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Animals, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2020) – 174 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Hatchery Byproduct Mixture on Growth Performance and Digestible Energy of Various Hatchery Byproduct Mixtures in Nursery Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(1), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010174 (registering DOI) - 20 Jan 2020
Abstract
The objectives were to determine effects of a hatchery byproduct mixture (HBM) on growth performance and to measure digestible energy concentrations in various HBM. In the growth performance experiment, 96 pigs (initial body weight = 9.6 ± 0.8 kg) were assigned to 4 [...] Read more.
The objectives were to determine effects of a hatchery byproduct mixture (HBM) on growth performance and to measure digestible energy concentrations in various HBM. In the growth performance experiment, 96 pigs (initial body weight = 9.6 ± 0.8 kg) were assigned to 4 dietary treatments in a randomized complete block design with 6 blocks. Each treatment consisted of 6 replicate pens with 4 pigs comprising 2 barrows and 2 gilts. Pigs were fed graded concentrations of HBM at 0%, 3.33%, 6.67%, and 10.00% for 14 days. In the energy digestibility experiment, 10 barrows (initial body weight = 11.5 ± 0.4 kg) were employed to determine digestible energy in HBM. A basal diet based on corn and soybean meal and 4 additional diets containing 25% of 4 different HBM were prepared. The marker-to-marker method was employed for total collection and the experimental design was a replicated 5 × 4 Latins square design. Growth performance was not compromised as the inclusion rate of HBM increased up to 10%. Digestible energy of HBM ranged from 2772 to 3887 kcal/kg as-is basis. In conclusion, HBM can be used in nursery pig diets and different energy values should be used for each HBM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Exploring Additive, Synergistic or Antagonistic Effects of Natural Plant Extracts on In Vitro Beef Feedlot-Type Rumen Microbial Fermentation Conditions
Animals 2020, 10(1), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010173 (registering DOI) - 20 Jan 2020
Abstract
Six Essential oils (EO) (tea tree oil—TeTr, oregano oil—Ore, clove bud oil—Clo, thyme oil—Thy, rosemary oil—Ros, and sage oil—Sag) in Experiment 1; and different combinations of selected oils in Experiment 2, were evaluate at four doses in an in vitro microbial fermentation system [...] Read more.
Six Essential oils (EO) (tea tree oil—TeTr, oregano oil—Ore, clove bud oil—Clo, thyme oil—Thy, rosemary oil—Ros, and sage oil—Sag) in Experiment 1; and different combinations of selected oils in Experiment 2, were evaluate at four doses in an in vitro microbial fermentation system using ruminal fluid from beef cattle fed a 10:90 straw: Concentrate diet. In Experiment 1, TeTr, Ore, Clo and Thy improved rumen fermentation profile in a direction consistent with better feed utilization. In Experiment 2, TeTr mixed with Thy, Ore, Thy + Ore or Clo at 200 and 400 mg/L increased the molar proportion of propionate and decreased that of acetate, and the acetate to propionate ratio. However, the size of the effect was similar to that obtained with TeTr alone, suggesting that effects were not additive. When Thy, Ore or Thy + Ore where mixed with Clo, most effects on rumen fermentation profile disappeared, suggesting an antagonistic interaction of Clo with Thy and Ore. Results do not support the hypothesis of additivity among the EO tested, and antagonistic effects of Clo mixed with Thy or Ore were demonstrated at least in a low pH, beef-type fermentation conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Vitro Digestibility in Animal Nutritional Studies)
Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Temperament on Body Temperature Response to Handling in Angus Cattle
Animals 2020, 10(1), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010172 (registering DOI) - 20 Jan 2020
Abstract
Previous studies have indicated that cattle with more excitable temperaments exhibit an increased stress response. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between temperament traits, handling, and stress-induced hyperthermia (SIH) in beef cattle. Rectal temperatures (TREC, °C) of [...] Read more.
Previous studies have indicated that cattle with more excitable temperaments exhibit an increased stress response. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between temperament traits, handling, and stress-induced hyperthermia (SIH) in beef cattle. Rectal temperatures (TREC, °C) of 60 purebred Angus cattle (30 heifers, 30 steers; 235.2 ± 5.11 kg) were recorded at 20 s intervals from 30 min prior to handling until two hours post handling. All cattle were exposed to a standardized handling procedure consisting of (i) being restrained in a weighing box for 30 s; (ii) being held within the crush for 30 s; and then (iii) being restrained in a head bail for 60 s. Cattle temperaments were evaluated via three traits: (1) agitometer score (AG); (2) crush score (CS); and (3) flight speed (FS) during the handling procedure. Agitometer scores and FS measures were used to describe an AG category (AGCAT) and an FS category (FSCAT) that were used to classify animals into three temperament categories: 1, calm; 2, intermediate; and 3, temperamental. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the associations between (i) AG, CS, FS, and TREC 30 min prior to entry into the weighing box (T-30) and then at 1 min intervals between time of entry into the weighing box (T0) until 10 min post-weighing (T10); and (ii) the relationship between AG, CS, and FS. The relationship between TREC and temperament traits over the 2.5 h were modeled by using a first-order autoregressive repeated measures model. Flight speed had strong to moderate associations with TREC at T-30 (r ≥ 0.37; p ≤ 0.006) and between T0 and T10 (r ≥ 0.36; p ≤ 0.01). There were moderate associations amongst TREC between T0 and T10 and CS (r ≥ 0.31; p ≤ 0.01). A weak relationship existed with CS (r = 0.16; p = 0.16). There were no associations between AG and TREC at T-30 (r ≥ −0.15; p = 0.84) or between T0 and T10 (r ≤ 0.04; p ≥ 0.4). Rectal temperature, irrespective of sex and temperament traits, was influenced by time (p < 0.0001), and maximum TREC (39.3 ± 0.04 °C) occurred between 4 and 5.7 min after entry into the weighing box. In addition, CS (p = 0.007) influenced TREC in these cattle. There were also time × temperament trait × sex interactions with the CS (p = 0.0003) and FSCAT (p = 0.043) categories; however, time × temperament trait interactions were not statistically significant. Results from this study suggest that cattle with excitable temperaments, as evaluated by FS and CS, have a greater increase in TREC. In addition, these results suggest that a relationship exists between basal TREC and FS and CS. Together, these results highlight that temperament, as assessed by FS and CS, influences both basal TREC and the peak temperature recorded following handling but does not influence the magnitude of change in TREC post handling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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Open AccessArticle
β-Sitosterol Attenuates High Grain Diet-Induced Inflammatory Stress and Modifies Rumen Fermentation and Microbiota in Sheep
Animals 2020, 10(1), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010171 (registering DOI) - 19 Jan 2020
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Abstract
β-sitosterol (BSS) is a plant-derived natural bioactive compound, its cellular mechanism of anti-inflammatory activity has been proven recently. Little information is available regarding the application of BSS on ruminants under high grain diet. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects [...] Read more.
