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

Editor-in-Chief: Wayne Bryden

 
 
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published online 21 August 2015
The impact of selecting for increased ewe fat level on reproduction and its potential to reduce supplementary feeding in a commercial composite flock 
S. F. Walkom, F. D. Brien, M. L. Hebart and W. S. Pitchford

Analysis of a maternal composite stud flock in Holbrook, New South Wales indicated that selection for scanned post-weaning fat and muscle depth in lambs should lead to increased fat muscle and body condition in the breeding ewe. The influence of body composition traits on reproduction was weak. However, it is hypothesised that by genetically increasing post-weaning fat depth producers can reduce the demands for supplementary feeding.

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Published online 21 August 2015
Comparison of the alkane-based herbage intakes and the liveweight gains of young sheep grazing forage oats, dual-purpose wheat or phalaris-based pasture 
H. Dove and W. M. Kelman

Grazing of dual-purpose crops can provide extra winter feed, but there are few data about herbage intakes or liveweight gains of livestock grazing crops. We measured these in sheep grazing pasture cf. wheat or oat forage and found greater herbage intakes and liveweight gain in sheep grazing crop. Dual-purpose crops can thus increase winter feed supply and quality and improve animal weight gains in a grazing system.

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Published online 20 August 2015
Fabric and greasy wool handle, their importance to the Australian wool industry: a review 
J. W. V. Preston, S. Hatcher and B. A. McGregor

Greasy wool handle is assessed on-farm as a means to improve fibre quality. This review looks at the different assessment protocols utilised by industry and notes the variable results obtained using different assessment protocols. Standardising an approach will result in a greater response to selection.

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Published online 20 August 2015
Effect of previous reproductive performance on current reproductive rate in South Australian Merino ewes 
David O. Kleemann, Simon K. Walker, Raul W. Ponzoni, Dennis R. Gifford, James R. W. Walkley, Darryl H. Smith, Richard J. Grimson, Kaylene S. Jaensch, Samuel F. Walkom and Forbes D. Brien

Poor reproductive performance of the Australian Merino may be due, in part, to the inability of ewes to recover body reserves by the next breeding cycle. However, this study shows that low liveweight and poor reproductive performance in any 1 year is not necessarily associated with previous reproductive performance. Genetic variation indicates that flock fertility could be improved by selection on previous records whilst gains in fecundity and survival could come from improved management.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published online 03 August 2015
Effect of dietary ALA on growth rate, feed conversion ratio, mortality rate and breast meat omega-3 LCPUFA content in broiler chickens 
John F. Carragher, Beverly S. Mühlhäusler, Mark S. Geier, James D. House, Robert J. Hughes and Robert A. Gibson

In a previous study we significantly increased the long-chain omega-3 content of chicken meat by feeding a diet containing short-chain omega-3 from flaxseed oil. The present study, using almost 4000 broiler birds housed under near-commercial conditions, demonstrated the same flaxseed oil diet improved growth rate and feed conversion efficiency from hatch to 6 weeks of age without negative effects on health or mortality. This supports the commercial viability of short-chain omega-3 diets for the chicken industry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published online 21 July 2015
The effect of slaughter weight on the carcass characteristics of pork with sex type as co-variable 
E. Pieterse, L. C. Hoffman, F. K. Siebrits, E. L. Gloy and E. Polawska

Increased pig slaughter weight has advantages for producers, processors and consumers. This study showed that increased slaughter weight improved carcass characteristics. These results indicate that heavier slaughter weights will be beneficial for producers and processors and should impact on production efficiency per se.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published online 09 July 2015
Starch utilisation in chicken-meat production: the foremost influential factors 
Ha H. Truong, Sonia Y. Liu and Peter H. Selle

Starch is the chief dietary energy source for chicken-meat production; however, the factors that impact most on its utilisation have not been investigated thoroughly. This paper reviews the literature relevant to starch digestion and glucose absorption from the perspective of chicken-meat production. The foremost factor influencing starch utilisation may be the interaction between starch and protein digestive dynamics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published online 07 July 2015
Genetic importance of fat and eye muscle depth in Merino breeding programs 
D. J. Brown and A. A. Swan

Australian Merino breeders have to balance recording and selection across wool traits, meat attributes, worm resistance and reproduction rate. This study investigates the value of recording various trait combinations and the results clearly highlight that breeders should measure directly all important traits that contribute to farm profitability. Breeders should use multiple trait selection indexes that consider the value of, and relationships between, all these traits, rather than focusing on just one or two traits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published online 02 July 2015
Pregnancy scanning can be used as a source of data for genetic evaluation of reproductive traits of ewes 
Kim L. Bunter, Andrew A. Swan, Ian W. Purvis and Daniel Brown

Reproductive data for ewes consists of pregnancy scan and/or lambing results, and it is important that these alternative data sources provide similar and accurate information towards genetic evaluation. This study investigated the consistency of pregnancy scan data with lambing outcomes, and showed that pregnancy scan data could be used instead of lambing data for genetic evaluation. It is important that pregnancy scanning is performed accurately to maximise the accuracy of breeding values derived from pregnancy scan data.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published online 22 June 2015
Habitat and feeding ecology of alpine musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand, India 
Zarreen Syed and Orus Ilyas

Alpine musk deer is a threatened species and not much is known about its ecology. The present study aims to explore the ecology and habitat overlap with other wild ungulates and cattle species. Results show a significant overlap of the species with wild ungulates and cattle. Through feeding we were able to explore that the species prefer to browse over grass species.

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Published online 22 June 2015
Bioacoustic cues and their relations to dominance rank in Père David’s deer stags 
Ni Liu, Zhigang Jiang, Linyuan Zhang, Zhenyu Zhong, Xiaoge Ping, Huailiang Xu and Chunwang Li

Animals have developed an amazing way of vocal communication, which is very important for social contact or mate attraction. To unveil the mysteries of Père David’s deer’s unique language, we analysed their ‘conversation’ and discovered the interesting ‘accent’ of stags in different dominance ranks. The phenomenon that acoustic features related to the dominance hierarchy reflects how animals cope with reproductive competition by proper behavioural strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published online 16 June 2015
Deer antler: a unique model for studying mammalian organ morphogenesis 
Zhao Haiping, Chu Wenhui, Liu Zhen and Li Chunyi

Bioelectricity encodes morphogenesis of lower animals, but it is currently unknown whether this concept can be applied to mammals. Deer antler is an ideal model for studying the morphogenesis of mammalian organs. Investigating morphogenetic information of deer antlers through bioelectricity will help us understand the underlying morphogenetic mechanism in mammals and the results will benefit human health and wellbeing, such as, for example birth defects, organ regeneration, organ senescence and tumour formation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published online 27 April 2015
Genetic evaluation of maternal behaviour and temperament in Australian sheep 
D. J. Brown, N. M. Fogarty, C. L. Iker, D. M. Ferguson, D. Blache and G. M. Gaunt

The temperament and behaviour of ewes at lambing can impact on the survival of their newborn lambs. Maternal behaviour and temperament are moderately heritable (the former also repeatable), which means these traits can be improved by selection. Scoring maternal behaviour at lambing could be a useful trait to include in breeding programs aimed at improving overall reproduction rates in sheep flocks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published online 24 April 2015
Effect of the type of dietary fat when added as an energy source on animal performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of intensively reared Friesian steers 
A. Guerrero, E. Muela, M. V. Valero, I. N. Prado, M. M. Campo, J. L. Olleta, O. Catalán and C. Sañudo

Diet is one the main factors that modifies meat characteristics as well as the main cost in intensive rearing systems. The effect of different fat sources included at low level (3.8–4.0%) on meat quality from young Friesian steers has been assessed. At these low levels, the used fats did not change significantly animal performance or meat quality. Therefore, in concentrate rearing systems, it is possible to include the cheapest fat in the finishing step without significantly modifying the quality of the final product.

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

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

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Published online 22 April 2015
The effect of inclusion level and basal diet on the determination of the digestible and metabolisable energy content of soybean oil and its digestibility when fed to growing pigs 
Yongbo Su, Xiaohua Bi, Qiang Huang, Ling Liu, Xiangshu Piao and Defa Li

Soybean oil can provide different available energy in pigs when its concentration or the composition of diet is different. This research determined the effect of soybean oil concentration and composition of diet on the available energy of soybean oil. The results showed that the more soybean oil pigs consumed the greater available energy soybean oil contained for growing pigs.

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Published online 22 April 2015
Rosiglitazone maleate increases weight gain and body fat content in growing lambs 
F. T. Fahri, I. J. Clarke, D. W. Pethick, R. D. Warner and F. R. Dunshea

Thiazolidinediones (TZD) are used in the treatment of diabetes but may increase fat deposition in humans. This study demonstrated that TZDs increase feed intake, growth and carcass fat, but not visceral fat in sheep. In conclusion, dietary TZDs mitigate against the inhibitory effect of carcass fatness on feed intake in sheep but the additional consumed energy is deposited as fat.

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Published online 22 April 2015
Effects of increasing rates of molasses supplementation and forage quality on the productivity of steers 
R. A. Hunter and P. M. Kennedy

Molasses supplements can provide a valuable source of energy for growing cattle in northern Australia, but the efficiency of use of energy in molasses may vary with characteristics of accompanying forage. Our experiments showed that good growth rates in steers fed molasses and forage could be achieved, especially with forage of low nutritive value, but that digestibility of the forages decreased as molasses content of the diet increased. We conclude that the feeding standards for cattle require modification before they can be accurately used to predict growth for cattle fed tropical diets.

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Published online 22 April 2015
Increasing the proportion of female lambs by feeding Merino ewes a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids around mating 
E. H. Clayton, M. A. Friend and J. F. Wilkins

In a previous experiment, the proportion of female lambs was higher when Border Leicester × Merino first-cross ewes were fed a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids. In the current study, the proportion of female lambs was also higher when Merino ewes were fed a diet high in omega-6 than a diet low in omega-6 fatty acids either pre-mating only or both pre- and post-mating. The mechanism resulting in the diet high in omega-6 influencing the sex ratio of lambs appears to operate before or around conception. Enterprises breeding first-cross ewes as dams for terminal sire operations may benefit from an increased proportion of females by feeding ewes a diet high in omega-6 around the time of mating.

