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  Subjects -> AGRICULTURE (Total: 674 journals)
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Journal Cover Livestock Science
   Journal TOC RSS feeds Export to Zotero [6 followers]  Follow    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 1871-1413
     Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2570 journals]   [SJR: 0.728]   [H-I: 63]
  • Association of MC1R genotypes with shank color traits in Korean native
           chicken
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): S. Jin , H.B. Park , D.W. Seo , M. Cahyadi , N.R. Choi , K.N. Heo , C. Jo , J.H. Lee
      A nation-wide conservation project for the Korean native chicken (KNC) was launched in 1994 and has been conducted primarily by the Korean government. As a result, five lines of KNC have been developed, classified mainly by plumage color. When the lines were developed, charcoal gray and dark green shank colors were selected to distinguish them from broiler breeds, which have yellow shank colors. After more than 20 generations of selection with the criteria, the shank colors in KNC still display large color variations. From an economic viewpoint, shank color is a very important trait because different consumer preferences are prevalent in different areas of Korea. In this study, 596 F1 individuals from five KNC lines were used to investigate shank color variation by using a spectrophotometer. Additionally, four SNPs genotyped from the strong candidate gene for pigmentation, MC1R, were genotyped using the Fluidigm Dynamic Array. The L ⁎ (lightness), a⁎ (redness), and b⁎ (yellowness) values showed normal distributions, and the heritabilities of these traits were estimated as 0.5, 0.37, and 0.63, respectively. The results also indicated strong line effects for b⁎, except for the G (grey) and L (black) lines. Two particular SNPs in the MC1R gene, c.212C>T and c.427A>G, were significantly associated with the b⁎ values of the shank colors. The results suggested that the SNP markers in the study could be used for the selection of KNC individuals with desirable shank colors.


      PubDate: 2014-10-17T10:00:54Z
       
  • Genetic analysis for gestation length, birth weight, weaning weight, and
           accumulated productivity in Nellore beef cattle
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Tatiane C.S. Chud , Sabrina L. Caetano , Marcos E. Buzanskas , Daniela A. Grossi , Diego G.F. Guidolin , Guilherme B. Nascimento , Jaqueline O. Rosa , Raysildo B. Lôbo , Danísio P. Munari
      The aim of this study was to estimate variance and covariance components for gestation length (GL), birth weight (BW), weaning weight (WW), and accumulated productivity (ACP), and their respective genetic trends for Nellore cattle raised in Brazil. The ACP trait is a reproduction index developed by the National Association of Breeders and Researchers (ANCP) and comprises the total number of calves born per dam, weight of weaned calves, and age of the dam at calving. A total of 25,085, 46,911, 50,044, and 7,351 observations were considered to analyze GL, BW, WW, and ACP. Genetic parameters were estimated by the Average Information Restricted Maximum Likelihood method in single and two-trait analyses. The average direct heritability estimates obtained in two-trait analyses were equal to 0.38±0.03 (GL), 0.25±0.02 (BW), 0.28±0.02 (WW), and 0.11±0.02 (ACP). The highest genetic correlation was found between BW and WW (0.36±0.05), followed by BW and ACP (0.20±0.09), and BW and GL (0.19±0.06). Significant direct genetic trends (P<0.001) were observed for GL, BW, and WW; equal to -0.027 days per year, 0.073kg per year, and 0.8456kg per year, respectively. Greater emphasis should be given to accumulated productivity and gestation length traits in order to increase the number and weight of weaned calves. As accumulated productivity presents low heritability estimates, genetic improvement through selection could be slow in the Nellore breed. Our study reports genetic progress for weaning weight, since its genetic trend has increased over the years. Similar genetic trend for birth weight was observed, which may be a consequence of selection towards higher body weights at older ages.


      PubDate: 2014-10-17T10:00:54Z
       
  • A comparison of the impact of behaviours performed by entire male and
           female pigs prior to slaughter on skin lesion scores of the carcass
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Dayane L. Teixeira , Laura A. Boyle
      The production of entire males is likely to increase with the introduction of a voluntary EU level ban on castration coming into effect in 2018 but the rearing of these animals may pose other challenges regarding welfare and production problems relating particularly to carcass quality. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is a relationship between the aggressive and mounting behaviours performed by pigs in the final weeks prior to slaughter and skin lesion scores recorded on farm and on the carcass. A total of 70 entire male and 71 female pigs (Large White×Landrace) were housed in five pens of each sex (mean of 14.1±0.74pigs/pen) in the finisher house. On days −14 and −1 relative to slaughter (Day 0) pigs were individually weighed and skin lesions were scored according to severity. Posture and all incidences of harmful, aggressive and mounting behaviours were directly recorded in 3×2 hour periods (8–10h, 11–13h, 14–16h) on days −13, −9, −7 and −2. At the slaughterhouse, tail lesions, skin lesions and bruises were scored on all carcasses. Boars performed more aggressive (1.8vs. 1.0 aggression/pig; s.e.m. 0.22) and mounting behaviours (0.4vs. 0.005 mounts/pig; s.e.m. 0.02) than gilts (P≤0.05). In general, postures were similar in both sexes (P>0.05). On Day −1, boars had higher skin lesion scores than gilts (11.2vs. 8.2; s.e.m. 0.95; P≤0.05). Boars had higher skin lesion scores on the carcasses (1.9vs. 1.3; s.e.m. 0.10; P≤0.05) and more fighting-type bruises (4.5vs. 2.3; s.e.m. 0.35; P≤0.05) than gilts. There was no association between aggressive behaviour and skin lesions scored on farm on Day −1 (P>0.05) but there were positive correlations between aggressive behaviour and skin lesions scored on the carcass (actor: r=0.383, P≤0.001; recipient: r=0.294, P≤0.001, respectively) and fighting-type bruises (actor: r=0.442, P≤0.001; recipient: r=0.297, P≤0.001, respectively). Skin lesions scored on the carcass were a more sensitive indicator of aggressiveness and welfare of pigs than those recorded on the live animal. The results from this study reinforce the importance of on-line monitoring of carcass skin lesion in the routine inspection procedures as a complementary tool to identify critical points along the slaughter chain and as an indicator of animal welfare on farm.


      PubDate: 2014-10-17T10:00:54Z
       
  • Estimation of crossbreeding parameters for Humoral response in broiler
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): M. Nath , B.P. Singh , V.K. Saxena
      Crossbreeding parameters for humoral immune response – including the antibody production to sheep red blood cell challenge (SRBC) and serum haemolytic complement level (HC) – were estimated using a complete 4×4 diallel design with four synthetic broiler lines namely coloured synthetic male line (CM), white synthetic male line (WM), coloured synthetic female line (CF) and naked neck line (NN). The genetic group had a strong effect (P<0.01) on the mean SRBC and HC. Among 16 genetic groups, consisting of 4 purebred and 12 crossbred groups, the crossbred progenies of NN×CM and CM×WM produced the highest mean SRBC (10.59±0.53) and HC (6.37±0.20), respectively. Estimates of direct line effect and maternal genetic effect for both SRBC and HC; average heterosis, direct line heterosis, and specific combining ability for HC were statistically significant (P<0.05). Most crossbred groups exhibited positive overall heterosis for both traits. Crossbred groups of WM×CM and CM×WM recorded the highest estimates of mean and percentage heterosis for SRBC (2.65 & 38.93%) and HC (1.72 & 36.84%), respectively. Results indicated that both additive and non-additive genetic variations were important for the humoral immune response in broiler. Differences in rankings of lines and crosses with respect to crossbreeding parameters suggested that genetic variations to these traits can be exploited by selection of specialised lines on the basis of response to SRBC challenge and serum HC level or formation of a line based on optimum index values for both traits.


      PubDate: 2014-10-17T10:00:54Z
       
  • Canonical-correlation analysis applied to selection-index methodology in
           quails
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): André Marubayashi Hidalgo , Luciano Pinheiro da Silva , Rodrigo Reis Mota , Elias Nunes Martins
      Genetic evaluations in dual-purpose quails (Coturnix coturnix) have demonstrated that overall genetic gains in a breeding program are achieved not only based on a specific trait, but on several. The most common technique to use all this information is the selection index. Another alternative may be the canonical-correlation analysis applied to selection index. There is, however, a lack of studies using canonical correlation in quails. Hence, the objectives of this study were to apply canonical-correlation analysis to estimate the relationship of nine traits and to compare genetic gains obtained by this methodology to desired-gain selection index in three lines of quails. Data for three lines of layer quails consisted of body weight at 28 days (W28), egg weight (EW), age at first egg (AFE) and egg production at 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 days after onset of lay. Two sets of traits were established: the first one contained predictor variables (W28, EW and AFE) and the second one contained variables related to egg production. A selection index was constructed using the standardized coefficients of canonical covariates as weighting factors when a given canonical correlation was significant. We constructed two desired-gain selection indices: DG-SI1 and DG-SI2. The difference between them is that DG-SI2 had a desired gain for body weight set to 0. The estimated canonical correlations were: 0.811, 0.058 and 0.003 for the yellow, 0.821, 0.181 and 0.076 for the red, and 0.825, 0.117 and 0.038 for the blue line. Only the first pair of canonical variates was significant (P<0.05). AFE and early stages of egg production were very influent and showed great importance in defining the canonical variates and, consequently, the estimated canonical correlations. All lines had, in general, similar results for the canonical analysis indicating that traits that drive management decisions in these lines would be the same. The indices under study showed differences in response to selection; however, they generally resulted in consistent favorable genetic gains. For all lines, the canonical selection index resulted in the lowest AFE and highest egg production at 30 days. The DG-SI1 showed the highest genetic gains for W28 in all lines. There was a general lower genetic gain of other traits for DG-SI1 at the expense of the desired genetic gain for W28. Selection for AFE, according to the canonical-correlation analysis, would have a great impact on the number of eggs produced. Canonical selection index is a good alternative for a desired-gain selection index.


      PubDate: 2014-10-09T04:30:49Z
       
  • Effects of Enterococcus faecium DSM 7134 on weanling pigs were influenced
           by dietary energy and crude protein density
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Z.F. Zhang , J.M. Lee , I.H. Kim
      This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of Enterococcus faecium DSM 7134 supplementation, in different energy and crude protein density diets, on the growth performance, macronutrient digestibility, blood profile, fecal microbiota, and fecal noxious gas content of weanling pigs. A total of 140pigs, with an average BW of 6.1±0.35kg, were randomly allocated into four treatments, with two levels of E. faecium (0 or 1×109 cfu/kg of feed), and two levels of energy and crude protein density. The experiment lasted 28d. There were seven replicate pens per treatment with five pigs per pen. During d 15 to 28 and overall, average daily gain and gain:feed ratio were increased in pigs fed the high density (HD) and E. faecium diet (P<0.05). Pigs fed the diet with E. faecium showed greater apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of nitrogen on d 14 and 28 than those fed the non-supplemented diet (P=0.033 and 0.030, respectively). The ATTD of energy in pigs fed the HD and E. faecium treatment was greater than in pigs fed the low density (LD) and non-E. faecium treatment (P<0.05). Supplementation with E. faecium in the HD diet increased the serum IgG concentration compared with the LD and non- E. faecium treatment (P=0.039). The fecal lactobacilli population was increased (P=0.009 and 0.013, respectively), and fecal NH3 content was decreased (P=0.013 and 0.032, respectively) on d 14 and 28 in pigs fed the E. faecium supplemented diet. Fecal E. coli counts were decreased on d 28, with the application of E. faecium (P=0.024). In conclusion, a HD diet containing 1×109 cfu E. faecium DSM 7134/kg of diet led to better growth performance and nutrient digestibility in weanling pigs.


