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Animals, Volume 10, Issue 6 (June 2020) – 188 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Trap–neuter–return and its variants (TNR) aims to control unowned cat populations. Papers on TNR [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of UV-A Light Provided in Addition to Standard Lighting on Plumage Condition in Laying Hens
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1106; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061106 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Natural light with ultraviolet spectrum (UV) influences the birds´ perception, the reflectivity of their plumage and affects bird behavior. Therefore, in Germany, laying hens kept in barns should be provided with daylight inlets. Nevertheless, lighting in laying hen houses with a UV proportion [...] Read more.
Natural light with ultraviolet spectrum (UV) influences the birds´ perception, the reflectivity of their plumage and affects bird behavior. Therefore, in Germany, laying hens kept in barns should be provided with daylight inlets. Nevertheless, lighting in laying hen houses with a UV proportion is not common practice and little is known about the detailed effects of UV-A lighting during the entire rearing and production period. The present on-farm study examines the impact of light quality on plumage loss, skin injuries and production parameters of laying hens. Therefore, about 92,000 Lohmann Brown hens with untrimmed beaks were kept on a farm in two different groups. Half of them were housed in a barn containing 10 pens illuminated by additional UV-A light (simulate “daylight spectrum”). The other half in the second barn were equally grouped, but exposed to standard lighting for poultry houses. Health, production parameters and plumage condition were monitored during rearing and production. The study results reveal that additional UV-A light is associated with the occurrence of plumage damage and cannibalistic injuries during production. In all groups, the plumage condition of the hens was intact when the hens started laying and declined with age. Therefore, complex interactions alongside UV illumination, environmental enrichment, feed and feeding strategies as well as other management factors that possibly affected both feather damage and skin injuries must also be taken into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Motivations and Barriers for Sheep and Goat Meat Consumption in Europe: A Means–End Chain Study
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1105; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061105 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 548
Abstract
This international study involving seven European countries (Italy, UK, Finland, France, Spain, Greece, Turkey) was conducted to explore the relevant reasons that affect both consumer and non-consumer perceptions of sheep and goat meat. Laddering and means–end chain theory were applied. The results indicate [...] Read more.
This international study involving seven European countries (Italy, UK, Finland, France, Spain, Greece, Turkey) was conducted to explore the relevant reasons that affect both consumer and non-consumer perceptions of sheep and goat meat. Laddering and means–end chain theory were applied. The results indicate that consumers associate sheep and goat meat with a unique taste, authenticity and natural production, linked with values such as health and enjoyment of life. In contrast, non-consumers mainly feel disgusted when they think and feel about these meats, and do not associate any specific health benefits to their consumption, disliking their taste, odour and fat content. This study is based on qualitative research. Only analytical generalizations are possible, expanding the theory on what drives consumer behaviour when purchasing meat. No previous means–end chain studies are available in the literature regarding small ruminants’ meat consumer preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
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Open AccessArticle
A Leaky Noisy-OR Bayesian Network Applied to Genetic Counseling in Dogs
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1104; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061104 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 233
Abstract
Genetic disorders are very frequent in dogs but evaluating individualized risks of their occurrence can be uncertain. Bayesian networks are tools to characterize and analyze such events. The paper illustrates their benefits and challenges in answering two typical questions in genetic counselling: (1) [...] Read more.
Genetic disorders are very frequent in dogs but evaluating individualized risks of their occurrence can be uncertain. Bayesian networks are tools to characterize and analyze such events. The paper illustrates their benefits and challenges in answering two typical questions in genetic counselling: (1) What is the probability of a test-positive animal showing clinical signs of the disease? (2) What is the risk of testing positive for the mutant allele when one parent presents clinical signs? Current limited knowledge on the hereditary mode of transmission of degenerative myelopathy and on the effects of sex, diet, exercise regimen and age on the occurrence of clinical signs concurrent with the finding of the deleterious mutation was retrieved from the scientific literature. Uncertainty on this information was converted into prior Beta distributions and leaky-noisy OR models were used to construct the conditional probability tables necessary to answer the questions. Results showed the network is appropriate to answer objectively and transparently both questions under a variety of scenarios. Once users of the network have agreed with its structure and the values of the priors, computations are straightforward. The network can be updated automatically and can be represented visually so interactive discussion are easy between the veterinarian and his/her interlocutor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law)
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Open AccessArticle
Stocking Density Affects Welfare Indicators in Horses Reared for Meat Production
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061103 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Horses kept for meat production are reared in intensive breeding farms. We employed a checklist adapted from the Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) assessment protocol. Our evaluation aims to assess whether welfare indicators are influenced by stocking densities (m2/horse) and feeding strategies [...] Read more.
Horses kept for meat production are reared in intensive breeding farms. We employed a checklist adapted from the Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) assessment protocol. Our evaluation aims to assess whether welfare indicators are influenced by stocking densities (m2/horse) and feeding strategies applied. An analysis was carried out on the data obtained from 7 surveys conducted at a single horse farm designed for meat production. In each survey, the same 12 pens were assessed, but on each occasion, the horses in the pens had been changed as had the stocking densities. Briefly, 561 horses aged 16 ± 8 months (mean ± standard deviation) were evaluated. Two stocking density cut-off values (median and 75th percentile: 3.95 and 4.75 m2/horse, respectively) were applied to investigate the effect of stocking density on horse welfare. Data were analysed using Mann–Whitney U and Fisher’s exact tests (p < 0.05). When cut-off was set as the median percentile, lower stocking density was associated with improvements in body condition score (BCS), coat cleanliness and bedding quantity, less coughing, less resting in a standing position, and less feeding related to the greater space available at the feed bunk. When the 75th percentile cut-off was used, indicators that improved were coat cleanliness, bedding quantity and mane and tail condition, as well as less resting in standing position and less feeding related to the greater space available at the feed bunk. Accordingly, the use of two different stocking density cut-off values showed that the increase of space allowance affected specific welfare indicators. Further increment of space and/or changes in management regimes should be investigated to improve all the indicators. Moreover, results related to feeding indicated the need to intervene as starch intakes exceeded recommended safe levels, negatively affecting horse welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
Open AccessArticle
Accuracy of Broiler Activity Index as Affected by Sampling Time Interval
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1102; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061102 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 236
Abstract
Different time intervals between consecutive images have been used to determine broiler activity index (AI). However, the accuracy of broiler AI as affected by sampling time interval remains to be explored. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the [...] Read more.
