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AGRICULTURE (533 journals)

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Journal Cover Livestock Science
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1871-1413
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3039 journals]
  • Use of digestible rather than total amino acid in diet formulation
           increases nitrogen retention and reduces nitrogen excretion from pigs
    • Authors: S.A. Lee; H. Jo; C. Kong; B.G. Kim
      Pages: 8 - 11
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 197
      Author(s): S.A. Lee, H. Jo, C. Kong, B.G. Kim
      One of the goals of swine diet formulation is minimizing nitrogen (N) excretion as well as maximizing N retention. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that different requirement expressions of dietary amino acids (AA) may affect N balance in pigs. Twelve pigs with average body weight of 40.9kg (standard deviation =3.3) were used in a quadruplicated 3×3 Latin square design. Three diets were formulated to meet AA requirement estimates based on total AA (Diettotal), apparent ileal digestible AA (DietAID), or standardized ileal digestible AA (DietSID) with constant amounts of corn, soybean meal, and corn germ meal but different crystalline AA contents. Total feces and urine were collected. Nitrogen balance was calculated based on the analyzed data of the diets, feces, and urine samples. Preplanned orthogonal contrasts were used to compare the least squares means among treatments: 1) Diettotal vs. DietAID and DietSID and 2) DietAID vs. DietSID. Pigs fed Diettotal had less retained N (P=0.048) and retention coefficients (P<0.01) resulting in greater urinary (P=0.014) and total (P=0.017) N excretion than DietAID and DietSID. Urinary N excretion tended to be greater (P=0.074) for pigs fed DietAID than DietSID. In conclusion, formulating swine diets based on digestible AA rather than on total AA can reduce N excretion.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T15:49:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2016.12.013
      Issue No: Vol. 197 (2017)
       
  • The dilemma of twin pregnancies in dairy cattle. A review of practical
           prospects
    • Authors: F. López-Gatius; C. Andreu-Vázquez; R. Mur-Novales; V.E. Cabrera; R.H.F. Hunter
      Pages: 12 - 16
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 197
      Author(s): F. López-Gatius, C. Andreu-Vázquez, R. Mur-Novales, V.E. Cabrera, R.H.F. Hunter
      Carrying twins has been extensively described as an emerging principal non-infectious factor jeopardizing pregnancy maintenance and reducing the lifespan of dairy cows. The risk of pregnancy loss during the first trimester of gestation for cows carrying twins may be from three to seven times higher than for cows carrying singletons. Longer calving to conception intervals, higher culling rates and a shorter mean production lifespan of 200 days have been reported for cows delivering twins compared to cows delivering singletons. There is therefore a need accurately to detect twin embryos at the time of pregnancy diagnosis to follow twin pregnancies carefully or, alternatively, to remove one of the embryos. Therapeutic approaches for the problem of twin pregnancies include GnRH treatment or induced embryo reduction. With similar results, manual rupture of the amniotic vesicle or transvaginal ultrasound-guided aspiration of allanto-amniotic fluid have been proposed as methods of choice to perform twin reduction in cows on Day 28–41 of gestation. However, benefits and risks of induced twin reduction should be quantified. This report reviews various aspects concerning control of twin pregnancies and the practical implications at herd level. Special attention is paid to timing of spontaneous twin reduction. Prospects for induced embryo reduction are also discussed.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T15:49:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2017.01.001
      Issue No: Vol. 197 (2017)
       
  • Effect of different periods of maternal deprivation on behavioral and
           cortisol responses at weaning and subsequent growth rate in zebu (Bos
           indicus) type cattle
    • Authors: L.I. Pérez; A. Orihuela; C.S. Galina; I. Rubio; M. Corro; A. Cohen; A. Hernández
      Pages: 17 - 21
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): L.I. Pérez, A. Orihuela, C.S. Galina, I. Rubio, M. Corro, A. Cohen, A. Hernández
      Recently, a dual procedure of maternal deprivation at 25 and 45 days postpartum (dpp), has proven to induce cyclic activity in zebu type cattle as early as 50 dpp. However, little is known about the welfare of the animals subjected to these treatments. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of two periods of maternal deprivation on some behavioral and cortisol responses of cows and calves at weaning, and subsequent growth rates. Forty Bos indicus cow-calf pairs raised under extensive conditions were randomly assigned to one of four groups (n=10). In the control group (C) calves remained with their dams; in groups G24, G48 and G72, calves were temporally separated from their mothers for 24, 48 and 72h, respectively, at 25 days and at 45 days postpartum. Calves were weaned at 150 dpp and weighed at 25, 45, 150, 240 and 270 dpp; behavioral and cortisol measures were recorded from both cows and calves at 24, 48 and 72h post weaning. More calves were observed grazing and fewer vocalizing in the groups subjected to cow deprivation in comparison with the C group. At day 3 after weaning, serum cortisol concentration was higher (P<0.05) in group C than in the treatment groups, while day 1 after weaning, more G24 and G48 calves were observed <10m from the fence separating them from their dams (P<0.05) compared with G72 and C calves. Most of the behavioral and cortisol weaning responses disappeared on the third day after weaning, with cows displaying fewer signs of distress than their calves, regardless of treatment. No differences (P>0.05) were found in the weight of the calves at 25, 45 and 150 dpp. However, at 270 dpp, calves in G48 and G72 were heavier (P<0.05) than calves in the other groups. We conclude that calves subjected to mother deprivation during the suckling period displayed fewer behavioral distress signs, diminished cortisol response and higher body weights during the first days after weaning. However, the potential negative impact on calf welfare caused by emotional stress due to maternal deprivation needs further investigation.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T15:49:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2016.12.006
      Issue No: Vol. 197 (2017)
       
  • Effect of dietary amino acid supplementation during gestation on placental
           efficiency and litter birth weight in gestating gilts
    • Authors: Djane Dallanora; Jéssica Marcon; Marina Patricia Walter; Natalha Biondo; Mari Lourdes Bernardi; Ivo Wentz; Fernando Pandolfo Bortolozzo
      Pages: 30 - 35
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 197
      Author(s): Djane Dallanora, Jéssica Marcon, Marina Patricia Walter, Natalha Biondo, Mari Lourdes Bernardi, Ivo Wentz, Fernando Pandolfo Bortolozzo
      Arginine is an important amino acid for angiogenesis and vasodilation, and recent studies have established ideal amino acid ratios for maternal, placental, fetal, and mammary gland tissue growth during gestation. This study was carried out to evaluate the effects of supplementing gestation diets with arginine and/or amino acid blend (lysine, methionine, threonine, and tryptophan) on placental efficiency and piglet birth weight (BW) in hyper-prolific females. Pregnant gilts were divided into four treatment groups, namely, Control (corn-soybean meal based diet from D25 to D112), Arginine (supplemented with 1% Arg from D25 to D80); Blend (20g of blend from D81 to D112) and Argiblend (supplemented with 1% Arg from D25 to D80 and 20g of blend from D81 to D112 of gestation). The supplementation with Blend increased the weight of gilts at D112). The total number of piglets born, percentage of mummified fetuses, average BW, within-litter coefficient of variation in BW, percentage of low-birth-weight piglets (≤850g or ≤1000g), placental weight, placental efficiency and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were not affected by the supplements. The supplementation with arginine decreased the number of born alive piglets and increased then percentage of stillborn piglets. The average placental weight was higher in Blend than in Control gilts. The effects of supplementation were also evaluated based on prolificacy of females categorized as either high (>14 total piglets born) and low (≤14 total piglets born). Within LowProlif group, gilts fed on the blend treatment had increased LitBW and AvgPBW compared to control gilts. LowProlif gilts supplemented with arginine also had higher AvgPBW than Control gilts. The LowProlif gilts fed on the arginine or blend diets had lower percentage (P<0.05) of low BW piglets (≤850g and ≤1000g) than those fed on the control and argiblend diet. Even though gestation diets supplemented with arginine and/or an amino acid blend did not influence average piglet BW and the within-litter variation in BW, when all the litters were taken into account, the supplementation with arginine or blend increased the average BW and reduced the percentage of low-weight piglets at birth when the litter size was less than 14.

      PubDate: 2017-01-15T16:23:47Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2017.01.005
      Issue No: Vol. 197 (2017)
       
  • Genome-wide search for signatures of selection in three major Brazilian
           locally adapted sheep breeds
    • Authors: João José de Simoni Gouveia; Samuel Rezende Paiva; Concepta M. McManus; Alexandre Rodrigues Caetano; James W. Kijas; Olivardo Facó; Hymerson Costa Azevedo; Adriana Mello de Araujo; Carlos José Hoff de Souza; Michel Eduardo B. Yamagishi; Paulo Luiz Souza Carneiro; Raimundo Nonato Braga Lôbo; Sônia Maria Pinheiro de Oliveira; Marcos Vinicius G.B. da Silva
      Pages: 36 - 45
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 197
      Author(s): João José de Simoni Gouveia, Samuel Rezende Paiva, Concepta M. McManus, Alexandre Rodrigues Caetano, James W. Kijas, Olivardo Facó, Hymerson Costa Azevedo, Adriana Mello de Araujo, Carlos José Hoff de Souza, Michel Eduardo B. Yamagishi, Paulo Luiz Souza Carneiro, Raimundo Nonato Braga Lôbo, Sônia Maria Pinheiro de Oliveira, Marcos Vinicius G.B. da Silva
      The study of locally adapted breeds has the potential to underpin the discovery of genes involved in economically and ecologically important traits. Brazilian locally adapted sheep breeds have distinctive characteristics that could be of value for specialized production systems. Therefore, the main objective of the present study was to identify genomic regions that may have been under selection and therefore may explain ecological and production differences observed among three important Brazilian locally adapted sheep breeds. Animals from the Brazilian Creole, Morada Nova and Santa Ines breeds were genotyped using the Illumina Ovine SNP50 BeadChip. The identification of selection signatures was based on two groups of methodologies: differentiation among populations (FST) and linkage disequilibrium (iHS and RsB). Taken together, these analyses allowed for the identification of 86 candidate genes. Functional analysis revealed genes related to immunity, nervous system development, reproduction and sensory perception. A number of genes are of particular interest including: RXFP2, which has recently been associated with the presence/absence and morphology of horns in sheep; the TRPM8 gene, involved in regulation of body temperature at low temperatures; DIS3L2, PLAG1 and NIPBL, associated with height variation; and finally, SPEF2 and SPAG6, important for spermatogenesis. Selective sweeps were identified using multiple methods, and in a number of cases sweep regions contained genes with a demonstrated role in phenotypic variation. The genomic distribution of the sweep regions differed between populations, suggesting that breed specific signatures were successfully identified that may reflect the consequence of local adaptation.

      PubDate: 2017-01-15T16:23:47Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2017.01.006
      Issue No: Vol. 197 (2017)
       
  • The effect of adding xylanase or β-glucanase to diets with corn
           distillers dried grains with solubles (CDDGS) on growth performance and
           nutrient digestibility in nursery pigs
    • Authors: T. Tsai; C.R. Dove; P.M. Cline; A. Owusu-Asiedu; M.C. Walsh; M. Azain
      Pages: 46 - 52
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2017
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 197
      Author(s): T. Tsai, C.R. Dove, P.M. Cline, A. Owusu-Asiedu, M.C. Walsh, M. Azain
      A total of 135 pigs (initial weight=7.2±0.2kg) were used to evaluate the effect of xylanase (XYL) and β-glucanase (BGL) alone or in combination (XB) on growth performance and nutrient digestibility in nursery pigs fed diets with corn/SBM and 30% corn distillers dried grains with solubles (CDDGS). Pens (n=30, 4–5 pigs per pen) were randomly assigned to one of five treatments: positive control (PC, Corn/SBM+0% CDDGS), negative control (NC, 30% CDDGS replacing a portion of the corn and SBM with no enzyme addition), negative control+4000 unit/kg xylanase (XYL), negative control +450 unit/kg β-glucanase (BGL), and negative control+4000 unit/kg xylanase+450 unit/kg β-glucanase (XB). All pigs were fed a common phase 1 diet for one week post-weaning, and were switched to experimental diets in phase 2 (d7-21) and phase 3 (d21-35). Pigs fed the NC diet had reduced growth rate (P<0.001) compared to PC. Pigs fed BGL diet had increased ADG by 7.7%, and those fed the XB diet had increased ADG (9.3%) over NC diet during d21-35 (P<0.001). Overall, XB diet improved ADG by 6.6%, compared to NC diet (P<0.001). Digestibility of DM, improved by 1.6% and 1.4% in pigs fed XYL and XB (P<0.001), respectively. Overall, energy digestibility improved by 5.5% in pigs fed diets supplemented with enzymes (P<0.001). Similarly, CP digestibility was 5.9% greater in pigs fed diets supplemented with enzymes as compared to the NC (P<0.001). Addition of XYL, BGL, and XB increased average NDF, ADF, and hemicellulose digestibility by 33%, 30%, and 34%, respectively, when compared to NC diet (P<0.02). Supplementation of XYL, BGL, or both enzymes improved P digestibility (46%) when compared to NC diet (P<0.01). The results indicate that ADG was improved by the XB combination, with most of the response accounted for by BGL. There was no effect of enzyme on ADFI or G:F. In contrast, XYL, BGL and XB improved nutrient digestibility. Enzyme supplementation at least partially reduced the negative impact of CDDGS on nutrient digestibility and growth.

