Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals

Animal Production Science

Animal Production Science

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

Editor-in-Chief: Wayne Bryden

Current Issue

Animal Production Science

Volume 56 Number 11 2016

The inclusion of ergovaline in livestock grazing systems is polarising due to its potential toxicity, but this is incompletely understood. The physiologic effects of ergovaline are less likely to be observed in production settings (therefore less likely for the producer to be aware of) than in an experimental setting, but should not be ignored as overall animal productivity may be at stake. The aim of this review is to outline known physiologic effects and fates of ergovaline consumed by livestock.

Is ergovaline a problem for New Zealand pastoral livestock agriculture? A review of the New Zealand data shows that in only a small proportion (15%) of formal comparisons has feed intake or animal production been depressed on endophyte-containing pasture compared with ergovaline-free pasture. Furthermore, the aim of this review is to place reported effects of ergovaline in context with associated ergovaline intake levels. This will aid in the development of mitigation strategies as necessary.

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.

AN14911Effects of divergent selection for growth on egg quality traits in Japanese quail

Mohammed A. F. Nasr, Mahmoud S. El-Tarabany and Michael J. Toscano
pp. 1797-1802

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

AN14972Effect 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
pp. 1828-1833

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.

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.

AN14879Growth, 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
pp. 1842-1848

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.

AN14721Steer 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
pp. 1849-1856

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.

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.

AN14686Changes 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
pp. 1867-1874

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.

AN14849The 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
pp. 1875-1881

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.

AN15076Immunisation 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
pp. 1882-1887

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.

AN14901Determination 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
pp. 1888-1896

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.

AN15102Methane emissions from young and mature dairy cattle

C. A. Ramírez-Restrepo, H. Clark and S. Muetzel
pp. 1897-1905

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.

AN15176Management and meteorological factors affect fertility after artificial insemination in Murciano-Granadina goats

Francisco Arrébola, Carlos Palacios, María-Jesús Gil and José-Alfonso Abecia
pp. 1906-1912

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.

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.

AN15115Proximate 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
pp. 1920-1927

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.

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.

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.

AN14961Effects of diet on leather quality and longissimus muscle composition of three Ethiopian indigenous goat types

Dereje Tadesse, Mengistu Urge, Getachew Animut and Yoseph Mekasha
pp. 1946-1952

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.

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.

Current Issue

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 22 September 2015

AN14987Carcass 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.

Published online 22 September 2015

AN15153Forage 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.

Published online 04 September 2015

AN14842Effect 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.

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.

Published online 04 September 2015

AN14968Chilean 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.

Published online 04 September 2015

AN15300Influence 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.

Published online 22 January 2016

AN15152Effect 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.

Published online 23 October 2015

AN15287Supplementation 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.

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.

Published online 22 January 2016

AN15197Effects 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.

Published online 22 January 2016

AN15235Clinical 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.

Published online 22 January 2016

AN15266Effects 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.

Published online 04 September 2015

AN141032Fasciola 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Published online 22 January 2016

AN15183Effects 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.

Published online 22 January 2016

AN15286Perspective: 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.

Published online 15 October 2015

AN14989Minhota 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.

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.

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.

Published online 17 August 2015

AN15068Validation 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.

Published online 12 October 2015

AN13023Selection 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.

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%.

Published online 20 October 2015

AN141010The 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.

Published online 16 September 2015

AN15262Hepatic 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.

Published online 25 August 2015

AN141007Nitrogen 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.

Published online 25 August 2015

AN15199Meta-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.

Published online 27 July 2015

AN14669Sunflower 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.

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.

Published online 04 September 2015

AN15043A 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.

Published online 14 October 2015

AN15025Effect 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.

Published online 15 September 2015

AN14845Effect 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.

Published online 29 July 2015

AN14943Estimation 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.

Published online 20 August 2015

AN14661Effects 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.

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.

Published online 08 March 2016

AN15337Sugarcane 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.

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.

Published online 08 March 2016

AN15392Effect 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.

Published online 25 May 2016

AN15134Effects 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.

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.

Published online 19 August 2016

AN16213Identification of peptides in the terminal ileum of broiler chickens fed diets based on maize and soybean meal using proteomics

A. J. Cowieson, M. Klausen, K. Pontoppidan, M. Umar Faruk, F. F. Roos and A. M. B. Giessing

Protein that leaves the intestine represents a net loss to the animal, reduces efficiency of digestion and may compromise environmental sustainability. The protein that leaves the intestine is of mixed origin, being partially undigested dietary protein and partly proteins of endogenous origin, e.g. various intestinal secretions. Data presented herein sheds light on the specific origin of the proteins in the intestine and will help nutritionists develop strategies to recover a greater proportion of these recalcitrant protein fractions.

Published online 09 March 2016

AN15428Quality 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.

Published online 08 March 2016

AN15547Effects 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.

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.

Published online 05 July 2016

AN15454Resource 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.

Published online 26 May 2016

AN15705Optimal 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.

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.

Published online 23 March 2016

AN15172The 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.

Published online 23 March 2016

AN15538Predictive 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.

Published online 23 March 2016

AN15702Comparison 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.

Published online 18 July 2016

AN15003Effects 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.

Published online 08 June 2016

AN15608Influence 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.

Published online 20 May 2016

AN15311Fatty 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.

Published online 20 May 2016

AN15388Effects 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.

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.

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.

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.

Food value chains have to decide whether they will supply basic quality goods at lowest cost or supply goods with additional attributes that consumers value more but that are more costly to provide. The objective of this study was to develop an economic framework that allows food value chains to make the most profitable choices. Our analysis showed that such a framework could be developed but that practical implementation would require some new measurements of whole-of-chain outcomes so that the economic relationships making up the framework could be estimated and analysed.

Published online 20 May 2016

AN15463The 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.

Published online 20 May 2016

AN15771Crossbreeding 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.

Published online 05 April 2016

AN14984Changes 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.

Published online 05 April 2016

AN15057Pedigree-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.

Published online 05 April 2016

AN15116Effect 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.

Published online 08 June 2016

AN15794Essential 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.

Published online 15 June 2016

AN15676Effect 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.

Published online 05 April 2016

AN15425Effect 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.

Published online 24 August 2016

AN15041Expanding a dairy business affects business and financial risk

A. Sinnett, C. K. M. Ho and B. Malcolm

Managing risk is a key part of farming. Sources of risk include business risks (such as fluctuating commodity and input prices) and financial risks (the risk that cash flow will not meet debt obligations). A farmer has little control over business risk but does have some control over financial risk (a farmer can control how much they borrow). The present study sought to identify the contribution of business and financial risk on a farm business. It demonstrated that detailed financial analysis should be included when analysing changes to farm systems.

