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 57 Number 1 2017

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
pp. 1-15

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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
pp. 74-80

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.

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
pp. 81-89

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.


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.


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.


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.

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
pp. 110-115

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.


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.

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
pp. 122-128

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.


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.


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.

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
pp. 141-146

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.

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
pp. 152-160

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.

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
pp. 161-169

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.

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
pp. 170-179

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.


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.

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
pp. 191-200

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.

Online Early

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

Published online 09 December 2016

AN16351Performance and behaviour of Nellore steers on integrated systems

L. F. Domiciano, M. A. Mombach, P. Carvalho, N. M. F. da Silva, D. H. Pereira, L. S. Cabral, L. B. Lopes and B. C. Pedreira
 

Animal performance and behavioural responses were evaluated under different production systems, throughout two seasons. Time of the day and especially the seasons influenced behavioural responses and animal performance. Meat production can be increased when the system includes rotation with crops (soybean and maize). Silvopastoral systems provide Nellore steers with a more comfortable and preferred environment for idleness and rumination.

Published online 09 December 2016

AN16376Bone mineral density in the tail-bones of cattle: effect of dietary phosphorus status, liveweight, age and physiological status

D. B. Coates, R. M. Dixon, R. M. Murray, R. J. Mayer and C. P. Miller
 

Phosphorus deficiency in cattle grazing rangelands may have severe adverse effects. Single photon absorptiometry was used in on-farm experiments to measure tail-bone mineral density and thus diagnose bone phosphorus. Prolonged phosphorus deficiency markedly reduced mineral density of tail-bone in young-growing and reproducing cattle, but not in mature cows. Single photon absorptiometry may be valuable to diagnose long-term phosphorus deficiency in cattle.

Published online 06 December 2016

AN13258Genetic parameters for body composition of Angus and Hereford cows

K. A. Donoghue, S. J. Lee, P. F. Parnell and W. S. Pitchford
 

Australian beef producers have been successful in achieving significant genetic gains in body composition traits. This study examined the genetics of body composition traits of cows at pre-calving and weaning in their first and second parities. The results of this study indicate that genetic improvement in body composition traits in cows is possible, and that body composition information recorded at yearling age is a reasonably good predictor of later in life performance for these traits.

Published online 06 December 2016

AN16387Impact of conformation traits on functional longevity in South African Holstein cattle

V. E. Imbayarwo-Chikosi, V. Ducrocq, C. B. Banga, T. E. Halimani, J. B. Van Wyk, A. Maiwashe and K. Dzama
 

Mature dairy cows with good conformation are profitable to the dairy enterprise through their increased stay in production. An evaluation of the extent to which conformation components influence longevity in South African dairy cows showed a significant influence of traits related to udder suspension. Cows with pendulous udders were highly predisposed to culling leading to reduced longevity and productivity both of which will ultimately reduce the profitability of the enterprise.

Published online 06 December 2016

AN16268Relationship between the fatty acid composition of uropygial gland secretion and blood of meat chickens receiving different dietary fats

Khaled Kanakri, Beverly Muhlhausler, John Carragher, Robert Gibson, Reza Barekatain, Carolyn Dekoning, Kelly Drake and Robert Hughes
 

Determining the fatty acid status of chickens requires invasive methods to obtain blood samples for analysis. We postulated that measuring the fatty acid composition of preen oil, which is externally secreted from the uropygial gland of live chickens could be an alternative non-invasive method. However, the results showed that the fatty composition of preen oil is not a suitable indicator of the whole blood fatty acid profile in chickens.


Seedstock breeders’ perspectives on maternal productivity in beef cattle were investigated through the use of qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews. Divergence in breeders’ attitudes to cow management and body condition fluctuation were evident and this was associated with differing selection emphasis for production traits compared with perceived resilience traits. The results demonstrated that among seedstock breeders targeting similar end markets, substantial variation in animal selection and management exists that requires further characterisation to ensure breeding programs and animal management are optimal.

Published online 02 December 2016

AN16478Comparing the profitability of a dairy business with alternative investments

J. W. Heard, K. R. Lawrence, C. K. M. Ho and B. Malcolm
 

The profitability of a dairy business in northern Victoria from 2003–2004 to 2014–2015 was compared with the performance of other dairy and non-agricultural investments. The analysis showed the farm performed well relative to other dairy businesses in Victoria, and alternative investments, such as shares, bonds and property. Compound annual return to capital over the 12 years was 12.4% (real), with over half the return from the farming operation and the remainder from owning assets that appreciated in value.