      PubDate: 2014-10-09T04:30:49Z
       
  • Effect of flax meal on the production performance and oxidative status of
           dairy cows infused with flax oil in the abomasum
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): L.S. Lima , M.-F. Palin , G.T. Santos , C. Benchaar , L.C.R. Lima , P.Y. Chouinard , H.V. Petit
      Rumen bypass of flax oil (FO), which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (FA), contributes to increase polyunsaturated FA proportion in milk fat. Flax meal (FM) is a source of antioxidants, which may reduce oxidative damage in cows given omega-3 FA. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary FM supplement on performance and antioxidant status in dairy cows infused with FO in the abomasum. Eight rumen fistulated lactating Holstein cows were assigned to a double 4×4 Latin square design with a 2×2 factorial arrangement of treatments: 1) control diet with no FM (CO); 2) diet containing 124 g/kg FM in the dry matter (DM); 3) CO and 250g FO/d infused in the abomasum; 4) FM and 250g FO/d infused in the abomasum. Intake of DM and total DM input (including abomasally infused oil) were increased for cows fed FM and reduced for cows infused with FO. Milk production and milk composition did not differ among treatments except for lactose concentration that was increased with FO infusion. Milk fat from cows fed FM had lower omega-6 FA proportions. Abomasal infusion of FO increased proportions of polyunsaturated, omega-6 and omega-3 FA in milk fat. Cows fed CO with no FO infusion showed higher omega-6/omega-3 FA ratio in milk fat compared with the other treatments, whereas no difference was observed between CO and FM when FO was infused in the abomasum. Feeding FM did not change plasma and milk thiobarbituric acid reactive substances concentrations, whereas FO increased them. Infusion of FO in the abomasum increased the peroxidizability index, the maximal conjugated diene (CD) production and rate of CD production, whereas lag time and time to reach maximum amount of CD were reduced. Plasma antioxidant capacity before feeding was increased when cows received dietary FM or FO abomasal infusion, whereas no differences were observed 3 h postfeeding. Results suggest that FM supplementation to dairy cows receiving a source of polyunsaturated FA that bypasses the rumen does not provide any benefits for protecting cows and milk against lipoperoxidation.


      PubDate: 2014-10-09T04:30:49Z
       
  • Effect of a liquid culture of enterococcus faecalis CGMCC1.101 cultivated
           by a High density process on the performance of weaned piglets
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Xutong Liu , Yuan Wang , Hongliang Wang , Wenqing Lu
      This study developed a high density process using response surface methodology to cultivate E. faecalis CGMCC1.101 and subsequently investigated this liquid form product in improving the performance of weaned piglets. Exp. I was carried out to use a central composite design (CCD) for the optimization of carbon source, nitrogen sources and pH in the fermentation broth to raise the cell density of E. faecalis CGMCC1.101. Optimum conditions for growth of E. faecalis CGMCC1.101 were (g/l): beef extract, 12.5; yeast extract, 12.5; sucrose, 25; K2HPO4, 2; sodium acetate, 5; di-ammonium hydrogen citrate, 2; MgSO4, 0.2; MnSO4, 0.05; Tween 80, 1ml/l with pH of 6.7. The ultimate biomass concentration of E. faecalis CGMCC1.101 using the optimized media reached 3.5×109 CFU/ml. In Exp. II, 108 weaned piglets (Duroc×Landrace×Large White), with an initial body weight of 8.9±2.5kg, were randomly allocated to one of three treatments with six pens per treatment and six pigs per pen. Weaned piglets were fed either a corn-soybean meal based control diet or same diets supplemented with antibiotic (50mg/kg Kitasamycin) or the liquid fermentation product (3.5×109 CFU/kg E. faecalis CGMCC1.101). The effects of the liquid culture of E. faecalis CGMCC1.101 on performance, intestinal microflora and morphology as well as nutrient digestibility in weaned piglets were investigated. The results of Exp. II demonstrate that the liquid culture of E. faecalis CGMCC1.101 can improve the efficiency of feed utilization and balance the microbial environment in weaned piglets.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Random regression test-day parameters for first lactation milk yield in
           selection and production environments in Kenya
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): T.K. Muasya , K.J. Peters , T.M. Magothe , A.K. Kahi
      Selection and production environments may differ in level of management. In production environment the majority of animals may have, especially in tropical environments, lower milk production due to inadequate feed intake and other constraints associated with flat or decreasing lactation curves. Holstein-Friesian herds in Kenya were separated in selection environment (SENV) and production environment (PENV), respectively herds that contributed breeding males or not to the population. Legendre polynomials with 2 to 5 coefficients were fitted to 57,071 daily lactation records of 5931 heifers, to model genetic and permanent environmental lactation curves and to evaluate whether daily variances differed across the environments. Daily additive genetic variances declined from onset to the end of lactation, while permanent environmental variances were larger at both extremes of lactation. Daily additive genetic and permanent environmental variances were on average 66.7% and 9.7%, respectively, higher in the SENV than in the PENV. Average daily heritability estimates were 0.27±0.01 (SENV) and 0.16±0.01 (PENV). Three random regression coefficients (RRCs) for additive genetic and four for permanent environment component with homogeneous residual variance for the SENV and heterogeneous for the PENV best captured the genetic and permanent environment variability. However, a model fitting 3 RRCs for both additive genetic and permanent environment effect selected the same set of bulls as the more complex models (rank correlations 0.985 (SENV) and 0.980 (PENV)). Re-ranking of sires EBVs occurred between SENV and PENV (rank correlation 0.18 for sire EBVs of 305 day milk yield).


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Erratum to: “Dynamic production monitoring in pig herds II. Modeling
           and monitoring farrowing rate at herd level” [Livest. Sci. 155/1
           (2013) 92–102]
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Claudia Bono , Cécile Cornou , Søren Lundbye-Christensen , Anders Ringgaard Kristensen



