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Volume 10, January

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Animals, Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2020) – 163 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Antibacterial Activity of Trypsin-Hydrolyzed Camel and Cow Whey and Their Fractions
Animals 2020, 10(2), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020337 (registering DOI) - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
Antibacterial peptides were isolated and purified from whey proteins of camel milk (CaW) and cow milk (CoW) and their antimicrobial activities were studied. The whey proteins were hydrolyzed using trypsin, and the degree of hydrolysis was identified by gel electrophoresis. The whey hydrolysate [...] Read more.
Antibacterial peptides were isolated and purified from whey proteins of camel milk (CaW) and cow milk (CoW) and their antimicrobial activities were studied. The whey proteins were hydrolyzed using trypsin, and the degree of hydrolysis was identified by gel electrophoresis. The whey hydrolysate (WH) was purified using ultrafiltration and Dextran gel chromatography to obtain small peptides with antibacterial activity. The effect of the antimicrobial peptides on the morphology of bacterial strains was investigated using transmission electron microscopy. Their amino acid composition and antimicrobial activities were then determined. Polypeptides CaWH-III (<3 kDa) and CoWH-III (<3 kDa) had the strongest antibacterial activity. Both Fr.A2 (CaWH-Ⅲ’s fraction 2) and Fr.B1 (CoWH-Ⅲ’s fraction 1) had antibacterial effects toward Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, with minimum antimicrobial mass concentrations of 65 mg/mL and 130 mg/mL for Fr.A2, and 130 mg/mL and 130 mg/mL for Fr.B1, respectively. The highly active antimicrobial peptides had high amounts of alkaline amino acids (28.13% in camel milk Fr.A2 and 25.07% in the cow milk Fr.B1) and hydrophobic amino acids. (51.29% in camel milk Fr.A2 and 57.69% in the cow milk Fr.B1). This results showed that hydrolysis of CaW and CoW using trypsin produced a variety of effective antimicrobial peptides against selected pathogens, and the antibacterial activity of camel milk whey was slightly higher than that of cow milk whey. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Technology in Animals Reproduction)
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Open AccessArticle
Genomic Analysis of Milk Protein Fractions in Brown Swiss Cattle
Animals 2020, 10(2), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020336 (registering DOI) - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
Depending on whether milk protein fractions are evaluated qualitatively or quantitatively, different genetic outcomes may emerge. In this study, we compared the genetic parameters for the major milk protein fractions—caseins (αS1-, αS2-, β-, and к-CN), and whey proteins (β-lactoglobulin, [...] Read more.
Depending on whether milk protein fractions are evaluated qualitatively or quantitatively, different genetic outcomes may emerge. In this study, we compared the genetic parameters for the major milk protein fractions—caseins (αS1-, αS2-, β-, and к-CN), and whey proteins (β-lactoglobulin, β-LG; α-lactalbumin, α-LA)—estimated using the multi-trait genomic best linear unbiased prediction method and expressed variously as milk content (g/100g milk), percentage of milk nitrogen (%N) and daily yield per cow (g/d). The results showed that the genetic parameter estimates varied according to how the milk protein fractions were expressed. Heritability estimates for the caseins and whey protein fractions expressed as daily yields were lower than when they were expressed as proportions and contents, revealing important differences in genetic outcomes. The proportion and the content of β-CN were negatively correlated with the proportions and contents of αS1-CN, αS2-CN, and к-CN, while the daily yield of β–CN was negatively correlated with the daily yields of αS1-CN and αS2-CN. The Spearman’s rank correlations and the coincidence rates between the various predicted genomic breeding values (GEBV) for the milk protein fractions expressed in different ways indicated that these differences had a significant effect on the ranking of the animals. The results suggest that the way milk protein fractions are expressed has implications for breeding programs aimed at improving milk nutritional and technological characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Urtica cannabina to Leymus chinensis Ratios on Ruminal Microorganisms and Fiber Degradation In Vitro
Animals 2020, 10(2), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020335 (registering DOI) - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
The study was conducted in vitro to investigate the effects of different ratios of Urtica cannabina and Leymus chinensis on fiber microstructure and digestibility in ruminal fluid. The experiment was divided into five groups based on the U. cannabina/L. chinensis ratios: A (0:100), [...] Read more.
The study was conducted in vitro to investigate the effects of different ratios of Urtica cannabina and Leymus chinensis on fiber microstructure and digestibility in ruminal fluid. The experiment was divided into five groups based on the U. cannabina/L. chinensis ratios: A (0:100), B (30:70), C (50:50), D (70:30), and E (100:0). The culture medium was collected at 0, 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 h. The results showed that: (1) in vitro crude protein degradability (IVCPD) was higher in group A, whereas in vitro neutral detergent fiber degradability (IVNDFD) was higher in group C (p < 0.05); (2) protozoa count was increased from 1 h to 3 h and decreased afterwards, with significant differences observed in several genera (p < 0.05); (3) microbial crude protein (MCP) contents at 1, 3, 6, and 24 h were higher in groups A and C (p < 0.05); (4) the basic tissue of U. cannabina was gradually degraded. At 24h, the secondary xylem vessel structure was observed in groups B and C, but not in groups D and E. In summary, there was higher neutral detergent fiber (NDF) digestibility, higher rumen MCP contents, and lower protozoa count, showing the significance of the 50:50 ratio for microbial growth and fiber digestibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
The Expression of ERK1/2 in Female Yak (Bos grunniens) Reproductive Organs
Animals 2020, 10(2), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020334 (registering DOI) - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
The main reproductive organs undergo different histological appearances and physiological processes under different reproductive statuses. The variation of these organs depends on a delicate regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Extracellular signal-regulated kinases1/2 (ERK1/2) are members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) [...] Read more.