Different time intervals between consecutive images have been used to determine broiler activity index (AI). However, the accuracy of broiler AI as affected by sampling time interval remains to be explored. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the sampling time interval (0.04, 0.2, 1, 10, 60, and 300 s) on the accuracy of broiler AI at different bird ages (1–7 weeks), locations (feeder, drinker, and open areas) and times of day (06:00–07:00 h, 12:00–13:00 h, and 18:00–19:00 h). A ceiling-mounted camera was used to capture top-view videos for broiler AI calculations. The results show that the sampling time interval of 0.04 s yielded the highest broiler AI because more bird motion details were captured at this short time interval. The broiler AIs at longer time intervals were 1–99% of that determined at the 0.04-s interval. The broiler AI at 0.2-s interval showed an acceptable accuracy with 80% less computational resources. Broiler AI decreased as birds aged but increased after week 4 at the drinker area. Broiler AI was the highest at the open area for weeks 1–4 and at the feeder and drinker areas for weeks 5–7. It is concluded that the accuracy of broiler AI was significantly affected by sampling time intervals. Broiler AI in commercial housing showed both temporal and spatial variations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Poultry Farming)
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Open AccessArticle
Crocin Improves the Quality of Cryopreserved Goat Semen in Different Breeds
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061101 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 237
Abstract
The effect of crocin in the semen extender before cryopreservation was evaluated on sperm parameters of 20 bucks of five different breeds: Garganica (GA), Jonica (JO), Maltese (MA), Mediterranean Red (MR) and Saanen (SA). Semen samples were centrifuged, to remove seminal plasma, divided [...] Read more.
The effect of crocin in the semen extender before cryopreservation was evaluated on sperm parameters of 20 bucks of five different breeds: Garganica (GA), Jonica (JO), Maltese (MA), Mediterranean Red (MR) and Saanen (SA). Semen samples were centrifuged, to remove seminal plasma, divided in two aliquots and diluted with Tris-egg-yolk-based extender, containing 0 (control group) and 1 mM crocin. Crocin concentration was established after a preliminary dose trial. On fresh and frozen-thawed sperm, motility, viability, morphology, membrane integrity, DNA fragmentation and ROS levels were evaluated. The freezing process led to a decrease (p < 0.05) in all the sperm parameters recorded, confirming the deleterious effect of cryopreservation on goat semen. The most interesting result regarding the inclusion of crocin in the extender before cryopreservation was as follows: Crocin significantly improved (p < 0.05) sperm motility in all breeds, except for Mediterranean Red, compared to the control group. Furthermore, 1 mM crocin reduced percentage of spermatozoa with DNA fragmentation with a marked decrement (p < 0.05) in Garganica and Saanen, as compared to the control group. Finally, intracellular ROS decreased (p < 0.01) in the crocin-treated sperm of all breeds, as compared to the control. In conclusion, supplementation of 1 mM crocin in the extender decreased oxidative stress, improving sperm motility and the DNA integrity of frozen-thawed sperm in different breeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
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Open AccessArticle
Consequences of Transition Treatments on Fertility and Associated Metabolic Status for Dairy Cows in Early Lactation
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061100 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 346
Abstract
This study aimed to (1) investigate effects of reducing postpartum dietary energy level for cows after a 0-d dry period (DP) on resumption of ovarian cyclicity and reproductive performance, (2) relate days open with other reproductive measures, and (3) relate onset of luteal [...] Read more.
This study aimed to (1) investigate effects of reducing postpartum dietary energy level for cows after a 0-d dry period (DP) on resumption of ovarian cyclicity and reproductive performance, (2) relate days open with other reproductive measures, and (3) relate onset of luteal activity (OLA) and days open with metabolic status in early lactation. Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 transition treatments: no DP and low postpartum dietary energy level from 22 days in milk( DIM )onwards (0-d DP (LOW)) (n = 42), no DP and standard postpartum dietary energy level (0-d DP (STD)) (n = 43), and a short DP and standard postpartum dietary energy level (30-d DP (STD)) (n = 43). Milk progesterone concentration was determined three times per week until 100 DIM. Plasma metabolite and hormone concentrations were measured weekly until week 7 postpartum. Reducing postpartum dietary energy level in older cows (parity ≥ 3) after no DP and 22 DIM did not affect milk production but prevented a positive energy balance and shortened the interval from calving to OLA. In addition, services per pregnancy and days open were reduced in cows of parity ≥ 3 on 0-d DP (LOW), compared with cows of parity ≥ 3 with 0-d DP (STD), but not in cows of parity 2. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Genetic Parameters of Linear Type Traits Scored at 30 Months in Italian Heavy Draught Horse
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1099; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061099 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 268
Abstract
The Italian Heavy Draught Horse (IHDH) breed is selected based on linear type traits (LTT) evaluated at young age on six-month-old foals. However, animals retained for reproduction are scored also at adults age (about 30 months), and the evaluation is mandatory for the [...] Read more.
The Italian Heavy Draught Horse (IHDH) breed is selected based on linear type traits (LTT) evaluated at young age on six-month-old foals. However, animals retained for reproduction are scored also at adults age (about 30 months), and the evaluation is mandatory for the final official admission to the stud book of candidate mares and stallions. This study aimed to estimate genetic parameters of LTT scored at 30 months to consider if they are feasible for selection instead of using foal data and to reduce costs of selection plan. Data included 19 years of evaluation for 14 LTT and an overall score. Analyses were performed on 5835 females and 856 males via animal model. The heritability ranged from 0.03 (upper line length) to 0.40 (frame size). Traits of selection interest (head size and expression; temperament/movement; fleshiness; fore diameter; rear diameter) reported heritability between 0.21 and 0.31. High genetic correlations were obtained among traits related to muscular development, 0.73 on average. Positive genetic trends were found in traits of selection interest, already selected from foal type trait data. Accounting for genetic parameters estimated in adult animals instead in foals is feasible in IHDH selection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horse Breeding and Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Fermented Soybean Meal Supplementation on the Growth Performance and Cecal Microbiota Community of Broiler Chickens
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1098; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061098 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 257
Abstract
This study investigated the growth performance, serum immunity, and cecal bacterial microbiota of broilers fed a diet in which soybean meal (SBM) was partially replaced with fermented soybean meal (FSBM) for 36 days. A total of 180 one-day-old male Cobb 500 broilers were [...] Read more.