      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Single-trait and multi-trait prediction of breeding values for
           show-jumping performance of horses in the Czech republic
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A. Novotná , J. Bauer , L. Vostrý , I. Jiskrová
      Genetic parameters for show-jumping performance of horses in the Czech Republic were estimated from 483,303 observations of 17,542 horses recorded between 1991 and 2010. The results from events did not have normal distributions. Data were analysed with a least-squares method (GLM/SAS), and genetic parameters were estimated through a Gibbs sampling method. The statistical model included fixed effects for sex, year of the event, level of difficulty of the event and random effects for rider, permanent environment and an additive genetic effect. Six transformations of the data were tested, and the most suitable evaluation was chosen on the basis of lowest residual variance, highest heritability and closest approximation to normal distributions of residuals and breeding values. By these criteria, the best evaluation was accomplished with the shifted Blom-normalised rank for penalty points. For comparison, breeding values were predicted with a single-trait and multi-trait animal model. In the multi-trait model, each record was assigned to one of three traits on the basis of the difficulty of the performance event (i.e., fence height 90–110cm defined the first trait, 120–135cm the second trait and 135–150cm the third trait). The heritability estimates of show-jumping performance were 0.07 for the single-trait model and 0.07, 0.10 and 0.16 for the multi-trait models. Relative breeding values and relative commercial values of the horses were calculated. Both had a normal distribution, and positive genetic trends were estimated for the relative breeding values.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Effects of castration on the adiposity and expression of lipid metabolism
           genes in various fat depots of Korean cattle
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Myunggi Baik , Jin Young Jeong , Thi- Thu Thao Vu , Min Yu Piao , Hyeok Joong Kang
      Castration increases intramuscular (IM) fat deposition in the musculus longissimus dorsi, a highly desirable trait in Korean beef cattle. However, castration may also affect accumulation in other fat depots. We examined whether castration affects adipose cellularity and lipid metabolism gene expression in various fat depots, including subcutaneous (SC), abdominal (AB), perirenal (PR), and IM fat. First, frozen sections taken from fat depots were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and the mean fat cell size was determined. Steers showed larger cell sizes in AB (P=0.01), SC (P=0.05), and PR (P=0.01) fat compared to bulls. Next, lipid metabolism gene expression in AB fat was compared between bulls and steers. In AB fat, steers showed increased mRNA expression of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBPα), a gene related to adipogenesis, compared to bulls (P<0.01). In contrast, steers showed decreased protein expression of medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD), an enzyme involved in fatty acid β-oxidation, compared to bulls (P<0.05). Our results demonstrate that castration induces hypertrophy in body fat cells, and that the up-regulation of adipogenesis and down-regulation of fatty acid β-oxidation may in part contribute to this effect. We compared fat cell sizes among the various fat depots in Korean cattle steers. The order of fat cell size was AB>PR>SC>IM. The expression levels of lipid metabolism genes were compared among various fat depots. The mRNA levels of C/EBPα and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ were highest (P<0.05) in AB fat and lowest in IM fat. The mRNA levels of fatty acid binding protein-4 and lipogenic acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase and fatty acid synthase genes were highest (P<0.05) in AB fat, and lowest in IM fat. Expression levels of lipolytic hormone-sensitive lipase and fatty oxidation MCAD genes were also highest (P<0.05) in AB fat and lowest in IM fat. Our results suggest that combined effects of higher adipogenesis, lipogenesis, and cellular fatty acid transport are responsible for the largest AB and smallest IM fat cells among the fat depots examined.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Influences of sorting and cryopreservation on the mitochondrial membrane
           potential (MMP) and phosphatidylserine (PS) externalization in bovine
           sperm
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Zhiqing Wu , Yingjie Wu , Yinghe Qin , Xihe Li
      Previously, most studies on sperm apoptosis have been conducted after cryopreservation. There are few reports about the influence of sorting by flow cytometry or the double effects of sorting and cryopreservation on sperm quality. The aim of this study is to evaluate the influences of sorting and cryopreservation treatment on the injury of bovine sperm by the detection of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and phosphatidylserine (PS) externalization (Annexin V/PI), which are two important markers of cellular damage. Results of both MMP and Annexin V/PI indicate that the percentage of damaged sperm was elevated after a single-treatment of cryopreservation and the co-treatment of sorting and cryopreservation. Sorting alone has no obvious influence on fresh sperm according to these two indexes. However, it significantly affects semen samples placed at room temperature (RT) for 12h and 24h. This indicates that the freshness of sperm has a great impact on sperm health.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Genetic correlations among female fertility, 305-day milk yield and
           persistency during the first three lactations of Japanese Holstein cows
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): T. Yamazaki , K. Hagiya , H. Takeda , S. Yamaguchi , T. Osawa , Y. Nagamine
      The genetic correlations between reproductive traits in cows and milk-production traits (305-day milk yield and lactation persistency) were estimated by using first-lactation records (representing 476,284 Japanese Holstein cows), second-lactation records (380,474 cows), and third-lactation records (267,344 cows). The reproductive traits evaluated were: days from calving to the first insemination (DCF); conception rate for the first insemination (CR); number of inseminations (NI); and days open (DO). Persistency was defined as the difference between milk yields at 240 and 60 days in milk. Genetic parameters for reproductive traits (DCF, CR, NI, and DO) were estimated within each lactation by using a four-trait animal model. The genetic correlations between reproductive traits and milk-production traits were estimated by using a three-trait (one reproductive trait and two milk production traits) linear model. The genetic correlation estimates within the first lactation were similar to those of the other lactations, suggesting that the genetic relationships among fertility, 305-day milk yield, and lactation persistency were constant over the first three lactations. The genetic correlations among reproductive traits were fairly strong, but those of DCF with CR and NI were relatively weak. Antagonistic genetic correlations, which ranged from 0.17 to 0.39 in absolute value, between reproductive traits and persistency were revealed. Therefore, when selecting to increase lactation persistency, indicators of female fertility have to be included in the genetic evaluation to reduce undesirable side effects on fertility in cows.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Changes in herd health, fertility and production under roughage based
           feeding conditions with reduced concentrate input in Swiss organic dairy
           herds
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): S. Ivemeyer , M. Walkenhorst , M. Holinger , A. Maeschli , P. Klocke , A. Spengler Neff , P. Staehli , M. Krieger , C. Notz
      This intervention study investigated the effect of farm specific concentrate amounts and concentrate feeding reduction over two years on herd health and production in 69 organic dairy herds considering further feeding management factors and herd characteristics. All farms were participating in the Swiss ‘Feed no Food’ project and decided for themselves the extent of the reduction they desired in concentrate feeding amounts. The average concentrate amount fed before project start was 363kg/cow/year. The maximum amount of concentrate was 10% of the yearly dry matter intake, according to the Swiss organic ‘Bio Suisse’ standards. Health and production data were calculated at farm level from milk recording data. Somatic cell score (SCS) and calving interval (CI) were used as indicators for udder health and fertility, respectively. Medicine use was assessed as the total number of veterinary treatments (TM) generated from obligatory farm records. Milk recording data and treatment data were collected retrospectively for a one-year period before and during the two year project period. Concentrate amounts, feeding management factors, and herd characteristics were assessed by questionnaires. The intervention was performed as an advising process regarding feeding and herd health during quarterly farm visits and regular contacts with the farmers after receiving new milk recording data. General linear models for repeated measurements were used to analyse the development at farm level. A significant reduction in concentrate feeding, to an average concentrate amount of 276kg/cow/year, was achieved within the project period. Milk yield and TM incidences were higher and CIs were longer if more concentrates were fed in general, but these parameters were not related to a reduction in concentrate feeding within the project years. The total amount and the reduction in concentrate feeding within the project showed no association with SCS. Within breeds, Holstein Friesians had the highest milk yield, and Swiss Brown Cattle had the highest incidences of TM compared to the other breeds. Larger herds showed higher SCSs and lower CIs. Herds with mostly or entirely bought-in replacement heifers had higher SCS. Herds with more own replacement heifers than bought-in heifers showed lower CIs than herds with entirely own young stock or entirely bought-in replacement heifers. Regarding feeding management, maize as a component of the roughage ration was significantly related to a higher milk yield. In summary, under Swiss roughage based dairy production conditions, a reduction in concentrate use was achieved after a two year intervention study, compared to the year before project start, without significant losses in milk yield, health and fertility status.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Estimation of residual energy intake and its genetic background during the
           growing period in pigs
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): M. Shirali , A. Doeschl-Wilson , C. Duthie , P.W. Knap , E. Kanis , J.A.M. van Arendonk , R. Roehe
      The aims of this study were to (i) compare models estimating residual energy intake (REI) using either lean and fat tissue growth or their proxy traits (average daily gain (ADG) and backfat thickness (BF)); (ii) determine genetic characteristics of REI at different growth stages and the entire test period; and (iii) examine 9 genetic and phenotypic relationships of REI with other production traits. Data from 315 pigs of an F2 generation were used which originated from crossing Pietrain sires with a commercial crossbred dam population. Average daily protein (APD) and lipid deposition (ALD), as measurements of lean and fat tissue growth, were obtained using the deuterium dilution technique on live animals. During growth from 60 to 140kg, REI was estimated using 4 different models for energy intake that included, besides other systematic effects, (1) ADG and BF; (2) APD and ALD; (3) and (4) incorporated the same covariables as the first two models, respectively, but pre-adjusted for systematic effects. Genetic parameters and estimated breeding values were obtained based on univariate animal models using REML analysis. Over the entire growing period, heritabilities of different REI using different models were all estimated at 0.44 and their genetic correlations were at unity. At different growth stages heritabilities for REI were greater ranging from 0.47 to 0.50. Genetic correlations between REI estimates at different stages of growth, obtained using genetic model 4, indicated that REI at 60 to 90kg was non-significantly (P>0.05) associated with REI at 90–120kg (0.32±0.29) and 120–140kg (0.28±0.28), but REI of the latter growth stages showed a significant (P<0.05) moderate genetic correlation (0.58±0.21). REI had favourable genetic correlations with feed conversion ratio (FCR, 0.84±0.13) and total nitrogen excretion (TNE, 0.85±0.11). The results indicate that REI estimated based on models using proxy traits for lean and fat tissue deposition resulted in slightly lower accuracies compared to models fitting APD and ALD, which explained a greater variation of energy intake. There is great potential for improvement of REI due to its large heritability. Genetic selection for REI should consider the stages of growth, because of their differences in genetic background. REI explained a large portion of variance in FCR and TNE, therefore selection for REI is expected to result in, besides improvement of feed efficiency, a substantial reduction in the environmental pollution of pig production.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Repeatability of kinematics traits of free jumping in Brazilian sport
           horses
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Fernanda Nascimento de Godoi , Fernando Queiroz de Almeida , Fabio Luiz Buranelo Toral , Ana Luisa Soares de Miranda , Rodrigo Ramos Kaipper , José Aurélio Garcia Bergmann
      This study was carried out to estimate the repeatability of kinematics traits associated to the performance of free jumping young horses at three different ages. Free jumpings from 108 young horses were evaluated, resulting in a total of 1067 jumpings. All the animals were assessed at three age classes, at 22–25; 29–32 and 36–39 months of age, with five free jumping at each age classes over 0.60m, 0.80m and 1.05m high a vertical fence, respectively. Eighteen horse׳s anatomical points were highlighted by reflective markers. Jumpings were recorded by a 100-Hz camera and analyzed by the Simi Reality Motion Systems® software. The repeatability ranged from 0.18 to 0.89 at the three age classes. The lowest repeatability value was obtained for the radial-metacarpal angle at 22–25 months of age, as well as, the highest repeatability value was obtained for the coxofemoral angle at 36–39 months of age. In general, the repeatability values were lower at the first age class, with younger animals and the obstacle was lower, and higher repeatability values at the last evaluation, with higher fence and older horses had already twice performed the experimental protocol. The highest repeatability values were obtained for the horse-conformation traits measured at the trunk. Scapulohumeral angle, coxofemoral angle, neck angle and landing distance required fewer jumpings for young horses׳s jumping ability, where other traits, such as last stride length prior to jumping, forelimbs heights at jumping and radial-metacarpal angle, required additional measurements.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Economic comparison of a sixty day dry period with no dry period on Dutch
           dairy farms
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): J.A.H. Heeren , W. Steeneveld , P.B.M. Berentsen
      In the Netherlands it is general practice that dairy cows have a dry period of six to eight weeks. Research, however, shows that omission of the dry period avoids the negative energy balance after calving with its potential negative effects on metabolic disorders, infectious diseases, and fertility. On the downside, no dry period (NDP) causes a loss of milk production per cow compared with a conventional dry period (CDP). The objective of this research was to make an economic comparison between CDP with a sixty day dry period and NDP. Data on milk production per cow and on replacement rate, being the possible result of improved health, were taken from five farms involved in a research project on the effects of NDP, both from the year before and the year after switching from CDP to NDP. These data show that the replacement rate was on average 37% in the CDP situation while it was 24% in the NDP situation. Milk production was on average 13% lower in the NDP situation while fat and protein content of the milk were 0.21% and 0.42% points higher. A whole farm dairy linear programming model maximizing labor income (returns to family labor and management) was used to determine the technical and economic results for the situation with CDP and NDP. Results were calculated for three scenarios (one with milk quota and two without milk quota), representing differences in possibilities for increasing the farm size. Results show that under each scenario NDP is more profitable than CDP. The increase in labor income varies from 20% to 42%. This means that the negative effect of a lower milk production per cow is outweighed by the positive effect of a lower replacement rate and higher milk components. Sensitivity analysis shows that under a milk quota scenario NDP always results in a higher labor income than CDP irrespective of the change in replacement rate and milk production loss. Under the scenarios without milk quota a replacement rate of 34–35% or a milk production loss of 19–21% with NDP would result in a comparable labor income. The conclusion of this research is that NDP gives better economic results than CDP in a dairy quota situation for a broad range of replacement rate reduction and milk production reduction. In a situation without dairy quota, the replacement rate should be at least 3% points lower and milk production should be not more than 19% lower in the NDP situation to end up with better economic results.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168