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Published online 22 April 2015
Use of n-alkanes for determination of Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) intake in free-range broilers 
M. Singh, T. Durali and A. J. Cowieson

Free-range broilers consume unknown amounts of pasture with ambiguous nutritional value and this may influence performance. N-alkanes have been used in this study to estimate the intake of Kikuyu grass at 13.5–14.7% of total as-fed intake by free-range broilers. A significant increase in both feed intake and feed conversion ratio on accounting for grass consumption gives an indication that grass consumption may be under-represented and not systematically considered. The amount of grass consumed causes detrimental effects both for the bird and for production costs.

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Published online 21 April 2015
Grazing crops: implications for reproducing sheep 
David G. Masters and Andrew N. Thompson

Grazing young crops presents new opportunities to increase production and profit in the wheat-sheep and high rainfall farming zones in Australia. Forage from young crops has a high nutritive value and is available to meet an increased demand for feed from reproducing ewes in winter. Grazing young crops comes with an increased risk of a range metabolic disturbances and nutritional imbalances. These risks can be minimised by regular monitoring of livestock and crop biomass and the provision of mineral supplements.

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Published online 21 April 2015
Exhaled breath condensate hydrogen peroxide concentration, a novel biomarker for assessment of oxidative stress in sheep during heat stress 
Surinder S. Chauhan, Pietro Celi, Brian Leury, Fan Liu and Frank R. Dunshea

Heat stress is a multibillion dollar problem as high environmental temperature compromises animal production leading to devastating economic consequences to global animal agriculture. Therefore, with the aim to ameliorate heat stress impacts, current research developed a new biomarker to investigate oxidative stress induced by heat stress and also suggested antioxidants as a strategy to reduce heat stress in sheep.

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Published online 10 April 2015
Modelling the egg components and laying patterns of broiler breeder hens 
Nayara T. Ferreira, Nilva K. Sakomura, Juliano César de Paula Dorigam, Edney Pereira da Silva and Robert M. Gous

Broiler breeder hens exhibit an irregular frequency in egg laying, different from those observed with commercial laying hens. It is important to know this characteristic when predicting the daily requirements to develop an adequate feed program for a breeder’s flock. Thus, this study aimed to model egg production in a flock of broiler breeder hens by non-isometric equations. On the basis of the results achieved, the simulation models used here for broiler breeders have a good prediction of the weight of egg and its components over the laying period. Therefore, these models can be used to predict nutrient requirements for broiler breeder hens.

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Published online 10 April 2015
Proximate composition and variation in colour, drip loss and pH of breast meat from broilers supplemented with Moringa oleifera leaf meal over time 
T. T. Nkukwana, V. Muchenje, P. J. Masika, E. Pieterse, L. C. Hoffman and K. Dzama

Over the past few years, poultry meat product safety and quality have received a negative perspective from consumers. The use of antibiotic growth promoters, PSE (pale, soft, exudative)-like condition and oxidation are some of the concerns. Plant additives are gaining preference as they are perceived to exert antioxidant, antimicrobial and growth-promoting effects, actions that are partially associated with improved production of safe and quality poultry products. In the present study M. oleifera leaf meal enhanced the colour, shelf life and nutrient composition of broiler meat.

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

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

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Published online 10 April 2015
Environmental and genetic factors influence the liveweight of adult Merino and Border Leicester × Merino ewes across multiple sites and years 
S. E. Blumer, G. E. Gardner, M. B. Ferguson and A. N. Thompson

Liveweight change in the ewe flock during summer and autumn can affect farm profitability through effects on stocking rate, requirements for supplementary feeding, and productivity of the ewe and her progeny. Variation in liveweight change of ewes is primarily due to differences in environment and management. However, there are small beneficial associations between some breeding values and liveweight change in some environments.

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Published online 10 April 2015
Effects of dietary calcium propionate on growth performance and carcass characteristics of finishing lambs 
German D. Mendoza-Martínez, Juan M. Pinos-Rodríguez, Héctor A. Lee-Rangel, Pedro A. Hernández-García, Rolado Rojo-Rubio and Alejandro Relling

It is important to search alternative sources of energy in finishing lambs rations to reduce the use of grains. This study was designed to evaluate the addition of calcium propionate on lamb performance, a compound that usually is not included in the rations. Results show that it is feasible to incorporate 10 or 20 g/kg of calcium propionate in finishing diets.

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Published online 01 April 2015
Using growth and body composition to determine weight at maturity in Nellore cattle 
Marcos Inacio Marcondes, Luís Orlindo Tedeschi, Sebastião de Campos Valadares Filho, Luiz Fernando Costa e Silva and Alex Lopes da Silva

For several years nutrient requirements systems have been using maturity as the weight of an adult animal. However, little work has been done to verify if this is physiologically correct. The aim was to quantify the relationship between carcass components to develop an objective method to define maturity weight for Nellore cattle. Our database indicated that in Nellore cattle maturity was reached between 400 and 450 kg.

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

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

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Published online 01 April 2015
Application of classification trees in determining the impact of phenotypic factors on conception to first service in Holstein cattle 
Heydar Ghiasi, Dariusz Piwczyński, Majid Khaldari and Magdalena Kolenda

Fertility is an important economic trait in dairy cattle. Most variation in fertility performance is due to phenotypic factors. The classification tree technique may help farmers enhance fertility in dairy cattle herds.

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Published online 01 April 2015
Metabolic indicators for retention of fetal membranes in Zebu and crossbred dairy cattle 
Susavi Kumari, Shiv Prasad, T. K. Patbandha, R. Pathak, A. Kumaresan, P. Boro, A. Manimaran and T. K. Mohanty

Retention of fetal membranes (RFM) in cows seriously affects the production and reproduction efficiency. We identified some metabolic indicators for RFM in Zebu and crossbred cows. These indicators can be used for monitoring the negative energy balance in the herd and to take suitable measures for reducing the incidence of RFM.

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Published online 01 April 2015
Resource use and environmental impacts from Australian export lamb production: a life cycle assessment 
S. G. Wiedemann, M.-J. Yan and C. M. Murphy

Agricultural industries face the challenge of maintaining and expanding production to meet global food requirements with fewer resources, while producing less greenhouse gas (GHG). This study quantified energy and water use, land occupation and GHG from the major export lamb production regions of Australia using a farm-gate life cycle assessment. Water, energy and GHG emissions were found to be moderate compared with other export nations or global averages. Lamb production primarily utilised non-arable land unsuitable for many alternative foods.

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    | Supplementary Material (1018 KB)
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Published online 26 March 2015
Replacing conventional with brown midrib corn silage in a total mixed ration: the impact on early and late lactation dairy cow intake, milk yield and composition, and milk fatty acids profile 
G. A. Genero, C. A. Cangiano, J. P. Raimondi, J. M. Roig and G. A. Gagliostro

Corn silages are widely used in dairy systems; in order to improve dairy cows’ milk production corn silages of high quality should be achieved. In the present study, the effect of a corn silage with a higher digestibility (brown midrib corn silage) on dairy cow performance was evaluated and showed an increase in milk and protein production. The use of this corn silage is an interesting strategy to enhance milk production in early lactation.

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Published online 25 March 2015
Analysis of population structure and genetic variability in Iranian buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) using pedigree information 
Navid Ghavi Hossein-Zadeh

Knowledge about pedigree is important in studies of population structure, especially where precise estimates of fitness parameters are required. The aim of this study was to use pedigree analysis to evaluate the population structure, genetic variability and inbreeding in Iranian buffaloes. Inbreeding trend was significantly positive over the years and average coancestry was increased in recent years. Avoiding the accumulation of inbreeding in a small population like this one may prevent the significant economic losses and decreased response to selection for important performance traits in the future.

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Published online 25 March 2015
Changes in the feather-free body of broiler breeder hens after sexual maturity 
M. K. Nonis and R. M. Gous

All animals and birds need a daily dose of nutrients with which to maintain their bodies, and these maintenance requirements sometimes make up a greater proportion of the overall requirement for nutrients than do those to sustain egg production or growth, so it is essential when calculating their daily nutrient requirements to work out accurately how much would be needed for maintenance purposes. These requirements should be based on the protein weight of the bird, and not bodyweight, because body fat does not need to be maintained, so the main aim of this research was to determine to what extent body protein weight changes over the life of a broiler breeder. As long as the hen continues to lay eggs it appears that body protein weight does not change, so her maintenance requirements will also not change during the laying period.

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Published online 18 March 2015
Resource use and environmental impacts from beef production in eastern Australia investigated using life cycle assessment 
Stephen Wiedemann, Eugene McGahan, Caoilinn Murphy and Mingjia Yan

Agricultural industries face the challenge of maintaining and expanding production to meet global food requirements with fewer resources, while producing less greenhouse gas. This study quantified energy and water use, land occupation and greenhouse gas from a diverse range of beef production systems in eastern Australia, finding that impacts are sensitive to productivity factors and climatic conditions. Beef utilised land unsuitable for alternative foods that require crop land, and improving productivity was identified as a way to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

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Published online 10 March 2015
Birthweight has no influence on chemical body composition and muscle energy stores in suckling piglets 
Maartje De Vos, Veronique Huygelen, Myriam Hesta, Sofie A. Willemen, Erik Fransen, Christophe Casteleyn, Steven Van Cruchten and Chris Van Ginneken

To seek an explanation for the poor performance (e.g. high mortality, carcass quality) of runt piglets, the effect of birthweight and age on body composition and energy stores was assessed. Strangely, birthweight had no effect during the suckling period. This indirectly confirms the importance of feed (composition and energy) intake during the fattening phase as an explanation of the poorer performance at slaughter of runt piglets.

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Published online 26 February 2015
Heat-induced apoptosis and gene expression in bovine mammary epithelial cells 
Han Hu, Jiaqi Wang, Haina Gao, Songli Li, Yangdong Zhang and Nan Zheng

Milk production is a function of the number and secretory activity of mammary epithelial cells. Heat stress induces cell apoptosis, disturbs the biological activity and arouses intracellular thermotolerance responses of bovine mammary epithelial cells. Under heat stress, with increasing cell apoptosis number and upregulation of pro-apoptotic genes, the expression of anti-apoptotic genes was stimulated to a high level to prevent cell damage and maintain cell survival.