Published online 02 December 2016

AN16463A farm-scale framework to assess potential farm- and regional-scale implications of removing palm-kernel expeller as a supplementary feed for dairy cows

Ronaldo Vibart, Alec Mackay, Andrew Wall, Iris Vogeler, Josef Beautrais and Dawn Dalley
 

Growing consumer awareness and the expected expansion of the Asian dairy sector may increase pressure to find alternatives to palm-kernel expeller (PKE) as a supplementary feed for dairy cows in New Zealand. We examined the possibilities of domestically grown barley as a PKE replacement in Southland. The farm-scale framework was capable of exploring some of the farm and regional production, economic and environmental implications from such replacement.

Published online 02 December 2016

AN16449A practical future-scenarios selection tool to breed for heat tolerance in Australian dairy cattle

Thuy T. T. Nguyen, Ben J. Hayes and Jennie E. Pryce
 

Selection for heat-tolerant dairy cattle has become important, especially in the global warming context. We developed a tool that enables farmers to make selection decisions of animals that leads to improvements in heat tolerance and profitability simultaneously. The use of the tool will contribute to improving milk production and welfare of animals, especially in warm regions.

Published online 02 December 2016

AN16459A survey of dairy cow wintering practices in Canterbury, New Zealand

J. P. Edwards, K. Mashlan, D. E. Dalley and J. B. Pinxterhuis
 

Nutrient losses to the environment can be caused by dairy cows grazing crops over the winter period. The aim of the study was to document the prevailing wintering practices in the Canterbury region, with results indicating a reliance on kale and fodder beet located off the dairy farm. This information could be used to identify opportunities for reducing nutrient losses and as a base for evaluating practice change in the future.

Published online 02 December 2016

AN16233Potato processing waste in beef finishing diets; effects on performance, carcass and meat quality

J. L. Duynisveld and E. Charmley
 

Waste streams from potato processing represent a high-value feedstuff for ruminants but are underutilised in many parts of the world. This study showed that potato processing waste can be fed to beef cattle at 80% of the diet dry matter without affecting animal productivity or meat quality. Where locally available, potato processing waste represents a low-cost, high-quality feed source for beef-finishing operations.

Published online 02 December 2016

AN15745Carcass and meat quality of young Cika and Simmental bulls finished under similar conditions

Mojca Simčič, Marko Čepon and Silvester Žgur
 

Twenty young Cika and 20 Simmental bulls were finished post-weaning on two diets and slaughtered at similar carcass weights. Cika bulls produced carcasses with a higher dressing percentage, more fat and less tendons and bones. The Longissimus thoracis muscle of Cika bulls had a lower pH, higher redness, yellowness and drip loss, and a more intense flavour.


Increases in the efficiency of microbial protein synthesis (EMPS) of cattle grazing tropical pastures should lead to increased liveweight gain through increased total metabolisable protein supply. Rumen degradable protein (RDP) supply from tropical pastures is low; hence, increasing the dietary supply of RDP is a strategy to increase EMPS. Our study showed that only high amounts of RDP supply to the rumen, in the form of true protein, resulting in increased EMPS. However, at lower intakes of RDP, which were formulated to achieve EMPS in the range suggested in the feedings standards, there was no difference in supplying the RDP as non-protein nitrogen or degradable true protein.

Published online 02 December 2016

AN15131Polymorphisms of kappa-casein gene and their effects on milk production traits in Holstein, Jersey and Brown Swiss cattle*

Murad Gurses, Huseyin Yuce, Ebru Onalan Etem and Bahri Patir
 

κ-CN plays a critical role in the formation and stabilisation of casein micelles, and influences the manufacturing properties of milk. Although genotypes for κ-CN polymorphisms were associated with protein and solids-not-fat content of milk in Hostein and Brown Swiss, they had an effect on fat content of milk in Jersey. B allele was associated with increasing milk quality, therefore, selection of B allele could provide economic advantage for increasing milk quality.