      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Dynamic production monitoring in pig herds III. Modeling and monitoring
           mortality rate at herd level
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Claudia Bono , Cécile Cornou , Søren Lundbye-Christensen , Anders Ringgaard Kristensen
      Management and monitoring systems may enable the farmers to enhance production results and reduce labor time. The aim of this paper is to develop a dynamic monitoring system for mortality rates of sows and piglets. For this purpose a model for mortality rates is implemented using a Dynamic Generalized Linear Model. Variance components are pre-estimated using an Expectation-Maximization algorithm applied on a dataset containing data from 15 herds, each of them including observations over a period ranging from three to nine years. Data are registrations of events for insemination, farrowing (including stillborn and live born), number of weaned piglets and death of sows. The model provides reliable forecasting on weekly basis. Detection of impaired mortality rate is performed by statistical control tools that give warnings when the mortality (rate) shows sudden or gradual changes. For each herd, mortality rate profile, analysis of model components over time and detection of alarms are computed for two categories, namely sows and piglets.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Monitoring individual activity before, during and after parturition using
           sensors for sows with and without straw amendment
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Cécile Cornou , Anders Ringgaard Kristensen
      This paper suggests methods to monitor sows׳ activity before, during and after farrowing using sensor data. The progress of parturition is analysed from video recordings for a total of 19 sows, of which half was provided with straw (S), and half received no straw (NS). The pre-partum high active behaviour is defined as the hours when the sows performed more than 50% active behaviour per hour, allowing for 1h of resting. It is characterised by its duration, intensity and its last hour as compared to the onset of parturition. No difference is observed for the duration and last hour of pre-partum high activity for Group S and Group NS. Nevertheless, the intensity indicates that Group S tends (p=0.07) to be more active (80%) than Group NS (70%) during the pre-partum high activity. The last hour of the pre-partum high active behaviour and the increase of the Lying Active behaviour characterise the onset of farrowing; and a reduction of the number of activity shifts characterises the end of farrowing. No difference of activity is observed for sows farrowing at night vs. in the daytime. Finally, results indicate that sows with a long pre-partum high activity also have more of long birth intervals (more than three times the median) during farrowing. In conclusion, the methods appear promising to monitor the activity around farrowing, and is less time consuming than video analyses. A better monitoring of these phases can potentially result in a better welfare and a reduction of piglet mortality.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • The status of essential elements and associations with milk yield and the
           occurrence of mastitis in organic and conventional dairy herds
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): I. Blanco-Penedo , T. Lundh , K Holtenius , N. Fall , U. Emanuelson
      There is a lack of detailed information on the impact of organic feeding regulation on the health and well-being of cows. This has become especially important since January 2008 when the EU required 100% organic ration for organic dairy herds. The aim of this investigation was to determine and compare the levels of essential elements in organic and conventional dairy herds, and to associate them with milk yield and the occurrence of mastitis. The field study was carried out in 10 organic and 10 conventional herds from 2005 to 2010. This period included the point in time when the ration became 100% organic in organic dairy herds. Essential element concentrations (Cu, Co, Se, Zn, Mn, Mo, I and Fe) were determined by inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry in 158 serum samples. Associations between concentrations of elements and milk yield and mastitis were determined with mixed linear and logistic regression models, respectively. No significant differences in metal levels between organic and conventional herds were found. No severely deficient concentrations of essential elements were observed in organic herds, either before or after the change in regulation. Cows with low serum concentrations of Se had lower somatic cell counts. Daily milk yield was significantly influenced by deficient concentrations of Cu. For the evaluation of clinical mastitis occurrence, herds were classified for each element, based on the individual values of the sampled cows. Low levels of some elements (Se, I) were associated with a reduced risk of mastitis occurrence. However, other elements indicated a protective effect against mastitis.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Changes in relative molecular weight distribution of soluble barley
           beta-glucan during passage through the small intestine of pigs
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Ann Katrin Holtekjølen , Stine Gregersen Vhile , Stefan Sahlstrøm , Svein Halvor Knutsen , Anne Kjersti Uhlen , Mauritz Åssveen , Nils Petter Kjos
      The relative molecular weight distribution of soluble barley beta-glucans (SBB) was monitored through the small intestine in pigs by analyzing water extracts of duodenal- and ileal digesta with HPLC-SEC. Variations among four diets, based on four different barley varieties, were documented as well as variations between animals fed the same diet. The results showed depolymerization of the SBB throughout the whole small intestine independent of diet. The average molecular weight of the SBB was reduced to approximately 50% in duodenum in all the experimental animals.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Excessive dietary taurine supplementation reduces growth performance,
           liver and intestinal health of weaned pigs
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Yue Liu , Xiangbing Mao , Bing Yu , Jun He , Ping Zheng , Jie Yu , Junqiu Luo , Daiwen Chen
      This study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary taurine (Tau) supplementation on growth performance, liver and intestinal health of weaned pigs. A total of 96 cross 28-d old barrows weaned at 21±2d (initial average BW=7.39±0.40kg) were allotted randomly on the basis of the initial body weights (BW) to dietary Tau supplementation of 0%, 0.3%, 1.5%, and 3% for 28d. Each treatment had six replicate pens, and each pen had four pigs. Our results showed that gain/feed ratio (G/F) increased with the lower supplementation of Tau but decreased with the higher supplementation (quadratic, P<0.05). The liver antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, GSH-PX and T-AOC) were lower (P<0.05) in pigs fed 0% and 3% Tau than those fed 0.3% Tau, and the lipid peroxidation (MDA) contents were lower (P<0.05) in pigs fed 0% and 0.3% Tau than those fed 1.5% and 3% Tau, which combined with the hepatic pathological analysis indicated that dietary supplementation with appropriate Tau could help maintain liver health but dietary supplementation with excessive Tau would lead to liver damage. In addition, dietary supplementation with 0.3% Tau increased (P<0.05) villus heights related to the control group. Meanwhile, the higher diarrhea index (P<0.05), lower (P<0.05) villus heights and deeper (P<0.05) crypt depths in pigs fed 3% Tau than those fed 0% or 0.3% Tau may be partially due to increased inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) and Caspase-3 levels, and decreases in GLP-2 secretions. In conclusion, our results suggested that appropriate (0.3%) Tau supplementation in diets had different degrees of beneficial effects on piglet health but excessive (1.5% or 3%) Tau had adverse effects on growth performance, liver and intestinal health of piglets.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Effects of maize maturity at harvest and dietary proportion of maize
           silage on intake and performance of growing/finishing bulls
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): K. Zaralis , P. Nørgaard , C. Helander , M. Murphy , M.R. Weisbjerg , E. Nadeau
      Whole-crop maize silage as forage in diets of finishing cattle can promote high intakes and thus, enhances animal performance. In the present study we evaluated the effect of whole-crop maize maturity at harvest and the proportion of maize-silage in diets of finishing bulls, on feed intake and performance. An indoor experiment with 64 dairy bulls was replicated over two consecutive rearing periods, under the same experimental design. Two groups of 4 light and two groups of 4 heavy bulls were randomly allocated into one of the 4 dietary treatments, which formed a 2×2 factorial arrangement of treatments, involving two maturity stages of maize at harvest (i.e. dough stage or dent stage) and two maize silage proportions (i.e. 100% maize silage or 50% maize and 50% grass silage). The diets were offered ad libitum as total mixed rations (TMRs) with inclusion of concentrates (i.e. rolled barley; dried distillers’ grain plus soluble; cold-pressed rapeseed cake) in a 40% proportion on DM basis. All animals were slaughtered at a target body weight of 630kg. Bulls fed on diets containing maize silage as sole forage achieved higher live-weight gain (P<0.01) compared to their counterparts. This is likely due to the higher ME (P<0.01) and CP (P<0.001) intakes they achieved. Interestingly, the dough stage compared to dent stage maturity of maize at harvest tended to increase live-weight gain (P=0.06).


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Daily and alternate day supplementation of Moringa oleifera leaf meal or
           soyabean meal to lambs receiving oat hay
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Ramzi Jelali , Hichem Ben Salem
      We hypothesized that Moringa oleifera foliage which is high in crude protein and almost free in main secondary compounds could replace soyabean meal used in supplementation strategies of livestock. Therefore, this experiment aimed to evaluate the effect of daily and alternate day supplementation of Moringa leaf meal (MLM) or soybean meal (SBM) to sheep on intake and digestion and glucose, protein and urea in blood plasma. Twenty Barbarine male lambs (average initial body weight, 27.3±3.0kg), were randomly divided into four groups of five lambs each. They were adapted for 22 days to dietary treatments before starting a 6-day total collection period. All animals consumed oat hay ad libitum supplemented with concentrates composed of barley grain only (C-BAR) or mixed with SBM (C-SBM), or MLM (C-MLM) as protein sources. Groups 1 and 2 received daily C-SBM and C-MLM, respectively. However, groups 3 and 4 had access to concentrates containing the protein sources (C-SBM and C-MLM) with alternate day that means they received for one day these concentrates and in the following day they received barley grain only (C-BAR). Soybean meal and MLM incorporation in concentrates had similar effects (P>0.05) on water, hay, and digestible organic matter (OM) intakes and DM, organic matter (OM) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) digestibility. Daily substitution of SBM by MLM increased (P=0.024) crude protein (CP) intake and apparent total tract digestibility. However, the alternate day supplementation decreased apparent total tract CP digestibility but increased CP intake for SBM treatment. The concentration of ruminal ammonia nitrogen before feeding was higher (P=0.012) in groups 1 and 3 than in the other groups. The concentration of blood glucose was similar (P>0.05) among treatments. However, lambs receiving C-SBM exhibited highest concentrations of protein (P=0.039) and urea (P=0.001) in the blood. It is concluded that MLM administered at two day-intervals had similar effects on feed intake, digestion and blood metabolites to SBM incorporated in concentrate distributed to sheep receiving oat hay.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Utilization of castor bean meal treated with calcium hydroxide, fed wet or
           dry, by lambs
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): T.R.S. Gionbelli , C.M. Veloso , M.P. Gionbelli , M.A.S. Novais , A.L. Silva , C.J.B. Espechit , J.M.S. Campos , S.C. Valadares Filho , O.G. Pereira , C.S. Cunha , P.H. Alcântara , G.F. Virgínio Junior , M.S. Duarte
      Effects of replacement of soybean meal by wet or dry castor bean meal (CM) in diets of feedlot lambs on animal performance, carcass traits, intake, digestibility and hepatic function were assessed. Thirty-five mixed-breed woolless lambs averaging 20±0.26kg body weight were randomly assigned into five treatments in a 2×2+1 factorial design with 7 animals per treatment. Control animals were fed a diet containing soybean meal while lambs from the remaining groups received diets with 50 or 100% level by dry (DCM) or wet (WCM) calcium hydroxide treated CM as a replacement of soybean meal. Lambs were fed for 70 days and slaughtered at the end of the trial for further carcass traits evaluation. Dry matter intake and digestibility, final body weight, average daily gain and carcass weights were not affected (P>0.05) by the substitution of soybean meal by either CM source. Serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase enzymes did not differ among treatments (P>0.05) indicating no effect of treated CM on hepatic function. These results suggest that castor bean meal treated with calcium hydroxide solution (60g/kg) can totally replace the soybean meal (up to 18% of dry matter of diet) in the diet of finishing lambs without negative effects on weight gain, intake, digestibility and hepatic function. Castor bean meal treated with calcium hydroxide solution can be fed to animals after 18h in room temperature, in wet form, without sun or oven-drying.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Effect of dietary energy supply to dry Holstein cows with high or low body
           condition score at dry off on production and metabolism in early lactation
           