The main reproductive organs undergo different histological appearances and physiological processes under different reproductive statuses. The variation of these organs depends on a delicate regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Extracellular signal-regulated kinases1/2 (ERK1/2) are members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) super family. They have important roles in regulating various biological processes of different cells, tissues, and organ types. Activated ERK1/2 generally promotes cell survival, but under certain conditions, ERK1/2 also have the function of inducing apoptosis. It is widely believed that ERK1/2 play a significant role in regulating the reproductive processes of mammals. The goal of our research is to investigate the expression and distribution of ERK1/2 in the yak’s main reproductive organs during different stages. In the present study, samples of the ovary, oviduct, and uterus of 15 adult female yak were collected and used in the experiment. The ERK1/2 proteins, localization, and quantitative expression of their mRNA were investigated using immunohistochemistry (IHC), western blot (WB) and relative quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The results indicated that ERK1/2 proteins and their mRNA were highly expressed in the ovary of the luteal phase and gestation period, in the oviduct of the luteal phase, and in the uterus of the luteal phase and gestation period. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed a strong distribution of ERK1/2 proteins in follicular granulosa cells, granular luteal cells, villous epithelial cells of the oviduct, endometrial glandular epithelium, and luminal epithelium. These results demonstrated that the expression of ERK1 and ERK2 proteins and their mRNA in the yak’s ovary, oviduct, and uterus varies with the stage of the reproductive cycle. The variation character of ERK1 and ERK 2 expression in the yak’s main reproductive organs during different stages implies that they play an important role in regulating the reproductive function under different physiological statuses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunohistochemical and Physiological Research on Farm Animals)
Open AccessArticle
“The Cone of Shame”: Welfare Implications of Elizabethan Collar Use on Dogs and Cats as Reported by their Owners
Animals 2020, 10(2), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020333 (registering DOI) - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
Elizabethan collars are used in companion animals primarily to prevent self-trauma and associated negative welfare states in animals. However, they have been anecdotally associated with negative impacts on animal health and welfare including distress, abraded/ulcerated skin and misadventure. This study aimed to characterise [...] Read more.
Elizabethan collars are used in companion animals primarily to prevent self-trauma and associated negative welfare states in animals. However, they have been anecdotally associated with negative impacts on animal health and welfare including distress, abraded/ulcerated skin and misadventure. This study aimed to characterise the welfare impacts of Elizabethan collar use on companion dogs and cats, as reported by owners. Owners of pets who wore an Elizabethan collar during the past 12 months were surveyed about the impacts that the use of Elizabethan collars had on animal activities, in particular sleep, eating, drinking, exercise, interactions with other animals, as well as overall quality of life (QOL). The majority of 434 respondents (77.4%) reported a worse QOL score when their companion animal was wearing the collar, significantly so when the Elizabethan collar irritated their pet or impacted on their ability to drink or play. While other factors are likely to impact animal welfare during veterinary treatment that necessitates the use of Elizabethan collars, this study suggests that Elizabethan collars themselves might have negative welfare impacts in a range of domains including nutrition, environment, health, behaviour and mental state. We recommend that animal owners are informed about potential negative impacts of Elizabethan collars and harm minimisation strategies. Where possible, alternative methods of preventing self-trauma should be explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestic Animal Behavior and Well-Being)
Open AccessArticle
Broad-Spectrum Cephalosporin-Resistant Klebsiella spp. Isolated from Diseased Horses in Austria
Animals 2020, 10(2), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020332 (registering DOI) - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to investigate the diversity of broad-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant Klebsiella spp. isolated from horses in Austria that originated from diseased horses. A total of seven non-repetitive cefotaxime-resistant Klebsiella sp. isolates were obtained during diagnostic activities from autumn 2012 [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the diversity of broad-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant Klebsiella spp. isolated from horses in Austria that originated from diseased horses. A total of seven non-repetitive cefotaxime-resistant Klebsiella sp. isolates were obtained during diagnostic activities from autumn 2012 to October 2019. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed. The isolates were genotyped by whole-genome sequencing (WGS). Four out of seven Klebsiella isolates were identified as K. pneumoniae, two as K. michiganensis and one as K. oxytoca. All isolates displayed a multi-drug resistant phenotype. The detection of resistance genes reflected well the phenotypic resistance profiles of the respective isolates. All but one isolate displayed the extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) phenotype and carried CTX-M cefotaximases, whereas one isolate displayed an ESBL and AmpC phenotype and carried cephamycinase (CMY)-2 and sulfhydryl variable (SHV)-type b and Temoniera (TEM) β-lactamases. Among Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, for different sequence types (ST) could be detected (ST147, ST307, ST1228, and a new ST4848). Besides resistance genes, a variety of virulence genes, including genes coding for yersiniabactin were detected. Considering the high proximity between horses and humans, our results undoubtedly identified a public health issue. This deserves to be also monitored in the years to come. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Resistance in Horses)
Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Sheep Milk Extracellular Vesicle-miRNA by Sequencing and Comparison with Cow Milk
Animals 2020, 10(2), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020331 (registering DOI) - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
Milk can mediate maternal-neonatal signal transmission by the bioactive component extracellular vesicles (EVs), which select specific types of miRNA to encapsulate. The miRNA profiling of sheep milk EVs was characterized by sequencing and compared with that of cow milk. Nanoparticle tracking analysis revealed [...] Read more.
Milk can mediate maternal-neonatal signal transmission by the bioactive component extracellular vesicles (EVs), which select specific types of miRNA to encapsulate. The miRNA profiling of sheep milk EVs was characterized by sequencing and compared with that of cow milk. Nanoparticle tracking analysis revealed that the concentration of sheep milk EVs was 1.3 ± 0.09 × 1012 particles/mL and the diameter was peaked at 131.2 ± 0.84 nm. Sheep milk EVs contained various small RNAs, including tRNA, Cis-regulatory element, rRNA, snRNA, other Rfam RNA, and miRNA, which held about 36% of all the small RNAs. In total, 84 types of miRNA were annotated with Ovis aries by miRBase (version 22.0) in sheep milk EVs, with 75 shared types of miRNAs in all samples. The miR-26a, miR-191, let-7f, let-7b and miR-10b were highly expressed both in cow and sheep milk EVs, and 14 sheep milk EV-miRNAs in the top 20, occupying 98% of the total expression, were immune-related. Although pathway analysis showed different potential functions of cow and sheep milk EV-miRNAs, there were still some shared points: lipid metabolism (phospholipase D, glycerophospholipid and glycosylphosphatidylinositol), calcium metabolism, and nerve conduction (axon guidance and synapse). This study provides reference for the bioactive components in the milk of different species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Long-Term Gentle Handling on Behavioral Responses, Production Performance, and Meat Quality of Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(2), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020330 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 115
Abstract
In order to investigate the effect of gentle handling on the behavior, performance, and meat quality of pigs from weaning to slaughter, 144 6-week-old weaned hybrid Min piglets (a native breed) were selected and divided into a handling group (HG: 9 pens × [...] Read more.
