Animal Production Science
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dietary supplementation of 3-nitrooxypropanol (NOP) has been suggested as an effective strategy to lower enteric methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants. Results from the present study further support the efficacy of NOP in lowering CH4 emissions. Among various dose levels investigated in the present study, NOP supplemented at 100, 150 and 200 mg/kg DM was the most effective in decreasing CH4 emissions in steers fed high-forage and high-grain diets, without inducing any negative effects on intake.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Ruminal pH is a critical factor that could affect rumen fermentation efficiency; thereby, rumen buffer should be considered. Banana flower power-pellet could enhance rumen ecology and fermentation efficiency. This study suggests that banana flower powder pellet is potentially used as a rumen buffer agent for high-producing cattle, promising to replace sodium bicarbonate.
We showed the genetic and phenotypic correlations between economic traits and selection indices, besides the expected genetic gains. Selection for better body composition should provide increase in scrotal circumference and weight gain. The use of indices should result in a positively correlated response for indirectly selected traits. Higher genetic gains to visual scores are expected when the selection is based on the values of these indices.
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.
Cows are often overfed calcium, magnesium and selenium, leading to these minerals’ excretion into the environment and, subsequently, negative health effects for the cows and environment. This study was successful in its aim of developing equations to predict excretion levels of these minerals. Agricultural industry members could use the equations to reduce mineral excretion levels while ensuring cows still receive a sufficient amount.
Phosphorus has nutritional, environmental and economic importance due to its high cost and potential for soil and water contamination. We evaluated the effect of phosphorus supplementation, with or without other minerals, ionophore and antibiotic, on animal performance, feeding costs and phosphorus utilisation in Nellore bulls finished in a feedlot. Minerals, ionophore and antibiotic were not necessary to ensure health and performance of feedlot Nellore bulls, with emphasis for the reduction of pollution and feeding costs in Brazilians feedlots.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To improve productive performance, the findings of this study should be useful for the feed and broiler chicken industry. The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of reducing dietary protein with methionine supplementation and subsequent feeding of a low-energy diet on growth performance of broiler chickens. The results indicate that growth performance and carcass quality were significantly improved by this method, which may be an appropriated tool for improving production of broiler chickens.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Feeding concentrates so that the marginal cost of extra feed closely matches the marginal revenue from extra milk produced should enable dairy farmers to feed supplements profitably. In the present study, a farm in northern Victoria was used to analyse the economics of tactical (short-term) and strategic (medium- to longer-term) decisions about concentrate feeding. The results show that making decisions about supplementary feeding using marginal analysis adds more to farm profit than making decisions on the basis of other criteria, such as feeding supplement for maximum milk production.
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.
Improving our knowledge of the physiological characteristics of ovine species in stressful situations during the neonatal phase will be of great economic importance for livestock production. Breaking the ewe–lamb bond at different ages and for brief separation times triggers metabolic changes in young animals. The greatest physiological alterations occurred in the parameters of the youngest lambs, after a separation of 10 min from their mothers. Younger lambs suffered greater metabolic changes in contrast to older lambs.
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.
Adjusting the porosity of beddings can improve their ability to produce heat. The type of fungal-residue media has no effect on the growth performance of pigs. Smaller bedding granules may lead to pig cough. Fungal-residue bedding can partly replace sawdust in bedding. Bedding added 45% fungal residue can improve the welfare of pigs during winter.
In extensive production systems, native pasture availability decreases in winter, thus, ewes are undernourished during gestation. We subjected pregnant ewes to two different levels of pasture allowances, both followed by an increase in nutrient supply during the last third of gestation. Ewe-lamb behaviours at birth, lambs’ growth and feeding behaviours during rearing were unaffected by the level of pasture allowance.
Dietary restriction result in accelerated body growth in pigs during re-feeding, but it is not clear whether this phenomenon is due to changes in metabolic hormones, lipid deposition or protein metabolism. Effect of dietary protein restriction on the body growth and blood content of some metabolic hormones as markers of lipid or protein metabolism was studied. During the re-feeding, increased daily weight gains and concentrations of plasma leptin and urea nitrogen were observed, indicating greater lipid deposition and protein breakdown.
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.
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.
One of the main nutritional challenges imposed on animals is feed restriction; however, it is still unknown how goats of different sexes react physiologically to the continuous restriction of nutrients. This study investigated the effect of sex on metabolic changes in growing goats subjected to levels of feed restriction. Our results show that under feed restriction, females and males react differently physiologically and are able to use different metabolic responses to meet their energy and protein demands.
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.
This study examined risk factors for dystocia, which is a major cause of lamb deaths. Dystocia increased with ewe age and for low birthweights was associated with increased litter size. Low birthweight dystocia may be a different condition from dystocia with high birthweight.
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.
Residual feed intake has been recommended as a selection criterion for beef cattle to increase individual feed efficiency. Efficient or low residual feed-intake cattle have a significant economic advantage since they consume less feed than expected for their weight and rate of gain compared with their more inefficient or high residual feed-intake counterparts. The results do not support the hypothesis that an increase in feed efficiency, evaluated in growing animals in feedlot-performance tests, decreases enteric CH4 production.
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.
Glycerin is the main by-product of the biodiesel industry and it is considered an attractive source of energy in livestock diets. Variations in corn prices make studies like the present one even more relevant. Total corn replacement could be possible depending on glycerin market price, as high inclusions (30%) reflect in greater number of days on feed. The addition of 10% of crude glycerin in diets for crossbred finishing lambs seems to be the most interesting strategy as it promotes greatest performance.
Buffalo meat is still considered exotic in Brazil, and ~90% of it is marketed as cattle meat. The present study compared qualitative characteristics of the longissimus muscle from buffalo and cattle. Buffalo carcasses provide a higher yield of round cuts. Meat from buffalo carcasses had similar or better properties than that from cattle carcasses, and is a rich source of some hypocholesterolemic fatty acids, which help prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Dairy cows with several calvings would have a healthier milk fat than would cows in their first calving. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of parity on the fatty acid profile in milk fat from dairy cows with different grazing times. Although the milk from primiparous cows had a lower fat content, it had a higher grade of unsaturation than did milk from multiparous cows, so their milk could be considered as healthier milk.
Digestion of feed nutrients in the small intestine of, for example, pigs involves enzymes specific for their substrate, for example, protein or starch, but these reactions take place in the presence of all other feed components. The effects of diet components on the activity of digestive enzymes was studied, and it was found that binding of enzymes to non-substrate feed components is both rapid and highly effective in stabilising enzymes against degradation. These results mean that studies of factors that control the rate of digestion of specific feed nutrient substrates need to take into account the possibility of interactions with non-substrate feed components.
The large intestine is a part of the gastrointestinal tract of pigs that is the most colonised by bacteria and its proper function is crucial for the maintenance of animal welfare and performance. Activity and composition of bacterial flora may be changed by feed additives such as inulin. Our results indicate that inulin, regardless of dietary level and degree of polymerisation, does not stimulate beneficial bacteria and immune system of the large intestine of young pigs.
Muscle fibres are the main components of meat and their characteristics are crucial for meat quality. We studied the associations between fibre typing and meat quality across 15 young-sheep muscles and found that although fibre diversity may explain, at least in part, intermuscular differences in meat quality, these associations can also slightly vary in sense among different contractile–metabolic groups of muscles. The present study has contributed to a better understanding of the influence of muscle fibre types on intermuscular meat-quality variation.