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Vibeke Bjerre-Harpøth , Mogens Larsen , Nicolas C. Friggens , Torben Larsen , Martin Riis Weisbjerg , Birthe Marie Damgaard
      The aim of the experiment was to investigate the effects of manipulating body condition score (BCS) during the dry period of over-conditioned and under-conditioned cows using two dry period diets with high and low energy content, respectively. The cows׳ ability to cope with the transition from pregnancy to lactation was evaluated by production parameters and several plasma and liver variables. Furthermore, the outcome of the experiment was used to see the potential of using BCS at dry off as a guiding principle in dry cow feeding management. A complete randomized design was used with a two by two factorial arrangement of treatments. Fifty-one Holstein dairy cows participated in the trial from 20 weeks before expected calving to eight weeks postpartum. With the aim to obtain two groups of cows with high or low BCS at dry off, the cows were divided into two groups in late lactation and assigned to one of two different late lactation diets: High‐energy diet (HiLate, net energy for lactation (NEL)=6.76MJ) or low-energy diet (LoLate, NEL=5.73MJ). At dry off, each group was divided and assigned to one of two dry period diets: High-energy diet (HiDry, NEL=6.86MJ) or low-energy diet (LoDry, NEL=4.96MJ). Thus, from dry off the cows were divided into four groups (HiHi, HiLo, LoHi and LoLo). After parturition, all cows received the same lactation diet (NEL=6.73MJ). Irrespective of BCS at dry off, it was demonstrated that cows fed the LoDry diet were physiologically healthier and in less risk of developing metabolic diseases in early lactation, compared to cows with the same late lactation background fed the HiDry diet. This result was established despite the fact that energy intake and milk production in early lactation was not different between the groups with the same BCS at dry off. In early lactation, there was a lower concentration of plasma non-esterified fatty acids and plasma β-hydroxybutyrate and a numeric higher concentration of plasma glucose in the HiLo group compared with the HiHi group. The difference between the LoHi group and the LoLo group showed the same trends. The milk productions in early lactation were related to the treatments in late lactation, irrespective of the dry period feeding treatments hence, implying the importance of acknowledging carry-over effects from the energy intake in the previous lactation.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Effects of Cr2O3 labelling dose, and of faeces sampling schedule, on
           faecal Cr concentration and on digestibility estimation in cattle fed
           high-concentrate diets
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): A. Al Alami , A. Gimeno , A. de Vega , M. Fondevila , C. Castrillo
      Chromic oxide (Cr2O3) is used as digestibility marker with ruminants, although there are concerns about diurnal excretion patterns, irregular excretion over days and optimal concentration in the feed. This study aimed to assess the between- and within-day variability of faecal Cr concentration ([Cr]) in intensively fed cattle given concentrates spiked with 2000 or 4000mg/kg Cr2O3. Repercussions on digestibility estimations were also studied. Sixteen calves were given concentrates labelled with 4000mg/kg (period 1-Ph1) or 2000mg/kg (period 2-Ph2) Cr2O3. After four days of marker consumption, spot samples were taken from the rectum at 9:00h and 17:00h, during four (Ph1) or five (Ph2) consecutive days. Measured Cr in concentrate varied less in Ph1 than in Ph2 (2820±30.1 vs 1690±46.3mg/kg dry matter). Increasing sampling days from 1 to 4 in Ph1, and from 1 to 5 in Ph2, decreased the coefficient of variation of estimated dry matter digestibility from 5.17% to 3.37% in Ph1, and from 6.87% to 3.58% in Ph2, respectively. In conclusion, four days of adaptation to Cr2O3-labelled feed allows a steady [Cr] in intensively reared cattle. Labelling with 4000mg/kg Cr2O3 guarantees the homogeneity of the marker in the diet, and a low time-dependent variability of [Cr].


