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Animal Production Science is an international journal publishing original research and reviews on the production of food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals. More

Editor-in-Chief: Wayne Bryden

 
 
 

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Published online 20 July 2016
Effect of long-term rumen-protected methionine supplementation on performance of Shami goats and growth performance of their kids 
H. H. Titi

An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of rumen-protected methionine on performance of late pregnant and early lactating goats and growth of their suckling kids. Seventy-five goat dams were divided into three equal groups and supplemented with 0, 2.5, or 5 g/head.day. Supplementation with RPM increased milk production and milk protein content with no changes in milk fat content. Growth performance and birth weights of born kids were not affected.

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Published online 20 July 2016
Effect of probiotic Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain H57 on productivity and the incidence of diarrhoea in dairy calves 
Oanh T. Le, Peter J. Dart, Karen Harper, Dagong Zhang, Benjamin Schofield, Matthew J. Callaghan, Allan T. Lisle, Athol V. Klieve and David M. McNeill

Probiotics are gaining in popularity as a non-antibiotic alternative to improve health and performance of calves. The aim was to show a novel spore-forming probiotic, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain H57, was able to be incorporated into calf pellets to improve the transition from milk to dry feed. H57 calves weaned 9 days earlier had less diarrhoea and were 19% more efficient in converting feed to liveweight.

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Published online 18 July 2016
Effects of high ambient temperature on meat quality, serum hormone concentrations, and gene expression in the longissimus dorsi muscle of finishing pigs 
Z. B. Shi, X. Y. Ma, C. T. Zheng, Y. J. Hu, X. F. Yang, K. G. Gao, L. Wang and Z. Y. Jiang

Few studies have focused on the influence of chronic exposure to high ambient temperature on meat quality of finishing pigs until now. We researched it and found that high temperature decreased intramuscular fat content of pigs because of the reduction in feed intake. Independently of its effect on feed intake, high ambient temperature affected the meat quality of finishing pigs by increasing the pH value and inducing a transition of muscle fibre types from IIb to IIx.

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Published online 13 July 2016
Impact of young ewe fertility rate on risk and genetic gain in sheep-breeding programs using genomic selection 
J. E. Newton, D. J. Brown, S. Dominik and J. H. J. van der Werf

The impact of young-ewe fertility rate, selection age and genomic information on genetic gain in sheep-breeding programs was evaluated using stochastic simulation. Yearling-ewe fertility level, ram and ewe age and the availability of genomic information all significantly (P < 0.05) influenced genetic gain. On average, at fertility levels of 10% and above in yearling ewes, flock genetic progress is unlikely to be adversely affected and there is no increase in breeding-program risk.

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Published online 12 July 2016
Hay quality and intake by dairy cows. 2. Predicting feed intake with consumer-demand models 
R. J. Sadler, D. B. Purser and S. K. Baker

Dairy cows are in some ways very much like human consumers; they select from among a variety of foods on the basis of the nutritive characteristics of those foods. When a cow is offered two oaten hays simultaneously, we provide a means of predicting how much of each hay will be consumed. Accurate prediction of hay intake will enable the selection of a set of hays that maximises the nutritive value of what dairy cows consume, and thereby maximises milk production.

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Published online 11 July 2016
Growth performance, carcass traits, behaviour and welfare of New Zealand White rabbits housed in different enriched cages 
Hesham Mohammed and Mohammed Nasr

From the last decade and onward, consumers are interested in obtaining high-quality products from animals reared and kept under a high welfare environment. We aimed to investigate the impact of gnawing sticks (of apple or willow tree) as environmental enrichment on the performance, carcass traits and behaviour of individually housed growing rabbits. Enriched cages increased the final bodyweight, some carcass traits, and reduced abnormal behaviour, and potentially improved rabbit welfare in intensive rabbit breeding.

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Published online 11 July 2016
Pre- and peri-pubertal feed intake: effects on age at puberty and potential litter size of replacement gilts 
W. H. E. J. van Wettere, M. Mitchell, D. K. Revell and P. E. Hughes

Productivity of the sow breeding herd is determined by age at puberty and first litter size. From our study, we know that puberty is delayed by long, but not short, periods of mild feed restriction, and that flush feeding increases ovulation rate but not potential litter size. Our study demonstrates the importance of ensuring adequate nutrition throughout the gilt’s life, and indicates that oocyte quality and uterine capacity, rather than ovulation rate, determine first litter size.

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Published online 11 July 2016
Effects of protected omega-3 fatty acid derived from linseed oil and vitamin E on growth performance, apparent digestibility, blood characteristics and meat quality of finishing pigs 
Santi D. Upadhaya, Tian Shui Li and In Ho Kim

Due to the increased awareness of health benefits derived from omega-3 fatty acid and consumer demand for value-added pork products, this study focused on dietary inclusion of omega-3 and vitamin E singly or in combination to evaluate growth performance, meat quality and blood profile in finishing pigs. The supplementation of vitamin E alone improved surface longissimus muscle redness and increased IgG concentration in serum, whereas the combination of omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin E reduced cortisol concentration in serum. The changes reported here for IgG and cortisol suggest vitamin E and omega-3 have the potential to improve the immune status of growing pigs.

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Published online 11 July 2016
Effects of different monochromatic LED light colours on fear reactions and physiological responses in Mulard ducks 
Radi A. Mohamed, Usama A. Abou-Ismail and Mustafa Shukry

The colour of the light during rearing periods of birds affects their behaviour, performance and welfare. We investigated the effects of light colours on fear reactions and physiology of Mulard ducks. Rearing ducks in blue or green light reduces their fear reactions and physiological responses to stress and improves their welfare compared with rearing them in red or white colour light.

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Published online 11 July 2016
CAPN1 gene as a potential marker for growth performance and carcass characteristics in pigs 
K. Ropka-Molik, E. Robert, M. Tyra, K. Piórkowska, M. Oczkowicz, M. Szyndler-N?dza and A. Bereta

The following manuscript presents the estimation of the effect of polymorphism within µ-calpain gene (CAPN1) on the most important slaughter and fattening traits and characteristics of pork quality. The results obtained will be helpful in verification of potential use of CAPN1 gene as a genetic marker in selection. The presented data would be a base for further research in the field of the genetics of quantitative traits in pigs.

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Published online 06 July 2016
Carcass and meat properties of six genotypes of young bulls finished under feedlot tropical conditions of Mexico 
O. V. Vazquez-Mendoza, G. Aranda-Osorio, M. Huerta-Bravo, A. E. Kholif, M. M. Y. Elghandour, A. Z. M. Salem and E. Maldonado-Simán

Studying the carcass and meat properties of young bulls finished under feedlot temperate conditions of Mexico is very important for meat consumers. Therefore, the effect of six genotypes in Mexico on carcass and meat characteristics of young steers finished under feedlot conditions was tested. Results showed that the crossbred genotypes had better feedlot performance and carcass characteristics.

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Published online 05 July 2016
Resource use and greenhouse gas emissions from grain-finishing beef cattle in seven Australian feedlots: a life cycle assessment 
Stephen Wiedemann, Rod Davis, Eugene McGahan, Caoilinn Murphy and Matthew Redding

Agricultural industries face the challenge of maintaining and expanding production to meet global food requirements with fewer resources, while producing lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This study quantified energy and water use, land occupation and GHG emissions from beef grain-finishing systems in eastern Australia. Fresh water consumption and stress-weighted water use varied in response to regional water availability for feed production. Energy demand, land use and GHG emissions varied in response to average daily gain, which differed between market types.

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Published online 05 July 2016
Greenhouse-gas emissions from stockpiled and composted dairy-manure residues and consideration of associated emission factors 
J. Biala, N. Lovrick, D. Rowlings and P. Grace

Composting is a popular way of managing organic residues, including animal manures, but it is not clear whether it also offers an opportunity for farmers to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Field measurements at a dairy farm showed higher emissions from composting of solid dairy manure than from stockpiling because some best management principles for composting were ignored, resulting in high gaseous nitrogen losses. Adequate incentives are needed for farmers to reduce nitrogen losses and minimise greenhouse-gas emissions.

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Published online 05 July 2016
Cassava root fermented with yeast improved feed digestibility in Brahman beef cattle 
C. Promkot, P. Nitipot, N. Piamphon, N. Abdullah and A. Promkot

It is important to find alternative feed resources as sources of protein in rations of beef cattle to improve nutrient digestibility. This study evaluated the effect of yeast-fermented cassava root (YEFECAR) as a feed ingredient in the concentrate diet in beef cattle. Results show that YEFECAR at 20% in concentrate feed tended to enhance fibre digestibility in cattle.

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Published online 05 July 2016
Niacin feeding to fresh dairy cows: immediate effects on health and milk production 
J. M. Havlin, P. H. Robinson and J. E. Garrett

Early lactation dairy cows are frequently in negative energy balance, making them susceptible to serious life-threatening diseases such as ketosis. Because the B-vitamin niacin reduces mobilisation (use) of stored body fat, it may moderate this negative energy balance and reduce blood accumulation of the non-esterified fatty acids that cause ketosis. Low level niacin feeding improved health and production in early lactation cows, but because higher feeding levels had negative impacts, this strategy has limited practical applicability.

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Published online 05 July 2016
Relationships between the activity of respiratory-chain complexes in pre- (biopsy) or post-slaughter muscle samples and feed efficiency in random-bred Ghezel lambs 
M. J. Zamiri, R. Mehrabi, G. R. Kavoosi and H. Rajaei Sharifabadi

Feed efficiency can be more accurately estimated by measuring the residual feed intake (RFI), which is laborious and time-consuming. Physiological criteria for RFI determination would facilitate genetic selection for feed efficiency using RFI. We found that mitochondrial enzyme activity measured in biopsied muscle samples provides a useful procedure for genetic selection of lambs for this component of feed efficiency.

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Published online 24 June 2016
Performance of cattle reared on rangelands supplemented with farm-formulated diets during the dry season in Zimbabwe 
J. Gusha, T. Chiuta, S. Katsande, P. I. Zvinorova and S. M. Kagande

Annual calving and fast growth rate in cattle is very vital to cattlemen; however, the challenge remains how to achieve that without incurring an extra cost in supplementary feeding. This study evaluated the use of alternate cheap farm produce feed supplements and the results proved to be the winning formula for all resources constrained livestock farmers. With these farm formulated diets cattle grow faster, calve annually and the returns are higher, meaning resources constrained farmers no longer have problems in maximising livestock production to better their lives and improve the food security of many nations.

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Published online 23 June 2016
Guardian dogs protect sheep by guarding sheep, not by establishing territories and excluding predators 
Lee R. Allen, Ninian Stewart-Moore, Damian Byrne and Benjamin L. Allen

Guardian dogs have protected livestock from predators for centuries, but how do they work? Repeated occurrences of dingoes/wild dogs inside sheep paddocks patrolled by maremma guardian dogs suggest they guard sheep by preventing interactions not by defending a territory and excluding intruders. Understanding that wild dogs regularly frequent sheep paddocks for hours and sometimes days can be important when considering livestock management practices.

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Published online 23 June 2016
Effects of dietary selenium-yeast concentrations on growth performance and carcass composition of ducks 
Milan Ž. Baltić, Marija Dokmanović Starčević, Meho Bašić, Amir Zenunović, Jelena Ivanović, Radmila Marković, Jelena Janjić, Hava Mahmutović and Nataša Glamočlija

The effects of selenium (Se)-yeast diet supplementation on performance and carcass composition in ducks has great importance in the production of meat and functional foods. This study shows that a diet containing 0.4 mg of added Se per kilogram produced the greatest growth-performance results in ducks. The highest dietary supplementation level of Se did not improve performance.

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Published online 21 June 2016
Ruminal fermentation, nutrient digestibility and microbial protein synthesis in sheep fed diets with different levels of date pulp 
A. Khezri, S. Javidan, O. Dayani and R. Tahmasbi

Date pulp (DP) is an important by-product of the date palm industry that can be used as a proper feed source for small ruminants. Therefore, the effect of different levels of DP in sheep nutrition was studied. This study showed that DP at 14% can be used as an alternative feed resource in sheep nutrition, especially in semiarid areas.

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Published online 21 June 2016
Pigs experimentally infected with an enterotoxigenic strain of Escherichia coli have improved feed efficiency and indicators of inflammation with dietary supplementation of tryptophan and methionine in the immediate post-weaning period 
M. M. Capozzalo, J. C. Kim, J. K. Htoo, C. F. M. de Lange, B. P. Mullan, C. F. Hansen, J. W. Resink and J. R. Pluske

The post-weaning period for pigs is characterised by a myriad of stressors including exposure and often infection with Escherichia coli. These stressors may increase the requirement for some essential amino acid such as tryptophan and sulfur amino acids. The present study found that dietary supplementation of weaner pigs with tryptophan and sulfur amino acids had additive beneficial effects on feed conversion to body gain as well as anti-inflammatory effects and reduced plasma urea, a marker of protein utilisation.

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Published online 20 June 2016
Vitamin A deficiency in Bos indicus heifers fed a wheat straw diet cannot be corrected with algae lick blocks or intramuscular injectable retinyl palmitate treatments 
A. J. Parker, J. P. Goopy, M. J. Callaghan, J. J. Vermunt and R. de Nys

Primary vitamin A deficiency occurs during the dry season in northern Australia when cattle graze senesced forage. Injectable vitamin A or an oral β-carotene source from algae failed to replete vitamin A concentrations in cattle fed a poor quality forage diet. Vitamin A-deficient cattle require concurrent protein and vitamin A supplementation to replete vitamin A concentrations when fed poor quality forage.

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Published online 17 June 2016
Effect of parity on changes in udder traits, milk yield and composition of West African dwarf sheep during lactation 
E. O. Adegoke, N. S. Machebe, A. G. Ezekwe and O. B. Agaviezor

The West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep have potentials to supply a significant portion of dietary milk for human consumption and some consumers in Nigeria perceived its milk to have a better taste and more natural than cow milk. In spite of this, information about detailed nutritional qualities of this milk is unavailable. This study provides information on the nutritional qualities inherent in consumption of milk produced by WAD sheep, changes on udder traits and concomitant variation in milk yield and composition.

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Published online 17 June 2016
Production and health performance of Holstein, Brown Swiss and their crosses under subtropical environmental conditions 
Mahmoud S. El-Tarabany, Elshimaa M. Roushdy and Akram A. El-Tarabany

From an economic opinion, high culling rates in pure Holstein cows are of great concern to dairy producers. In order to reduce these problems, dairy producers around the world have started to mate pure Holstein cows to bulls from other breeds. The current study indicates that the first generation crossbred (Brown Swiss × Holstein) has a more stable production performance and adaptability than pure Holstein under subtropical conditions.

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Published online 17 June 2016
Fodder quality and intake by dairy cows. 1. Preference for oaten hays 
R. A. Dynes, D. B. Purser and S. K. Baker

Hay, an essential component of dairy cow rations, is required for rumen function and milk fat. Testing the influence of fibre and sugars on a cow’s decision to choose between hays showed that the fibre content of the hay was a dominant factor and further, decisions made in the first 30 min were indicative of longer-term choice; composition of total hay intake also contributed to choice. The results provide a basis for improved ration formulation.

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Published online 17 June 2016
The tolerance of steers (Bos taurus) to sorghum ergot (Claviceps africana) in a feedlot during the cooler months in subtropical Queensland 
Stuart R. McLennan, Barry J. Blaney, Vivienne J. Doogan and Jeff A. Downing

Ergot contamination of sorghum severely impairs the growth of cattle in feedlots, effects apparently mediated through the animal’s reduced tolerance to heat load. Experiments set up with cattle fed feedlot rations based on sorghum during the cooler months still showed reduced cattle growth but indicated greater tolerance to ergot compared with earlier results from summer feeding. Based on the combined studies, new ergot inclusion thresholds for cattle feedlot rations have been determined for different seasons.

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Published online 15 June 2016
Effect of marbling and chilled ageing on meat-quality traits, volatile compounds and sensory characteristics of beef longissimus dorsi muscle 
Hoa Van Ba, Cynthia M. Oliveros, KyoungMi Park, Dashmaa Dashdorj and Inho Hwang

Marbling is a major quality-grade factor in the beef industry, as consumers judge meat quality on the basis of the degree of marbling, and they are willing to pay more for highly marbled meats. The present study aimed at evaluating the effect of marbling and chilled ageing on the technological quality traits, flavour compounds and sensory characteristics of Hanwoo beef. Our results demonstrate that high marbling positively affected some technological quality traits and the eating quality of beef, and also responded to ageing at a faster rate.

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Published online 15 June 2016
Effects of ovariectomy on body measurements, carcass composition, and meat quality of Huainan chickens 
Xing Guo, Chendong Ma, Qi Fang, Bangyuan Zhou, Yi Wan and Runshen Jiang

Little is known about the effects of ovariectomy on production performance and meat quality in hens. In this study we reported that ovariectomy increased bodyweight, altered breast meat quality by increasing redness values, and had no effects on carcass composition yield in female chickens. Therefore, poulard production can be used as a resourceful complement to the poultry meat market.

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Published online 15 June 2016
Perspectives on animal research and its application 
J. L. Black

Return on investment from animal research in Australia is about half that from investment in crop research. These returns could be improved by (1) selection of more appropriate areas for research, (2) adoption and consistent application through a risk-control system of a small number of processes that, if not performed correctly, will have large impacts on productivity and (3) strict adherence to the scientific method. Future application of electronic technologies for measurement, interpretation and control of farm processes in real-time through web-based systems will enhance productivity and free managers from day-to-day operations for long-term strategy development.

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Published online 15 June 2016
Expression of selected genes related to energy mobilisation and insulin resistance in dairy cows 
E. Fiore, F. Arfuso, M. Colitti, M. Gianesella, E. Giudice, G. Piccione and M. Morgante

Age effect on gene expression in peripartum dairy cows was investigated. Age effect on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and adiponectin was found in adipose tissue, on SLC2A4 in muscle. The age influence on expression of selected genes involved in energy mobilisation and insulin resistance highlights the importance of a genomics approach to assess the metabolic status of dairy cows during the transition period.

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Published online 14 June 2016
Survey of long-term productivity and nutritional status of Leucaena leucocephala-grass pastures in subtropical Queensland 
Alejandro Radrizzani, H. Max Shelton, Olena Kravchuk and Scott A. Dalzell

The factors that drive the productivity and commercial viability of aging leucaena pastures were studied. A field survey investigated the productivity of leucaena pastures ranging in age from 8–38 years and found phosphorus and sulfur nutrient deficiencies suppressed symbiotic nitrogen fixation and leucaena biomass yield. Monitoring plant nutrition and applying maintenance fertiliser will sustain the long-term (over 40 years) productivity of leucaena pastures.

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Published online 14 June 2016
Survival of lambs from maiden ewes may not be improved by pre-lambing exposure to mature lambing ewes 
S. M. Robertson, M. B. Allworth and M. A. Friend

Peri-natal lamb survival is a key limitation to sheep production, which may be improved through modifying ewe behaviour. This study showed that pre-lambing exposure of maiden (first-lambing) ewes to mature lambing ewes using the method reported did not increase and may reduce the survival of their lambs. It is recommended that maiden ewes lamb in separate paddocks to mature ewes until more is known regarding the presence of adult ewes may influence lamb survival from maiden ewes.

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Published online 14 June 2016
Nutritive characteristics, mineral concentrations and dietary cation–anion difference of feeds used within grazing-based dairy farms in Australia 
Innocent Rugoho, Cameron J. P. Gourley and Murray C. Hannah

Dairy systems require accurate nutrient composition of feeds if there is to be continued improvements in animal productivity, health and reduced environmental impacts. We documented the nutrient composition of a broad variety of feed types used on dairy farms across Australia, and highlighted the variation that can occur between and within feed types. Farmers and nutritionists, can use the ranges in nutrient composition when formulating dairy rations.