β-sitosterol (BSS) is a plant-derived natural bioactive compound, its cellular mechanism of anti-inflammatory activity has been proven recently. Little information is available regarding the application of BSS on ruminants under high grain diet. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary BSS supplementation on inflammatory response, ruminal fermentation characteristics and the composition of the ruminal bacterial community under high grain diet. Eight rumen-cannulated Hu sheep (59.7 ± 4.8 kg of initial body weight) were randomly assigned into a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design trial. Sheep were fed a high grain diet (non-fiber carbohydrate: neutral detergent fiber = 2.03) supplemented either with 0.25 (LBS), 0.5 (MBS), 1.0 (HBS) or without (CON) g BSS /kg dry matter diet. On day 21 of each period, rumen content samples were obtained at 6 h postfeeding, and blood samples were obtained before morning feeding. The data showed that compared with control group, Dietary BSS supplementation decreased serum concentrations of tumor necrosis factor, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-1β. The ruminal pH and acetate concentration for BSS treatment were improved, while concentration of propionate, butyrate and lactate was decreased. The result of Illumina MiSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene revealed that BSS addition can increase the proportion of Prevotella_1, Rikenellaceae_RC9_gut_group, Prevotella_7, and Selenomonas_1, and decrease the proportion of Lachnospiraceae_NK3A20_group. These results indicated that BSS attenuates high grain diet-induced inflammatory response and modifies ruminal fermentation. In addition, the BSS dietary supplementation at the level of 0.5 g/kg is recommended in sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Association Study of Body Weight Traits in Chinese Fine-Wool Sheep
Animals 2020, 10(1), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010170 (registering DOI) - 19 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Body weight is an important economic trait for sheep and it is vital for their successful production and breeding. Therefore, identifying the genomic regions and biological pathways that contribute to understanding variability in body weight traits is significant for selection purposes. In this [...] Read more.
Body weight is an important economic trait for sheep and it is vital for their successful production and breeding. Therefore, identifying the genomic regions and biological pathways that contribute to understanding variability in body weight traits is significant for selection purposes. In this study, the genome-wide associations of birth, weaning, yearling, and adult weights of 460 fine-wool sheep were determined using resequencing technology. The results showed that 113 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) reached the genome-wide significance levels for the four body weight traits and 30 genes were annotated effectively, including AADACL3, VGF, NPC1, and SERPINA12. The genes annotated by these SNPs significantly enriched 78 gene ontology terms and 25 signaling pathways, and were found to mainly participate in skeletal muscle development and lipid metabolism. These genes can be used as candidate genes for body weight in sheep, and provide useful information for the production and genomic selection of Chinese fine-wool sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
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Open AccessArticle
Rumen Fermentation and Fatty Acid Composition of Milk of Mid Lactating Dairy Cows Grazing Chicory and Ryegrass
Animals 2020, 10(1), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010169 (registering DOI) - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 106
Abstract
The goals of the current study were to investigate the effects of including chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) into the traditional feeding regime of ryegrass/white clover (Lolium perenne L./Trifolium repens L.), and time of its allocation on milk production, rumen fermentation, [...] Read more.
The goals of the current study were to investigate the effects of including chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) into the traditional feeding regime of ryegrass/white clover (Lolium perenne L./Trifolium repens L.), and time of its allocation on milk production, rumen fermentation, and FA composition of milk and rumen digesta of dairy cows. Nine groups of four cows were allocated one of three replicated feeding regimes: (1) ryegrass/white clover only (RGWC), (2) ryegrass/white clover + morning allocation of chicory (CHAM), and (3) ryegrass/white clover + afternoon allocation of chicory (CHPM). One cow per group had a rumen cannulae fitted. Treatment did not affect total grazing time or estimated dry matter intake, but cows ruminated more when fed RGWC than chicory. Allocating chicory in the afternoon elevated milk production compared with RGWC and CHAM. Milk from cows grazing chicory contained greater concentrations of polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) such as C18:3 c9, 12, 15 and C18:2 c9, 12 than those on RGWC. As with milk, rumen digesta concentration of PUFA increased when cows grazed on chicory rather than RGWC, which corresponded with lower concentrations of intermediate vaccenic and biohydrogenation end-product stearic acid for cows grazing on chicory. Mean ruminal pH was lower for cows offered chicory than those on RGWC, reflecting greater rumen concentrations of volatile fatty acids (VFA) for cows fed chicory. Allocating chicory during the afternoon is a useful strategy that can translate to improved milk production. The lower rumen pH, lower concentration of vaccenic and stearic acids, and elevated concentration of PUFA in the rumen of cows fed chicory suggest reduced biohydrogenation and may explain the elevated concentration of PUFA in the milk of cows fed chicory compared with those fed RGWC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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Open AccessArticle
Myostatin (MSTN) Gene Indel Variation and Its Associations with Body Traits in Shaanbei White Cashmere Goat
Animals 2020, 10(1), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010168 (registering DOI) - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 84
Abstract
Myostatin (MSTN) gene, also known as growth differentiation factor 8 (GDF8), is a member of the transforming growth factor-beta super-family and plays a negative role in muscle development. It acts as key points during pre- and post-natal life of [...] Read more.
Myostatin (MSTN) gene, also known as growth differentiation factor 8 (GDF8), is a member of the transforming growth factor-beta super-family and plays a negative role in muscle development. It acts as key points during pre- and post-natal life of amniotes that ultimately determine the overall muscle mass of animals. There are several studies that concentrate on the effect of a 5 bp insertion/deletion (indel) within the 5’ untranslated region (5’ UTR) of goat MSTN gene in goats. However, almost all sample sizes were below 150 individuals. Only in Boer goats, the sample sizes reached 482. Hence, whether the 5 bp indel was still associated with the growth traits of goats in large sample sizes which were more reliable is not clear. To find an effective and dependable DNA marker for goat rearing, we first enlarged the sample sizes (n = 1074, Shaanbei White Cashmere goat) which would enhance the robustness of the analysis and did the association analyses between the 5 bp indel and growth traits. Results uncovered that the 5 bp indel was significantly related to body height, height at hip cross, and chest width index (p < 0.05). In addition, individuals with DD genotype had a superior growing performance than those with the ID genotype. These findings suggested that the 5 bp indel in MSTN gene are significantly associated with growth traits and the specific genotype might be promising for maker-assisted selection (MAS) of goats. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating the Reliability of Non-Specialist Observers in the Behavioural Assessment of Semi-Captive Asian Elephant Welfare
Animals 2020, 10(1), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010167 (registering DOI) - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 235
Abstract
Recognising stress is an important component in maintaining the welfare of captive animal populations, and behavioural observation provides a rapid and non-invasive method to do this. Despite substantial testing in zoo elephants, there has been relatively little interest in the application of behavioural [...] Read more.