Flystrike causes losses due to sheep deaths and loss of production. This study quantifies the loss of weight, condition, wool and lamb production in flocks in a wide range of regions of Australia. The results can be used to estimate losses due to flystrike and potential benefits of preventing strike or reducing its severity.
Increasing ruminal input of buffers from the diet or saliva yields bases or buffers such as ammonia could prevent a depression in ruminal pH. Supplementation of banana flower powder either with or without urea could enhance rumen ecology and fermentation efficiency. Therefore, banana flower powder is potentially used as a rumen buffer agent for high-producing dairy cattle promising to replace sodium bicarbonate.
Bacterial population could influence bone development through the bone–gut axis. The properties of long bones in female turkeys are affected through probiotic-supplemented diets in a dose-dependent manner. It seems that the administration of the probiotic at a higher concentration of cells is more beneficial for bone development in turkeys.
The inclusion of forage legumes in ruminant production systems presents nutritional, economic and environmental benefits. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of different levels of inclusion of peanut hay on the nutritional value of diets based on dwarf elephantgrass hay. It was found that including peanut hay at up to 330 g/kg of dry matter in dwarf elephantgrass-based diets is sufficient to maximise the digestible-OM intake.
For science to be effectively valorised in practise, stakeholders should be part of the research process. In this study, a management problem in pig production was analysed with stakeholders, which led to guidelines on how to perform such a process. These guidelines can well be considered in any research effort aiming at practical implementation of its results.
The organic acids that were regarded as substitutes for antibiotics have recently been applied to decrease the proliferation of acid-intolerant enteropathogenic bacteria. This research investigated the influences of dietary sodium diacetate on growth performance, carcass characteristics, meat quality, and intestinal pH and Escherichia coli count of broilers. Results suggest that dietary sodium diacetate could improve growth performance, meat quality and intestinal health of broilers.
A very high n-6 : n-3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promotes the pathogenesis of many diseases in consumers. The results of our study indicate that the recommended n-6 : n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio in turkey breast meat may be easily reached if birds are fed 2.5% flaxseed oil for the last 3 weeks before slaughter. Therefore, such a feeding program with a relatively low application of dietary flaxseed oil could be considered a suitable delivery vehicle for health-promoting fatty acids.
Copy number variations (CNVs) have been known as one of the most important sources of variation in animal genome. In this study, a total of 957 CNVs was detected across autosomal genome of Iranian indigenous cattle using high-density single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping data. Results of this study provide a base for further investigation on genetic markers affecting the important production traits in Iranian indigenous cattle.
Efficiency of pasture use by beef cattle enterprises in southern Australia is traditionally ~35% because of a low adoption of existing knowledge and perceived risks from intensification. Principles from a risk-control system aimed at enhancing adoption were incorporated into a simple simulation model and applied to an enterprise on the central tablelands of New South Wales. Alternative management scenarios to optimise productivity and maximise profitability were evaluated and showed that interacting factors within an enterprise are too complex to effectively identify best strategies without the use of a system to integrate knowledge.
Breech strike cost the Australian industry more than AU$200 million per year. Factors responsible for an increase in breech strike were investigated in unmulesed Merinos in a production system where no chemical preventative treatments were applied. Dags in uncrutched sheep and tail wrinkle in crutched sheep were the two most important predisposing factors for breech strike but a large proportion of the variation in breech strike in unmulesed and uncrutched sheep could not be explained.
There is no information available about how differences in growth rate before the finishing phase affect animal performance and carcass attributes of cattle finished under temperate conditions. The objective of the present study was to assess the effect of nutritional management during the rearing period on the performance and carcass traits of pasture-finished or feedlot-finished Hereford cattle. Nutritional feeding management during the first winter has a permanent effect on the growth, feed conversion traits, and carcass traits. However, the prevalence of these effects depends on the feeding system during the finishing phase of animals.
Growth and reproductive traits of beef cattle are important economically and, therefore, are commonly included in selection indices. In tropical production systems, beef cattle are raised in highly heterogeneous environments. It has been shown that genetic associations between growth traits and reproductive performance are dependent on the production environment; thus, the genotype by environment interaction is important for genetic evaluations and can affect selection of these traits.
The assignment of maternal parentage, although time-consuming and expensive using traditional methods, is essential for genetic improvement. The temporal frequency that cows and calves walk to water was measured to determine whether maternal pairs could be remotely identified and resulted in greater than 90% of calves being correctly assigned. This has the potential to greatly increase maternal parentage recording within extensive beef herds, therefore identifying superior genetics and resulting in more profitable beef enterprises.
Reduction of enetric methane production from ruminant animals through the use of natural plant products is important because it causes global warming and energy loss to animals. Medicinal plant extracts, when tested on feed in the laboratory, reduced both enetric methane produced and energy loss by increasing feed digestibility. These plants can be used as replacements for artificial growth promoters in the meat and dairy industries to prevent antibiotic resistance syndrome in humans consuming animal products and animals can achieve faster maturity weight with lower methane emissions.
We investigated the effects of stocking rate and supplementary feeding on the performance of grazing ewes in pregnancy/lactation, and on their lambs. Both treatments had significant effects on intake and liveweight responses, but there were also marked effects of initial condition score and dentition score of ewes. In future work, more attention needs to be paid to these scores as important explanatory variables.
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.
Pasture-based dairy operations allow for natural grazing behaviour; however, suboptimal nutrition may be more difficult to prevent due to variable quality of natural forages. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of pregnant-cow management on colostrum quality, dairy calf health and growth. Cow weight loss during the dry period, an indicator of suboptimal nutrition, had a negative impact on colostrum quality but did not directly affect calf health and growth.
Alternative methods to improve performance and carcass traits, considering animal welfare. The aim was to compare surgical castration and immunocastration in beef cattle raised on pasture. Immunocastration can replace surgical castration and is an efficient method to improve carcass traits. The castration methods improve meat quality and carcass finishing; however, intact animals present greater production capacity.
When animals are exposed to a high level of stress, the animal’s body undergoes physiological changes as a means of maintaining homeostasis, thus negatively affecting the quality of meat produced. This study investigated breed and sex differences in response to pre-slaughter stress and the effects on stress indicators in the blood, muscle and overall meat quality attributes. The ewes and Dorper breed perceived the slaughter process to be more stressful compared with rams and the Merino breed.
Because of their sorbent properties and binding capacity with ammonia, natural zeolites may have application as feed additive in livestock industry. Our results indicate that zeolite supplementation of high finishing diets enhances ruminal fermentation and increases digestion.
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.
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.
Livestock contributes to global warming by emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). In the process of fermentation of feed in the fore stomach, dairy animals produce methane. Majority of dairy animals in developing countries are fed on rations imbalanced in nutrients. As a result, animals on such rations produce more methane per litre of milk. On feeding balanced rations, animals produce less enteric methane and manure nitrous oxide. Thus, balanced feeding could be a promising strategy for reducing GHGs emission intensity.