      PubDate: 2017-01-15T16:23:47Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2017.01.008
      Issue No: Vol. 197 (2017)
       
  • Treatment of the retained placenta in dairy cows: Comparison of a
           systematic antibiosis with an oral administered herbal powder based on
           traditional Chinese veterinary medicine
    • Authors: Dongan Cui; Shengyi Wang; Lei Wang; Hui Wang; Jianxi Li; Xin Tuo; Xueli Huang; Yongming Liu
      Pages: 55 - 60
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 196
      Author(s): Dongan Cui, Shengyi Wang, Lei Wang, Hui Wang, Jianxi Li, Xin Tuo, Xueli Huang, Yongming Liu
      Cows affected with retained placenta are at a higher risk of developing puerperal metritis. Herbal remedies bear a high potential to treat postpartum uterine diseases in cows. The aim of this randomized clinical trial was to compare an herbal powder and ceftiofur hydrochloride in the treatment of cows affected with retained placenta and for puerperal metritis prevention. The herbal powder was prepared from a combination of Leonurus artemisia (Laur.) S.Y. Hu F, Angelica sinensis (OLIV.) DIELS (radix), Ligusticum chuanxiong HORT (radix), Sparganiumstoloniferum (Graebn.) Buch.-Ham.exJuz (radix), Curcuma zedoaria (Christm.) ROSC (radix), Cyperu srotundus Linn. (radix), and Glycyrrhiza uralensis FISCH (radix). A total of 157 cows diagnosed with retained placenta were randomly divided into 2 treatment groups. Cows in the herbal group (n=85) were treated with an oral dose of 0.5g crude herb/kg bw once daily for 1–3day(s), and cows in the control group (n=72) were treated with ceftiofur hydrochloride (2.2mg/kg bw, i.m.) twice daily for 3 consecutive days. Seventy-three cows had total expulsion of the placenta within 72h following initial herbal treatment, yet no cows in the control group expelled the placenta during the same time period, and 50 out of 73 cows achieved total expulsion of the placenta following only one herbal treatment. The median time of retained placenta shedding (20.0 vs. 101.5h; P<0.01) was shorter in the herbal group than in the control group. The logistic regression analysis indicated that the oral administration of the herbal powder tended to have superior clinical efficacy in metritis prevention compared to the systemic administration of ceftiofur hydrochloride in cows affected with retained placenta (8.2% vs. 11.1%, P=0.057, OR 5.771) within 21 days after parturition. Additionally, fewer cows in the herbal group required additional therapeutic antibiotics compared to the controls (8.2% vs. 26.4%, P=0.003). Evidence from this randomized controlled clinical trial suggested that the herbal powder is a clinically effective treatment for retained placenta and the prevention of puerperal metritis and, thus, might have great potential for the medical management of retained placenta in dairy cows.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T15:49:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2016.12.008
      Issue No: Vol. 196 (2017)
       
  • Anti-Müllerian hormone and antral follicular count in early and delayed
           pubertal Murrah buffalo heifers
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 198
      Author(s): K.M. Kavya, R.K. Sharma, A. Jerome, S.K. Phulia, I. Singh
      The present study was designed to determine the relationship between Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), antral follicular count (AFC) and body weight (BW) in early and delayed pubertal buffalo heifers. Out of 72 heifers screened ultrasonographically, 19 heifers were selected based on age, BW and attainment of puberty for the present investigation. They were divided into two groups (Group I, n=12; Group II, n=7). Group I heifers (age: 30–40 months; BW: 370–468kg) showed no signs of puberty whereas Group II heifers (age: 18–29 months, BW: 279–318kg) attained puberty. Total number of all visible antral follicles >1mm were counted and cyclicity status was monitored at monthly interval. Single blood sample was collected for estimation of serum AMH concentration once the heifers were adjudged cyclic by the presence of corpus luteum. We found lower AMH concentration in delayed pubertal heifers (0.099±0.006ng/ml) as compared to early pubertal heifers (0.17±0.03ng/ml) but, difference was not significant (p=0.0788). Likewise, AMH showed non-significant correlation with AFC and BW in both groups. But, there was significant relationship between BW and AFC in delayed (r=0.79; p=0.00) and early (r=0.86; p=0.01) pubertal heifers. In conclusion, this study indicates non-significant difference between AMH and AFC in early and delayed pubertal heifers. Moreover, AMH had no correlation with AFC and BW, but BW was highly correlated with AFC in both study groups.

      PubDate: 2017-02-19T12:38:47Z
       
  • Prevalence of production disease related indicators in organic dairy herds
           in four European countries
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): M. Krieger, K. Sjöström, I. Blanco-Penedo, A. Madouasse, J.E. Duval, N. Bareille, C. Fourichon, A. Sundrum, U. Emanuelson
      The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of production disease related indicators on 192 organic dairy farms in Germany, Spain, France and Sweden. The following indicators were used: raised somatic cell count (>100,000 cells/ml, subclinical mastitis), high fat/protein ratio (risk of ketosis), low milk fat (risk of acidosis), prolonged calving interval, clinical lameness, and mortalities of calves and cows. Prevalence of the assessed indicators varied widely between farms and countries. The median prevalence (interquartile range) were 51.3% (15.4) for subclinical mastitis, 10% (7.7) for risk of ketosis, 3.2% (4.7) for risk of acidosis, 42% (20.7) for prolonged calving interval, and 14.2% (20.4) for clinical lameness. The incidence risk of calves dying between 1 and 90 days of age was 0.002 (0.043) per month of risk. Cow mortality was 0.026 (0.048) per year at risk. The assessment has shown that a comprehensive set of indicators can be calculated from readily available data, sparing the need to establish new and costly procedures. Future research should focus on strategies for using the information most effectively to reduce the level of production diseases in organic dairy farms.

      PubDate: 2017-02-19T12:38:47Z
       
  • Feeding behaviors, metabolism, and performance of primiparous and
           multiparous dairy cows fed high-concentrate diets
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): S.M. Nasrollahi, G.R. Ghorbani, A. Zali, A. Kahyani
      Currently, there is a trend in management practices to feed a high concentrate diet to sustain a high level of milk production. The objective of this study was to identify the differences between primiparous (PP) and multiparous (MP) dairy cows fed a high-concentrate diet on feed intake and behavior, rumen pH and rumen fermentation, blood metabolites, inflammation, and milk production and efficiency. Twenty-four PP (DIM = 114 ± 20; 43.2 ± 10.6kg/d of milk; mean ± SD) and fifty-four MP (DIM = 99 ± 30; 53.2 ± 13.6kg/d of milk) cows were fed a high-concentrate diet consisting of 35% forage and 65% concentrate mix. The study lasted for 24 d, which consisted of 14 d of environmental adaptation followed by 10 d of data collection. Rumen pH was measured via rumenocentesis for all cows and reticuloruminal pH was measured for a subset of animals (4 PP and 10 MP) using indwelling oral-administered sensors. The PP cows had greater sorting against long particles during the daytime, but greater sorting in favor of long particles at night. The dry matter intake (DMI) between 0 and 4h after the morning feeding was not affected by parity, whereas PP cows had greater DMI from 4 to 6h post-feeding and MP cows had greater DMI from 6 to 24h post-feeding. Total 24-h intake was greater (25.1 vs. 22.4kg/d) in MP than in PP. Rumen pH and fermentation profile were not affected by parity. Duration of rumen pH <5.8 measured 750 and 570 ± 231min/d for PP and MP cows, respectively, which indicates that cows experienced rumen acidosis with respective coefficients of variation measuring approximately 8.2 and 10.8%, respectively. Primiparous cows produced less milk (−6.3kg/d), 3.5% fat corrected milk (−4.2kg/d), milk protein (−0.160kg/d), and lactose (−0.230kg/d). The PP cows, despite lower production, had greater concentrations in plasma of cholesterol, ß-hydroxy-butyrate (BHBA), and blood urea nitrogen and a trend for greater triglyceride than MP cows. Primiparous cows also had lower feed efficiency compared with MP (1.88 vs. 2.03). We conclude from these results that under conditions of the present study, PP dairy cows responded with lower feed efficiency and greater concentration of cholesterol, BHBA, and urea nitrogen in the blood.

      PubDate: 2017-02-19T12:38:47Z
       
  • The impact of feeding growing-finishing pigs with reduced dietary protein
           levels on performance, carcass traits, meat quality and environmental
           impacts
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A.N.T.R. Monteiro, T.M. Bertol, P.A.V. de Oliveira, J.-Y. Dourmad, A. Coldebella, A.M. Kessler
      The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of reducing dietary nutrient content for pigs from 25 to 130kg live weight, on performance, carcass traits, meat quality and environmental impact. Forty gilts and 40 barrows were distributed in a randomized block design with two treatments and 10 replications per treatment, with four animals per experimental unit. The feeding program was in four phases. Two diets were formulated for each feeding phase. One was adjusted using the InraPorc® model to minimize crude protein, amino acid and phosphorus excess (LN), and the other (ST) was formulated with standard Brazilian recommendations. No differences were found on performance. The mean ADG and ADFI were 0.919 and 2.46kg/day, respectively. Carcass characteristics and meat quality were also not affected by the experimental diets. The average total feed cost was 6.8% lower (P<0.05) for animals fed the LN diets. For nitrogen and phosphorus balance, there was no statistical difference in retention, but the nitrogen and phosphorus intake were 15.8% and 9.42% lower for pigs fed LN diets, respectively, and the excretion levels were 24.1% and 14.6% lower for pigs fed LN diets, respectively. Life cycle assessment showed that LN strategy can reduce the environmental impacts of climate change and terrestrial ecotoxicity by about 4%, acidification and eutrophication by 8% and 10%, respectively, and land occupation by 9%. Data suggest that nutritional adjustment is a valuable alternative to standard formulations, without affecting performance, but lowering costs and reducing environmental burdens.

      PubDate: 2017-02-19T12:38:47Z
       
  • Effects of instantaneous stocking rate, paddock shape and fence with
           electric shock on dairy cows’ behaviour
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Dayane Lemos Teixeira, Luiz Carlos Pinheiro Machado Filho, Maria José Hötzel, Daniel Enríquez-Hidalgo
      We assessed the effect of high instantaneous stocking rate, paddock shape and fence with electric shock on dairy cows’ behaviour under rotational grazing system. Twelve Holstein Friesian lactating cows were used in two consecutive experiments. Experiment 1 used a 4 × 4 Latin square design with 4 two-day periods and 4 treatments: 2 paddock shapes (rectangular and square) and 2 instantaneous stocking rates (500 and 200 cows/ha). For Experiment 2, cows were divided in 4 groups of 3 cows and submitted to two treatments – smooth wire fence with electric shock (4,000 V) and smooth wire fence without electric shock – in a cross-over experimental design with two replicates. Data were analysed in PROC GLIMMIX of SAS. The models included treatments as fixed effects and the group as the experimental unit. Cows in higher instantaneous stocking rate performed less grazing behaviour (P ≤ 0.05). This finding was expected, as larger area per animal increase the herbage allowance for grazing, and thus grazing time. These same animals also performed more aggressions, but less idling behaviours (P ≤ 0.05). Cows in paddocks without electric shock performed almost 15% more grazing behaviour than cows in paddocks with electric shock (P ≤ 0.05), which indicates that they may have recognized the absence of shock, hence not avoiding being close to the fence. Paddock shape did not affect any of the behaviours analysed (P > 0.05). The results from this study reinforce the importance of paddock characteristics on dairy cows’ behaviours.