Published online 01 September 2016

AN15632A review of whole farm-system analysis in evaluating greenhouse-gas mitigation strategies from livestock production systems

Richard Rawnsley, Robyn A. Dynes, Karen M. Christie, Matthew Tom Harrison, Natalie A. Doran-Browne, Ronaldo Vibart and Richard Eckard

Livestock forms an important component of global food production and is a significant contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. This paper reviews how whole farm-system modelling has been used to assess GHG mitigation strategies for livestock production. Whole farm-system modelling provides an effective and efficient means for quantifying the benefits farmers are delivering through changing farm management practices.

Published online 01 September 2016

AN15696Genomic prediction for carcass traits in Japanese Black cattle using single nucleotide polymorphism markers of different densities

Shinichiro Ogawa, Hirokazu Matsuda, Yukio Taniguchi, Toshio Watanabe, Yuki Kitamura, Ichiro Tabuchi, Yoshikazu Sugimoto and Hiroaki Iwaisaki

Genomic prediction (GP) of genetic merit using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers can be conducted even when pedigree information is unavailable. In GP performed for carcass weight and marbling score in Japanese Black beef cattle using SNPs of varying densities, around 80% of prediction accuracy was retained when SNPs used were 1/1000 of ~570 000 SNPs available. GP using the lower-density SNP panel may be beneficial to pre-selection for the carcass traits in Japanese Black young breeding animals.

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.

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.

Lamb production in Western Australia has historically been constrained by both within- and between-season fluctuations in pasture productivity and its frequently low availability and poor nutritive value during the autumn-early winter. Hence, there is a need to investigate alternative feed components that could potentially mitigate feed gaps and increase farm profitability. Overall, this study suggests that both winter and spring wheat crops are likely to supply green feed during the winter feed shortage (April–July) and reduce supplementary feed requirements for a short period of time in some seasons.

Published online 18 February 2016

AN15329Effects 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.

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.

Published online 09 August 2016

AN15709Cottonseed meal is a suitable replacement for soybean meal in supplements fed to Nellore heifers grazing Brachiaria decumbens

Leandro Soares Martins, Mário Fonseca Paulino, Marcos Inácio Marcondes, Luciana Navajas Rennó, Daniel Mageste de Almeida, Sidnei Antônio Lopes, David Esteban Contreras Marquez, Marcos Rocha Manso, Aline Gomes da Silva and Ériton Egídio Lisboa Valente

An important source of protein used in the diets of animals of production is soybean meal, which can present high prices. Cottonseed meal could be a suitable replacement to soybean meal in supplements to grazing beef cattle. This study evaluated the effect of substituting soybean meal with cottonseed meal in supplements fed to grazing heifers. No relevant differences were found in animal performance, indicating that cottonseed meal can be a suitable and possibly cheaper replacement to soybean meal.

Published online 17 June 2016

AN15241Effect 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.

Published online 17 June 2016

AN15485The 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.

Published online 05 September 2016

AN15878Effect of Propionibacterium freudenreichii in diets containing rapeseed or flaxseed oil on in vitro ruminal fermentation, methane production and fatty acid biohydrogenation

S. Ding, S. J. Meale, A. Y. Alazzeh, M. L. He, G. O. Ribeiro, L. Jin, Y. Wang, M. E. R. Dugan, A. V. Chaves and T. A. McAllister

Strategies that reduce methane production are not only environmentally beneficial, but they also improve the efficiency of ruminant production. Inoculation of a direct-fed microbial, Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. shermanii ATCC 8262, did not affect in vitro methane production or fatty acid biohydrogenation in barley silage diets, supplemented with either flaxseed or rapeseed oil. However, supplementing the oils alone did have beneficial effects on fatty acid profiles.

Published online 14 September 2016

AN15504Digestible tryptophan to lysine ratios for weaned piglets at 26 days of age

G. M. Oliveira, A. S. Ferreira, P. F. Campos, V. V. Rodrigues, F. C. O. Silva, W. G. Santos, A. L. Lima, P. G. Rodrigues and C. C. Lopes

Piglets weaned at 26 days of age have less post-weaning stress and higher feed intake, and therefore outweigh best during the critical period post-weaning. For this reason, the digestible tryptophan to lysine ratio for maximum performance is changed. This research determined the optimal digestible tryptophan to lysine ratios in piglets weaned at 26 days old is estimated at 0.22. Therefore, piglets weaned with at least 26 days develop better than piglets weaned early.

Reproductive performance is one of the main profit drivers of the Merino sheep industries. With an increased emphasis on lifetime production and reproduction in Merino sheep, it is important to consider the genetic relationship between production and reproduction traits for yearling and adult expressions. The analysis and definition of life time reproduction traits require careful consideration and more work in this area is needed.

Published online 23 September 2016

AN16025Frequent handling of grazing beef cattle maintained under the rotational stocking method improves temperament over time

Maria C. Ceballos, Karen Camille R. Góis, Aline C. Sant'Anna and Mateus J. R. Paranhos da Costa

We assessed beef cattle temperament in the Brazilian Amazon region where the deforestation for cattle production is a cause of concern, and the intensification of beef cattle production using rotational grazing systems arises as an alternative. We found that the rotational stocking method improves cattle temperament over time, resulting in less reactive animals when compared with those kept in an alternate stocking method.

Published online 02 March 2016

AN12428A 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.

Published online 17 June 2016

AN15718Fodder 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.

Published online 17 June 2016

AN15809Production 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.

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.

Published online 23 September 2016

AN16265Effects of substituting corn with steam-flaked sorghum on growth, digestion and blood metabolites in young cattle fed feedlot diets

C. Wang, Q. Liu, G. Guo, W. J. Huo, Y. L. Zhang, C. X. Pei, S. L. Zhang, W. Z. Yang and H. Wang

The research about sorghum and its processing as feed is necessary to to expand the application scope of sorghum. Partial substituting ground corn grain with steam-flaked sorghum grain in beef cattle diets could improve growth performance. The optimum substitution rate of ground corn grain with steam-flaked sorghum grain was 2/3 (DM basis).

Published online 02 March 2016

AN14034Divergent 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.

Published online 08 March 2016

AN14608Different 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.