Recognising stress is an important component in maintaining the welfare of captive animal populations, and behavioural observation provides a rapid and non-invasive method to do this. Despite substantial testing in zoo elephants, there has been relatively little interest in the application of behavioural assessments to the much larger working populations of Asian elephants across Southeast Asia, which are managed by workers possessing a broad range of behavioural knowledge. Here, we developed a new ethogram of potential stress- and work-related behaviour for a semi-captive population of Asian elephants. We then used this to collect observations from video footage of over 100 elephants and evaluated the reliability of behavioural welfare assessments carried out by non-specialist observers. From observations carried out by different raters with no prior experience of elephant research or management, we tested the reliability of observations between-observers, to assess the general inter-observer agreement, and within-observers, to assess the consistency in behaviour identification. The majority of ethogram behaviours were highly reliable both between- and within-observers, suggesting that overall, behaviour was highly objective and could represent easily recognisable markers for behavioural assessments. Finally, we analysed the repeatability of individual elephant behaviour across behavioural contexts, demonstrating the importance of incorporating a personality element in welfare assessments. Our findings highlight the potential of non-expert observers to contribute to the reliable monitoring of Asian elephant welfare across large captive working populations, which may help to both improve elephant wellbeing and safeguard human workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Captive Elephant Welfare and Behaviour)
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Total Dissolved Gas Supersaturation on the Survival of Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys Nobilis)
Animals 2020, 10(1), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010166 (registering DOI) - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 116
Abstract
To assess the effect of TDG on the survival of different sizes of pelagic fish, bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) were subjected to TDG supersaturated water at levels of 125, 130, 135, and 140%. The results showed that apparent abnormal behaviours and [...] Read more.
To assess the effect of TDG on the survival of different sizes of pelagic fish, bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) were subjected to TDG supersaturated water at levels of 125, 130, 135, and 140%. The results showed that apparent abnormal behaviours and symptoms of gas bubble disease (GBD) were observed in bighead carp. The survival probability of large and small juvenile bighead carp declined with increasing TDG levels. The median survival time (ST50) values of large juvenile bighead carp were 74.97 and 31.90 h at 130% and 140% TDG, respectively. While the ST50 of small fish were 22.40 and 6.72 h at the same TDG levels. In comparison to the large juvenile bighead carp, the small juvenile bighead carp showed weaker tolerance to TDG supersaturated water. Furthermore, acute lethality experiments after chronic exposure to TDG were initiated to further investigate the effect of TDG on bighead carp. The juveniles were first subjected to 115% TDG supersaturated water for 96 h. After chronic exposure, live fish were immediately transferred to TDG supersaturated water at levels of 125, 130, 135, and 140%. The results demonstrated that no fish died under chronic exposure and few fish exhibited slight GBD symptoms. The ST50 values for bighead carp subjected to acute exposure after chronic exposure were 61.23 and 23.50 h at 130 and 140%, respectively. Compared with the bighead carp subjected to acute exposure, bighead carp subjected to multiple exposures were more vulnerable to TDG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Pollutants on Fish)
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Open AccessArticle
Measurement of Fecal Testosterone Metabolites in Mice: Replacement of Invasive Techniques
Animals 2020, 10(1), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010165 (registering DOI) - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 131
Abstract
Testosterone is the main reproductive hormone in male vertebrates and conventional methods to measure testosterone rely on invasive blood sampling procedures. Here, we aimed to establish a non-invasive alternative by assessing testosterone metabolites (TMs) in fecal and urinary samples in mice. We performed [...] Read more.
Testosterone is the main reproductive hormone in male vertebrates and conventional methods to measure testosterone rely on invasive blood sampling procedures. Here, we aimed to establish a non-invasive alternative by assessing testosterone metabolites (TMs) in fecal and urinary samples in mice. We performed a radiometabolism study to determine the effects of daytime and sex on the metabolism and excretion pattern of radiolabeled TMs. We performed physiological and biological validations of the applied EIA to measure TMs and assessed diurnal fluctuations in TM excretions in male and female mice and across strains. We found that males excreted significantly more radiolabeled TMs via the feces (59%) compared to females (49.5%). TM excretion patterns differed significantly between urinary and fecal samples and were affected by the daytime of ³H-testosterone injection. Overall, TM excretion occurred faster in urinary than fecal samples. Peak excretion of fecal TMs occurred after 8 h when animals received the 3H-testosterone in the morning, or after 4 h when they received the 3H-testosterone injection in the evening. Daytime had no effect on the formed TMs; however, males and females formed different types of TMs. As expected, males showed higher fecal TM levels than females. Males also showed diurnal fluctuations in their TM levels but we found no differences in the TM levels of C57BL/6J and B6D2F1 hybrid males. Finally, we successfully validated our applied EIA (measuring 17β-hydroxyandrostane) by showing that hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) administration increased TM levels, whereas castration reduced them. In conclusion, our EIA proved suitable for measuring fecal TMs in mice. Our non-invasive method to assess fecal TMs can be widely used in various research disciplines like animal behavior, reproduction, animal welfare, ecology, conservation, and biomedicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Social Referencing in the Domestic Horse
Animals 2020, 10(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010164 (registering DOI) - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 305
Abstract
Dogs and cats use human emotional information directed to an unfamiliar situation to guide their behavior, known as social referencing. It is not clear whether other domestic species show similar socio-cognitive abilities in interacting with humans. We investigated whether horses (n = [...] Read more.