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    | Supplementary Material (2.1 MB)
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Published online 26 February 2015
Intake, apparent digestibility, and methane emission in bulls receiving a feed supplement of monensin, virginiamycin, or a combination 
Marcelina Pereira da Fonseca, Ana Luiza da Costa Cruz Borges, Ricardo Reis e Silva, Helena Ferreira Lage, Alexandre Lima Ferreira, Fernando César Ferraz Lopes, Carlos Giovani Pancoti and José Avelino Santos Rodrigues

This research is an innovative source of information, which contributes to the study of improving the efficiency of animal production with a focus on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. The dietary supplementation with additives can alter the ruminal metabolism and reduce energy loss in methane form. The results of this research support the study of the reduction of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

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Published online 25 February 2015
Estimation of genetic parameters for lambing ease, birthweight and gestation length in Australian sheep 
L. Li and D. J. Brown

Lambing ease (LE) is an important trait that affects animal welfare and profitability in sheep enterprises. This study examined the genetic parameters for LE and its genetic correlations with birthweight and gestation length by comparing different datasets and models. Higher phenotypic variance and direct heritability were found in single-born lambs than estimates in twin-born lambs. Direct genetic and maternal genetic effects were significant for LE. Estimates of direct heritability for LE using linear approaches were similar to those using threshold approaches (after transferring to observed scale). Lambs with greater birthweight and longer gestation length had more lambing difficulty. These genetic parameters are now used in the Sheep Genetics evaluation system.

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Published online 25 February 2015
Carob pulp inclusion in lamb diets: effect on intake, performance, feeding behaviour and blood metabolites 
M. N. Noor-Ehsan Gobindram, M. Bognanno, G. Luciano, M. Lanza and L. Biondi

Livestock feeding systems rely heavily on cereals; locally available agro-industrial by-products can replace such conventional feedstuffs, often imported, reducing the cost of production even in terms of carbon footprint. Carob pulp contains substances that may negatively affect production levels and welfare; this study demonstrated that it can partially substitute barley in lamb diets, at relatively high level of inclusion, without harming the animals. Use of carob pulp could be a sustainable alternative feed resource easily to manage at farmer level.

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Published online 25 February 2015
Plant extracts in heavy pig feeding: effects on quality of meat and Cremona salami 
G. Pastorelli, R. Rossi, S. Ratti and C. Corino

Consumers have increased interest for natural products and high quality meat products, because they are concerned about the health risks related to consumption of some synthetic antioxidants. The effects of dietary plant extract (PE) on pork muscle and Cremona salami were studied. An improvement in oxidative stability and fat composition were found in raw meat and in Cremona salami respectively. Dietary PE supplementation is a possible strategy to fortify pork and salami production.

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Published online 20 February 2015
The effect of maternal nutrition level during mid-gestation on postnatal muscle fibre composition and meat quality in lambs 
U. Sen, E. Sirin, U. Ensoy, Y. Aksoy, Z. Ulutas and M. Kuran

Nutrition during pregnancy is important for a successful gestation but it may also be important for the postnatal growth and development of the lamb. The results of this study demonstrated that maternal nutrition level during mid-gestation influences growth performance, muscle fibre types and number, muscle fibre cellular characteristics and carcass characteristics, but not birthweight and meat quality of the lamb after weaning at the end of finishing period.

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Published online 20 February 2015
Enteric methane emissions in response to ruminal inoculation of Propionibacterium strains in beef cattle fed a mixed diet 
D. Vyas, A. Alazzeh, S. M. McGinn, T. A. McAllister, O. M. Harstad, H. Holo and K. A. Beauchemin

Inoculation of Propionibacterium strains into the rumen of cattle has been proposed as a means of increasing ruminal propionate synthesis, thereby reducing enteric methane emissions. Results from the present study investigated strain-specific effects of Propionibacteria on ruminal propionate synthesis and total methane emissions, and their ability to integrate with the rumen microbial community. However, results suggest that Propionibacterium strains have limited influence on mitigating enteric methane emissions from beef cattle probably due to variable effects on ruminal propionate synthesis.

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   |        Open Access Article
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Published online 20 February 2015
Increased proportion of female lambs by feeding Border Leicester × Merino ewes a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids around mating 
E. H. Clayton, J. F. Wilkins and M. A. Friend

The proportion of female lambs was previously shown to be higher when ewes were fed a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids both before and, following the time of mating. In the present study, the proportion of female lambs was higher when Border Leicester × Merino ewes were fed a diet high in omega-6 compared with omega-3 fatty acids either pre-mating only or both pre- and post-mating. The largest increase in the proportion of female lambs was observed when ewes were single-bearing compared with multiple-bearing. The mechanism resulting in the diet high in omega-6 influencing the sex ratio of lambs appears to operate before or around conception but is yet to be determined.

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Published online 20 February 2015
Liveweight gains of young sheep grazing dual-purpose wheat with sodium and magnesium supplied as direct supplement, or with magnesium supplied as fertiliser 
H. Dove and W. M. Kelman

Sheep grazing wheat may consume a diet deficient in magnesium or sodium. We measured liveweight gain of sheep to these elements, provided separately or together, while they grazed dual-purpose wheat. Direct supplements in feed troughs led to profitable 20–25% increases in liveweight gain, but fertilising the wheat with Mg was ineffective and unprofitable. Thus, direct supplementation is recommended in farming practice.

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Published online 20 February 2015
Endophyte metabolites associated with perennial ryegrass toxicosis 
K. F. M. Reed, W. J. Mace, L. V. Walker and L. R. Fletcher

Production losses from livestock affected by toxins associated with some varieties of perennial ryegrass are occasionally extreme in Australia relative to New Zealand. Concentrations of toxins were studied and the ratio of ergovaline : lolitrem B was generally greater for Victorian pasture compared with New Zealand. The effects of the vaso-constrictive ergot alkaloids (including ergovaline) combined with that of the relatively high solar radiation on ruminants’ heat load were considered most important with respect to severe perennial ryegrass toxicosis in Australia.

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Published online 20 February 2015
Correlated response to selection for some egg performance traits in egg line of Japanese quail 
B. Y. F. Mahmoud, G. Abou Khadiga and E. A. El-Full

Productivity increase of Japanese quail as a source of animal protein for human feed is desired. Construction of a multi-trait selection program to improve egg performance depending on aggregate breeding value estimation could give a great effect in correlated selection response, which has been evidenced through the present study. The present results could be helpful in programs aimed at improving animal production for intended institutions on national levels.

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Published online 20 February 2015
Validation of PigBal model predictions for pig manure production 
A. G. Skerman, S. Willis, E. J. McGahan, M. G. Borgognone and D. J. Batstone

The PigBal model is widely used to predict piggery manure solids and nutrient production, using diet, feed intake and pig production data. Replicated feeding trials demonstrated that the model provided accurate predictions of manure solids and potassium. This suggests that the model can be used confidently for designing piggery effluent treatment systems, evaluating the energy potential from anaerobic digestion of pig effluent, and estimating greenhouse gas emissions.

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Published online 19 February 2015
Bayesian analysis of direct and maternal effects for birthweight in Iranian buffaloes using Gibbs sampling 
Navid Ghavi Hossein-Zadeh

Calf birthweight information is used as an indicator trait for calving ease in animal selection to minimise the risk of dystocia. The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for birthweight of Iranian buffaloes using a Bayesian approach. The results of the present study indicate that exploitable genetic variation observed for birthweight could be considered in designing future selection programs for Iranian buffaloes.

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Published online 19 February 2015
Legume grain-based supplements in dairy sheep diet: effects on milk yield, composition and fatty acid profile 
Adriana Bonanno, Antonino Di Grigoli, Francesca Vitale, Marco Alabiso, Cristina Giosuè, Francesca Mazza and Massimo Todaro

Supplements based on GMO-free legume grains (chickpea, faba bean, or pea) are proposed as alternatives of a concentrate feed containing soybean in dairy sheep feeding. The faba bean and pea had no adverse effects on milk production, whereas chickpea reduced milk yield, showed a lower efficiency of protein utilisation for casein synthesis, but increased the content of some healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids. The legume grains can replace soybean as components of the concentrate feed for lactating ewes.

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Published online 19 February 2015
Effect of creatine monohydrate supplementation on carcass traits, meat quality and postmortem energy metabolism of finishing pigs 
J. L. Li, Z. Y. Guo, Y. J. Li, L. Zhang, F. Gao and G. H. Zhou

Supplementation with creatine monohydrate (CMH) before slaughter was beneficial to improving pork quality. In this study, we evaluated the effects of dietary supplementation with CMH in pigs on the meat quality and postmortem energy metabolism, and found that CMH supplementation could delay early pH decline and decrease the rate of glycolysis in postmortem longissimus dorsi muscle resulting in a decreased drip loss. These data provide convincing evidence for the widespread use of CMH supplementation to improve pork quality.

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Published online 19 February 2015
Effects of potassium diformate on the gastric function of weaning piglets 
S. Xia, W. Yao, B. Zou, Y. Lu, N. Lu, H. Lei and D. Xia

Potassium diformate (KDF), as an acidifier, has been shown to improve growth performance in pigs, but it is not yet known whether KDF regulates gastric function. Adding 10 g/kg KDF to the diet of weaning piglets changed the expressions of somatostain, gastrin and H+-K+-ATPase and the activity of pepsin in the gastric oxyntic mucosa, altered the concentrations of lactic acid and hydrochloric acid in the digesta. For the first time, the present paper reports that KDF could regulate the expression of gastric function genes.

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Published online 19 February 2015
Eggshell quality: a comparison between Fayoumi, Gimieizah and Brown Hy-Line strains for mechanical properties and ultrastructure of their eggshells 
Lamiaa M. Radwan

This study suggested predicting the mechanical properties and ultrastructure of eggshells when egg weight was equal. A local breed had a higher resistance to eggshell breakage than commercial laying due to its longer palisade layer. Length of the palisade layer plays an important role in eggshell strength, therefore palisade layer should be considered in selection programs for improving eggshell strength.

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Published online 19 February 2015
Bovine STAT5A gene polymorphism and its influence on growth traits in Podolica breed 
Maria Selvaggi, Angela Gabriella D'Alessandro and Cataldo Dario

Quantitative traits, such as growth performances, are influenced both by environment and genes. In particular, they are under the control of several genes. Animal genotyping is a powerful aid to animal breeding. In this study we aimed to investigate a single nucleotide polymorphism within the bovine STAT5A gene in young bulls belonging to Podolica breed, looking for a possible relationship between this polymorphism and some growth performance traits. The investigated mutation seems associated with liveweight and daily gain of animals.