This study investigated the growth performance, serum immunity, and cecal bacterial microbiota of broilers fed a diet in which soybean meal (SBM) was partially replaced with fermented soybean meal (FSBM) for 36 days. A total of 180 one-day-old male Cobb 500 broilers were randomly divided into three dietary groups (six replicates per group): corn-SBM diet (CC); 25% SBM replaced by FSBM (SC); 50% SBM replaced by FSBM (TC). The average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion rates (FCR) were higher in SC than CC and TC groups (p < 0.05) during the growth (d 22–36) and whole (d 1–36) phases. No significant difference was observed in ADG and average daily feed intake (ADFI) between CC and TC groups during any phases. Dietary treatments increased serum IgA, IgG, and IgM, Chao 1, observed species, and the abundance of the phylum Fimicutes but decreased the proportion of Proteobacteria (p < 0.05). Dietary treatments increased the abundance of the genera Lachnospiraceae, Lachnoclostridium, Gastranaerophilales, and Lactobacillus but decreased the abundance of Escherichia-Shigella and Clostridiales (p < 0.05). Spearman’s correlations showed that the abundance of Gastranaerophilales was positively correlated with ADG and serum immunity, and the abundance of Lactobacillus was strongly positively with IgM. Thus, replacing 25% of SBM with FSBM improves the growth performance and serum immunity of broilers, possibly due to altered cecal microbial composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Map-A-Mole: Greenspace Area Influences the Presence and Abundance of the European Mole Talpa europaea in Urban Habitats
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061097 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 425
Abstract
The European mole Talpa europaea is common across much of Britain. It has a unique fossorial lifestyle, and evidence of its presence is readily identified through the presence of characteristic molehills. Although molehills are often a common sight in urban greenspaces, moles are [...] Read more.
The European mole Talpa europaea is common across much of Britain. It has a unique fossorial lifestyle, and evidence of its presence is readily identified through the presence of characteristic molehills. Although molehills are often a common sight in urban greenspaces, moles are remarkably understudied, with very few studies to date exploring the urban ecology of moles. Here, we investigate if factors such as greenspace (largely urban parks and playing fields) area, intensity of management, distance to nearest patch, amount of time the patch had been isolated from other green patches, and the amount of urbanization (constructed surfaces) surrounding the patch, influence the distribution and abundance of urban moles. Mole signs (hills and surface runs) were counted in all discrete urban greenspaces (excluding domestic gardens and one private golf course) within an 89.5 km2 area in the UK town of Reading. We found that 17 out of 59 surveyed sites contained moles, with their presence being recorded in greenspaces with a minimum patch area of approximately 0.1 km2 (10 ha). Where present, the abundance of mole territories in the greenspaces was associated with both the area of greenspace and degree of urbanization within 150 m of the patch boundary. While the former was not surprising, the latter outcome may be a consequence of sites with an increased risk of flooding being home to fewer moles, and the surrounding area is also less likely to be built upon. This case study highlights how choices made in designing urban green infrastructure will determine which species survive in urban areas long into the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Impacts on Urban Mammals)
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Open AccessArticle
UVB Irradiation Induced Cell Damage and Early Onset of Junbb Expression in Zebrafish
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061096 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 269
Abstract
Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation has drawn more attention over these past few decades since it causes severe DNA damage and induces inflammatory response. Serial gene profiling and high throughput data in UVB-associated phenomenon in human cultured cells or full rack of human skin [...] Read more.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation has drawn more attention over these past few decades since it causes severe DNA damage and induces inflammatory response. Serial gene profiling and high throughput data in UVB-associated phenomenon in human cultured cells or full rack of human skin have been investigated. However, results using different tissue models lead to ambiguity in UVB-induced pathways. In order to systematically understand the UVB-associated reactions, the zebrafish model was used, and whole organism gene profiling was performed to identify a novel biomarker which can be used to generate a new mechanistic approach for further screening on a UVB-related system biology. In this study, detailed morphological assays were performed to address biological response after receiving UVB irradiation at morphological, cellular, and molecular levels. Microarray screening and whole genome profiling revealed that there is an early onset expression of junbb in zebrafish embryos after UVB irradiation. Also, the identified novel biomarker junbb is more sensitive to UVB response than mmps which have been used in mouse models. Moreover, cellular and molecular response chronology after UVB irradiation in zebrafish provide a solid and fundamental mechanism for use in a UV radiation-associated study in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Fatty Acid Proportions Determined by Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy and Gas Chromatography in Bulk and Individual Milk Samples
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1095; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061095 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 245
Abstract
Rapid analytical methods can contribute to the expansion of milk fatty acid determination for various important practical purposes. The reliability of data resulting from these routine methods plays a crucial role. Bulk and individual milk samples (60 and 345, respectively) were obtained from [...] Read more.