Methane production of sheep in pastoral systems is a major contributor to total greenhouse gasses produced in New Zealand. Elevated water-soluble carbohydrate concentrations, as in high sugar (HSG) and tetraploid (TRG) ryegrass, may affect rumen fermentation and reduce methane production per unit of intake, as found in this study for sheep fed HSG and TRG. However, the effect was not consistently associated with either cultivar and could not be attributed to higher forage water-soluble carbohydrate concentrations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Heat stress is one of the major challenges for sustaining livestock production globally. Therefore, it is necessary to devise strategies for amelioration of heat stress by selecting genetically resilient animals for optimum productivity. The present study identified heat stress-tolerant and heat stress-susceptible individuals on the basis of heart rate and respiration rate. The selection method can be utilised for selecting animals towards improved resistance to heat stress and managing the livestock for better production and welfare.
Nitrate salts are recommended to reduce methane emissions in extensively grazed cattle. After treatment with nitrate salts for 7 days and walking 3 km Bos indicus steers demonstrated a reduction in the oxygen carrying capacity of their blood and an elevated heart rate. The recommended dose rate of nitrate salts to reduce methane emissions in cattle will create a hypoxaemia in cattle.
Genome association studies for meat quality and carcass traits have identified genes and markers of major relevance for modern pig breeding industries. We have validated significant markers for meat quality and carcass traits with meta-analysis. Further, we developed gene network from GWAS that identified key transcription factors, gene-gene interactions and molecular pathways contributing to understanding the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying these traits in pigs.
Medicago arborea and olive cake can be used in sheep diets as alternative feeds to reduce cost production and/or improve meat quality. Effects of olive-cake supplementation on meat quality of indoor and grazing lambs were studied. Grazing on rangeland containing Medicago arborea improved nutritional meat quality and stability of lipids. Olive cake supplementation did not have any effects.
The management of compost bedded systems aims to provide a clean and comfortable place for cows. However, unappropriated management can increase bedding moisture, which may reflect on cow’s health and milk quality. This study proposed to understand the relationship between bacterial populations on bedding pack and bacterial population found on teat end surface and in milk. In the end, we concluded that hygiene score was not an efficient tool to estimate bacterial population on teat end and milk.
Little is known about the acceptability of free-range broiler hen meat. This study evaluated the effect of broiler age and the aging process on the properties of broiler hen breast meat. Its use is beneficial because it has lower storage and cooking losses and lower polyunsaturated fatty acid concentration, which makes it less vulnerable to rancidification. Aging for at least 3 days at 2°C is satisfactory to tenderise the breast meat from free-range broiler hens.
Hierarchical relationships between individuals of several ruminant species result in differential access to resources and thus in advantages in reproductive performance of those of higher social rank. Under captive conditions with high food availability as in the present experiment, reproductive traits of red deer females were unrelated to social rank. These results reaffirm the concept that most ruminants have plastic responses to environmental conditions, and thus, not necessarily social structure affects their reproductive performance.
Estimates of genetic parameters are broadly studied in Brazil for Bos indicus animals, particularly in Nellore cattle, but conversely, for Guzerat, another B. indicus breed, no studies were performed. A study was designed to estimate the genetic parameters and trends for body conformation measures. The magnitude of direct heritability estimates ranged from moderate to high, and genetic and phenotypic trends indicate favourable changes during the evaluated period.
The Campos region is the largest biogeographic unit of native grasslands in South America and cow-calf operations primarily graze this grassland. We studied the effects of herbage allowances of 2.5 (low) and 4 (high) kg dry matter/kg liveweight in primiparous beef cows over the entire production cycle on forage mass, cow body condition score, cow liveweight, stocking rate, postpartum anoestrus, probability of pregnancy and calf weight at weaning. The forage mass, reproductive and productive responses were improved in high herbage allowances over 2 years with different patterns of rainfall.
Rayeni Cashmere goat is raised by nomads in Kerman province of Iran. Nomads have no guidelines to establish a breeding program in their herds. The aim of the current study was to investigate breeding goals and find the best selection index for Rayeni Cashmere goat. The most appropriate selection index for this breed was determined to improve nomad income by genetic improvement of Rayeni Cashmere goat epopulations.
Feeding represents more than half of the total production cost of sheep meat production, hence the search for a cheaper source of feed seems an urgent need. Integrating sheep in cropping systems might be part of the solution, and the results showed that using permanent sown lucerne, self-sowing Wimmera ryegrass and barley all year round would be an adequate feeding strategy. This practice would reduce production costs and have positive environmental implications.
The present study investigated the influence of a quality-grading system, demographic information and consumption preferences on consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for sheep meat. Eating quality was defined by four grades developed by the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) sheep-meat grading scheme. Results clearly showed that consumers were willing to pay more for sheep meat as eating quality improved. Robust results for the impact of demographic and consumption preferences on WTP were limited to consumer age, occupation, income level and the interaction between MSA grade and consumer age.
Liveweight (LW) is a key measurement for livestock owners but most farmers in sub-Saharan Africa have to use heart girth measurements to estimate LW because they cannot access scales. Most equations used to estimate LW are population specific and have large prediction errors, but using several large databases we developed an equation with less error, which can be used in a wider population. A stronger, widely applicable equation to estimate LW of African cattle will enable farmers to make better livestock management decisions.
Feeding distillers grains in beef feedlot diets decreases shelf-life, while supplementing antioxidants may mitigate such effects. This research evaluated the effects of feedlot diets containing distillers grains and different antioxidants on the shelf-life of retail-displayed beef. Results showed that supplementing feedlot cattle vitamin E alone or with a synthetic antioxidant was effective in shelf-life extension, which could provide long-range improvement in beef quality.
Using a dual-purpose crop within a grazing system could greatly increase productivity but requires careful management. The paper reviews crop grazing and shows that it can greatly increase livestock feed supply with minimal effect on crop yield; livestock grazing wheat require supplementation with sodium and magnesium. In future, more work is required with grazing ewes, with cattle and with wool-producing systems.
Genetic selection can greatly increase fertility, which is a major profit driver in northern Australian beef enterprises, but to do so a cow’s calving date is required. Traditionally the calving date is recorded using laborious and costly methods, however, results show that the date can be automatically recorded using a remote weighing system. This will enable seedstock producers to more easily record the calving date, therefore, increasing the recording of fertility traits and consequently increasing the profitability of beef producers in northern Australia.
Chicken meat consumption has increased considerably worldwide due to its low fat content; however, it contains a high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids that make it susceptible to oxidation. The source of lipids in poultry diets could affect carcass fat composition and increase the need for antioxidants. This study demonstrates higher lipid oxidation in stored meat of broilers fed soybean oil than canola oil in the diet. Dietary vitamin E supplementation reduced meat lipid oxidation; however, vitamin C was ineffective at preserving meat against oxidative damage.
Lamb meat production is a worldwide phenomenon. Improving the production and profitability of sheep farms is an excellent way of guaranteeing their subsistence. Crossbreeding dairy ewes with meat rams enhances productivity without affecting meat quality.
The management of natural grasslands is crucial to increase meat production and ranchers profitability. This study aimed at assessing winter management of natural grasslands using sheep; continuous stocking and 12% herbage allowance improved sward quality in spring. These results provide an important management tool for grasslands ranchers so as to improve sward quality during spring.
Different studies have reported contradictory heritability and genetic-correlation estimates for reproduction, growth and carcass traits in purebred Nellore cattle. The motivation for the present study was to remove the heterogeneity between published estimates and summarise the results through meta-analysis using a random-effects model.