Published online 16 September 2016

AN16028Effects of a single injection of Flunixin meglumine or Carprofen postpartum on haematological parameters, productive performance and fertility of dairy cattle

M. Giammarco, I. Fusaro, G. Vignola, A. C. Manetta, A. Gramenzi, M. Fustini, A. Palmonari and A. Formigoni

The administration of a NSAID at parturition should reduce the associated inflammation and pain associated with calving but the evidence of a clinical benefit of their use and the relative dosage in cows with puerperal disease is limited and equivocal. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of a single injection of Flunixin meglumine (FM; intramuscular) or Carprofen (CA; subcutaneous) within 12 h after calving on dairy cattle haematological parameters, dry matter intake, productive performance and fertility. The findings evidenced that a single injection of FM or CA to non-febrile cows immediately after parturition positively affects the metabolic adaptation of the cows at the onset of lactation and this aspect can positively influence reproductive performances and the culling rate.

Published online 08 March 2016

AN14954Fatty 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.

Published online 23 May 2016

AN15437RNA 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.

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.

Because trivalent chromium is difficult for animals to absorb, we used nanosize trivalent chromium to evaluate chromium absorbability in pigs. The study included Control, CrCl3, chromium picolinate (CrPic), NanoCrCl3, and NanoCrPic groups. The result shows that nanosize chromium could increase chromium absorbability in pigs. The absorbability of the NanoCrPic was the highest and increased serum and longissimus muscle chromium content.

Published online 19 August 2016

AN15474How dietary cottonseed hull affects the performance of young bulls finished in a high-concentrate system

C. E. Eiras, C. Mottin, R. A. C. Passetti, J. A. Torrecilhas, K. A. Souza, A. Guerrero and I. N. Prado

The cottonseed hull could be useful in high-concentrate systems to improve beef production. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of cottonseed hull in concentrations 210–330 g/kg on a DM basis of high-concentrate diets on feed intake, in vitro digestibility, animal performance, carcass weights and ingestive behaviour of young bulls. A cottonseed hull level up to 270 g/kg of dietary DM does not have detrimental effects on animal performance when utilised as a non-forage fibre in high-concentrate diets to young bulls in feedlots.

Published online 09 March 2016

AN15531Effect 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.

Published online 08 March 2016

AN15001Physiological 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.

Published online 08 March 2016

AN15120Meat 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.

Increasing the efficiency of microbial protein synthesis (EMPS) in the rumen of cattle grazing tropical pastures is important as microbial protein provides most of the metabolisable protein supplied to the animal and therefore has a significant effect on the growth rate of the grazing animal. Our study showed that EMPS in steers consuming tropical grass pastures was low and limited by rumen degradable protein supply from the pasture. High EMPS was associated with very high rumen degradable protein levels in the pasture, vastly in excess of the requirements of the rumen microbes.

Published online 19 August 2016

AN16068Production responses of reproducing ewes to a by-product-based diet inoculated with the probiotic Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain H57

Oanh T. Le, Benjamin Schofield, Peter J. Dart, Matthew J. Callaghan, Allan T. Lisle, Diane Ouwerkerk, Athol V. Klieve and David M. McNeill

This paper highlights the potential of a novel probiotic to improve the feeding value of an otherwise low quality pelleted diet for ruminants. By inoculating pellets with the spores of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain H57 we noted encouraging improvements in feed intake and maternal liveweight of pregnant ewes. These improvements appeared to persist into lactation and deserve further investigation in commercial ruminant production systems, particularly the application of a diet based on low quality by-products.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15610Impact 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.

Published online 24 June 2016

AN15900Performance 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.

Published online 04 March 2016

AN15215Reproductive 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.

Published online 18 February 2016

AN14471Mineral 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.

Published online 18 February 2016

AN14556Physicochemical 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.

Published online 18 February 2016

AN14939Species 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.

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.

Published online 23 August 2016

AN15768Feeding management, production and performance of 13 pasture-based dairy farms in a Mediterranean environment

R. P. McDonnell, M. vH. Staines, B. E. Edmunds and R. Morris

Supplementary feeding practices on Western Australian dairy farms are an important factor affecting productivity and profitability. Farmers in the region generally provide concentrates to cows in the milking parlour, but some also offer mixed rations with forages and concentrates outside the parlour. Our data indicate performance was highly variable between farms and systems, and mixed ration feeding systems did not increase intake or milk production. Management appears to have a greater influence on farm performance than feeding system per se.

Published online 02 June 2016

AN15383Animal 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.

Published online 02 June 2016

AN15633Thermal 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.

Published online 29 July 2016

AN14975Identification of relationship between pork colour and physicochemical traits in American Berkshire by canonical correlation analyses

Tae Wan Kim, Il-Suk Kim, Seul Gi Kwon, Jung Hye Hwang, Da Hye Park, Deok Gyeong Kang, Jeongim Ha, Sam Woong Kim and Chul Wook Kim

Consumers are a tendency to the judgment of the meat quality depending on colour. Therefore, it is very important to elucidate the relationships between sets of meat colours and physicochemical characteristic variables. In order to produce a reddish-pink colour pork which is preferred by consumers, we suggest that producer produces the properly adjusted post-mortem pH24 h, the high water-holding capacity and the high moisture content in pork.

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is centrally important to the health and welfare of humans and animals and an inadequate supply leads to serious pathologies involving collagen (a key structural protein) integrity. The work presented herein assessed the effect of supplemental ascorbic acid, in association with an exogenous protease, for broiler chickens and it was discovered that adding protease and ascorbic acid to the diet resulted in significant advantages in nutrition, growth and intestinal health. It can be concluded that modern broiler chickens may have a previously unrecognised need for supplemental ascorbic acid and that the benefits from this supplementation may be significantly enhanced by coupling this with exogenous protease to enhance the integrity of the gut and nutrient recovery from feed.

Published online 29 July 2016

AN15799Effect of bedding materials during transport on welfare indicators and microbiological quality in lambs

Ana I. Rodríguez, Almudena Cózar, Luis Calvo and Herminia Vergara

This research tackles the welfare of lambs during transport to slaughterhouse and its implications on the hygienic quality of the carcass. It specifically focuses on the bedding material required for the transportation of the animals and can be taken as a base to drive future legislations integrating the whole production system. Regarding the results, no significant differences have been found among the materials tested (sawdust rice husk, and double layer of sawdust).