Rapid analytical methods can contribute to the expansion of milk fatty acid determination for various important practical purposes. The reliability of data resulting from these routine methods plays a crucial role. Bulk and individual milk samples (60 and 345, respectively) were obtained from Czech Fleckvieh and Holstein dairy cows in the Czech Republic. The correlation between milk fatty acid (FA) proportions determined by the routine method (infrared spectroscopy in the mid-region in connection with Fourier transformation; FT-MIR) and the reference method (gas chromatography; GC) was evaluated. To validate the calibration of the FT-MIR method, a linear regression model was used. For bulk milk samples, the correlation coefficients between these methods were higher for the saturated (SFAs) and unsaturated FAs (UFAs) (r = 0.7169 and 0.9232; p < 0.001) than for the trans isomers of UFAs (TFAs) and polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs) (r = 0.5706 and 0.6278; p < 0.001). Similar results were found for individual milk samples: r = 0.8592 and 0.8666 (p < 0.001) for SFAs and UFAs, 0.1690 (p < 0.01) for TFAs, and 0.3314 (p < 0.001) for PUFAs. The correlation coefficients for TFAs and PUFAs were statistically significant but too low for practical analytical application. The results indicate that the FT-MIR method can be used for routine determination mainly for SFAs and UFAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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Open AccessReview
Welfare of Free-Roaming Horses: 70 Years of Experience with Konik Polski Breeding in Poland
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1094; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061094 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 445
Abstract
To prevent abuse and to assure the welfare of domestic horses, attempts to assess welfare in a standardized way have been made. Welfare-assessment tools often refer to the physical and social environments of feral domestic horses as examples of welfare-friendly conditions for horses. [...] Read more.
To prevent abuse and to assure the welfare of domestic horses, attempts to assess welfare in a standardized way have been made. Welfare-assessment tools often refer to the physical and social environments of feral domestic horses as examples of welfare-friendly conditions for horses. However, free-roaming horses are often exposed to conditions or states that may be regarded as welfare threats or abuse. The aim of this review was to present cases of welfare compromises as well as natural ways to restore high standards of welfare to Konik polski horses (Koniks) living in semiferal conditions in a forest sanctuary over the course of 70 years. Welfare problems in Koniks related to feeding, locomotor, social, reproductive, and comfort behavior, as well as health issues concerning hoof trimming and parasitism in Koniks, are discussed. Periodic food scarcity or abundance, stressful events around weaning and gathering, the consequences of fights among stallions, exposure to sire aggression during dispersal, lameness during “self-trimming,” exposure to insect harassment, high levels of parasitism, and specific landscape formations may endanger free-roaming horses. It has to be underlined that despite the excellent adaptability of horses to free-roaming conditions, one should be aware that welfare problems are to be expected in any semiferal population. Here, we present the management system applied for 70 years in free-roaming Konik polski horses that minimizes welfare threats. It allows close follow-up of individual horses, the strict monitoring of health and welfare on a daily basis, and if necessary, instant reactions from caretakers in cases of emergency. Moreover, it addresses the problem of starvation due to overgrazing and thus, the ethical controversy related to the eradication of surplus animals causing environmental damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horse Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Characterization of Native Donkey (Equus asinus) Populations of Turkey Using Microsatellite Markers
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061093 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 288
Abstract
This study presents the first insights to the genetic diversity and structure of the Turkish donkey populations. The primary objectives were to detect the main structural features of Turkish donkeys by microsatellite markers. A panel of 17 microsatellite markers was applied for genotyping [...] Read more.
This study presents the first insights to the genetic diversity and structure of the Turkish donkey populations. The primary objectives were to detect the main structural features of Turkish donkeys by microsatellite markers. A panel of 17 microsatellite markers was applied for genotyping 314 donkeys from 16 locations of Turkey. One hundred and forty-two alleles were identified and the number of alleles per locus ranged from 4 to 12. The highest number of alleles was observed in AHT05 (12) and the lowest in ASB02 and HTG06 (4), while ASB17 was monomorphic. The mean HO in the Turkish donkey was estimated to be 0.677, while mean HE was 0.675. The polymorphic information content (PIC) was calculated for each locus and ranged from 0.36 (locus ASB02) to 0.98 (locus AHT05), which has the highest number of alleles per locus in the present study. The average PIC in our populations was 0.696. The average coefficient of gene differentiation (GST) over the 17 loci was 0.020 ± 0.037 (p < 0.01). The GST values for single loci ranged from −0.004 for LEX54 to 0.162 for COR082. Nei’s gene diversity index (Ht) for loci ranged from 0.445 (ASB02) to 0.890 (AHT05), with an average of 0.696. A Bayesian clustering method, the Structure software, was used for clustering algorithms of multi-locus genotypes to identify the population structure and the pattern of admixture within the populations. When the number of ancestral populations varied from K = 1 to 20, the largest change in the log of the likelihood function (ΔK) was when K = 2. The results for K = 2 indicate a clear separation between Clade I (KIR, CAT, KAR, MAR, SAN) and Clade II (MAL, MER, TOK, KAS, KUT, KON, ISP, ANT, MUG, AYD and KAH) populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horse Breeding and Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Causes of Increased Vocalisation in Elderly Cats with Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome as Assessed by Their Owners
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1092; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061092 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 450
Abstract
The objectives of this study were to explore owner perception of the causes of increased vocalisation in cats diagnosed with cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and consider what impact this vocalisation may have on the cat’s household. Owners of cats diagnosed with CDS that [...] Read more.