In order to investigate the effect of gentle handling on the behavior, performance, and meat quality of pigs from weaning to slaughter, 144 6-week-old weaned hybrid Min piglets (a native breed) were selected and divided into a handling group (HG: 9 pens × 8 pigs) and a control group (CG: 9 pens × 8 pigs). After 6 weeks of handling, we observed and then evaluated the pigs’ responses to a handler with behavioral scores. Moreover, we measured heart rate and production performance. Three pigs were randomly selected from each of the 18 pens and divided into a handling group (HG: n = 27) and a control group (CG: n = 27), and the HG pigs were given gentle handling until slaughter. Subsequently, we evaluated meat quality and the production performance of six pigs from each group. The results show that AA test (approaching–avoidance test) scores in HG pigs, the number of contacts with the handler and absence of contact with the handler, were significantly higher than in the CG pigs (p < 0.01). The occurrences of avoidance and looking at the handler were lower in the HG than in the CG group (p < 0.01); however, heart rate was not found to be significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.63). No significant difference was found in the average daily gain, average daily feed intake, and feed conversion ratio between the two groups during the two periods (p > 0.05). The b* value was determined 45 min after slaughter, and it was significantly lower in the HG than that in the CG group (p = 0.002). Furthermore, 2 h after slaughter, the L value of the HG group was significantly higher than that of the CG group (p = 0.047), but no difference was observed in carcass quality or other meat quality indicators between the two groups (p > 0.05). The results indicate that gentle handling could reduce pigs’ anxiety and increase their willingness to approach the handler, increasing the intimacy of the pigs and handlers. However, long-term gentle handling had little effect on pig performance, carcass quality, and meat quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human-Animals Interactions, Animal Behaviour and Emotion)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Thymol and Thymol α-D-Glucopyranoside on Intestinal Function and Microbiota of Weaned Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020329 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
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Abstract
The present study evaluated gluco-conjugation as a measure to delay thymol absorption and enhance its antimicrobial activity in the gut of weaned piglets. The three dietary treatments consisted of a basal diet without additives (TCON), supplemented with thymol at 3.7 mmol/kg [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated gluco-conjugation as a measure to delay thymol absorption and enhance its antimicrobial activity in the gut of weaned piglets. The three dietary treatments consisted of a basal diet without additives (TCON), supplemented with thymol at 3.7 mmol/kg dry matter (TTHY), or with an equimolar amount of thymol α-D-glucopyranoside (TTαG). Each dietary treatment was replicated in 6 pens with 2 piglets per pen (n = 12 for analytical parameters) and was supplemented for 14 days. The total (free plus gluco-conjugated) thymol concentrations in the stomach contents were 14% lower in TTαG as compared to TTHY piglets. Neither of the additives could be detected further down the gut. E.coli counts in the proximal small intestine were significantly lower in TTHY than in TTαG pigs (3.35 vs. 4.29 log10 CFU/g); however, other bacterial counts and their metabolites were unaffected by treatment. A metagenomic bacterial analysis revealed a great relative abundance of Lactobacillus spp. in the distal small intestine (range 88.4%–99.9%), irrespective of treatment. The intestinal barrier function was improved by TTHY, but not TTαG, compared to TCON. In conclusion, gluco-conjugation did not result in higher thymol concentrations in the gut, but conversely, it seemed to diminish the biological effects of thymol in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut microbiota and growth and health of monogastric farm animals)
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Dietary Crude Protein on Productive Efficiency, Nutrient Digestibility, Blood Metabolites and Gastrointestinal Immune Markers in Light Lambs
Animals 2020, 10(2), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020328 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 105
Abstract
This study hypothesized that reducing the level of crude protein (CP) in lambs′ feed may improve nutrient utilization and did not negatively affect their productive efficiency, blood metabolites, oxidative status (OS) or intestinal immune barrier function. A total of 120 weaned male Ripollesa [...] Read more.
This study hypothesized that reducing the level of crude protein (CP) in lambs′ feed may improve nutrient utilization and did not negatively affect their productive efficiency, blood metabolites, oxidative status (OS) or intestinal immune barrier function. A total of 120 weaned male Ripollesa lambs (45–60 days old and 15.0 ± 1.5 kg of body weight) were used. Four feed concentrates were formulated for two different phases (growing and finishing): CP20/19 group (20% and 19% of CP on dry matter basis, for each phase, respectively) and CP18/17 group (18% and 17% of CP on dry matter basis, for each phase, respectively). Lambs were randomly assigned to feeding treatments by balancing initial body weight between groups. The reduction of dietary CP level did not impair their growth performance parameters, while it did improve the apparent digestibility of organic matter. Furthermore, the lambs of the CP18/17 group showed lower plasma urea levels with no effect on OS (malondialdehyde levels) or gastrointestinal immunity markers (gene expression of interleukin 10 (IL10), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFA) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFB)). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism)
Open AccessArticle
Phenotypic Characterization of Milk Yield and Quality Traits in a Large Population of Water Buffaloes
Animals 2020, 10(2), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020327 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 101
Abstract
The buffalo milk industry has economic and social relevance in Italy, as linked to the manufacture of traditional dairy products. To provide an overview of the current status of buffaloes’ performances on a large scale, almost 1 million milk test-day records from 72,294 [...] Read more.
The buffalo milk industry has economic and social relevance in Italy, as linked to the manufacture of traditional dairy products. To provide an overview of the current status of buffaloes’ performances on a large scale, almost 1 million milk test-day records from 72,294 buffaloes were available to investigate milk yield, energy corrected milk, fat, protein, and lactose content, and somatic cell score (SCS). Phenotypic correlations between milk traits were calculated and analysis of variance was carried out through a mixed model approach including fixed effect of parity, stage of lactation, sampling time, month of calving, and all their interactions and random effects of buffalo, herd-test-date, and residual. Third-parity buffaloes were the most productive in terms of milk yield, while the lowest solid content was detected in sixth parity buffaloes. A considerable gap between primiparous and multiparous buffaloes was observed for milk yield, especially in early- and mid-lactation. Overall, SCS progressively increased with parity and showed a negative correlation with milk yield in both primiparous (−0.12) and multiparous (−0.14) buffaloes. Results suggested that, at the industrial level, milk of primiparous buffaloes may be preferred for transformation purposes, since it was characterized by greater solid content and lower SCS. Results of this study provide a picture of the Italian population of buffaloes under systematic performance records and might be beneficial to both dairy industry and breeding organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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Open AccessReview
Glutamine Metabolism and Its Role in Immunity, a Comprehensive Review
Animals 2020, 10(2), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020326 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 134
Abstract
In the body of an animal, glutamine is a plentiful and very useful amino acid. Glutamine consumption in the body of animals in normal or disease conditions is the same or higher than the glucose. Many in vivo as well as in vitro [...] Read more.