The ground water from semiarid areas has been an alternative source of drinking water for the small ruminants; however, it shows a wide variation in the concentration of total dissolved solids (i.e. salinity). Consequently, water salinity could affect apoptosis in testicular seminiferous tubules and, further, semen quality in ovine species, which was confirmed in the present study. Therefore, high-salinity water should be avoided because it increases the damage to the germinal cells of ram lambs.
Because of bad repercussions from using antibiotics and other chemical preparations, there was a dire need for natural alternatives. Our work aimed to investigate the impacts of using peanut skin powder on growth and health of broilers. Peanut skin powder lowered the amounts of carcass fats and minimised blood cholesterol, creatinine and urea, which means healthy chicken meat was gained.
We investigated the effect of shearing at 50 days of gestation on ewes grazing in improved pastures, on the vigour of lambs at birth, liveweight at birth and weaning weight. Early shearing coincides with the timing of development and growth of the placenta. Early shearing positively improved birthweight and weaning weight of individual and twin lambs. The twin lambs were more vigorous, which improved the rate of survival at birth. Therefore, shearing at 50 days of gestation can become a useful tool for sheep farmers.
The present study examined the capacity of young male goats to tolerate high levels of salinity in drinking water without harmful effects to their physiology. It seems that goats are better adapted to sustain their lives and remain productive in regions where fresh drinking water is scarce and of high salt concentration, thus limiting the presence and productivity of other herbivores. Subsequently, this raises considerations on the sustainable management of these lands and the capacity of these regions to support a conventionally calculated number of livestock units (LU), irrespective of animal species used.
The effect of growth path to slaughter on the quality of beef from suckler bulls raised in a temperate grass-based production system has not been widely studied. This study has shown that increasing the growth of bulls during the winter, above that advised for steers, has no commercially relevant effect on the sensory characteristics of beef. Producers therefore can economically optimise the growth path of bulls without concern for a deleterious effect on beef quality.
This study compared the characteristics of the breast meat from Cobb 500 and Hubbard ISA broilers and evaluated the effect of aging for up to 7 days on meat quality. Even though meat from Hubbard ISA broilers is less tender, its use may be beneficial to the poultry industry due to the lower production of exudate. Moreover, it has higher levels of PUFA, which is beneficial to human health. Aging for 3 days at 2°C is sufficient to tenderise and add value to free-range meat.
Fermenation and aerobic stability is an important issue for total mixed ration (TMR) silage because of its low moisture and high nutrition. This study improved fermentation quality and aerobic stability of TMR silages by the combination of L. plantarum and ethanol. The result could provide a theoretical basis for selection of additive in TMR silage.
Low rates of feed additive can improve poultry production and excreta characteristics. Biochar, zeolite and bentonite added to layer poultry rations at low rates resulted in improved feed conversion rates, especially when birds were challenged with fungus contaminated feed. These results may reflect an impact of these feed amendments on gut ‘health’ (microbiology or absorption of feed toxins).
This study demonstrates that sheep and beef enterprises can reduce or entirely offset their greenhouse gas emissions by storing carbon in trees. The carbon balance was calculated for enterprises with different stocking rates and levels of tree cover, and an intensively stocked case study farm was also analysed. Most stocking rates were carbon positive with >20% tree cover. This study provides an important reference point for farmers, researchers and policy analysts to estimate the carbon balance of farms.
As is known to all, milk has a great influence on our health, so we should pay attention to the feeding and management of dairy cows. The present study indicated that the novel carbohydrate balance index, ‘CBI’, may regulate the growth and development of cows. In future work, the CBI level may be applied in feed formulation for dairy cows.
Housing and feeding systems affects the fattening and slaughter parameters of finishing pigs with different genotypes. Considering the selection of appropriate production technology of finishers should be well recognised for each solution. The best results in a study population were achieved for four-ways crossbreeding finishers on slatted floors and fed by liquid feeding.
Heat stress is a major problem for rabbits, which causes negative effects on the animal’s health that can extend to death. Natural antioxidants, such as moringa leaves, could be used as a dietary growth promoter for rabbits, helping to face problems induced by heat stress. The improvement of rabbits’ intestinal health encourages researchers to discover the other beneficial impacts of moringa leaves.
In recent years, restricting or prohibiting the addition of antimicrobial substances in diets has led to investigation into the use of plant extracts as feed additives. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the effects of aromatic oregano (Oreganum onite L.) water on performance, immune system and general health of Holstein calves. The results of this study show that the natural additive of aromatic oregano water could be used successfully and safely in milk replacer to improve the overall performance of calves.
The combination of a live vaccine into an inactivated vaccine provides convenience to poultry farmers in administration. This study evaluated the survival and effectiveness of the live vaccine when administered this way. The live vaccine had reduced viability over time and the birds showed a reduced immune response to it when adminsitered this way.
Crossbreeding is one of the main strategies to improve the meat quality of different dry-cured meat products. It is well known that lean/fat ratio and fat deposition in pigs is largely conditioned by the pig breed employed. In this study, hams obtained from crossbreeding pigs presented higher intramuscular fat than pure line hams. This is a positive point because intramuscular fat affect the juiciness and tenderness. As a general conclusion, the crossbreeding of Celta pigs allows us to improve the quality of dry-cured hams.
In animal production, herbal medicines that have already been tested in alternative human medicine are commonly used. This study demonstrated that a 2% and 2.5% addition of the Boswellia serrata resin in the diets can be used to improve haematological and biochemical blood parameters and receive good quality carcass. However, no clear impact of Boswellia serrata resin on humoral immunity was found. The Boswellia serrata resin can be efficiently used in chicken diets as a phytobiotic.
Zilpaterol and soybean-oil effects on lipid composition of lamb meat were studied under moderate heat-stress conditions. From a human nutrition standpoint, meat lipid composition was not improved by using zilpaterol and soybean oil. New strategies to nutritionally improve the lamb meat lipid profile should be explored.
Endoparasite and nutritional statuses of Suffolk lambs were compared across a range of production systems in subtropical conditions of Brazil. The weaned-feedlot lambs and those in the controlled-suckling systems presented the best performance, and the animals in creep-feeding and creep-grazing had the best overall performance on pasture. Production systems exert a major influence on lamb performance, mainly when the ewe is present and supplementation is given on pasture. Nutritional status in different production systems may support overcoming the challenge caused by gastrointestinal nematodes.
The administration of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) during the luteal phase promote serum progesterone concentrations in ewes. We evaluate pregnancy rate obtained with eCG and/or GnRH treatment after FTAI. The eCG administration on Day 10 after FTAI had a marginal positive effect on pregnancy establishment during the first month, which was not maintained during the second month of gestation. No effect of GnRH treatment on Day 6 and 11 was found.
Current methods for estimating energy intake and expenditure of ruminants in the field have a range of technical problems. The open-circuit gas-quantification system (GQS) provides a simple, alternative means of quantifying energy intake and expenditure in the field. The potential for GQS to estimate intake represents an important potential breakthrough for identifying and selecting cows with greater feed efficiency in grazing systems.