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Published online 14 June 2016
Inhibitions of FASN suppress triglyceride synthesis via the control of malonyl-CoA in goat mammary epithelial cells 
J. Luo, J. J. Zhu, Y. T. Sun, H. B. Shi and J. Li

Inhibition of fatty acid synthase (FASN) by C75, a synthetic inhibitor, could significantly reduce the relative content of monounsaturated fatty acids (C16:1 and C18:1) in goat mammary epithelial cells. Both C75 and shRNA downregulated the mRNA expression of GPAM, AGPAT6 and DGAT2 relating to triglyceride synthesis, which was in accordance with the results of malonyl-CoA treatment. The malonyl-CoA demonstrated the important role in regulating triglyceride synthesis by inhibiting the expression of FASN.

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Published online 09 June 2016
Developing zero-discharge pig-farming system: a feasibility study in Malaysia 
J. B. Liang, E. Kayawake, T. Sekine, S. Suzuki and K. K. Lim

Discharge of huge amount of wastewater is the greatest obstacle to the development of sustainable pig farming in the developing countries in Asia, which are experiencing a rapid expansion in this industry. Although converting this organic waste into renewable energy seems to offer an attractive option to the abovementioned problem, ~60% of the biogas digesta still remain and need to be discharged to the environment. The present paper reviewed our approach, which was shown to significantly cut down the usage of water and the discharge of wastewater, with nearly 98% of biological oxygen demand removed.

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Published online 08 June 2016
Influence of Acacia tortilis leaf meal-based diet on serum biochemistry, carcass characteristics and internal organs of finishing pigs 
M. Khanyile, S. P. Ndou and M. Chimonyo

The increasing competition for feed between man and livestock necessitates the need to identify alternative non-conventional feedstuffs for livestock. Knowledge on accurate inclusion levels of leguminous leaf meals as alternative protein sources for pigs is scant. Changes in blood serum parameters and abdominal organs are useful diagnostic tools to assess the wellness of pigs. Understanding responses in physiological indicators to varying leaf meal inclusion levels enables nutritionists to identify appropriate levels that allow a balance between performance and animal wellbeing as well as alleviating the demand for conventional soybean as a pig feed ingredient.

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Published online 08 June 2016
Essential role for simulation models in animal research and application 
James E. Pettigrew

The people of the world demand high-quality diets containing animal products, and the demand for those products is projected to increase; meeting that demand requires improved efficiency of use of valuable feedstuffs. Achieving those improvements is complicated by the complexity of animal biology, but that complexity can be addressed in silico through mechanistic simulation models. Future models should be directed to effects of disease, activation of the immune system, various stressors and health-improving technologies.

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Published online 08 June 2016
Growth is impeded by gastrointestinal nematodes in weaned rather than suckling meat-breed lambs in a high summer rainfall region, on the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales 
M. L. Dever, L. P. Kahn and E. K. Doyle

Gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) did not affect growth of suckling meat-breed lambs despite high worm egg counts at weaning indicating resilience to GIN infection in lambs growing at 200 g/day. In contrast, post-weaning growth was reduced by GIN infection, despite effective treatment at weaning and movement to GIN ‘safe’ pastures. The susceptibility of weaned lambs to the effects of GIN infection highlights the importance of effective control measures at this time.

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Published online 08 June 2016
Updated predictions of enteric methane emissions from sheep suitable for use in the New Zealand national greenhouse gas inventory 
Natasha Swainson, Stefan Muetzel and Harry Clark

The present study analyses New Zealand data on methane emissions from sheep fed fresh grass-based diets, collected between 2009 and 2015, where emissions were measured using respiration chambers. Dry matter intake alone was found to be a good predictor of emissions, although in animals <1 year of age the inclusion of dietary metabolisable energy concentration in addition to dry matter improved predictions.

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Published online 08 June 2016
Influence of climate variability and stocking strategies on greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE), production and profit of a northern Queensland beef cattle herd 
Brendan R. Cullen, Neil D. MacLeod, Joe C. Scanlan and Natalie Doran-Browne

Studies of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) in agriculture rarely account for the variation that occurs due to seasonal conditions. This study quantified the effects of climate variability and stocking strategies on GHGE and profit of a northern Queensland beef herd. Moderate stocking rates had the lowest GHGE intensity and highest profit, supporting previous work that recommends similar stocking strategies in the region.

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Published online 03 June 2016
In situ and ex situ assessment of a native Hungarian chicken breed for its potential conservation and adaptation in the subtropics 
K. D. T. Dong Xuan, T. N. Lan Phuong, P. D. Tien, P. T. M. Thu, N. Q. Khiem, D. T. Nhung, NT Muoi, NT K. Oanh, P. T. K. Thanh and I. T. Szalay

The increased use of chicken breeds selected for high performance and mass production has resulted in a decline in the breeding of old Hungarian chickens in the Carpathian Basin. This study investigates the adaptation and conservation of an old Hungarian chicken breed in a subtropical region. The maintenance of such populations away from their native environment is a positive way to protect and involve them in practical production.

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Published online 02 June 2016
Animal welfare and efficient farming: is conflict inevitable? 
Marian Stamp Dawkins

Increased efficiency in farming is sometimes seen as inevitably in conflict with good animal welfare. The aim of this article is to show that the conflict can be resolved or at least reduced by showing the financial benefits of high welfare standards. Financial arguments reinforce rather than replace ethical arguments for good welfare.

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Published online 02 June 2016
Thermal and physicochemical properties of red tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) surimi gel as affected by microbial transglutaminase 
Fariba Zad Bagher Seighalani, Jamilah Bakar, Nazamid Saari and Ali Khoddami

Textural attributes, e.g. gel strength, is the most important attribute in surimi. The problem is that different fish species demonstrate different degrees of gel strength. These findings provide an in-depth understanding of tilapia fish muscle behaviour. Thus, the findings can allow one manufacturer to formulate surimi-based product entirely on tilapia or use as part of tilapia mince blend.

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Published online 01 June 2016
Comparative performance of broiler chickens offered nutritionally equivalent diets based on six diverse, ‘tannin-free’ sorghum varieties with quantified concentrations of phenolic compounds, kafirin, and phytate 
Ha H. Truong, Karlie A. Neilson, Bernard V. McInerney, Ali Khoddami, Thomas H. Roberts, David J. Cadogan, Sonia Yun Liu and Peter H. Selle

Grain sorghum is the second most important feed grain to wheat in Australian chicken-meat production; however, utilisation of sorghum starch/energy in broiler chickens is sub-standard. The objective was to identify the contributing inherent factors in sorghum. This study found that both kafirin and phenolic compounds were negatively impacting energy utilisation. Therefore, the dietary inclusion of sorghums with lower concentrations of kafirin, protein, polyphenols and phenolic acids should result in better performance of broiler chickens.

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Published online 31 May 2016
The effect of different levels of crude protein on the pathophysiology of Haemonchus contortus infection in 2-year-old Boer dry does under confined conditions 
T. V. Can, M. A. Hohenhaus and P. J. Murray

Haemonchus is responsible for the death of more goats than any other parasite and since development of resistance to anthelmintic chemicals this parasite has put goat production in jeopardy. We provided better nutrition as this has been suggested as a mechanism for improving the immune response of goats against this parasite. A single infective dose did not cause pathogenic effects in mature does and reduced the number of parasite eggs found in the goats’ faeces.

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Published online 27 May 2016
Daily methane emissions and emission intensity of grazing beef cattle genetically divergent for residual feed intake 
J. I. Velazco, R. M. Herd, D. J. Cottle and R. S. Hegarty

Feed use efficiency and greenhouse gas production by cattle are key sustainability traits in beef production. This study quantified associations between enteric methane production, feed efficiency and growth of cattle differing in genetic merit for feed efficiency. While faster growth was associated with less methane produced per kilogram feed and per kilogram liveweight gain, selection for feed efficiency was not assured of reducing these traits.

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Published online 27 May 2016
Effect of feeding different levels of palm kernel cake fermented by Paenibacillus polymyxa ATCC 842 on broiler growth performance, blood biochemistry, carcass characteristics, and meat quality 
M. I. Alshelmani, T. C. Loh, H. L. Foo, A. Q. Sazili and W. H. Lau

There is a tendency to use alternative feedstuffs in animal diets. However, these ingredients contain high levels of fibres that impair their performance. Therefore, the fermentation technique by cellulolytic bacteria may be one of the important keys to improving the nutritive quality of alternative feedstuffs. Overall, the findings in this study showed that palm kernel cake could be included in broilers up to 15% after fermentation without any adverse effect on their performance.

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Published online 26 May 2016
Optimal dose of 3-nitrooxypropanol for decreasing enteric methane emissions from beef cattle fed high-forage and high-grain diets 
D. Vyas, S. M. McGinn, S. M. Duval, M. K. Kindermann and K. A. Beauchemin

Dietary supplementation of 3-nitrooxypropanol (NOP) has been suggested as an effective strategy to lower enteric methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants. Results from the present study further support the efficacy of NOP in lowering CH4 emissions. Among various dose levels investigated in the present study, NOP supplemented at 100, 150 and 200 mg/kg DM was the most effective in decreasing CH4 emissions in steers fed high-forage and high-grain diets, without inducing any negative effects on intake.

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Published online 26 May 2016
Effect of residual leaf area index on spatial components of Tifton 85 pastures and ingestive behaviour of sheep 
W. L. Silva, J. P. R. Costa, G. P. Caputti, A. L. S. Valente, D. Tsuzukibashi, E. B. Malheiros, R. A. Reis and A. C. Ruggieri

There is currently no study evaluating how the residual leaf area index (rLAI) affects the ingestive behaviour of sheep in tropical conditions. Thus, the objective of this study was to compare the spatial distribution of the morphological components of Tifton 85 pastures for different rLAI and the effect on the ingestive behaviour of grazing sheep. The results demonstrated that grazing time decreased and rumination time increased as rLAI increased and sheep tend to graze longer when rLAI was lower and forage supply was possibly less.

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Published online 25 May 2016
Effects of dietary supplementation of oriental herbal medicine residue and methyl sulfonyl methane on the growth performance and meat quality of ducks 
Jin-Woo Hwang, Sun Hee Cheong, Yon-Suk Kim, Jae-Woong Lee, Bo-Im You, Sang-Ho Moon, Byong-Tae Jeon and Pyo-Jam Park

We have elicited the importance of dietary supplementation on quality of meat production. Hence, we investigated the effects of dietary supplementation of oriental herbal medicine residue (OHMR) and methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM) on the growth performance and meat quality of ducks. Our dietary supplements containing MSM and OHMR significantly affected the growth performance and meat quality in ducks.

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Published online 25 May 2016
Feed intake, liveweight gain and carcass traits of lambs offered pelleted annual pasture hay supplemented with flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) flakes or algae (Schizochytrium sp.) 
V. F. Burnett, J. L. Jacobs, S. Norng and E. N. Ponnampalam

Lamb produced in southern Australia does not always have access to the best pasture during summer, so identifying supplements to support optimum production is important. Summer pasture was supplemented with either flaxseed flakes or algae and fed to lambs resulting in faster growth and heavier carcasses with flaxseed, and slower growth and unaffected carcass weights with algae. Flaxseed and algae provide options for producers to meet lamb finishing requirements, but further work is required to determine optimum feeding rates.

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Published online 25 May 2016
Replacement of mustard oil cake by urea in short-term strategic feeding of cull ewes to improve body condition and carcass traits 
R. S. Bhatt, A. Sahoo and S. A. Karim

Ewes and rams that are culled from the flock are often subjected to poor nutrition and in the process, body condition declines leading to lower quality and market value of the carcass. Short-term escalated feeding on a high concentrate based ration improves their body condition and enhances carcass yield and consumer acceptability traits. Reducing costs of feeding, through incorporation of urea in place of costly mustard cake, may promise better economic returns to farmers.

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Published online 23 May 2016
RNA interference-based technology: what role in animal agriculture? 
B. J. Bradford, C. A. Cooper, M. L. Tizard, T. J. Doran and T. M. Hinton

RNA interference is a recently described biological phenomenon that is conserved across higher organisms, which disrupts the translation of mRNA into proteins. This process can be utilised for targeted knockdown of specific proteins, resulting in altered animal function. The broad potential for this technology to alter animal development, physiological transitions, and to combat disease, as well as the barriers to adoption in animal agriculture, are explored.

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   |        Open Access Article
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Published online 23 May 2016
Joint estimation of (co) variance components and breeding values for mean and dispersion of days from calving to first service in Holstein cow 
Heydar Ghiasi and Majbritt Felleki

Uniformity of production is an important goal in animal breeding. Oestrus synchronisation is used to increase uniformity of days from calving to first service in dairy cows. Reducing the residual variance of days from calving to first services by genetic selection is another option to increase uniformity.

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Published online 20 May 2016
Fatty acid composition and physicochemical and sensory characteristics of meat from ewe lambs supplemented with zilpaterol hydrochloride and soybean oil 
J. L. Dávila-Ramírez, L. Avendaño-Reyes, U. Macías-Cruz, E. A. Peña-Ramos, T. Y. Islava-Lagarda, L. Zamorano-García, M. Valenzuela-Melendres, J. P. Camou and H. González-Ríos

Zilpaterol and soybean oil effects on lipid composition and meat quality from ewe hair lambs were studied. Ewe lambs were fed with a high concentrate diet. Zilpaterol supplementation to ewes increased the carcass yield, but not the meat quality. Meat quality was not modified by soybean oil supplementation. New strategies to nutritionally improve lamb meat lipid profile should be explored.

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Published online 20 May 2016
Artificial feeding of honeybees based on an understanding of nutritional principles 
R. Manning

Artificial pollen substitutes are needed to improve honeybee productivity in periods of nutrient scarcity during droughts, wet weather, gaps in floral sources and when bees are working eucalyptus flows with limited- or poor-quality pollen. Ingredients meeting honeybee nutrient requirements were screened for attractiveness and tested as a sole nutrient source. Bee-collected pollen outperformed the artificial substitutes and further modification to the substitutes is required.

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Published online 20 May 2016
Crossbreeding in beef production: meta-analysis of breed means to estimate breed-specific effects on leather properties 
M. D. MacNeil, M. M. Scholtz, A. Theunissen, J. F. De Bruyn and F. W. C. Neser

The scientific literature is practically devoid of estimates of breed effects on hide yield and leather properties. Direct genetic effects of exotic breeds tested in South Africa reduced hide yield but improved leather properties relative to the indigenous Afrikaner.

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Published online 20 May 2016
The effects of different protein levels in laying hens under hot summer conditions 
Mehran Torki, Masoomeh Nasiroleslami and Hossein Ali Ghasemi

Dietary protein contents have received great attention in connection with heat tolerance in poultry production. The aim of this study was to evaluate the extent at which the dietary protein content of laying hens can be reduced based on performance criteria. The results showed that the level prediction of 14.38% for crude protein is the best estimate that can be used under hot summer conditions.

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Published online 20 May 2016
Effects of a limited period of iron supplementation on the growth performance and meat colour of dairy bull calves for veal production 
K. Cui, Y. Tu, Y. C. Wang, N. F. Zhang, T. Ma and Q. Y. Diao

A novel strategy was constructed for balancing the demand of the consumer for pale coloured meat and the welfare of calves for veal production. Restricting iron intake for the final 60 days of a 180-day growth trial did not affect the meat quality and slaughter performance except for improving the meat percentage. This strategy could apply to improving the welfare of calves for the production of veal worldwide.

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Published online 19 May 2016
Crambe cake impairs lamb performance and fatty acid profile of meat 
J. Issakowicz, M. S. Bueno, C. M. P. Barbosa, E. B. Canova, H. L. Moreira, A. T. Geraldo and A. C. K. Sampaio

Crambe (Crambe abyssinica hochst) is an oleaginous plant and has emerged as an alternative biodiesel crop, particularly in South America, but also in North America, Europe and Africa. Although several research groups are currently evaluating crambe byproducts as food for farm animals, the fatty acid profile of meat from these animals has not yet been evaluated. Here, we describe a clear negative effect of increasing replacement of soybean meal protein with crambe cake protein on the profile of fatty acid of the lamb meat, which would render it unsuitable for human consumption.

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Published online 19 May 2016
Predicting milk responses to cereal-based supplements in grazing dairy cows 
J. W. Heard, M. Hannah, C. K. M. Ho, E. Kennedy, P. T. Doyle, J. L. Jacobs and W. J. Wales

Dairy production of cows grazing pasture can be increased by feeding them cereal-based supplements, but the economically rational amount to be fed depends on the production response. Data from 24 supplement feeding experiments were statistically analysed to derive accurate mathematical formulae that predict response. These production-response formulae are ready to incorporate into software for use by farmers and their advisers.

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Published online 19 May 2016
Social interaction patterns according to stocking density and time post-mixing in group-housed gestating sows 
Jean-Loup Rault

Confinement is one of the leading animal welfare concerns for farm animal production, and sufficient space should be provided for animals to socially interact while minimising aggression. This study investigated whether social interactions in groups of indoor-housed gestating sows are affected by stocking density and day after mixing through a detailed analysis of all social behaviours exchanged rather than only aggression. Providing more space early after mixing encouraged non-injurious social interactions, but differences vanished a week later.

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Published online 18 May 2016
Genetic study of visual scores and hip height at different ages in Nelore cattle 
D. D. Silveira, L. De Vargas, V. M. Roso, G. S. Campos, F. R. P. Souza and A. A. Boligon

Genetic associations of visual scores and hip height are important information for selection decisions. In this study the relationship between conformation, precocity and muscling scores with hip height at yearling and at maturity were estimated. Our study reports higher genetic correlation between conformation score and hip height than other scores and hip height. In beef cattle population not selected for precocity and muscling scores and with larger cows, the females’ hip height can be considered in the selection process.

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Published online 17 May 2016
Effect of early weaning age on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and serum parameters of lambs 
J.-M. Chai, T. Ma, H.-C. Wang, M.-L. Qi, Y. Tu, Q.-Y. Diao and N.-F. Zhang

Knowledge on the use of milk replacer is essential to develop lambs that could further provide mutton with high quality. We compared different time points at which milk replacer was used and concluded that it is better to give milk replacer at 10 days after birth. This finding could provide valuable information for the industry.

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Published online 12 May 2016
Methane emissions differ between sheep offered a conventional diploid, a high-sugar diploid or a tetraploid perennial ryegrass cultivar at two allowances at three times of the year 
A. Jonker, G. Molano, E. Sandoval, P. S. Taylor, C. Antwi, S. Olinga and G. P. Cosgrove

Methane production of sheep in pastoral systems is a major contributor to total greenhouse gasses produced in New Zealand. Elevated water-soluble carbohydrate concentrations, as in high sugar (HSG) and tetraploid (TRG) ryegrass, may affect rumen fermentation and reduce methane production per unit of intake, as found in this study for sheep fed HSG and TRG. However, the effect was not consistently associated with either cultivar and could not be attributed to higher forage water-soluble carbohydrate concentrations.

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Published online 12 May 2016
Environmental impacts and resource use from Australian pork production assessed using life-cycle assessment. 1. Greenhouse gas emissions 
S. G. Wiedemann, Eugene J. McGahan and Caoilinn M. Murphy

A life-cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from pork production was completed, investigating six supply chains and the national herd. Greenhouse gas emissions arose predominantly from manure management on conventional pig farms, with substantial emissions also arising from feed production and milling, and total emissions averaging 3.6 kg CO2-e/kg liveweight at the farm-gate for the national herd. Australian pork production generates moderate emissions with substantial opportunities for mitigation, particularly via improved manure management and particularly via generation of biogas and energy.

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   | Supplementary Material (2.1 MB)  |        Open Access Article
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Published online 06 May 2016
Dietary choice and grazing behaviour of sheep on spatially arranged pasture systems. 1. Herbage mass, nutritive characteristics and diet selection 
M. C. Raeside, M. Robertson, Z. N. Nie, D. L. Partington, J. L. Jacobs and R. Behrendt

Offering livestock dietary choice could increase livestock productivity by enabling animals to regulate their own feed intake, balance nutritional requirements and regulate rumen function. Research at Hamilton, Victoria, has shown that lambs show clear dietary preferences for different pasture species and this affects intake and grazing behaviour. Offering pasture species in different combinations and proportions could therefore be used as a mechanism for altering livestock grazing behaviour and subsequently increasing livestock productivity.