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Published online 19 February 2015
Supplementation for beef cattle on Marandu grass pastures with different herbage allowances 
A. P. De Oliveira, D. R. Casagrande, L. M. A. Bertipaglia, R. P. Barbero, T. T. Berchielli, A. C. Ruggieri and R. A. Reis

The efficiency of the supplementation for beef cattle is dependent on forage allowance. The performance of beef cattle with supplemented or without at three herbage allowances was evaluated. The supplements increased bodyweight gains without compromising the gain per hectare at different herbage allowances.

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Published online 19 February 2015
Genetic variation within and between subpopulations of the Australian Merino breed 
Andrew A. Swan, Daniel J. Brown and Julius H. J. van der Werf

Genetic differences between strain and flock subpopulations of the Australian Merino were compared to differences within subpopulations. For most traits, the differences between subpopulations were at least as large as the differences within subpopulations. The relative variances estimated from this study can be used to improve breeding value estimation models, and by breeders to increase genetic gain.

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Published online 19 February 2015
Genetic parameters for calving difficulty using complex genetic models in five beef breeds in Australia 
M. G. Jeyaruban, D. J. Johnston, B. Tier and H.-U. Graser

Accurate prediction of breeding value for calving difficulties is required to reduce its incidence in beef herds in Australia. This study provides breed-specific genetic parameters for calving difficulties, birthweight and gestation length for several beef breeds in Australia. These estimates will be used in the genetic evaluation of calving difficulties for BREEDPLAN to predict breeding values for calving ease in beef cattle.

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Published online 18 February 2015
Genetic variability detected at the lactoferrin locus (LTF) in the Italian Mediterranean river buffalo 
Alfredo Pauciullo, Luigi Ramunno, Nicolò P. P. Macciotta, Giustino Gaspa, Angelo Coletta, Elisa Apicella, Daniela Gallo and Gianfranco Cosenza

Eleven polymorphisms were detected for the first time between exons 15 and 16 of the Mediterranean river buffalo lactoferrin gene. The exonic markers g.88G>A and g.1351G>A were selectively neutral in relation to the improvement of milk production because no association with milk yield was revealed. However, they be used for future association studies with other traits of economic interest.

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Published online 12 February 2015
Effect of fitting sheep covers and injection of a mineral supplement on the brightness, clean colour and photostability of wool grown by grazing Merino sheep 
S. Hatcher and J. W. V. Preston

The brightness, clean colour and photostability of Australian Merino wool is not currently suitable for white and pastel shade products without bleaching during processing. This study investigated whether coating fleeces and provision of a long-acting injection mineral supplement would improve these traits. Brightness and clean colour were both significantly improved by coating but there was no impact on photostability and no evidence of any improvement in the three traits due to the mineral supplement.

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Published online 12 February 2015
Estimates of repeatability and heritability of methane production in sheep using portable accumulation chambers 
J. P. Goopy, D. L. Robinson, R. T. Woodgate, A. J. Donaldson, V. H. Oddy, P. E. Vercoe and R. S. Hegarty

We have developed a new method for measuring enteric methane production – that allows the prediction of methane production of large numbers of individual animals under field conditions. This will facilitate estimates of genetic parameters and help identify individuals whose rumen physiology and microbial ecology can be studied to improve our understanding of the biological bases for differences in methane production. Our work also suggests that more than one measure is desirable and that measurement of feed intake is critical.

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Published online 12 February 2015
Genomic scan for identifying candidate genes for paratuberculosis resistance in sheep 
Bianca Moioli, Silvia D'Andrea, Luigi De Grossi, Erminia Sezzi, Bruno De Sanctis, Gennaro Catillo, Roberto Steri, Alessio Valentini and Fabio Pilla

Healthy animals are desired in all kinds of animal farming. One avenue towards a lowered incidence of disease is breeding for improved disease resistance. This paper focuses on paratuberculosis in sheep, this disease being related to Crohn’s disease in humans. A genome-wide analysis of positive and negative sheep to paratuberculosis diagnose identified five most probable genes that play a role in disease resistance and cell-mediated immune response.

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Published online 12 February 2015
Two-step weaning in beef calves: permanence of nose flaps for 7 or 21 days does not influence the behaviour response 
P. Alvez, G. Quintans, M. J. Hötzel and R. Ungerfeld

Artificial weaning is one of the greater stressors for farm animals. Two-step weaning with nose flaps decreases behavioural signs of discomfort after definitive separation. We compared the behavioural changes in calves after using nose flaps for 7 or 21 days before definitive separation. Results indicate that the response is similar after using nose flaps for those lengths.

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Published online 20 January 2015
Egg quality and production performance of laying hens injected with growth hormone and testosterone in the late phase of production 
H. Mohammadi, Z. Ansari-Pirsaraei, S. N. Mousavi, M. Bouyeh, A. Gholibeikifard, P. Nouri, A. Hatefi and M. Rahmani

Hen ageing is accompanied by a disruption of productive performance, namely egg production. The aim of the present study is to clarify the intricate network of reproductive physiology in laying hens in the late phase of reproduction by means of exogenous growth hormone and testosterone injection. The results show the positive effects of the exogenous hormones on egg quality and production performance.

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Published online 15 January 2015
Carcass and meat quality of organic lambs compared with lambs reared under traditional and intensive production systems 
Omur Kocak, Bulent Ekiz, Hulya Yalcintan, Akin Yakan and Alper Yilmaz

Possible health risks related to chemical, antibiotic and hormone residues in foods caused an increase in the demand for organic foods. Carcass and meat quality of lambs reared under organic, intensive and traditional systems were investigated to obtain information that can be a guide for production system preference for sheep farmers and meat product choice for consumers. Meat from traditional systems was found more acceptable while meats of organic and traditional systems were healthier according to meat fatty acid composition.

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Published online 15 January 2015
Environmental variation and breed sensitivity for growth rate and backfat depth in pigs 
L. Li and S. Hermesch

Selecting genotypes best suited for specific environments will benefit performance across environments when genotypes of animals respond differently to the changes in environments. The variation in environmental conditions was quantified based on mean growth rate and backfat depth of groups of pigs. Significant breed-by-environment interactions were found for growth rate but not for backfat depth. Large White, the leaner breed, was less able to perform consistently across the observed range of environmental conditions while Duroc was least sensitive.

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Published online 15 January 2015
Evaluating vitamin D with graded levels of strontium supplementation on broiler chicken performance and mineral composition 
L. C. Browning and A. J. Cowieson

Vitamin D and strontium (an element similar to calcium) have a close physiological relationship and have been shown to improve broiler chicken performance and human skeletal integrity. Vitamin D and strontium were shown to have a significant interaction on bird performance. Higher levels of vitamin D improved bodyweight gain and helped reduce poor growth and feed efficiency caused by feeding strontium at the highest level of 0.12%. Calcium and sodium were found to be present in bone at an approximate ratio of 30 : 1. Further research is required to evaluate optimum dose rates for strontium and vitamin D supplementation.

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Published online 15 January 2015
A regional model of sheep lice management practices for predicting the impact of treatment for lice when no lice are detected 
Brian J. Horton, Andrew Bailey and Anna L. Carew

A model of lice prevalence was used to examine the value of treating sheep for lice after shearing, when no lice have been detected. The model showed treatment was cost-effective when the risk that the flock was infested was more than 10%. We concluded that use of this intervention threshold would reduce the current prevalence of lice in Australian sheep flocks without increasing costs associated with managing lice.

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Published online 07 January 2015
Biochemical profiles and physicochemical parameters of beef from cattle raised under contrasting feeding systems and pre-slaughter management 
D. G. Pighin, P. Davies, A. A. Pazos, I. Ceconi, S. A. Cunzolo, D. Mendez, M. Buffarini and G. Grigioni

Animal diet and pre mortem handling may affect the biochemical conversion of muscle into meat. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of two different pre-slaughter handling in Angus steers raised and finished in two contrasting feeding systems on the muscle metabolism and the related meat quality. The results obtained showed an impact of pre-slaughter handling and feeding systems on the peri mortem biochemistry and in the related meat quality through pH-independent mechanisms.

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Published online 24 December 2014
Growth performance, and carcass and meat quality traits in progeny of Poll Nellore, Angus and Brahman sires under tropical conditions 
A. S. C. Pereira, F. Baldi, R. D. Sainz, B. L. Utembergue, H. L. J. Chiaia, C. U. Magnabosco, F. R. Manicardi, F. R. C. Araujo, C. F. Guedes, R. C. Margarido, P. R. Leme and P. J. A. Sobral

The Zebu breeds produce meat with organoleptic characteristics that are not well accepted in most demanding markets. This study aimed to characterise progeny of sires representing several major families in the Poll Nellore breed in Brazil. There is substantial variation within the Poll Nellore breed for carcass and meat traits, and several sires have a proportion of their progeny comparable in terms of meat tenderness to those of Angus sires.

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Published online 02 December 2014
GNSS technology and its application for improved reproductive management in extensive sheep systems 
Eloise S. Fogarty, Jaime K. Manning, Mark G. Trotter, Derek A. Schneider, Peter C. Thomson, Russell D. Bush and Greg M. Cronin

GNSS tracking offers scientists a research tool to study livestock behaviour under pastoral conditions. As the reproductive efficiency of Merino sheep in Australia is poor, the application of GNSS technology offers a potential means to improve reproductive efficiency through enhanced behaviour monitoring. This study found Merino ewes displayed a change in their daily activity pattern during oestrus. Thus, remote detection of oestrus through monitoring of changes in normal ewe behaviour may be possible through the application of GNSS technology.

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Published online 02 December 2014
Effects of long wool insecticide treatments on lice numbers and wool damage on sheep 
N. J. Campbell, P. J. James and B. J. Horton

Long wool treatments are frequently applied to control sheep lice between shearings, but no data was available to indicate the production benefits of these treatments in merino sheep. Both long wool treatments tested, one applied by hand jetting and one as a backline spray-on treatment, gave large reductions in louse numbers, significant increases in clean wool cut and significant improvement in a number of wool quality parameters.