The use of tropical legume crops has been increasing to recover degraded pastures and to improve the animal performance. Feeding beef cattle with tropical legumes is a common practice around the world, but the use of these crops preserved as silage has not been extensively evaluated. Stylosanthes cv. Campo Grande silage showed the potential to be used in diets for beef cattle in tropical conditions, because it resulted in similar productive performance of the animals in comparison with corn silage.
To meet global demand, increases in meat production are essential. Although conventional feed costs may limit the feedlot finishing of beef cattle, this can be circumvented by the use of agro-industrial by-products. The use of crude glycerin in cattle diets can increase animal performance and reduce the cost of feeding.
Lamb mortality is an important production and welfare issue worldwide. In this paper we demonstrate how litter size affects the maternal genetic contribution to lamb survival and compare alternative approaches to defining the ewe rearing ability trait, ignoring or accommodating variation in lamb survival due to litter size. The accuracy of genetic evaluation for rearing ability may be improved if the impact of litter size on lamb mortality is considered.
Estimation of microbial fermentation of concentrate feeds for ruminants from the in vitro gas-production technique is biased by the differences in incubation pH, established at ~6.5 when rumen pH actually drops below 6.0 in this type of diets. Adjustment of incubation pH by reducing the buffering of the medium is a simple way to overcome this problem in short-length incubations.
Nuisance flies are important arthropod pests in cattle feedlots, with the potential to cause production loss and health impacts on livestock, workers and surrounding communities. Population models were developed for fly abundance and showed that fly numbers could be predicted using time-of-year and rainfall. The models provide a useful tool for optimising the timing of fly-control treatments, such as insecticide or biopesticide applications, adding to the effectiveness of integrated pest-management programs for the control of nuisance flies in feedlots.
The randomness of transgene insertion in genetically modified animals by the microinjection technique may compromise the health and welfare of animals. We demonstrate in this work that insertion of the human granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (hG-CSF) transgene in the two lines of transgenic goats does not compromise the health of animals. This information is an important step in the use of animals as bioreactors for the production of large-scale hG-CSF.
We can increase the content of milk components desirable from the human health point of view by feeding lipid additives to cows. The aim of the study was to determine the effects of a special supplement on health-promoting properties of milk. We discovered that the supplement had a beneficial effect on milk properties, and produced milk that may serve the role of functional food for people in the future.
Essential oils have many possibilities as feed additives in livestock as natural alternatives to replace other chemical additives. Consumer acceptability of meat from these types of natural additives is important in order to increase the knowledge about these promising feeding systems. Essential oil additives in the diet of crossbred beef cattle did not negatively affect consumer meat acceptability scores or product perception.
Excess nutrients are challenging the long-term sustainability of grazing-based dairy farming. We have developed an online tool that quantifies nutrient fluxes, balances and efficiency, as well as feed and milk production performance at the whole-farm level. This standardised assessment provides dairy farmers, advisors and industry and policy analysts with the ability to improve environmental performance and develop industry-wide goals.
This study completed a life cycle assessment of energy, water and land occupation from pork production, covering supply chains and the national herd. Impacts arose predominantly from feed production, highlighting the importance of system efficiency, and particularly the feed conversion ratio for reducing resource use and environmental impacts. Changes to housing and improvements to manure management offer substantial opportunities for reducing the resource use intensity of pork.
Ultrasound has enabled the identification of heifers genetically superior for the ability to reach sexual maturity and become pregnant earlier in the breeding season, attributes that profoundly impact lifetime reproduction. Research methods to identify superior individuals have laboriously involved multiple ultrasound examinations, so the current research adopted previous methodology to enable identification of superior breeding females using a single ultrasound examination. Adoption of ultrasound technology by commercial beef producers to measure fertility in their herds will be enhanced if a simple, robust system is presented.
There are some nutritional strategies that can be used to improve poultry performance and public health like supplementation of commercial enzymes to low-protein diets. The aims of this study were to evaluate the impacts of commercial enzymes supplemented into low-protein diets on performance and economic aspects of broilers. Using different commercial enzymes in low-density diets can partially improve performance and economic aspects in broilers.
Ruminant livestock production results in methane (CH4) emissions, a greenhouse gas. The present research focussed on aspects of the host animal’s biology that influence between sheep variation in CH4 emissions. Dry matter intake, liveweight, reticulo-rumen volume, the proportion of contents in the rumen compartments and digesta flow rate were important factors. Our expanded understanding of the host’s control of CH4 emissions will inform the development of procedures to mitigate CH4 production from sheep and improve ruminant nutrition.
Comprehensive understanding of the effect of pig breed and sex on meat quality and post-mortem muscle conditions will be necessary to estimate post-mortem meat quality. Here, we applied multiple regression and principal component analysis on multiple breeds and sexes. We observed that muscle pH, lightness, and drip loss are useful for estimating ultimate pork quality.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are considered to be nutritionally essential but cannot be synthesised by humans and animals. The balance of these two fatty acids is important for health and longevity rather than the absolute amount, therefore this study focused on evaluating the dietary supplementation of varying ratios of omega-6 : omega-3 fatty acids (15 : 1, 10 : 1 and 5 : 1) on the performance, nutrient digestibility, immune status and faecal microbiota of weaner pigs. As a result of this study, the reduction of the omega-6 : omega-3 fatty acid ratio from 15 : 1 to 5 : 1 in the diet showed a positive effect on the growth performance of pigs during phases 1 and 2; dry matter, nitrogen and energy digestibility and HDL cholesterol concentration increased linearly during week 3 but no effect on faecal microbiota were observed with the reduction of the omega-6 : omega-3 FA ratio from 15 : 1 to 5 : 1, indicating that the ratio of 5 : 1 is beneficial to weaner pigs.
The vegetation of tropical deciduous forests represent an important source of nutrients for small ruminants in many farms; however, feeding behaviour and nutrient intake of sheep and goats in that vegetation during the rainy season is unknown. We showed that both consumed similar plant species but had different feeding behaviour, goats browsed more than sheep, obtaining more protein and polyphenols. Sheep and goats consumed an imbalanced diet that would require dietary energy for goats and a protein : energy supplement for sheep.
The present study demonstrated alterations in the health of newborn piglets and low vitality scores were due to the effects of the parity of the sow. The objective was to determine the effect of sow parity on neonatal piglet health and vitality at birth. Results suggest that not only births classified as distocic affect the physiological responses of newborn piglets.
An important trait is the length of the productive life of a cow in the herd, or stayability. Here we estimate genetic merit of Brazilian Holstein cows and correlations of stayability with other measures of performance. We show low heritabilities for stayability but positive genetic correlations with milk production, suggesting that animals can be selected for both stayability and milk production in this population.
The interest in improving periparturient health through dietary supplements has received great attention in recent years. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of niacin, choline and cod liver oil on metabolic variables, and indices of insulin sensitivity in cows with subclinical ketosis. The findings of this study suggest benefits of prepartum supplementation to cattle with subclinical ketosis and could support the advancement of future investigations in animal production.
Consumption of lamb meat has decreased considerably, in addition to preference for first class pieces only. In order to increase carcass value and consumption, lamb burgers were prepared from different parts of the carcass and spices. The results showed that the manufacture of these meat products could optimise the value of lamb carcass.