      PubDate: 2017-02-19T12:38:47Z
       
  • Genetic contribution of cytoplasmic lineage effect on feed efficiency in
           Nellore cattle
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 198
      Author(s): L. Grigoletto, B.C. Perez, M.H.A. Santana, F. Baldi, J.B.S. Ferraz
      This study estimated the genetic contribution to genetic variance components and genetic parameters from cytoplasmic lineage effects through the transmission of cytoplasmic components, mainly, the mitochondrial genome evaluated from feed efficiency indicators. Records on 1569 Nellore males (castrated and young bulls) and females (heifers) were used for the following traits, dry matter intake (DMI), average daily gain (ADG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and residual feed intake (RFI). Genetic variances were estimated by the bayesian approach using Gibbs2f90 program in two univariate animal models. General model (Mgen) which included the direct additive genetic variance as the random effect and the cytoplasmic lineage model (Mlc) included besides the direct additive genetic variance also the cytoplasmic lineage as random effects. Direct heritability estimates by Mgen for DMI, ADG, FCR and RFI were 0.42±0.09, 0.37±0.09, 0.17±0.06 and 0.30±0.10, respectively, while, the direct heritability coefficients estimated by Mlc were 0.41±0.09, 0.35±0.09, 0.15±0.06 and 0.27±0.10. The percentage of cytoplasmic lineage as the proportion of total phenotypic variance ranged from 1.1% to 2.1% for the feed efficiency traits. However, this percentage increase to 14.5% for RFI, if the cytoplasmic effect was take into account as proportion of the additive genetic variance. These results indicate that genetic improvement in feed efficiency can be achieved through selection and the traits analyzed showed enough genetic variability, thus the inclusion of feed efficiency in animal breeding programs of Nellore cattle is feasible. The inclusion of cytoplasmic lineage effect to evaluate feed efficiency indicator traits has not produced substantial gains to the genetic evaluation, as it does not improve the prediction ability of the models by deviance information criteria for Bayesian models. However, on a long-term basis, the identification of the best cytoplasmic lineages in the population may help to assure continuous improvement for the traits of interest.

      PubDate: 2017-02-12T23:42:02Z
       
  • Analysis of selected rumen microbial populations in dairy heifers limit
           fed diets varying in trace mineral form and starch content
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Kristina Kljak, Felipe Pino, Kevin J. Harvatine, Arlyn J. Heinrichs
      Eight rumen-cannulated Holstein heifers were used to explore the effect of trace mineral form and diet starch content on selected ruminal microbial populations under limit feeding conditions. Heifers were subjected to a split-plot, 4 × 4 Latin square design with 19-day periods. Trace mineral form [organic proteinates (OTM) or inorganic sulfates (ITM)] was the whole-plot factor, and starch content (3.5, 12.9, 22.3, and 31.7% DM) was the sub-plot factor. Rumen samples were collected 3h after feeding on day 18 of each period, and DNA was extracted. Relative abundances of 6 well-studied bacterial taxa, total anaerobic fungi, ciliate protozoa, methanogenic Archaea and bacteria were determined using validated primer sets by real-time quantitative PCR. Targeted populations had relative abundances comparable to those previously reported. Of the microbial populations measured, trace mineral form influenced only Prevotella bryantii, which was increased by OTM. Increasing dietary starch concentration linearly decreased methanogenic Archaea, total bacteria, Prevotella spp., and Prevotella bryantii, and tended to linearly decrease fungi and protozoa. In conclusion, contrary to the starch content, trace mineral form had limited impact on the abundance of selected microbial populations in limit fed heifers 3h after feeding. The unexpected effect of starch content on bacterial populations and protozoa could be the result of different eating patterns of heifers fed diets varying in starch content.

      PubDate: 2017-02-12T23:42:02Z
       
  • Heat exposure alters the mRNA expression of growth- and stress-related
           genes in chicks
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Hirofumi Okuyama, Md. Sakirul Islam Khan, Akira Tsukada, Tetsuya Tachibana
      High ambient temperature, a major stressor, impairs the growth of chickens. In this study, we examined the effect of heat exposure on the mRNA expression of various growth related genes, such as growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1), GH-releasing hormone (GHRH), thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), and somatostatin (SST) in layer-type chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) at an early age. In addition, we examined the reactivity of the corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) system, one of the stress-regulating pathways, to heat exposure and its role in altering the growth related genes. Four-day heat exposure reduced the body weight gain, feed intake, and feeding efficiency and increased the rectal temperature of chicks (P < 0.05). The mRNA expression levels of pituitary GH, liver IGF1, and diencephalic GHRH decreased with heat exposure (P < 0.05) whereas the levels of TRH or SST did not change. Heat exposure also reduced the diencephalic mRNA expression level of CRH and increased pituitary CRH receptor-2 mRNA and the plasma corticosterone (CORT) concentration (P < 0.05), suggesting that heat exposure affected the hypothamic-pituitary adrenal gland (HPA) axis. Similar to the heat-exposure study, subcutaneous injection of CORT for 4 days decreased body weight, and the mRNA expression of pituitary GH and liver IGF1 (P < 0.05). The present study demonstrated that heat exposure reduced the mRNA expressions of pituitary GH and liver IGF1, and suggested that the change in mRNA expression may have been partly caused by CORT.

      PubDate: 2017-02-12T23:42:02Z
       
  • Impact of incomplete pedigree data and independent culling level
           pre-selection on the genetic evaluation of livestock: a simulation study
           on lamb growth
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Samir Id-Lahoucine, Joaquim Casellas
      Incomplete pedigree data due to multiple-sire mating systems is an issue for extensive sheep livestock production systems that leads to inefficiency in genetic selection programs. Although paternity testing technologies can deal with this challenge, their costs prevent the systematic testing of all offspring born, often being restricted to the replacement breeding stock (i.e., a non-random sample of individuals). This may result in important biases during genetic evaluations for traits expressed early in life, where animals can be pre-selected on the basis of their phenotypic performance, and poor performing individuals (most of them with poor genetic merit), are preferentially discarded. The potential bias due to the joint impact of this pre-selection and the specific cohort of lambs tested for missing paternity data was evaluated on simulated lamb growth data. Genetic evaluations where performed on different scenarios depending on the pre-selection criterion for the replacement breeding stock (>150, >200, >250 or >275g/d) and availability of pedigree data. The results suggested a relevant impact on the ability of genetic evaluation models to capture the additive genetic variance (simulated heritability, h2 = 0.2), and h2 moved from slight (h2 = 0.225 ± 0.004) to severe overestimations (h2 = 0.618 ± 0.002) when pre-selection criterion rose from 150g/d to 275g/d and with sire data restricted to the replacement breeding stock. This impact was attenuated when sire data was unknown for all individuals (h2 < 0.25), low levels of pre-selection, or when recovering sire data for 10 to 20% of discarded lambs (additional increases marginally attenuated the bias and improvements were almost absent from ~50% of the lambs). The complete loss of sire data impaired genetic evaluations and revealed moderate-to-low accuracies (r a ) for predicted breeding values. Scenarios with both moderate and high pre-selection criteria on lamb growth reported remarkable reductions on r a when sire data was only available for replacement individuals. When sire data was also available for a percentage of discarded lambs, r a increased, although the marginal benefit was almost negligible when paternity testing was applied to at least half of the discarded lambs. The expected genetic gain exhibited a similar behavior. As a whole, if sire data is only available for replacement individuals, pre-selection criterion must be minimal to avoid relevant biases during genetic evaluation. If not, the statistical performance of genetic evaluation procedures without sire data was similar or even better than the one obtained with sire data restricted to the replacement breeding stock.

      PubDate: 2017-02-12T23:42:02Z
       
  • Early dietary amino acid restrictions and flaxseed oil supplementation on
           the leanness of pigs and quality of pork: Growth performance, serum
           metabolites, carcass characteristics, and physical and sensory
           characteristics of pork
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): C.K. Adhikari, L.I. Chiba, S.D. Brotzge, M.S. Vieira, C. Huang, W.G. Bergen, C.L. Bratcher, S.P. Rodning, E.G. Welles
      A total of 64 pigs (Yorkshire) were used to investigate the effect of early dietary amino acid (AA) restrictions [100 or 80% of the 2012 NRC standardized ileal digestible (SID) Lys requirements during the grower and finisher-1 phases] and flaxseed oil supplementation [0 or 3% (+ 2% poultry fat)] in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments on grower-finisher pigs. At 24.7 ± 0.5kg body weight (BW), pigs were randomly assigned to 4 grower diets with 4 gilt pens and 4 castrated male pens/treatment and 2 gilts or 2 castrated males/pen, and switched to fnisher-1 diets when they reached 51.2 ± 0.3kg. Pigs were offered common finisher-2 diets after 80.0 ± 0.4kg, and those received 0 or 5% lipids during the grower and finisher-1 phases were continued to receive 0 or 5% lipids. Ultrasound backfat measurements and blood samples were collected at the end of the grower, finisher-1, and finisher-2 phases, and pigs were harvested at 110.5 ± 0.5kg to assess carcass traits and physical and sensory characteristics of pork. During the grower phase, although pigs consumed less feed, SID Lys, and digestible energy (DE; P < 0.015), their average daily BW gain was not really depressed by the dietary AA restrictions. During the finisher-1 phase, however, pigs fed the AA restricted diets had greater BW gain (P = 0.042) and utilized SID Lys more efficiently (P < 0.001) for BW gain than those fed the unrestricted diets. Pigs fed the diets supplemented with lipids had lower feed intake (P = 0.007) but greater BW gain (P = 0.03) during the grower phase, and their BW gain:feed (P < 0.045) was improved during the all phases of production. Overall BW gain was not affected by the early dietary AA restrictions, but overall efficiency of feed, SID Lys, or DE utilization for BW gain (P < 0.005) was improved by the AA restrictions. Similarly, the early dietary AA restrictions had no effect on fat-free lean (FFL) gain but increased FFL gain:SID Lys (P < 0.001) and tended to increase FFL gain:DE (P = 0.095). Serum urea-N (P < 0.026) at the end of the grower and finisher-1 phases was reduced, and serum glucose (P = 0.027) at the end of the grower phase was increased by the dietary AA restrictions. The dietary lipids tended to increase and increased serum triglycerides at the end of the grower (P = 0.075) and finisher-1 and 2 (P < 0.018) phases, respectively, and reduced urea-N (P = 0.037) at the end of the finisher-2 phase. At the end of the finisher-1 phase, the dietary lipids increased serum cholesterol in pigs fed the unrestricted diet but had no effect on those fed the AA restricted diet (AA restrictions x lipid supplementation, P = 0.029). The dietary AA restrictions tended to reduce the initial tenderness (P < 0.057) and reduced flavor intensity (P = 0.048) of pork slightly. Belly firmness (P < 0.001) was reduced and off-flavor (P = 0.007) was increased slightly by the dietary lipids. There was no effect of dietary treatments on ultrasound backfat. In conclusion, the dietary lipids improved BW gain:feed but reduced belly firmness and increased off-flavor slightly. The dietary AA restrictions had no effect on overall BW gain or FFL gain but improved overall efficiency of AA and DE utilization for BW gain and FFL gain.