Published online 02 December 2016

AN14851Performance and metabolism of dairy calves fed starter feed containing citrus pulp as a replacement for corn

C. E. Oltramari, G. G. O. Nápoles, M. R. De Paula, J. T. Silva, M. P. C. Gallo, M. C. Soares and C. M. M. Bittar
 

Dairy calves may benefit from feeding citrus pulp (CSP) as a replacement for corn, considering the possibility of ruminal acidosis and the high grain costs. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of replacing corn grain with CSP in the starter concentrate on performance and metabolism of dairy calves. The partial or total replacement of corn by CSP in the starter feed of dairy calves did not affect performance and contributed to the better rumen development.

Published online 29 November 2016

AN15845Contract bonus systems to encourage biosecurity adoption on small-scale broiler farms in Indonesia

Anak Agung Sagung Putri Komaladara, Ian Patrick and Nam Hoang
 

Improved biosecurity in smallholder broiler farms in Indonesia has the potential to reduce disease and improve livelihoods. There are a range of contracts available to smallholders which provide different incentive structures to invest in biosecurity. An analysis of six smallholder-company contracts and how they are able to reward farmers who are approved to market their product as ‘Healthy Farm’ chickens indicates that smallholders need to be selective in their choice of partner company as only three of the six contract types adequately reward smallholders who are investing in farm biosecurity.

Published online 29 November 2016

AN15146Effects of the citrus flavonoid extract Bioflavex or its pure components on rumen fermentation of intensively reared beef steers

A. R. Seradj, A. Gimeno, M. Fondevila, J. Crespo, R. Armengol and J. Balcells
 

The use of plant secondary compounds (i.e. flavonoids) to enhance ruminal fermentation condition has become the mainstream of rumen studies. Our study shows the effectiveness of Bioflavex supplementation in steers for preventing a collapse in pH and modifying the activity of lactate-consuming bacteria. Its optimum effect would be expected in short administration (feedlot) period due to adaptation of rumen environment to the presence of Bioflavex.


Productivity in lambs can be enhanced by strategic supplementation with energy- and protein-rich feedstuffs. Feeding of lambs on higher levels of concentrate leads to lower rumen pH and sometimes rumen acidosis, which disturbs the balance of rumen and intestinal microflora. Inclusion of rumen bypass fat at lower levels yielded better gains; however, at higher levels it affected fibre digestibility due to adverse effects on microbial growth. Microbial cultures (probiotics) are being tried as natural feed additives for maintaining microbial balance in the gastro-intestinal tract and, thereby, overall animal production. Present study envisaged the use of live culture of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Malpura lambs fed ad libitum concentrate with and without rumen bypass fat.


What is effect of yeast preparations on fatty acids and flavour which are closely related to beef quality? A research was conducted, of which results indicated that yeast products had little effect on individual fatty acid but improved the tenderness of beef. The findings will be beneficial in regulating beef quality by yeast preparations in the near future.

Published online 29 November 2016

AN16256Intake of milk and pasture and growth rate of calves reared by cows with high or low potential for milk production

F. J. Roca Fraga, N. Lopez-Villalobos, N. P. Martin, P. R. Kenyon, S. T. Morris and R. E. Hickson
 

Rapid pre- and post-weaning growth rates of calves are important for efficient beef production. This experiment demonstrated that although calves with high growth potential partially compensated for the low milk intake by increasing their pasture intake, liveweight advantages from increased milk intake persisted to one year of age. High-yielding beef-cross-dairy cows can increase liveweight of calves.


A high-concentrate diet commonly causes digestive disorders in finishing lambs. This study aimed to evaluate effects of sugar beet pulp and canola seeds on ruminal fermentation and morphology of finishing lambs. Partial use of sugar beet pulp and roasted canola seed inclusion successfully optimized ruminal environment and had beneficial effects on morphology of the rumen in lambs fed a high-concentrate diet.

Published online 28 November 2016

AN16210Assessing and mitigating post-operative castration pain in Bos indicus cattle

M. Laurence, A. Barnes, T. Collins, T. Hyndman and G. C. Musk
 

Bos indicus cattle are often castrated after six months of age without pain relief. Measures of pain that include pedometry, blood cortisol concentrations, and baulk and crush scores were used to characterise post-surgical castration pain and determine whether perioperative lignocaine or meloxicam or both reduced pain. Pedometer measures and cortisol concentrations proved useful and showed that strategic use of analgesics is viable in extensive farming situations and provides benefit to animals undergoing castration.