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Published online 06 May 2016
Effect of the ratio of maize cob and husk to napier Pakchong 1 silage on nutritive value and in vitro gas production of rumen fluid of Thai native cattle 
S. Yammeun-art, P. Somrak and C. Phatsara

Pakchong 1 napier grass is a new hybrid napier with high yield and suitable for silage making but its moisture content is too high. Therefore, it should be mixed with an absorbent, such as maize cob and husk. We found that recommended ratio of maize cob and husk mixed with Pakchong 1 napier grass is 1 : 10 and ensiling fermentation can increased the proportion of protein in the roughage.

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Published online 06 May 2016
Methane emissions from lactating and non-lactating dairy cows and growing cattle fed fresh pasture 
Arjan Jonker, German Molano, John Koolaard and Stefan Muetzel

The effect of fresh pasture forage quality, cattle class and physiological state on methane production from cattle are currently not considered in the calculation of the New Zealand greenhouse gas inventory. These parameters were found to have minor effects on methane emissions in cattle fed fresh pasture in respiration chambers. Dry matter intake alone was the strongest single predictor for total daily methane production and explained 91% of variation.

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Published online 06 May 2016
Thai native chicken meat: an option to meet the demands for specific meat quality by certain groups of consumers; a review 
S. Jaturasitha, N. Chaiwang and M. Kreuzer

The sensory preference of consumers in Thailand does not always coincide with the meat produced with commercial, fast-growing broiler lines. Native breeds offer an alternative with a chewier meat and special appearance and flavour features. The review compiles information available about Asian breeds in comparison with fast-growing broilers concerning meat-quality traits.

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Published online 06 May 2016
Dietary choice and grazing behaviour of sheep on spatially arranged pasture systems. 2. Wether lamb growth and carcass weight at slaughter 

Offering livestock choice between different combinations of pasture species enables animals to regulate their own feed intake, balance nutritional requirements and regulate rumen function. Research at Hamilton, Victoria, has shown that lambs show clear dietary preferences for different pasture species but that ultimately livestock productivity was determined by the amount of legume present in the diet. The use of legumes in prime lamb systems, is therefore a key determinant of system productivity.

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Published online 05 May 2016
Effects of forage neutral detergent fibre and time after feeding on medial and ventral rumen pH and volatile fatty acids concentration in heifers fed highly digestible grass/clover silages 
A. K. S. Schulze, A. C. Storm, M. R. Weisbjerg and P. Nørgaard

The intensive fermentation of newly ingested feed particles leads to an uneven pH and concentration of fermentation products down through the rumen. This study shows that the gradient of pH and fermentation products in heifers fed grass/clover silages of different harvest time depended on time after feeding and decreased with greater fibre intake.

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Published online 05 May 2016
Methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions from an Australian piggery with short and long hydraulic retention-time effluent storage 
E. J. McGahan, F. A. Phillips, S. G. Wiedemann, T. A. Naylor, B. Warren, C. M. Murphy, D. W. T. Griffith and M. Desservettaz

The pork industry is a small but significant contributor to agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Australia, with most emissions arising from manure management. The present study measured GHG emissions from a short hydraulic retention-time (HRT) effluent-storage system and a conventional long-HRT treatment in uncovered open ponds. Total GHG emissions were found to be 79% lower from the short-HRT system, potentially providing a GHG mitigation option for conventional pork production.

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    | Supplementary Material (1.9 MB)
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Published online 05 May 2016
Methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions from pigs housed on litter and from stockpiling of spent litter 
F. A. Phillips, S. G. Wiedemann, T. A. Naylor, E. J. McGahan, B. R. Warren, C. M. Murphy, S. Parkes and J. Wilson

The majority of the greenhouse gas emissions from the Australian pork industry originate from manure management, and changes in management have the potential to significantly decrease these emissions. The present study measured methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions from a deep-litter housing system and the stockpiled spent litter. The deep-litter system, when compared with conventional effluent pond systems, offers the opportunity of mitigating emissions by 66% and 80%, with and without a stockpile.

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Published online 05 May 2016
Nitrous oxide, ammonia and methane from Australian meat chicken houses measured under commercial operating conditions and with mitigation strategies applied 
S. G. Wiedemann, F. A. Phillips, T. A. Naylor, E. J. McGahan, O. B. Keane, B. R. Warren and C. M. Murphy

Greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions are important environmental impacts from meat chicken houses, and emission mitigation is a priority issue in Australian agriculture. This study compared emissions from meat chicken houses with two mitigation strategies, namely, increased litter depth and decreased dietary crude protein. Emission levels were found to be low from the control and mitigation trials, and reductions in ammonia were observed in response to reduced dietary crude protein.

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   | Supplementary Material (1.9 MB)  |        Open Access Article
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Published online 03 May 2016
Effects of oats grain supplements on performance, rumen parameters and composition of beef from cattle grazing oats pasture 
H. M. Arelovich, J. Marinissen, B. A. Gardner, M. F. Martínez and R. D. Bravo

Cereal grains are fed to grazing cattle to increase productivity. Added grain may have a negative impact on digestion and change lipid content and composition of beef. In this trial, cattle grazing oats pasture received a supplement composed of whole oats grain. Supplementation increased rate of weight gain without impairing digestibility. Although small changes in beef lipid profile were detected, beef quality measurements all remained similar to that of unsupplemented grazing steers. Supplementing grazing cattle with unprocessed oats can improve productivity, sustain digestibility of grazed forage and quality of beef.

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Published online 03 May 2016
Crude glycerin as a replacement for corn in starter feed: performance and metabolism of pre-weaned dairy calves 
C. M. M. Bittar, G. G. O. Nápoles, C. E. Oltramari, J. T. Silva, M. R. De Paula, F. H. R. Santos, M. P. C. Gallo and G. B. Mourão

High grain costs added to the availability of by-products is pushing the dairy industry to look for feed alternatives that may maintain performance and health. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of partial replacement of corn with crude glycerin in the starter feed for dairy calves. Crude glycerin can be used as an alternative energy source and replace corn up to 10% in the starter feed for liquid-fed dairy calves without affecting growth, rumen development or metabolism.

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Published online 03 May 2016
Effects of dietary active dried yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) supply at two levels of concentrate on energy and nitrogen utilisation and methane emissions of lactating dairy cows 
C. Muñoz, D. A. Wills and T. Yan

Yeast products are widely used as feed additives in ruminant diets. Yet, their effects on methane production and energy and nitrogen utilisation have rarely been investigated simultaneously. This experiment reported that the dietary addition of an active dried yeast product at 30% or 60% dietary concentrate levels had no effect on feed intake, milk production, nutrient digestibility and nitrogen utilisation efficiency by dairy cows. Yeast supplementation tended to decrease energy retention and increase methane per unit of feed intake.

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Published online 03 May 2016
Evaluation of equations to estimate body composition in beef cattle using live, linear and standing-rib cut measurements 
M. A. Fonseca, L. O. Tedeschi, S. C. Valadares Filho, N. F. De Paula, L. D. Silva and D. F. T. Sathler

Being able to accurately predict body composition is paramount for efficient beef cattle nutrition management programs. Still, which equations might fit to broader scenarios remains to be answered. Thorough evaluation has shown that such approach is reliable, yet equations for different breeds should be developed in order to improve predictability. Biometric measurement equations are an excellent alternative for image-based systems to predict the optimum point of slaughter.

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Published online 03 May 2016
Comparison of rumen in vitro fermentation of temperate pastures using different batch culture systems 
Juan Pablo Keim, Robert Berthiaume, David Pacheco and Stefan Muetzel

In vitro batch culture systems are popular for the screening and testing of fermentation kinetics and end products from a large number of substrates. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is little information comparing different batch culture systems and their effect on rumen fermentation pathways and methane production. This study compared in vitro fermentation kinetics and end products from two different in vitro batch culture systems. It was concluded that results from both systems are not numerically comparable for gas, methane and volatile fatty acids production data.

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Published online 03 May 2016
Characterisation of smallholding dairy farms in southern Brazil 
Lucas F. Balcão, Cibele Longo, João H. C. Costa, Cintia Uller-Gómez, Luiz C. P. Machado Filho and Maria J. Hötzel

The study aimed to identify groups of smallholding family dairy producers in southern Brazil, who are responsible for 90% of the milk produced in the region. Main group differences included land and herd size and milk productivity, feeding management, use of external inputs and milking infrastructure and hygiene. These results highlight the need to develop specific strategies and policies to allow these different types of producers to coexist in the dairy production chain.

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Published online 03 May 2016
Essential role of methyl donors in animal productivity 
P. B. Cronje

Chronic inflammation is a common yet underappreciated feature of intensive livestock production systems and is also associated with exposure to high environmental temperatures. Recent research in the medical field has shown that methyl donors can prevent or ameliorate inflammatory diseases such as fatty liver and enteritis. It is proposed that supplementation of livestock diets with methyl donors such as betaine, choline or folate may be effective in the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation and associated diseases in livestock.

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Published online 03 May 2016
In vitro rumen fermentation characteristics of goat and sheep supplemented with polyunsaturated fatty acids 
S. C. L. Candyrine, M. F. Jahromi, M. Ebrahimi, J. B. Liang, Y. M. Goh and N. Abdullah

Research data showed inconsistencies in digestive capacity between goat and sheep. Results of the study showed significantly higher in vitro gas-production rate constant for insoluble fraction (c), in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) and volatile fatty acids (VFA) production in rumen fluid of goat than sheep. The higher fermentative capacity of goat suggests the advantage of keeping goats in environment with poor feed resources.

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Published online 03 May 2016
An update on direct-fed microbials in broiler chickens in post-antibiotic era 
Kyung-Woo Lee and Hyun S. Lillehoj

Recent findings have suggested that direct-fed microbials can affect gut microbiota that play a fundamental role in enhancing performance and health of chickens. We attempted to further characterise the functions of direct-fed microbials as therapeutic, prophylactic and growth-promotion uses in the poultry industry. The present review highlights that dietary direct-fed microbials can affect host–microbe interaction, shaping host immunity towards increasing resistance of chickens to enteric diseases.

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Published online 03 May 2016
The contribution of qualitative behavioural assessment to appraisal of livestock welfare 
Patricia A. Fleming, Taya Clarke, Sarah L. Wickham, Catherine A. Stockman, Anne L. Barnes, Teresa Collins and David W. Miller

Being able to quantify the body language of animals shows great promise for assessment of animal welfare. Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA) is a method that characterises the body language of animals using descriptive terms such as ‘calm’, ‘relaxed’, ‘anxious’, or ‘alert’. Assessing animals against such terms allows us to compare their responses between alternative situations (e.g. different truck designs), husbandry methods (e.g. housing alternatives), or for the same environment over time.

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Published online 03 May 2016
Greenhouse gas emission intensity based on lifetime milk production of dairy animals, as affected by ration-balancing program 
M. R. Garg, P. L. Sherasia, B. T. Phondba and H. P. S. Makkar

Livestock contributes to global warming by emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). In the process of fermentation of feed in the fore stomach, dairy animals produce methane. Majority of dairy animals in developing countries are fed on rations imbalanced in nutrients. As a result, animals on such rations produce more methane per litre of milk. On feeding balanced rations, animals produce less enteric methane and manure nitrous oxide. Thus, balanced feeding could be a promising strategy for reducing GHGs emission intensity.

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Published online 03 May 2016
A regional model of sheep lice management practices to examine the impact of managing straying sheep combined with other management choices 
Peri G. Lucas, Brian J. Horton, David Parsons and Anna L. Carew

A model of lice prevalence was used to examine the value of fencing to avoid sheep straying, used in conjunction with other lice management options. The model showed that fencing was cost-effective only if it targeted the most critical boundaries. It was concluded that improved biosecurity against straying of sheep is best considered as a reinforcement of more effective eradication methods.

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Published online 22 April 2016
Effects of enzyme products in the diet on growth, dressing-out percent and organ weights of light pigs fed copra-meal-based diets 
S. S. Diarra

The effect of supplementing copra meal-based diets with different enzyme products on pig growth was studied. The level of 150 g copra meal/kg diet is optimum for pigs but Allzyme or mannanase supplementation is beneficial at higher levels. These findings can be used to reduce cost of pork production in regions where copra meal is readily available.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Impact of phytogenic feed additives on growth performance, nutrient digestion and methanogenesis in growing buffaloes 
L. Samal, L. C. Chaudhary, N. Agarwal and D. N. Kamra

Methane emissions from ruminant livestock (cattle, buffalo, sheep and goat) were estimated at ~2.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, accounting for ~80% of agricultural methane and 37% of the total anthropogenic methane emissions. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of plants as methane inhibitors in growing buffaloes. Methane emission was inhibited by ~10–18% in the supplemented groups. Further, long-term experiments should be conducted to validate these findings before they can be recommended for use at a field level.

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Published online 20 April 2016
The effect of long term under- and overfeeding on the expression of genes related to glucose metabolism in the mammary tissue of goats 
E. Tsiplakou, E. Flemetakis, E. D. Kouri and G. Zervas

The glucose metabolism in the mammary tissue (MT) is controlled by genes whose nutritional regulation is poorly documented. In this study the effect of under- and overfeeding on the expression of genes related to glucose metabolism in goat MT was determined. A significant reduction on mRNA of β- (1, 4) galactosyltransferase and α-lactalbumin in the MT of underfed goats, compared with the overfed, was observed. In conclusion, the feeding level affects glucose utilisation and not glucose transportation in the MT of goats.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Examining the impacts of red deer hind body condition score and pasture forage mass on calf weaning weight 
D. R. Stevens, B. R. Thompson, G. W. Asher and I. C. Scott

Young ruminants rely on their mothers for nutrition, and their mother’s source energy either from their diet, or from their body reserves. How does the body condition of the ruminant supplement feed supply when feed supply is limiting? By grazing red deer hinds on differing amounts of pasture we showed that the body condition of the hind is important when pasture is in short supply, and contributed an extra 4–5 kg in liveweight by weaning.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Replacing synthetic N with clovers or alfalfa in bermudagrass pastures. 3. Performance of growing steers 
P. Beck, T. Hess, D. Hubbell, J. Jennings, M. S. Gadberry and M. Sims

Alfalfa or a combination of white and red clovers inter-seeded into bermudagrass was compared with bermudagrass fertilised with 0, 56, or 112 kg N/ha over four grazing seasons. The data from this study indicates that inter-seeding bermudagrass pastures with either alfalfa or a mixture of red and white clovers can provide equivalent animal performance and greater liveweight gain per hectare than fertilised bermudagrass.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Replacing synthetic N with clovers or alfalfa in bermudagrass pastures. 1. Herbage mass and pasture carrying capacity 
P. Beck, T. Hess, D. Hubbell, M. S. Gadberry, J. Jennings and M. Sims

Alfalfa or a combination of white and red clovers inter-seeded into bermudagrass swards were compared with monocultures of bermudagrass fertilised with 0, 56, or 112 kg nitrogen/ha over four grazing seasons. Carrying capacity of swards inter-seeded with legumes was greater than fertilised bermudagrass in the spring and early summer, but did not differ from fertilised swards in the late summer. Including legumes in bermudagrass swards can alleviate the reliance on synthetic nitrogen fertilisation.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Greenhouse gas emissions from dung, urine and dairy pond sludge applied to pasture. 2. Methane emissions 
K. B. Kelly, G. N. Ward and J. W. Hollier

The greenhouse gas methane can be absorbed or emitted by soil while cattle wastes deposited onto the soil can be a source. In field studies, the effect of applications to pasture of dung and dairy sludge on net methane emissions to the atmosphere were examined. Measured emissions were mostly lower than those currently used in the current Australian estimates for emissions from dairy cow dung in temperate Australia.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Greenhouse gas emissions from dung, urine and dairy pond sludge applied to pasture. 1. Nitrous oxide emissions 
G. N. Ward, K. B. Kelly and J. W. Hollier

In Australia, animal excreta deposited onto pasture by grazing livestock is a major source of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. Field studies found that emissions of nitrous oxide from excreta could be reduced by up to 59% by the application of the chemical inhibitor, nitrapyrin. Nitrapyrin was found to be an effective tool in reducing emissions from dung, urine and dairy sludge and was most effective on wet soils.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Methionine concentration in the pre-starter diet: its effect on broiler breast muscle development 
D. J. Powell, S. G. Velleman, A. J. Cowieson and W. I. Muir

Optimisation of broiler chicken diets is critical for maximising growth rates, feed efficiency, and meat yield. This study investigated the effect of varying dietary methionine levels in the first week of life, as nutrition during this period can influence muscle growth through to market age. No effect of varying dietary methionine was observed on muscle development, indicating methionine alone is not a limiting factor in muscle growth in this period.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Genetic analyses on bodyweight, reproductive, and carcass traits in composite beef cattle 
Bruno Carlos Pires, Patrícia Tholon, Marcos Eli Buzanskas, Ana Paula Sbardella, Jaqueline Oliveira Rosa, Luiz Otávio Campos da Silva, Roberto Augusto de Almeida Torres, Danísio Prado Munari and Maurício Mello de Alencar

The Canchim beef cattle breed was developed in Brazil from crossings between Charolais and Indicine breeds. The heritability and genetic correlations were estimated in order to provide support to breeders and to the genetic evaluation program. These results could help improve growth, reproductive and carcass traits.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Mechanical nociceptive threshold testing in Bos indicus bull calves 
Gabrielle C. Musk, Michael Laurence, Teresa Collins, Jonathan Tuke and Timothy H. Hyndman

Pain assessment in cattle is difficult, but is essential to assess the effect of surgery and analgesic drugs. Nociceptive threshold testing is an objective pain assessment tool that has not been described in Bos indicus cattle. A technique for mechanical nociceptive threshold testing was developed for use in Bos indicus cattle undergoing surgical castration to evaluate post-operative pain.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Effect of β-carotene supplementation on the expression of lipid metabolism-related genes and the deposition of back fat in beef cattle 
Q. Jin, H. B. Zhao, X. M. Liu, F. C. Wan, Y. F. Liu, H. J. Cheng, W. You, G. F. Liu and X. W. Tan

Back fat tissue is an important meat quality trait and excessive back fat indicates feed waste and is also considered unhealthy by consumers. We showed that supplementation with β-carotene, an important adipose tissue regulator, suppressed fat deposition in beef cattle by inhibiting fat synthesis and enhancing fat hydrolysis. This research may enrich our knowledge of the regulatory mechanism of β-carotene in fat deposition and provide a theoretical basis for improving beef quality, as well as the treatment and prevention of obesity and related chronic diseases in humans.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Effect of dietary fish oil with or without vitamin E supplementation on fresh and cryopreserved ovine sperm 
M. Habibi, M. J. Zamiri, A. Akhlaghi, A. H. Shahverdi, A. R. Alizadeh and M. R. Jaafarzadeh

Beneficial, detrimental or lack of the effects of fish oil supplementation of the diet on sperm production or quality have been reported in both animals and man. This study showed that supplemental fish oil did not affect fresh sperm quality, but simultaneous supplementation of the diet with fish oil and vitamin E may be beneficial when ram spermatozoa are to be frozen.

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Published online 20 April 2016
Replacing synthetic N with clovers or alfalfa in bermudagrass pastures. 2. Herbage nutritive value for growing beef steers 
P. Beck, T. Hess, D. Hubbell, M. S. Gadberry, J. Jennings and M. Sims

Alfalfa or a combination of white and red clovers inter-seeded into bermudagrass swards were compared with monocultures of bermudagrass fertilised with 0, 56, or 112 kg nitrogen/ha over four grazing seasons. Replacing synthetic nitrogen with either alfalfa or clovers in bermudagrass swards can support the growth of herbage with equivalent or superior nutritive value to bermudagrass monocultures fertilised with 112 kg nitrogen/ha during the early summer and equivalent to 56 kg nitrogen/ha during the late summer.

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Published online 08 April 2016
Intergenerational effects of omega-6 fatty acids. 2. Preliminary evidence for the influence of diet fed to dams at conception on the sex ratio of lambs born to their daughters 
E. H. Clayton, J. F. Wilkins and M. A. Friend

In a previous experiment, the proportion of female lambs was higher when Merino ewes were fed a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids around mating. The present study examines the potential intergenerational effects of these diets. Although that effect was not significant here, the size of the skew in favour of female lambs when ewes were fed a High n-6 at mating was similar to previous studies and warrants further investigation with larger numbers of ewes. Enterprises preferring second-cross male prime lambs may benefit from feeding first-cross ewes a diet low in n-6 around mating.