The objectives of this study were to explore owner perception of the causes of increased vocalisation in cats diagnosed with cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and consider what impact this vocalisation may have on the cat’s household. Owners of cats diagnosed with CDS that presented with increased vocalisation were invited to complete an online survey. The survey consisted of 28 questions including the cat’s signalment, its medical history, and questions pertaining to the owner’s perception of what motivated their cat´s increased vocalisation. This was determined by looking at the cat’s behaviour when vocalising, where it was looking when it was vocalising, and if the vocalisation stopped when the owner interacted with it, e.g., petting or feeding it. The owners were also asked how stressful they found their cat’s vocalisation. There were 37 responses. The majority of owners reported that the main cause of their cat’s vocalisation appeared to be disorientation (40.5%) or attention seeking (40.5%). Seeking a resource such as food was reported in 16.2%, and pain was perceived to be the cause in only 2.7% of cats. However, the majority of owners (64.8%) believed there was >1 cause of their cat’s increased vocalisation. Importantly, when owners were asked how stressful they found their cat’s increased vocalisation, 40.5% scored ≥3 (where 1 = not stressful; 5 = significantly stressful). This study provides novel insight into owner perception of feline CDS, as well as potential causes for increased vocalisation; this will allow veterinarians to better advise owners on how to manage their cat with CDS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Methane Emissions and Milk Fatty Acid Profiles in Dairy Cows Fed Linseed, Measured at the Group Level in a Naturally Ventilated Housing and Individually in Respiration Chambers
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1091; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061091 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 502
Abstract
The present study evaluated the effects of linseed supplementation on CH4 emission and milk fatty acid composition in dairy cows measured at the group level in an experimental dairy loose housing using a tracer gas technique and individually in tied stalls and [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated the effects of linseed supplementation on CH4 emission and milk fatty acid composition in dairy cows measured at the group level in an experimental dairy loose housing using a tracer gas technique and individually in tied stalls and respiration chambers. Cows (2 × 20) were maintained in two separate sections under loose-housing conditions and received a diet supplemented with extruded linseed (L) lipids (29 g·kg−1 dry matter) or a control (C) diet containing corn flour. Subsequently, 2 × 6 cows per dietary group were investigated in a tied-housing system and respiration chambers. Substantially higher proportions of favorable milk fatty acids were recovered in L cows when compared with C cows at the group level, making the analysis of bulk milk a suitable control instrument for retailers. Linseed supplementation resulted in a slightly lower diurnal course of CH4 emission intensity than the control at the group and individual levels. However, we found no more than a trend for a CH4 mitigating effect, unlike in other studies supplementing similar linseed lipid levels. Feed supplements in concentrations that lead to a significant reduction in CH4 emissions must show whether the reduction potential determined at the group and individual levels is comparable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Omega-3 Alpha-Linolenic Fatty Acid Affects the Level of Telomere Binding Protein TRF1 in Porcine Skeletal Muscle
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1090; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061090 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 237
Abstract
Omega-3 fatty acids are health-promoting nutrients that contribute to the amelioration of age-related diseases. Recent studies have reported the role of these fatty acids in the aging process, explicitly impacting telomere biology. The shelterin protein complex, located at the extremities of chromosomes, ensures [...] Read more.
Omega-3 fatty acids are health-promoting nutrients that contribute to the amelioration of age-related diseases. Recent studies have reported the role of these fatty acids in the aging process, explicitly impacting telomere biology. The shelterin protein complex, located at the extremities of chromosomes, ensures telomere protection and length regulation. Here, we analyzed the impact of dietary omega-3 alpha-linolenic fatty acid from linseed oil on skeletal muscle telomere biology using an animal model of female pigs. Fifteen animals were supplemented with linseed oil for nine weeks and an equal number of individuals were fed with a control diet. Linseed-oil-supplemented animals showed an increased level of alpha-linolenic acid in skeletal muscles compared to control animals. There was no difference between groups in the telomere length measured in leukocytes and muscles. However, muscles of the linseed-oil-supplemented pigs showed lower levels of the shelterin TRF1 protein compared to the control group. Our results suggest that omega-3 linolenic acid counteracts the elevation of TRF1 levels, which increase with age and due to the presence of reactive oxygen species in muscle. The observed effect may be due to attenuation of oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Genomic Tools for the Conservation and Genetic Improvement of a Highly Fragmented Breed—The Ramo Grande Cattle from the Azores
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1089; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061089 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 343
Abstract
Ramo Grande is a local cattle breed raised in the archipelago of Azores, with a small and dispersed census, where inbreeding control is of utmost importance. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) Beadchip array was used to assess inbreeding, by analysis of genomic regions [...] Read more.
Ramo Grande is a local cattle breed raised in the archipelago of Azores, with a small and dispersed census, where inbreeding control is of utmost importance. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) Beadchip array was used to assess inbreeding, by analysis of genomic regions harboring contiguous homozygous genotypes named runs of homozygosity (ROH), and to estimate past effective population size by analysis of linkage disequilibrium (LD). Genetic markers associated with production traits were also investigated, exploiting the unique genetic and adaptation features of this breed. A total of 639 ROH with length >4 Mb were identified, with mean length of 14.96 Mb. The mean genomic inbreeding was 0.09, and long segments of ROH were common, indicating recent inbred matings. The LD pattern indicates a large effective population size, suggesting the inflow of exotic germplasm in the past. The genome-wide association study identified novel markers significantly affecting longevity, age at first calving and direct genetic effects on calf weight. These results provide the first evidence of the association of longevity with genes related with DNA recognition and repair, and the association of age at first calving with aquaporin proteins, which are known to have a crucial role in reproduction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Single and Repeated Doses on Disposition and Kinetics of Doxycycline Hyclate in Goats
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1088; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061088 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 284
Abstract
The aims of this study in goats were to determine the pharmacokinetics of doxycycline hyclate following single intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM) and oral administrations of 20 mg/kg and to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and accumulation of doxycycline hyclate after repeated oral administrations at a [...] Read more.
The aims of this study in goats were to determine the pharmacokinetics of doxycycline hyclate following single intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM) and oral administrations of 20 mg/kg and to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and accumulation of doxycycline hyclate after repeated oral administrations at a 20 mg/kg dose every 24 h for 5 days. Six healthy male goats were used for the study. The study was performed in four periods according to a longitudinal study with a 15-day washout period. Plasma concentrations of doxycycline were determined using HPLC-UV and analyzed by a non-compartmental method. IM injection of doxycycline caused swelling and pain due to irritation in the injection site. After IM and oral administrations, terminal elimination half-life (t1/2λz) and mean residence time (MRT) were prolonged and areas under the curve (AUCs) were low. The mean bioavailability of IM and oral administration was 51.51% and 31.39%, respectively. Following repeated oral administration, the accumulation ratio of doxycycline was 1.76. Pharmacokinetic properties including weak accumulation, wide distribution volume and long elimination half-life can make doxycycline hyclate valuable for repeated use via an oral route in the treatment of some infectious diseases in goats. However, the determination of pharmacodynamic effects on susceptible pathogens isolated from goats is also necessary to confirm the drug dosage regimen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibiotic Use in Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Rabbit, Kitten and Mammal Milk Replacer Efficiencies in Early Weaning Rabbits
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1087; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061087 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Early weaned rabbits should be fed using a milk replacer in order to survive. Therefore, a rabbit milk replacer (RMR) was developed and compared with a kitten milk replacer (KMR®: KMR) and a mammal milk replacer (Zoologic® Milk matrix 30/52: [...] Read more.