      PubDate: 2017-02-12T23:42:02Z
       
  • Evaluation of an accelerated growth program for pre-weaned Shall lambs-
           short communication
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Ehsan Mahjoubi, Mehdi Hossein Yazdi, Omid Afsarian, Kimberly A. Vonnahme
      In order to evaluate the effect of source and amount of milk delivered to lambs on their performance, thirty newborn Shall male lambs (4.76 ± 0.31kg) were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: 1) conventional whole milk feeding program at 10% of body weight (CWM); 2) conventional milk replacer feeding at 10% of body weight and 17.1% milk solid (MRC); 3) accelerated milk replacer feeding program at 20% of body weight and 21% milk solid (MRA). Lambs were weaned at 56 d of age and the experiment finished 2 week after weaning. Milk and solid feed intakes were individually recorded on a daily basis. As the experiment advanced, the solid feed consumption (P < 0.01) and average daily gain (ADG; P < 0.01) increased, but MRC fed lambs had a decreased ADG compared to CWM or MRA groups in the pre-weaning (94g/day vs. 140 and 155g/day, respectively), but not in post-weaning, phase. The accelerated program led to decreased solid feed intake in the MRA group while the other lambs had similar starter intake, though total dry matter intake was greater in MRA compared with others. The CWM group had the best gain:feed ratio, resulting in similar final body weights as the MRA group and greater body weights compared with MRC lambs. Circulating β-hydroxy butyric acid was decreased (P < 0.01) in MRA lambs compared with lambs on the traditional program during pre-weaning, but not post-, weaning period. In conclusion, it appears that lambs can be artificially reared on very low fat MRA program with greatly improved ADG during the first month of life, but, without altering final performance.

      PubDate: 2017-02-05T23:07:44Z
       
  • Development of an Index for the Assessment of Welfare of Finishing Pigs
           from Farm to Slaughter Based on Expert Opinion
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): P. Brandt, T. Rousing, M.S. Herskin, E.V. Olsen, M.D. Aaslyng
      For pigs, the day of slaughter involves potential animal welfare threatening elements at different stages such as pick-up pens, loading, transport, unloading, lairage and race. At present no tool for asessing the welfare of finishing pigs from farm exit to stunning is available. The present study builds on a protocol for assessment of animal welfare of finishing pigs on the day of slaughter, a protocol which was based on the structure of the Welfare Quality® protocol for finishing pigs at an abattoir. The present study aimed to develop an animal welfare index (AWI) for the day of slaughter by aggregating 25 primarily animal-based measurements based on 38 experts opinion on inter-measurement and inter-stage weights. AWIs were calculated on animal level as the weighted sums of prevalence of the measurements, and were calculated for each of the six stages: pick-up pen, loading, transport, unloading, lairage and race (AWIStage) and across the stages (AWIOverall). The AWIs were tested in 5 farms including a total of 45 fattening pigs delivered to two Danish abattoirs. Possible inter-relations between the AWI and heart rate measurements were examined. For each welfare measurement within stage, significant differences between the mean expert scores were found. However, no difference between stage weights was found. Statistically significant differences in average heart rate between stages were found: 123a (pick up pen), 139b (loading), 120a (transport), 132d (unloading), 114c (lairage) and 134bd (race) bpm, respectively, (different letters indicate differences of P<0.05). No significant relationship between the score assigned by the expert panel per stage and the average heart rate within stage (r=0.61, P=0.19) or between AWIStage and heart rate (r=0.43, P=0.40) was found. In conclusion, this work has suggested a potential model for the aggregation of animal welfare measurements into animal welfare indexes for slaughter pigs on the day of slaughter. Further validation may allow simple comparison of the level of welfare between lorries, days, abattoirs etc. and may be used for future development of a feedback mechanism for optimization of the welfare of the pigs as well as for marketing.

      PubDate: 2017-02-05T23:07:44Z
       
  • Effect of the gestation and lactation on fiber diameter and its
           variability in Peruvian alpacas
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Alan Cruz, Renzo Morante, Isabel Cervantes, Alonso Burgos, Juan Pablo Gutiérrez
      A study was conducted to know the influence of the pregnancy and lactation states on the fiber performance in alpacas at Pacomarca experimental farm in the Peruvian highlands. Records obtained from the regular performance recording software of the farm were used, gathering 8648 records of 1541 females and 366 males of Huacaya ecotype, and 2410 records of 374 females and 132 males of Suri ecotype, registered from 2001 to 2015 and belonging to animals of three or more years. A mixed linear model for fiber diameter, standard deviation and coefficient of variation fitted the physiological state with five categories (milking, pregnant, milking and pregnant, open females and males) as an effect jointly with others such as year of recording, age from 3 to 9 or more years old and coat color. Huacaya and Suri ecotypes were independently analyzed. All the effects included in the model appeared as highly significant, being the paired differences less significant in Suri because of the lower number of records. Lactation physiological state appeared as an important effect affecting fiber performance, explaining a difference of 1.2 and 1.0µm of differences in respectively Huacaya and Suri pregnant females, while pregnancy appeared with a much less relevant influence. Other factors greatly influenced the fiber diameter. Thus, age had a very important effect increasing 3.71µm from 3 to 9 years of age in huacaya and 4.52µm en Suri. A difference of 3.09µm in huacaya and 5.93µm in Suri was found between dark and white coat colored alpacas. These results recommend modifying the genetic evaluation model by fitting the physiological state of females to increase the accuracy of the breeding values used to select animals in the breeding scheme of the farm.

      PubDate: 2017-02-05T23:07:44Z
       
  • Effects of dietary levels of chito-oligosaccharide on ileal digestibility
           of nutrients, small intestinal morphology and crypt cell proliferation in
           weaned pigs
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Sureerat Suthongsa, Rath Pichyangkura, Sarinee Kalandakanond-Thongsong, Boonrit Thongsong
      There is continued need for novel agents to improve intestinal function in weaned pigs. Some evidence suggests that chito-oligosaccharide (COS) supplements may enhance pigs’ intestinal function after weaning. The present study was designed to examine the effect of COS supplementation on growth performance, nutrient digestibility and small intestinal functions in weaned pigs as an effective alternative to antibiotic addition in post-weaning diets. For the experiment, weanling pigs were divided into 5 groups (13–14 animals per group) and received either a basal diet, a supplemented diet with 75, 150 or 225mg/kg COS, or a supplemented diet with 110mg/kg lincomycin for 56 days. Growth, feed efficiency, hematological and biochemical profiles, nutrient's ileal digestibility, small intestinal morphology and crypt cell proliferation were measured at 28 and 56 days of the experiment. Pigs supplemented with 150mg/kg COS or lincomycin showed: (i) consistently more digestible ileal contents (e.g. crude protein, crude fat, ash, calcium, and phosphorus), (ii) increased absorption capacity (e.g. increased villus height and the villus height/crypt depth ratio for three intestinal segments) on day 28 of the experiment and (iii) more active cell division (as indicated by Ki-67 marker of duodenal and jejunal crypt cells) on day 56 of the experiment (P< 0.05, respectively). These data suggest that 150mg/kg COS might be a useful dietary supplement to promote nutrient absorption and digestibility efficiency.

      PubDate: 2017-02-05T23:07:44Z
       
  • Genome-Wide Association study for Milk Production in Egyptian Buffalo
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Nermin El-Halawany, Hamdy Abdel-Shafy, Abd-El-Monsif A. Shawky, Magdy A. Abdel-Latif, Ahmed F.M. Al-Tohamy, Omaima M. Abd El-Moneim
      With the aim of characterizing the genetic background of Egyptian buffalo and identifying genomic regions and potential causative mutations associated with milk yield, we performed a Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) in Egyptian buffalo using Axiom Buffalo Genotyping Array 90K. This study was carried out with 250 buffalo cows using 89,069 daily milk records. After quality control, a total of 42,269 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) remained for further analysis. Genome-wide analysis was performed in the way of SNP-by-SNP, through regressing the observations of an average daily milk yield deviations on SNP alleles. Several genomic regions were detected with suggestive signals of association on chromosomes BTA1, BTA5, BTA6, and BTA27. The most significant SNP (Affx-79526274) was located on chromosome BTA27. The convincingly associated SNPs were located within or close to several candidate genes. A GO analysis ranked immune response at the top of all biological process associated with those genes. This is the first GWAS in Egyptian buffalo. Although a small sample size was used in this study, several suggestive genomic loci associated with daily milk production were detected. Further work is required on a larger sample size with fine mapping of identified QTL to detect potential candidate regions.

      PubDate: 2017-02-05T23:07:44Z
       
  • Effect of dietary supplementation with arginine on haematological indices,
           serum chemistry, carcass yield, gut microflora, and lymphoid organs of
           growing turkeys
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A.O. Oso, G.A. Williams, O.O. Oluwatosin, A.M. Bamgbose, A.O. Adebayo, O. Olowofeso, V. Pirgozliev, A.A. Adegbenjo, S.O. Osho, J.O. Alabi, F. Li, H. Liu, K. Yao, W. Xin
      A 8-wk feeding experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation with Arg on haematological indices, serum chemistry, carcass yield, gut microflora, and lymphoid organ weights of growing turkeys. A total of one hundred and eighty 56-d-old male grower turkeys were weighed individually and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 dietary treatments with 6 replicate pens, and 10 turkeys per pen in a completely randomized design. Dietary treatments consisted of basal diets supplemented with 0, 0.5, and 1.0g Arg/kg. Haematological indices and serum chemistry were measured at 84 and 112 d of study. Carcass yield, relative weights of retail cuts, organ weights, and gut microflora were measured at d 112. Except eosinophil, no effect of Arg supplementation was obtained on haematological indices at d 84. At d 112, finisher turkeys fed the diet supplemented with 0.5g Arg/kg had the greatest red blood cell (quadratic, P < 0.001), lymphocyte (linear, P = 0.011; quadratic, P < 0.001), and basophil counts (quadratic, P < 0.001). In grower turkeys at d 84, total serum protein (quadratic, P = 0.030), and serum globulin concentrations (quadratic, P = 0.043) increased initially as Arg supplementation increased from 0 to 0.5g/kg, but decreased with the 1.0g Arg/kg. Uric acid concentration and alanine aminotransferase activity reduced as Arg supplementation increased from 0 to 0.5g/kg, but increased with the 1.0g Arg/kg (quadratic, P = 0.002). In finisher turkeys at d 112, total serum protein (linear, P = 0.004; quadratic, P = 0.002), serum globulin (linear, P = 0.008; quadratic, P = 0.030), serum albumin (linear, P = 0.012; quadratic, P = 0.040), and triodosterine concentrations (linear, P = 0.025; quadratic, P = 0.033) increased with increasing Arg supplementation. At d 112, spleen weights increased linearly (P = 0.006), while thymus weights increased quadratically (P = 0.003) with increasing dietary Arg supplementation. Salmonella counts in the small intestinal content of turkeys at d 112 reduced quadratically as Arg supplementation increased from 0 to 1.0g/kg (P = 0.029). In conclusion, Arg supplementation increased packed cell volume of finisher turkeys, improved serum chemistry of grower, and finisher turkeys as indicated by increased total serum protein, and reduced serum enzymes with appreciable improvement obtained when included at 0.5g Arg/kg. Arginine supplementation enhanced the relative weights of thymus, spleen, and reduced Salmonella counts in small intestine of turkeys.