Dogs and cats use human emotional information directed to an unfamiliar situation to guide their behavior, known as social referencing. It is not clear whether other domestic species show similar socio-cognitive abilities in interacting with humans. We investigated whether horses (n = 46) use human emotional information to adjust their behavior to a novel object and whether the behavior of horses differed depending on breed type. Horses were randomly assigned to one of two groups: an experimenter positioned in the middle of a test arena directed gaze and voice towards the novel object with either (a) a positive or (b) a negative emotional expression. The duration of subjects’ position to the experimenter and the object in the arena, frequency of gazing behavior, and physical interactions (with either object or experimenter) were analyzed. Horses in the positive condition spent more time between the experimenter and object compared to horses in the negative condition, indicating less avoidance behavior towards the object. Horses in the negative condition gazed more often towards the object than horses in the positive condition, indicating increased vigilance behavior. Breed types differed in their behavior: thoroughbreds showed less human-directed behavior than warmbloods and ponies. Our results provide evidence that horses use emotional cues from humans to guide their behavior towards novel objects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mutual Recognition of Emotions in the Human-Animal Relationship)
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Open AccessArticle
Welfare Implications for Hares, Lepus timidus hibernicus, Taken from the Wild for Licensed Hare Coursing in Ireland
Animals 2020, 10(1), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010163 (registering DOI) - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 270
Abstract
Hare coursing is legal in the Republic of Ireland under licenses issued to coursing clubs but is illegal in other jurisdictions in the British Isles including Northern Ireland. Supporters of coursing maintain that coursing contributes to the conservation of the hare whilst opponents [...] Read more.
Hare coursing is legal in the Republic of Ireland under licenses issued to coursing clubs but is illegal in other jurisdictions in the British Isles including Northern Ireland. Supporters of coursing maintain that coursing contributes to the conservation of the hare whilst opponents claim that coursing is cruel and the welfare of the hares is compromised. However, while the contribution of coursing to conservation has been considered, the impact of coursing on hare welfare has not been investigated. This paper reviews publicly available information from licensed hare coursing clubs over four coursing seasons, including the number of hares taken from the wild, numbers coursed, and numbers pinned to the ground by dogs, killed or injured during coursing events. In total, 19,402 hares were taken from the wild—98% of which were subsequently released back to the wild at the end of the coursing season. Almost 600 hares were pinned by greyhounds during coursing events and 75 were either killed or had to be euthanized as a result of their injuries. While the number of hares killed or injured is relatively small compared to the number caught, the welfare of all captured hares will have been compromised and has not been investigated. Policy makers must fill this knowledge gap or take a precautionary approach and further regulate or indeed prohibit the capture of hares which are otherwise fully protected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Welfare of Wild Vertebrates)
Open AccessArticle
Organic Farming as a Strategy to Reduce Carbon Footprint in Dehesa Agroecosystems: A Case Study Comparing Different Livestock Products
Animals 2020, 10(1), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010162 (registering DOI) - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 126
Abstract
This study employs life cycle assessment (LCA) for the calculation of the balance (emissions minus sequestration) of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the organic livestock production systems of dehesas in the southwest region of Spain. European organic production standards regulate these systems. As [...] Read more.
This study employs life cycle assessment (LCA) for the calculation of the balance (emissions minus sequestration) of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the organic livestock production systems of dehesas in the southwest region of Spain. European organic production standards regulate these systems. As well as calculating the system’s emissions, this method also takes into account the soil carbon sequestration values. In this sense, the study of carbon sequestration in organic systems is of great interest from a legislation viewpoint. The results reveal that the farms producing meat cattle with calves sold at weaning age provide the highest levels of carbon footprint (16.27 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq)/kg of live weight), whereas the farms with the lowest levels of carbon emissions are montanera pig and semi-extensive dairy goat farms, i.e., 4.16 and 2.94 kg CO2eq/kg of live weight and 1.19 CO2eq/kg of fat and protein corrected milk (FPCM), respectively. Enteric fermentation represents 42.8% and 79.9% of the total emissions of ruminants’ farms. However, in pig farms, the highest percentage of the emissions derives from manure management (36.5%–42.9%) and animal feed (31%–37.7%). The soil sequestration level has been seen to range between 419.7 and 576.4 kg CO2eq/ha/year, which represents a considerable compensation of carbon emissions. It should be noted that these systems cannot be compared with other more intensive systems in terms of product units and therefore, the carbon footprint values of dehesa organic systems must always be associated to the territory. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
A Treatment Plan for Dogs (Canis familiaris) That Show Impaired Social Functioning towards Their Owners
Animals 2020, 10(1), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010161 (registering DOI) - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 128
Abstract
Many domestic dogs are uncomfortable when humans perform trivial and benign actions that the animals perceive as threatening. A common technique for addressing canine emotional discomfort involves desensitization, where the intensity of a problematic stimulus is gradually increased while the dog remains relaxed. [...] Read more.
Many domestic dogs are uncomfortable when humans perform trivial and benign actions that the animals perceive as threatening. A common technique for addressing canine emotional discomfort involves desensitization, where the intensity of a problematic stimulus is gradually increased while the dog remains relaxed. Desensitization requires a skillful owner and is complicated when actions of the owner are the stimuli to be desensitised. This paper introduces a behaviour modification programme for dogs with impaired social functioning in relation to the (inter)actions by their owners, consisting of (1) increasing owner knowledge and awareness regarding dog body language and perception of owner actions, (2) management of the daily life of the dog through general stress reduction and avoidance of stressful situations, and (3) behaviour modification through training. The latter component entails a non-threatening, predictable exercise in which the dog has control over any perceived threats, the introduction of the safety cue with subsequent desensitization, and engaging activities with the owner that the dog finds enjoyable. We also present a case series report to examine a selection of dogs with impaired social functioning, from signalment to outcome, when treated with the proposed behaviour modification and examine which adaptations were made to the plan according to individual dogs. Finally, we avenues for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals of Clinical Animal Behaviour)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Transport Conditions on Behavioural and Physiological Responses of Horses
Animals 2020, 10(1), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010160 - 17 Jan 2020
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Abstract
The regulations for minimal space and direction of travel for land transport in horses vary worldwide and there is currently no definitive guidance to promote equine health and welfare. This study evaluated the effects of bay size and direction of travel (forwards/backwards) in [...] Read more.