Published online 28 November 2016

AN16529Effect of replacing a commercial pelleted calf meal with lucerne leaf-meal on performance of neonatal and transitional Holstein heifer calves

Joyce L. Marumo, Florence V. Nherera-Chokuda, Jones W. Ng'ambi and Mukengela C. Muya
 

The low fibre, high β-carotene and protein contents in lucerne leaf-meal (LLM) make it an attractive substitute forage for commercial calf feeding. The present study assessed the performance of pre-weaned Holstein heifers supplemented with LLM. Holstein heifer calves with forage provision (LLM) had higher nutrient intake and greater growth performance than the control diet. These results confirm the role of LLM in improving dairy calf’s performance.

Published online 28 November 2016

AN16394Accumulation and depletion of indospicine in calves (Bos taurus) fed creeping indigo (Indigofera spicata)

Mary T. Fletcher, Keith G. Reichmann, Selina M. Ossedryver, Ross A. McKenzie, Phillip D. Carter and Barry J. Blaney
 

The natural toxin indospicine accumulates in meat of animals grazing Indigofera pasture plants, and has been responsible for secondary poisoning of dogs fed indospicine-contaminated horsemeat and camel meat. The present research highlights the similar accumulation of indospicine residues in calves fed a diet containing Indigofera spicata (creeping indigo). Indospicine has been established as causing both reproductive losses and liver disease, and likely contributes to cattle productivity losses in areas where Indigofera species (such as Birdsville indigo) are prevalent.

Published online 28 November 2016

AN16111Fatty acid profile of ghee derived from two genotypes (cattle–yak vs yak) grazing different alpine Himalayan pasture sites

S. Marquardt, S. R. Barsila, S. L. Amelchanka, N. R. Devkota, M. Kreuzer and F. Leiber
 

Fatty acid profile of ghee obtained from cattle × yak hybrids during a transhumant movement cycle between 2600 and 4500 m a.s.l. was influenced by pasture site. The hypothesis that yak ghee contains, in general, higher proportions of functional FAs than does ghee from cattle × yak hybrids (cattle × yak) could not be verified. However, yak ghee contained higher proportions of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. More studies are needed to exclude possible factors of influence.


A study to use female reproductive technologies with genomic selection in sheep breeding programs was conducted to investigate how much extra genetic progress could be achieved over a 10-year period. Both genomic selection and reproductive technologies facilitated enhanced rates of genetic gain and displayed strong synergies. Genomic information collected early in life allowed for larger gains in traits that are measured after selection.


This study aimed to evaluate the response of ruminal metabolism of dietary fatty acids to replacing prilled palm fat, a saturated fat, with cold-pressed rapeseed cake or cold-pressed sunflower cakes, by-products of on-farm biodiesel manufacturing very rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Replacing palm fat with cold-pressed rapeseed cake or cold-pressed sunflower cakes decreased total saturated fatty acids and enhanced cis-monounsaturated fatty acids and vaccenic acid accumulation in rumen fat without shifting biohydrogenation pathways towards the formation of C18:1 trans-10.


Without the addition of inoculants, alfalfa silages often result in deleterious changes to the nutritive value. This study investigated the effects of previously fermented juice (PFJ) and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) inoculants and suggested effect of PFJ may be comparable to, or even better than, that of LAB inoculants. Adding PFJ to improve alfalfa silage quality is a cost-effective way.

Published online 24 November 2016

AN15642Verification of micrometeorologically determined nitrous oxide fluxes following controlled release from pasture

M. J. Harvey, S. E. Nichol, A. M. S. McMillan, R. J. Martin, M. J. Evans and A. M. Bromley
 

Emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide arise following deposition of excretal nitrogen from cattle grazing on pasture. Accurate measurement is challenging because the emissions can be very variable in time and space; paddock-scale methods can capture and integrate through this variability. We present here the first experiment to independently verify a paddock-scale emission method with a known emission of nitrous oxide. We show that emission is likely to be under-estimated using uncorrected vertical concentration-difference measurements.

Published online 23 November 2016

AN16180Productivity and profitability of forage options for beef production in the subtropics of northern Australia

M. K. Bowen, F. Chudleigh, S. Buck and K. Hopkins
 

Targeted use of high quality forages is an intensification strategy that has the potential to improve the profitability of northern beef businesses through increasing enterprise turnover and productivity. Our study provided comparative data for forage, animal and economic performance for a range of forage options for dryland beef production in northern Australia. The data indicated that perennial legume-grass pastures, and particularly leucaena-grass, resulted in greater profitability than annual forage crops or perennial grass and that this was primarily due to the relatively low forage costs for perennial legume-grass pastures (compared with annual forage crops) combined with their high productivity.