      PubDate: 2017-02-05T23:07:44Z
       
  • Impacts of reduction of phosphorus in finishing diets for Holstein ×
           Zebu steers
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): D. Zanetti, S.C. Valadares Filho, L.F. Prados, E. Detmann, M.V.C. Pacheco, L.A. Godoi, L.N. Rennó, T.E. Engle
      In Brazil, commonly males of dairy herd are destined to beef production. However, little is known about the mineral requirements for dairy males. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to evaluate the calcium (Ca) requirements of Holstein × Zebu steers by determining Ca body tissue concentrations, true absorption and retention coefficients, as well as the requirements for maintenance and weight gain of steers fed diets containing or not containing dicalcium phosphate. Twenty-eight Holstein × Zebu steers with an average initial body weight of 377.5 ± 49.4kg were utilized. The experiment was conducted as a completely randomized design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Factors included 1) two concentrate levels (30 or 60%); and 2) two levels of dicalcium phosphate (DP), 0 or the amount necessary to attend the estimated dietary requirements. Absorption and retention coefficients, maintenance and gain requirements were estimated. The feedstuffs, refusals, feces, urine, blood and bone were sampled for Ca and phosphorus (P) analysis. Phosphorus intake was improved by the addition of concentrate and presence of DP. There were no variations in the daily fecal and urinary phosphorus excretion as a function of DP. The serum level of inorganic phosphorus was lower in non-supplemented animals, although it was within adequate concentrations for all treatments. Dry matter and organic matter intake, organic matter digestibility, performance, and efficiency were not affected by treatment. Absorption and retention coefficients, and the net requirements for maintenance are similar across treatments. Therefore, the lack of inorganic supplementary Ca and P in diets of feedlot finishing cattle does not change the concentrations of these minerals in bone. The dietary requirements of calcium and phosphorus obtained for cattle were lower than those described by the nutritional requirement systems from Brazil, USA, and UK.

      PubDate: 2017-02-05T23:07:44Z
       
  • Impact of total dissolved solids in drinking water on nutrient utilisation
           and growth performance of Murrah buffalo calves
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Amit Sharma, S.S. Kundu, Hujaz Tariq, N. Kewalramani, R.K. Yadav
      This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of total dissolved solids (TDS) in drinking water on nutrient intake, utilisation and performance of growing Murrah buffaloes under tropical climatic conditions (maximum ambient temperature (Tmax) = 10 to 42.6°C; relative humidity (RH) = 10 to 100%). Twenty male Murrah buffalo calves were divided according to body weight (BW = 220 ± 36kg) into 5 groups viz. 557, 2571, 4467, 6113 and 8789 which were offered water containing TDS 557, 2571, 4467, 6113 and 8789mg/L, respectively for a period of 165 days. Animals in all groups were offered a total mixed ration (crude protein = 10.3% and metabolisable energy = 8.6 MJ/kg dry matter) prepared from green oats, concentrate mixture and wheat straw in 20:35:45 proportion daily. Results revealed an increase in the concentrations of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) ions with increasing levels of TDS in drinking water. Daily drinking water (L/100kg BW) and dry matter intake (kg/100kg BW) decreased (P < 0.05) by 36.1 and 17.2% in group 8789 as compared to group 557. Similarly, average daily gain (g/d) and nitrogen intake (g/d) was lower (P < 0.05) in groups 6113 and 8789 in comparison to all other groups. However, nutrient digestibility and concentration of major minerals (Na, Ca, K and Mg) in plasma showed non significant differences among the groups. Overall it can be concluded that TDS level >4500mg/L in drinking water adversely affected water and feed intake which ultimately resulted in reduced growth performance of Murrah buffalo calves.

      PubDate: 2017-02-05T23:07:44Z
       
  • Growth performance, nutrient digestibility, metabolizable energy, and
           intestinal morphology of growing turkeys fed diet supplemented with
           arginine
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A.O. Oso, G.A. Williams, O.O. Oluwatosin, A.M. Bamgbose, A.O. Adebayo, O. Olowofeso, V. Pirgozliev, A.A. Adegbenjo, S.O. Osho, J.O. Alabi, F. Li, H. Liu, K. Yao, W. Xin
      A 8-wk feeding experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation with Arg on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, metabolizable energy, and intestinal morphology of growing turkeys. A total of one hundred and eighty 56-d-old male grower turkeys were weighed individually and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 dietary treatments with 6 replicate pens and 10 turkeys per pen in a completely randomized design. Dietary treatments consisted of basal diets supplemented with 0, 0.5, and 1.0g Arg/kg. Growth response was measured during the grower (d 56 to 84) and finisher (d 84 to 112) phases, while nutrient digestibility, metabolizable energy, and intestinal morphology were measured at d 84 and 112. Arginine supplementation had no effect on growth response during the grower phase. During the finisher phase, feed conversion ratio decreased initially as Arg supplementation increased from 0 to 0.5g/kg, but it increased with the 1.0g Arg/kg (quadratic, P = 0.028). At d 84, grower turkeys fed diets supplemented with 1.0g Arg/kg had greater (linear, P < 0.001) apparent dry matter, crude protein, and ether extract digestibility. At d 84, greatest apparent metabolizable energy, nitrogen corrected apparent metabolizable energy, and true metabolizable energy values were obtained with grower turkeys fed diet supplemented with 0.5g Arg/kg (quadratic, P < 0.001). At d 84, duodenum, and ileum villus height in grower turkeys increased linearly, and quadratically (P < 0.001) with increasing Arg supplementation. Dietary supplementation with Arg reduced the apical widths in duodenum (linear, P = 0.003; quadratic, P < 0.001), jejunum (linear and quadratic, P < 0.001), and ileum (linear, P = 0.010; quadratic, P = 0.004) of grower turkeys. At d 112, jejunum villus height (quadratic, P = 0.042), and ileum villus height (linear, P = 0.022; quadratic, P = 0.042) of finisher turkeys increased, while duodenum apical widths reduced (quadratic, P = 0.033) with increasing Arg supplementation. In conclusion, Arg supplementation showed a linear improvement in nutrient digestibility of grower turkeys at d 84, increased nutrient absorption in grower, and finisher turkeys as indicated by increased intestinal villus height at d 84, and 112. Furthermore, dietary supplementation with 0.5g Arg/kg promoted a quadratic improvement in feed conversion ratio of finisher turkeys, and metabolizable energy values of grower turkeys at d 84.

      PubDate: 2017-02-05T23:07:44Z
       
  • Reasons and risk factors for on-farm mortality in Estonian dairy herds
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Kaari Reimus, Toomas Orro, Ulf Emanuelson, Arvo Viltrop, Kerli Mõtus
      Mortality of dairy cattle causes financial loss for the farmer and reflects animal welfare status. The aim of this study was to determine the on-farm mortality (unassisted death and euthanasia), reasons, as well as risk factors for on-farm mortality in Estonian dairy cattle. Data of years 2013 and 2014 about all cattle from dairy herds in Estonia was collected from the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board. The dataset included records of 363,380 animals from 2,616 herds. Multivariable Weibull proportional hazard models with herd as random effect were composed for detecting significant associations between potential risk factors and on-farm mortality (composed outcome including unassisted death and euthanasia). Data from Estonian Livestock Performance Recording Ltd was used to determine the reasons for on-farm mortality. The overall mortality rate (MR) including unassisted death and euthanasia was 6.95 per 100 animal-years. Mortality was highest in male (MR = 55.96 per 100 animal-years, 95% CI 54.53; 57.42) and female (MR = 27.70 per 100 animal-years, 95% CI 26.99; 28.43) calves up to three months old and lowest in female cattle aged 12–18 months (MR = 0.99 per 100 animal-years, 95% CI 0.89; 1.10). The main farmers´ stated reasons for dairy cow mortality were ‘Metabolic and digestive disorders’ and ‘Feet/claw disorders’. The main reasons for on-farm mortality among youngstock were ‘Metabolic and digestive disorders’, ‘Respiratory and infectious diseases’ and ‘Other reasons’. The risk factor analysis was carried out in three age categories: <3 months, 3–23 months and ≥24 months. Estonian Holstein breed was associated with significantly higher risk of mortality compared to Estonian Red breed cattle in every age group. The hazard of on-farm mortality was significantly higher for herds with over 400 animal-years compared to smaller herds in all age groups. Regional differences in mortality hazard were present in the model of youngstock over 3 months and adult cattle. Seasonal differences in mortality rate were present and differed by age groups. This is the first study revealing the on-farm mortality and related risk factors in Estonian dairy cattle population.

      PubDate: 2017-02-05T23:07:44Z
       
  • Excretion of faecal, urinary urea and urinary non-urea nitrogen by four
           ruminant species as influenced by dietary nitrogen intake: A meta-analysis
           
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): J. Schuba, K.-H. Südekum, E. Pfeffer, A. Jayanegara
      The quantification of faecal nitrogen (FN) and of urinary urea-N (UUN) and urinary non-urea-N (UNUN) excretion at varying N contents in ruminant rations is an important tool in assessing endogenous N turnover via the rumino-hepatic cycle. Using a statistical analysis based on an extensive database, the aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate correlations derived previously by deduction. The data were categorised into dairy cattle, growing cattle (bulls and heifers), sheep and goats. Data from 50 publications were considered. The independent variable was the daily N intake (NI, g/day). The dependent variables were the daily quantities (g/day) of FN, urinary N, UUN, UNUN and N retention. The NI influenced FN to differing extents in goats, dairy cattle, growing cattle and sheep (listed in descending order of influence). Except in sheep, the effect was statistically significant. The influence on UN varied in the order goats, growing cattle, dairy cattle and sheep; the effect was statistically significant only for dairy cattle and growing cattle (P<0.001). The UUN was influenced in the order sheep, goats, dairy cattle and growing cattle (P<0.05). The UNUN could be assessed only in dairy cattle, growing cattle and sheep and was not influenced by NI. The UUN is therefore more strongly dependent on NI than is UNUN and can therefore continue to be seen as obligatory. The FN is indeed influenced by NI but, as a result of higher digestibility of the total ration with increasing crude protein content, an improvement in microbial crude protein synthesis can also be assumed, which is reflected in higher FN levels.

      PubDate: 2017-02-05T23:07:44Z
       
  • The effect of dietary Chlorella pyrenoidosa inclusion on goats milk
           chemical composition, fatty acids profile and enzymes activities related
           to oxidation
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Eleni Tsiplakou, Mahmoud A.M. Abdullah, Mavrommatis Alexandros, Marianna Chatzikonstantinou, Dimitris Skliros, Kyriaki Sotirakoglou, Emmanouil Flemetakis, Nikolaos E. Labrou, George Zervas
      The effect of dietary inclusion of microalgae on goat's milk chemical composition, fatty acids (FA) profile and enzymes activities related to antioxidant mechanism has not been adequately investigated so far. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary inclusion of Chlorella pyrenoidosa on: a) milk yield, chemical composition and FA profile, b) on the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione transferase (GST) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in blood plasma, and c) on the activities of SOD, GR and lactoperoxidase (LPO) in milk of goats. Additionally, the oxidative stress indicators for measuring total antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity [Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma (FRAP) and 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) assays] and oxidative stress biomarkers [malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyls (PC)] in goats blood plasma and milk were also determined. Thus, sixteen crossbred goats were divided into two homogenous groups. All the goats were fed individually alfalfa hay and concentrates separately. The concentrates of the control group (Control) had no microalgae while that of the treated group supplemented with 10g lyophilized Chlorella pyrenoidosa/ kg concentrate (Chlor). The results showed that the Chlor diet compared with the control had not noticeable impact on goats milk yield, chemical composition and fatty acids profile. Furthermore, the Chlor diet had no effect on the antioxidant enzymes activities, antioxidant capacity and oxidative stress indicators in both blood plasma and milk of goats. In conclusion, the daily dietary inclusion of Chlorella pyrenoidosa at 11g per goat for 28 days did not improves the milk quality and/or the antioxidant status of both animals and milk.