In the body of an animal, glutamine is a plentiful and very useful amino acid. Glutamine consumption in the body of animals in normal or disease conditions is the same or higher than the glucose. Many in vivo as well as in vitro experiments have been conducted to evaluate the importance of glutamine. Glutamine is a valuable nutrient for the proliferation of the lymphocytes. It also plays a crucial role in the production of cytokines, macrophages, phagocytic, and neutrophil to kill the bacteria. Most of the metabolic organs like the liver, gut, and skeletal muscles control the circulation and availability secretion of glutamine. In catabolic and hypercatabolic conditions, glutamine can turn out to be essential and plays a vital role in metabolism; however, availability may be compromised due to the impairment of homeostasis in the inter-tissue metabolism of amino acids. This is why the supplementation of glutamine is commonly used in clinical nutrition and is especially recommended to immune-suppressed persons. Despite this, in catabolic and hyper-catabolic conditions, it is challenging due to the amino acid concentration in plasma/bloodstream and glutamine should be provided via either the oral, enteral or parenteral route. However, the effect of glutamine as an immune-based supplement has been previously recognized as many research studies conducted in vivo and in-vitro evaluated the beneficial effects of glutamine. Hence, the present study delivers a combined review of glutamine metabolism in essential organs of the cell immune system. In this review, we have also reviewed the metabolism and action of glutamine and crucial problems due to glutamine supplementation in catabolic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Associative Effects of Rice Straw with Timothy Hay and Corn Grain Using an In Vitro Ruminal Gas Production Technique
Animals 2020, 10(2), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020325 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 120
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the associative effects of rice straw with timothy hay and corn grain. Using an automated gas production system, in vitro ruminal fermentation was studied for six substrates: 100% rice straw, 100% timothy hay, 100% corn [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the associative effects of rice straw with timothy hay and corn grain. Using an automated gas production system, in vitro ruminal fermentation was studied for six substrates: 100% rice straw, 100% timothy hay, 100% corn grain, 50% rice straw and 50% timothy hay, 50% rice straw and 50% corn grain, and 50% rice straw, 25% timothy hay, and 25% corn grain. Incubation was performed in three batches with different rumen fluids to assess the in vitro ruminal gas production kinetics and rumen parameters (pH, NH3-N, volatile fatty acid (VFA), and true dry matter digestibility (TDMD)). The associated effects were tested by comparing the observed values of the composited feeds and the weighted means of individual feeds. There was a significant increase in NH3-N when rice straw was fermented with timothy hay, corn grain, or both (p < 0.05). TDMD increased when corn grain was co-fermented, and the total gas and VFA production increased when all three feeds were co-fermented. We conclude that the feed value of rice straw increases when fed to animals along with timothy hay and corn grain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Genetic Characterization of Piroplasms in Donkeys and Horses from Nigeria
Animals 2020, 10(2), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020324 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 105
Abstract
Equine piroplasmosis (EP) is a tick-borne disease of equids, caused by the two haemoprotozoal parasites: Theileria equi and Babesia caballi. Nigeria constitutes a major crossroads of animal transport in West Africa and may serve as a factor in EP dissemination in the region. [...] Read more.
Equine piroplasmosis (EP) is a tick-borne disease of equids, caused by the two haemoprotozoal parasites: Theileria equi and Babesia caballi. Nigeria constitutes a major crossroads of animal transport in West Africa and may serve as a factor in EP dissemination in the region. The study aim was to characterize EP parasites in donkeys and horses in northern Nigeria using a molecular approach. Blood was collected from 57 donkeys and 47 horses. EP infection was detected and characterized by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Twenty five donkeys (43.8%) were infected with T. equi, five (8.8%) with B. caballi, three (5.3%) with dual infections. Four horses (8.5%) were infected by T. equi and none by B. caballi. Four of the five known T. equi 18S rRNA genotypes (A, B, C and D) were identified. Theileria equi ema-1 and ema-2 genes were amplified in only 2 and 10 samples, respectively, showing no genetic variation. All B. caballi isolates were classified as rap-1 genotype A1. Twenty-two (42.3%) of the donkeys were positive for anti-T. equi antibodies and 29 (55.8%) were positive for anti-B. caballi antibodies, using immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT). The study results demonstrate high genetic variation within T. equi parasites, suggesting that donkeys may be reservoirs of EP parasites in West Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Parasitology)
Open AccessArticle
Utilization of Optical Flow Algorithms to Monitor Development of Tail Biting Outbreaks in Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(2), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020323 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 112
Abstract
A study was conducted to evaluate activity changes in pigs associated with the development of tail-biting outbreaks using optical flow algorithms. Pigs (n = 120; initial body weight = 25 ± 2.9 kg) housed in four pens of 30 pigs were studied [...] Read more.