Published online 23 November 2016

AN16186Bayesian estimates of genetic relationship between calving difficulty and productive and reproductive performance in Holstein cows

Navid Ghavi Hossein-Zadeh, Mohammad Hossein Salimi and Abdol Ahad Shadparvar
 

In recent years, dairy cattle breeders have shown an increasing interest in selection for functional traits such as calving difficulty. The aim of the present study was to estimate genetic correlation between calving difficulty and productive and reproductive performance of Holstein cows. Exploitable genetic variation in calving difficulty, productive and reproductive traits could be applied in designing future genetic selection plans for Iranian Holsteins.


This experiment quantified the methane abatement potential of calcium nitrate for extensively managed beef cattle. Nitrates provide an alternative sink for H that would otherwise support methanogenesis. Elevated concentrations of methaemoglobin indicate that replacing urea with nitrate in supplements for use in the northern rangelands is inappropriate where supplement intake cannot be controlled and forage quality is seasonally variable.

Published online 16 November 2016

AN16286Revised greenhouse-gas emissions from Australian dairy farms following application of updated methodology

K. M. Christie, R. P. Rawnsley, C. Phelps and R. J. Eckard
 

The present study examined the effect of changes to the national inventory on the emission intensity of milk production of 41 Australian dairy farms previously assessed using the Dairy Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategies calculator. The national mean emission intensity of milk production has increased, although individual farm emissions have either increased or decreased, depending on a range of factors. Methane from waste management has emerged a new ‘hot spot’, which will need consideration in terms of mitigation options moving forward.

Published online 16 November 2016

AN16274Effects of boar variability on comet-detected sperm-DNA damage following cryopreservation

L. Fraser, ?. Zasiadczyk and C. S. Pareek
 

The cryopreservation process compromises the sperm DNA integrity, and spermatozoa with a high level of damaged DNA might have low potential for fertilization. In this study the comet tail measures were used to assess the extent of DNA damage to frozen-thawed spermatozoa and detected marked inter-boar variability to cryo-induced sperm DNA damage. It can be suggested that the comet-assay parameters have the potential to be a powerful tool to improve the sperm evaluation of post-thaw semen quality.

Published online 14 November 2016

AN16107Genetic parameters for fatty acids in intramuscular fat from feedlot-finished Nelore carcasses

Carolyn Aboujaoude, Angélica Simone Cravo Pereira, Fabieli Louise Braga Feitosa, Marcos Vinicius Antunes de Lemos, Hermenegildo Lucas Justino Chiaia, Mariana Piatto Berton, Elisa Peripolli, Rafael Medeiros de Oliveira Silva, Adrielle Mathias Ferrinho, Lenise Freitas Mueller, Bianca Ferreira Olivieri, Lucia Galvão de Albuquerque, Henrique Nunes de Oliveira, Humberto Tonhati, Rafael Espigolan, Rafael Tonussi, Daniel Mansan Gordo, Ana Fabricia Braga Magalhaes and Fernando Baldi
 

Reports of genetic parameter estimates for fatty acid (FA) profile are scarce for zebu breeds, and it is important to known whether selection is feasible to decrease harmful FA and increase health beneficial FA. The aim of the present study was to estimate genetic parameters of beef FA composition of intramuscular fat in Nelore bulls. The results of this study should help seek strategies for genetic selection and/or genetic-based diet management to enhance the beef FA profile in zebu cattle.

Published online 09 November 2016

AN16165Detection of candidate genes for growth and carcass traits using genome-wide association strategy in Chinese Simmental beef cattle

Wengang Zhang, Lingyang Xu, Huijiang Gao, Yang Wu, Xue Gao, Lupei Zhang, Bo Zhu, Yuxin Song, Jinshan Bao, Junya Li and Yan Chen
 

Detecting major genes, which control important economic traits in livestock, is meaningful to cattle breeding. We tried to explain the phenotype variance in genomic level, and explored the candidate genes for cattle growth and carcass traits using genome-wide association studies analysis. This study detected a total of 18 candidate genes and their harboured associated regions, which will facilitate mark-assist selection in Chinese Simmental cattle.