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Published online 05 April 2016
Changes in body composition during the winter gestation period in mature beef cows grazing different herbage allowances of native grasslands 
A. Casal, A. L. Astessiano, A. C. Espasandin, A. I. Trujillo, P. Soca and M. Carriquiry

The energy cost associated with maintenance results from a continuous process of synthesis, degradation and replacement of body tissue to be renewed. In cow-calf systems, control grazing intensity of rangelands, through management of herbage allowance, determined cows grazing a high herbage allowance maintained greater BCS and gross energy content than cows grazing a low herbage allowance. Cow genotype affected composition of mobilised/retained weight during the winter gestation period, and crossbred cows (Angus/Herford) showed greater protein tissue mobilisation than purebred cows.

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Published online 05 April 2016
Enzyme- and gene-based approaches for developing methanogen-specific compounds to control ruminant methane emissions: a review 
Gemma Henderson, Gregory M. Cook and Ron S. Ronimus

Methane emissions from ruminants are a significant contributor to climate change and are produced by archaeal methanogens. Due to their unusual metabolism, gene- and enzyme-based techniques can be used to develop methanogen-specific inhibitors, using strategies similar to those employed to develop anti-cancer drugs. We review previous research that has incorporated chemically defined inhibitors against methanogens and discuss the impacts on future control of ruminant methane emissions.

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Published online 05 April 2016
Interactive effects of dietary protein source and exogenous protease on growth performance, immune competence and jejunal health of broiler chickens 
A. J. Cowieson, H. Lu, K. M. Ajuwon, I. Knap and O. Adeola

The use of exogenous enzymes in poultry nutrition is common in order to improve digestion, productivity and health of the birds. However, the efficacy of enzymes can be variable and it is necessary to explore the mechanisms involved in their effect under different nutritional conditions. The work presented herein found that feeding diets based on either soybean meal or canola meal resulted in changes to the effect of an exogenous protease and that protease addition may improve gut health of birds.

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Published online 05 April 2016
Effect of measurement duration in respiration chambers on methane traits of beef cattle 
P. F. Arthur, K. A. Donoghue, T. Bird-Gardiner, R. M. Herd and R. S. Hegarty

Cattle emit methane, a greenhouse gas, which is usually measured in specialised facilities over 2 or more days. We have demonstrated that the measurement can be done in 1 day with less than 5% loss in accuracy. The resulting increase in throughput of the facilities means that more cattle can be measured for this important gas.

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Published online 05 April 2016
Effect of feeding whole-crop corn silage as dietary roughage on physiological and digestive response of sheep under heat exposure 
Md. Mostafizar Rahman, Paramintra Vinitchaikul, Arvinda Panthee, Xue Bi and Hiroaki Sano

The rise in environmental temperature during summer has negative effects on ruminant production all over the world. The aim of the present study was to see the effect of feeding whole crop corn silage on physiological and digestive responses in sheep exposed to heat; improved physiological responses were observed. Therefore, our approach shows promise for feeding heat-exposed animals.

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Published online 05 April 2016
Pedigree-based analysis of genetic variability in the registered Normande cattle breed in Colombia 
Derly Rodríguez Sarmiento, Emanuela Tullo and Rita Rizzi

The genetic variability of a population is the basis for effective selection programs. In order to improve productive traits, a breeding program was started 3 years ago in the Normande population of Colombia. The information from this study can be used to design breeding programs and to develop strategies for maintaining the genetic variability in the breed.

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Published online 23 March 2016
The use of walk over weigh to predict calving date in extensively managed beef herds 
Michael N. Aldridge, Stephen J. Lee, Julian D. Taylor, Greg I. Popplewell, Fergus R. Job and Wayne S. Pitchford

Recording calving date in extensive grazing systems is extremely difficult and so calf date of birth cannot be effectively included in breeding programs. The use of walk over weigh to monitor weight profiles of cows can be used to identify cow calving dates. Walk over weigh technology has the potential to be incorporated into management systems for breeding purposes but needs refinement.

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Published online 23 March 2016
Comparison of aquaporin-1 expression between yak (Bos grunniens) and indigenous cattle (Bos taurus) in the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau 
C. L. Zhong, J. P. Kang, G. S. Stewart, J. W. Zhou, X. D. Huang, J. D. Mi, J. Liu, C. Yang, Y. Zhang and R. J. Long

Comparative study between yak and cattle can provide information on animal adaptation to high altitude. This is a preliminary study on water channels in yaks, which we found were somewhat different from that in indigenous cattle. This discovery could provide a new perspective to explain some adaptive mechanisms, especially the water modulation and balance, of yaks to the harsh alpine environment and may help to improve the current understanding of altitude sickness in humans.

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Published online 23 March 2016
Predictive ability of Random Forests, Boosting, Support Vector Machines and Genomic Best Linear Unbiased Prediction in different scenarios of genomic evaluation 
Farhad Ghafouri-Kesbi, Ghodratollah Rahimi-Mianji, Mahmood Honarvar and Ardeshir Nejati-Javaremi

Genomic selection has been suggested to increase the rate of genetic gain in livestock species. The current study, which focussed on three nonparametric machine-learning methods as well as Genomic Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (GBLUP), revealed superiority of GBLUP and Boosting in predicting genomic breeding values. Some variants of machine learning methods such as Random Boosting not only have high predictive accuracy, but also are efficient users of time and have a low memory requirement, all leading to them being recommended for future genomic evaluation.

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Published online 22 March 2016
Individual difference in faecal and urine equol excretion and their correlation with intestinal microbiota in large white sows 
Weijiang Zheng, Xun Zhang and Wen Yao

The capacity of intestinal microbiota to transform daidzein into equol has been well established in humans and other animal species, while the association of gut microflora and equol in swine is poorly understood. Urine and faecal samples from sows were found highly different in individuals, and intestinal microbiota were significantly correlated with equol production in the faecal and urine. Nutritionists could consider the effects of biological actions of soy isoflavones and their metabolites in livestock and possible application ways for promoting their health benefits.

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Published online 22 March 2016
Responses to various protein and energy supplements by steers fed low-quality tropical hay. 1. Comparison of response surfaces for young steers 
S. R. McLennan, M. J. Bolam, J. F. Kidd, K. A. Chandra and D. P. Poppi

Beef cattle production in northern Australia is severely constrained by the low quality of the native pastures grazed during the dry season and, whilst supplements can overcome nutrient deficiencies, information upon which to compare supplements is limiting. Growth response curves were developed for cattle using a wide range of different protein and energy supplements, indicating the superiority of protein meals at low intakes. These growth response curves, combined with supplement costs, provide a basis for formulating feeding programs for cattle to reach various target end-points.

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Published online 22 March 2016
Inclusion of cottonseed meal into loose mineral mix supplements increases the voluntary intake of the supplement by grazing heifers 
R. M. Dixon, A. Anderson and J. C. Petherick

Mixtures of salt, urea and minerals offered free choice can provide cattle grazing rangelands with supplementary nutrients that are deficient in the pasture. However, it is often difficult to achieve intended target intakes by grazing cattle with these supplements because their intake is controlled by both innate palatability and learned responses. It was shown that inclusion of a palatable protein meal by-product in this type of supplement increased their voluntary intake by cattle.

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Published online 22 March 2016
Responses to various protein and energy supplements by steers fed low-quality tropical hay. 2. Effect of stage of maturity of steers 
S. R. McLennan, J. M. Campbell, C. H. Pham, K. A. Chandra, S. P. Quigley and D. P. Poppi

Research into the effects of supplements for increasing the growth of beef cattle grazing low-quality tropical pastures in northern Australia has largely targeted the young, growing animal with less attention to the older, finishing animal. Experiments were carried out comparing the growth responses of young and older steers to different protein and energy supplements, indicating similar or greater responses by the older steers. These growth response curves, combined with supplement costs, provide a basis for formulating feeding programs for cattle of different ages to various production end-points

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Published online 22 March 2016
Emissions of nitrous oxide, ammonia and methane from Australian layer-hen manure storage with a mitigation strategy applied 
T. A. Naylor, S. G. Wiedemann, F. A. Phillips, B. Warren, E. J. McGahan and C. M. Murphy

Layer-hen manure produces emissions of environmentally significant greenhouse gases and ammonia from manure stockpiles, which require mitigation. The present study compared greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from uncovered storage with those from covered storage, to assess mitigation potential. Emission factors were calculated for ammonia and methane and mitigation of greenhouse gases and ammonia was achieved through covering layer-hen manure.

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Published online 22 March 2016
Development of cecal-predominant microbiota in broilers during a complete rearing using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis 
J. E. Blajman, M. V. Zbrun, M. L. Signorini, J. A. Zimmermann, E. Rossler, A. P. Berisvil, A. Romero Scharpen, D. M. Astesana, L. P. Soto and L. S. Frizzo

For the purpose of enhancing intestinal health, understanding of the intestinal microbiota is crucial. The goal of the present study was to investigate the development of the cecal-predominant microbiota in broilers that were fed a Lactobacillus salivarius DSPV 001P strain during a complete rearing using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The obtained data could be relevant for future studies related to the influence of the microbiota resulting from probiotic supplementation on the performance and the immunological parameters of broilers.

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Published online 22 March 2016
Population genetic structure and milk production traits in Girgentana goat breed 
Salvatore Mastrangelo, Marco Tolone, Maria Montalbano, Lina Tortorici, Rosalia Di Gerlando, Maria Teresa Sardina and Baldassare Portolano

In recent years, there has been great interest in recovering and preserving local livestock breeds. The aim of this work was to investigate the genetic status of the Girgentana goat using microsatellites and to evaluate the milk production traits. The breed appears to have a subdivided population with a high variability in milk yield. A deeper knowledge of the genetic variability and diversity of the analysed populations will help to estimate their possible degree of endangerment and to suggest possible solutions for their conservation.

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Published online 09 March 2016
Quality characteristics of premium mutton nuggets enriched with almond-based functional components 
R. R. Kumar, B. D. Sharma, S. K. Mendiratta, O. P. Malav, S. Talukder and S. R. Ahmad

Mutton products are being invariably implicated for health intricacies on the grounds of higher saturated fatty acids, cholesterol, low dietary fibre and oxidation-prone status. These products could be made healthier with the incorporation of functionally rich nuts. The desirable level of almond incorporation in emulsion-based mutton nuggets was optimised as 15% and then product profile characteristics were evaluated. The findings indicated that functional components of almond can be very well incorporated to develop superior products in terms of lipid profile, antioxidant activity, calorific value and dietary fibre content.

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Published online 09 March 2016
Effect of iron source on iron absorption by in situ ligated intestinal loops of broilers 
Xiaofei Li, Lingyan Zhang, Liyang Zhang, Lin Lu and Xugang Luo

Little work has been done to clarify the effects of different iron (Fe) sources on Fe absorption in the intestine of broilers. This study was designed to evaluate the absorptions of Fe from different Fe sources, and the results indicate that organic Fe sources with stronger chelation strength showed higher Fe absorptions. This is of scientific and practical significance towards developing and applying new Fe additives with high Fe absorption in the production of broilers.

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Published online 08 March 2016
Sugarcane tops as a substitute for sugarcane in high-concentrate diets for beef bulls 
Julião R. L. Couto, Severino D. J. Villela, Mário H. F. Mourthé, Adalfredo R. Lobo-Jr, Roseli A. Santos and Paulo G. M. A. Martins

Sugarcane tops are the major by-product of the sugarcane industry left in the field after cane harvest and can be utilised as a roughage source for ruminants. We evaluated the productive and economic performances of beef bulls fed increasing levels of sugarcane tops, as a substitute for sugarcane, provided with a high-concentrate diet. Partial or total substitution of sugarcane by sugarcane tops in high-concentrate diets did not affect performance of feedlot bulls, but total substitution reduced production costs.

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Published online 08 March 2016
Meat quality traits of Nellore bulls according to different degrees of backfat thickness: a multivariate approach 
W. A. Baldassini, L. A. L. Chardulo, J. A. V. Silva, J. M. Malheiros, V. A. D. Dias, R. Espigolan, F. S. Baldi, L. G. Albuquerque, T. T. Fernandes and P. M. Padilha

Brazil is the world’s second beef producer and 80% of the Brazilian herd comprises Bos indicus cattle mainly Nellore breed. However, few studies investigate meat quality traits of this Zebu breed, especially bulls. Here, we provide results showing that lower backfat thickness and higher cooking losses are, to some extent, associated with meat toughness in Nellore bulls.

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Published online 08 March 2016
Physiological and growth parameters of fattening lambs after shearing under heat-stress conditions 
F. Moslemipur and S. Golzar-Adabi

Shearing is necessary for wool production and animal health but its effects on metabolism have been less studied. In this study, growth performance and metabolic parameters were measured in shorn and unshorn lambs. Result showed that, in summer, rectal temperature, respiratory rate and thyroxine level were lowered by shearing and it seems that under this condition, shearing helps lambs survive and remain productive by changing their metabolism.

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Published online 08 March 2016
Fatty acid profiles of intramuscular, intermuscular, external and internal fat in Polish Holstein-Friesian × Hereford bulls and steers fed grass silage-based diets supplemented with concentrates 
Zofia Wielgosz-Groth, Monika Sobczuk-Szul, Zenon Nogalski, Magdalena Mochol, Cezary Purwin and Rafa? Winarski

Nutritional and health properties of beef, which is an essential component of the human diet, may be influenced by a lot of factors. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of gender and feeding intensity on the fatty acids profile deposited in different locations on the beef carcass. The results showed the possibility of choosing the right way of using different fats from beef carcasses.

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Published online 08 March 2016
Different forms and frequencies of soybean oil supplementation do not alter rumen fermentation in grazing heifers 
M. C. A. Santana, G. Fiorentini, J. D. Messana, P. H. M. Dian, R. C. Canesin, R. A. Reis and T. T. Berchielli

Supplementation with lipid has been used for highly productive animals in grazing systems. This study evaluated the effect of different supplementation frequencies with different forms of soybean oil (SO) on nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation of heifers grazing pasture. The reduction of supplementation frequency had no effects on fermentation activity of the rumen microbial population and supplementation with SO increases propionic acid concentration.

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Published online 08 March 2016
Effects of replacement of corn with potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tuber meal in broiler chicken diets 
Samira Adami, Ghorbanali Sadeghi, Ahmad Karimi, Osman Azizi and Mahmood Habibian

Because of a decrease in availability and an increase in the price of corn, potato tuber meal (PTM) could be considered as an alternative feed to substitute for corn in the diet of broilers. The results of the present study to evaluate performance of broilers fed diets containing cooked PTM showed that PTM can replace dietary corn up to 40% during 22–49 days of age.

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Published online 08 March 2016
Effect of volume of urine and mass of faeces on N2O and CH4 emissions of dairy-cow excreta in a tropical pasture 
Abmael da Silva Cardoso, Bruno José Rodrigues Alves, Segundo Urquiaga and Robert Michael Boddey

CH4 and N2O emissions from bovine dung-N are linearly correlated with faeces weight. N2O emission factor of urine is reduced with urine volume. N deposited as urine is a much greater N2O source than is faeces-N.

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Published online 08 March 2016
Estimates of genetic parameters and genetic trends for production and reproduction traits in Iranian buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) 
Navid Ghavi Hossein-Zadeh

The breeding value prediction and estimation of (co)variance components are essential for intended breeding plans by increasing economically important characters in livestock. The aim of this study was to estimate variance components, heritabilities and genetic correlations between 305-day milk yield, age at first calving and interval from first through second calving in Iranian buffaloes using Bayesian methodology. Heritability estimates for productive and reproductive traits implied that applicable genetic variations observed for these traits could be applied in designing future genetic selection plans for Iranian buffaloes.

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Published online 04 March 2016
Reproductive performance and herd growth potentials of cattle in the Borana pastoral system, southern Ethiopia 
Hussein T. Wario, Hassan G. Roba, Mareike Aufderheide and Brigitte Kaufmann

Keeping livestock mobile is an important strategy used by pastoralist communities to produce livestock, but this practice is hampered by various constraints. This paper investigated the impact of reduced mobility on livestock production and established that cattle’s reproductive performances were lowest in areas facing the severest of constraints. This emphasises the importance of livestock mobility in influencing livestock production and echoes the call for policies aimed at protecting mobility practices.

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Published online 04 March 2016
Using krabok (Irvingia malayana) seed oil and Flemingia macrophylla leaf meal as a rumen enhancer in an in vitro gas production system 
Sungchhang Kang, Metha Wanapat, Kampanat Phesatcha, Thitima Norrapoke, Suban Foiklang, Thiwakorn Ampapon and Burarat Phesatcha

Rumen fermentation can be manipulated by many processes to improve fermentation efficiency and to mitigate methane production using plants containing bioactive products such as essential oils, saponins and tannins with antimicrobial properties, which may be exploited in ruminant production. Krabok (Irvingia malayana) seed oil and Flemingia (Flemingia macrophylla) leaf powder supplementation resulted in rumen fermentation enhancement and methane production reduction. Therefore, krabok seed oil and Flemingia leaf powder could be used as a rumen enhancer and further research under in vivo conditions should be conducted.

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Published online 04 March 2016
Genetic relationships between internal parasite resistance and production traits in Merino sheep 
D. J. Brown and N. M. Fogarty

Selection for low worm egg count (wec) in sheep can rapidly improve resistance to worm infestation without adversely affecting other production traits. Moderate heritability for wec (0.2–0.3) was estimated from a large Merino industry dataset, along with generally small or close to zero genetic correlations with production traits. These genetic parameters have been incorporated into MERINOSELECT to provide Australian Sheep Breeding Values for wec and appropriate selection indices for wool and meat production.

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Published online 03 March 2016
An assessment of immune and stress responsiveness in Holstein-Friesian cows selected for high and low feed conversion efficiency 
J. W. Aleri, B. C. Hine, M. F. Pyman, P. D. Mansell, W. J. Wales, B. Mallard and A. D. Fisher

The rearing of dairy cows with an improved ability to resist diseases improves animal health, welfare and farm profits. In this study the investigations of the relationships between improved animal immunity, stress management and efficient production formation revealed a favourable result. In future, the breeding of such animals provides a significant disease management strategy as well as reduced farm losses.

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Published online 02 March 2016
A review of factors influencing key biological components of maternal productivity in temperate beef cattle 
B. J. Walmsley, S. J. Lee, P. F. Parnell and W. S. Pitchford

Cow–calf efficiency or maternal productivity is highly correlated with total system efficiency of beef production and needs to be balanced with modern consumer requirements. This review examined the key biological components of maternal productivity that were used as a guide for determining the appropriateness of different maternal productivity definitions. The recommended definition focuses on the cow–calf unit and possesses the capacity to facilitate improvements in beef-production efficiency.

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Published online 02 March 2016
Divergent breeding values for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle. 5. Cow genotype affects feed efficiency and maternal productivity 
M. L. Hebart, J. M. Accioly, K. J. Copping, M. P. B. Deland, R. M. Herd, F. M. Jones, M. Laurence, S. J. Lee, D. S. Lines, J. Speijers, B. J. Walmsley and W. S. Pitchford

A current concern of Australian commercial cattle producers is that selection for increased feedlot performance is leading to reduced productivity in the cow herd. Under low nutrition cows with high genetic rib fat had higher maternal productivity than those with low rib fat due to increased weaning rates. Cows selected for low residual feed intake had higher maternal productivity than high residual feed intake cows due to lower feed intake. In this context, including low residual feed intake and increased reproduction should be considered in a balanced beef breeding program.

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Published online 25 February 2016
Liveweight gain and urinary nitrogen excretion of dairy heifers grazing perennial ryegrass-white clover pasture, canola, and wheat 
L. Cheng, J. McCormick, C. Logan, H. Hague, M. C. Hodge and G. R. Edwards

Previous work has shown canola and wheat have potential as dual-purpose crops to support animal liveweight gain and grain production in animals other than dairy heifers. Limited information is available regarding the use of canola and wheat to support dairy heifer production and its effect on environment sustainability. This study investigated liveweight gain and urinary nitrogen excretion of dairy heifers grazing canola and wheat in comparison to perennial ryegrass-white clover pasture. The results indicate that canola and wheat can sustain heifer liveweight gain, while potentially reducing nitrous oxide emissions and nitrate leaching compared with pasture.