This study found that F1 Senepol × Brahman steers had a higher growth rate than Brahman steers in an Indonesian feedlot. The study was conducted to address concerns that crossbred cattle are discriminated against by live export cattle buyers due to a perception that they do not perform as well as Brahmans in Indonesian feedlots. These results should reduce discrimination against Brahman × tropically adapted Bos taurus crossbreds in the live export market.

More delicious and nutritious meat is needed and can be obtained by feeding animals on probiotics in the diet. In this study, Lactobacillus johnsonii BS15 showed its ability to increase flavour and nutritional substances of chicken meat and thus to produce high-quality meat. The results brought the possibility of using BS15 as a desirable alternative to antibiotic growth promoters.

Published online 29 July 2016

AN15565Ractopamine with dietary lysine concentrations above basal requirements of finishing barrows improves growth performance, carcass traits and modifies the mTor signalling pathway

M. S. S. Ferreira, T. S. Araújo, A. C. Alves, L. C. J. Porto, A. P. Schinckel, Z. J. Rambo, V. S. Cantarelli, M. G. Zangeronimo and R. V. Sousa

The use of ractopamine and the possible cellular pathway it takes in order to improve pig performance and characteristics are still the focus of discussion. Differences in performance and intracellular protein expression were assessed, and the mTOR signalling pathway was activated by ractopamine. This finding indicates that the increased protein expression seen when ractopamine is used is probably due to the mTOR activation.

Published online 29 July 2016

AN15810Carcass composition and quality of meat from Pekin ducks finished on diets with varying levels of whole wheat grain

D. Kokoszynski, M. Kotowicz, A. Brudnicki, Z. Bernacki, P. D. Wasilewski and R. Wasilewski

The desire to minimise production costs has renewed interest in using diets with whole cereal grain in commercial poultry production. Diet dilution with whole wheat grain was beneficial to the economics of broiler duck production while maintaining good carcass quality. The effect on meat quality was inconsistent.

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.

Published online 29 July 2016

AN15816Effects of dietary supplementation of cinnamaldehyde and formic acid on growth performance, intestinal microbiota and immune response in broiler chickens

M. Pathak, G. P. Mandal, A. K. Patra, I. Samanta, S. Pradhan and S. Haldar

The use of antibiotic growth promoters in broiler chickens is under scrutiny due to increased concerns of development of antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacteria. The present study investigated the effect of a combination of essential oil and organic acid as an alternative growth promoter in broiler chickens. The results showed that the combination of essential oil and organic acid could improve growth performance and immunity in broiler chickens challenged with pathogenic bacteria such as Escherichia coli.

A model of the Australian flock prevalence of lice was used to examine the value of various methods of treating sheep for lice after shearing when combined with other lice management options. The model showed that high-cost treatment could be cost-effective provided it resulted in eradication, and should be combined with adequate biosecurity for purchased sheep. These two methods in combination could provide a dramatic reduction in lice prevalence and in costs associated with lice.

Published online 30 August 2016

AN15132A quantitative and qualitative approach to the assessment of behaviour of sows upon mixing into group pens with or without a partition

Taya Clarke, John R. Pluske, Teresa Collins, David W. Miller and Patricia A. Fleming

The presence of a concrete partition (a short wall, 2 m long × 1.6 m high) running through the middle of group pens had a positive influence on sow behaviour at mixing. Sows in pens with a partition lay down and stopped investigating or eating/searching for food sooner, and were scored as more ‘calm/relaxed’. Even subtle differences in housing design (in this case, retention of a concrete partition as part of refurbishment) can positively influence the demeanour and activity patterns of sows.

Published online 30 August 2016

AN15651On the profitability of irrigated fodder production: comparative evidence from smallholders in Koga irrigation scheme, Ethiopia

Kindie Getnet, Amare Haileslasseie, Yigzaw Dessalegne, Fitsum Hagos, Gebregziabher Gebrehaweria and Berhanu Gebremedhin

Economically feasible irrigated fodder production can help to manage the problem of livestock feed shortage in subsistent and commercial livestock systems and to diversify farm income. In this study we stochastically simulated profit obtainable from irrigated Rhodes grass seed production to assess the economic feasibility of the practice and to inform related investments and risk management decisions under smallholders’ conditions. The results show the absolute and comparative profitability of the commodity and the possibility to scale out irrigated fodder production both as a source of livestock fodder and farm income.

Published online 30 August 2016

AN16142Evaluation of the effect of a highly soluble calcium source in broiler diets supplemented with phytase on performance, nutrient digestibility, foot ash, mobility and leg weakness

E. J. Bradbury, S. J. Wilkinson, G. M. Cronin, P. Thomson, C. L. Walk and A. J. Cowieson

Limestone is a common source of dietary calcium for broilers. Due to its high dietary concentration, calcium binds with phytate, forming insoluble calcium–phytate complexes, thus reducing the bioavailability of both calcium and phosphorus. Replacing limestone with a highly soluble calcium source may allow reduced dietary concentrations of calcium, improving phosphorus digestibility when coupled with exogenous phytase while maintaining bird performance.

Published online 14 June 2016

AN15084Survey 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.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15046Replacing 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.

Published online 18 February 2016

AN14995Microbiological 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.

Published online 14 June 2016

AN15708Inhibitions 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.

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.

Published online 14 June 2016

AN15830Survival 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.

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.

Published online 15 June 2016

AN15376Expression 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.

Published online 25 August 2016

AN15369Feedlot performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of Zebu heifers supplemented with two β-adrenergic agonists

F. J. Meraz-Murillo, L. Avendaño-Reyes, C. Pérez-Linares, F. Figueroa-Saavedra, V. Torres-Rodríguez, J. E. Guerra-Liera, M. Mellado and U. Macías-Cruz

Most research regarding on use of β-agonists is completed utilising Bos taurus cattle. Climatic zone variability in México allows husbandry of both Bos taurus and B. indicus cattle. Export of calves of European breeds to the USA is a profit centre for Mexican cow–calf farmers, leaving the Zebu heifers for Mexican feedlots. Thus, impacts of supplementation of β-agonists to Zebu females is of great importance in nutritional management programs in the Mexican beef industry.

Published online 25 August 2016

AN15683Update of model to predict sensible heat loss in broilers

Marcos José Batista dos Santos, Nilva Kazue Sakomura, Edney Pereira da Silva, Juliano César de Paula Dorigam and Alex Sandro Campos Maia

The prediction of feed intake is important in poultry production. To include environmental effects on feed intake is necessary to calculate the daily total heat production. The present study showed that the re-parameterisation of heat-loss equations are efficient to predict the heat flux in broilers under different environmental conditions.