Published online 07 November 2016

AN15645Enteric methane emissions, intake, and performance of young Nellore bulls fed different sources of forage in concentrate-rich diets containing crude glycerine

A. F. Ribeiro, J. D. Messana, A. José Neto, J. F. Lage, G. Fiorentini, B. R. Vieira and T. T. Berchielli
 

Finishing animals in feedlots with diets rich in concentrates can be a strategy to reduce enteric CH4 emissions; however can lead to ruminal upsets decreasing animal performance. This study evaluated the effect of different sources of forage in concentrate-rich diets on feed intake, performance, and enteric methane emissions. Forages of low quality may be used at 15% neutral detergent fibre from forage without compromising intake, performance, or enteric methane emissions.

Published online 21 October 2016

AN15551Equid milk production: evaluation of Martina Franca jennies and IHDH mares by Wood

P. De Palo, A. Maggiolino, P. Centoducati, G. Calzaretti, P. Milella and A. Tateo
 

There is a growing interest in equid milk production, involving some commercial and economic aspects. Knowledge about equids’ milk production and application of mathematical models on it are not well developed. This paper’s result indicates Wood’s model as a good mathematical model to describe and predict equid milk production. Moreover, normalised data according metabolic liveweight showed that IHDH mares produce more milk than Martina Franca donkeys.


Given the importance of methane as a greenhouse gas, methane production was measured from tropical beef cattle consuming pastures typical of the northern Australian rangelands during the seasonal changes in diet quality. The work aimed to quantify methane produced from diets typical of the rangelands and compare against equations commonly used to estimate methane production from cattle. Methane produced on a daily basis was affected by diet quality and is likely overestimated in Australian cattle consuming low quality forage.


The effects of feeding giant taro root meal with or without coconut oil slurry on the performance of layers and broilers were investigated. Replacement of dietary maize at a level greater than 10% of the meal depressed performance of both egg- and meat-type birds. Supplementation with coconut oil slurry allowed utilisation of 20% of the meal by laying hens, but had no effect in young broiler chickens.

Published online 14 October 2016

AN16164Socioeconomic impact of forage-technology adoption by smallholder cattle farmers in Cambodia

K. Ashley, J. R. Young, P. Kea, S. Suon, P. A. Windsor and R. D. Bush
 

Improving smallholder cattle feeding practices in Cambodia is necessary to reduce labour demands and improve income from cattle raising. The present study investigated the socioeconomic impacts of forage technology adoption with results showing significant time savings for forage growing households and reduced involvement of women and children. Forage technology should therefore be recommended to cattle-owning households as an alternative to traditional feeding practices to save time, increase income and improve livelihoods.

Published online 13 October 2016

AN15074The effects of rearing diet, sex and age on the fatty acid profile of Chios lambs

E. Tsiplakou, G. Papadomichelakis, D. Sparaggis, K. Sotirakoglou, M. Georgiadou and G. Zervas
 

The factors affecting the fatty acid profile of meat and those that are related with its quality, should be determined in a mixture of the major muscles, since humans consume different parts of the carcass. The fatty acid composition of muscles reflects that of the milk source (maternal or artificial) but the response of each muscle was not the same for all the fatty acids. Lower slaughtered age may provide a more beneficial fatty acid profile, from a human health point of view.

Published online 13 October 2016

AN16240Genetic analysis of docility score of Australian Angus and Limousin cattle

S. F. Walkom, M. G. Jeyaruban, B. Tier and D. J. Johnston
 

As part of the national beef cattle genetic evaluation in Australia 50 935 Angus and 50 930 Limousin calves were scored for docility. Genetic parameters for docility score were estimated using a threshold animal model from a Bayesian analysis. The heritability of docility score was estimated as 0.21 and 0.39 in Angus and Limousin, respectively. Weak but favourable genetic correlations between docility score and production traits indicate that selection to improve temperament can occur without having an adverse effect on growth, fat, muscle and reproduction.

Published online 13 October 2016

AN16177Pre-slaughtering factors related to bruises on cattle carcasses

F. S. Mendonça, R. Z. Vaz, F. F. Cardoso, J. Restle, F. N. Vaz, L. L. Pascoal, F. A. Reimann and A. A. Boligon
 

Pre-slaughter process is considered a high risk of animal stress, which can cause carcasses bruising that represent significant losses for the meat industry. Our results indicated that specific conditions of sex, loading facilities, cattle handling, transport time, hauling-truck types, truck animal-load density and unloading time influenced the occurrence of bruises. Thus, special handling practices and personnel training measures should be undertaken to mitigate losses pre-slaughter.