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Published online 02 December 2014
Ability of sire breeding values to predict progeny bodyweight, fat and muscle using various transformations across environments in terminal sire sheep breeds 
A. E. Huisman, D. J. Brown and N. M. Fogarty

How do we accurately evaluate the genetic merit of terminal sires bred across the wide range of Australian sheep environments? When their weights and fat measurements were transformed to a proportion of the mean of their contemporary group (% or units) it resulted in consistent relationships between the estimated genetic merit of sires and the performance of their progeny. These data transformations methods have now been implemented in the national genetic evaluation system to allow the breeding values of terminal sires to be more accurately compared across Australia.

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Published online 02 December 2014
A combination of xylanase, amylase and protease influences growth performance, nutrient utilisation, starch and protein digestive dynamics in broiler chickens offered maize-, sorghum- and wheat-based diets 
S. Y. Liu, D. J. Cadogan, A. Péron, H. H. Truong and P. H. Selle

The inclusion of exogenous enzymes in poultry diets has increased remarkably in recent decades; however, there is a lack of parallel comparison of enzyme responses in broiler diets based on different grains. A combination of xylanase, protease and amylase was shown to significantly improve energy utilisation in maize-, sorghum- and wheat-based diets, and with more pronounced improvement of feed conversion efficiency in maize-based diets. The differences of enzyme response in nutrient digestion should be considered when diets based on various grains are formulated.

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Published online 02 December 2014
Correlations of methane and carbon dioxide concentrations from feedlot cattle as a predictor of methane emissions 
Mei Bai, David W. T. Griffith, Frances A. Phillips, Travis Naylor, Stephanie K. Muir, Sean M. McGinn and Deli Chen

Methane emissions from livestock industries contributed 70% of total agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in Australia in 2009. It is difficult to measure methane emissions from large commercial feedlots. Accurate measurements are required. A 2-year study conducted at two Australian commercial feedlots showed a strong correlation between methane and carbon dioxide concentrations. This result could be used as a new method to predict methane emissions for the purpose of inventory, mitigation strategies and animal feed efficiency at Australian beef production systems.

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Published online 02 December 2014
Integrated animal and cropping systems in single and multi-objective frameworks for enhancing the livelihood security of farmers and agricultural sustainability in Northern India 
U. K. Behera, H. Kaechele and J. France

Reduced productivity and environmental concerns caused by intensive cultivation of rice-wheat systems necessitate diversification of farming in Northern India. Therefore s study was undertaken to develop models of integrated farming systems (IFS), involving animals and cropping, for various sizes of farm and to compare them with rice-wheat. The study revealed that IFS offer more perspectives for an economically viable and sustainable agriculture for typical farms in the region.

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Published online 02 December 2014
Effect of hypothyroidism on growth performance, carcass composition and meat quality of fat-tailed Lori-Bakhtiari lambs 
Yousef Baghcheghi, Ahmad Zare Shahneh, Mahdi Ganjkhanlou, Mahdi Khodaei Motlagh and Ali Reza Yousefi

Lamb meat quality is increasingly important to international markets and to consumers and is affected by a variety factors including the level of thyroid hormones. We evaluated the effects of hypothyroidism on growth performance and meat quality of growing lambs. Our results indicate that mild hypothyroidism may have some beneficial effects on growth efficiency and meat quality of lambs.

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Published online 02 December 2014
The influence of season on lambs 
S. J. Pain, J. R. Corkran, P. R. Kenyon, S. T. Morris and P. D. Kemp

Mixed species swards can provide good quality herbage for sheep over summer and autumn. The studies reported here examined grazing preference and diet selection of lambs for plantain, chicory, red clover and ryegrass. Some seasonal differences were noted for chicory and plantain, but they were never significantly lower than that of ryegrass and were likely due to seasonal changes in nutritive value. Pastures with a diverse range of plant species offer a unique opportunity to maximise animal feed intake and perhaps the nutritive value of that selected.

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Published online 02 December 2014
Changes in behaviour, milk production and bodyweight in beef cows subjected to two-step or abrupt weaning 
R. Ungerfeld, M. J. Hötzel and G. Quintans

Artificial weaning is one of the greater stressors for farm animals. Therefore, we tested if the use of nose flaps on calves to end suckling improves the cows’ welfare after definitive weaning. As this management decreased the main behavioural changes that indicate distress and decreased the bodyweight loss of the cows after the definitive separation it may be recommended for practical application.

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Published online 02 December 2014
Descriptive statistics and the pattern of horse racing in New Zealand: Part Two Harness racing 
Charlotte F. Bolwell, Chris W. Rogers, Erica K. Gee and Sarah M. Rosanowski

It is important to understand the ‘normal’ pattern of Harness racing in New Zealand in order to identify industry trends and changes over time. This study describes the pattern of pacing and trotting races in Standardbred racing and highlights factors unique to the Harness racing industry. Differences in track surfaces, gait, region and drivers between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industry suggest a need for baseline data specific to the Harness racing industry in New Zealand.

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Published online 02 December 2014
Descriptive statistics and the pattern of horse racing in New Zealand: Part One Thoroughbred racing 
Charlotte F. Bolwell, Chris W. Rogers, Erica K. Gee and Sarah M. Rosanowski

It is important to understand the ‘normal’ pattern of Thoroughbred racing in New Zealand in order to identify industry trends and changes. Over the past 7 years Thoroughbred racing has remained relatively consistent in terms of races, starts, and horses involved in racing. These results provide background for future studies of Thoroughbred racing in New Zealand.

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Published online 10 November 2014
Biological defleecing: intravenous infusion of amino acid mixtures lacking lysine and methionine creates a weakened zone in the wool staple, which is amenable to mechanical wool harvesting 
P. I. Hynd, N. M. Edwards, S. Weaver, K. Chenoweth, R. Stobart and N. Heberle

An alternative to manual shearing of sheep is required if the wool industry is to remain competitive with other textile fibres in the marketplace. We demonstrate that it is possible to create a weak zone in wool that can then remain on the animal for several weeks before removal without shearing. This work demonstrates the feasibility of a new approach to wool removal that should be further investigated.

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Published online 31 October 2014
Influence of maize particle size on the kinetics of starch digestion in the small intestine of growing pigs 
N. O. Amaral, L. G. M. Amaral, V. S. Cantarelli, E. T. Fialho, M. G. Zangeronimo and P. B. Rodrigues

The digestion rate of starch in the small intestine of pigs can affect the efficiency of nutrient utilisation. This study aimed to evaluate the digestion kinetics of starch, nutrient utilisation and performance of growing pigs fed diets containing corn of different sizes. The smaller corn particle had higher rate of digestion and feed efficiency without impacting the digestibility of starch. This may influence the amino acid requirement of pigs and should be considered in the formulation of diets.

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Published online 28 October 2014
Effects of supplementary bee pollen and its polysaccharides on nutrient digestibility and serum biochemical parameters in Holstein calves 
Yan Tu, Guo-Feng Zhang, Kai-Dong Deng, Nai-Feng Zhang and Qi-Yu Diao

The present study evaluated bee pollen or its polysaccharides as a feed additive in calves. The growth performance, serum biochemical parameters and nutrients apparent digestibility of 14–70-day-old calves were investigated and these showed that dietary supplementation of bee pollen and its polysaccharides at an optimum dosage were of benefit to calves. Bee pollen should be a new additive in a calf’s diet.

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Published online 28 October 2014
Relationship between the concentration of bone morphogenetic protein-15 (BMP-15) and growth differentiation factor-9 (GDF-9) in pre-ovulatory follicles, ovarian cysts and serum in sows 
Tomasz Stankiewicz and Barbara Błaszczyk

In sows, ovarian cysts constitute a significant proportion of ovarian dysfunction and are a serious problem disturbing fertility in pigs. Therefore, studies contributing to more fully explain the pathogenesis of porcine ovarian cysts are very important. Our studies suggest that BMP-15 and GDF-9, which belong to transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), may play a role in the mechanism of the formation of ovarian cysts, and to determine their concentrations in serum may be useful in the diagnosis of ovarian cysts in sows in the future.

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Published online 28 October 2014
Processing and storage of ratite oils affects primary oxidation status and radical scavenging ability 
Suzanne Mashtoub, Darin C. Bennett, Cuong D. Tran and Gordon S. Howarth

Treatments for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases seek to minimise oxidative damage by free radicals through the use of antioxidants such as those found in ratite (flightless birds) oils. The current study identified several factors which may impact the clinical efficacy of Emu Oil including farm location, diet composition, rendering procedures, time of render and duration of storage. Further studies would facilitate standardisation of Emu Oil bioactivity to ensure consistent health benefits.

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Published online 21 October 2014
Heart rate variability: a biomarker of dairy calf welfare 
J. B. Clapp, S. Croarkin, C. Dolphin and S. K. Lyons

Quantifying chronic stress, from pain and suffering, to assess welfare in farmed animals can be elusive, because behavioural observations are highly subjective and emotions of fear are hidden, while levels of the stress hormone (cortisol) are typically normal. Dairy calf welfare is compromised; from stress of early weaning, separation and isolation. We measured these management stressors non-invasively using heart rate variability (HRV) and showed that HRV was a welfare biomarker.

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Published online 30 September 2014
Performance of beef Guzerat and Guzerat-cross bulls during the feedlot, and carcass traits of Guzerat-cross groups 
F. B. Diniz, S. D. J. Villela, M. H. F. Mourthé, P. V. R. Paulino, A. V. Pires, R. C. Sousa, L. L. A. Oliveira and P. G. M. A. Martins

Guzerat (Bos indicus breed) animals have been used in crossbreeding programs for either beef, dairy or dual purposes, but studies evaluating their performance and carcass traits are scarce. We evaluated performance, carcass traits and meat cuts of Guzerat-based bulls. Results from this study indicate that all groups evaluated have potential for meat production since they meet the Brazilian beef industry standards, and bulls from a dual-purpose cross can be an option for dairy producers, to diversify revenues.

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Published online 05 May 2014
Selection for residual feed intake affects appetite and body composition rather than energetic efficiency 
D. S. Lines, W. S. Pitchford, C. D. K. Bottema, R. M. Herd and V. H. Oddy

Feed costs are the largest single cost in any animal production enterprise with improvements in feed efficiency able to reduce feed costs. This study aimed to understand the basis for feed efficiency measured by residual feed intake and variation in maintenance requirements. The results obtained suggest that body composition, specifically fat deposition, is affected through inherent differences in feed intake or appetite rather than maintenance requirements.