Early weaned rabbits should be fed using a milk replacer in order to survive. Therefore, a rabbit milk replacer (RMR) was developed and compared with a kitten milk replacer (KMR®: KMR) and a mammal milk replacer (Zoologic® Milk matrix 30/52: MMR). Thirty-six native crossbred rabbits aged 18 days were divided into three experimental groups (six replicates/group, two rabbits/replicate), fed RMR, KMR or MMR daily until they were 36 days old and euthanized at 38 days, while a complete pelleted diet and water were provided ad libitum. No statistically significant differences were observed in growth performance parameters, water intake, faecal weight, nutrient digestibility, internal organ weight, caecal pH, caecal cellulose activity, number of faecal pellets and amount of crude protein intake (p > 0.05). Caecal amylase activity in the KMR group and caecal protease activity in the RMR group were higher than in the MMR group (p < 0.05). The villus height and crypt depth of the MMR group were greater than in the RMR and KMR group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, it is possible to feed RMR to early weaning rabbits without serious adverse effects. However, probiotics and/or prebiotics should be supplemented in milk replacers and their benefits studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future challenges in Rabbit Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Survey of Serum Amyloid A and Bacterial and Viral Frequency Using qPCR Levels in Recently Captured Feral Donkeys from Death Valley National Park (California)
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1086; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061086 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 287
Abstract
Feral donkey removal from state land has raised concerns in terms of disease transmission between equine species. Disease outbreaks may occur as a result of the relocation of animals to new environments. Virus and bacteria DNA load and serum amyloid A derived from [...] Read more.
Feral donkey removal from state land has raised concerns in terms of disease transmission between equine species. Disease outbreaks may occur as a result of the relocation of animals to new environments. Virus and bacteria DNA load and serum amyloid A derived from the pathogenic processes that they involve were measured in recently captured donkeys. Blood and nasal swabs were collected from 85 donkeys (Death Valley National Park, Shoshone, California); 24 were retested after 30/60 days in the Scenic (Arizona) long-term holding facility co-mingled with feral donkeys from Arizona and Utah. Quantitative Real-Time PCR (qPCR) was performed to detect viral and bacterial genomic material (equine influenza A [EIV], equine rhinitis A and B viruses, AHV-2, AHV-3, AHV-5 and EHV-1, EHV-4, Streptococcus equi subspecies equi and zooepidemicus,). Significant relations between behavior, body condition score, nasal discharge, and coughing were found in donkeys for which AHV-2 and Streptococcus zooepidemicus DNA was detected. Higher SAA concentrations were found in foals. AHV-2 and Streptococcus zooepidemicus DNA concentrations significantly differed between sampling moments (p < 0.05). In conclusion, donkeys do not appear to be a substantial risk for disease transmission to horses but could be if they carried strangles or other processes in which AHV-2 and Streptococcus zooepidemicus were involved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Donkey and Mule Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetics of Lifetime Reproductive Performance in Italian Heavy Draught Horse Mares
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1085; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061085 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Our aims were to find a phenotypic variable to express mares’ lifetime reproductive performance after 6 breeding seasons (BS) in Italian Heavy Draught Horse breed (IHDH), and to estimate its heritability. At first, 1487 mares in a training dataset were used to implement [...] Read more.
Our aims were to find a phenotypic variable to express mares’ lifetime reproductive performance after 6 breeding seasons (BS) in Italian Heavy Draught Horse breed (IHDH), and to estimate its heritability. At first, 1487 mares in a training dataset were used to implement and validate a set of predictive coefficients (LFR-C) or equations (LFR-E) to estimate a lifetime foaling rate (LFR) after 6 BS, i.e., the number of foals generated divided by the opportunities to do so. Then, 3033 mares in a dataset with at least 3 registered BS, was used to estimate LFR for mares with 3, 4, or 5 registered RS. This dataset contained actual (n = 1950) and estimated (n = 1443) LFR, obtained by LFR-C, and LFR-E; Arcsine transformation of LFR-C and LFR-E were also analyzed in single trait animal models to estimate heritability. Overall, the LFR showed a moderate but significant genetic variation, and the heritability of the trait was high (0.24) considering it is a fitness trait. The arcsine transformation of LFR did not show any improvement of heritability. The present study indicates the possible use of a linear LFR variable for breeding purposes in IHDH breed considering both complete and incomplete reproductive careers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horse Breeding and Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Diet Based on Legume Seeds and Rapeseed Meal on Pig Performance and Meat Quality
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1084; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061084 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 312
Abstract
The aim of this work was to assess the impact of a total dietary replacement of extracted soybean meal (SBM) on body weight gain and pork quality. DanBred hybrid piglets were divided into four groups of 10 piglets each. Groups I (males) and [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to assess the impact of a total dietary replacement of extracted soybean meal (SBM) on body weight gain and pork quality. DanBred hybrid piglets were divided into four groups of 10 piglets each. Groups I (males) and II (females) were the control groups and fed a standardized SBM-based complete feed. The experimental groups III (males) and IV (females) were offered a diet in which the SBM was replaced with extracted rapeseed meal (RSM) and legume plants (pea and yellow lupin). After 83 days of fattening, the animals were slaughtered. Based on the collected data, the daily weight gain (DWG), feed intake (FI), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were calculated. In addition, longissimus dorsi muscle was subjected to physicochemical analyses, including the basic chemical composition. All the analyses were performed in accordance with the applicable methodologies. As a result of this experiment, no interactions were found between the experimental factors (sex and diet). The replacement of SMB by legumes and RSM resulted in a significant reduction in the final body weight of growing–finishing pigs. Additionally, daily body weight gain was reduced between 35–83 days, and through the whole fattening period (0–83 days). Most pork meat quality parameters were not affected by the type of mix feed and sex (p > 0.05). The fattening pigs that were fed legume seeds and RSM had significantly reduced fatness (p > 0.05) compared to the control pigs. In males, there was also a significantly lower pH45 (p < 0.05). It can be concluded that feeding pigs with diets containing legume plants and extracted rapeseed meal does not affect the pork meat quality, but it may worsen the body weight gain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternatives Protein in Animal Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Genetic Parameters of Birth Weight and Weaning Weight and Their Relationship with Gestation Length and Age at First Calving in Hanwoo (Bos taurus coreanae)
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1083; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061083 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 237
Abstract
Hanwoo is one of the most economically important animal species in Korea due to its significant contribution to nutrition. However, the current selection index only focuses to improve carcass traits of Hanwoo. Thus, this study aimed to estimate the genetic parameters of birth [...] Read more.