Published online 13 October 2016

AN16138Priming anoestrous Corriedale ewes with progesterone and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone causes cervical tissue remodelling due to metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) activity

M. Rodríguez-Piñón, C. Tasende, P. Genovese, A. Bielli, D. Casuriaga and E. G. Garófalo
 

This paper provides evidence of collagen remodelling in the cervix of anoestrous ewes induced to ovulate with progesterone and GnRH. The activity of MMP-2 collagenase (but not of MMP-9) was higher on Day 1 after the induced ovulation than on Day 5, inversely to the collagen concentration, demonstrating that activation of MMP-2 is a key factor of cervical collagen remodelling in anoestrous ewes around induced ovulation.


Delayed feeding after hatching adversely affects the rate of growth as well as gastrointestinal and immunological development. In this study, the effects of time of initiation of feeding after hatching and diet composition were evaluated in broiler chickens. Feeding a maize-soybean meal starter diet immediately after hatch had a beneficial effect on growth performance and immune response of broilers and improved intestinal morphology.

Published online 13 October 2016

AN15719Effect of weaning age and milk feeding level on pre- and post-weaning growth performance of Sahiwal calves

Ahsan Tasawar Cheema, Shaukat Ali Bhatti, Ghulam Akbar, Peter C. Wynn, Ghulam Muhammad, Hassan Mahmood Warriach and David McGill
 

Pre-weaning feeding cost may be reduced by early weaning of calves, offering solid feeds at an early age, or using milk replacers. In this study, early or late-weaning coupled with low- and high-milk combinations were tested to see growth performance of Sahiwal calves. It was concluded that offering milk at 15% of bodyweight and weaning at 8 weeks was a low-cost feeding strategy.

Published online 04 October 2016

AN16084Quality of meat from three muscles of farmed fallow deer (Dama dama)

Marta Bykowska, Marek Stanisz, Agnieszka Ludwiczak, Joanna Składanowska and Piotr Ślósarz
 

The quality of three muscles from farmed fallow deer (Dama dama) was analysed in the study so as to compare the functionality of these muscles after storage in vacuum packaging. The results indicated a different technological quality of the analysed muscles, and thus a need to further explore the background of these differences as well as the factors affecting the maturation of deer meat during chilled storage.

Published online 04 October 2016

AN16226The impacts of dietary Nigella sativa meal and Avizyme on growth, nutrient digestibility and blood metabolites of meat-type quail

M. E. Abd El-Hack, A. I. Attia, M. Arif, R. N. Soomro and M. A. Arain
 

The continuous increase in prices of traditional feedstuffs like corn and soybean meal made a dire need for low-cost, untraditional and balanced diets. Nigella sativa meal was included in quail diets as untraditional feedstuff to reduce costs and to examine its impacts on productive and health aspects. Great results were obtained by the inclusion of 15% Nigella sativa meal in growing quails diets, which positively supported growth and feed utilisation.

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 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

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 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.


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

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 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 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.

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 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.

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 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 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 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.


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

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.

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 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 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 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 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.


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 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.

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

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 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 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

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 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

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

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 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

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 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

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 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 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.


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.


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 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.

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 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 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 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 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.


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 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 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.


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

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.


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 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 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.


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.


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 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.

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 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.


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 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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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).


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.


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

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 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 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 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.


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 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.


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

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 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 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.

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 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.

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.


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 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 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.


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 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.


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 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

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.

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

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 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 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.

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

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 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.

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.


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 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.


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 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.


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.


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.

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 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 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 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.


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 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.

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.

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 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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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 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 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

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.

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.

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.


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 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.


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 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.


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 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.


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.


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.

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

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.


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

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 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

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.

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 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

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

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.

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.


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 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.


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 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.

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

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

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.

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 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

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.

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

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

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 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.


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 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.


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.


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.

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 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 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 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

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 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.


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 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.


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 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

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 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 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 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

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.

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.

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

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 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 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.

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.


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.


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 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.

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 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 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 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 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 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.

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 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.

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 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

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 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 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.


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.

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.

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