Animal Production Science
Volume 58 Number 4 2018
Festschrift for Professor John L. Black AM
ANv58n4_FOForeword to ‘Festschrift for Professor John L. Black AM’
AN15787Nutritional principles, integration, modelling and research management to practical applications: an overview of John Langtree Black’s contribution to animal science
The paper is an introduction to a Festschrift held at Sydney University to acknowledge the contribution that John Langtree Black has made to animal science in Australia and the world. The extraordinary wide range of topics, disciplines and animal species covered by his research are outlined. Important contributions to advancing knowledge and to applying knowledge to rural industries and the community are highlighted.
Taste and smell are the consequence of millions of years of vertebrate evolution for sensing environmental chemical cues critical for balancing dietary selections. However, the no-choice feeding regimes in most farm animals leaves the nutritionist with the challenge of dietary choices. This review highlights the role of sensing of essential and non-essential nutrients and bitter compounds on voluntary feed intake. Future research will gravitate around understanding the dialogue between the gut chemosensory system and the brain.
AN17273Role of the gut, melanocortin system and malonyl-CoA in control of feed intake in non-ruminant animals
Capacity to manipulate feed intake in pigs provides a way to optimise productivity and profitability in production systems. Fundamental mechanisms regulating feed intake include constraints imposed by the gut, systems monitoring current and long-term energy status to increase or decrease intake, and hedonic, reward-related drivers, over-riding the normal regulated intake. Knowledge of these mechanisms can be used to identify practical strategies for either increasing or decreasing voluntary feed intake in pigs.
AN15765Protection of α-amylase from proteolysis by adsorption to feed components in vitro and in the porcine small intestine
Digestion of feed nutrients in the small intestine of, for example, pigs involves enzymes specific for their substrate, for example, protein or starch, but these reactions take place in the presence of all other feed components. The effects of diet components on the activity of digestive enzymes was studied, and it was found that binding of enzymes to non-substrate feed components is both rapid and highly effective in stabilising enzymes against degradation. These results mean that studies of factors that control the rate of digestion of specific feed nutrient substrates need to take into account the possibility of interactions with non-substrate feed components.
An in-depth understanding of energy and protein partitioning, underpinning nutrient utilisation, is pivotal for allowing predictions of growth in animals based on knowledge of nutrients in diets. A construct to allow a logical quantitative study of nutrient partitioning in the growing animal from a causal perspective is discussed. Gaps in current knowledge are identified.
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.
Under- or over-stimulation of the immune system is detrimental to pig health and productivity. The complexity associated with the immune system, factors influencing its activation, and the subsequent impacts on animal metabolism, are reviewed. Potential management strategies are suggested for optimising the immune response for pigs reared in any specific environment.
The marine alga Asparagopsis taxiformis has been shown to inhibit methane production in vitro. The present study compared the methane production from sheep offered increasing inclusion levels of Asparagopsis for 72 days. We found that a high-fibre pelleted diet supplemented with Asparagopsis resulted in up to 80% reduction in methane output compared with the same diet without Asparagopsis.
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.
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.
AN17144Predicting the nutritional quality of feed ingredients for pigs using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and chemical analysis
Enhanced near-infrared spectroscopy calibrations for the measurement of reactive lysine and digestible energy in feed ingredients for pigs represents a major advance in our capacity to define nutritional quality of ingredients prior to diet formulation. This paper outlines a robust calibration development process and presents advanced correlation analysis that can be used to investigate calibration outliers. Overall application will contribute to more efficient and sustainable pork production systems.
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.
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.
AN16038Turning knowledge into practical benefit: a producer case-study increasing the return on investment in science
Efficiency of pasture use by beef cattle enterprises in southern Australia is traditionally ~35% because of a low adoption of existing knowledge and perceived risks from intensification. Principles from a risk-control system aimed at enhancing adoption were incorporated into a simple simulation model and applied to an enterprise on the central tablelands of New South Wales. Alternative management scenarios to optimise productivity and maximise profitability were evaluated and showed that interacting factors within an enterprise are too complex to effectively identify best strategies without the use of a system to integrate knowledge.
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.