The present study investigates an alternative source of collagen from a deer skin for industrial applications. Acid-soluble collagen (ASC) and pepsin-soluble collagen (PSC) from the skin of Cervus korean TEMMINCK var. mantchuricus Swinhoe were isolated and characterised and found to possess similar characteristics to bovine-derived collagens. Therefore, dear skin collagen may exert the same properties as other well-known mammalian collagens in industrial applications.
Many producers avoid grazing vegetative cereal crops with reproducing ewes because of a suspected risk of metabolic disease. Monitoring of the mineral status of wheat, oats and barley, and of the pregnant ewes grazing these crops indicated an imbalanced mineral supply from crops and consequent low mineral status of ewes on some farms. Strategies to minimise the risk of hypocalcaemia and hypomagnesaemia are required.
Bone growth is directly correlated to mineral nutrition, with emphasis on phosphorus (P) under Brazilians conditions. We evaluated the effect of P supplementation in high-grain diets on blood, chemical and physical parameters of bones of feedlot Nellore bulls. P concentration of 2.4 g/kg in DM was adequate to ensure health and its supplementation resulted in no benefits in neither chemical nor physical properties from bones of feedlot Nellore cattle, with emphasis for the increase of pollution and economic losses in Brazilian feedlots.
Plants of the tropical deciduous forest (TDF) represent a valuable feed resource for goats in hot sub-humid environments, but little is known about the goats’ feeding behaviour in the TDF. Sustainable use of TDF by browsing goats requires establishing whether plant resources will be consumed in proportion to their availability or whether particular plant species are actively selected or refused. This study showed that goats consumed several plant species, while actively selected only a few plants, and such behaviour changed in different browsing sites. This information could assist with the development of management strategies leading to protect the valuable plant resources of the TDF by goats.
The fermentation pattern of varieties of cereal grains (sorghum, maize and barley) depending on the nature of the rumen microbial population has been studied in vitro, simulating high-concentrate conditions by modifying the incubation pH, improving the conventional approach. Concentrate inoculum promotes a higher fermentation of starch substrates than that induced by a forage diet, at a higher extent with vitreous starch sources. Differences among varieties for each cereal species suggest the need for care in the extrapolation of results.
Zinc is crucial for a wide variety of physiological processes in all animals. The aim of this experiment was to assess the levels and zinc sources effect on broiler chicken performance. Results demonstrated that supplementation diet with 50 mg of organic Zinc may be sufficient for normal broiler growth to 28 days of age.
A large proportion of the ammonia deposited by feedlots cattle is lost as gaseous ammonia and may subsequently be vulnerable to a greenhouse gas. This ammonia loss was measured (~60% of excreted N), while simultaneously measuring deposition to the area surrounding the feedlot (2–3% deposited within 600 m). Two implications are evident: (1) standard greenhouse gas inventory calculations tend to underestimate the gaseous loss of ammonia from beef feedlots; and (2) most of this ammonia is probably diluted and ultimately deposited in the wider landscape.
Beef from Hanwoo cows is known to be of poor quality because most cows are old (>40 months old) and have produced several calves before slaughter. Meat aging is used to enhance meat quality, regardless of the method employed. This study demonstrates that meat quality from 4-year-old cows is enhanced by 28 days of dry or wet aging to yield meat of quality similar to that of much younger steers.
Horse meat has become more popular and is considered as a new alternative in meat consumption. The study was conducted as a part of the routine slaughtering practice and post mortem processing of horse meat in the specialised commercial butchery. Among the numerous factors that can influence horse meat quality, the most important ones are age at slaughter and muscle type; these factors must be considered in the routine slaughtering practice and in further research.
The utilisation of pasture as a predominant source of nutrition for broodmares and young stock is a unique feature of the New Zealand commercial equine industry. The export focus of the Thoroughbred industry has a large influence on many husbandry practices and industry structure.
The amount of water cattle consume and the frequency that cattle drink affects their productivity, but a practical and inexpensive method to record drinking behaviour does not exist. The results of this study show that although further development of a classification method is required, accelerometers can record beef cattle drinking behaviour. This brings us closer to collecting information critical to understanding cattle drinking behaviour and ensuring that the amount and frequency of water consumption is sufficient to meet their needs.
Public concern over farm animal welfare (FAW) in the livestock sector is believed to be increasing. The present study is the first nationally representative study of Australian meat consumers to identify consumer segments with distinct attitudes towards FAW and the environmental impact of meat production. The majority of consumers (70%) are unconcerned about FAW, and most admit to feeling insufficiently informed about FAW. Targeted information and marketing campaigns may enable more informed meat-purchase decisions.
Growth, health and production performances of progeny can differ depending on their maternal environment such as sow parity number. This study aimed to identify the influence of sow parity on the meat quality of progeny. We identified that maternal parity may affect pork quality in progeny and the younger stage group could have better meat quality than the older group.
Carry-over effects on chemical composition of raw pork and technological meat quality after vacuum ageing up to 4, 6 and 8 days may be observed due to carcass grading based on lean content. Meat fatness did not affect its amino acid balance and technological quality (colour, drip loss, shear force and lipid stability), but modified intramuscular fat composition.
This study explored the potential for producers to breed for improved survival rates in Australian Merino sheep during the post-weaning period and reported the survival trait to be lowly heritable. Unfavourable genetic correlations with key production traits mean that selection based on popular MERINOSELECT indexes is leading to a very small reduction in the survival rate of lambs after weaning. To prevent a decline in survival, producers are advised to record weaner survival and include it in their breeding objective.
Tannins provide an increase in the amount of protein used by the animal with no increase in the total amount of dietary protein. This occurs due to the capacity of tannin to bind protein through hydrogen bonds forming a tannin–protein complex, which is stable in the rumen (pH, 5.0–7.0) and resistant to microbial degradation. This approach can provide two important benefits: an increase in the amount of protein absorbed and deposited in the animal’s tissue and a decrease in feed costs due to the removal of protein source ingredients, such as soybean meal.
Can growth and carcass traits be enhanced in prime lambs using omega-3 oil supplements? Crossbreds had better carcass weight, dressing percentage and fat depth than purebred Merinos. Prime lamb producers can better match genetics with feed resources by supplementing first-cross lambs with pellets containing 5% canola oil or 5% flaxseed oil pellets in an intensive finishing period of 10 weeks.
Good stockmanship improves both farm animal welfare and productivity. Continuous measurement of livestock handling practices will maintain high standards. Simple outcome-based measures of vocalisation, electric prod use, falling and miscaught during restraint are easy to implement. Acclimating cattle, pigs and other animals to handling procedures will reduce stress and make handling easier.
During summer, heat stress often causes sow reproductive failure. In later pregnancy and lactation, sows are under multiple heat stress; dietary supplementation with N-carbamylglutamate and vitamin C can improve reproductive performance of sows by increasing litter and average weights at farrowing and weanning. Our results can be used to ameliorate heat stress in summer and keep year-round pig production.
Addition of calcium oxide (CaO) can improve the intake and digestibility of sugarcane silage in beef cattle. The objective of this study was to examine the nutritional parameters of feedlot beef heifers fed with corn silage, fresh sugarcane or ensiled sugarcane with different CaO levels. Corn silages diets provide better nutritional parameters than sugarcane diets. Adding CaO to sugarcane silage provides greater intake than silage without CaO. However, the use of high levels of CaO decreases the diet intake.