      PubDate: 2017-01-29T22:46:31Z
       
  • The effects of welfare-related management practices on carcass
           characteristics for beef cattle
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Yuta Sonoda, Kazato Oishi, Hajime Kumagai, Yoshikazu Aoki, Hiroyuki Hirooka
      The improvement of farm animal welfare through management practices has become important despite the fact that there is a conflict between animal welfare and production efficiency. It may be possible to find associations between production and management practices related to animal welfare, such as management strategies to enhance both production and animal welfare. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of different fattening management practices with respect to animal welfare on the carcass characteristics in Japanese beef cattle fattening systems at the farm level. The face-to-face interview survey on welfare-related management practices was conducted with 30 beef fattening farmers who sold more than 5 animals from July 2014 to March 2015 in the carcass market in Shiga Prefecture. The best linear unbiased predictors of each farm (the so-called farm BLUP) for carcass traits (carcass weight, CWT; marbling score, BMS; longissimus muscle area, LMA; rib thickness, RT; and subcutaneous fat thickness, SFT) and carcass unit price (CUP) were estimated from the data collected at the carcass market. The effect of management practices on farm BLUPs for carcass traits and CUP were tested using one-way ANOVA. For management practices, there were significant effects of routine claw trimming on farm BLUP for SFT (P<0.05), dehorning for CUP (P<0.05), and nose ring for BMS (P<0.05) and CUP (P<0.01). In Japan, some farmers who purchased stock calves at the calf markets maintain them in isolated pens before grouping them at the start of fattening, and this management had a significant effect on farm BLUPs for RT (P<0.05), CWT, and LMA (P<0.01). Likewise, the equipment of additional identification tags had a significant effect on farm BLUP for CWT (P<0.05). For housing management, the floor type significantly affected the farm BLUP for LMA (P<0.05). These results suggest that the consideration of animal welfare at the farm level in beef fattening systems might improve the quantity and quality of the beef produced.

      PubDate: 2017-01-29T22:46:31Z
       
  • Short communication: Population structure of the South African Bonsmara
           beef breed using high density single nucleotide polymorphism genotypes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): L. Bosman, E. van Marle-Köster, R.R. van der Westhuizen, C. Visser, D.P. Berry
      The composite Bonsmara beef cattle breed in South Africa is in the process of establishing a reference population for genomic evaluations. For successful implementation of genomic selection within the breed, which has large numbers of genotypes and phenotypes available, the marker effects must be accurately determined by estimating the genetic variance in the breed. To this end, the population structure of the Bonsmara reference population was studied using 583 registered individuals. The population studied was largely heterogeneous, and although 121 breeders contributed to the reference population, a strong herd/breeder effect was detected. ADMIXTURE analysis identified eight putative sub-populations within the reference population, but no defined clusters were formed. Results indicate the current reference population is heterogenous and captured high levels of diversity in the breed.

      PubDate: 2017-01-29T22:46:31Z
       
  • SHORT TERM CULTURE WITH cAMP MODULATORS BEFORE VITRIFICATION SIGNIFICANTLY
           IMPROVE ACTIN INTEGRITY IN BOVINE OOCYTES
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Clara Ana Santos Monteiro, Gabriela Ramos Leal, Helena Fabiana Reis de Almeida Saraiva, Joaquim Mansano Garcia, Agostinho Jorge dos Reis Camargo, Raquel Varella Serapião, Luiz Altamiro Garcia Nogueira, André Luís Rios Rodrigues, Clara Slade Oliveira
      Oocyte cryopreservation is a strategic tool for assisted reproduction, but has limited use due to the complex cellular structure of oocytes, which leads to sub-optimal survival rates. In this study, we used the SPOM in vitro maturation system, which is based on supplementation of cAMP modulators in order to extend meiotic arrest and improve oocyte maturation. cAMP modulators (Forskolin and IBMX) were administered in a short term culture (STC) before or after vitrification, followed by an extended maturation with cilostamide. We hypothesized that a STC with cAMP modulators would improve immature oocyte health and enhance cryotolerance. We found vitrification caused oocyte damage in a great extent, impairing nuclear maturation rates in all vitrified groups (Percentage of matured oocytes: CONT FRESH 77.8c; CONT VIT 31.4ab; STC/VIT 39.5b; VIT/STC 18.6a). Vitrification also promoted degradation of cytoskeletal actin filaments (Percentage of Injured oocytes: CONT FRESH 0.0a; CONT VIT 50.0b; STC/VIT 39.7b; VIT/STC 74.0c), and increased calcium release (Calcein-AM mean ± SD: IMMATURE 1.0 ± 0.49; VIT 1.76 ± 1.13; STC 1.38 ± 0.95; STC/VIT 1.58 ± 0.99). However, STC seemed to attenuate negative effects of vitrification, since oocytes subjected to STC prior to vitrification presented predominance of polymerized actin filaments (Percentage of Intact oocytes). Unfortunately, embryo cleavage rate (SPOM 73.66a; STC/VIT 7.91b; VIT/STC 4.62b) and blastocyst development rate (SPOM 25.14a; STC/VIT 1.34b; VIT/STC 0.00b) was impaired in vitrified groups, regardless STC treatment. In conclusion, STC with cAMP modulators, Forskolin and IBMX, decreases cytoskeleton actin filaments injuries caused by oocyte vitrification, which may consequently increase oocyte viability. Our results suggest STC should be considered and improved for immature oocyte vitrification systems.

      PubDate: 2017-01-29T22:46:31Z
       
  • Development and validation of an objective method for the assessment of
           body condition scores and selection of beef cows for timed artificial
           insemination
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Luiz F.M. Pfeifer, Natália A. Castro, Paulo M.A. Neves, Jamyle P. Cestaro, Luiz G.B. Siqueira
      The objectives of this study were to: 1) evaluate the relationship of the angle formed between the left and right sides of the rump with body condition score (BCS) in cattle; and 2) develop an objective tool to select cows for timed artificial insemination (TAI) based on their BCS. In Experiment 1, 801 lactating Nelore cows, 3 to 12 years old and weighing 400 to 625kg were enrolled. All females were evaluated according to BCS (scale 1 to 5). In addition, the angle formed between both sides of the rump was measured in all cows with a goniometer. The relationship between BCS and the rump angle was analyzed by linear regression. There was a positive relationship between BCS and rump angle (P<0.0001). The linear regression equation was angle = 77.76 + 9.94 x BCS; R2 = 0.67. The aim of Experiment 2 was to evaluate BCS in a simple, direct and objective way using rump angle and related BCS to TAI performance. A device was developed called Vetscore® to determine BCS according to rump angle. Using the Vetscore, cows were classified into three different categories of BCS using a color-based method: red, BCS<2.75; green, BCS between 2.75 and 4.5; and yellow, BCS>4.5. A total of 429 Nelore suckling cows, 4 to 8 years old, were subjected to a TAI protocol based on estradiol benzoate, exogenous progesterone, prostaglandin F2α, equine chorionic gonadotropin and estradiol cypionate. At Day 0, all cows were evaluated with the Vetscore® and classified according to the device's BCS color scale. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed by ultrasonography 30 d after TAI. Pregnancy per AI (P/AI) was analyzed using the chi-square test. A good level of agreement was observed between Vetscore's scale and visual BCS (82.9%). Cows classified as “green” had higher P/AI than cows classified as “red” and “yellow“ (60.4%, 168 of 278; 42.4%, 61 of 144; and 28.6%, 2 of 7; respectively; P < 0.001). These results demonstrate that Vetscore® is an efficient and low-cost methodology for the assessment of BCS and, indirectly, nutritional status of beef cows. Finally, cows classified as adequate according to Vetscore® color scale had higher P/AI at 30 d compared with those considered inadequate.

      PubDate: 2017-01-29T22:46:31Z
       
  • Relationship between pig carcass characteristics measured in live pigs or
           carcasses with Piglog, Fat-o-Meat’er and computed tomography
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Daniel Lucas, Albert Brun, Marina Gispert, Anna Carabús, Joaquim Soler, Joan Tibau, Maria Font-i-Furnols
      Lean meat percentage (LMP) and fat and muscle thickness are important carcass quality parameters for both industry and pig farmers. The objectives of this experiment were as follows: (1) to study the relationship between ultrasounds (US) and computed tomography (CT) linear measurements of fat and muscle thickness in live pigs and measurements taken in carcasses at the slaughter plant with reflectance equipment (Fat-O-Meat’er-FOM); (2) to find an equation to estimate the LMP on a farm using the US device in live animals (between 70 and 120kg); and (3) to compare this LMP with those obtained in carcasses with CT, FOM and manual dissection. For this purpose, 155 live pigs from different commercial crosses and sexes were evaluated with the US device (Piglog) and CT, and subsequently, their carcasses were evaluated with FOM and CT and subsample was dissected according to the European Reference Method. Correlations among fat thickness, muscle depth and LMP were high among all devices (between 0.565 and 0.965), and the biases were the lowest between devices in terms of LMP. The prediction of LMP in vivo using Piglog is possible with a prediction error of 2.01%. Thus, it can be concluded that these technologies are suitable for the carcass evaluation of live pigs and carcasses.

      PubDate: 2017-01-22T09:09:41Z
       
  • Milk production and methane emissions from dairy cows fed a low or high
           proportion of red clover silage and an incremental level of rapeseed
           expeller
    • Authors: Helena Gidlund; Mårten Hetta; Pekka Huhtanen
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Helena Gidlund, Mårten Hetta, Pekka Huhtanen
      This study evaluated the effects of including increasing levels of rapeseed expeller in dairy cow diets with a low or high proportion of red clover silage on milk production and methane emissions. A total of 32 lactating Swedish Red dairy cows were used in a cyclic change-over design with three periods of 21 days, in a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement of treatments. The total mixed ration consisted of 600g/kg dry matter (DM) of forage and 400g/kg DM of concentrate on a DM basis. The forage treatments consisted of a 30:70 or 70:30 ratio of grass to red clover silage (RC30 and RC70). A basal supplement consisted of crimped barley and premix, formulated to contain 130g CP/kg DM. For the three additional concentrate supplements, crimped barley was gradually replaced with incremental levels of rapeseed expeller to reach 170, 210 or 250g CP/kg DM. No differences in feed intake were found between RC30 and RC70, but a positive response was found to increased dietary CP concentration from rapeseed expeller. Increasing proportion of red clover silage did not have any effect on production, while increasing dietary CP concentration increased yield of milk, energy corrected milk (ECM) and milk protein. Nitrogen efficiency was higher with diet RC30 than with RC70 and decreased with increasing dietary CP concentration, while milk urea nitrogen increased. Methane (CH4) emissions per unit feed intake decreased with dietary CP concentration and tended to increase with increasing proportion of red clover silage in the diet. Increased CP intake from red clover silage in the diet of dairy cows had no positive effect on CH4 emissions.

      PubDate: 2017-01-15T16:23:47Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2017.01.009
       
  • Micro-economic analysis of the potential impact of contagious bovine
           
    • Authors: S.W. Kairu-Wanyoike; N.M. Taylor; C. Heffernan; H. Kiara
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): S.W. Kairu-Wanyoike, N.M. Taylor, C. Heffernan, H. Kiara
      There is inadequate herd and community level information on the impact of CBPP and its control by vaccination to allow adequate allocation of resources for CBPP control in affected ecosystems. A study was designed in Narok district of Kenya provide this crucial information for the Maasai ecosystem. Data were collected through a cross-sectional survey involving 232 households, a longitudinal survey involving 39 herds, 32 outbreak investigations and a project vaccination follow up involving 203 households. Data were also collected from secondary sources and from current and past vaccination programs. Deterministic spreadsheet models estimated the cost of vaccination at KSh 34.6 (USD 0.49) to KSh 72.2 (USD 1.03): 1USD=KSh 70 per animal depending on the vaccination program. The value of annual production losses due to CBPP in the district were estimated at KSh 113.1 million (USD 1.62 million). The estimate of annual losses associated with response to outbreaks amounted to KSh 12.8 million (USD 0.18 million). Disease reporting and treatment of the sick accounted for 34.7% and 48.4% of the estimated value of annual losses associated with response to outbreaks respectively. Annual household CBPP losses were estimated at KSh 275.3 thousand (USD 3,933), over twice the average annual household net income of KSh 118.8 thousand (USD 1,697) from cattle. At community level, the estimated annual cost of preventive CBPP vaccination through a Wellcome Trust project was KSh 8.53 million (USD 0.12 million), 35.2% of which was due to indirect costs following adverse reactions to vaccination. A benefit-cost analysis demonstrated the annual net benefits to be KSh 67.8 million (USD 0.97 million) and BCR to be 9.60. Herd level BCR was 12.81 while annual net benefits were KSh 35.5 thousand (USD 507.81). Sensitivity analysis showed that vaccination was economically beneficial even when costs of vaccination nearly doubled in biannual vaccination. A break even analysis showed that the threshold herd incidence below which vaccination ceases to be economically worthwhile was 1.1% and 2.3% in annual and biannual vaccination respectively. In conclusion, a CBPP outbreak could cause the loss of a household's entire income from cattle keeping. The highest proportion of costs associated with response to outbreaks was in reporting and treatment of the sick. Early reaction to CBPP reports and eventual eradication of CBPP in the community is therefore urgent to safeguard livelihoods. Annual and biannual CBPP vaccination by any of the programs studied would be beneficial even if the incidence of the disease were as low as 2.2% and 3.9% respectively. However, losses due to adverse post-vaccination reactions need to be monitored and adequately managed. Macroeconomic analysis of the impact of CBPP and its control along the value chain is recommended for better decision making regarding CBPP control at national level.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T15:49:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2017.01.002
       