The regulations for minimal space and direction of travel for land transport in horses vary worldwide and there is currently no definitive guidance to promote equine health and welfare. This study evaluated the effects of bay size and direction of travel (forwards/backwards) in horses by comparing the behavioural, physiological, laboratory and gastroscopy parameters between transported and confined horses. A total of twenty-six mares took part in the study; 12 horses were confined for 12 h, and all mares underwent 12 hours’ transportation, travelling in single (n = 18) or wide bays (n = 8), and forward (n = 10) or rear (n = 16) facing. Behaviour was recorded during confinement/transportation and analysed using a behaviour sampling ethogram. Clinical examination, blood samples and gastroscopy were conducted before and after confinement/transportation. The frequency of behaviours relating to stress and balance increased during transport, and horses transported in a rear-facing position and in a wider bay size showed fewer balance-related behaviours. Balance behaviours, particularly loss of balance, were positively associated with the severity of gastric ulceration after transportation and elevated muscle enzymes, while increased stress behaviours correlated with decreased gastrointestinal sounds. Heart rate and rectal temperature after transportation were positively associated with balance and stress behaviours, and with squamous gastric ulcer scores. Transportation was associated with expected increases in cortisol and muscle enzymes, but positioning and space allowance had minimal effects on these analytes. Findings suggest that transportation in a rear-facing position and in wider bays might reduce the impact of transport on horse health and welfare, and monitoring behaviour in transit and physiological measurements after transportation should be recommended. Behavioural and physiological parameters were more sensitive than haematological, biochemical or endocrine analytes to identify horses suffering from transport stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horse Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
The View of the French Dog Breeders in Relation to Female Reproduction, Maternal Care and Stress during the Peripartum Period
Animals 2020, 10(1), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010159 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 145
Abstract
In France, as in many other western countries, dogs are an important part of the society as pets or working animals. The exact demand for puppies in France is unknown, as is the proportion of dogs coming from different breeding sources. Nevertheless, the [...] Read more.
In France, as in many other western countries, dogs are an important part of the society as pets or working animals. The exact demand for puppies in France is unknown, as is the proportion of dogs coming from different breeding sources. Nevertheless, the origin of puppies is important since young dogs from puppy mills and pet stores appear to be more likely to develop behavioral disorders. Puppies coming from responsible breeders, on the other hand, tend to be better adapted. In well-managed kennels, an explanation for these behavioral differences may be associated with greater contact of litters with the dam and humans. Another factor that might influence a dog’s temperament and character is maternal behavior. Although recent studies have shown that the quality of maternal care in dogs is important, direct effects on the development of behavioral problems such as fearfulness or noise sensitivity are still controversial. To better understand the view of breeders, due to an increased interest in maternal care of dogs, an online questionnaire was developed to assess the dog breeders’ profiles and to explore their perception of normal maternal and stress-related behaviors during the peripartum period. In addition, the management of the female during this critical time was queried. Three-hundred and forty-five French dog breeders, representing 91 breeds, completed the online survey. Considering the demographics of the responders, breeding activity in France is mostly family-based with 76% raising two breeds of dogs that produce, on average, five litters/year. Around 60% of the breeders use progesterone levels to determine breeding date. The whelping date is estimated using multiple criteria and most labors and deliveries happen under human supervision. The majority of behaviors associated to good maternal care are defined by the vast majority as being related to more attention of the bitch towards the puppies with the frequency of nursing and licking being important clues. Globally, the peripartum is perceived as a stressful period and to minimize stress and reassure the bitch the favored method used is increasing human presence. Problems related to maternal behavior were described, notably with primiparous bitches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Causes of Mortality and Disease in Rabbits and Hares: A Retrospective Study
Animals 2020, 10(1), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010158 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 146
Abstract
In this study we determined the causes of mortality and disease in a total of 325 lagomorphs (rabbits and hares) in northern Spain between 2000 and 2018. Risk factors such as the species, age, sex, time of year and origin were also considered. [...] Read more.
In this study we determined the causes of mortality and disease in a total of 325 lagomorphs (rabbits and hares) in northern Spain between 2000 and 2018. Risk factors such as the species, age, sex, time of year and origin were also considered. Clinical signs, gross and histopathological findings and ancillary test results were the basis for the final diagnoses that were reviewed to classify and identify the different disorders. A total of 26 different conditions were identified. A single cause of death or illness was detected in 267 animals. They were grouped into parasitic conditions (n= 65; 24.34%) represented by encephalitozoonosis, hepatic coccidiosis, hepatoperitoneal cysticercosis, intestinal coccidiosis, parasitic gastritis and cutaneous ectoparasitosis; bacterial diseases (n = 56; 20.97%) including pseudotuberculosis, blue breast, skin abscesses, tularemia, pneumonic pasteurellosis and staphylococcal infections; nutritional and metabolic diseases (n = 48; 17.97%) with epizootic rabbit enteropathy, hepatic steatosis and pregnancy toxemia as prominent diseases; viral infections (n= 31; 11.61%) comprising rabbit hemorrhagic disease and myxomatosis and miscellaneous causes (n = 31; 11.61%) where rabbit enteritis complex, renal conditions (nephrosis), heat stroke, and arterial bone metaplasia were included; neoplasms (n = 12; 4.49%) represented by uterine adenocarcinoma, mammary adenocarcinoma, cutaneous fibroma, intestinal lymphoma and hepatic cholangiocarcinoma; toxicoses (n = 11; 4.11%); trauma-related injuries (n = 9; 3.37%) and finally congenital diseases (n = 4; 1.49%). In 58 animals of the study, some of these conditions were presented jointly. We discuss the detection frequency, possible causes or associated factors of the different pathologies as well as the importance of the different variables considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disease and Immunology of Rabbits)
Open AccessArticle
Circadian Rhythm of Salivary Immunoglobulin A and Associations with Cortisol as A Stress Biomarker in Captive Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus)
Animals 2020, 10(1), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010157 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 219
Abstract
Salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA) has been proposed as a potential indicator of welfare for various species, including Asian elephants, and may be related to adrenal cortisol responses. This study aimed to distinguish circadian rhythm effects on sIgA in male and female Asian elephants [...] Read more.
Salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA) has been proposed as a potential indicator of welfare for various species, including Asian elephants, and may be related to adrenal cortisol responses. This study aimed to distinguish circadian rhythm effects on sIgA in male and female Asian elephants and compare patterns to those of salivary cortisol, information that could potentially have welfare implications. Subjects were captive elephants at an elephant camp in Chiang Mai province, Thailand (n = 5 males, 5 females). Salivette® kits were used to collect saliva from each elephant every 4 h from 06:00 to 22:00 h for 3 consecutive days (n = 15 samples/elephant). Enzyme immunoassays were used to quantify concentrations of IgA and cortisol in unextracted saliva. Circadian rhythm patterns were determined using a generalized least-squares method. Both sIgA and cortisol followed a circadian rhythm, although the patterns differed. sIgA displayed a daily quartic trend, whereas cortisol concentrations demonstrated a decreasing linear trend in concentrations throughout the day. There was no clear relationship between patterns of sIgA and salivary cortisol, implying that mechanisms of control and secretion differ. Results demonstrate for the first time that circadian rhythms affect sIgA, and concentrations follow a daily quartic pattern in Asian elephants, so standardizing time of collection is necessary. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Birth Weight and Postnatal Nutritional Restriction on Skeletal Muscle Development, Myofiber Maturation, and Metabolic Status of Early-Weaned Piglets
Animals 2020, 10(1), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010156 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 168
Abstract
Piglets with light weaning weight commonly have a slow post-weaning growth rate due to impaired skeletal muscle development. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the impact of birth weight and nutrient intake on skeletal muscle development, myofiber maturation, and metabolic status of [...] Read more.