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Effects of roasting and electron beam irradiating on protein
           characteristics, ruminal degradability and intestinal digestibility of
           soybean and the performance of dairy cows
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Amin Akbarian , Mohammad Khorvash , Gholam Reza Ghorbani , Ebrahim Ghasemi , Mehdi Dehghan-Banadaky , Parvin Shawrang , Morteza Hosseini Ghaffari
      Various methods of processing soybeans (SB) may help to decrease its extent of ruminal degradation, thereby providing more nutrients needed for high producing dairy cows. Two experiments (in situ and in vivo) were conducted to examine the effect of roasting and electron beam irradiating on ruminal degradability and intestinal digestibility of SB and performance of dairy cows. In the in situ trial, nylon bags of untreated (USB), roasted (RSB), and irradiated (ESB) soybean were incubated in the rumen of three non-lactating cows for up to 48h. Additional samples of each SB product were also incubated for 12h in the rumen; the residues from these bags were transferred to mobile bags, soaked in pepsin HCl, and then used for determination of intestinal digestibility. The results showed that the roasting processing was an effective method of changing the site of digestion from the rumen to the small intestine and therefore the amount of digestible crude protein (CP) in the small intestine can be increased. However, total tract disappearance of CP was not significantly different between USM and RSB. Irradiation of SB increased (P<0.05) protein solubility and the degradation rate of the potentially degradable fraction of protein, and decreased (P<0.05) the slowly degraded true protein (B3 fraction) compared to USB. Intestinal digestibility and total tract disappearance of CP were also lower (P<0.05) for ESB than USB and RSB. Proteins of untreated and treated SB residues were fractionated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Based upon electrophoretic patterns, the basic subunits of glycinin formed the major component of escaping protein in ESB while those in RSB samples were the subunits of glycinin and β-subunits of conglycinin. In the in vivo trial, nine lactating Holstein cows (610±23kg and 141±4d in milk) were used in a 3×3 Latin square design with 21-d experimental periods. Treatments had no effect on ruminal ammonia concentrations and blood urea nitrogen. Dry matter intake tended (P=0.11) to be lower in cows fed RSB diet compared to those fed USB and ESB diets. Roasting improved the efficiency milk yield of the lactating cows while irradiation had no impacts on milk production. In conclusion, roasting improved the efficiency of SB protein utilization and milk yield, whereas irradiation increased the rate of ruminal degradation of CP and had no effect on lactation performance of dairy cow.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Estimating effective population size of thoroughbred horses using linkage
           disequilibrium and theta (4Nμ) value
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): Young-Sup Lee , Jin Woo Lee , Heebal Kim
      With the availability of genome-wide data, it has become possible to perform the analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In this study, we used Sved׳s original relationship and the revised Hill׳s formula to determine effective population size. The effective population size (N e) can be calculated as a coefficient when the correlation coefficient of linkage disequilibrium (LD) is related to the recombination rate. We used SNPs with the kinship matrix of all chromosomes, with the kinship matrix of each chromosome, and without the kinship matrix. The calculation of theta (θ) and the mutation rate using the Kimura 2-parameter model (K2P) was used to determine N e. Using these two methods, N e of Korean Thoroughbred horses was estimated to be 79 and 77 for LD and theta (θ), respectively. We also computed the historical effective size of Thoroughbred horses which showed a gradual decrease in size from 100 generations ago to the present.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Association of a new mobile element in predicted promoter region of
           ATP-binding cassette transporter 12 gene (ABCA12) with pig production
           traits
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): K. Piórkowska , K. Ropka-Molik , T. Szmatoła , K. Zygmunt , M. Tyra
      ABCA12 gene encodes the protein of ATP-binding cassette transporter 12, which is probably associated with transport of lipids through cell membrane. In human, the research reveals that a single nucleotide polymorphism of ABCA12 gene is associated with obesity. In turn in pigs, ABCA12 gene is located in the chromosome region that is rich in the quantity traits loci (QTLs) associated with meat quality. Therefore, in this study the regulatory part of ABCA12 gene in pigs was analyzed. In promoter region of the investigated gene a long insertion was discovered that recalled the retrotransposone mobile element terminated by long tandem repeats at 3׳ ends. The analysis of the effect of new polymorphism on the porcine traits was performed in four different breeds used in Polish breeding. It was observed, that a new mobile element in promoter region of ABCA12 gene had some impact on few growth and meat quality traits such as daily gain, feed:gain ratio or meat brightness. This would confirm the fact that in this region on chromosome 15 the QTLs associated with economically important pig traits were identified.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Assessment of population structure depending on breeding objectives in
           Spanish Arabian horse by genealogical and molecular information
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Livestock Science, Volume 168
      Author(s): J.F. Delgado , N. De Andrés , M. Valera , J.P. Gutiérrez , I. Cervantes
      The Arabian Horse is one of the most valued breeds in an international and historical context and has been involved in the formation of many other horse breeds. Since 2005, the Spanish Arabian Horse Breeder Association (AECCA) has developed a breeding program aimed at improving both conformation traits and endurance performance. While this selection depends on individual breeders, a population structure might appear by preferential mating within groups of animals according to different objectives. The aims of this study were to determine the differences between Arabian horses bred for different breeding objectives: endurance competitions, morphological shows and other aptitudes and to check if this structure population can be assessed by using genealogical, molecular tools or both. Genealogical and molecular information was randomly obtained from 120 Arabian horses. The animals were classified into three groups according to the breeding goal: morphology, endurance and other aptitudes. Some initial analyses were carried out to study the structure of the sampled animals using genealogical and molecular parameters. An analysis of the genetic structure using both types of information source was performed. Both molecular and genealogical analyses were congruent, and both seemed to be valid when studying the genetic structure of this population. The correlation between coancestries using molecular and pedigree information was 0.60. The differences between the groups were minimum when compared with the genetic structure within groups. Therefore, a horse with a specific breeding objective is not genetically much different regard the rest of the objectives. However, the morphological group appeared as the most separated from the rest, both at a genealogical and molecular level. Regarding the possible impact of the subdivision in the population it can be claimed that no loss of genetic variability is expected in the short-term, because the groups were genetically connected.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Influence of age and method of carcass suspension on meat quality
           attributes of pure bred Ankole bulls
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): K. Kamatara , D. Mpairwe , M. Christensen , C.E. Eskildsen , D. Mutetikka , J. Muyonga , D. Mushi , S. Omagor , Z. Nantongo , J. Madsen
      This study investigated the effect of age at slaughter, pre-rigor carcass suspension and their interaction on meat quality of longissimus dorsi from Ankole bulls. Ankole bulls (45) were evenly distributed into three age groups (2, 3 or 5 years). Immediately after slaughter, carcasses were weighed, halved and sides were either suspended in the Achilles tendon or pelvic bone until 48h postmortem. Carcass weights, grades and fat scores increased (P<0.001) with increasing age. Pelvic suspended sides had lower (P<0.001) chilling and cooking loss than Achilles-suspended sides across all age groups. Collagen solubility decreased (P<0.001), while shear force increased (P<0.001) with increasing age. Pelvic suspension decreased shear force across all age groups and the decrease was more pronounced in 5 year old bulls. The present study indicates that pelvic suspension is beneficial in eliminating the age-induced increase in toughness in longissimus thoracis from Ankole bulls.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Could animal production become a profession?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): David Fraser
      In the industrialized countries, the intensification of animal production has been widely perceived as a shift from agrarian to industrial production, and the public concerns and policy responses that resulted have closely paralleled the much earlier responses to the Industrial Revolution. During the Industrial Revolution, various concerns arose over the welfare of workers in factories, and the main policy response was a program of legislated controls on factory environments and hours of work. Intensive animal production led to similar concerns over the welfare of animals, and a major policy response has involved standards and regulations for the animals’ physical environment and time in confinement. However, such basic welfare outcomes as lameness, injuries and survival show extremely wide variation between farms using the same type of physical environment. This variation presumably occurs because animal welfare is influenced by many aspects of animal management including hygiene, health protection, nutrition and handling, all of which depend on the skill, knowledge and commitment of animal producers and staff. Hence, valuing and fostering these qualities in people is an important avenue for improving animal welfare, as well as supporting food safety and other socially important goals. “Professions” provide an alternative model of work which is neither agrarian nor industrial and which foster high performance. Professions typically involve three elements: provision of a service that people need and/or value, competence in a specialized area of skill and knowledge demonstrated to peers, and creation of public trust by respecting the interests and ethical expectations of society, normally through self-regulation. Several recent changes make a professional model of animal production appear more feasible than in the past; notably, an increasing need for food is likely to cause animal production to be viewed as an important service, and the growing trend toward certification of farms, if organized and led by producers themselves, could provide a means of ensuring competence and adherence to ethical standards. A professional model of animal production could help to achieve good animal welfare and other socially important goals, and could provide an alternative means for animal producers to establish public trust.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Intakes and excretion route of nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur by
           finishing beef heifers Fed increasing levels of wheat dried distillers
           grains with solubles to substitute for barley grain and barley silage 1
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Y.L. Li , K.A. Beauchemin , T.A. McAllister , W.Z. Yang
      A study was conducted to determine the fecal and urinary excretion of N, P and S with increasing inclusion of wheat dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) to substitute for barley grain and barley silage in finishing diet fed to growing beef heifers. Eight ruminally fistulated Angus heifers were assigned to a replicated 4×4 Latin square design with 21 d periods using diets consisting of barley silage, barley concentrate, and wheat DDGS in ratios of 150:850:0, 100:650:250, 50:650:300 and 0:650:350 (DM basis), respectively, for control (CON), low (DDGS25), medium (DDGS30) and high (DDGS35) DDGS diets. Heifers were fed a total mixed ration for ad libitum intake. Total collection of feces and urine were conducted for 5 days in each experimental period. Intake of N was higher for heifers fed DDGS diets than heifers fed CON diet with no differences among DDGS diets. The increased N intake resulted in an increase in N retention as well as increased N excretion. The N was primarily excreted in urine (∼700g/kg N excreted) with less in feces (∼300g/kg N excreted). Urinary N excretion linearly increased, whereas fecal N excretion linearly decreased, with increasing dietary DDGS inclusion. Intake of P was higher for DDGS than CON, but linearly decreased with increasing DDGS inclusion in the diets due to decreased DMI. Total P excretion was higher whereas P retention was lower in heifers fed DDGS than heifers fed CON diets. The majority of P was excreted by feces (from 897 to 634g/kg P excreted) and linearly decreased with increasing dietary DDGS inclusion; conversely, the urinary P excretion linearly increased. Feeding DDGS diets considerably increased S intake with no differences among DDGS diets. Only a small part of S consumed was retained and the excretion of S via feces was lower, but the excretion via urine was higher, for heifers fed DDGS compared with heifers fed CON diet. Results indicate that inclusion 250 to 350g/kg wheat DDGS in finishing diets substantially increased the intakes and excretion of N, P, and S. Increasing the excretion of N, P, and S is a primary environmental concern when using DDGS in feedlot cattle. Developing nutrient management programs that minimize N, P and S losses to the environment and maximize plant use need to be considered.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Hind genotype influences on lactation and calf growth in farmed red deer
           (Cervus elaphus)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): D.R. Stevens , J.A. Archer , G.W. Asher , J.F. Ward , I.C. Scott , K.T. O'Neill , R.P. Littlejohn , G.K. Barrell
      Multiparous red deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus) hinds (n=18) were artificially inseminated with semen from a red deer stag (n=8) or wapiti bull (C. e. nelsoni) (n=10) to produce red deer or F1 crossbred (C.e. scoticus x C.e. nelsoni) calves. A further seven wapiti x red deer (F1) hinds were artificially inseminated with semen from an unrelated F1 stag to test the hypotheses that (1) crossbred hinds rearing crossbred calves will produce more milk to support calf growth than red deer hinds rearing crossbred calves, and (2) the extra lactation demand of crossbred calves will exert a more detrimental effect on red deer hind live weight and body condition than would occur if the dam was a crossbred hind. Hinds and calves were grazed on ryegrass and white clover pastures and supplemented with pasture silage and barley grain when pasture supply was inadequate. Calves were left with their mothers until approximately 240 days of age. Mean body condition score (BCS) was lower in F1 hinds rearing F2 calves during late lactation (days 150 to 240, P<0.05) than red deer hinds rearing either red deer or F1 calves. F1 calves grew significantly faster than red deer calves and were heavier at all ages, while F2 calves were intermediate. Milk intake of both F1 and F2 calves was higher than red deer calves until day 76 of lactation (P>0.05), but similar thereafter. Male calves had a higher milk intake than female calves at 20 days of age only (P=0.004). The average hind pasture intake was greatest in F1 hinds rearing F2 calves, intermediate in red deer hinds rearing F1 calves and lowest in red deer hinds rearing red deer calves (P=0.038). Total milk output for the lactation increased by approximately 14.6kg/kg average calf live weight at weaning for both F1 hinds rearing F2 calves (P=0.008) and red deer hinds rearing red deer calves (P=0.072), suggesting that calf demand rather than hind liveweight was the key determinant of lactation performance. This was not the case for red deer hinds rearing F1 calves suggesting that there is an upper limit to lactation output depending on hind size. These results do not support the hypothesis that a crossbred hind rearing a crossbred calf will produce more milk than a red deer hind rearing a crossbred calf and provides evidence that the milk production of the hind is primarily driven by milk demand of the calf but has an upper limit depending on the size of the hind. The second hypothesis was not supported as F1 hinds rearing F2 calves exhibited greater loss of body condition score relative to the red deer hinds rearing either red deer or F1 calves in this study. This suggests that the additional energetic demands on a hind from feeding an F1 calf may be met with adequate nutrition.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Genetic parameters for osteoarthrosis, radiographic changes of the
           navicular bone and sidebone, and their correlation with osteochondrosis
           and osteochondral fragments in Hanoverian warmblood horses
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Dorothea Hilla , Ottmar Distl
      In the present study, results of radiographic examinations were used for estimation of genetic parameters for osteoarthrosis (OA) in distal interphalangeal joints, proximal interphalangeal joints, fetlock, hock and stifle joints, radiographic changes in the navicular bones of the forelimbs (RCNB) and sidebone in 7396 Hanoverian Warmblood horses. Radiographic changes were recorded as ordinal traits in dependence of the number of joints affected or, in case of RCNB, of their severity score. In addition, their genetic correlations with osteochondrosis (OC) and osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) in fetlock, hock and stifle joints as well as palmar/plantar osteochondral fragments (POFs) and dorsodistal osteochondral fragments in fetlock joints were determined. The prevalence for OA in hock joints was 21.4%, for OA in fetlock joints 7.4%, for RCNB 33.6% and for sidebone 9.6%. Horses with OA in most cases were affected at only one limb while RCNB and sidebone in most cases were found bilaterally. The heritabilities estimated in a linear animal model and transformed onto the liability scale were at 0.17 for OA in fetlock joints, 0.40 for OA in hock joints, 0.19 for RCNB and 0.59 for sidebone. Additive genetic correlations among OA in fetlock joints, OA in hock joints, RCNB and sidebone were moderate (r g =−0.19 to r g =0.18). The highest additive genetic correlations were found between OA in fetlock joints and OC in fetlock joints (r g =0.71) as well as OCD in fetlock joints (r g =0.62). RCNB showed positive genetic correlations with OC and OCD in the different joints as well as with OFs in hock and stifle joints. POFs and RCNB were genetically negatively correlated. The size of the heritability estimates for OA in fetlock joints, OA in hock joints, RCNB and sidebone seems to be sufficient high that breeding measures can be recommended in order to reduce their prevalence.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Effect of cattle genotype and feeding regime on greenhouse gas emissions
           intensity in High producing dairy cows
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Stephen A. Ross , Mizeck G.G. Chagunda , Cairistiona F.E. Topp , Richard Ennos
      Improving milk production through livestock feeding and genetics is a promising approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from dairy production systems. This study investigated emissions intensity, defined as the global warming potential (GWP) per unit energy corrected milk (ECM) output, of high-producing dairy systems. Objectives of this study were: to determine the effect of forage regime and cattle genetic line on GHG emissions from the life cycle of four directly comparable dairy production systems; to examine differences amongst contributing GHG emissions sources, and to identify key parameters contributing the most uncertainty in overall GWP. Life cycle analysis (LCA) was conducted based on seven years data collected from a long-term Holstein-Friesian genetic and management systems project. The four dairy production systems comprised two feeding regimes of High and Low Forage applied to each of two genetic lines. The Control line represented the average UK genetics and Select line representing the top 5% of UK genetics for milk fat and protein. Select genetic line animals managed under Low Forage regime was estimated to hold potential to reduce emissions intensity by 24% compared to Control genetic merit cows managed under a High Forage regime. Individually, improving genetic merit of the herd and implementing Low Forage regime hold potential to reduce emissions intensity by 9% and 16% respectively. Key factors in the differences amongst systems were greater off-farm emissions under Low Forage regime, and greater on-farm nitrous oxide emissions associated with High Forage. In contrast to overall emissions, the emissions intensity was lower in Low Forage groups than in High Forage groups because of high milk yield in Low Forage groups. Six key parameters contained the greatest influence on uncertainty in results. These included: three Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) coefficients concerning indirect emissions from volatilized nitrogen (EF4), direct nitrous oxide emissions from nitrogen input to soil (EF1), and emissions from direct deposition of excreta at pasture (EF3 PRP); and three system-specific emissions factors for animals’ excreted nitrogen rate, enteric methane and manure methane. The coefficients EF4, EF1, and EF3 PRP should be prioritized for better definition in order to minimize uncertainty in future studies.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • The water disappearance and manure production at commercial
           growing-finishing pig farms
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): J.M.R. Tavares , P. Belli Filho , A. Coldebella , P.A.V. Oliveira
      Nowadays, livestock production, and literature regarding same, is confronted with a serious lack of information and tools to estimate and compare the real water disappearance (animal intake plus wastage) and manure production at commercial pig farms. An experiment was conducted over 13 months at 15 commercial growing-finishing pig farms, aiming the determination of water disappearance and manure production, using 3 different types of drinkers [bite-ball nipple (BB), nipple (NI), and bowl (BO)]. Two seasons, with 6928 and 6348 pigs (both: 9 weeks old and 24.5kg average body weight) were studied considering 2 housing periods (10 and 15 weeks). A total of 55 water meters [one water meter on each water line that supplies the housing building (pigs intake, cooling system and cleaning facilities)] and 15 fiberglass tanks (each 5m3) were installed at farms to determine the water disappearance and manure production. The BO drinkers were fixed permanently at 0.25m above the floor while the others were set at 0.05m above the shoulder height of the smallest pig in the pen. All data were recorded on a daily basis. The Gompertz nonlinear function was applied to the average weekly data to obtain mathematical equations that predict the water disappearance and manure production at growing-finishing farms. Independently of the drinker type, the water disappearance and manure production for the whole experiment (15 weeks) were 8.83±1.37 and 4.46±0.82L·pig/d, respectively. The water disappearance of the 2 seasons differed with the average value for the warm being 14% higher (P<0.005). Manure production results were similar: 4.57±0.17 for cold season and 4.35±0.17L·pig/d for the warm season (P=0.365). The NI drinker presented the lowest average water disappearance for the entire experiment (7.23±0.31L·pig/d; 15 weeks) and differed significantly (P<0.001) from the BB (~19%) and BO (~16%). The farms with the NI drinker also presented the lowest average manure volumes for the experiment (3.98±0.21L·pig/d), differing statistically from the BB farms (5.09±0.19L·pig/d; P<0.002). The mathematical equations obtained by the Gompertz nonlinear function presented R 2 values of 0.996 and 0.997 for the water disappearance and manure production, respectively. The results obtained at the commercial growing-finishing farms show that in uncontrolled conditions (e.g., level of water flow and differing water qualities), the water disappearance and manure production are significantly influenced by the drinker type. The mathematical equations and other results obtained provide very good explanations for water disappearance and manure production profiles.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Understanding farmers' intention to adopt improved natural grassland using
           the Theory of Planned Behavior
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): João Augusto Rossi Borges , Alfons G.J.M. Oude Lansink , Claudio Marques Ribeiro , Vanessa Lutke
      Studies on the adoption of innovations usually ignore underlying psychological constructs that affect farmers' decisions and behavior, such as intention, perceptions, and beliefs. This paper uses psychological constructs from the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to analyze factors that affect the adoption of improved natural grassland. The TPB hypothesizes that adoption is driven by intention, which in turn is determined by three psychological constructs: attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. These three psychological constructs are derived from behavioral, normative and control beliefs, respectively. The first objective was to identify the influence of attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control on the intention of farmers to use improved natural grassland. The second objective was to understand the role of farmers' beliefs as drivers of their attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. The theoretical framework and model were applied to a sample of 214 Brazilian cattle farmers. Results showed that attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control were all positively and significantly correlated with intention. The intention of farmers to use improved natural grassland was therefore influenced by farmers' evaluation of the use of improved natural grassland (attitude), their perceptions about the social pressure to use this innovation (subjective norm), and their perceptions about their own capability (perceived behavioral control). Six behavioral beliefs were the drivers of attitude: increase cattle weight gains, increase number of animals per hectare, have pasture throughout the year, increase pasture resistance, prevent soil erosion, and decrease feeding costs. Seven normative beliefs were the drivers of subjective norm: family, friends, neighbor farmers, cattle traders, workers in the place where they buy their inputs, extension agents, and government. Three control beliefs were the drivers of perceived behavioral control: sufficient knowledge, sufficient skills, and availability of qualified technical assistance. The drivers of attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control can be used by policy makers to increase the adoption rate of improved natural grassland. Emphasis should be given to the six perceived benefits of adopting improved natural grassland, the drivers of attitude. The individuals and groups who were found to influence farmers' decisions to use it, the drivers of subjective norm, can be used as channels to disseminate information about the innovation. The drivers of perceived behavioral control are factors which facilitate the use of improved natural grassland. Ensuring that these three factors are available to farmers can improve the adoption rate for this innovation.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Effects of age and growth rate at onset of boar exposure on oestrus
           manifestation and first farrowing performance of Landrace x large white
           gilts
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): D. Magnabosco , E.C.P. Cunha , M.L. Bernardi , I. Wentz , F.P. Bortolozzo
      The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of age and growth rate until the onset of boar exposure on oestrus manifestation and reproductive performance in Landrace × Large White crossbred gilts (DanBred). Gilts were retrospectively classified into groups according to age at boar exposure – BE (140–155 and 156–170 days) and in three classes of growth rate (GR) at BE (Low GR: 500–575g/d; Intermediate GR: 580–625g/d; and High GR: 630–790g/d). Overall, gilts had an average weight of 105.4±0.53kg and age of 170.6±0.41 days at their first oestrus. There was no significant effect of age × GR interaction (P>0.05) on weight and age at first oestrus, interval between boar exposure and oestrus (BEOI), and percentages of gilts showing oestrus. Gilts exposed at 140–155 days of age showed oestrus at a lower age (167.6±0.76 vs. 173.7±0.73 days) but with similar BEOI (15.1±0.75 vs. 14.2±0.73 days) and weight (104.7±1.04 vs. 105.5±1.00kg) compared with gilts exposed at 156–170 days (P<0.05). Gilts exposed to boar at 140–155 days had lower oestrus manifestation (60.8 vs. 77.0%) within 30 days than those exposed at 156–170 days of age. High GR gilts showed the first oestrus at a lower age (169.3±0.78 vs. 172.1±0.82 days of age) and had a shorter BEOI (13.5±0.77 vs. 16.0±0.81 days) than Low GR gilts (P<0.05). Lower percentages of gilts in oestrus within 30 days after BE (P<0.05) were observed in Low GR and Intermediate GR gilts (65.5 and 64.3%) than in High GR gilts (74.3%). Farrowing rate and number of total born piglets were neither affected by age and GR at onset of boar exposure nor by their interaction (P>0.05). In conclusion, first oestrus manifestation is greater when gilts are exposed to boars after 155 days of age or with a GR >625g/d. Provided that gilts are bred with a minimum of 130kg, the reproductive performance is not affected by age or GR at boar exposure.