  • Typology and characteristics of dairy goat production systems in Greece
    • Authors: A.I. Gelasakis; G. Rose; R. Giannakou; G.E. Valergakis; A. Theodoridis; P. Fortomaris; G. Arsenos
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A.I. Gelasakis, G. Rose, R. Giannakou, G.E. Valergakis, A. Theodoridis, P. Fortomaris, G. Arsenos
      Our objective was to classify dairy goat farms into representative typologies. We used a random sample of 103 goat farms from 8 regions in mainland Greece and the islands. Farmers were surveyed using a designated questionnaire for in depth interviews on their farms. A general description of production methods and farm characteristics was recorded. The farms were classified using a multivariable statistical approach including principal component analysis and cluster analysis. The differences between clusters were assessed using one-way ANOVA and χ2 test and the profitability of farms was estimated. The intensity of production system was mostly classified based on goat herd size and age of kids at weaning. Reproductive management was classified mostly based on age at first mating and does to bucks ratio. Herd turnover rate and genetic improvement strategy was mostly classified by bucks’ replacement rate and doelings to does ratio. Cultivated land per livestock unit, irrigated land used, years of farmer's experience, and facilities and equipment score were significant farming descriptors. We identified four clusters that shared common characteristics and major differences. Cluster 1 (26 farms, 25.2%) included large, semi-intensive, high producing and investing farms. Cluster 2 (50 farms, 48.5%) included semi-extensive, low-input, traditional farms. Cluster 3 (12 farms, 11.7%) included medium-sized, semi-intensive, low replacement rate farms. Cluster 4 (15 farms, 14.6%) included semi-extensive, low-input, traditional farms, producing heavy weight kids carcasses. Regarding profitability, Cluster 1 was significantly more profitable than clusters 2 and 4, whereas the more profitable clusters also had more variation in profit suggesting they are riskier. Cluster 4 could benefit from further developing meat production, processing and packaging to become an independent cluster. This new cluster would be focused on both milk and meat whilst the other three clusters focus on milk.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T15:49:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2017.01.003
       
  • Optimising natural 13C marker based pasture intake estimates for cattle
           using a genetic algorithm approach
    • Authors: D.J. Cottle
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 January 2017
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): D.J. Cottle
      The sensitivity of pasture intake estimates obtained from using 13C as a marker to differences in assumed diet composition and 13C diet-faecal discrimination was studied. Angus stud heifers grazed a silver grass, perennial ryegrass, bent grass and yorkshire fog pasture. The individual heifers were fed controlled and monitored daily amounts of maize and faecal samples were taken and analysed to estimate dry matter intake (DMI) and DMI/liveweight (LW). Daily methane production was also measured. Monte Carlo simulations using a uniform distribution of diet composition and an extreme value distribution for the 13C diet-faecal discrimination found that the DMI/LW ratio was twice as sensitive to assumed diet composition (and hence pasture 13C) than to the diet-faeces discrimination factor. DMI estimates would be useful for ranking animals on DMI intake alone as the rank correlations for DMI estimated using different input assumptions were high. A genetic algorithm approach was helpful as a means of determining the optimum diet selection or plant proportions to use for each animal and the diet-faecal discrimination to use when uncertainty exists as to their true values, which may often be the case. Some animals had non-credible DMI/LW values when using standard calculation methods. There are no definitive goals or constraints to use but careful choice of the range of individual DMI/LW values set as a hard constraint enabled credible DMI/LW values for all animals to be obtained when using a genetic algorithm approach.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T15:49:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2017.01.004
       
  • Contributions to diversity rather than basic measures of genetic diversity
           characterise the spreading of donkey throughout the American continent
    • Authors: Jordana Goyache; Ferrando Loarca O.R. J.L. Stemmer Aguirre M.A.C. Lara
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 December 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): J. Jordana, F. Goyache, A. Ferrando, I. Fernández, J. Miró, A. Loarca, O.R. Martínez López, J.L. Canelón, A. Stemmer, L. Aguirre, M.A.C. Lara, L.A. Álvarez, S. Llambí, N. Gómez, L.T. Gama, R.D. Martínez, E. Pérez, A. Sierra, M.A. Contreras, V. Landi, A. Martínez, J.V. Delgado
      Donkey was introduced into the Americas soon after its discovery in the 15th century. However, there is no historical consensus on how they spread across the continent. In a previous study, two distinct genetic pools (Clusters A -Southern part - and B - Northern part of South America and Central America) were identified, with likely confluence in Colombia. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the main genetic diversity parameters, such as gene diversity (GD) and allelic richness (k), or the relative contributions of various breeds to these parameters are useful indicators to give genetic support to historical information on putative routes of the spreading of donkeys across the American continent. In full agreement with historical sources suggesting that Greater Antilles were the first breeding nucleus, both total contributions to gene diversity (gGDT) and to allelic richness (CT (k)) showed a higher ability to identify the "abundant centre" of the species on the Continent. Even though there are historical reports suggesting various entry points of the donkey into the continent (e.g. in Brazil), these parameters suggested that, in our dataset, the Cuban donkey population was the more likely representative of the first breeding nucleus of the species. Central and South American donkey populations in the surroundings of the Caribbean Gulf would more likely be early derivatives of Antillean donkey. The strong North-South genetic structure was confirmed for the American donkey metapopulation. Current analyses suggest that populations classified into Cluster A (South) are essentially a sample of the genetic background of Cluster B (North). The Andean route had the highest importance in the formation of the South American populations. The extinction of either population belonging to Cluster B could lead to a decrease in overall genetic diversity both at the gene diversity level (negative gGDT values) and the allelic richness level (positive CT (k) contributions). The opposite pattern is found for populations belonging to Cluster A. The extinction of the populations belonging to Cluster B would decrease the overall American donkey gene diversity in roughly 8% and would dramatically affect the number of alleles in the metapopulation (19.1%). However, the extinction of the donkey populations classified into Cluster A would increase overall gene diversity by 2.2%. Although, the genetic scenario of each individual population varies substantially, the joint conservation of the donkey populations classified into both Clusters A and B is highly advised.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T15:49:24Z
       
  • Health and growth of Finnish beef calves and the relation to acute phase
           response
    • Authors: Leena Seppä-Lassila; Ulla Eerola; Toomas Orro; Heidi Härtel; Heli Simojoki; Tiina Autio; Sinikka Pelkonen; Timo Soveri
      Pages: 7 - 13
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 196
      Author(s): Leena Seppä-Lassila, Ulla Eerola, Toomas Orro, Heidi Härtel, Heli Simojoki, Tiina Autio, Sinikka Pelkonen, Timo Soveri
      Healthy, thriving calves are essential for beef calf production. We studied the health status and factors associated with the growth of beef calves in six cow-calf herds during the first month of the calves’ lives and at weaning age (200 days). The six herds were visited three times, when calves were approximately 3 days, 16 days and 30 days of age. On each visit calves (n=37) were clinically examined, weighed or measured, blood samples were collected, faecal samples obtained and deep nasopharyngeal swabs were taken. Each blood sample was analysed for acute phase proteins (haptoglobin, serum amyloid-A, fibrinogen), total proteins and albumin, the faecal sample for intestinal tract pathogens (rotavirus, bovine coronavirus, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Salmonella, oocysts of Eimeria coccidia and Cryptosporidium, and nematode eggs), and the nasopharyngeal swab for respiratory tract pathogens (bovine coronavirus (BCV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), bacteria and mycoplasma). Clinical diagnosis of respiratory tract disease, diarrhoea or umbilical disease was set at 15.0% for all the three consecutive examinations combined (n=107), but only few pathogens were detected from the samples. The increased levels of acute phase proteins were neither associated with any of the diseases nor with the pathogens. Random intercept linear models were used to explore factors affecting early (3–30 days) and long-term (3–200 days) growth, showing that calves with elevated serum amyloid-A concentrations at the age of 16 days had lower long-term growth. Increased albumin concentration at 30 days of age and higher parity of the dam increased early-term growth. The lack of association between a disease and the acute phase protein may stem from the low disease prevalence in the beef calves examined. The measurement of acute phase proteins of a young calf can help identify animals with possible future growth deficiencies, although the mechanisms through which the association between acute phase proteins and growth has yet to be explained.

      PubDate: 2016-12-19T14:33:28Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2016.12.007
      Issue No: Vol. 196 (2016)
       
  • Using first and second parity number born alive information to estimate
           later reproductive performance in sows
    • Authors: Tasha R. Gruhot; Julia A. Calderón Díaz; Tom J. Baas; Kenneth J. Stalder
      Pages: 22 - 27
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 196
      Author(s): Tasha R. Gruhot, Julia A. Calderón Díaz, Tom J. Baas, Kenneth J. Stalder
      The study objectives were to compare the lifetime performance of sows based on number of piglets born alive (NBA) and NBA across parities, according to 3 NBA classifications in first and second parity. The data used for this study were collected from 2001 to 2014 at 17 farms owned by the same company. Farms were located in the Mid-West region of the United States. A total of 502,491 records accounting for the lifetime performance of 105,719 sows were used in this analysis. Data included both purebred and crossbred sow information. Sows were classified into 3 NBA categories (e.g., low, medium, and high) according to the 25th percentiles of NBA in parity 1 and parity 2. Parity 1 classifications: low <10 NBA, medium 10–12 NBA, high >12 NBA. Parity 2 classifications: low <11 NBA, medium 11–13 NBA, high >13 NBA. Mixed model analyses were applied to the data. Sows in the low first and second parity NBA classification had an average of 1–1.8 less NBA per parity in parities 3 through 7, when compared with sows in the medium and high NBA classifications, respectively (P<0.05). Conversely, sows classified as high NBA in parity 1 and parity 2 had greater NBA in all subsequent parities as well as total lifetime NBA when compared with sows classified as low or medium NBA (P<0.05). The effect that parity 2 classification has on estimated later parity performance is dependent on parity 1 classification (P-interaction <0.05). The interaction between classification was also seen when predicting total lifetime NBA. As parity 1 classification increased, the difference between estimates of high versus low parity 2 NBA classification sows became smaller. For example, with the removal parity of 7, the difference between a high versus low classified sow in parity 2, both with a parity one classification of low, was 10.3 lifetime NBA. The difference between high versus low parity 2 classified sows that were both high in parity one was 8.6 lifetime NBA. It was shown that parity 1 and 2 classification only had a small effect on the parity of removal. Overall, it was demonstrated that the use of first and second parity performance, based on number born alive, can be used effectively to predict subsequent parity and lifetime performance which can aid in selection and culling decisions early in the sow's life.