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.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15358Effect 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.

Published online 09 September 2016

AN15622Hair cortisol and its potential value as a physiological measure of stress response in human and non-human animals

C. Burnard, C. Ralph, P. Hynd, J. Hocking Edwards and A. Tilbrook

Hair cortisol concentration has been proposed as a biomarker for chronic stress, with the advantages of easy sample collection and storage and the potential for retrospective assessment of stress. This review updates the rapid advancement in research on hair cortisol, methods for its measurement, its relationship to acute and chronic stress, and its repeatability and heritability. We highlight several directions for future research to more fully validate the use of hair cortisol as an indicator of chronic stress.

Published online 18 February 2016

AN15006An 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.

Published online 18 February 2016

AN15061Effects 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.

Published online 15 June 2016

AN15793Perspectives 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.

Published online 15 June 2016

AN15815Effects 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.

Gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infections are the second highest cost to production for Australian sheep producers with drench resistance an important element contributing to this cost. This research investigated whether integrated parasite management (IPM) strategies could reduce the cost of GIN in lamb production systems in a high summer rainfall region. Results indicated that production loss due to GIN in these production systems was small and the number of drenches administered can be reduced using IPM strategies.

Published online 25 August 2016

AN16023Smallholder large ruminant health and production in Lao PDR: challenges and opportunities for improving domestic and regional beef supply

S. Nampanya, S. Khounsy, J. R. Young, V. Napasirth, R. D. Bush and P. A. Windsor

Indigenous yellow cattle (Bos indicus) and Asiatic swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) are important livestock species in Laos. Data from 2011 showed that the majority of farm households with large ruminants were smallholders, with the average numbers of farm household with cattle and buffalo of 5.3 and 3.4, respectively. This paper identifies the strategic interventions that may increase the supply of cattle and buffalo and improve rural livelihoods in Laos and the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Published online 25 August 2016

AN16195Physical and chemical characteristics of spent hen breast meat aged for 7 days

J. L. M. Mello, R. A. Souza, G. C. Paschoalin, F. B. Ferrari, M. P. Berton, A. Giampietro-Ganeco, P. A. Souza and H. Borba

Little is known about the acceptability of broiler hen meat. This study evaluated the effect of age and aging time on breast meat properties. Its use is beneficial because it has more fat and less cholesterol, higher intracellular water-holding capacity, and lower cooking loss than meat from commercial broilers, and is less susceptible to lipid oxidation. Aging breast fillets for 3 days at 2°C is sufficient to tenderise the poultry meat and reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15434Effect 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.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15441Mechanical 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.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15458Genetic 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.

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/ 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.

Published online 23 June 2016

AN16030Guardian 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.

Published online 23 June 2016

AN16126Effects 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.

Published online 25 August 2016

AN16202Effects of wet feeding and enzyme supplementation on nutritional value of wheat screenings for broiler chickens

Ghorbanali Sadeghi, Ahmad Karimi, Soosan Mohammadi, Asaad Vaziry and Mahmood Habibian

Wheat screening (WS) is a cheap source of energy and other nutrients for use in broiler diets; however, it has a considerable amount of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). The negative effects of NSP may be decreased by the supplementation with exogenous enzymes and/or with wet feeding of wheat-based diets. In the present study, broiler performance was improved by the inclusion of WS to the diet and also by wet feeding, but not by enzyme supplementation.

Published online 20 July 2016

AN15776Effect 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.

Published online 18 February 2016

AN15297Resilience 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.

Published online 18 February 2016

AN15423Reasons 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 Tanzania.

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.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15479Methionine 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.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15595Greenhouse 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.

Published online 17 August 2016

AN15156Low-level arginine supplementation (0.1%) of wheat-based diets in pregnancy increases the total and live-born litter sizes in gilts

P. Guo, Z. Y. Jiang, K. G. Gao, L. Wang, X. F. Yang, Y. J. Hu, J. Zhang and X. Y. Ma

Arginine nutrition in gestating sows is essential for porcine embryonic and fetal development. However, arginine supplementation in common corn-soybean basal diet is rather expensive. This study investigated low level L-arginine supplementation in wheat-based diets on the pregnancy outcome of gilts. We found that low-level supplementation (0.1%) of L-arginine–HCl of wheat-based diets beneficially enhances the reproductive performance of gilts and is feasible for use in commercial production.

Published online 18 February 2016

AN15219The 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.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15638Greenhouse 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.

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.

Published online 13 July 2016

AN15321Impact 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.

Published online 29 August 2016

AN15777Associations between early lactation milk protein concentrations and the intervals to calving for Holstein cows of differing parity

Jack Fahey, John M. Morton, Martin J. Auldist and Keith L. Macmillan

There is a strong negative association between the concentration of milk protein in early lactation and the date of calving of Holstein cows in seasonally calving herds. A difference of 1% in milk protein concentration is associated with a 31–35-day difference in calving date in multiparous cows. Although this difference is less in the calving date of primiparous cows (8 days), some of the factors involved in this association must have influenced the conception patterns of these young cows when they were ~15 months of age and not lactating.

Published online 29 August 2016

AN15854Carcass traits and meat quality of quails from both sexes and eight distinct strains

Ronan P. Gontijo, Cleube A. Boari, Aldrin V. Pires, Martinho A. Silva, Luíza R. A. Abreu and Paulo G. M. A. Martins

Quail production is improving in Brazil, but the use of inappropriate strains is one of the factors hindering meat production. We evaluated carcass traits and meat quality of quails from different strains and both sexes pertaining to three breeding-improvement programs. In summary, meat obtained from meat-type strains had better meat quality than that from egg-laying strain. We conclude that meat-type strains, particularly one evaluated, are more appropriate for enterprises focussed on meat production.

Published online 29 August 2016

AN16093Effect of different forage types and concentrate levels on energy conversion, enteric methane production, and animal performance of Holstein × Zebu heifers

F. A. S. Silva, S. C. Valadares Filho, E. Detmann, S. A. Santos, L. A. Godoi, B. C. Silva, M. V. C. Pacheco, H. M. Alhadas and P. P. Rotta

Mitigating methane emissions by dietary manipulation is the most attractive mitigation strategy, as the reduction of methane production is associated with improvements in animal productivity. This study was conducted to evaluate the use of sugarcane-based diets as an alternative to corn silage-based diets for heifers on enteric methane production, energy conversion and animal performance. The increased concentrate level in sugarcane-based diets decreases methane emissions per unit of DM intake and body gain, and improves performance of growing heifers.