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Published online 25 February 2014
Genetic divergence in residual feed intake affects growth, feed efficiency, carcass and meat quality characteristics of Angus steers in a large commercial feedlot 
R. M. Herd, P. F. Arthur, C. D. K. Bottema, A. R. Egarr, G. H. Geesink, D. S. Lines, S. Piper, J. P. Siddell, J. M. Thompson and W. S. Pitchford

The cost of feed is the largest recurring cost of producing beef. Inherited variation in feed efficiency is known and this experiment was to demonstrate the benefit in a large commercial feedlot of breeding cattle for improved feed efficiency. The results obtained confirm the feed saving advantages of inherited superior feed efficiency and that previously reported trade-offs in carcass traits, while confirmed, were minor.

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Volume 55 Number 9 2015

 
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Table of Contents 
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The role and potential advantages of vitamin D metabolites in maintaining calcium status in high-producing dairy herds 
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J. J. McGrath , D. B. Savage and I. R. Godwin
pp. 1081-1089

The calcium status of the dairy cow may be contributing to reduced longevity and fertility. Cows excrete large amounts of calcium, which is the most important mineral in the diet. However, mechanisms for maintenance of calcium status have not been reviewed in high production pasture systems. Vitamin D metabolites and the correct dietary mineral levels may be an avenue for alleviation of declining longevity and productivity.

 
  
 

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Native Australian shrub legume species may provide an alternative feed source for livestock 
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P. A. O’Keeffe , D. J. Orchard , B. A. Orchard , J. W. Piltz and E. H. Clayton
pp. 1090-1096

Native plants are more tolerant of Australian conditions than introduced species and may provide farmers with an alternative feed source for livestock during times of drought. The nutritional value of 7 out of 15 selected native shrub legumes was found to be adequate for the needs of livestock. These species may be able to be included in low-input livestock grazing systems.

 
  
 

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Modelling the potential of birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) to reduce methane emissions and increase production on wool and prime lamb farm enterprises 
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Natalie Doran-Browne , Ralph Behrendt , Ross Kingwell and Richard Eckard
pp. 1097-1105

In 2011 the Australian government introduced a voluntary offset scheme called the Carbon Farming Initiative, which allows farmers to receive carbon credits when they reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Lotus corniculatus is a legume that inhibits the formation of methane in the rumen, as well as producing increased wool growth, liveweight gain and fecundity. This study showed that while the use of lotus reduced emissions, income from increased productivity was 15–30 times greater than from potential carbon offset income.

 
  
 

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Effect of climate variability on pasture-based dairy feeding systems in south-east Australia 
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Şeyda Özkan , Julian Hill and Brendan Cullen
pp. 1106-1116

Variability in climate affects plant growth, leading to uncertainty in pasture supply. Modelling the impact of climate variability on pasture production in this study revealed varying levels of feed deficits and surpluses, reflecting the incorporation of summer and winter crops into a traditional pasture-based system. Alternative feeding strategies with high-quality feed are a prerequisite to overcome feed gaps in dairying.

 
  
 

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Associative effects of poor-quality forages combined with food industry byproducts determined in vitro with an automated gas-production system 
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Franco Tagliapietra , Mirko Cattani , Matteo Guadagnin , Mohamed L. Haddi , Leonardo Sulas , Rosella Muresu , Andrea Squartini , Stefano Schiavon and Lucia Bailoni
pp. 1117-1122

In many areas of the Mediterranean region low-quality forages are largely diffused and may represent a potential feed resource for ruminants. The present study evidenced the presence of positive associative effects, with an increased in vitro gas production, when low-quality forages, milk thistle and crown daisy were used in mixtures with apple pomace and citrus pulp. Mixtures of low-quality roughages with food byproducts might represent a strategy to improve profitability and sustainability of livestock systems in arid and semi-arid areas.

 
  
 

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Effect of calcium salt of fatty acids supplementation on performance of Malpura lambs 
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R. S. Bhatt , A. Sahoo , A. K. Shinde and S. A. Karim
pp. 1123-1130

Lambs need a high energy ration to support faster growth but in arid and semiarid regions, heat stress is the major setback for achieving desired liveweight gain as it reduced the dry matter intake. Calcium salt of fatty acids (Ca-FA) increase the energy value of feed and are not degraded in the rumen, thereby, not affecting the rumen microbes adversely. The present study envisages the result of supplementation of a graded level of Ca-FA in concentrate on lamb growth and revealed that 40 g/kg Ca-FA prepared from industrial-grade rice bran oil in growing lamb rations improved liveweight gain, organic matter intake and digestibility and metabolisable energy intake during the post-weaning period with higher dressing yield.

 
  
 

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Strategic early treatment for control of sheep flystrike: potential economic benefits examined using a weather-driven model of flystrike risk 
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Brian J. Horton
pp. 1131-1144

The use of preventive chemical flystrike treatment before flies are active in early spring may restrict reproduction of the sheep blowfly. Modelling suggests that early treatment may reduce flystrike later in the fly season and reduce the need for additional preventive treatment. Further studies are required to determine the extent of the reduction in the risk of flystrike after early treatment.

 
  
 

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Dietary phosphate equivalence of four forms of Pi contrasted with a novel microbial phytase from Citrobacter braakii in broiler chickens 
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A. J. Cowieson , F. Fru-Nji and O. Adeola
pp. 1145-1151

Broiler diets are typically formulated to either available or digestible phosphorus concentrations and in many cases these two terms are used synonymously. However, available phosphorus is a relative term that is dependent on a reference inorganic phosphorus source and so can vary. The present experiment assessed the relative digestibility of various inorganic phosphorus sources, observed differences in bioefficacy and provided contrasting information for diet design and phytase inclusion strategies.

 
  
 

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Determination and prediction of the net energy content of seven feed ingredients fed to growing pigs based on chemical composition 
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D. W. Liu , L. Liu , D. F. Li and F. L. Wang
pp. 1152-1163

It is important to establish dynamic prediction models to estimate the available energy in feedstuffs for timely and accurate feed formulation. In our study, two experiments were conducted to study the correlation coefficients between available energy and chemical composition of seven feed ingredients and subsequently to establish prediction equations for net energy for these same ingredients. The NE prediction equations could be used to estimate the NE values of seven ingredients fed to growing pigs with acceptable accuracy.

 
  
 

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SNP included in candidate genes involved in muscle, lipid and energy metabolism behave like neutral markers 
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Natalia Sevane , Javier Cañon , John L. Williams , Hubert Levéziel , Alessio Valentini , Susana Dunner and the GemQual Consortium
pp. 1164-1171

Reliable estimates of the genetic relationships among populations are important to understand history and selection events in the formation of breeds. Using markers within genes that may be under selection may provide different information from neutral markers. The discriminant resolution power of single nucleotide polymorphisms within candidate genes related with beef production traits was used to evaluate the genetic relationships among bovine breeds. The data showed that there is marker-type specificity in revealing differences in the development of breeds.

 
    | Supplementary Material (2.1 MB)
 

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Transcriptome profiling of muscle by RNA-Seq reveals significant differences in digital gene expression profiling between Angus and Luxi cattle 
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G. F. Liu , H. J. Cheng , W. You , E. L. Song , X. M. Liu and F. C. Wan
pp. 1172-1178

RNA sequencing technology provides fascinating information about transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation. This study analysed the differences in muscle gene expression between Angus and Luxi cattle. The results provide unprecedented resolution of mRNAs expressed across the two breeds.

 
  
 

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Body condition score is a critical factor determining the onset of puberty in Blanca Andaluza female goat kids 
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L. Gallego-Calvo , M. C. Gatica , I. Celi , J. L. Guzmán and L. A. Zarazaga
pp. 1179-1183

The main objective was to determine the role of the body condition score on the onset of goat puberty. We designed an experiment to study the role of the body condition score as modulator of the onset of the puberty. We used Blanca Andaluza goat kids, an endangered native Spanish breed raised for meat production in extensive or semi-extensive grazing systems. The interest in this kind of system has been increased among Spanish farmers in recent years, more specifically for organic livestock. These results could support the goat farmers.

 
  
 

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Viability analyses of an endangered donkey breed: the case of the Asinina de Miranda (Equus asinus) 
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M. Quaresma , A. M. F. Martins , J. B. Rodrigues , J. Colaço and R. Payan-Carreira
pp. 1184-1191

Most European donkey breeds are disappearing and this genetic resource may be lost in a generation. How that happens at breed level is not fully documented, but our study indicates that the most critical factor is the low percentage of females breeding yearly. The percentage needed is ~50% per year, with current carrying capacity, reduced juvenile mortality and mortality at breeding age in females, reduced harvest and reduction in age at first offspring production also important.

 
  
 

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Quality and sensory characteristics of Culatello dry-cured products obtained from the Italian autochthonous pig Suino Nero Lucano and from a modern crossbred pig 
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Annamaria Perna , Amalia Simonetti , Immacolata Intaglietta and Emilio Gambacorta
pp. 1192-1199

Culatello dry-cured product is one of the most valuable products of Italian gastronomy and it is highly appreciated also at international level. Suino Nero Lucano is an Italian autochthonous pig breed and it represents a cultural and biological heritage that links the typical product to the territory. In this study the quality and sensory characteristics of Culatello dry-cured product obtained from Suino Nero Lucano pigs and from modern crossbreed pigs were investigated. Our results confirm that Suino Nero Lucano pigs represent a resource both for the obtainment of products with high nutritional and sensory value and for promoting the economic development of areas where they are raised.

 
  
 

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Effect of sex and slaughter weight on meat and fat quality of the Krškopolje pig reared in an enriched environment 
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M. Zemva , T. M. Ngapo , S. Malovrh , A. Levart and M. Kovac
pp. 1200-1206

Improvements in meat quality are constantly sought through sources of variation along the meat chain, one such source being native pig breeds, which are not only a part of biotic diversity, but also a part of the cultural heritage of many countries. Currently undergoing breed reconstruction, the Krškopolje pig from Slovenia, when raised in an enriched environment for the growing-finishing periods, showed good marbling content and composition. These initial meat quality findings show commercial potential for this breed.