      PubDate: 2014-10-04T04:01:21Z
       
  • Effects of replacing soybean meal with dried rumen digesta on feed intake,
           digestibility of nutrients, rumen fermentation and nitrogen use efficiency
           in Thai cattle fed on rice straw
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): A. Cherdthong , M. Wanapat , A. Saenkamsorn , N. Waraphila , W. Khota , D. Rakwongrit , N. Anantasook , P. Gunun
      This study assessed the feed intake, nutrient intake, apparent digestibility of nutrient, rumen fermentation and nitrogen utilization of beef cattle fed with different soybean meal (SBM) replacement levels with dried rumen digesta (DRD) at 0, 33, 67 and 100%. Four 1.5-year-old Thai native beef cattle steers with initial body weight (BW±SD) of 92.1±4.59kg were used in a 4×4 Latin square design. All animals were fed rice straw ad libitum while additional concentrate was fed at 0.5% BW daily. Replacement of DRD for SBM were not altered (P>0.05) on total DM intake while the intake of rice straw of the 100% DRD diet was higher than that of the other diets, and it significantly increased with increase in the replacement level of SBM with DRD (P<0.05). Intakes of organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (aNDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF), digestible organic matter intake, digestible organic matter fermented in the rumen and metabolizable energy showed no difference when compared to those on the control diet (P>0.05). The experimental diets has no effect (P>0.05) on the apparent digestibilities of DM, OM, CP and ADF while aNDF digestibility increased with an increase of DRD in the diet and was highest when inclusion of 100% DRD. No differences (P>0.05) were found in ammonia nitrogen concentration, total volatile fatty acid (VFA) and VFAs profiles in the rumen fluid of cattle fed with DRD when compared to those on control diet. Similarly, N use efficiencies were not altered with level of DRD in the diet. Based on this study, it could be concluded that replacement of SBM by DRD as feed ingredient in cattle diets up to 100% dietary level resulted in improved rice straw intake and aNDF digestibility in beef cattle, without affecting the rumen fermentation or nitrogen use efficiency.


      PubDate: 2014-09-23T03:26:09Z
       
  • Computational approach to utilisation of mitochondrial DNA in the
           verification of complex pedigree errors
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): Mato Čačić , Vlatka Cubric Curik , Strahil Ristov , Ino Curik
      Mitochondrial DNA information can be used to verify pedigree concordance of both close and remote relatives along maternal lines. Different haplotypes in the same maternal line point out to an error in the pedigree. This has been used in several studies as the indication of the accuracy of the pedigree data. In all of these studies the collation of the haplotype data has been performed manually. With large pedigrees this is a tedious work prone to mistakes. We present the computational approach to this task based on the algorithm that systematically traces non-concordance among all sequenced individuals through maternal pedigree. Based on the number of found errors, we have introduced several numerical descriptors of pedigree quality. We demonstrate the functionality of our program with the analysis of a small example taken from a long and complex Lipizzan horse pedigree.


      PubDate: 2014-09-23T03:26:09Z
       
  • Effect of dietary supplementation of bacteriophage on growth performance
           and cecal bacterial populations in broiler chickens raised in different
           housing systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): J.H. Kim , J.W. Kim , B.B. Lee , G.I. Lee , J.H. Lee , G.-B. Kim , D.Y. Kil
      This experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of dietary bacteriophage (BP) on growth performance and cecal bacterial populations in broiler chickens raised in different housing systems. A total of 1,170 1-d-old broiler chickens were housed in either battery cages (120 birds) or conventional floor pens (1,050 birds). Within each housing system, birds were randomly allotted to 1 of 3 dietary treatments with 5 replicates. Dietary treatments included basal diets (negative control; NC), basal diets with 0.025 g/kg avilamycin (positive control; PC), and basal diets with 0.5g/kg BP mixture (BP5). The mixture of the individual BP targeting at Salmonella Gallinarum, Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Derby, Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium perfringens was used in this experiment. Diets were fed to birds for d 35. The effects of housing systems, dietary treatments, and their interactions were analyzed. No interactions for all measurements were observed, and thus, the main effects were presented. During overall experiment, birds raised in battery cages had greater (P<0.01) BW gain (BWG), feed intake, and less (P<0.01) feed conversion ratio (FCR) than those raised in floor pens. Greater BWG was observed (P<0.05) for PC treatment than for NC treatment, but those for BP5 treatment had intermediate values between other treatment groups. The FCR was less (P<0.05) for PC and BP5 treatment groups than for NC treatment, but there was no difference between PC treatment and BP5 treatment. For cecal bacterial populations, birds raised in battery cages had less (P<0.05) DNA copy numbers for Clostridium perfringens, but greater (P<0.05) DNA copy numbers for Escherichia coli than those raised in floor pens. The BP5 treatment had less (P<0.05) DNA copy numbers for Clostridium perfringens compared with NC treatment. In conclusion, dietary BP improves growth performance of broiler chickens and decreases targeted pathogenic bacteria populations, especially for Clostridium perfringens in the gastrointestinal tract. This positive effect is likely independent of housing systems.