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Published online 25 February 2016
Changes in feed intake during isolation stress in respiration chambers may impact methane emissions assessment 
Pol Llonch, Shane M. Troy, Carol-Anne Duthie, Miguel Somarriba, John Rooke, Marie J. Haskell, Rainer Roehe and Simon P. Turner

Methane, a major greenhouse gas emitted by livestock, requires robust methods of measurement in order to identify new and appropriate mitigation strategies. This study demonstrates that isolation within respiration chambers, the current most precise method of methane measurement in livestock, could underestimate emissions due to a reduction in feed intake. If changes in behaviour and physiology due to isolation stress are modelled, this would refine estimations of livestock greenhouse gas emissions that will help to find the most appropriate measures to mitigate climate change.

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Published online 18 February 2016
Effects of chitosan on ruminal fermentation, nutrient digestibility, and milk yield and composition of dairy cows 
Pablo Gomes de Paiva, Elmeson Ferreira de Jesus, Tiago Antonio Del Valle, Gustavo Ferreira de Almeida, Artur Gabriel Brao Vilas Boas Costa, Carlos Eduardo Cardoso Consentini, Filipe Zanferari, Caio Seiti Takiya, Ives Cláudio da Silva Bueno and Francisco Palma Rennó

Natural compounds with antimicrobial activity have been utilised to replace ionophores in ruminant nutrition, as the use of ionophores is becoming restricted because of their potential effect on microbial resistance to antibiotics. Chitosan, a natural biopolymer derived from chitin, is a potential modulator of ruminal fermentation. Chitosan increased propionate ruminal production, improved milk and protein yield, and, therefore, can be used as an alternative to ionophores in diets for dairy cows.

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Published online 18 February 2016
Dietary inclusion level effects of a phytogenic characterised by menthol and anethole on broiler growth performance, biochemical parameters including total antioxidant capacity and gene expression of immune-related biomarkers 
Vasileios Paraskeuas, Konstantinos Fegeros, Christine Hunger, Georgios Theodorou and Konstantinos C. Mountzouris

Phytogenic feed additives are being researched as part of intervention strategies targeting improved broiler growth performance and health. The inclusion level is critical for phytogenic efficacy and this was evaluated in the case of a menthol and anethole blend. The optimal inclusion level for beneficial effects on broiler growth, meat and blood antioxidant capacity and biochemical properties has been reported.

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Published online 18 February 2016
The effects of feeding 3-nitrooxypropanol at two doses on milk production, rumen fermentation, plasma metabolites, nutrient digestibility, and methane emissions in lactating Holstein cows 
Jennifer Haisan, Yun Sun, Leluo Guan, Karen A. Beauchemin, Allan Iwaasa, Stephane Duval, Maik Kindermann, Daniel R. Barreda and Masahito Oba

Lactating Holstein cows were fed 3-nitrooxypropanol, a biochemical compound designed to reduce methane emissions from cattle. Two doses of the compound were fed, 1250 and 2500 mg/day, reducing methane yield (g/kg dry matter intake) by 23% and 37%, respectively. There were no negative effects on animal performance, and nutrient digestibility was slightly increased indicating that the compound could be used to reduce the environmental impact of ruminant animal agriculture without compromising productivity of the animal.

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Published online 18 February 2016
Reasons for keeping dairy goats in Tanzania, and possible goals for a sustainable breeding program 
Z. C. Nziku, G. C. Kifaro, L. O. Eik, T. Steine and T. Ådnøy

Dairy goat farming has been shown to help improve the lives of Tanzanians. For biological reasons, research is often necessary in order to persevere in good production. This research focussed on understanding what motivates people to keep dairy goats, prominent attributes, and challenges to owning the best milking goats. The findings are important for sustainable goats’ milk production in Tanzanian.

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Published online 18 February 2016
Resilience in farm animals: biology, management, breeding and implications for animal welfare 
Ian G. Colditz and Brad C. Hine

Exposure to novel situations, social challenges, humans and some disease organisms are unavoidable events in the life of farm animals. The way animals respond to these stressors is reviewed, a strategy for identifying individuals resilient to these stressors is proposed, and implications for breeding and managing animals to improve their resilience are discussed. Improving resilience should improve welfare, health and production of farm animals.

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Published online 18 February 2016
Animal nutrition in a 360-degree view and a framework for future R&D work: towards sustainable livestock production 
Harinder P. S. Makkar

Sustainability of livestock production systems hinges on animal nutrition (science of feed production and feeding). A 360-degree view of animal nutrition is developed here, illustrating linkages between animal nutrition and various domains of the livestock sector. Based on this view a framework that could help guide future research and development for sustainable livestock development is also presented.

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Published online 18 February 2016
Effects of dietary acidifier supplementation on broiler growth performance, digestive and immune function indices 
Irida Palamidi, Vasileios Paraskeuas, Georgios Theodorou, Renata Breitsma, Gerd Schatzmayr, Georgios Theodoropoulos, Konstantinos Fegeros and Konstantinos C. Mountzouris

Diet acidification was initially aimed at protecting feed against microbial contamination and spoilage. Currently, acidifiers are being researched as alternatives to the use of antimicrobial growth promoters (AGP) and show promising beneficial effects for broiler growth performance and gut function. Nutritionists could consider acidifiers as part of modern intervention strategies targeting broiler performance and health.

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Published online 18 February 2016
An integrated sensory, consumer and olfactometry study evaluating the effects of rearing system and diet on flavour characteristics of Australian lamb 
Damian Frank, Margaret Raeside, Ralph Behrendt, Raju Krishnamurthy, Udayasika Piyasiri, Gavin Rose, Peter Watkins and Robyn Warner

Summer-active forages are increasingly used in lamb production. However, there are concerns regarding the potential for off flavours in the meat due to the feed regime. Consumer and trained sensory panels assessed the flavour and eating quality of lamb finished on lucerne, plantain and conventional ryegrass. Few flavour differences were found between the feed treatments, demonstrating that lucerne and especially plantain can be used for finishing lamb in Australia, without negatively affecting flavour or eating quality.

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Published online 18 February 2016
Microbiological quality and sensory evaluation of new cured products obtained from sheep and goat meat 
Georgina S. Tolentino, Leticia M. Estevinho, Ananias Pascoal, Sandra S. Rodrigues and Alfredo J. Teixeira

Meat consumption is considered essential in a healthy lifestyle, meaning the use of goat and sheep meat is increasingly popular, due to their nutritional and sensory features. This study uses legs of sheep and goat that had low commercial value (due to their age and weight) to develop two new meat products, which are safe and have promising sensory characteristics. It reports a strategy to enhance economic value to devalued meat and to provide consumers with good and differentiated products.

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Published online 18 February 2016
Species composition and dispersal of nuisance flies breeding on egg farms in southern Australia 
P. J. James, C. Krawec, N. A. Schellhorn, P. C. Glatz and P. M. Pepper

The vectorial and dispersal capacities of flies make them a significant biosecurity and food safety risk on intensive livestock facilities. This paper reports the major nuisance fly species present on egg farms in southern Australia, their seasonal abundance and dispersal patterns and discusses implications for biosecurity and control programs.

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Published online 18 February 2016
Physicochemical and sensory properties of dry-cured ham with dietary processed-sulfur supplementation 
Ji-Han Kim, Ha-Young Noh, Gyum-Heon Kim, Su-Jin Ahn, Go-Eun Hong, Soo-Ki Kim and Chi-Ho Lee

Sulfur, which is considered an important vital mineral, is involved in many chemical and biological reactions in the body. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify the effect of processed sulfur on the manufacturing process of dry cured ham. We found that the storage stability and nutritional quality were improved in dry-cured ham made from processed sulfur-fed pigs. In conclusion, the manufacture of dry-cured ham using processed sulfur-fed pigs might contribute positively to the meat industry and consumers.

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Published online 18 February 2016
Mineral metabolism of pregnant goats under feed restriction 
Carla J. Härter, Lisiane D. Lima, Douglas S. Castagnino, Astrid R. Rivera, Alana M. Nunes, Samuel F. Sousa, Annette Liesegang, Kleber T. Resende and Izabelle A. M. A. Teixeira

Feed deprivation is a nutritional challenge for animals and little is known about the metabolism of minerals in goats under such conditions. We investigated the effect of feed restriction on macromineral metabolism of goats during pregnancy and observed that severe feed restriction decreased the maternal body mineral reserves and impaired fetus growth. Our results may help producers with feeding management strategies for pregnant goats, mainly during periods of feed scarcity.

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Published online 22 January 2016
Effect of ghrelin and leptin receptors genes polymorphisms on production results and physicochemical characteristics of M. pectoralis superficialis in broiler chickens 
U. Kaczor, K. Poltowicz, M. Kucharski, A. M. Sitarz, J. Nowak, D. Wojtysiak and D. A. Zieba

The present manuscript concerns the estimation of the effect of GHSR/Csp6I and LEPR/Bsp1236I polymorphisms on the most important growth, slaughter and broiler chicken meat quality characteristics. The results obtained will be helpful in verifying potential use of GHSR and LEPR genes as a genetic marker in selection. The presented data could form a basis for further research in the field of the genetics of quantitative traits in broiler chicken.

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Published online 22 January 2016
Perspective: are animal scientists forgetting the scientific method and the essential role of statistics? 
J. L. Black, S. Diffey and S. G. Nielsen

A trend towards reduced scientific rigour in design and analysis of experiments leads to poorer scientific outcomes and reduced returns on investment. The scientific method is reviewed and examples given of greatly improved accuracy of measurements and logical allocation of resources with strict adherence to the methodology. Ensuring that scientific rigour is maintained is the joint responsibility of scientists, research organisations and fund providers.

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Published online 22 January 2016
Effects of melatonin implantation on cashmere growth, hormone concentrations and cashmere yield in cashmere-perennial-type Liaoning cashmere goats 
Chunhui Duan, Jianhai Xu, Yu Zhang, Wei Zhang, Yabo Sun and Zhihai Jia

This work is the first research on melatonin treatment in cashmere-perennial goats. Implantation of melatonin could improve cashmere growth and production in cashmere-perennial goats. Moreover, plasma melatonin concentrations were correlated with plasma prolactin in the regulation of cashmere growth. This study enriches the theoretical knowledge on the elucidation of the mechanism by which melatonin regulates cashmere growth.

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Published online 22 January 2016
Intergenerational effects of omega-6 fatty acids. 1. The reproductive rate of Border Leicester × Merino ewes is influenced by the diet fed to their dams around conception 
E. H. Clayton, M. A. Friend and J. F. Wilkins

In a previous experiment, the proportion of female Border Leicester × Merino first-cross lambs was higher when their Merino dams were fed a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids around mating. In the present study, the effect of diet previously fed to dams around mating on the potential reproductive rate of these Border Leicester × Merino ewe offspring at their first mating was determined. The mean number of fetuses per Border Leicester × Merino ewe at pregnancy scanning was higher when their dams had previously been fed a diet high in omega-6 compared with low in omega-6 fatty acids around joining. This is the first study to show an intergenerational effect of diets differing in fatty acid content fed to dams in the peri-conceptional period.

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Published online 22 January 2016
Genetic evaluation of adult ewe bodyweight and condition: relationship with lamb growth, reproduction, carcass and wool production 
S. F. Walkom and D. J. Brown

This paper reports on the genetic relationship between growth, wool, carcass and reproduction traits and ewe bodyweight and body condition in the Information Nucleus Flock. The genetic variation in weight and body condition and their genetic relationships with production traits were highly consistent across ages and the production cycle. Selection on body condition has the potential to assist in improving maternal performance and the feed costs associated with maintaining ewe body condition.

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Published online 22 January 2016
Changes in growth performance and body and carcass composition of common pheasants following three generations of selection for higher 7-week bodyweight 
D. Zapletal, K. Karásková and E. Straková

Captive rearing of pheasants is currently a common practise in some European countries. Selection over three generations of common pheasants for a higher bodyweight at the age of 7 weeks in the present study resulted in higher weights of the carcass, legs, neck, heart and liver in selected pheasants. However, the selection resulted in lower proportions of some important carcass components. For further selection with regard to improvement in meat production it is additionally important to include feed consumption and morphometric characteristics.

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Published online 22 January 2016
Effect of varying the energy density on growth performance, meat quality, caecum fermentation and microbiota of growing Rex rabbits 
S. J. Wu, L. Liu, Y. L. Zhu, C. Y. Wang and F. C. Li

Dietary energy can affect the growth and health of rabbit. The present study investigates the effects of varying the digestible energy density on growth performance, meat quality, caecum fermentation and microbiota of rabbits. The results show that average daily gain and meat quality were improved with increasing digestible energy concentration, and the microbiota was also affected by dietary energy density.

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Published online 22 January 2016
Effects of whole raw soybean or whole cottonseed on milk yield and composition, digestibility, ruminal fermentation and blood metabolites of lactating dairy cows 
Gustavo Ferreira de Almeida, Tiago Antônio Del Valle, Pablo Gomes de Paiva, Elmeson Ferreira de Jesus, Rafael Vilella Barletta, Jefferson Rodrigues Gandra, Vitor Pereira Bettero, Caio Seiti Takiya and Francisco Palma Rennó

Oilseeds can be fed raw and replace ground corn and soybean meal in dairy cow diets. Whole oilseeds are less expensive than oilseed meal due to the necessity of industrial processing. However, the use of oilseeds has been avoided because of the possible presence of anti-nutritional factors, which may negatively influence fibre digestion, impairing animal performance. Whole raw soybean and whole cottonseed decrease feed intake without effects on milk yield and, thus, may reduce dairy cow feed costs.

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Published online 22 January 2016
Clinical picture of active bovine viral diarrhoea infection in commercial bovine productive systems 
Susana Astiz, Laura Cogollos, Juan Manuel Loste, Gorka Aduriz, Javier Heras and Manuel Cerviño

Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD), one of the most important infectious diseases affecting cattle, is thought to show a subclinical course in most cases, yet few studies have assessed this rigorously under non-epidemic conditions. Here we used clinical characteristics to assess the prevalence of BVD in bovine production systems suspected of harbouring infection, and we found 33.7% of dairy farms, 30.6% of beef cow-calf farms and 40% of feedlots to contain at least one animal positive for BVD viral antigen. These results suggest that BVD could be associated to farms with clinical troubles, and that clinical diagnosis of active BVD infection can be helpful, particularly in dairy herds, where infection tends to be associated with higher rates of infertility, stillbirths and calf health problems.

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Published online 22 January 2016
Effects of supplement or fertiliser on forage quality, and performance of stocker cattle grazing warm-season pastures 
J. D. Rivera, M. L. Gipson, R. G. Gipson and R. W. Lemus

Increasing fertiliser costs and environmental concerns require more efficient use of inputs. We examined whether fertilisation of pastures or supplementation of cattle was more beneficial to animal performance, forage quality, and economics. Average daily gain was improved with either fertilisation or supplementation compared with controls, however, due to the high cost of fertilisation, it tended to result in the lowest return on a per-head basis. Due to similarities in final bodyweight, the most economically advantageous system would involve no inputs; however, it is unclear what long-term ramifications on pasture health such a system would have.

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Published online 22 January 2016
Variation in feed utilisation by sheep undergoing compensatory growth following underfeeding with and without additional dietary nitrogen in western China 
Joshua Philp, Adam M. Komarek, Sarah J. Pain and William Bellotti

Recurrent lack of access to feed nitrogen is a common challenge in farming systems with strongly seasonal climates, and it is understood that underfeeding reduces feed digestibility and may have ongoing impacts for animal performance. Accordingly we conducted an investigation to learn if sheep that are fed the same diet perform differently immediately following underfeeding with and without additional nitrogen. We found that the sheep that had initially been given additional nitrogen while underfed used feeds more efficiently after underfeeding ended.

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Published online 23 October 2015
Supplementation with crushed rapeseed causes reduction of methane emissions from lactating dairy cows on pasture 
T. M. Storlien, E. Prestløkken, K. A. Beauchemin, T. A. McAllister, A. Iwaasa and O. M. Harstad

Methane represents an energetic loss for the ruminant host, and is at the same time a threat to the climate. Thus, strategies for reducing methane emissions are highly important. This paper shows that crushed rapeseed lowered enteric methane emissions from dairy cows on pasture.

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Published online 20 October 2015
The effects of barley replacement by dehydrated citrus pulp on feed intake, performance, feeding behaviour and serum metabolic indicators in lambs 
M. N. N. E. Gobindram, M. Bognanno, G. Luciano, M. Avondo, G. Piccione and L. Biondi

The use of no-cereals feeds represents a critical point in the livestock field for environmental and ethical reasons; however, these feeds can contain substances able to affect animal metabolism. High levels of dehydrated citrus pulp (up to 35%) have been successfully included in lamb diets, without consistently modifying animal welfare and performance. Animal feeding can reduce waste disposal needs for the citrus industry.

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Published online 15 October 2015
Minhota breed cattle: carcass characterisation and meat quality affected by sex and slaughter age 
J. P. Araujo, J. M. Lorenzo, J. Cerqueira, J. A. Vazquez, P. Pires, J. Cantalapiedra and D. Franco

The Minhota cattle breed is native cattle from Portugal. The objective of this research was to study the effect of slaughter age and sex on carcass characteristics and meat quality of the Minhota cattle breed. Both entire male and female calf meat were of a strong light colour, a pale pink tone and had a high yellow index, which is common for animals without weaning.

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Published online 14 October 2015
The effect of feeding maize silage 1 h or 9 h before the herbage meal on dry matter intake, milk production, nitrogen partitioning and rumen function of lactating dairy cows 
O. Al-Marashdeh, P. Gregorini, S. L. Greenwood and G. Edwards

Previous studies provide some evidence of an effect of timing of supplementation on dry matter intake and productivity. However, there is still a lack of information on the effect of timing of supplementation on the performance and nitrogen excretion of lactating dairy cows subjected to feed restriction strategy. This study examined the effect of feeding maize silage at 1 or 9 hours before the herbage meal on dry matter intake, milk production, nitrogen partitioning and rumen function of lactating dairy cows. The results indicate that under herbage feed restriction, altering the time of supplementation relative to the herbage meal can increase herbage DM intake and subsequent milk production.

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Published online 14 October 2015
Effect of late gestation bodyweight change and condition score on progeny feedlot performance 
J. T. Mulliniks, J. E. Sawyer, F. W. Harrelson, C. P. Mathis, S. H. Cox, C. A. Löest and M. K. Petersen

In the western United States, cows often graze low-quality forages during late gestation, which may have a negative impact on fetal growth and development. This study investigated cow bodyweight change during late gestation on cow and calf performance. Our results indicate that cows that have been adapted and managed to reproduce in harsh, limited nutrient environments may have the ability to maintain normal fetal growth and development during periods of maternal nutrient restriction.

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Published online 12 October 2015
Enhancement of physicochemical, microbiological and sensory properties of dry-cured loin by using processed sulfur-fed pigs 
Ji-Han Kim, Go-Eun Hong, Chang-Won Pyun, Woojoon Park and Chi-Ho Lee

This paper is aimed at researching the effect of processed sulphur supplementation for dry-cured loin quality. During the manufacture of dry-cured loin, storage stability and meat quality was enhanced by processed sulfur supplementation. Therefore, the meat industry can take advantage of the utilisation of meat processed with sulphur fed to pigs to improve meat quality.

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Published online 12 October 2015
Selection for increased muscling is not detrimental to maternal productivity traits in Angus cows 
L. M. Cafe, W. A. McKiernan and D. L. Robinson

Sale value of cattle may improve with greater muscling, but it is important to establish whether maternal productivity is maintained. This research showed that selection for increased muscling in Angus cows was not detrimental to maternal productivity under average to good nutritional conditions. Beef producers can confidently increase muscling in British type cows to benefit from price premiums without reducing their maternal ability.