Hanwoo is one of the most economically important animal species in Korea due to its significant contribution to nutrition. However, the current selection index only focuses to improve carcass traits of Hanwoo. Thus, this study aimed to estimate the genetic parameters of birth weight (BW) and weaning weight (WW) and their genetic and phenotypic relationship to the age at first calving (AFC) and gestation length (GL) of Hanwoo. The genetic parameters for birth weight (BW) and weaning weight (WW) were estimated using the data obtained from 52,173 and 35,800 Hanwoo calves born from February 1998 to March 2017, respectively. Further, these data were used to determine their genetic and phenotypic correlation to age at first calving (AFC) and gestation length (GL). The heritability estimates of BW and WW and correlation coefficients were obtained using the average information restricted maximum likelihood (AIREML) procedure, fit in single and two-trait linear animal models. The estimated direct heritability for BW and WW was moderate (0.22 ± 0.02) and high (0.51 ± 0.03), respectively, while the maternal heritability for both traits was 0.12 ± 0.01 and 0.17 ± 0.01, respectively. The genetic correlation of BW and reproductive traits (AFC and GL) showed a moderate and high positive correlation coefficient of 0.33 ± 0.06 and 0.53 ± 0.02, respectively, while close to zero and low positive phenotypic correlations of 0.06 ± 0.01 and 0.21 ± 0.06 were also observed between the correlated traits, respectively. For the correlation analysis between WW and AFC, both the genetic and phenotypic correlation showed close to zero values of 0.04 ± 0.06 and −0.01 ± 0.01, respectively. Meanwhile, the genetic and phenotypic correlation between WW and GL showed low and negative correlations of −0.09 ± 0.06 and −0.09 ± 0.01, respectively. These obtained estimated variances for BW and WW and their corresponding genetic and phenotypic correlation to AFC and GL can be used as information for genetic improvement and subsequent economic improvement of Hanwoo farming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Open AccessReview
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle for Food Waste: A Second Life for Fresh-Cut Leafy Salad Crops in Animal Diets
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061082 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 264
Abstract
The world’s population is growing rapidly, which means that the environmental impact of food production needs to be reduced and that food should be considered as something precious and not wasted. Moreover, an urgent challenge facing the planet is the competition between the [...] Read more.
The world’s population is growing rapidly, which means that the environmental impact of food production needs to be reduced and that food should be considered as something precious and not wasted. Moreover, an urgent challenge facing the planet is the competition between the food produced for humans and the feed for animals. There are various solutions such as the use of plant/vegetable by-products (PBPs) and former foodstuffs, which are the co/by-products of processing industries, or the food losses generated by the food production chain for human consumption. This paper reviews the by-co-products derived from the transformation of fresh-cut leafy salad crops. A preliminary nutritional evaluation of these materials is thus proposed. Based on their composition and nutritional features, in some cases similar to fresh forage and grasses, this biomass seems to be a suitable feedstuff for selected farm animals, such as ruminants. In conclusion, although the present data are not exhaustive and further studies are needed to weigh up the possible advantages and disadvantages of these materials, fresh-cut leafy salad crops represent a potential unconventional feed ingredient that could help in exploiting the circular economy in livestock production, thereby improving sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fiber Metabolism, Procollagen and Collagen Type III Immunoreactivity in Broiler Pectoralis Major Affected by Muscle Abnormalities
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1081; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061081 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 234
Abstract
The present study aimed to evaluate the muscle fiber metabolism and assess the presence and distribution of both procollagen and collagen type III in pectoralis major muscles affected by white striping (WS), wooden breast (WB), and spaghetti meat (SM), as well as in [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to evaluate the muscle fiber metabolism and assess the presence and distribution of both procollagen and collagen type III in pectoralis major muscles affected by white striping (WS), wooden breast (WB), and spaghetti meat (SM), as well as in those with macroscopically normal appearance (NORM). For this purpose, 20 pectoralis major muscles (five per group) were selected from the same flock of fast-growing broilers (Ross 308, males, 45-days-old, 3.0 kg live weight) and were used for histochemical (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide tetrazolium reductase (NADH-TR) and alpha-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (α-GPD)) and immunohistochemical (procollagen and collagen type III) analyses. When compared to NORM, we found an increased proportion (p < 0.001) of fibers positively stained to NADH-TR in myopathic muscles along with a relevant decrease (p < 0.001) in the percentage of those exhibiting a positive reaction to α-GPD. In addition, an increased proportion of fibers exhibiting a positive reaction to both stainings was observed in SM, in comparison with NORM (14.3 vs. 7.2%; p < 0.001). After reacting to NADH-TR, SM exhibited the lowest (p < 0.001) cross-sectional area (CSA) of the fibers (−12% with respect to NORM). On the other hand, after reacting to α-GPD, the CSA of WS was found to be significantly larger (+10%) in comparison with NORM (7480 vs. 6776 µm2; p < 0.05). A profound modification of the connective tissue architecture involving a different presence and distribution of procollagen and collagen type III was observed. Intriguingly, an altered metabolism and differences in the presence and distribution of procollagen and collagen type III were even observed in pectoralis major muscle classified as NORM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
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Open AccessArticle
Acceptability, Preferences, and Palatability of Diets Containing Summer and Winter Brassica Forage in Growing Pigs: A Pilot Study
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1080; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061080 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 221
Abstract
Brassica forage may be included in pigs’ diet as a dietary fiber ingredient to reduce feeding costs, benefit gut health, immune system, reproductive traits, and welfare. However, they contain antinutritional factors which may affect feeding behavior. This study evaluated feeding behavior of growing [...] Read more.