 
  
 

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Effect of high temperatures on breeding rabbit behaviour 
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Antoni Dalmau , Bernardo Catanese , Oriol Rafel , Pedro Rodriguez , Carmen Fuentes , Pol Llonch , Eva Mainau , Antonio Velarde , Josep Ramón , Ester Taberner , Manel López-Béjar and Miriam Piles
pp. 1207-1214

Rabbits find it difficult to cope with high temperatures, especially when housed in typical commercial cages, where mobility is reduced. Changes in physiology and behaviour under controlled conditions of temperature were studied, and results showed that animals can adapt some of their important behaviours, such as grooming, once they could predict the thermal changes.

 
  
 

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

    AN15091  Accepted 27 August 2015
    Genetic evaluation of adult ewe body weight and condition and their relationship with lamb growth, reproduction, carcase and wool production
    Samuel Walkom, Daniel Brown
    Abstract


    AN15266  Accepted 26 August 2015
    Effects of whole raw soybean or whole cottonseed on milk yield and composition, digestibility, ruminal fermentation and blood metabolites of lactating dairy cows
    Gustavo Almeida, Tiago Del Valle, Pablo Paiva, Elmeson Ferreira de Jesus, Rafael Barletta, Jefferson Gandra, Vitor Bettero, Caio Takiya, Francisco Rennó
    Abstract


    AN15272  Accepted 22 August 2015
    Antimicrobial stewardship: What is it and how does it work?
    John Turnidge
    Abstract


    AN15333  Accepted 20 August 2015
    Composition of more specialized pre-starter and starter diets for young broiler chickens: a review
    Reza Barekatain, Robert Swick
    Abstract


    AN15286  Accepted 21 August 2015
    Are animal scientists forgetting the Scientific Method and the essential role of Statistics?
    John Black, Simon Diffey, Sharon Nielsen
    Abstract


    AN15197  Accepted 20 August 2015
    Effects of supplement or fertilizer on forage quality, and performance of stocker cattle grazing warm-season pastures
    J. Rivera, Melvin Gipson, Roy Gipson, Rocky Lemus
    Abstract


    AN14939  Accepted 21 August 2015
    Species composition and dispersal of nuisance flies breeding on egg farms in southern Australia
    Peter James, Chris Krawek, Nancy Schellhorn, Phil Glatz, Pat Pepper
    Abstract


    AN15292  Accepted 15 August 2015
    The Tale of Two Deer: Management of Milu and Sika Deer in Anthropogenic Landscape of East Asia
    Zhigang Jiang, Koichi Kaji, Xiaoge Ping
    Abstract


    AN15079  Accepted 14 August 2015
    Effect of early weaning age on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and serum parameters of lambs
    J.M. Chai, Tao Ma, H.C. Wang, M.L. Qi, Yan Tu, Qi-Yu Diao, Nai-Feng Zhang
    Abstract


    AN14556  Accepted 10 August 2015
    Physicochemical and Sensory Properties of Dry Cured Ham with Dietary Processed Sulfur Supplementation
    Ji-Han Kim, Ha-Young Noh, Gyeom-Heon Kim, Su-Jin Ahn, Go-Eun Hong, Soo-Ki Kim, Chi-Ho Lee
    Abstract


    AN14845  Accepted 07 August 2015
    Effect of dietary Lippia citriodora extract on reproductive and productive performance and plasma biochemical parameters in rabbit does
    Donato Casamassima, Marisa Palazzo, Francesco Vizzarri, Lubomir Ondruska, Peter Massanyi, Carlo Corino
    Abstract


    AN15262  Accepted 07 August 2015
    Hepatic lipidosis in high-yielding dairy cows during the transition period: haematochemical and histopathological findings
    Enrico Fiore, Giuseppe Piccione, Laura Perillo, Antonio Brberio, Elisabetta Manuali, Massimo Morgante, Matteo Gianesella
    Abstract


    AN14989  Accepted 07 August 2015
    Minhota breed cattle: carcass characterization and meat quality affected by sex and slaughter age
    Jose Pedro Araujo, Jose Manuel Lorenzo Rodriguez, Joaquin Cerqueira, Jose Antonio Vazquez, Preciosa Pires, Jesus Cantalapiedra, Daniel Franco
    Abstract


    AN15287  Accepted 06 August 2015
    Supplementation with crushed rapeseed causes reduction of methane emissions from lactating dairy cows on pasture
    Tonje Storlien, Egil Prestløkken, Karen Beauchemin, Tim McAllister, Alan Iwaasa, Odd Harstad
    Abstract


    AN141032  Accepted 06 August 2015
    Fasciola gigantica infection in large ruminants in northern Laos: smallholder knowledge and practices
    Luzia Rast, Sonevilay Nampanya, Jenny-Ann Toribio, Syseng Khounsy, Peter Windsor
    Abstract


    AN15043  Accepted 02 August 2015
    A traditional cattle trade network in Tak province, Thailand and its potential in the spread of infectious diseases
    Chamrat Khengwa, Papaspong Jongchansittoe, Poonyapat Sedwisai, Anuwat Wiratsudakul
    Abstract


    AN15153  Accepted 31 July 2015
    Forage intake, digestibility and performance of cattle, horses, sheep and goats grazing together on an improved heathland
    K Osoro, L Ferreira, Urcesino García, Antonio Martínez, Rafael Celaya
    Abstract


    AN14744  Accepted 30 July 2015
    Do price premiums for wool characteristics vary for different end products, processing routes and fibre diameter categories?
    David Cottle, Euan Fleming
    Abstract


    AN141010  Accepted 30 July 2015
    The effects of barley replacement by dehydrated citrus pulp on feed intake, performance, feeding behaviour and serum metabolic indicators in lambs
    Noor-Ehsan M. N. Gobindram, Matteo Bognanno, Giuseppe Luciano, Marcella Avondo, Giuseppe Piccione, Luisa Biondi
    Abstract


    AN14968  Accepted 27 July 2015
    Chilean consumers’ perception about animal welfare in dairy production systems: short communication
    Einar Vargas-Bello-Pérez, Jose Luis Riveros, Claus Köbrich, Pamela Alejandra Alvarez-Melo, Joop Lensink
    Abstract


    AN12428  Accepted 27 July 2015
    A review of factors influencing key biological components of maternal productivity in temperate beef cattle
    Brad Walmsley, Stephen Lee, Peter Parnell, Wayne Pitchford
    Abstract


    AN15084  Accepted 26 July 2015
    Survey of long-term productivity and nutritional status of Leucaena leucocephala-grass pastures in subtropical Queensland
    Alejandro Radrizzani, Harry Shelton, Olena Kravchuk, Scott Dalzell
    Abstract


    AN15300  Accepted 17 July 2015
    Influence of dietary glutamine supplementation on performance, biochemical indices and enzyme activities in broilers with cold-induced ascites
    Mohammad Heidari, Ali Asghar Ahmadisefat, Mahmood Habibian, Mohammad Mehdi Moeini
    Abstract


    AN14790  Accepted 17 July 2015
    The effect of feeding maize silage 1 or 9 hours before the herbage meal on dry matter intake, milk production, nitrogen partitioning and rumen function of lactating dairy cows
    Omar Al-Marashdeh, Pablo Gregorini, Sabrina Greenwood, Grant Edwards
    Abstract


    AN14797  Accepted 15 July 2015
    Divergent breeding values for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle. 4. Fat EBVs' influence on fatness fluctuation and supplementary feeding requirements
    Jeisane Accioly, Katrina Copping, Michael Deland, Michelle Hebart, Robert Herd, Stephen Lee, Fiona Jones, Michael Laurence, Jane Speijers, Brad Walmsley, Wayne Pitchford
    Abstract


    AN15090  Accepted 15 July 2015
    Season and reproductive status rather than genetics factors influence change in ewe weight and fat over time. 4. Genetic relationships of ewe weight and fat with fleece, reproduction and milk traits
    Samuel Walkom, Forbes Brien, Michelle Hebart, Neal Fogarty, Sue Hatcher, Wayne Pitchford
    Abstract


    AN14842  Accepted 13 July 2015
    Effect of fermentation of soybean meal with varying protein solubility on ileal digestibility of nutrients in growing pigs
    Santi Upadhaya, Je Hoon Ryu, Kyung Il Kang, Seong-Jun Cho, In Kim
    Abstract


    AN14957  Accepted 08 July 2015
    Variation in physiological profiles may explain breed differences in neonatal lamb thermoregulation
    Kate Plush, Michelle Hebart, Forbes Brien, Phil Hynd
    Abstract


    AN14987  Accepted 30 June 2015
    Carcass cut-out value and eating quality of longisssimus muscle from serially harvested savannah-raised Brahman–influenced cattle and water buffaloes in Venezuela
    Nelson Huerta-Leidenz, Argenis Rodas-Gonzalez, Argelis Vidal, Jesus Lopez-Nuñez, Obidio Colina
    Abstract


    AN15123  Accepted 24 June 2015
    Mineral nutrition of sheep: new insights into interactions when grazing vegetative crops. Comment on: "Liveweight gains of young sheep grazing dual-purpose wheat with sodium and magnesium supplied as direct supplement, or with magnesium supplied as fertiliser" by Dove, H., and W. Kelman Animal Production Science, Volume 55; Published online 20 February 2015.
    David Masters
    Abstract


    AN15222  Accepted 21 June 2015
    Reducing the carbon footprint of Australian milk production by mitigation of enteric methane emissions
    Peter Moate, Matthew Deighton, S.R.O. Williams, Jennie Pryce, Ben Hayes, Joe Jacobs, Richard Eckard, Murray Hannah, William Wales
    Abstract


    AN14906  Accepted 19 June 2015
    Sire breed and sex effects on the fatty acid composition and content of heart, kidney, liver, adipose and muscle tissues of purebred and first-cross prime lambs
    Aduli Enoch Othniel Malau-Aduli, Benjamin Holman, Arash Kashani, Peter Nichols
    Abstract


    AN15042  Accepted 18 June 2015
    Effects of DL-methionine supplement on growth performance and amino acid digestion and plasma levels in Sika deer calves (Cervus Nippon)
    Jian Huang, Weili Sun, Chunyi Li, Hanlu Liu, Tietao Zhang, Kun Bao, Yanyan Fan, Guangyu Li, Kaiying Wang
    Abstract