A study was conducted to evaluate activity changes in pigs associated with the development of tail-biting outbreaks using optical flow algorithms. Pigs (n = 120; initial body weight = 25 ± 2.9 kg) housed in four pens of 30 pigs were studied for 13 weeks. Outbreaks of tail biting were registered through daily observations. Behavior of pigs in each pen was video-recorded. Three one-hour video segments, representing morning, noon, and afternoon on days 10, 7, and 3 before and during the first outbreak of tail biting were scanned at 5-min intervals to estimate time budget for lying, standing, eating, drinking, pig-directed behavior, and tail biting. The same video segments were analyzed for optical flow. Mean optical flow was higher three days before and during the tail-biting outbreak, compared to 10 days before the outbreak (p < 0.05), suggesting that pigs may increase their activity three days before tail-biting outbreaks. All optical flow measures (mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis) were correlated (all p < 0.01) with time spent standing, indicating that movement during standing may be associated with optical flow measures. These results suggest that optical flow might be a promising tool for automatically monitoring activity changes to predict tail-biting outbreaks in pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestic Animal Behavior and Well-Being)
Open AccessArticle
Etorphine-Azaperone Immobilisation for Translocation of Free-Ranging Masai Giraffes (Giraffa Camelopardalis Tippelskirchi): A Pilot Study
Animals 2020, 10(2), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020322 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 98
Abstract
Etorphine-azaperone immobilisation was evaluated for translocation of Masai giraffes. Nine giraffes were darted with 0.012 ± 0.001 mg/kg etorphine and 0.07 ± 0.01 mg/kg azaperone. Once ataxic, giraffes were roped for recumbency and restrained manually. Naltrexone (3 mg/mg etorphine) was immediately given intravenously [...] Read more.
Etorphine-azaperone immobilisation was evaluated for translocation of Masai giraffes. Nine giraffes were darted with 0.012 ± 0.001 mg/kg etorphine and 0.07 ± 0.01 mg/kg azaperone. Once ataxic, giraffes were roped for recumbency and restrained manually. Naltrexone (3 mg/mg etorphine) was immediately given intravenously to reverse etorphine-related side effects. Protocol evaluation included physiological monitoring, blood-gas analyses, anaesthetic times, and quality scores (1 = excellent, 4 = poor). Sedation onset and recumbency were achieved in 2.6 ± 0.8 and 5.6 ± 1.4 min. Cardio-respiratory function (HR = 70 ± 16, RR = 32 ± 8, MAP = 132 ± 16) and temperature (37.8 ± 0.5) were stable. Arterial gas analysis showed hypoxaemia in some individuals (PaO2 = 67 ± 8 mmHg) and metabolic acidosis (pH = 7.23 ± 0.05, PaCO2 = 34 ± 4 mmHg, HCO3 = 12.9 ± 1.2 mmol/l). Minor startle response occurred, while higher induction-induced excitement correlated to longer inductions, worse restraint, and decreased HCO3. After 19 ± 3.5 min of restraint, giraffes were allowed to stand and were loaded onto a chariot. Immobilisations were good and scored 2 (1–3). Inductions and recoveries were smooth and scored 1 (1–2). Translocations were uneventful and no complications occurred in 14-days boma follow-up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle
Inclusion of Camelina, Flax, and Sunflower Seeds in the Diets for Broiler Chickens: Apparent Digestibility of Nutrients, Growth Performance, Health Status, and Carcass and Meat Quality Traits
Animals 2020, 10(2), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020321 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 116
Abstract
The study determined the effect of the addition of 15% of camelina, flax, and sunflower seeds to iso-caloric and iso-nitrogenous diets for broiler chickens during 21–42 days of age on the nutrient digestibility, production traits, slaughter analysis parameters, hematological indices, blood mineral elements, [...] Read more.
The study determined the effect of the addition of 15% of camelina, flax, and sunflower seeds to iso-caloric and iso-nitrogenous diets for broiler chickens during 21–42 days of age on the nutrient digestibility, production traits, slaughter analysis parameters, hematological indices, blood mineral elements, and dietary value of breast and drumstick meat. Two hundred one-day-old broiler chickens were assigned to four groups (treatments) with five replicates (10 birds per cage, 5 females and 5 males). The experiment lasted 6 weeks. Broiler chickens receiving diets supplemented with camelina and flax seeds exhibited an increase (p < 0.05) in average body weight and a decrease (p < 0.05) in the ether extract content and energy digestibility of the diets. Moreover, the best carcass quality with a high proportion of muscles and low abdominal fat content (p < 0.05) was noted in broilers fed flax- and sunflower-enriched diets. The treatments with the oil seeds reduced the ether extract content and the calorific value of breast and drumstick muscles. The flax seeds contributed to an increase in the Fe content in drumstick muscles. Additionally, some blood parameters were influenced by the flax seed supplementation, e.g., the level of hemoglobin declined (p < 0.05) and the iron level in plasma increased (p < 0.05). It can be concluded that the camelina, flax, and sunflower seeds can be regarded as good dietary components with positive effects on the dietary value of poultry meat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Different Farrowing Environments on the Behavior of Sows and Piglets
Animals 2020, 10(2), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020320 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 99
Abstract
We investigated the effect of different farrowing systems on the behavior of sows and piglets. In total, 22 hybrid sows (Yorkshire × Landrace) were randomly assigned into three farrowing systems, farrowing crate (FC), free farrowing pen with sloping walls (FFS), and free farrowing [...] Read more.
We investigated the effect of different farrowing systems on the behavior of sows and piglets. In total, 22 hybrid sows (Yorkshire × Landrace) were randomly assigned into three farrowing systems, farrowing crate (FC), free farrowing pen with sloping walls (FFS), and free farrowing pen with sloping walls and nest materials (FFSN). The FFS and FFSN sows were more active, and exhibited less abnormal behaviors compared with the FC sows before and after parturition. FFS and FFSN piglets were more active compared with FC piglets. The increased activity of the FFS and FFSN sows might encourage the activity of their piglets, resulting in more proximity to sow behavior of their piglets. Providing nest materials improved the investigative behavior of sows and piglets. The total mortality of piglets in the free farrowing systems tended to be higher compared with the farrowing crate system. In conclusion, free farrowing system has beneficial effects on the behavior of sows and piglets but extra care in management needs to be taken to avoid piglet loss. Adding nest material in the farrowing pens is suggested to enrich the behavioral pattern of sows and piglets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Dietary Fat Sources during Late Gestation on Colostrum Quality and Mammary Gland Inflammation in Lipopolysaccharide-Challenged Sows
Animals 2020, 10(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020319 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 114
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effects of maternal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge and dietary fat sources on colostrum quality and inflammatory response in sows. Sixty Landrace × Yorkshire sows were randomly assigned to three dietary treatments supplemented with 3% soybean oil (SO), 3% [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of maternal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge and dietary fat sources on colostrum quality and inflammatory response in sows. Sixty Landrace × Yorkshire sows were randomly assigned to three dietary treatments supplemented with 3% soybean oil (SO), 3% coconut oil (CO) or 3% fish oil (FO), respectively, from Day 90 of gestation until parturition. On Day 112 of gestation, half the sows from each dietary treatment were challenged with LPS (10 μg/kg BW) or saline. The results showed that maternal LPS challenge decreased colostrum yield and dry matter content. A similar pattern of changes was observed for body weight gain and colostrum intake in piglets from LPS-challenged sows. Maternal LPS challenge increased the levels of tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interleukin 1β (IL1β) and IL6 in colostum, and the mRNA abundance of IL6, IL1β and TNFα and the phosphorylation level of p65 in mammary glands. However, the responses of these variables to LPS treatment were lower in sows fed a FO diet. In conclusion, maternal immune challenge reduced the growth performance of piglets by decreasing colostrum yield and intake by piglets, and dietary supplementation with FO in sows attenuates the LPS-induced inflammatory response in mammary glands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Pain and Problem Behavior in Cats and Dogs
Animals 2020, 10(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020318 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 531
Abstract
We argue that there is currently an under-reporting of the ways in which pain can be associated with problem behavior, which is seriously limiting the recognition of this welfare problem. A review of the caseloads of 100 recent dog cases of several authors [...] Read more.