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Published online 22 September 2015
Carcass cut-out value and eating quality of longisssimus muscle from serially harvested savannah-raised Brahman-influenced cattle and water buffaloes in Venezuela 
N. Huerta-Leidenz, A. Rodas-González, A. Vidal, J. Lopez-Nuñez and O. Colina

Edible meat yield and flavour and taste of meat were compared at four ages for buffaloes and cattle. Although, buffaloes had lower proportions of lean cuts, buffalo meat exhibits more tender and flavourful steaks than does Brahman beef. Buffaloes may offer clear advantages for the Latin American meat trade, and consumers will be able to appreciate their palatability quality.

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Published online 22 September 2015
Forage intake, digestibility and performance of cattle, horses, sheep and goats grazing together on an improved heathland 
K. Osoro, L. M. M. Ferreira, U. García, A. Martínez and R. Celaya

The suitability of different domestic herbivore species to utilise partially improved heathlands for meat production was studied. Horses proved to be less efficient than cattle, sheep and goats as they had greater forage intakes and lower digestibility compared with ruminants. In terms of offspring gains, sheep was the most productive species, whereas goats’ ability to utilise woody vegetation makes them a good complement for mixed systems with grazer species.

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Published online 16 September 2015
Hepatic lipidosis in high-yielding dairy cows during the transition period: haematochemical and histopathological findings 
Enrico Fiore, Giuseppe Piccione, Laura Perillo, Antonio Barberio, Elisabetta Manuali, Massimo Morgante and Matteo Gianesella

The aim of this study was to assess the severity and distribution of hepatic lipidosis in dairy cows during the transition period by the evaluation of body condition score, lipomobilisation indicators and histological liver lipid content. A contemporary increase of non-esterified fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyrate immediately after calving accompanied by a high lipomobilisation with a mild to moderate fat infiltration were found. Our results suggest that hepatic lipidosis is associated with long-term histological and metabolic changes in dairy cows.

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Published online 15 September 2015
Effect of dietary Lippia citriodora extract on reproductive and productive performance and plasma biochemical parameters in rabbit does 
D. Casamassima, M. Palazzo, F. Vizzarri, L. Ondruska, P. Massanyi and C. Corino

Animal exposure to inappropriate environmental conditions can disturb normal cellular functions and integrity. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the Lippia extract dietary supplementation on selected biochemical metabolites, plasma oxidative status, and on some productive and reproductive parameters in rabbit does. The results of this research highlight the positive role played by dietary supplementation with Lippia extract on does during the pregnancy.

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Published online 15 September 2015
Influence of a short-term prepartum supplementation on beef cows and calves 
G. Quintans, A. Scarsi, G. Roig, M. Carriquiry and G. Banchero

Under pastoral conditions, the last trimester of gestation coincides with the lowest forage production of native pasture. Beef pregnant cows have high nutritional demands at that moment. A short-term supplementation (40 days) before calving, with a concentrate, would be an excellent and profitable tool to increase reproductive performance without change to the calve’s birthweight.

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Published online 15 September 2015
Determination of changes in bovine plasma and milk proteins during naturally occurring Escherichia coli mastitis by comparative proteomic analysis 
Yongxin Yang, Suizhong Cao, Xiaowei Zhao, Dongwei Huang, Huiling Zhao and Guanglong Cheng

Mammary gland infection with bacteria commonly results in changes in milk components and decreases in milk yield. In this study, protein composition of plasma and milk were investigated in healthy cows, and cows infected with mild and severe Escherichia coli mastitis. Several differential milk proteins associated with the degree of severity of E. coli mastitis were found that could serve as potential diagnostic markers for E. coli mastitis.

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    | Supplementary Material (2 MB)
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Published online 07 September 2015
Effect of protein level on growth performance, non-carcass components and carcass characteristics of young sheep from three breeds 
H. Hajji, S. Smeti, M. Ben Hamouda and N. Atti

This paper focuses on an important aspect of sheep production that has received little research, in this case the nitrogen requirements of young sheep. It shows that these needs are lower than the growth of young lambs. Therefore, a contribution of 11% of crude protein results in the same growth, carcass and composition importance of meat cut as a supply of 16%.

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Published online 07 September 2015
Effect of an energy supplementation, weaning and oestrous synchronisation on ovarian activity and ovulation in early postpartum primiparous Bos indicus cows raised in the tropics of Costa Rica 
J. Galindo, S. Estrada, C. S. Galina, R. Molina, D. A. Contreras and M. Maquivar

Lack of sexual activity in first calving animals is one of the main conditions affecting the efficiency of cattle in the tropics; this is important since they need to continue growing, support lactation and raise their calf. This study evaluated the effect of an energy diet on the onset of ovarian activity in these females. Energy diet supplementation did not influence the onset of ovarian activity and more research is needed to determine more efficient nutritional strategies.

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Published online 04 September 2015
Effect of fermentation of soybean meal with varying protein solubility on ileal digestibility of nutrients in growing pigs 
Santi D. Upadhaya, Je-hoon Ryu, Kyung-il Kang, Seong-Jun Cho and In Ho Kim

Over processed or under processed soybean meal has adverse effects in the digestibility of protein and bioavailability of its constituent amino acids. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of fermentation on the low quality soybean meal with varying protein solubility. The results suggest that the low quality soybean meal could be improved through fermentation with Bacillus.

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Published online 04 September 2015
Effect of feeding semi-moist diets and highly digestible carbohydrate and protein sources in the prestarter phase on performance of broiler chicks 
Sayed Ali Tabeidian, Ghorbanali Sadeghi, Majid Toghyani and Mahmood Habibian

We examined the effects of inclusion of alternative carbohydrate and protein sources in prestarter diets and the form of diet on subsequent performance broilers. Our results showed that the inclusion of casein in a prestarter diet adversely affected intestinal development, feed intake and bodyweight at slaughter. At the same time, using a corn–soybean–fish meal-based prestarter diet in semi-moist form improved chick development, optimised feed intake and utilisation and positively affected growth performance.

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Published online 04 September 2015
A traditional cattle trade network in Tak province, Thailand and its potential in the spread of infectious diseases 
Chamrat Khengwa, Papaspong Jongchansittoe, Poonyapat Sedwisai and Anuwat Wiratsudakul

The movements of cattle dealers along the trade chain in Thailand may allow the spread of infectious diseases. We then analysed the trade network and found that cattle dealers connected with many sources and destinations of animals travelled long distances. Our findings are useful for related authorities in designing appropriate infectious disease control measures in the trade chain.

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Published online 04 September 2015
Do price premiums for wool characteristics vary for different end products, processing routes and fibre diameter categories? 
David Cottle and Euan Fleming

Differences in price premiums for wool characteristics for end product-processing groups are unknown. Inclusion of this group information was better than broad FD categories in understanding wool price. Using price relative to market indicator improved price prediction. Price premiums can be used to estimate relative economic values for sheep breeding selection indexes and to determine more profitable wool clip preparation strategies.

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    | Supplementary Material (1.9 MB)
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Published online 04 September 2015
Fasciola gigantica infection in large ruminants in northern Laos: smallholder knowledge and practices 
L. Rast, S. Nampanya, J.-A. L. M. L. Toribio, S. Khounsy and P. A. Windsor

This study looked at the knowledge of smallholder cattle and buffalo farmers in northern Laos about liver fluke, a common, production-limiting parasite that can also infect humans. Smallholders had minimal knowledge about this parasite and its potential impact nor knew about or implemented any specific control measures. The identified knowledge gap confirm the need for investment in effective extension capacities that effect changed practices amongst smallholders to provide opportunities for them to increase large ruminant production for better food security and safety in the region.

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Published online 04 September 2015
Influence of dietary glutamine supplementation on performance, biochemical indices and enzyme activities in broilers with cold-induced ascites 
Mokhtar Fathi, Mohammad Heidari, Ali Asghar Ahmadisefat, Mahmood Habibian and Mohammad Mehdi Moeini

This study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary glutamine supplementation on performance and biochemical indices of broilers with cold-induced ascites. Dietary glutamine supplementation had no effect on broiler performance. However, mortality due to ascites was reduced by dietary glutamine supplementation. We indicated that the beneficial effect of glutamine is probably related to its ability to maintain near to normal free radical scavenging enzymes and the level of glutathione peroxidase bioactivity, thereby protecting cell membranes from oxidative damage.

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Published online 04 September 2015
Chilean consumers’ perception about animal welfare in dairy production systems: short communication 
Einar Vargas-Bello-Pérez, José Luis Riveros, Claus Köbrich, Pamela Alejandra Álvarez-Melo and Joop Lensink

Results from this study may be useful in order to include animal welfare as an extrinsic quality attribute of dairy products in Chile and to define a market-oriented strategy including animal welfare.

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Published online 04 September 2015
Sire breed and sex effects on the fatty acid composition and content of heart, kidney, liver, adipose and muscle tissues of purebred and first-cross prime lambs 
A. E. O. Malau-Aduli, B. W. B. Holman, A. Kashani and P. D. Nichols

This study compared purebred and crossbred prime lamb fatty acid composition (mg/100 g) of liver, heart, kidney, adipose and muscle tissues. Differences among tissue fatty acid compositions were evident, with lamb sire breed and sex influencing the profiles. These findings emphasise the potential for sire breed and sex flock-management approaches to achieve fatty acid-associated meat-quality goals and alternative lamb tissues as rich sources of beneficial fatty acids.

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Published online 02 September 2015
Effect of residual feed intake phenotype–nutritional treatment interaction on the growth performance, plasma metabolic variables and somatotropic axis gene expression of growing ewes 
H. T. Nie, Z. Y. Wang, S. Lan, H. Zhang, Y. J. Wan, Y. X. Fan, Y. L. Zhang and F. Wang

The mechanism responsible for the divergence in feed efficiency of animals selected for different residual feed intake (RFI) phenotypes is unclear, and no biological markers have been reported. The present study was warranted to find the biological marker and mechanism responsible for the divergence in feed efficiency between different RFI phenotypes. These results provide the theoretical basis applicability of feed ef?ciency in sheep as measured using RFI, and identify potential physiological biomarkers for predictors of RFI.

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Published online 26 August 2015
Behavioural characterisation of Holstein steers in three different production systems 
O. Blumetto, A. Ruggia, A. Dalmau, F. Estellés and A. Villagrá

When changes in the production systems are carried out in order to improve productivity, life conditions of the animals can change and consequences on normal behaviour be developed. This work characterised the behaviour of steers in different production systems and showed that these animals are motivated to graze, regardless of the system. Thus, the design of steer-production systems should consider and allow these types of behaviours.

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Published online 25 August 2015
Effects of diet on leather quality and longissimus muscle composition of three Ethiopian indigenous goat types 
Dereje Tadesse, Mengistu Urge, Getachew Animut and Yoseph Mekasha

Little is known about leather and skin quality, and meat composition of Ethiopian goats despite them being major sources for domestic and export purposes. The result of the present study indicate that all evaluated goat genotypes produced leather with quality parameters acceptable for industrial processing and meat that can meet the demand of diversified consumers. The result will help to stimulate the utilisation and marketing of skin and leather, and the consumption of meat by different stakeholders.

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Published online 25 August 2015
Meta-analysis of effect of a mono-component xylanase on the nutritional value of wheat supplemented with exogenous phytase for broiler chickens 
A. J. Cowieson, W. Schliffka, I. Knap, F. F. Roos, R. Schoop and J. W. Wilson

Xylanases are a family of enzymes that hydrolyse arabinoxylan, a fibrous component of plant cell walls. Arabinoxylans are found in both soluble and insoluble forms distributed throughout various grains, legumes and oilseed meals and as such constitute a significant part of the fibre fraction of animal diets. Arabinoxylans increase intestinal viscosity and can negatively interfere with various digestive processes. Exogenous xylanases, added to the feed, partially hydrolyse arabinoxylans, reducing their antinutritional effect. Data presented herein confirm the continued efficacy of exogenous xylanases in the diets of poultry and shed light on the underlying trends and mechanisms involved.

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Published online 25 August 2015
Nitrogen balance in Holstein steers grazing winter oats: effect of nitrogen fertilisation 
F. Sánchez Chopa, L. B. Nadin, L. Agnelli, J. K. Trindade and H. L. Gonda

A detailed understanding of nitrogen (N) balance in grazing steers is needed to improve N utilisation, reducing N losses and environmental pollution. N fertilisation leads to chemical modifications of the consumed diet, and hence in the animals. Steers grazing fertilised oats had greater N intake, N retention, average daily gain and N excretion than steers grazing non-fertilised oats. These findings are part of the onset of N cycle in grazing management situations. It is important to study the environmental impact of animal depositions grazing fertilised oats.

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Published online 20 August 2015
Effects of glycerin and essential oils (Anacardium occidentale and Ricinus communis) on the meat quality of crossbred bulls finished in a feedlot 
I. N. Prado, O. T. B. Cruz, M. V. Valero, F. Zawadzki, C. E. Eiras, D. C. Rivaroli, R. M. Prado and J. V. Visentainer

Crossbred bulls fed with glycerin and essential oils improve meat quality. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of glycerin and essential oils on meat quality of crossbred bulls finished in a feedlot. The glycerin addition in the diet did not alter meat quality and the essential oils improved the overall acceptability of the meat according to consumers.

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Published online 20 August 2015
Dietary supplementation of a bacteriocinogenic and probiotic strain of Enterococcus faecium CCM7420 and its effect on the mineral content and quality of Musculus longissimus dorsi in rabbits 
M. Pogány Simonová, L'. Chrastinová and A. Lauková

There is an increasing interest of consumers in a healthy lifestyle, e.g. energy and nutritional values of food, rich in protein and low in cholesterol and lipid contents, like rabbit meat. During the bacteriocinogenic and probiotic strain Enterococcus faecium CCM7420 administration to rabbits the iron content in carcass samples significantly increased. A diet enriched with the CCM7420 strain is beneficial for the health status of rabbits, involving the nutritional quality of rabbit meat in connection with consumers.

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Published online 17 August 2015
Animal and human health is unlikely to be at risk when generations of sheep graze bauxite residue (Alkaloam®)-amended pastures 
M. Laurence, N. Stephens and G. Megirian

This research investigated concerns that bauxite residue (Alkaloam®), which is well recognised for increasing pasture production, could put animal and human health at risk. The aim was to show that when sheep graze pasture that has been improved with Alkaloam application, animal tissues do not accumulate dangerous heavy metals. There was no evidence that this occurred when two generations of sheep grazed improved pasture. This adds to the weight of evidence that suggests that Alkaloam may be a safe and highly effective way to increase productivity on Western Australia farms.

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Published online 17 August 2015
Validation of single photon absorptiometry for on-farm measurement of density and mineral content of tail bone in cattle 
D. B. Coates, R. M. Dixon, R. J. Mayer and R. M. Murray

Diagnosing phosphorus deficiency in cattle is important because the deficiency is serious and widespread across northern Australia and is a major limitation to productivity. This research investigated the accuracy of measuring mineral density in the tail bones of live cattle as a practical and non-invasive way of detecting phosphorus deficiency. Accuracy was found to be sufficient to warrant further development of the diagnostic technique for on property use and as a research tool.

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Published online 17 August 2015
Effect of dietary mannan-oligosaccharides on some blood biochemical, haematological parameters and carcass traits in purebred New Zealand White and crossbred rabbits 
Tamer M. Abdel-Hamid and Mahmoud H. Farahat

The use of safe additives such as prebiotics is very interesting to avoid a public health hazard. This study examined the effect of dietary mannan-oligosaccharides on some blood parameters and carcass traits of purebred and crossbred rabbits. We found that 1.0 g/kg of diet mannan-oligosaccharides improved immunity, health, liveweights and carcass weights. We can recommend the spreading of these results on the commercial scale.

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Published online 06 August 2015
A comparison of fatty acid profiles and lipolysis during ripening of dry-cured loins obtained from a native pig breed (ChatoMurciano) and from a modern crossbreed pig 
Luis Tejada, Eva Salazar, Adela Abellán, Begoña Peinado, Juana Mulero and Jose M. Cayuela

This study is a comparison of the fatty acid concentration in the different lipids fractions of dry-cured loin obtained from Chato Murciano and from a modern crossbreed pig throughout the ripening stage. The results provide evidence that Chato Murciano dry-cured loin is a significant source of monounsaturated fatty acids. This fact is significant to increase the attraction of using the breed to obtain derived products.

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Published online 03 August 2015
Changes in the nutritive value and aerobic stability of corn silages inoculated with Bacillus subtilis alone or combined with Lactobacillus plantarum 
Erika C. Lara, Fernanda C. Basso, Flávia B. de Assis, Fernando A. Souza, Telma T. Berchielli and Ricardo A. Reis

Corn silage is the most utilised conserved forage to animal feeding in the world due to all the desirable characteristics of an ensilable crop, but problems such as aerobic instability and fermentation losses are frequent. To minimise these effects, bacterial inoculants are used at ensilage. In this study, silages inoculated with B. subtilis and L. plantarum maintained appropriate fermentative characteristics, decreased the neutral detergent fibre content and increased the in vitro digestibility. In addition, silages inoculated with B. subtilis had lower populations of yeasts and moulds and increased aerobic stability.

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Published online 29 July 2015
Estimation of bodyweight from body measurements and determination of body measurements on Limousin cattle using digital image analysis 
Serkan Ozkaya, Wojciech Neja, Sylwia Krezel-Czopek and Adam Oler

In recent years, computer-aided and image analysis has been used for livestock production. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determination of body measurements and estimation of bodyweight from body measurements by using digital image analysis. The results indicated that digital image analysis can be used for accurate prediction of body measurements and bodyweight. Body area can be used for estimation of bodyweight.

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Published online 27 July 2015
Sunflower meal and spring pea ruminal degradation protection using malic acid or orthophosphoric acid-heat treatments 
F. Díaz-Royón, J. M. Arroyo, M. D. Sánchez-Yélamo and J. González

Reducing ruminal degradation of high-quality proteins may decrease ammonia losses and increase the efficiency of microbial protein synthesis. The combined treatment of sunflower meal and spring pea with solutions of malic or orthophosphoric acids and heat reduced the ruminal degradation and improved the digestive availability of their proteins. These treatments may improve nitrogen retention by ruminants with associated benefits to the environment.

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Published online 27 July 2015
Storage stability of functional chicken meat bullets coated with composite antimicrobial biodegradable films under different packaging conditions 
Richa Rani, Manish Kumar Chatli, Mohan Jairath, Nitin Mehta and Pavan Kumar

Development of biodegradable films utilising dairy industry by-product, whey, and using it as carriers for antimicrobial agents can be an innovative approach. These bioactive biodegradable films were used to wrap ready-to-eat meat products inside a secondary synthetic package during storage and transportation, and helped in the extension of storage life of food product substantially. This technology has the potential to be utilised in the meat or food industry.

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Published online 27 July 2015
Immunisation against gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) reduces agonistic behaviours in male rangeland goats 
Catherine C. Bishop, Patricia A. Fleming, Anne L. Barnes, Teresa Collins and David W. Miller

Rangeland goats are a significant environmental problem for outback Australia, yet concurrently represent a valuable resource for meat production. To fully utilise this resource, animals must be caught and domesticated, and this paper examines a method of injectable castration to reduce agonistic behaviours, and hopefully lead to improved domestication protocols for male rangeland goats.

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Published online 27 July 2015
Effects of supplementing a milk replacer with sodium butyrate or tributyrin on performance and metabolism of Holstein calves 
G. Araujo, M. Terré, A. Mereu, I. R. Ipharraguerre and A. Bach

Transition from liquid to solid feed requires a fully developed and full-functioning rumen. The aim of this work was to evaluate the impact of different forms of butyrate (thought to stimulate development of rumen wall and alter glucose metabolism) on performance of calves. No advantages of supplementing milk replacer with sodium butyrate or tributyrin were found.

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Published online 27 July 2015
The effect of selection for residual feed intake on scale-activity and scale-exit scores in Yorkshire gilts 
L. J. Sadler, A. K. Johnson, D. Nettleton, C. R. G. Lewis, J. M. Young, S. M. Lonergan and J. C. M. Dekkers

Selection for lower residual feed intake in purebred Yorkshires has an effect on temperament, as measured by a scale-activity score, but this relationship is complex and warrants further research. The observation that gilts become habituated to the process of weighing supports the conclusion that the process is not aversive.