As a worldwide-known delicacy, fatty goose liver (foie gras) is obtained from overfed geese; however, two factors could affect its safety and quality, excessive amounts of diet and antibiotics in feed. To solve this problem, we added hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate (HSCAS) into the diet and the results showed that HSCAS increased relative liver weight, serum immunoglobulin levels, and improved intestine morphology of overfed geese. HSCAS might serve as an alternative to increase nutrient absorption and replace antibiotics in foie gras production.
Strategies to accelerate growth of heifers decrease time until the productive period. This study evaluated whether sustained-release recombinant bovine somatotropin injections increase the growth rate of replacement dairy heifers. Recombinant bovine somatotropin increased bodyweight gain and skeletal growth, suggesting that heifers would reach puberty and productive life earlier, decreasing the energy waste related to methane and urine outputs into the environment.
The present study evaluated the histomorphometric effect on the small intestine of the chicken embryo after in ovo methionine injection. The results indicated that injecting methionine into the yolk sac can improve intestinal histomorphometrical parameters and that 40-mg methionine injection showed the greatest changes.
Pig production is a common activity of smallholder farmers in Lao PDR but its degree of sophistication is low, leading to missed opportunities in generating income. We found a lack of understanding for focussed production reflected in village pig herd dynamics, underlining problematic management practices that lead to high losses and poor performance. Future development interventions are encouraged to take the indicated reasons for such practices into consideration to improve their chances of sustainable impact.
The present study evaluated the effects of supplemental nano-selenium (NSe) and nano-zinc oxide (NZn-O) particles during in vitro maturation (IVM) on DNA damage of cumulus cells, glutathione concentration in bovine oocytes, subsequent embryo development and the re-expansion rate of vitrified warmed blastocysts. Optimal embryo development was partially dependent on the presence of NSe and NZn-O during IVM. NSe and NZn-O during oocyte maturation act as good cryoprotective agents of vitrified, warmed blastocysts.
Great efforts have been made to identify nutritional ways to mitigate emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from ruminants. Several medicinal plants containing specific plant secondary metabolites were screened as sole substrates and as supplements, individually as well as in binary combinations. Combining A. paniculata and P. longum mitigated methane without side effects on ruminal fermentation. In vivo experiments yet to be conducted will show whether this combination has the potential to be developed as feed additive for ruminant nutrition.
Comparative study between Chinese native pig breeds and commercial crossbred pigs can provide information on meat colour and antioxidant capacity of different breeds. This is a preliminary study on antioxidant capacity in Chinese native pig breeds, exhibiting higher antioxidant capacity than commercial crossbred pig. This discovery could provide a new perspective on meat colour and antioxidant capacity, and these results implied that there was a strong relationship between meat colour and antioxidant capacity.
Poultry production is a huge source of animal protein to the people of Ghana. Drugs were commonly administered to the birds in a bid to achieve higher efficiency in production. This study determined the types of drugs used in poultry farming and found that drugs were used without heeding to withdrawal periods stipulated by the manufacturer. This practice could result in antimicrobial resistance and residue in poultry products.
Probiotics can have a beneficial effect on growth performance and immune indicators in chickens. The use of a probiotic preparation containing Enterococcus faecium and vitamin D3 and C during the entire fattening period in the amount of 0.25 g/L of water has a beneficial effect on the histology and microbiological composition of the small intestine of chickens. Administration of this probiotic preparation also stimulates immunity in the chickens and improves growth performance. Our research confirms the appropriateness of using probiotics in poultry nutrition.
Intramuscular fat and fatty acid composition significantly affect meat quality, but the regulation mechanism of lipid metabolism among multiple muscles is unclear. Here, we found seven genes associated with lipid deposition in muscle tissues, and identified the relationship between muscle fibre types and monounsaturated fatty acids/saturated fatty acids. These results added beneficial information to improve meat quality, and provided potential genetic markers for the study of fatty acid composition.
Beef heifer management to first mating affects growth in low-nutrition environments in the dry tropics. A study using 1368 heifers in six cohorts described highly variable annual growth, with compensatory gains in body condition, liveweight and hip height following low dry-season growth. This variability resulted in up to 67% and 25% of heifers weighing 100–150 kg and >150 kg at weaning, respectively, not reaching target weights by the end of first mating, with no significant benefit from low-level post-weaning dry-season supplementation.
Composition and colour of porcine meat are strongly involved in meat quality and may be affected by the nutritional management and the genotype of the animals. In this paper, we show that, even under identical nutritional treatments, significant differences exist on composition, mineral content, fatty acid profile and colour of meat between Iberian and lean pigs, at different growing stages. Characteristics such as the high amount of intramuscular fat, the great concentration of heme pigments and the high level of monounsaturated fatty acids are among the more relevant quality aspects of Iberian muscles.
Selecting for environmental impact traits might have consequences we do not know currently. This study tried to get a first glimpse of what might be expected as correlated responses from currently selected traits. Because of the complexity of relationships among all the traits we want to improve, results showed that profound changes in current indexes might be required, not only simply adding environmental traits.
Breeding mares are kept at pasture in New Zealand and reproductive efficiency is improving. However, Thoroughbred breeders face significant pressures from industry with a short breeding season that does not match the timing of the natural breeding season, and popular stallions are required to breed many mares. Breeding horses require excellent stud management and veterinary management to achieve industry targets.
The use of agribusiness co-products as replacers of other cereal grains can decrease costs on cattle feed. The aim of this work was to study the feasibility of replaced soybean meal by sunflower cake (up to 60%) in heifers finished on pasture. The qualitative and sensory characteristics of meat were not altered, proving the viability of this kind of feed replacement.
The paper is about the selection method for high-quality pork. In the research, the investigators identified genetic markers that regulate meat quality in Berkshire pigs. These meat quality-associated markers can be applied to pig breeding to produce high-quality pork.
Past studies have shown that beef from cattle fed a high concentration of distillers grains was more tender than beef from cattle fed corn only. To understand why, this research characterised the muscle and lipid properties of meat from the different diets. Results suggested feeding distillers grains may increase tenderness, possibly by altering sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane integrity, resulting in more rapid intracellular calcium leakage to enhance the meat aging process.
Natural food preservatives derived from blood can be an alternative for artificial additives widely used in food and the pharmaceutical industry. Hydrolysates obtained by enzymatic hydrolysis of porcine blood were assessed for their antioxidant and antimicrobial efficacy. The study revealed that porcine blood hydrolysate (whole and fractions) can be a potential source of natural preservatives for shelf-life extension in food.
The results that weaned piglets were protected from bacterial endotoxins by placing piglets on a taurine-supplemented diet will provide theoretical basis for the application of taurine in piglets. Dietary taurine prevented weaned piglets from intestinal damage by lipopolysaccharide of Gram-negative bacteria. The beneficial effects of taurine were due to decreased stimulation of the immune response to lipopolysaccharide and an improvement in intestinal epithelial barrier function.
The harmful effects of inbreeding on reproductive traits are well known to breeders. The results obtained in the present study showed that inbreeding had undesirable effects on some reproductive traits in Markhoz goats; however, these effects were not significant. It can be concluded that mating system policy in the studied Markhoz goat population have been appropriate.