We argue that there is currently an under-reporting of the ways in which pain can be associated with problem behavior, which is seriously limiting the recognition of this welfare problem. A review of the caseloads of 100 recent dog cases of several authors indicates that a conservative estimate of around a third of referred cases involve some form of painful condition, and in some instances, the figure may be nearly 80%. The relationship is often complex but always logical. Musculoskeletal but also painful gastro-intestinal and dermatological conditions are commonly recognized as significant to the animal’s problem behavior. The potential importance of clinical abnormalities such as an unusual gait or unexplained behavioral signs should not be dismissed by clinicians in general practice, even when they are common within a given breed. In general, it is argued that clinicians should err on the side of caution when there is a suspicion that a patient could be in pain by carefully evaluating the patient’s response to trial analgesia, even if a specific physical lesion has not been identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals of Clinical Animal Behaviour)
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Open AccessArticle
Metabolic and Biomolecular Changes Induced by Incremental Long-Term Training in Young Thoroughbred Racehorses during First Workout Season
Animals 2020, 10(2), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020317 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 110
Abstract
Training has a huge effect on physiological homeostasis. The Thoroughbred racehorse is a valid animal model to investigate such changes for training schedule fine-tuning. As happens in human athletes, it is hypothesized that biochemical and immune response changes and related biomolecular variations could [...] Read more.
Training has a huge effect on physiological homeostasis. The Thoroughbred racehorse is a valid animal model to investigate such changes for training schedule fine-tuning. As happens in human athletes, it is hypothesized that biochemical and immune response changes and related biomolecular variations could be induced by training programs. The aim of this study was to investigate, for the first time, the long-term metabolic and biomolecular modifications in young untrained Thoroughbred racehorses in the first 4-month timeframe training period. Twenty-nine clinically healthy, untrained, two-year-old Thoroughbred racehorses were followed during their incremental 4-month sprint exercise schedule. Blood collection was performed once a month, five times (T-30, T0, T30, T60, and T90). For each sample, lactate concentration, plasma cell volume (PCV), and hematobiochemical parameters (glucose, urea, creatinine, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin (Tbil), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK), cholesterol, triglycerides, albumin (Alb), total proteins (TPs), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na+), potassium (K), and chloride (Cl)) were determined. At T-30 and T90, serum protein electrophoresis (SPE), serum amyloid A (SAA), and real-time qPCR were performed on all samples to evaluate the expression of key genes and cytokines related to inflammatory and Th2 immunity responses: Interleukin-4 (IL-4), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Interleukin-10 (IL-10), Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), Octamer-Binding Transcription Factor 1 (OCT1), B-cell lymphoma/leukemia 11A (BCL11A). Statistical analysis was performed (ANOVA and t test, p < 0.05). Significant modifications were identified compared with T-30 for PCV, glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, lactate, urea, creatinine, Tbil, ALP, LDH, Na+, K, Ca2+, SAA, TPs, SPE, IL-6, IL-4, Oct-1, and BCL11A. In conclusion, the first long-term training period was found to induce fundamental systemic changes in untrained Thoroughbreds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
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Open AccessArticle
Relationship of Milk Odd- and Branched-Chain Fatty Acids with Urine Parameters and Ruminal Microbial Protein Synthesis in Dairy Cows Fed Different Proportions of Maize Silage and Red Clover Silage
Animals 2020, 10(2), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020316 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 114
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of milk odd- and branched-chain fatty acids (OBCFA) with urinary purine derivates and estimated ruminal microbial crude protein (MCP) synthesis. Forty-four lactating Holstein cows were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of milk odd- and branched-chain fatty acids (OBCFA) with urinary purine derivates and estimated ruminal microbial crude protein (MCP) synthesis. Forty-four lactating Holstein cows were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design with 21-day periods comprised of a 13-day adaptation phase to diet followed by an 8-day sampling phase. Differences in estimated MCP yield and milk OBCFA composition were found by feeding total mixed rations containing forage (maize silage, MS; red clover silage, RCS) and concentrates (0.75:0.25) with targeted proportions of RCS to MS of 0.15:0.60, 0.30:0.45, 0.45:0.30, and 0.60:0.15 on a dry matter basis. The MCP was estimated from the total urinary purine derivate (PD) excretion (MCPPD) and intakes of metabolizable energy (MCPME) or digestible organic matter (MCPdOM). The Pearson correlations of individual OBCFA with urinary parameters (uric acid, allantoin, PD and nitrogen) were generally weak (r = −0.37 to 0.55). Yields of individual OBCFA correlated positively with MCPME and MCPdOM (r = 0.21 to 0.55). The prediction of urinary PD concentration was moderate (R2 = 0.64) when including the proportion of iso-C17:0. The prediction of total PD excretion was low (R2 = 0.21) with yields of iso-C15:0, anteiso-C17:0, and iso-C16:0. The prediction of MCPPD was high (R2 = 0.99) when including the iso-C16:0 and cis-9 C17:1 concentrations, while those of MCPME and MCPdOM were low (R2 = 0.37 and 0.36, respectively) when including yields of iso-C15:0, cis-9 C17:1, and iso-C18:0. The correlations and regression analyses demonstrate that the estimated MCP synthesis and urinary PD excretion can be only moderately predicted by yields and concentrations of individual or total OBCFA in cow’s milk. However, milk OBCFA can still be seen as a promising, non-invasive method for predicting rumen function and microbial protein supply in dairy cows because MCP flow was not directly measured in this study but instead indirectly estimated probably comprising considerable deviations of the assumed values from the true ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feeding Cattle for Health Improvement)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Dogs’ Sociability, Owners’ Neuroticism and Attachment Style to Pets as Predictors of Dog Aggression
Animals 2020, 10(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020315 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 178
Abstract
A dog’s aggressive behavior is influenced by external and internal factors, including its psychological profile. In this study, dogs’ and owners’ personalities and the owners’ attachment style to their dogs were identified and associated with owner-reported dog aggression towards humans and animals. Forty [...] Read more.