      PubDate: 2016-12-27T14:57:18Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2016.12.009
      Issue No: Vol. 196 (2016)
       
  • Single nucleotide polymorphism of candidategenes in non-descript local
           goats of Sri Lanka
    • Authors: H.B.P.C Ariyarathne; H.B.S Ariyaratne; L.G.S Lokugalappatti
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 December 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): H.B.P.C Ariyarathne, H.B.S Ariyaratne, L.G.S Lokugalappatti
      In the present study, genetic polymorphism in exon 4 of kappa casein (k-CSN3), exon 2–3 of alpha lactalbumin (LALBA) and exon 1 of gonadotropin releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR) genes were analyzed as candidate genes for milk production, milk quality and prolificacy aiming to provide information for future studies on genetic improvements in non-descriptive local goats in Sri Lanka. Altogether eleven, thirteen and three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in k-CSN3, LALBA and GnRHR gene fragments respectively utilizing the DNA sequencing technique in Sri Lanka. Seven polymorphic sites out of eleven in k-CSN3 gene fragment and the recorded polymorphic site in exon 3 of LALBA gene fragment were homozygous while all three polymorphic sites in GnRHR gene fragment were heterozygous. Two of the SNPs recorded in the present study are found to unique for Sri Lankan non-descript goat population at G203T and A730G in k-CSN3 and GnRHR genes respectively. The study records another two SNPs in GnRHR gene which are already known to be correlated with higher fecundity in goats (G757A and G891T). Results of the present study will be extremely important in future attempts to indicate markers to improve the milk production, composition of milk and litter size of non-descript local goats in Sri Lanka.

      PubDate: 2016-12-27T14:57:18Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2016.12.012
       
  • Automatic classification system for grazing, ruminating and resting
           behaviour of dairy sheep using a tri-axial accelerometer
    • Authors: V. Giovanetti; M. Decandia; G. Molle; M. Acciaro; M. Mameli; A. Cabiddu; R. Cossu; M.G. Serra; C. Manca; S.P.G. Rassu; C. Dimauro
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 December 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): V. Giovanetti, M. Decandia, G. Molle, M. Acciaro, M. Mameli, A. Cabiddu, R. Cossu, M.G. Serra, C. Manca, S.P.G. Rassu, C. Dimauro
      A device based on a tri-axial accelerometer was used to measure behavioural parameters of dairy sheep at pasture. Short tests were performed in grazing conditions to collect accelerometer data simultaneously with video recordings of sheep behavioural activities (grazing, ruminating and resting). The raw acceleration data was processed to create 12 variables: mean, variance and inverse coefficient of variation (ICV; mean/standard deviation) for the X-, Y- and Z-axis and the resultant at 1-min intervals. A database inclusive of the 12 acceleration variables and the three behavioural activities detected for each minute was then created. Three multivariate statistical techniques were used to discriminate the behavioural activities using the acceleration data: stepwise discriminant analysis (SDA), canonical discriminant analysis (CDA), and discriminant analysis (DA). Based on the acceleration variables selected by SDA, the subsequent CDA significantly discriminated the three behaviours by extracting two canonical functions. The first canonical function (CAN1) discriminated the grazing activity from the resting and ruminating, whereas the second (CAN2) differentiated the grazing from the ruminating behaviour. After bootstrap resampling, the DA correctly assigned 93.0% of minutes to behavioural activities. Stepwise regression analysis was used to estimate the bite frequency (total number of bites/min) using a subset of acceleration data that contained only minutes in which sheep were grazing. In this case, 15 variables were tested and out of them, only one was selected, the sum of X-axis value per minute (SX), which explained 65% of the total variation of the bite frequency.

      PubDate: 2016-12-27T14:57:18Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2016.12.011
       
  • Milk fat secretion in Holstein dairy cows: insights from grain type and
           oil supplement
    • Authors: S. Kargar; G.R. Ghorbani; M. Khorvash; A. Kahyani; S. Karimi-Dehkordi; M. Safahani-Langarudi; V. Fievez; D.J. Schingoethe
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 December 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): S. Kargar, G.R. Ghorbani, M. Khorvash, A. Kahyani, S. Karimi-Dehkordi, M. Safahani-Langarudi, V. Fievez, D.J. Schingoethe
      Effects of grain type and dietary oil supplement on milk fat depression and milk fatty acid (FA) composition of dairy cows were evaluated using eight multiparous Holstein cows (77 ± 22.1 days in milk; mean ± SD) in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of diets. Experimental diets contained either ground barley or ground corn supplemented with either fish oil or soybean oil at 2% of dietary dry matter (DM). Experimental periods were 25 d, with the final 7 d used for sample and data collection. Dry matter intake tended (P = 0.09) to be greater for barley- vs. corn-based diets (23.2 vs. 22.3kg/d), but was reduced for the fish oil compared to soybean oil supplemented diets (21.1 vs. 24.3kg/d; P < 0.001). Total FA intake was greater in corn-based diets and also in soybean oil supplemented diets. Regardless of type of the diet fed, MFD occurred. Although milk fat yield was not affected, the barley-based diets increased (P < 0.001) the concentration of mixed-origin FA (C16:0 plus cis−9 C16:1) but decreased the concentration of preformed FA (P < 0.001) as compared with corn-based diets. Corn-based diets increased concentration of both trans−11 C18:1 (P = 0.03) and cis−9, trans−11 C18:2 (P = 0.01) which was a reflection of greater intake of cis−9, cis−12 C18:2 as substrate for rumen biohydrogenation. Severity of MFD was greater for fish oil than for soybean oil which was evidenced by the increased concentration and yield of biohydrogenation intermediates (especially trans−10 C18:1) associated with MFD (r = –0.61; n = 32) in milk fat. However, fish oil increased concentration of both trans−11 C18:1 (P = 0.001) and cis−9, trans−11 C18:2 (P < 0.001) as compared with soybean oil. Grain type and oil supplement did not interact to affect milk odd- and branched-chain FA (OBCFA) concentration. Cows fed barley-based diets (P < 0.001) and soybean oil supplemented diets (P < 0.001) produced greater OBCFA in milk fat. Overall, there was no interaction between the type of grain and oil supplement on induction of MFD and milk fat yield. However, milk fatty acid composition was differently modified by the grain type and an increase in the concentration of mixed-origin FA of fish oil supplemented diets was unable to attenuate the severity of MFD because of the concomitant decrease in concentrations of de novo synthesized- and preformed-FA as compared with soybean oil supplemented diets.

      PubDate: 2016-12-27T14:57:18Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2016.12.010
       
  • Effect of diets differing in protein concentration (low vs medium) and
           nitrogen source (urea vs soybean meal) on in vitro rumen fermentation and
           on performance of finishing Italian Simmental bulls
    • Authors: Mauro Spanghero; Federico Mason; Cristina Zanfi; Anna Nikulina
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 December 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Mauro Spanghero, Federico Mason, Cristina Zanfi, Anna Nikulina
      This research evaluated the effect of two dietary intestinal digestible protein (PDI) levels and a partial substitution of soybean meal (SBM) with urea (U) on the performance of finishing Italian Simmental bulls (Exp. 1) and on in vitro rumen fermentation characteristics (Exp. 2). In Exp. 1, eighty Italian Simmental bulls (495 ± 58kg of body weight (BW), 14-months old) during the last 120 d of fattening were fed diets differing in terms of PDI concentration (85 and 72g/kg dry matter (DM), medium (M) and low (L) diets, respectively) and nitrogen source (only SBM or SBM partly replaced by 0.5% DM of U). Animals were slaughtered at BW of 656 ± 56kg at 18 months of age. The average daily gain (ADG) was satisfactory (1.32kg/d) and the medium PDI level tended (P<0.10) to increase the ADG (1.37 vs 1.28kg/d). Apparent total tract digestibility did not differ between treatments, and the feed efficiency tended to be more favourable for the M diets (0.147 vs 0.137kg BW gain/ kg feed DM, P < 0.10). Slaughter traits were unaffected by dietary treatments. In Exp. 2, continuous culture fermenters were inoculated with rumen fluid from bulls in Exp. 1 and were given the same diets. The fermentation fluid was sampled at feeding time and 1, 2 and 3h after (T0, T1, T2 and T3, respectively) and the medium PDI level determined higher ammonia concentrations (P<0.01 at T0, T1, and T2; P<0.05 at T3). The drop of pH at T1 and T2 was less intense (P<0.05) for diets containing U, presumably due to the buffering capacity of urea. In vitro DM digestibility tended to be higher for diets containing U (P<0.10) and was unaffected by the dietary level of PDI. Differences in volatile fatty acids concentrations were limited to butyrate, which was higher for M diets (T0:13.6 vs 12.5mol/100mol, P < 0.10; T2: 13.8 vs 12.5mol/100mol, P <0.01) and for diets containing U (T0: 14.3 vs 11.9mol/100mol; T2: 14.3 vs 12.1mol/100mol, P<0.01). In conclusion, L diets tended to decrease weight gain in finishing Italian Simmental bulls, but both PDI levels and SBM substitution with U had no detrimental effects on slaughter and meat quality traits. Further research efforts are required to explain the increase of butyrate in fermentation fluid of fermenters fed medium PDI diets or U diets.

      PubDate: 2016-12-12T14:13:02Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2016.12.004
       
  • Mapping Sustainability in Pig Farming Research using Keyword Network
           Analysis
    • Authors: Friederike Klein; Katharina Schodl; Christoph Winckler
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 December 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Friederike Klein, Katharina Schodl, Christoph Winckler
      Integrating sustainability as normative principle in research has become increasingly important, also in agricultural and livestock sciences. Using a keyword network analysis, the present study aimed at identifying the most important research topics addressing sustainability in pig farming research. For this purpose, publication data was extracted from the Web of Science using ‘sustainab⁎ AND pig’ and ‘sustainab⁎ AND swine’ as search terms. The revised matches were converted into a network using the software package ‘Pajek’. Both, degree and betweenness analysis suggest that keywords and research topics with an environmental connotation are most important in the network. After crosschecking the respective abstracts, the keywords were assigned to thematic clusters and topics according to their location in the network. In agreement with the concept of strong sustainability, a large number of clusters covering environmental issues in the network underlines the importance of environmental research topics in this research area. Furthermore, the network emphasizes animal health and welfare as essential part of sustainable pig farming. However, socio-economic subjects, which also present an important aspect of sustainability in livestock farming, have been less well addressed.

      PubDate: 2016-12-12T14:13:02Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2016.12.005
       
  • Management routines influencing piglet survival in loose-housed sow herds
    • Authors: Ellen Marie Rosvold; Camilla Kielland; Marko Ocepek; Tore Framstad; Bente Fredriksen; Ina Andersen-Ranberg; Geir Næss; Inger Lise Andersen
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 December 2016
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Ellen Marie Rosvold, Camilla Kielland, Marko Ocepek, Tore Framstad, Bente Fredriksen, Ina Andersen-Ranberg, Geir Næss, Inger Lise Andersen
      Piglet mortality is still a significant welfare and ethical matter in pig production, as well as an economical challenge for the farmer. Most of the mortality occurs early after farrowing, and previous studies have shown that the farm's management routines, especially around farrowing, are important factors to reduce it. When sows are loose-housed at farrowing and in the following lactation period, it puts higher demands on management input from the farmer to keep piglet mortality low. The objective of this study was to assess the importance of different management routines around the time of farrowing, and other farm qualities for piglet survival in loose-housed herds. To study risk factors for herd piglet mortality, a cross-sectional field survey was carried out in Norway in the year 2013, and included 52 commercial herds with hybrid LY sows (Norwegian Landrace x Swedish Yorkshire). The farms were visited once, and the farmers answered a questionnaire about their management practices. The outcome was the average herd pre-weaning mortality in the years of 2012–2013. To include as many management factors as possible into the multivariable linear regression model, we generated a new variable based on 4 management routines: 3 routines at farrowing (presence at 80–100% of the farrowings, drying newborn piglets, and practice split suckling), and one concerning farmer´s contact with the sows. This variable was called “Management type” (M), and were divided into 4 categories with increasing effort; M1 herds without any of the 4 mentioned routines, M2 had contact with sows >2 times per day, M3 performed the 3 routines at farrowing, and M4 combined the high sow contact and the 3 routines. The predicted values of mean herd piglet mortality for M1, M2, M3 and M4 were 20.1%, 17.0%, 16.2% and 13.3% respectively. The farmer's increased management effort was associated with lower piglet mortality (P<0.05). The farmer's effort at critical times together with systematic and important routines, and having frequent contact with the sows, makes a huge difference for piglet survival. The farmers are credited for this work by having lower piglet mortality as a result.

      PubDate: 2016-12-05T05:01:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2016.12.001
       
 
 
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