Brassica forage may be included in pigs’ diet as a dietary fiber ingredient to reduce feeding costs, benefit gut health, immune system, reproductive traits, and welfare. However, they contain antinutritional factors which may affect feeding behavior. This study evaluated feeding behavior of growing pigs offered winter (kale and swede) and summer (turnip and forage rape) brassicas incorporated on their diets as dried ground meal. Two consecutive experiments with six growing castrated male pigs were conducted. Experiment 1 evaluated the inclusion of turnip bulbs and forage rape, while experiment 2 studied inclusion of kale and swede bulbs. Brassica meal was included at 15% of the diet by replacing wheat middlings (control diet). In each experiment, pigs were offered experimental diets over six consecutive days for 10 min to test their acceptability (day 1–3) and preferences (day 4–6). No differences were found between diets that included brassicas and control diet in pigs’ acceptability or palatability (p > 0.05). However, during preference tests of winter brassicas, swede presented a higher consumption than control and kale (p < 0.05). This suggest that brassicas may be incorporated in growing pigs’ diets without negative effects in animals’ oral perception during short term feeding tests. Nevertheless, the long-term effects need to be explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
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Open AccessArticle
Milk Potential of Pantaneira Cows, a Local Breed, at Organic System
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1079; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061079 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 302
Abstract
Pantaneiro cattle (Bos taurus taurus) is a breed locally adapted to the Brazilian Pantanal. Local breeds are essential for the quality production of organic systems based on planned grazing practices, because of their results in resilient and productive ecosystems, enhancing biodiversity. [...] Read more.
Pantaneiro cattle (Bos taurus taurus) is a breed locally adapted to the Brazilian Pantanal. Local breeds are essential for the quality production of organic systems based on planned grazing practices, because of their results in resilient and productive ecosystems, enhancing biodiversity. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of Pantaneira primiparous cows, and systems with reduced use of concentrate, simulating organic production conditions. Five animals, with an average body weight of 396.2 ± 43.5 kg, were kept in individual continuous grazing regimes and supplemented with different concentrate levels (1.2%, 0.9%, 0.6%, 0.3%, and 0.0% of body weight). The animals were allocated at random in a 5 × 5 Latin square design repeated twice during the study time. The cows had a low dry matter and nutrient intake with a reduction in concentrate level, with improvement in neutral detergent fiber digestibility and a reduction in total nutrient digestibility. No changes were observed in plasma glucose levels or urea excretion, but the plasma urea nitrogen decreased with reductions in concentrate levels. There was a reduction in milk yield, but the energy-corrected milk was not affected by the reduction in concentrate levels; furthermore, the milk yield efficiency was not affected. The milk fat content improved with the reduction in concentrate levels. The Pantaneira breed has the genetic potential for the maintenance of competitive production and quality in organic systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morpho-Functional and Genetic Characterization of Local Breeds)
Open AccessArticle
Edition of Prostaglandin E2 Receptors EP2 and EP4 by CRISPR/Cas9 Technology in Equine Adipose Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1078; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061078 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 310
Abstract
In mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), it has been reported that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) stimulation of EP2 and EP4 receptors triggers processes such as migration, self-renewal, survival, and proliferation, and their activation is involved in homing. The aim of this work was to establish [...] Read more.
In mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), it has been reported that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) stimulation of EP2 and EP4 receptors triggers processes such as migration, self-renewal, survival, and proliferation, and their activation is involved in homing. The aim of this work was to establish a genetically modified adipose (aMSC) model in which receptor genes EP2 and EP4 were edited separately using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. After edition, the genes were evaluated as to if the expression of MSC surface markers was affected, as well as the migration capacity in vitro of the generated cells. Adipose MSCs were obtained from Chilean breed horses and cultured in DMEM High Glucose with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). sgRNA were cloned into a linearized LentiCRISPRv2GFP vector and transfected into HEK293FT cells for producing viral particles that were used to transduce aMSCs. GFP-expressing cells were separated by sorting to obtain individual clones. Genomic DNA was amplified, and the site-directed mutation frequency was assessed by T7E1, followed by Sanger sequencing. We selected 11 clones of EP2 and 10 clones of EP4, and by Sanger sequencing we confirmed 1 clone knock-out to aMSC/EP2 and one heterozygous mutant clone of aMSC/EP4. Both edited cells had decreased expression of EP2 and EP4 receptors when compared to the wild type, and the edition of EP2 and EP4 did not affect the expression of MSC surface markers, showing the same pattern in filling the scratch. We can conclude that the edition of these receptors in aMSCs does not affect their surface marker phenotype and migration ability when compared to wild-type cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Exogenous Glucoamylase Enzymes Alone or in Combination with a Neutral Protease on Apparent Total Tract Digestibility and Feces D-Lactate in Crossbred Angus Bulls Fed a Ration Rich in Rolled Corn
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061077 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 252
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of two glucoamylases (GA) and the combination of one GA with a neutral protease on apparent total tract digestibility in beef bulls fed a total mixed ration (TMR) rich in rolled corn. Sixteen [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of two glucoamylases (GA) and the combination of one GA with a neutral protease on apparent total tract digestibility in beef bulls fed a total mixed ration (TMR) rich in rolled corn. Sixteen Angus beef bulls (266 ± 4.9 kg of initial BW, and 182 ± 1.7 d of age) were distributed in 4 blocks, each block consisted of 4 animals balanced by BW. The experimental design was a 4 × 4 Latin square (4 blocks and 4 periods, 2 w per period). Four treatments were tested; (1) control, (2) GA preparation from Trichoderma reesei (TrGA); (3) GA from Aspergillus fumigatus (AfuGA); (4) AfuGA in combination with a neutral protease from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens (BamPro). Apparent total tract digestibility and fecal D-lactate concentration were analyzed. Enzyme supplementation, regardless of enzyme type, increased apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter (from 66.7% to 73.1% ± 2.01), and starch (from 74.7% to 81.8% ± 2.25), without affecting feces D-lactate concentration. Irrespective of glucoamylase type, glucoamylase supplementation improved apparent digestibility of dry matter and starch, and the addition of a protease did not have additional benefits on nutrient digestibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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