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Published online 27 July 2015
Differences in carcass traits, meat quality and chemical composition between the pigs of different CAST genotype 
I. Djurkin Kušec, G. Kušec, R. Vukovi?, E. Has-Schön and G. Kralik

The differences between the pigs grouped according to genotypes at three CAST loci (HinfI, MspI and RsaI) in meat quality, carcass traits, chemical composition and calpain activity of hybrid pigs were investigated. The differences among genotypes at CAST/HinfI locus in economically important carcass traits were significant. The relationship between shear force and calpain activity was noticed, since EE genotype at CAST/HinfI locus exhibited the highest calpain activity and the lowest shear force values.

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Published online 21 July 2015
Close contact with spontaneously cycling Saint Croix ewes triggers cyclic activity in seasonally anestrous Suffolk ewes 
Agustín Orihuela, Neftalí Clemente and Rodolfo Ungerfeld

Reproduction in tropical originated sheep breeds is not affected by the season of the year, whereas ewes from temperate climates such as the Suffolk breed cease cycling during long days. Close contact between these two breeds during the anestrous period induce Suffolk ewes to cycle. This phenomenon can be achieved at medium latitudes where both breeds coexist, allowing Suffolk ewes to conceive year round, making artificial light or hormonal treatments unnecessary to induce this same effect.

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Published online 21 July 2015
Growth, feed intake and carcass characteristics of indigenous goats fed local resources in Tunisian arid land 
N. Ayeb, M. Seddik, N. Atti, M. Atigui, I. Fguiri, A. Barmat, S. Arroum, M. Addis, M. Hammadi and T. Khorchani

In all countries, local resources feed is important in ruminant feeding. The valorisation of natural resources can reduce the feed cost by replacing market feed in diets. The use of local feed resources can produce good quality animal product, without a negative effect on animal performance.

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Published online 21 July 2015
Lactogenic hormones regulate mammary protein synthesis in bovine mammary epithelial cells via the mTOR and JAKSTAT signal pathways 
Q. Tian, H. R. Wang, M. Z. Wang, C. Wang and S. M. Liu

It is important to clarify the synthesis mechanism in improving milk protein yield. Inhibitors were used to study the influence of hormones on the milk protein synthesis pathway. The results showed that the positive regulatory genes in mTOR and JAK–STAT pathways were the key to regulating milk protein synthesis of hormones. It has provided an important theoretical basis in bovine milk protein synthesis by endocrine regulation.

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Published online 21 July 2015
The effect of the concentration and feeding duration of spray-dried plasma protein on growth performance, digestive enzyme activities, nutrient digestibility and intestinal mucosal development of broiler chickens 
S. S. M. Beski, R. A. Swick and P. A. Iji

Spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) is a promising supplement for early feeding of broiler chickens. In the present study, different levels and feeding duration of SDPP were tested in the starter diet of broilers. The outcomes achieved showed that SDPP effectively enhances early growth and development of body functions. It would be more economic to use a low level (10 g/kg) of SDPP over a longer period (10 days post-hatch) to achieve the same benefits as using a higher (10 g/kg diet) of supplementation.

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Published online 10 July 2015
Steer performance on Panicum maximum (cv. Mombaça) pastures under two grazing intensities 
Valéria Pacheco Batista Euclides, Flávia da Conceição Lopes, Domicio do Nascimento Junior, Sila Carneiro da Silva, Gelson dos Santos Difante and Rodrigo Amorim Barbosa

Increasing the efficiency of beef production systems is one of the most important challenges faced by producers and scientists within the context of rapidly growing emphasis on minimising impacts of livestock production on the environment. Thus, this paper aimed to define grazing management to achieve this goal. The results indicated that the adoption of a sward target-based grazing-management approach may be a useful strategy for improving the efficiency of herbage utilisation and animal performance.

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Published online 10 July 2015
Management and meteorological factors affect fertility after artificial insemination in Murciano-Granadina goats 
Francisco Arrébola, Carlos Palacios, María-Jesús Gil and José-Alfonso Abecia

Artificial insemination is the most important reproductive technology that has improved the genetic quality of livestock, so that the effect of various management and meteorological factors on pregnancy rate of goats after artificial insemination was studied. All of the management factors had a significant effect on goat fertility; inseminations were significantly more successful when temperatures were higher and rainfall was lower than average. It remains to be determined whether scheduling the dates of insemination based on forecasted temperatures can improve the success of artificial insemination in goats.

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Published online 10 July 2015
The effects of essential oil and condensed tannin on fermentation and methane production under in vitro conditions 
Brittany Pinski, Mevlüt Günal and Amer A. AbuGhazaleh

Plant extracts in ruminant diets might have beneficial effects on nutrient degradation in the rumen while mitigating methane production. The potential of five different essential oils and quebracho condensed tannin extract as antimethanogenic additives in ruminant feeds were investigated. It was concluded that the use of cinnamon oil had a desirable effect on methane production without negative effects on rumen fermentation. Quebracho condensed tannin extract supplementation resulted in no significant changes in methane production and fermentation parameters except for ammonia-N concentration.

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Published online 09 July 2015
Comparison of B-splines and non-linear functions to describe growth patterns and predict mature weight of female beef cattle 
G. Gano, M. Blanco, I. Casasús, X. Cortés-Lacruz and D. Villalba

The knowledge of the growth curve of female beef cattle is useful to determine the degree of maturity at first calving and optimise the reproductive performance. The aim of this work is to find the best model to describe the growth of females from birth to adult age. B-spline function showed the best fit to the actual weight and the best prediction ability.

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Published online 09 July 2015
Dietary supplementation of a novel phytogenic feed additive: effects on nutrient metabolism, antioxidant status and immune response of goats 
Mahipal Choubey, Ashok Kumar Pattanaik, Shalini Baliyan, Narayan Dutta, Sunil E. Jadhav and Kusumakar Sharma

Healthy food of animal origin can only come from animals which are healthy and fed diets free from undesirable chemical- and antibiotics-based feed additives. A phytochemical-based feed additive has been developed as a potential alternative to synthetic chemical feed additives for ruminants. This work was to determine if the additive would improve the health and welfare of target animals.

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Published online 08 July 2015
Production and physiological effects of perennial ryegrass alkaloids under thermoneutral conditions in Merinos 
M. L. E. Henry, S. Kemp, I. J. Clarke, F. R. Dunshea and B. J. Leury

Perennial ryegrass toxicity is a condition that can result in hundreds of thousands of sheep deaths in some years, while other years the effects are not severe. This study investigated the effects of different doses of perennial ryegrass alkaloids and found sheep were affected according to alkaloid dose, and animal production and efficiency were compromised. The results suggest that even over a short period of time animal health can be compromised and producer profitability may suffer as a consequence.

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Published online 08 July 2015
Effect of fermented seaweed by-product supplementation on reproduction of Hanwoo cows and growth and immunity of their calves 
Md. Manirul Islam, Sonia Tabasum Ahmed, Hong-Seok Mun, Young-Bae Kim and Chul-Ju Yang

Seaweed by-product is an important source of biologically active components for calf antibodies. Calf morbidity and mortality is the main problem in livestock industry, which might be prevented by utilising seaweed by-product due to its functional activity. The increased growth performance and immunity of suckling calves as well as elevated colostrum composition and immunoglobulin level of cows will ultimately reduce calf mortality.

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Published online 08 July 2015
Effects of divergent selection for growth on egg quality traits in Japanese quail 
Mohammed A. F. Nasr, Mahmoud S. El-Tarabany and Michael J. Toscano

Quails are used for meat and egg production, especially in developing countries. External egg quality is crucial for consumer acceptability, while interior quality is essential for the egg production industry. The present study aimed to clarify the role of genetic differences in egg quality traits. Quails selected for high body mass laid heavier egg weight with a greater external and internal egg quality score. Therefore, selection for greater body mass might result in heavier and superior egg quality.

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Published online 07 July 2015
Methane emissions from young and mature dairy cattle 
C. A. Ramírez-Restrepo, H. Clark and S. Muetzel

This study compared methane emissions from young dairy heifers and adult cows in New Zealand using the sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) tracer gas and respiratory chamber techniques. Methane yield (g/kg dry matter intake) assessed over eight separate measurement periods did not differ between heifers (24.5 ± 0.42) and cows (23.8 ± 0.43), while methane yields between heifers and cows obtained by the SF6 (25.3 ± 0.52 vs 24.1 ± 0.55) and respiratory chamber (23.7 ± 0.66 vs 23.6 ± 0.66) methodologies were similar.

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Published online 06 July 2015
Proximate composition, cholesterol concentration and lipid oxidation of meat from chickens fed dietary spice addition (Allium sativum, Piper nigrum, Capsicum annuum) 
N. Puvača, Lj. Kostadinović, S. Popović, J. Lević, D. Ljubojević, V. Tufarelli, R. Jovanović, T. Tasić, P. Ikonić and D. Lukač

Spices and herbs are a new practical way in poultry nutrition for improving meat quality and stability. Application of spices including garlic, black pepper and hot red pepper in the poultry diet in the present study significantly improved chicken meat quality, meat stability and reduction of cholesterol. Spices and herbs are the new imperative for healthy food today and will be in the future.

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Published online 02 July 2015
Getting the most out of advanced farm management technologies: roles of technology suppliers and dairy industry organisations in supporting precision dairy farmers 
C. R. Eastwood, J. G. Jago, J. P. Edwards and J. K. Burke

The use of precision dairy technologies is increasing. A survey conducted with a group of New Zealand dairy farmers highlighted the potential benefits of the technologies and also the opportunities for greater use through better understanding of the technologies and training options. Dairy industry organisations have an important role to play in providing independent information on technology options for farmers, and in guiding training.

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Published online 02 July 2015
Fatty acid composition and mRNA expression levels of lipid-metabolic genes in the muscles of ovariectomised young goats 
Lei Zhang, Yan-yan Wang, Zhan-qin Zhou, Ming-zhe Fu, Guang Li, Fang Peng and Lu Wan

Ovariectomy would induce carcass weight gain and be beneficial for developing the meat flavour by improving the fatty acid (FA) composition of muscle tissues. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of ovariectomy on the FA composition and the mRNA expression levels of lipid metabolic genes. We found ovariectomy affects fatty acid composition potentially by altering the expression of LPL, HSL, FAS and ACC in the skeletal muscles of young female goats. These data provide a scientific theoretical basis for the application of ovariectomy in livestock production.

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Published online 02 July 2015
Effect of concentrate supplementation on performance and ingestive behaviour of lambs grazing tropical Aruana grass (Panicum maximum) 
N. M. Fajardo, C. H. E. C. Poli, C. Bremm, J. F. Tontini, Z. M. S. Castilhos, C. M. McManus, B. N. M. Sarout, J. M. Castro and A. L. G. Monteiro

There is a need to evaluate the ability of lamb production systems taking advantage of the high potential of tropical pastures. The objective of this study was to assess the performance of Panicum maximum cv. IZ-5 using different levels of concentrate supplementation. The supplementation provided a negative impact on pasture structure and animal behaviour. The change in pasture structure should be considered when using concentrate for finishing lambs.

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Published online 29 June 2015
The effect of feeding frequency and dose rate of nitrate supplements on blood haemoglobin fractions in Bos indicus cattle fed Flinders grass (Iseilemia spp.) hay 
I. Benu, M. J. Callaghan, N. Tomkins, G. Hepworth, L. A. Fitzpatrick and A. J. Parker

Nitrate-based supplements have been demonstrated to reduce methane production from beef cattle. However, nitrate can be toxic to cattle. Nitrate toxicity increased in a dose-dependent manner but was reduced when the same dose was divided equally and fed in two portions each day. Caution should be exercised when intentionally feeding nitrate salts as a urea substitute and/or a methane abatement strategy.

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Published online 25 June 2015
Treating Bos indicus bulls with rumen transfaunation after 24 hours of transportation does not replete muscle glycogen 
C. L. O. Leo-Penu, L. A. Fitzpatrick, H. N. Zerby and A. J. Parker

The transportation of cattle can lead to fatigue and subsequently reduce meat quality from the carcass. Transferring rumen digesta to bulls post-transport resulted in an increase in feed intake; however, there was no effect on muscle glycogen concentrations. Repopulating the rumen with microflora from a healthy donor will assist in the recovery of feed intake in bulls that have been transported.

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Published online 23 June 2015
Interactive effects of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) seed extract supplementation and dietary metabolisable energy levels on the growth performance, total tract digestibility, blood profiles, and excreta gas emission in broiler chickens 
J. H. Park and I. H. Kim

Fenugreek has a significant positive effect on the physiological aspects in the body. The objective of our study was to collect information on fenugreek seed extract as a feed ingredient by measuring growth performance, total tract digestibility, haematological and biochemical blood properties, and excreta gas emission in broilers fed with diets containing two dietary levels of metabolisable energy. The results of the present study confirmed the applicability of fenugreek seed extract as a feed ingredient in broiler diets.

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Published online 22 June 2015
Microbial phytase improves performance and bone traits in broilers fed diets based on soybean meal and containing lupin meal 
S. A. Kaczmarek, A. J. Cowieson, M. Hejdysz and A. Rutkowski

Phytase effects may vary depending on ingredient mix within a given diet. Most phytase studies are based on data generated in diets that use soybean meal. There is a need to explore possible variance in phytase effects in diets based on alternative protein sources such as lupin seed meal. The study reported herein examined the effect of phytase in diets based on alternative protein source and it can be concluded that phytase is an effective nutritional intervention in diets containing lupin seed meals.

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Published online 22 June 2015
Effect of fresh pasture forage quality, feeding level and supplementation on methane emissions from growing beef cattle 
Arjan Jonker, Stefan Muetzel, German Molano and David Pacheco

Methane production from cattle in New Zealand account for 21% of total national greenhouse gases produced. However, only dry matter intake (DMI) and a fixed methane yield factor are considered in this inventory. In this study, the effect of fresh pasture forage quality, feeding level and supplementation on methane production was determined in growing beef cattle. All these parameters had only minor effects on methane per unit of DMI and DMI alone explained 71% of variation in methane production.

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Published online 17 June 2015
Cloning and expression of caprine KIT gene and associations of polymorphisms with litter size 
X. P. An, J. X. Hou, T. Y. Gao and B. Y. Cao

Marker-assisted selection plays an important role in livestock genetic improvement. The g.88430T > A locus has significant effects on litter size. The combined genotypes TTAA can be used in marker-assisted selection.

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Published online 17 June 2015
Patterns of milk production, blood metabolite profile and enzyme activities of two fat-tailed sheep breeds 
Shahab Payandeh, Farokh Kafilzadeh, Miguel Angel de la Fuente, Darab Ghadimi and Andrés L. Martínez Marín

Milk production, plasma parameters and different enzyme activities were compared in two Iranian fat-tailed sheep breeds (Mehraban and Sanjabi) during lactation. There were few differences in plasma parameters between breeds. However, Mehraban ewes performed better than Sanjabi ewes in the last two-thirds of the lactation period.

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Published online 17 June 2015
Comparison of banana flower powder and sodium bicarbonate supplementation on rumen fermentation and milk production in dairy cows 
Sungchhang Kang, Metha Wanapat, Anusorn Cherdthong and Kampanat Phesatcha

High concentrate feeding to ruminant resulted in rumen acidosis due to the increasing lactic acid being produced leading to a reduction in rumen pH. Banana flower powder is reported to contain a high mineral element and could be used as a rumen buffer in maintaining rumen pH prior to high concentrate feeding. Therefore, banana flower powder is potentially used as a rumen buffer agent for high producing dairy cattle promising to replace sodium bicarbonate.

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Published online 16 June 2015
Effect of cut type and post-mortem ageing on the technological quality, textural profile and sensory characteristics of horse meat 
PilNam Seong, Kuyng Mi Park, SooHyun Cho, Geun Ho Kang, Hyun Seok Chae, Beom Young Park and Hoa Van Ba

Although horse meat is widely consumed in many countries worldwide, little attention has been paid to evaluating the factors affecting its quality characteristics. In this study, the quality characteristics of horse meat as affected by cut type and post-mortem ageing were investigated. The findings of the present study provide useful information that can improve consumer’s appreciation, acceptance and consumption for this meat type.

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Published online 16 June 2015
Transfer of aflatoxins from naturally contaminated feed to milk of Nili-Ravi buffaloes fed a mycotoxin binder 
N. Aslam, I. Rodrigues, D. M. McGill, H. M. Warriach, A. Cowling, A. Haque and P. C. Wynn

Feed ingredients used as concentrate feed to enhance milk production are often contaminated with fungal toxins, which after ingestion are transferred into milk. Transfer of aflatoxins from feed to milk was found in 4.6% of buffaloes. Using mycotoxin binder was effective at minimising its transfer and helping to improving the health status of milk consumers.

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Published online 16 June 2015
Methane production and in vitro digestibility of low quality forages treated with a protease or a cellulase 
J. M. Cantet, D. Colombatto and G. Jaurena

Patagonian meadow and Milium are forage resources of increasing importance for ruminants; however, both are rich in fibre with low nutritional quality. In this context, enzymes could help improve forage utilisation. The addition of a fibrolytic enzyme showed no differences with respect to Control treatment. Nevertheless, a protease addition was associated with lower ruminal digestibility without consequences on methane production. This finding suggests that both enzymes at the dose rates assayed here would not improve forage digestion, neither would reduce methane production.

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Published online 16 June 2015
Effect of herb-clover mixes of plantain and chicory on yearling lamb production in the early spring period 
S. C. Somasiri, P. R. Kenyon, P. D. Kemp, P. C. H. Morel and S. T. Morris

Herb-clover mixes containing chicory, plantain, and clovers are potentially higher in nutritive value for lamb growth over the spring period in New Zealand than the widely used ryegrass/white clover mixes. Lambs grazing herb-mixes grew faster and were heavier at slaughter and had higher dressing-out percentages than lambs grazing ryegrass/white clover pastures. Therefore, herb-mixes are effective as a spring feed to finish lambs in addition to their well established use in summer.

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Published online 21 May 2015
Evaluating the efficacy of a topical anaesthetic formulation and ketoprofen, alone and in combination, on the pain sensitivity of dehorning wounds in Holstein-Friesian calves 
Crystal A. Espinoza, Dominique McCarthy, Peter J. White, Peter A. Windsor and Sabrina H. Lomax

Dehorning is a painful procedure performed on millions of dairy and beef calves each year. Effective and practical pain relief for these animals remains a challenge and the use of a novel pain-relief gel investigated in this study shows pain can be reduced. This has the potential to improve the welfare of calves undergoing dehorning.

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Published online 21 May 2015
Genetic parameters for liveweight, wool and worm resistance traits in multi-breed Australian meat sheep. 2. Genetic relationships between traits 
D. J. Brown and A. A. Swan

Australian meat sheep breeders have to balance recording and selection across growth traits, meat attributes, worm resistance and reproduction rate. This study investigated the genetic relationships between traits in the LAMBPLAN terminal sire database. The significant relationships between most traits suggest that breeders should us multiple trait selection indexes that consider the value of, and relationships between, all these traits, rather than focusing on just one or two traits.

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Published online 21 May 2015
Genetic parameters for liveweight, wool and worm resistance traits in multi-breed Australian meat sheep. 1. Description of traits, fixed effects, variance components and their ratios 
D. J. Brown, A. A. Swan, J. S. Gill, A. J. Ball and R. G. Banks

Australian meat sheep breeders have to balance recording and selection across multiple traits and also breeds. This study investigated the genetic variation within and across breeds in the LAMBPLAN terminal sire database. While direct heterosis was small for the traits studied, there were significant differences between breeds in most traits, which can be exploited by ram breeders.

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Published online 21 May 2015
Crude protein requirements of free-range laying hens 
Mônica Maria de Almeida Brainer, Carlos Bôa-Viagem Rabello, Marcos José Batista dos Santos, Jorge Vitor Ludke, Claudia da Costa Lopes, Waleska Rocha Leite de Medeiros and Fernando Guilherme Perazzo Costa

The factorial method is the basis for development nutritional requirement prediction equations, which facilitates the establishment of more appropriate nutrition programs. This study aimed to estimate the crude protein requirement for the maintenance, weight gain and egg production of free-range hens, and produce a predictive protein requirement equation. Based on the requirements that were estimated, we developed an equation that can be used to predict the protein requirements of free-range hens during the laying phase.