Piglets with light weaning weight commonly have a slow post-weaning growth rate due to impaired skeletal muscle development. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the impact of birth weight and nutrient intake on skeletal muscle development, myofiber maturation, and metabolic status of early-weaned piglets. Twelve pairs of normal birth weight and intrauterine growth-retarded (IUGR) piglets (seven days old) were randomly assigned to receive adequate nutrient intake or restricted nutrient intake for 21 days. Serum and muscle samples were collected for further analysis. The results indicated that muscle weight, cross-sectional areas, and muscular glycogen were lower (p < 0.05) in both IUGR and restricted fed piglets. Nutrient restriction decreased the contents of RNA, the RNA to DNA ratio, and the percentages of myosin heavy chain (MyHC) IIx (p < 0.05), whereas increased the activity of β-hydroxy-acyl-CoA-dehydrogenase (HAD), the ratio of HAD to citrate synthase, as well as the percentages of MyHC I (p < 0.05). In addition, nutrient restriction significantly decreased muscular glycogen, mRNA levels of fatty acid transport protein 1, cationic amino acid transporter 1, and glucose transporter 4 in IUGR piglets compared with the other groups (p < 0.05). The results of the present study showed that IUGR impaired skeletal muscle growth and disturbed the hormone and mRNA expression of genes related to energy metabolism, which led to a more severe energy deficit when receiving postnatal nutritional restriction. Postnatal nutritional restriction resulted in delayed myofiber maturation of the piglets, which may be associated with the transformation of MyHC isoform and the change of metabolic status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Could Dietary Black Soldier Fly Meal Inclusion Affect the Liver and Intestinal Histological Traits and the Oxidative Stress Biomarkers of Siberian Sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) Juveniles?
Animals 2020, 10(1), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010155 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 185
Abstract
The trial investigates if a highly defatted Hermetia illucens larva meal (H) at two dietary inclusion levels and a vegetable protein based diet (VEG) influences the normal gut and liver histology and the oxidative stress biomarkers in liver and kidney of Siberian sturgeon [...] Read more.
The trial investigates if a highly defatted Hermetia illucens larva meal (H) at two dietary inclusion levels and a vegetable protein based diet (VEG) influences the normal gut and liver histology and the oxidative stress biomarkers in liver and kidney of Siberian sturgeon juveniles. Fish were fed four diets: one control diet (H0) containing 70% of fishmeal (FM), two diets including 18.5% (H185) and 37.5% (H375) of highly defatted H in substitution for 25% and 50% of FM, and one vegetable protein based diet (VEG). At the end of a growth trial, 12 fish per treatment were sacrificed by over-anaesthesia to collect 12 liver and 5 distal intestine samples for histological analyses, as well as 12 liver and kidney samples for biochemical analyses. The H and VEG diets did not significantly affect the histology of liver and distal intestine, but alterations of the oxidative stress biomarkers were detected at the highest inclusion level of H (37.5%). In order to avoid unfavorable effects on the fish health, an inclusion level up to 18.5% of H is recommended for Siberian sturgeon juveniles. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Insects as Animal Feed: a New Promising Sector)
Open AccessArticle
Investigation of the Defatted Colostrum 1H-NMR Metabolomics Profile of Gilts and Multiparous Sows and Its Relationship with Litter Performance
Animals 2020, 10(1), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010154 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 193
Abstract
The aim of the study was to characterize the soluble metabolomics profile of defatted colostrum of sows at different parity number (PA) and to correlate the metabolomics profile with the Brix percentage estimate of colostrum immunoglobulin G (IgG) and sow productive traits. A [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to characterize the soluble metabolomics profile of defatted colostrum of sows at different parity number (PA) and to correlate the metabolomics profile with the Brix percentage estimate of colostrum immunoglobulin G (IgG) and sow productive traits. A total of 96 Meidam (crossbreed Large White × Meishan) sows of PA from 1–4 (PA1: 28; PA2:26; PA3:12; PA4:26) were included, and their productive traits were recorded at 10 days post-farrowing. Colostrum IgG was quantified using a Brix refractometer, and metabolomics profile was assessed using 1H-NMR spectroscopy. Sows’ PA slightly influenced the metabolomics profile of colostrum. lactose and glycine were higher in PA1 compared with PA4 (p 0.05) and N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) tended to be higher in PA2 than PA3 and PA4 (p < 0.10). The Brix percentage of IgG was negatively associated with lactose and positively with creatine, myo-inositol, and O-phosphocholine (p < 0.05). Taurine was positively related to litter weight at birth. GlcNAc and myo-inositol were linked to piglet mortality at day 10 with a negative and positive trend, respectively. In conclusion, colostrum of gilts and multiparous sows had a similar metabolomics profile. Specific metabolites contributed to explanation of the variability in colostrum Brix percentage estimate of IgG concentration and the sows’ productive performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
Open AccessArticle
Spatial Concentrations of Wildlife Attacks on Humans in Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Animals 2020, 10(1), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010153 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 178
Abstract
The study was conducted within and adjacent to Chitwan National Park in Nepal (CNP), where several wildlife species are involved in conflicts with humans. We assessed the spatial relationships between the number of victims/km2 (=victim density or VD) of attack by wildlife [...] Read more.
The study was conducted within and adjacent to Chitwan National Park in Nepal (CNP), where several wildlife species are involved in conflicts with humans. We assessed the spatial relationships between the number of victims/km2 (=victim density or VD) of attack by wildlife (elephant, rhino, wild boar, sloth bear, leopard or tiger) versus landscape features, including both natural habitat type and land use by humans (e.g., nursery, orchard or cultivated). We identified four levels of VD, ranging from <1 V (victim)/4 km2 to >1 V/2 km2 for each land use zone, then tested for correlations at one or more of those VD between each pair of wildlife species across different land use types. Our results high correlation for sloth bear and leopard (r ≈ 0.8), for all species except elephant and wild boar at VD > 1 V/4 km2 (r > 0.9) and for leopard vs. rhinoceros (r = 0.99) across land use types at 1 V/4 km2) indicate some risk-reduction measures. One of them would be division of each buffer zone into three concentric rings, for instance ranging from high-risk adjacent areas to areas of high use by humans, to low-risk where human use is low. This revision would facilitate giving local people more voice in implementing conservation measures and reducing risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle
Picture Perfect Pups: How Do Attributes of Photographs of Dogs in Online Rescue Profiles Affect Adoption Speed?