The paper is an introduction to a Festschrift held at Sydney University to acknowledge the contribution that John Langtree Black has made to animal science in Australia and the world. The extraordinary wide range of topics, disciplines and animal species covered by his research are outlined. Important contributions to advancing knowledge and to applying knowledge to rural industries and the community are highlighted.
The success of genomic selection depends on the accuracy of genomic predictions, which can be influenced by many factors such as genotype quality control, marker density and minor allele frequency. In the present study we assessed the effect of these three factors on genomic prediction of Nellore cattle and found no effect of quality control and marker density, whereas markers with low allele frequency showed poor prediction ability. Our results help identifying which genomic information should be used for genomic predictions.
Infrared thermography contributes to animal nutrition studies as a non-invasive tool to capture heat digestion in ruminants. Infrared thermography was able to detect differences in the body temperature of animals associated with different fibre proportions in the diets. The sensitivity of infrared thermography in capturing small temperature variations and its non-invasive nature make it a useful tool in different fields of study that require the measurement of temperature differences of objects, plants, animals or humans.
We have developed a gene technology that allows specific marking of the sex-determining chromosome in chickens so that the males can be identified before hatching and removed before incubation. This provides a simple solution to meet a pressing need for the industry and a leading opportunity for the adoption of biotechnology in animal agriculture.
This review presents data on the size, scope and organisation of equestrian sport and racing within New Zealand. The keys features of which are shaped by pasture-based management and a large export focus for the Thoroughbred industry. Describing the racing and sport-horse industries is essential to aid understanding of the production process of the equine athlete in New Zealand.
Selection of production animals may be compromised when there is no knowledge of the relationships between genotype and the environment in which a particular animal is inserted. This work aimed to investigate the impact of the genotype environment interaction on the performance of cows in the postweaning phase. It was verified that in Nellore individuals there was no significant impact of the environment on the genotype of the animals, concluding that the same selection criteria can be adopted between the mentioned regions in the studied regions.
Natural additives can modulate ruminal fermentation on high energetic density diets. The aim of this work was to study the effect of essential oils and yeast inclusion on cattle diets. Addition of natural compounds (oregano, castor bean, cashew oils and yeast) improved bull performance, without changing significantly meat characteristics. Natural additives could be an alternative for ionophores substitution.
Among various approaches, diet plays an important role in lowering livestock-related methane emission. Thus, the effect of various energy levels on enteric methane emission was evaluated at two different seasons in growing Murrah buffaloes. Methane energy loss as % GE intake was 13% lower during the winter season. The present study revealed that adjustment in feeding system energy level lowered enteric CH4 emission and will be helpful for intensive rearing under a tropical environment.
Live transportation of livestock is an important aspect of animal production. We transported diffident crosses of tropical/temperate breeds of heifers for 6 h along different road conditions in the tropics. We discovered that the crosses of the cattle did well during transportation on tarred road, but responded poorly when transported along rough untarred road. Thus, transportation along rough roads may compromise the animal welfare and health status.
The Insulin-like Growth Factor 2 gene (IGF2) is known as an important regulator of growth, development and differentiation of skeletal muscle. In this study, the polymorphism of the IGF2 gene and the effect of IGF2 genotypes on the quality of meat from Italian autochthonous Suino Nero Lucano breed were investigated. IGF2 genotypes were associated with different effects on both muscle mass and meat quality characteristics. As a consequence, in the SNL population it is possible to choose sires and dams according to the destination of the final product.
Castration is a practice widely used in male cattle to reduce aggressive behaviour and improve meat quality. However, surgical castration negatively affects animal welfare, health and performance; therefore, immunological castration can be an alternative. Immunocastration decreases feedlot performance and improves meat quality compared with non-castrated males. Surgical castration and immunocastration affect performance and meat quality similarly, indicating that immunocastration can be used as a technique to replace surgical castration.
In an animal breeding program, selection accuracy can be increased using appropriate genetic model analysis. In the present study, a repeatability model will be developed. Accordingly, efficiency of animal improvement can be increased.
Pigs are fed mainly with cereals as energy sources, and fats and oils, due to their high energy content, represent an attractive ingredient. Nonetheless, fats are usually more expensive than cereals and high levels in the diet are not well tolerated by pigs. In this study, we tested the use of a crystallised powdered oil mix produced by a technology process and included at levels close to 10% and this resulted in improved digestion efficiency and in a better growth performance in pigs.
Community concerns about animal welfare can shape livestock practices and may affect the sustainability of livestock industries by compromising their social licence to farm. The results reported here show that attitudes towards the livestock industries predict engagement in community behaviours that express dissatisfaction with the way livestock animals are treated (such as petition signing) and, to a lesser extent, pork consumption. Further research to characterise and engage opinion leaders involved in many community behaviours relevant to the livestock industries is needed as a possible way of establishing convergence in beliefs between producers and the community.
It is common to identify stress responses by measuring various hormones and to conclude that stress affects the welfare of animals. The reality is that there is not always a straightforward relationship between stress, hormones and animal welfare. We need to know the consequences of the actions of hormones in order to assess how stress affects animal welfare.
The use of social media has become of increasing interest in how people engage with current affairs and topical issues. This paper explores how animal activist organisations, such a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) use social media networks, specifically Twitter, in their campaigning against animal agriculture. The results aim to help the agricultural industries to understand the way in which social media is being used in attempt to change peoples attitudes towards animal production.
Tedera has agronomic characteristics ideally suited to Mediterranean-like climates that allows it to provide high quality green forage during summer and autumn. Three sheep grazing experiments were carried out in Western Australia with the objective to evaluate sheep production during summer and autumn with tedera as the sole diet. These experiments clearly demonstrate that tedera can be used to reduce or eliminate expensive hand feeding during summer and autumn using the simplest and least expensive grazing management; continuous grazing.
There is still much controversy concerning whether forage should be included in the calf diet during the pre-weaning period. The aim of this study was to determine the responses of calves to forage type and forage provision age. The results indicate that forage provision had no negative effect on calves, which justifies the supply of forage to young calves, even at an early age.
Jatropha meal (JM) is an emergent source of protein for ruminant feed, but the presence mainly of phorbol esters limits its use. We evaluated the effect of JM treated with sodium hydroxide (to reduce phorbol esters) in concentrate supplements to grazing dairy cows. Sodium hydroxide treatment reduces phorbol esters in JM; however, its inclusion in concentrate supplements reduces diet digestibility and performance of dairy cows.
In South America, animal agricultural systems have a great responsibility in greenhouse gases emissions. In the present study, we demonstrated that one strategy to reduce the enteric methane emission contribution is the use of high-quality pastures. The single use of high-quality pastures could lead to a reduction of ~14% of the methane emitted per unit of intake, compared to lower quality pastures with higher fibre and lower protein contents.
High concentrate diets with increasing linseed oil concentration were offered to steers and heifers to evaluate quality traits of meat. The higher linseed oil concentration increased the levels of important fatty acids such as n-6 and n-3. The inclusion of linseed oil is a strategy to produce meat with benefits for human health.
This study evaluated the effect of freezing (−18°C) for 12 months on the qualitative characteristics of breast, thigh and drumstick meat from antibiotic-free, conventional, organic and free-range broilers. Freezing chicken meat did not prevent colour and pH changes or occurrence of lipid oxidation and did not promote a reduction of aw to levels unfavourable to microbiological development.