      PubDate: 2014-09-23T03:26:09Z
       
  • Barley does not change threonine requirement in growing pigs fed a
           barley-casein-based diet compared to a casein-based diet, as determined by
           the indicator amino acid oxidation method
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): S.B. Myrie , R.F. Bertolo , S. Moehn , R.O. Ball
      Ileal threonine (Thr) losses increase when young pigs are fed high fiber ingredients such as barley. Barley contains several anti-nutritive factors, e.g., insoluble fibers, which stimulate the secretion of intestinal mucin, a Thr-rich glycoprotein. We hypothesized that because the gut utilizes the majority of dietary Thr, primarily for mucin synthesis, an increase in mucin secretion and ileal losses of Thr will increase the whole body Thr requirement. The objective of this experiment was to compare the Thr requirement of pigs fed a barley-casein diet to a casein diet, using the indicator amino acid oxidation technique. Six barrows were fed diets containing 12% casein or 50% barley/6% casein at 50g /kg body weight/d. After a 7-d adaptation on the 0.35g Thr/kg body weight casein-based diet, pigs were fed casein diets with each of seven Thr levels (0.21 to 0.54g Thr/kg body weight in a random order) for 2 days with phenylalanine oxidation measured at the end of each period. After a 10-d adaptation to the barley-based diet, the same protocol was followed for barley-based diets with seven Thr levels in the same pigs. Using two-phase linear regression crossover analysis to determine breakpoints in individual pigs, the requirement on casein diet was 0.355±0.014g Thr/kg body weight/day, and 0.397±0.038g Thr/kg body weight/day on barley diets. Overall there was no difference (P>0.05) in Thr requirement between diets.


      PubDate: 2014-09-23T03:26:09Z
       
  • Growth performance, carcass and non-carcass characteristics of Mubende and
           MubendexBoer crossbred goats under different feeding regimes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): D. Asizua , D. Mpairwe , F. Kabi , D. Mutetikka , K. Kamatara , T. Hvelplund , M.R. Weisbjerg , S.K. Mugasi , J. Madsen
      A surge in the demand for goats’ meat both locally and internationally has prompted many goat farmers in Uganda to venture into commercial goat production. However, goat production is highly challenged by breed characteristics and extreme fluctuations in feed quantity and quality. This study evaluated the effects of supplementing grazing Mubende goats and their crossbreds (Mubende x Boer) with concentrates on growth, carcass and non-carcass characteristics. A 2×3 factorial treatment arrangement was used to randomly allocate 96 pure Mubende and Mubende x Boer castrates (mean±SE; 31.3±2.2kg initial weight) aged between 9 and 15 months, to three feeding regimes. The feeding regimes included (i) sole grazing (SGZ) as control, (ii) control+concentrate containing molasses (MCM) and (iii) control+concentrate without molasses (MCC). Concentrate dry matter intake was higher (P<0.001) in the crossbreds regardless of concentrate type, however, inclusion of molasses resulted in lower concentrate intake. The Mubende goats were more efficient in utilising concentrate with molasses while the crossbreds utilised concentrate without molasses more efficiently. Average daily gain (ADG) was higher (P<0.001) in the crossbreds and in the supplemented groups. Slaughter weight, empty body weight and hot carcass weight were also higher (P<0.001) in the crossbreds than the pure Mubende. Supplementation reduced gut fill (P<0.001) and increased (P<0.001) hot carcass weight and dressing percentage in both genotypes. Proportion of non-carcass components as percentage of empty body weight did not vary between genotypes but supplementation reduced (P<0.01) proportion of skin with hocks and empty stomach. Kidney fat, omental fat and scrotal fat increased (P<0.001) with supplementation. Therefore, crossbreeding together with supplementation of grazing can considerably improve goat meat production, however, caution should be taken on the level of concentrate supplement offered as tendency for absolute substitution of concentrate for grass/browse by goats was observed in this study.


      PubDate: 2014-09-23T03:26:09Z
       
  • Effect of rotationally grazing perennial ryegrass white clover or
           perennial ryegrass only swards on dairy cow feeding behaviour, rumen
           characteristics and sward depletion patterns
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): D. Enriquez-Hidalgo , D. Hennessy , T. Gilliland , M. Egan , J.F. Mee , E. Lewis
      The effect of sward type, grass only (GO) or grass white clover (GWc), on lactating dairy cow feeding behaviour, herbage depletion rate and rumen function was investigated in rotationally strip-grazed swards at a daily herbage allowance of 17kg dry matter (DM)/cow/day, in two experiments. In 2011, eight rumen-cannulated cows were blocked into two groups and allocated to each sward type for a 14-d period in a change-over design (2 sward types×2 periods) on three occasions: late spring, summer, and autumn. Feeding behaviour, rumen pH and rumen volatile fatty acids and ammonia contents were measured. Following a continuous design, in 2012 feeding behaviour and herbage depletion rate measurements were undertaken at similar times to those in 2011 over 2 to 3 weeks in late spring, summer and autumn. Twenty-six (spring) and 36 (summer and autumn) cows were used. Grazing sward height (GSH) was measured five times/d. The percentage of grazed vegetative units, and the extended tiller height, free leaf lamina, tiller DM weight and tiller leaf DM weight of perennial ryegrass (ryegrass) tillers were estimated four times/d. During late spring, summer and autumn, sward white clover content (DM basis) was 7.5, 8.8 and 30.9%, respectively, in 2011, and 18.0, 29.7 and 30.6%, respectively, in 2012. In 2011 cows had similar grazing times on both sward types. Cows on GWc spent less time ruminating than cows on GO. Cows had similar total volatile fatty acids on both swards but the isoacids and D-lactic acid percentages, ammonia content and rumen pH were higher in autumn for cows grazing GWc. In 2012, cows on GWc grazed for longer in late spring, ruminated for less time in summer and for less time at night in autumn compared to cows grazing the GO sward. Both sward types had similar post grazing sward heights and sward height depletion rates, except during morning grazing in autumn, when GWc had a greater sward height depletion rate. A similar percentage of grazed ryegrass tillers was observed between sward types, but the percentage of ryegrass grazed was greater than the percentage of white clover grazed in the GWc swards. The ryegrass tillers in the GWc swards were smaller than those in the GO swards but had similar depletion rates. The GWc swards influenced cow feeding behaviour and rumen characteristics with increased effect in autumn because of an increase in white clover content and a decrease in ryegrass quality.


      PubDate: 2014-09-19T03:08:41Z
       
  • Adaptation to Himalayan High altitude pasture sites by yaks and different
           types of hybrids of yaks with cattle
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): S.R. Barsila , M. Kreuzer , N.R. Devkota , L. Ding , S. Marquardt
      Yaks are well adapted to the harsh climate and hypoxia occurring under high altitude grazing conditions of the Himalayan Mountains. However, it is unclear to which degree different types of hybrids of yaks and cattle, common in the Himalaya, tolerate these conditions and how they perform and behave under these circumstances. Six multiparous females, each of yaks (Bos grunniens) and two hybrid types (B. taurus (♂)×B. grunniens (♀) (Dimjos) and B. grunniens (♂)×B. indicus (♀) (Urangs)) were investigated at a high (4700m, August) and a medium altitude pasture site (3050m, October). After 1 week of adaptation, at both pasture sites milk yield and composition, body weight, metabolic traits and movement behaviour were measured during 6 days and analysed for effects of pasture site, genotype and interaction. Blood haemoglobin was high in yaks, intermediate in Dimjos and low in Urangs. At the high altitude pasture site, yaks had the lowest and Urangs had the highest blood lactate concentrations. These differences disappeared at the medium altitude site. Heart rate was higher and heart rate variability smaller at the high altitude site. Respiration rate was highest in the evening and rectal temperature in the morning in all groups at the high altitude site, being highest in yaks. At the high altitude site, the animals spent overall more time (min/24h) standing (931) and less time lying (333) than at the medium altitude site (608 and 603, respectively), with the least altitude differences found in the yaks. Yield of energy-corrected milk (kg/day) was highest in Dimjos (2.7 vs. 1.9 and 1.9 in yaks and Urangs, respectively) and declined from high (3.1) to medium altitude site (1.3); this probably influenced by stage of lactation and forage quality. The same trend was found for milk fat and protein yields. Yak milk had the highest fat content, especially at the medium altitude site. Results showed that both hybrid types were less tolerant to the conditions at the high altitude pasture site than yaks. Among hybrids, Dimjos were superior to Urangs in their tolerance of the particular pasture conditions, and also showed a better performance than the Urangs at both pasture sites.


      PubDate: 2014-09-19T03:08:41Z
       
  • Effect of the reduction of the crude protein content of diets supplemented
           with essential amino acids on the performance of piglets weighing 6 to 15
           kilograms
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 September 2014
      Source:Livestock Science
      Author(s): J.B. Toledo , A.C. Furlan , P.C. Pozza , L.M. Piano , P.L.O. Carvalho , L.M. Peñuela-Sierra , L.M.D. Huepa
      Two experiments were conducted to assess the effect of the reduction of the crude protein content of diets supplemented with amino acids on piglets weighing 6 to 15kg. In the performance experiment (Experiment I), 120 piglets weaned at 21 days of age with initial live weights of 5.95±0.33kg were distributed into five treatment groups. This grouping followed a randomized block design with eight repetitions and three animals per experimental unit. The treatments consisted of five different diets, in which the crude protein content were reduced from 21.0 to 15.0% (21.0%, 19.5%, 18.0%, 16.5%, and 15.0% CP); the amino acid requirements of the diet were met by adding L-lysine, DL-methionine, L-threonine, L-tryptophan, L-valine, and L-isoleucine. No differences were found in the variables associated with performance among animals from different treatment groups. Therefore, any of the investigated crude protein levels can effectively be used in piglet diets supplemented with synthetic amino acids. The essential/non-essential amino acid ratio (EAA: NEAA) increased with the reduction of the crude protein content, and the best ratio (53:47) was achieved with the diet with 15% of protein. Urea concentrations decreased linearly with protein reduction (Experiment I). To assess the nitrogen balance (Experiment II), 20 crossbred male castrated piglets from a commercial lineage, weaned at 21 days of age, were randomly assigned in two blocks, in which each block had two replicates (4 replicates per treatment). The average live weight of the piglets was 10.79±2.19kg. The animals were housed in metal cages and were distributed into five treatment groups following a randomized block design with four repetitions; the experimental unit consisted of one piglet. The nitrogen excretion and blood and urine urea concentrations decreased linearly (P<0.05) with the reduction of crude protein in the diets, resulting in reduced nitrogen excretion into the environment.


      PubDate: 2014-09-09T02:31:52Z
       
 
 
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