Animals 2020, 10(1), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010152 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 210
Abstract
To increase the public’s awareness of and exposure to animals needing homes, PetRescue, Australia’s largest online directory of animals in need of adoption, lists all currently available animals from rescue and welfare shelters nationwide. The current study examined the photographs in the PetRescue [...] Read more.
To increase the public’s awareness of and exposure to animals needing homes, PetRescue, Australia’s largest online directory of animals in need of adoption, lists all currently available animals from rescue and welfare shelters nationwide. The current study examined the photographs in the PetRescue online profiles of the three most common breeds within these data, namely, Staffordshire bull terriers (n = 3988), Labrador retrievers (n = 2246), and Jack Russell terriers (n = 2088), to identify the inferred preferences of potential adopters. By investigating the attributes of these photographs, we were able to identify visual risk factors associated with protracted lengths of stay (LOS). The longest stays were associated with dogs with erect ears and those photographed in a natural environment, i.e., 18.32 days and 19.57 days, respectively. Dogs photographed in a kennel and with mouths closed had the shortest LOS, i.e., 11.54 d and 14.44 d, respectively. Heightened awareness of the roles of photographic attributes in generating interest among potential adopters may increase the speed of adoption by guiding the creation of online profiles and selection of photos to optimise the promotion of dogs at risk of long stays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Decreasing Dietary Crude Protein Level on Growth Performance, Nutrient Digestion, Serum Metabolites, and Nitrogen Utilization in Growing Goat Kids (Capra hircus)
Animals 2020, 10(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010151 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 159
Abstract
The effects of decreasing dietary crude protein (CP) level on growth performance, nutrient digestion, serum metabolites, and nitrogen utilization in growing goat kids were investigated in the current study. Thirty-six male Anhui white goat kids were randomly assigned to one of three CP [...] Read more.
The effects of decreasing dietary crude protein (CP) level on growth performance, nutrient digestion, serum metabolites, and nitrogen utilization in growing goat kids were investigated in the current study. Thirty-six male Anhui white goat kids were randomly assigned to one of three CP content diets: 14.8% (control), 13.4%, and 12.0% of dry matter, respectively. Diets were isoenergetic. The experiment lasted for 14 weeks, with the first two weeks being for adaptation. Results showed that the low-CP diet decreased average daily gain, feed efficiency, digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, crude protein, and fiber. No significant changes were observed in dry-matter intake. With a decrease in dietary CP level, fecal nitrogen excretion (% of nitrogen intake) increased linearly, whereas CP intake, blood urea nitrogen, urinary nitrogen excretion (% of nitrogen intake), and total nitrogen excretion (% of nitrogen intake) decreased. Serum glucose concentration decreased, while concentrations of low-density lipoproteins and non-esterified fatty acids increased with the low-CP diet. In conclusion, decreasing the dietary CP level decreased goats’ nitrogen excretion, but with restrictive effects on growth performance. A diet containing 13.4% CP is optimal for reducing nitrogen excretion without any adverse effect on growth performance of Anhui white goat kids. This concentration is 1.4% points lower than the NRC recommendations and thus is also environmentally beneficial on the input side because it decreases the use of feed (soy) protein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism)
Open AccessArticle
Proteomic Analysis of Beef Tenderloin and Flank Assessed Using an Isobaric Tag for Relative and Absolute Quantitation (iTRAQ)
Animals 2020, 10(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010150 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 127
Abstract
Herein, we performed a proteomic analysis of tenderloin and flank steaks from Simmental cattle using the isobaric tags for a relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) approach. We identified 17 amino acids in both steaks, and Gly, Cys, Ile, Lys, and Pro differed most [...] Read more.
Herein, we performed a proteomic analysis of tenderloin and flank steaks from Simmental cattle using the isobaric tags for a relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) approach. We identified 17 amino acids in both steaks, and Gly, Cys, Ile, Lys, and Pro differed most in abundance between the steak types (p < 0.05). A comparison of the expression patterns in steaks revealed 128 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs), of which 44 were up-regulated and 84 were down-regulated. Furthermore, 27 DEPs (p < 0.05) were subjected to gene ontology (GO) analysis, and many were found to be related to oxidation-reduction, metabolism, hydrogen ion transmembrane transport, transport, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, mitochondrial electron transport, and the conversion of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) to ubiquinone. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis also implicated these DEPs in various signalling pathways, including oxidative phosphorylation, cardiac muscle contraction, the TCA cycle, biosynthesis, and the metabolism. These findings provide a new insight into key proteins involved in the determination of amino acid composition in beef. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proteomics in Veterinary Medicine and Host-Microbe Interaction)
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Open AccessArticle
Oregano Feed Supplementation Affects Glycoconjugates Production in Swine Gut
Animals 2020, 10(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010149 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 132
Abstract
This study evaluated the effects of adding oregano aqueous extract (OAE) to the diet of pig slaughtered at finisher stage. Study was performed to identify glycoconjugates and evaluate the oxidative stress levels in the duodenum and colon intestinal tracts. Glycohistochemistry was performed by [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the effects of adding oregano aqueous extract (OAE) to the diet of pig slaughtered at finisher stage. Study was performed to identify glycoconjugates and evaluate the oxidative stress levels in the duodenum and colon intestinal tracts. Glycohistochemistry was performed by staining with Periodic acid–Schiff (PAS), Alcian blue (AB) pH 2.5, AB-PAS, AB pH 1, AB pH 0.5, low iron diamine, and high iron diamine. Serial sections were pre-treated with sialidase V before staining with AB pH 2.5 (Sial-AB) preceded or not by saponification. To study oxidative stress, an immunohistochemical analysis was applied to investigate the presence of the oxidative stress target molecule Bcl-2 Associate X protein (BAX). Findings show that oregano aqueous extract supplementation improves the production of the secretion glycoconjugates involved in direct and indirect defense, thus enhancing the protection of the pig intestinal mucosa. Moreover, the reduced BAX protein immunostaining observed in both duodenum and colon of swine of the oregano-supplemented group respect to that observed in the control group suggests an enhanced antioxidant action by oregano adding. Findings could be useful for other studies aiming to reduce antibiotic use and prevent antimicrobial resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
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Open AccessReview
A Ten-Stage Protocol for Assessing the Welfare of Individual Non-Captive Wild Animals: Free-Roaming Horses (Equus Ferus Caballus) as an Example
Animals 2020, 10(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010148 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 288
Abstract
Knowledge of the welfare status of wild animals is vital for informing debates about the ways in which we interact with wild animals and their habitats. Currently, there is no published information about how to scientifically assess the welfare of free-roaming wild animals [...] Read more.