A dog’s aggressive behavior is influenced by external and internal factors, including its psychological profile. In this study, dogs’ and owners’ personalities and the owners’ attachment style to their dogs were identified and associated with owner-reported dog aggression towards humans and animals. Forty Slovenian owners participated with their dogs, of different breeds and aggression history, sorted into three groups (non-aggressive dogs, dogs aggressive towards humans, and dogs aggressive towards animals). The owners filled out three separate questionnaires that assessed dog aggression history towards different targets, owner’s personality and degree of insecure attachment styles to dogs; namely anxious and avoidant attachment. Dog personality was characterized using a standardized dog mentality assessment test, during which the dog was exposed to nine tasks, performed outside, and dogs were scored based on behaviors they exhibited. The results indicated that dogs which were aggressive towards humans were less sociable than non-aggressive dogs and this was associated with the higher neuroticism scores of their owners. We also found that dogs which were aggressive towards strangers had owners with lower scores for anxious attachment and that dogs which were aggressive towards owners had owners with higher scores for avoidant attachment. These results imply that the psychological profiles of both a dog and its owner influence dog aggression towards humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Minimal Effects of Rearing Enrichments on Pullet Behaviour and Welfare
Animals 2020, 10(2), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020314 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 182
Abstract
In Australia, free-range pullets are typically reared indoors, which may hinder later adjustment to outdoor access. Rearing enrichments could optimise pullet development. Hy-Line Brown® chicks (n = 1700) were reared indoors across 16 weeks with 3 enrichment treatments: (1) a standard [...] Read more.
In Australia, free-range pullets are typically reared indoors, which may hinder later adjustment to outdoor access. Rearing enrichments could optimise pullet development. Hy-Line Brown® chicks (n = 1700) were reared indoors across 16 weeks with 3 enrichment treatments: (1) a standard control; (2) novel objects (novelty) provided weekly or (3) perching structures (structural) provided. All pullets were weighed at 5, 8, 12, and 16 weeks old. Pullets (n = 87) were tested in a novel arena at 9 weeks and manual restraint (n = 90) at 16 weeks. At 15 weeks, lymphoid organs were extracted and weighed from 90 pullets. Pullets were transferred to the free-range facility at 16 weeks and housed in 9 identical pens within rearing treatments. Hens perching were counted via video recordings across the first week. The structural pullets had the highest relative adrenal weights (p = 0.03) but differences may not have been biologically relevant. Structural hens perched less than the novelty hens in the layer facility (p = 0.02). There were no other consistent rearing treatment differences. The rearing environments had minimal effects on pullet behaviour and welfare, but data from the adult hens did show some longer-term welfare impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessShort Communication
Conception Rate and Reproductive Hormone Secretion in Holstein Cows Immunized against Inhibin and Subjected to the Ovsynch Protocol
Animals 2020, 10(2), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020313 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Viewed by 135
Abstract
This study was conducted to investigate the feasibility of improving fertility in dairy cows via immunization against inhibin. Thirty-two cows were divided into Control (n = 11), Low-dose (n = 10) and High-dose (n = 11) groups. The High-dose and Low-dose cows were [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to investigate the feasibility of improving fertility in dairy cows via immunization against inhibin. Thirty-two cows were divided into Control (n = 11), Low-dose (n = 10) and High-dose (n = 11) groups. The High-dose and Low-dose cows were treated with 1 and 0.5 mg of the inhibin immunogen, respectively. All the cows were subjected to the Ovsynch protocol from the day of antigen administration and were artificially inseminated. Blood samples were serially collected over a 24-day period from the start of the Ovsynch protocol to 14 days after insemination. The results showed that immunization against inhibin dose-dependently increased the plasma concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol (E2), and activin A, but decreased progesterone (P4) concentrations in the luteal phase. Immunization also increased the plasma interferon (IFN)-τ concentrations in pregnant cows on day 14 after initial insemination. The conception rates in High-dose (45.5%) and Low-dose (40%) cows marginally increased compared to that in Control cows (27.3%), but the increases were not significant (p > 0.05). In conclusion, a single immunization against inhibin has the potential to improve conception rates, despite impaired luteal development. To further improve the reproductive performance of dairy cows, additional luteal-stimulating treatments are suggested in combination with immunization against inhibin and Ovsynch techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Technology in Animals Reproduction)
Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Topical Anaesthesia on the Cortisol Responses of Calves Undergoing Dehorning
Animals 2020, 10(2), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020312 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Viewed by 102
Abstract
Dehorning causes pain and distress to cattle, and there is a need to provide effective and practical analgesia to improve animal welfare. We conducted an experiment to determine the effect of a modified post-operative topical wound management formulation containing two local anaesthetics (TA) [...] Read more.