Published online 29 August 2016

AN16166Fetal and lamb losses from pregnancy scanning to lamb marking in commercial sheep flocks in southern New South Wales

M. B. Allworth, H. A. Wrigley and A. Cowling

Perinatal lamb mortality remains a challenge for sheep producers worldwide. A survey of sheep producers who had pregnancy ultrasound-scanned their ewes was conducted to assess the level of losses for different classes of sheep and any management practices which may influence survival. Our results suggest that perinatal lamb mortality remains a challenge, despite adoption of best practice management.

Published online 26 September 2016

AN15804Differences between sexes, muscles and aging times on the quality of meat from Wagyu × Angus cattle finished in feedlot

R. M. S. Carvalho, C. A. Boari, S. D. J. Villela, A. V. Pires, M. H. F. Mourthé, F. R. Oliveira, M. A. Dumont, R. P. Gontijo, A. R. Lobo-Jr and P. G. M. A. Martins

We assessed the characteristics and aging time of meat from Wagyu × Angus animals of both sexes. Females had the best marbling score, greater fat content, and less shear force. Crossbreeding with Wagyu and Angus is interesting to produce high-quality beef. Meat aging reduced shear force and increased ultimate pH of the longissimus thoracis. We conclude that aging for 7 days is already sufficient to produce an acceptably tender meat based on shear force values.

Published online 26 September 2016

AN15807Effects of dietary vitamin B6 on the skeletal muscle protein metabolism of growing rabbits

G. Y. Liu, Z. Y. Wu, Y. L. Zhu, L. Liu and F. C. Li

Vitamin B6 has been associated with protein metabolism. However, the effects of dietary vitamin B6 on the skeletal muscle protein metabolism of growing rabbits are unknown. Our results indicate that the addition of dietary vitamin B6 can increase the skeletal muscle protein synthesis of growing rabbits, and it can be used to improve meat performance of domestic animals in the future.

Published online 24 August 2016

AN15149Fatty acid profile, carcass traits and meat quality of Nellore steers following supplementation with various lipid sources

Isabela P. C. Carvalho, Giovani Fiorentini, Josiane F. Lage, Juliana D. Messana, Roberta. C. Canesin, Luis G. Rossi, Ricardo A. Reis and Telma T. Berchielli

The public policies in health suggest population-wide higher intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and lower intakes of saturated fat. Therefore, scientific studies are crucial in providing knowledge to consumers to allow them to assess the pros and cons of eating beef, which in turn has tremendous importance for the global economy. Thus, this experiment demonstrates that the inclusion of linseed oil is recommended as a method for improving the acid linoleic conjugated in the meat of beef cattle.

Published online 24 August 2016

AN16079Revisiting summer infertility in the pig: could heat stress-induced sperm DNA damage negatively affect early embryo development?

Santiago T. Peña, Jr, Bruce Gummow, Anthony J. Parker and Damien B. B. P. Paris

While summer infertility, which costs the industry millions, has traditionally been considered a sow problem, recent studies demonstrate that DNA damage in sperm caused by heat stress can result in early embryo loss in mice. This article proposes a role and mechanism by which heat stress-induced DNA damage in boar sperm may significantly contribute to downstream pregnancy failure in the sow during summer. Confirming such a link will enable development of boar management strategies to mitigate summer infertility.

Published online 29 August 2016

AN16194Maintaining bucks over 35 days after a male effect improves pregnancy rate in goats

J. Araya, M. Bedos, G. Duarte, H. Hernández, M. Keller, P. Chemineau and J. A. Delgadillo

Sexually active bucks induce ovulation in seasonal-anovulatory goats. We determine whether maintaining bucks over 35 days after the introduction of males, would improve pregnancy rate in goats compared with only 15 days. Maintaining bucks with females for 35 days increased pregnancy rates.

Published online 29 August 2016

AN16212The effect of weight and age on pregnancy rates in Brahman heifers in northern Australia

T. J. Schatz and M. N. Hearnden

The relationships between pre-mating weight and pregnancy rate were established for Brahman heifers mated as yearlings on improved pasture, and as 2 year olds on native pasture with pre-mating weights recorded in late October/early November and in late December. The relationships were used to produce tables showing the pregnancy rates predicted from different pre-mating weights. These tables will be useful for budgeting and management.

Published online 29 August 2016

AN16257Effect of in ovo injected prebiotics and synbiotics on the caecal fermentation and intestinal morphology of broiler chickens

D. Miśta, B. Króliczewska, E. Pecka-Kiełb, V. Kapuśniak, W. Zawadzki, S. Graczyk, A. Kowalczyk, E. Łukaszewicz and M. Bednarczyk

The administration of bioactive substances directly into chicken embryo may result in stimulating the favourable bacterial profile in the gut of growing chickens. The main results of the present study show that the injection of beneficial bacteria into the incubating egg together with the substance which stimulates its growth, improved development and physiological functions of the chicken’s digestive tract.

Published online 03 March 2016

AN15406An 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.

Published online 19 May 2016

AN15360Crambe 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.

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.

Published online 26 September 2016

AN15893Evaluation of pre-slaughter losses of Italian heavy pigs

Eleonora Nannoni, Gaetano Liuzzo, Andrea Serraino, Federica Giacometti, Giovanna Martelli, Luca Sardi, Marika Vitali, Lucia Romagnoli, Eros Moscardini and Fabio Ostanello

The identification of critical points during transport and slaughtering procedures may significantly improve animal welfare during transport. In heavy pigs, long travel duration, low stocking density and overnight lairage resulted in increased animal losses. The routine collection and analysis of animal-loss data at slaughterhouses could reduce the economic impact of animal losses and be of help in improving future legislation on the protection of pigs during transport.

Published online 19 May 2016

AN15422Predicting 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.

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.

Published online 24 August 2016

AN16170Field storage conditions for cattle manure to limit nitrogen losses and optimise fertiliser value

J. Viaene, V. Nelissen, B. Vandecasteele, K. Willekens, S. De Neve and B. Reubens

The use of organic manure is an issue of debate and controversy in environmental policy in many countries, and field storage is often restricted out of fear for nutrient losses. We investigated different storage options to reduce soil nitrogen losses, meanwhile optimising manure quality, and found that a maximum of 4% of the initial nitrogen content was lost by leaching, depending on the initial manure characteristics and storage option. These findings could help policymakers in adapting regulations regarding field storage, and practitioners in optimising manure treatment.