Knowledge of the welfare status of wild animals is vital for informing debates about the ways in which we interact with wild animals and their habitats. Currently, there is no published information about how to scientifically assess the welfare of free-roaming wild animals during their normal day-to-day lives. Using free-roaming horses as an example, we describe a ten-stage protocol for systematically and scientifically assessing the welfare of individual non-captive wild animals. The protocol starts by emphasising the importance of readers having an understanding of animal welfare in a conservation context and also of the Five Domains Model for assessing welfare. It goes on to detail what species-specific information is required to assess welfare, how to identify measurable and observable indicators of animals’ physical states and how to identify which individuals are being assessed. Further, it addresses how to select appropriate methods for measuring/observing physical indicators of welfare, the scientific validation of these indicators and then the grading of animals’ welfare states, along with assigning a confidence score. Finally, grading future welfare risks and how these can guide management decisions is discussed. Applying this ten-stage protocol will enable biologists to scientifically assess the welfare of wild animals and should lead to significant advances in the field of wild animal welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Dietary Kudzu Leaf Meal (Pueraria montana Var. lobata) and Alfalfa Meal Supplementation Effect on Broiler (Gallus gallus domesticus) Performance, Carcass Characteristics, and Organ Parameters
Animals 2020, 10(1), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010147 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 116
Abstract
This research study was conducted to determine the effects of dietary supplementation of kudzu leaf meal (KLM) and alfalfa meal (AM) on broiler performance, carcass characteristics, and organ parameters. Kudzu leaf meal and AM were added at rates of 6% and 7.3%, respectively, [...] Read more.
This research study was conducted to determine the effects of dietary supplementation of kudzu leaf meal (KLM) and alfalfa meal (AM) on broiler performance, carcass characteristics, and organ parameters. Kudzu leaf meal and AM were added at rates of 6% and 7.3%, respectively, to a complete broiler starter diet. Three treatments (control (complete broiler starter diet), KLM supplementation; and AM supplementation) with four replicates were fed to 217 male broilers over a 21 d battery cage grow out. Data were analyzed as a completely randomized design with battery cage representing the experimental unit. Birds on KLM and AM had a lower average body weight, lower cumulative feed consumption, and a higher adjusted feed conversion than control (p < 0.05). Additionally, there were observed treatment effects on whole breast weight (p = 0.0010), with control being higher than both treated diets. Minimal treatment effects were observed for organ parameters. Furthermore, there were no observed treatment differences for mortality (p > 0.05). Although broilers on KLM did not perform as well as those in the control group, these results are indicative that kudzu is safe to use in poultry production and has a high potential as a protein supplement in tropical regions with a low availability of commercial protein feedstuffs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
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Open AccessArticle
Gas Production, Digestibility and Efficacy of Stored or Fresh Plant Extracts to Reduce Methane Production on Different Substrates
Animals 2020, 10(1), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010146 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 117
Abstract
Natural compounds such as plant secondary metabolites (PSM) can be used to replace antibiotic growth promoters as rumen modifiers. In this study, the effectiveness of stored and freshly extracted Aloe vera (AV), Azadirachta indica (AZ), Moringa oleifera (MO), Jatropha curcas (JA), Tithonia diversifolia [...] Read more.
Natural compounds such as plant secondary metabolites (PSM) can be used to replace antibiotic growth promoters as rumen modifiers. In this study, the effectiveness of stored and freshly extracted Aloe vera (AV), Azadirachta indica (AZ), Moringa oleifera (MO), Jatropha curcas (JA), Tithonia diversifolia (TD) and Carica papaya (CP) crude extract and monensin on in vitro gas and methane production, organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) and volatile fatty acids (VFA) were evaluated using a total mixed ration (TMR), lucerne or Eragrostis curvula substrates. Fresh extracts were processed from the same batch of frozen (−20 °C) plant material a few days before the trial while the stored extracts were extracted and stored at 4 °C for 12 months prior to the study. Extraction was done by solubilising 50 g freeze-dried plant material in 500 mL 100% methanol. Four mL of reconstituted 50 mg crude extract per 1000 mL distilled water was added per incubation vial, which already contained 400 mg substrate and in vitro fermentation, and gas production and IVOMD evaluation were carried out using standard procedures. Results showed that storing plant extracts for 12 months did not affect the activity or stability of metabolites present in the crude extracts, as shown by the lack of differences in total gas production (TGP) and methane produced between fresh or stored extracts across the substrates. In the TMR substrate, plant extracts increased IVOMD but did not affect TGP and methane production, whereas monensin did not have any effect. Plant extracts increased IVOMD of Eragrostis substrate and supressed methane production to a greater extent than monensin (p < 0.05). It can be concluded that storing plant extracts for up to 12 months did not compromise their efficacy. In addition, the use of 50 mg/kg of AV, AZ, MO, JA, TD and CP extract to a forage-based diet will reduce methane production while improving feed digestibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reducing Enteric Methane Emissions from Ruminants)
Open AccessArticle
If Veganism Is Not a Choice: The Moral Psychology of Possibilities in Animal Ethics
Animals 2020, 10(1), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010145 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 158
Abstract
In their daily practices, many ethical vegans choose what to eat, wear, and buy among a range that is limited to the exclusion of animal products. Rather than considering and then rejecting the idea of using such products, doing so often does not [...] Read more.
In their daily practices, many ethical vegans choose what to eat, wear, and buy among a range that is limited to the exclusion of animal products. Rather than considering and then rejecting the idea of using such products, doing so often does not occur to them as a possibility at all. In other cases, when confronted with the possibility of consuming animal products, vegans have claimed to reject it by saying that it would be impossible for them to do so. I refer to this phenomenon as ‘moral impossibility’. An analysis of moral impossibility in animal ethics shows that it arises when one’s conception of ‘what animals are’ shifts—say through encounter with other animals. It also arises when individuals learn more about animals and what happens to them in production facilities. This establishes a link between increased knowledge, understanding, and imaginative exploration on the one hand, and the exclusion of the possibility of using animals as resources on the other. Taking moral impossibility in veganism seriously has two important consequences: one is that the debate around veganism needs to shift from choice and decision, to a prior analysis of concepts and moral framing; the other is that moral psychology is no longer seen as empirical psychology plus ethical analysis, but the contents of psychological findings are understood as being influenced and framed by moral reflection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Ethics: Questioning the Orthodoxy)
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