    AN14917  Accepted 15 June 2015
    Effect of protein level on growth performance, non carcass components and carcass characteristics of young sheep from three breeds
    Hadhami Hajji, Samir Smeti, Mohamed Ben Hamouda, Naziha Atti
    Abstract


    AN15082  Accepted 11 June 2015
    Influence of a short-term prepartum supplementation on beef cows and calves performance in pastoral conditions
    Graciela Quintans, Antonia Scarsi, Gonzalo Roig, Mariana Carriquiry, Georgget Banchero
    Abstract


    AN15039  Accepted 12 June 2015
    Effects of dietary Zinc supplementation on nutrient digestibility, hematological biochemical parameters and production performance in male sika deer (Cervus nippon)
    Kun Bao, Weili Sun, Chunyi Li, Kaiying Wang, Zhipeng Li, Shidan Bi, Guangyu Li
    Abstract


    AN15025  Accepted 11 June 2015
    Effect of late gestation body weight change and condition score on progeny feedlot performance
    Travis Mulliniks, Jason Sawyer, Flint Harrelson, Clay Mathis, Shad Cox, Clint Loest, Mark Petersen
    Abstract


    AN14858  Accepted 12 June 2015
    Home range of reintroduced Chinese water deer in Nanhui East Shoal Wildlife Sanctuary of Shanghai, China
    Xin He, Min Chen, Endi Zhang
    Abstract


    AN14901  Accepted 22 May 2015
    Determination of changes in bovine plasma and milk proteins during naturally occurring Escherichia coli mastitis by comparative proteomic analysis
    Yong Yang, suizhong Cao, Xiaowei Zhao, Dongwei Huang, Huiling Zhao, Guanglong Cheng
    Abstract


    AN15105  Accepted 20 May 2015
    Feeding semi-moist diets and highly digestible carbohydrate and protein sources in the prestarter phase on performance of broiler chicks
    Sayed Ali Tabeidian, Ghorbanali Sadeghi, Majid Toghyani, Mahmood Habibian
    Abstract


    AN14680  Accepted 14 May 2015
    Enhancement of physicochemical, microbiological and sensory properties of dry cured loin by using processed sulfur fed pigs
    Ji-Han Kim, Go-Eun Hong, Chang-Won Pyun, Woojoon Park, Chi-Ho Lee
    Abstract


    AN14993  Accepted 11 May 2015
    Effect of an energy supplementation, weaning and estrous synchronization on ovarian activity and ovulation in early postpartum primiparous Bos indicus cows raised in the tropics of Costa Rica
    Jaime Galindo, Sandra Estrada, Carlos Galina, Rafael Molina, David Contreras, Martin Maquivar
    Abstract


    AN14700  Accepted 06 April 2015
    Effect of residual feed intake phenotype–nutritional treatment interaction on the growth performance, plasma metabolic variables and somatotropic axis gene expression of growing ewes
    Haitao Nie, ZiYu Wang, Shan Lan, Yongjie Wan, Yixuan Fan, Yanli Zhang, Feng Wang, Hao Zhang
    Abstract


    AN14594  Accepted 13 January 2015
    Divergent breeding values for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle.6.Dam line impacts steer carcass compliance
    Michael Deland, Jeisane Accioly, Katrina Copping, John Graham, Stephen Lee, Peter McGilchrist, Wayne Pitchford
    Abstract


    AN14874  Accepted 05 January 2015
    Modelling systems to describe maternal productivity with the aim of improving beef production efficiency by eliciting practice change
    Brad Walmsley, Hutton Oddy
    Abstract


    AN14583  Accepted 13 November 2014
    Divergent breeding values for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle. 1. Pregnancy rates of heifers differed between fat lines and were affected by weight and fat.
    Fiona Jones, Jeisane Accioly, Katrina Copping, Michael Deland, John Graham, Michelle Hebart, Robert Herd, Michael Laurence, Stephen Lee, Jane Speijers, Wayne Pitchford
    Abstract


    AN14034  Accepted 04 August 2014
    Divergent breeding values for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle 5: Cow genotype affects feed efficiency and maternal productivity
    Michelle Hebart, Jeisane Accioly, Katrina Copping, Michael Deland, Robert Herd, Fiona Jones, Michael Laurence, Stephen Lee, David Lines, Jane Speijers, Brad Walmsley, Wayne Pitchford
    Abstract


    AN13060  Accepted 06 June 2014
    Maternal body composition in Australian seedstock herds: 1. Grazing management strategy influences perspectives on optimal balance of production traits and maternal productivity
    Stephen Lee, Ian Nuberg, Wayne Pitchford
    Abstract


    AN13258  Accepted 10 February 2014
    Genetic parameters for body composition of Angus and Hereford cows
    Kath Donoghue, Stephen Lee, Peter Parnell, Wayne Pitchford
    Abstract


    AN13533  Accepted 20 December 2013
    Maternal body composition in seedstock herds. 1. Relationships between cow body composition and BREEDPLAN EBVs for Angus and Hereford cows
    Stephen Lee, Kath Donoghue, Wayne Pitchford
    Abstract


    AN13295  Accepted 08 November 2013
    Divergent genotypes for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle: 3. Performance of mature cows.
    Katrina Copping, Jeisane Accioly, Michael Deland, Nick Edwards, John Graham, Michelle Hebart, Robert Herd, Fiona Jones, Michael Laurence, Stephen Lee, Jane Speijers, Wayne Pitchford
    Abstract


    AN13218  Accepted 24 October 2013
    Divergent genotypes for fatness or residual feed intake in Angus cattle. 2. Body composition but not reproduction was affected in first-parity cows on both low and high levels of nutrition.
    Michael Laurence, Jeisane Accioloy, Katrina Copping, Michael Deland, John Graham, Michelle Hebart, Robert Herd, Fiona Jones, Stephen Lee, Jane Speijers, Wayne Pitchford
    Abstract


    AN13054  Accepted 17 September 2013
    Genesis, design and methods of the Beef CRC Maternal Productivity Project
    Wayne Pitchford, Jeisane Accioly, Rob Banks, Anne Barnes, Stephen Barwick, Katrina Copping, Michael Deland, Kath Donoghue, Nick Edwards, Michelle Hebart, Robert Herd, Fiona Jones, Michael Laurence, Stephen Lee, Bill McKiernan, Peter Parnell, Jane Speijers, Geoff Tudor, John Graham
    Abstract


    AN13023  Accepted 02 August 2013
    Selection for increased muscling is not detrimental to maternal productivity traits in Angus cows
    Linda Cafe, Bill McKiernan, Dorothy Robinson
    Abstract


54


The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Rank Paper Details
1. Published 19 August 2014
Drives and limits to feed intake in ruminants

Michael S. Allen

2. Published 6 August 2014
Decreasing methane emissions from ruminants grazing forages: a fit with productive and financial realities?

David Pacheco, Garry Waghorn and Peter H. Janssen

3. Published 6 August 2014
Challenges in ration formulation in pasture-based milk production systems

J. L. Jacobs

4. Published 29 October 2014
The challenges and opportunities when integrating animal models into grazing system models for evaluating productivity and environmental impact

R. J. Eckard, V. O. Snow, I. R. Johnson and A. D. Moore

5. Published 19 August 2014
New ways of measuring intake, efficiency and behaviour of grazing livestock

Paul L. Greenwood, Philip Valencia, Leslie Overs, David R. Paull and Ian W. Purvis

6. Published 6 August 2014
Consequences of nutrition during gestation, and the challenge to better understand and enhance livestock productivity and efficiency in pastoral ecosystems

Paul L. Greenwood and Alan W. Bell

7. Published 19 August 2014
Antioxidant dynamics in the live animal and implications for ruminant health and product (meat/milk) quality: role of vitamin E and selenium

Surinder S. Chauhan, Pietro Celi, Eric N. Ponnampalam, Brian J. Leury, Fan Liu and Frank R. Dunshea

8. Published 2 March 2015
Monitoring liveweight in sheep is a valuable management strategy: a review of available technologies

D. J. Brown, D. B. Savage, G. N. Hinch and S. Hatcher

9. Published 19 August 2014
Recent developments in lipid metabolism in ruminants – the role of fat in maintaining animal health and performance

Beate Hiller

10. Published 19 August 2014
Win–win strategies for high beef quality, consumer satisfaction, and farm efficiency, low environmental impacts and improved animal welfare

J. F. Hocquette, R. Botreau, I. Legrand, R. Polkinghorne, D. W. Pethick, M. Lherm, B. Picard, M. Doreau and E. M. C. Terlouw

11. Published 6 August 2014
How feasible is it to replace urea with nitrates to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from extensively managed beef cattle?

M. J. Callaghan, N. W. Tomkins, I. Benu and A. J. Parker

12. Published 6 August 2014
The nexus between nutrient metabolism, oxidative stress and inflammation in transition cows

L. M. Sordillo and V. Mavangira

13. Published 19 August 2014
Ruminant glycogen metabolism

G. E. Gardner, P. McGilchrist and D. W. Pethick

14. Published 29 October 2014
Brief history and future of animal simulation models for science and application

J. L. Black

15. Published 29 October 2014
Extended Abstracts of papers presented at the 8th International Workshop on Modelling Nutrient Digestion and Utilisation in Farm Animals


16. Published 19 August 2014
Methane emissions and feeding behaviour of feedlot cattle supplemented with nitrate or urea

J. I. Velazco, D. J. Cottle and R. S. Hegarty

17. Published 6 August 2014
Nutritional programming and the reproductive function of the offspring

P. Chavatte-Palmer, C. Dupont, N. Debus and S. Camous

18. Published 29 October 2014
Prediction of nitrogen use in dairy cattle: a multivariate Bayesian approach

K. F. Reed, L. E. Moraes, J. G. Fadel, D. P. Casper, J. Dijkstra, J. France and E. Kebreab

19. Published 29 October 2014
The production of acetate, propionate and butyrate in the rumen of sheep: fitting models to 14C- or 13C-labelled tracer data to determine synthesis rates and interconversions

J. V. Nolan, R. A. Leng, R. C. Dobos and R. C. Boston

20. Published 29 October 2014
The potential of diverse pastures to reduce nitrogen leaching on New Zealand dairy farms

P. C. Beukes, P. Gregorini, A. J. Romera, S. L. Woodward, E. N. Khaembah, D. F. Chapman, F. Nobilly, R. H. Bryant, G. R. Edwards and D. A. Clark


      
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