Dehorning causes pain and distress to cattle, and there is a need to provide effective and practical analgesia to improve animal welfare. We conducted an experiment to determine the effect of a modified post-operative topical wound management formulation containing two local anaesthetics (TA) on the plasma cortisol concentration (PCC) of scoop-dehorned calves. Two months old Holstein-Friesian heifer calves (n = 30) were randomly allocated to sham dehorning control (CON), scoop dehorning (D), or scoop dehorning with immediate post-operative application of the TA (DTA). Blood samples were obtained via jugular venepuncture prior to sham or actual dehorning, and 40 min, 1.5, 4 and 24 h later. PCC changed significantly over time (p < 0.01). There was a trend for lower PCC in DTA calves compared to D calves (p = 0.09), with the PCC area under the curve lowest in CON calves as compared to D and DTA calves (p = 0.02). Cortisol concentrations were similar between D and DTA at all time points. The TA did not reduce cortisol concentrations up to 24 h following treatment and the cortisol response likely reflects the pain induced by the procedure, the effect of handling and restraint, and haemorrhaging which limited adherence of the TA actives. A multimodal analgesic approach, as assessed through multiple pain indicators, should be the focus of future work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Effects of Pre-Slaughter High-Frequency Electrical Stunning Current Intensities on Lipid Oxidative Stability and Antioxidant Capacity in the Liver of Yangzhou Goose (Anser cygnoides domesticus)
Animals 2020, 10(2), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020311 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Viewed by 114
Abstract
Limited research has been performed to evaluate the effects of high-frequency electrical stunning (ES) methods on the lipid oxidative stability of the meat goose livers. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of high-frequency-ES current intensities on lipid oxidative stability and antioxidant [...] Read more.
Limited research has been performed to evaluate the effects of high-frequency electrical stunning (ES) methods on the lipid oxidative stability of the meat goose livers. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of high-frequency-ES current intensities on lipid oxidative stability and antioxidant capacity in the liver of Yangzhou goose (Anser cygnoides domesticus). Forty 92-day-old male Yangzhou geese were randomly divided into five treatments (n = 8). Geese were not stunned (control) or exposed to ES for 10 s with alternating current (AC) at 500 Hz in a water bath. Current intensities were set at 30 V/20 mA (E30V), 60 V/40 mA (E60V), 90 V/70 mA (E90V), or 120 V/100 mA (E120V), respectively. The malondialdehyde level at day 0 was the highest in 120 V (p < 0.05). Antioxidant enzymes’ activity on day 2 was the highest in E60V. The 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl free radical (DPPH·) elimination ability was lower in the E120V than that in the E60V at two days and four days postmortem (p < 0.05). A combination of 60 V/40 mA/ 500 Hz/ 10 s per bird could be applied in the ES of Yangzhou geese to improve the lipid oxidative stability and antioxidant capacity in the livers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Associated with Cumulative First-Week Mortality in Broiler Chicks
Animals 2020, 10(2), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020310 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Viewed by 126
Abstract
First-week mortality is an important performance index as well as an important welfare indicator. The aim of the present study was to identify internal (individual-dependent) and external (management or environmental) factors that could influence the cumulative first-week mortality of broilers. To carry out [...] Read more.
First-week mortality is an important performance index as well as an important welfare indicator. The aim of the present study was to identify internal (individual-dependent) and external (management or environmental) factors that could influence the cumulative first-week mortality of broilers. To carry out this study, field data obtained from a hatchery company were used, in which 2267 flocks of broiler chicks (from 2015 to 2018), were analyzed. A generalized linear mixed model was used to analyze the data. Farm ID and house by farm were incorporated as random effects. The Odds Ratio was estimated for each factor, determining the effect of each explanatory variable. First-week mortality was significantly related to breeder age (p < 0.0001), chick gender (p < 0.0001) and breed (p < 0.0001) as internal factors, and type of broiler house (p = 0.0129), presence or absence of drip cup (p < 0.0001), egg storage (p < 0.0001), study year (p < 0.0001) and season (p < 0.0001) as external factors. Therefore, these factors should be considered in the decision making of poultry breeding companies, in order to reduce possible welfare problems and increase productive performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
Open AccessReview
Are Larger Litters a Concern for Piglet Survival or an Effectively Manageable Trait?
Animals 2020, 10(2), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020309 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Viewed by 132
Abstract
As sows continue to be selected for greater prolificacy, it is important to review problems that arise in larger litters, and whether these issues can be appropriately managed. Although a proportion of piglets in larger litters can be born underweight, proper supervision around [...] Read more.
As sows continue to be selected for greater prolificacy, it is important to review problems that arise in larger litters, and whether these issues can be appropriately managed. Although a proportion of piglets in larger litters can be born underweight, proper supervision around farrowing and adequate colostrum intake has the potential to improve the survival of low-birth-weight piglets and their ongoing growth to weaning. As larger litters can impart greater stress and discomfort on sows, implementing a low-stress environment leading up to parturition may improve sow performance and subsequent survival of piglets. Additionally, treating sows with anti-inflammatory compounds, either dietary or pharmacologically, shows some promise for alleviating sow discomfort and improving piglet survival in larger litters. Understanding that selecting sows for larger litters not only affects piglet survival but the well-being of the sow, the decision to continue selecting for larger litters, regardless of management strategies, remains a topic of ethical concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pig Reproduction)
Open AccessArticle
Models Based on the Mitscherlich Equation for Describing Typical and Atypical Gas Production Profiles Obtained from In Vitro Digestibility Studies Using Equine Faecal Inoculum
Animals 2020, 10(2), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020308 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Viewed by 136
Abstract
Two models are proposed to describe atypical biphasic gas production profiles obtained from in vitro digestibility studies. The models are extensions of the standard Mitscherlich equation, comprising either two Mitscherlich terms or one Mitscherlich and one linear term. Two models that describe typical [...] Read more.
Two models are proposed to describe atypical biphasic gas production profiles obtained from in vitro digestibility studies. The models are extensions of the standard Mitscherlich equation, comprising either two Mitscherlich terms or one Mitscherlich and one linear term. Two models that describe typical monophasic gas production curves, the standard Mitscherlich and the France model [a generalised Mitscherlich (root-t) equation], were assessed for comparison. Models were fitted to 25 gas production profiles resulting from incubating feedstuffs with faecal inocula from equines. Seventeen profiles displayed atypical biphasic patterns while the other eight displayed typical monophasic patterns. Models were evaluated using statistical measures of goodness-of-fit and by analysis of residuals. Good agreement was found between observed atypical profiles values and fitted values obtained with the two biphasic models, and both can revert to a simple Mitscherlich allowing them to describe typical monophasic profiles. The models contain kinetic fermentation parameters that can be used in conjunction with substrate degradability information and digesta passage rate to calculate extent of substrate degradation in the rumen or hindgut. Thus, models link the in vitro gas production technique to nutrient supply in the animal by providing information relating to digestion and nutritive value of feedstuffs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Vitro Digestibility in Animal Nutritional Studies)
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