Published online 26 May 2016

AN15087Effect 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.

Published online 22 March 2016

AN15431Population 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.

Published online 22 March 2016

AN15475Development 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.

Published online 07 September 2016

AN13218Divergent genotypes for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle. 2. Body composition but not reproduction was affected in first-parity cows on both low and high levels of nutrition

M. Laurence, J. M. Accioly, K. J. Copping, M. P. B. Deland, J. F. Graham, M. L. Hebart, R. M. Herd, F. M. Jones, S. J. Lee, E. J. Speijers and W. S. Pitchford

This paper documents the impact of selection for reduced fatness and increased feed efficiency on nutritionally restricted, first-parity cows. The aim was to determine whether maternal productivity was compromised in these genotypes when energy input was restricted, with the result being that although body composition changed, there was no impact on reproductive traits. Producers can continue to select for reduced fatness and increased feed efficiency without compromising productivity of the female herd.

Published online 22 March 2016

AN15660Responses 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

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.

Published online 07 September 2016

AN13295Divergent genotypes for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle. 3. Performance of mature cows

K. J. Copping, J. M. Accioly, M. P. B. Deland, N. J. Edwards, J. F. Graham, M. L. Hebart, R. M. Herd, F. M. Jones, M. Laurence, S. J. Lee, E. J. Speijers and W. S. Pitchford

The impact of selecting for traits such as increased carcass yield and improved feed efficiency in beef cattle on the productivity of the breeding herd is not well understood. This study evaluated the productivity of Angus cows that differed in genetic merit for either subcutaneous Fat or RFI.  Clear associations existed between EBVs and cow body composition without significant effects on fertility in mature cows. There is opportunity to exploit genetic variance in traits such as fatness to best suit cow herd management and the target market.

Published online 07 September 2016

AN14797Divergent breeding values for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle. 4. Fat EBVs’ influence on fatness fluctuation and supplementary feeding requirements

J. M. Accioly, K. J. Copping, M. P. B. Deland, M. L. Hebart, R. M. Herd, S. J. Lee, F. M. Jones, M. Laurence, E. J. Speijers, B. J. Walmsley and W. S. Pitchford

Beef production systems’ costs are greatly affected by supplementary feed requirements. The inherited ability of cows to gain body condition while pasture is abundant, delaying supplementation onset during pasture shortage was examined. Cows with higher breeding values for fat take longer to require supplementation than cows with lower fat breeding values. Producers can utilise fat breeding values to better match cow genotypes to their production system.

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.

Published online 06 July 2016

AN141037Carcass 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.

Productivity of the cow has the largest effect on productivity of the beef industry particularly given the high cost of feeding cows. Recent research has demonstrated that cow productivity is impacted by (1) heifer development before puberty, (2) the effects the relationship between cow feed requirements and nutrient availability have on reproductive success, and (3) the changes in the cow herd that are a result of breeding decisions. Decision support systems based on computer simulation models can be developed to address these issues by providing outputs that help producers during their on-farm decision-making.

Published online 07 September 2016

AN15636Divergent genotypes for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle. 7. Low-fat and low-RFI cows produce more liveweight and better gross margins than do high-fat and high-RFI cows when managed under the same conditions

L. Anderton, J. M. Accioly, K. J. Copping, M. P. B. Deland, M. L. Hebart, R. M. Herd, F. M. Jones, M. Laurence, S. J. Lee, E. J. Speijers, B. J. Walmsley and W. S. Pitchford

Economic evaluation of experiments conducted on 500 Angus cows to measure maternal productivity performance provides direction to the national industry. Cows with low fat or low RFI generated more income by selling more liveweight due to heavier weights and higher stocking rates and therefore were more profitable, even when accounting for differences in reproductive performance. This finding has potential to influence breeding objectives.

Published online 06 May 2016

AN15539Dietary 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.

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.

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.

Published online 06 May 2016

AN15656Methane 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.

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.

Published online 03 May 2016

AN15502Effects 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.

Published online 03 May 2016

AN15572A 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.

Published online 05 July 2016

AN15419Niacin 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.

Published online 05 July 2016

AN15685Cassava 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.

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.

Published online 25 February 2016

AN15533Liveweight 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.

Published online 03 May 2016

AN15586Greenhouse 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.

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.

Published online 09 June 2016

AN15669Developing 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.

Published online 25 February 2016

AN15563Changes 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.

Published online 11 July 2016

AN14999CAPN1 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.

Published online 11 July 2016

AN15249Effects 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.

Published online 03 May 2016

AN15666An 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.

Published online 03 May 2016

AN15684In 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.

Published online 03 May 2016

AN15729Essential 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.

Published online 04 March 2016

AN15211Using 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.

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.

Published online 11 July 2016

AN15871Pre- 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.

Published online 17 May 2016

AN15079Effect 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.

Published online 18 May 2016

AN15657Genetic 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.

Published online 12 July 2016

AN15726Hay 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.

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.

Published online 08 September 2016

AN15195Electro-analgesia for sheep husbandry practices: a review

P. I. Hynd

At present lamb-marking practices such as castration, tail-docking and ear-tagging are carried out with no pain relief, and only local anaesthesia is available for the mulesing operation. This review examines the evidence that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation provides effective analgesia for various painful procedures, and whether or not electroanalgesia has potential application for relief of the pain associated with lamb-marking practices.

Determining feeding patterns is the first step in understanding acceptability of maize cob-based diets by pigs. The objective of this study was to determine relationships between time spent eating and nutritionally related metabolites in growing pigs. The metabolites were related to the time spent feeding and drinking in pigs. When formulating diets using fibrous ingredients, feed compounders should not only consider only bulk, but also feeding patterns.

Published online 02 August 2016

AN15549The repeatability of textural wool handle

J. W. V. Preston, S. Hatcher and B. A. McGregor

Textural greasy wool handle is assessed on-farm in breeding programs to improve the quality of wool produced. The effectiveness of this assessment was scrutinised using three different assessment methods. Results indicate the assessment of textural greasy wool handle was the most repeatable when assessed on loose solvent scoured wool samples followed by loose greasy wool samples and finally on live animal assessment. Breeding programs that include textural greasy wool handle with a high emphasis may achieve greater gains when assessing in a more repeatable format.