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Published online 21 May 2015
Reducing calcium and phosphorus in crossbred beef cattle diets: impacts on productive performance during the growing and finishing phase 
L. F. Prados, S. C. Valadares Filho, S. A. Santos, D. Zanetti, A. N. Nunes, D. R. Costa, L. D. S. Mariz, E. Detmann, P. M. Amaral, F. C. Rodrigues and R. F. D. Valadares

Supplying cattle with the appropriate levels of minerals through a balanced diet reduces the excretion of excess minerals into the environment and reduces feed costs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of beef cattle with a reduction of minerals (calcium and phosphorus) in diets. The results of this research support a reduction of minerals in diet and consequently, reduction in environmental pollution (phosphorus) and in cost of production of beef, without compromising the performance of bulls.

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Published online 01 May 2015
A promising and simple method to quantify soil/manure mixing on beef feedlot pens 
Chris Pratt, Matthew Redding and Jaye Hill

On beef feedlot pen surfaces, underlying soil mixes with manure by animal treading, which causes problems for a raft of personnel involved in manure handling from composters to environmental scientists. We show that measuring soil-enriched elements like silicon in pen manure offers a simple and effective way to quantify manure/soil mixing. Our proposed approach could have significant practical benefits: for example, it could be used by feedlot operators to assess the quality of their composted manure products.

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Published online 30 April 2015
A survey of the meat goat industry in Queensland and New South Wales. 1. General property information, goat and pasture management 
D. M. Nogueira, C. P. Gardiner, B. Gummow, J. Cavalieri, L. A. Fitzpatrick and A. J. Parker

This research provides the first comprehensive overview of the meat goat industry in New South Wales and Queensland. The aim was to survey farmers’ knowledge and practices on the management of pastures, stocking rates and markets utilised by meat goat producers. The results showed that the export carcass market was the most important source of income; fencing and access to processing facilities affected costs and market opportunities. Also, goats were considered to be an important method of weed control.

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Published online 30 April 2015
A survey of the meat goat industry in Queensland and New South Wales. 2. Herd management, reproductive performance and animal health 
D. M. Nogueira, B. Gummow, C. P. Gardiner, J. Cavalieri, L. A. Fitzpatrick and A. J. Parker

This study investigated goat herd management and productivity on meat goat properties in New South Wales and Queensland. Compared with high rainfall regions, properties in the pastoral regions had a later mean age at weaning, lower kidding rates, prolificacy and adult liveweights, higher mortality rates and less frequent use of nutritional supplements and anthelmintics. Productivity within pastoral regions may be enhanced by investigating causes of mortalities, strategic use of weaning, nutritional supplementation and sire selection based on genetic values.

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Published online 30 April 2015
Addition of sodium metabisulfite and microbial phytase, individually and in combination, to a sorghum-based diet for broiler chickens from 7 to 28 days post-hatch 
H. H. Truong, D. J. Cadogan, S. Y. Liu and P. H. Selle

A reducing agent, sodium metabisulphite and phytase were added to sorghum-based diets to determine their effects on nutrient utilisation in broilers. Sodium metabisulphite increased protein (N) digestibilities and disappearance rates but tended to depress energy utilisation. Sodium metabisulphite increased rates of protein digestion and would, therefore, influence starch and protein digestive dynamics.

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   |        Open Access Article
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Published online 27 April 2015
Non-interference measurement of CH4, N2O and NH3 emissions from cattle 
Mei Bai, Jianlei Sun, Kithsiri B. Dassanayake, Marcelo A. Benvenutti, Julian Hill, Owen T. Denmead, Thomas Flesch and Deli Chen

Livestock contribute to 64% of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. However, obtaining integrated emissions from different sources and different greenhouse gases in feedlot is challenging. We conducted a study on a feedlot cattle pen and measured CH4, N2O and NH3 emissions. Predictions based on the Australian National Inventory recommendations were calculated. This study reveals that beef feedlot cattle contribute to 3.1% of CH4 emissions and 5.9% of N2O emissions from Australian agriculture.

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Published online 27 April 2015
Evaluation of greenhouse gas emissions from hog manure application in a Canadian cow–calf production system using whole-farm models 
Aklilu W. Alemu, Kim H. Ominski, Mario Tenuta, Brian D. Amiro and Ermias Kebreab

The Canadian beef cattle sector is a major contributor for agricultural GHG emissions. Our study evaluated the impacts of amount and time of hog manure application in a cow-calf production system using whole-farm models. Farm productivity was greater for the split manure application than single application. However, the environmental benefit (GHG) of the two scenarios was not consistent between models. Application of whole-farm approach in beef production systems is important to evaluate the environmental impacts of beneficial management practices.

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Published online 24 April 2015
Improving the use of available feed resources to overcome sheep feeding deficits in western China 
Joshua Philp, Adam M. Komarek, Sarah J. Pain, Xueling Li and William Bellotti

Increasing livestock numbers in developing economies is essential for improving rural livelihoods, however many smallholder farmers face regular shortages of quality feed. We first conducted an experiment in rural western China that emulated a change in farming practice where nitrogen-rich feed from the spring harvest is conserved for winter, then compared its efficiency to current farming practice. Our results demonstrated the potential for smallholder farmers to improve their situation by altering feed management.

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Published online 24 April 2015
The fat-tail of Damara sheep: an assessment of mineral content as influenced by weight loss 
Joana R. Lérias, Tanya Kilminster, Tim Scanlon, John Milton, Chris Oldham, Johan C. Greeff, Luísa L. Martins, Miguel P. Mourato and André M. Almeida

We profiled for the first time the mineral contents of fat-tail adipose tissue from Damara sheep affected by weight loss. Only the concentrations of zinc and calcium were affected. This work is an important contribution towards the possible use of the fat-tail by the meat industry, adding value to Damara production through the use of this presently discarded offal.

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Published online 24 April 2015
Prediction of crude protein and neutral detergent fibre concentration in residues of in situ ruminal degradation of pasture samples by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) 
J. P. Keim, H. Charles and D. Alomar

The in situ technique describes the degradation kinetics of feedstuffs and their nutritional components that are used in ration evaluation models. However, this technique requires the analyses of a high number of samples and sometimes there is an insufficient amount of residue for analysis. It is proposed that near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) can predict the crude protein and neutral detergent fibre concentrations of the in situ residues. It is concluded that NIRS could be employed to predict those components of in situ fermentation residues of vegetative pastures, although more robust calibrations need to be developed.

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Published online 24 April 2015
Effect of natural mating or laparoscopic artificial insemination in superovulated Santa Inês ewes on superovulatory response, fertility and embryo viability 
J. T. M. Lima, J. F. Fonseca, M. F. A. Balaro, L. V. Esteves, F. O. Ascoli, C. R. Leite, A. C. S. Ribeiro, K. F. Delgado, J. M. G. Souza-Fabjan, R. A. Torres Filho and F. Z. Brandão

Failures in fertilisation are common in breeding programs after natural mating. Thus, we compared the effect of natural mating or laparoscopic artificial insemination on superovulatory response, fertility and embryo yield in superovulated ewes. This study indicated that the use of the natural mating in the multiple ovulation and embryo transfer program does not affect the fertilisation rate of Santa Inês ewes and could be recommended.

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Published online 10 April 2015
Crossbreed genetic performance study in the eventing horse competition 
I. Cervantes, E. Bartolomé, M. Valera, J. P. Gutiérrez and A. Molina

Crossbreeding involving different breeds is frequently used for the production of riding horses. Here we have tried to exploit the complementarity in the mating using a method to try and fit optimal contribution towards the best combination of breeds in future generations for a specific performance. The methodology applied here performed nicely in searching for the best contribution of several breeds to find the best combination for particular interests and could, therefore, be useful for other species/populations.

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Published online 01 April 2015
Response of two broiler strains to four feeding regimens under hot climate 
Youssef A. Attia, Waleed S. Al-Tahawy, Maria C. de Oliveira, Mohammed A. Al-Harthi, Abd Alrazk. E. Tag El-Din and Mohamed I. Hassan

The productive performance, digestibility, and meat quality in two broiler strains, Arbor Acres (AA) and Hubbard (Hub), fed diets according to four feeding regimens were evaluated. Optimal production performance and economic efficiency were observed in the AA and Hub broilers fed according to NRC and Hub guides, respectively. The interaction genetic strain × feeding regimen should be taken into account when developing nutritional programs for broilers.

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blank image Animal Production Science
Volume 56 Number 8 2016
Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition – Australia

 
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Table of Contents 
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Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition in Australia, 2015 
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Bob Swick
pp. iii-iii
 
 

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Prenatal origins of postnatal variation in growth, development and productivity of ruminants 
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Alan W. Bell and Paul L. Greenwood
pp. 1217-1232

In sheep and cattle, maternal nutrition or various causes of placental insufficiency can have indelible effects on fetal development, leading to postnatal variation in productive functions including meat and wool production, and reproduction. These effects appear to be mediated through epigenetic changes in the prenatal genome and other mechanisms. Deeper understanding and more accurate quantification of these phenomena will be needed to enable their incorporation into systems for the management and, potentially, improvement of breeding flocks and herds.

 
  
 

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Developmental programming: a new frontier for the poultry industry? 
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P. I. Hynd , S. Weaver , N. M. Edwards , N. D. Heberle and M. Bowling
pp. 1233-1238

It is now well recognised that the environment in which an animal develops can have lifelong effects on its health. The aim of this work was to investigate how the environment of a developing chicken (the egg) can influence the lifetime health and production of chickens. Our results suggest manipulating the diet of the hen can improve the lifetime health and production of a chicken.

 
  
 

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Composition of more specialised pre-starter and starter diets for young broiler chickens: a review 
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M. R. Barekatain and R. A. Swick
pp. 1239-1247

Nutrition utilisation is compromised in young broilers, particularly for the first week of life, mainly due to limited digestion capacity. Thus, attention has been placed on developing more specialised diets to correct any nutritional deficiencies, improve flock uniformity and obtain optimum growth of young birds. This review discusses the composition of such diets and assesses various nutrients and ingredients for early growth and subsequent carryover effect.

 
  
 

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Reducing variation in pork production systems through maternal and pre- and post-weaning nutrition strategies 
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R. J. van Barneveld and R. J. E. Hewitt
pp. 1248-1253

Inherent variation within a population of pigs is a challenge to manage in modern pork production, representing a significant cost to business. This paper considers nutritional interventions within the breeding herd and pre- and post-weaning piglet nutrition to limit variation. The greatest potential to reduce variation is careful management of the sow, with some dietary interventions to reduce variation in birth and weaning weights.

 
  
 

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Can feeding the broiler breeder improve chick quality and offspring performance? 
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A. Chang , J. Halley and M. Silva
pp. 1254-1262

The developing embryo and the post-hatched chick are completely reliant on nutrients stored in the egg for normal growth and development; consequently the physiological status of the chick at hatching is greatly influenced by the nutrition of the breeder hen. This review examines the specific nutritional factors in broiler breeders that can improve chick quality and subsequent progeny performance. From this review, poultry nutritionists could gain a better understanding of the nutrient requirements of parents in order to design better diets.

 
  
 

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The case for pre-parturient selenium and iodine supplementation of ewes for improving lamb survival 
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Sabine Schmoelzl and Fran Cowley
pp. 1263-1274

Selenium and iodine are crucial for the cognitive, neurological and immune functions that affect survival of newborn lambs. However, there is poor understanding of how lamb survival can be improved by supplementing with such micronutrients. Selenium and iodine have strongly linked biological roles, and further research into their joint action to improve lamb and twin survivability is required.

 
  
 

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Accelerated pre-weaning growth rates in dairy calves: do antioxidants have a place? 
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J. J. McGrath
pp. 1275-1284

When calves grow fast in their first 2 months of life they go onto produce more milk as cows. Birth and the immediate separation from the mother, combined with intensive housing, often prediposes calves to oxidative stress. This article analyses the role of antioxidants in the diet of the newborn calf and the affect that this may have on rapid growth rates and life-time productivity.

 
  
 

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Functionality and genomics of selenium and vitamin E supplementation in ruminants 
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S. S. Chauhan , F. Liu , B. J. Leury , J. J. Cottrell , P. Celi and F. R. Dunshea
pp. 1285-1298

Selenium and vitamin E are essential micronutrients for animal health and production. Multiple functions of Se and vitamin E have been reported that extend beyond the classical antioxidant properties to cell signalling and gene regulation. Supranutritional supplementation of theses micronutrients may play an important role in efficient ruminant production under stressful conditions and presents potential opportunities for production of antioxidant-rich milk and meat for human consumption.

 
  
 

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Development and application of a livestock phenomics platform to enhance productivity and efficiency at pasture 
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Paul L. Greenwood , Gregory J. Bishop-Hurley , Luciano A. González and Aaron B. Ingham
pp. 1299-1311

Livestock phenomics describes the next generation of trait measurement, including methodologies and equipment used to acquire data, and computational approaches required to turn data into phenotypes. Development of a phenomics platform to measure performance- and efficiency-related phenotypes in grazing livestock, ideally in real-time without human interference, is described. Technological and analytical challenges associated with this objective are also briefly considered.

 
  
 

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Use of feed technology to improve the nutritional value of feed ingredients 
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O. J. Rojas and H. H. Stein
pp. 1312-1316

Feed technology can be used to improve the nutritional value of feed ingredients. Grinding to a smaller particle size increases energy digestibility and therefore the gain to feed ratio is improved if particle size is reduced. Pelleting and extrusion increases digestibility of amino acids and these technologies may be used to improve the nutritional value of diets fed to pigs.

 
  
 

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Managing the rumen to limit the incidence and severity of nitrite poisoning in nitrate-supplemented ruminants 
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J. V. Nolan , I. R. Godwin , V. de Raphélis-Soissan and R. S. Hegarty
pp. 1317-1329

Adding nitrate to the diet of ruminants is currently considered to be an effective method for reducing their emissions of the greenhouse gas, methane, and in Australia earning carbon credits. This review describes how rumen microbes process dietary nitrate and explains why nitrate supplements, while successfully reducing methane emissions, can sometimes poison livestock. The review describes potential management interventions to make nitrate-based methane mitigation less risky.

 
  
 

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Cysteamine: a human health dietary additive with potential to improve livestock growth rate and efficiency 
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M. C. Barnett and R. S. Hegarty
pp. 1330-1338

A growing global food requirement is stimulating development of animal management strategies to increase animal productivity and efficiency with reduced environmental consequences. Cysteamine is a natural feed additive that improves animal growth, and efficiency of use of feed and feed nitrogen. This review assesses the mechanisms of action of cysteamine and its emerging application in human health and livestock production.

 
  
 

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Digestibility of calcium in feed ingredients and requirements of digestible calcium for growing pigs 
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J. C. González-Vega and H. H. Stein
pp. 1339-1344

Efforts to optimise utilisation of Ca and P by pigs have increased during the past years. Interactions between Ca, P, and other factors need to be elucidated. Results from recent research have indicated that factors such as dietary fibre, phytate, and microbial phytase affects the digestibility of Ca by pigs, and the ratio between digestible Ca and digestible P need to be considered in the formulation of diets fed to pigs.

 
  
 

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The influence of calcium on phytase efficacy in non-ruminant animals 
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C. L. Walk
pp. 1345-1349

To ensure optimal animal performance and efficacious use of phytase, the concentration of calcium (Ca) in feeds and feed ingredients should be analysed frequently; implementation of a reduction in dietary Ca should be considered with the supplementation of phytase; and future use of an available or digestible Ca concentration in dietary ingredients may contribute to more precise feed formulation.

 
  
 

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New perspectives on the mineral nutrition of livestock grazing cereal and canola crops 
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H. Dove , D. G. Masters and A. N. Thompson
pp. 1350-1360

Animal grazing crops obtain valuable winter feed but may require mineral supplementation. We review responses to magnesium and/or sodium during crop grazing and provide a range of indices to help assess the need to supplement animals grazing crops. We suggest future progress will be better if frequency distributions of crop mineral content or ratios are used, rather than single-value comparisons with animal requirements.

 
  
 

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These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

    AN16274  Accepted 21 July 2016
    Effects of boar variability on comet-detected sperm DNA damage following cryopreservation
    Leyland Fraser, Łukasz Zasiadczyk, Chandra Pareek
    Abstract


    AN15804  Accepted 18 July 2016
    Differences between genders, muscles and ageing times on the quality of meat from Wagyu x Angus cattle finished in feedlot
    Rubio Madureira Carvalho, Cleube Boari, Severino Delmar Villela, Aldrin Pires, Mario Henrique Mourthé, Felipe Oliveira, Mariana Dumont, Ronan Gontijo, Adalfredo Rocha Lobo-Jr, Paulo Gustavo Martins
    Abstract


    AN15440  Accepted 17 July 2016
    Increased genetic gains in multi-trait sheep indices using female reproductive technologies combined with optimal contribution selection and genomic breeding values
    Tom Granleese, Sam Clark, Andrew Swan, Julius van der Werf
    Abstract


    AN15807  Accepted 15 July 2016
    Effects of dietary vitamin B6 on the skeletal muscle protein metabolism of growing rabbits
    Fuchang Li, Gongyan Liu, Zhenyu Wu, Yanli Zhu, Lei Liu
    Abstract


    AN16212  Accepted 11 July 2016
    The effect of weight and age on pregnancy rates in Brahman heifers in northern Australia
    Tim Schatz, Mark Hearnden
    Abstract


    AN16093  Accepted 11 July 2016
    Effect of different forage types and concentrate levels on energy conversion, enteric methane production, and animal performance of Holstein × Zebu heifers
    Flávia Silva, Sebastião Valadares Filho, Edenio Detmann, Stefanie Santos, Letícia Godoi, Breno Silva, Marcos Vinícius Pacheco, Heron Alhadas, Polyana Rotta
    Abstract


    AN15850  Accepted 11 July 2016
    Grazing winter and spring wheat crops improves the profitability of prime lamb production in mixed farming systems of Western Australia
    Eman Hussein, Dean Thomas, Lindsay Bell , Dominique Blache
    Abstract


    AN15564  Accepted 10 July 2016
    Effects of grain levels on lamb performance, ruminal metabolism and leptin mRNA expression in perirenal adipose tissue
    Pedro Hernandez Garcia, German Mendoza, Alejandro Castro, Alejandro Lara, Fernando Plata, José Martínez García, Silene Ferraro
    Abstract


    AN16023  Accepted 05 July 2016
    Smallholder large ruminant health and production in Lao PDR: challenges and opportunities for improving domestic and regional beef supply
    Sonevilay Nampanya, Syseng Khounsy, James Young, Viengsakhoun Napasirth, Russell Bush, Peter Windsor
    Abstract


    AN16170  Accepted 05 July 2016
    Field storage conditions for cattle manure to limit nitrogen losses and optimize fertilizer value
    Jarinda Viaene, Victoria Nelissen, Bart Vandecasteele, Koen Willekens, Stefaan Deneve, Bert Reubens
    Abstract


    AN15777  Accepted 01 July 2016
    Associations between early lactation milk protein concentrations and intervals to calving for Holstein cows of differing parity
    Keith Macmillan, Jack Fahey, John Morton, Martin Auldist
    Abstract


    AN15314  Accepted 01 July 2016
    Effect of feeding forage characteristic of wet or dry season tropical C4 grass in northern Australia, on methane production, intake and rumen outflow rates in Bos indicus steers
    Lindsey Perry, Nigel Tomkins, John Gaughan, Rafat Al Jassim
    Abstract


    AN16195  Accepted 27 June 2016
    Physical and chemical characteristics of spent hen breast meat aged for seven days
    Juliana Mello, Rodrigo Souza, Gustavo Paschoalin, Fábio Ferrari, Mariana Berton, Aline Giampietro-Ganeco, Pedro Souza, Hirasilva Borba
    Abstract


    AN16194  Accepted 28 June 2016