects on plasma concentration of minerals but the plasma concentration of α-tocopherol and retinol were significant lower in RES– pigs compared to RES+ and NORM pigs. Plasma 25-D3 was significant lower in October than in September. The immune response and microbial composition showed few and inconsistent differences between treatments. In conclusion, this study indicated that direct foraging in a diverse range area contributed significantly to the nutritional supply of pigs fed restrictedly with supplementary feed. There are indications that the mineral content of the premix is not needed in a forage-based free-range system but cautious need to be taken with regards to the vitamin A, D, E supply.


      PubDate: 2015-06-25T13:02:53Z
       
 
 
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