Published online 02 August 2016

AN15828Study on the effects of electrical stunning parameters for broilers on biochemical and histological markers of stress and meat quality

Raffaelina Mercogliano, Serena Santonicola, Nicoletta Murru, Orlando Paciello, Teresa Bruna Pagano, Maria Francesca Peruzy, Tiziana Pepe, Aniello Anastasio and Maria Luisa Cortesi

Assessment of animal welfare suffering at poultry abattoirs is important because, poor welfare can cause stress and also influence the quality of the meat. Proper electrical stunning conditions can minimise suffering associated with slaughtering, and improve the metabolic changes in muscles responsible for quality meat. To evaluate poultry pre-slaughter stress at the slaughterhouse, clinical signs, electrocardiogram, and electroencephalogram seems not to be feasible and sufficiently rapid parameters. Physicochemical parameters, such as pH and peroxides, might be used as feasible markers of acute pre-slaughter stress and poultry quality meat. Study on Ross broilers (n = 96) indicated that high stunning frequency may improve the quality of poultry meat without aggregating stress.

Published online 03 June 2016

AN15767In 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.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15045Replacing 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.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15047Replacing 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.

Published online 20 April 2016

AN15342Examining 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.

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.

Published online 27 May 2016

AN15111Daily 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.

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.

The random regression test-day models can be used for accurate and economical genetic evaluation of Sahiwal cattle. The heritability estimates of monthly test-day milk yields were low to moderate in different lactations and the assumption of homogeneous or heterogeneous residual variance gave similar estimates. Random regression model with homogenous or heterogeneous variance can be used for modelling test-day milk yield and breeding value prediction in Sahiwal cattle.

Published online 01 June 2016

AN16073Comparative 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.

Published online 08 August 2016

AN15480Influence of the housing environment during sow gestation on maternal health, and offspring immunity and survival

Elodie Merlot, Catherine Calvar and Armelle Prunier

In pig husbandry, pregnant females are often exposed to stressful conditions that may affect their physiology, behaviour or health. In this study, housing sows in different systems during gestation (conventional vs enriched) modulated their salivary cortisol and health status during gestation and their piglet pre-weaning mortality, despite the comparable environments from farrowing to weaning. This suggests that optimising housing in order to reduce the level of stress of pregnant sows may be also beneficial for the survival of their piglets after birth.

Australian sheep producers have the potential to improve reproductive rates through optimising ewe body condition across the production cycle. Reproductive records from the Information Nucleus Flock and Sheep Genetics datasets were analysed to examine the influence of sire breeding values for liveweight, fat and muscle across a variety of production environments. The sire breeding values for liveweight, fat and muscle had very little association with the reproductive performance of their daughters, on average, but the association varied across flocks from unfavourable to favourable.

Published online 03 May 2016

AN15133Characterisation 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.

Feeding diets high in readily fermentable carbohydrates and low in physically effective fibre can compromise optimal rumen function. We investigated the effects of ruminal stimulating brushes, consisting of synthetic polymer bristles, on rumen fermentation and plasma oxidative stress and subsequent milk measures and found an increase in biological antioxidant potential in lactating cows administered with the ruminal stimulating brushes.

Published online 05 September 2016

AN15179Extruded full-fat soybean as a substitute for soybean meal and oil in diets for lactating sows: the effect on litter performance and milk composition

Pan Zhou, Guangbo Luo, Lianqiang Che, Yan Lin, Shengyu Xu, Zhengfeng Fang and De Wu

Extruded full-fat soybean (EFS), which has high energy content and digestibility, is commonly used in feedstuff for young pigs but restrictedly for sows. This study aimed to investigate the effect of supplementing EFS to the lactation diet on sow and litter performance, and found a positive effect on milk composition and litter performance. This research indicates that supplementing EFS in the sow lactation diet has wide application prospects.

Published online 20 September 2016

AN16175Effects of phytase, calcium source, calcium concentration and particle size on broiler performance, nutrient digestibility and skeletal integrity

E. J. Bradbury, S. J. Wilkinson, G. M. Cronin, C. L. Walk and A. J. Cowieson

High dietary calcium concentrations in poultry diets have a negative effect on bird performance, due mainly to a reduction in phytate-phosphorus digestibility. To counteract this, diets are supplemented with inorganic phosphorus and phytase. The ability to replace high dietary calcium concentrations with lower dietary calcium concentrations supplied by a highly soluble calcium source has the potential to alleviate the problems associated with high dietary calcium while maintaining optimal bird performance and skeletal health.

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.

Published online 03 May 2016

AN15190Comparison 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.

Published online 03 May 2016

AN15312Evaluation 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.

Published online 05 September 2016

AN15736Effect of protein supplementation in the rumen, abomasum, or both on intake, digestibility, and nitrogen utilisation in cattle fed high-quality tropical forage

E. D. Batista, E. Detmann, D. I. Gomes, L. M. A. Rufino, M. F. Paulino, S. C. Valadares Filho, M. O. Franco, C. B. Sampaio and W. L. S. Reis

Protein degradability can affect forage utilisation and nitrogen retention in beef cattle fed high-quality tropical grass. The present study evaluated how the supplementation with ruminally degradable (RDP) and/or ruminally undegradable protein (RUP) influence forage intake, digestibility, and metabolic characteristics in Nellore bulls. The RDP and RUP supplementation did not affect forage intake and digestibility, but both improved nitrogen retention. However, RUP supplementation presented greater efficiency of nitrogen utilisation likely as a response of different metabolic mechanisms compared to RDP supplementation.

Published online 28 September 2016

AN15883Asparagopsis taxiformis decreases enteric methane production from sheep

Xixi Li, Hayley C. Norman, Robert D. Kinley, Michael Laurence, Matt Wilmot, Hannah Bender, Rocky de Nys and Nigel Tomkins

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.

Published online 28 September 2016

AN16453White clover: the forgotten component of high-producing pastures?

D. F. Chapman, J. M. Lee, L. Rossi, G. R. Edwards, J. B. Pinxterhuis and E. M. K. Minnee

The pasture yield benefits available from including white clover in mixtures with perennial ryegrass are often overlooked. Ryegrass monocultures were compared with mixtures in experiments across multiple environments and managements in New Zealand, revealing a mean yield advantage of 2.3 t DM/ha per year to mixtures. Management strategies to sustain a threshold of 20–30% clover in mixtures are described.

Published online 22 March 2016

AN15659Responses 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.

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.

Published online 03 May 2016

AN15451Crude 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.

Just Accepted

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.

Most Read

The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads in the last 60 days from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Sheep Reproduction

Animal Production Science vol. 54 no. 6 and vol. 56 no. 4 form special editions on sheep reproduction containing Part 1 & Part 2, respectively.