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Animals, Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Understanding the most prominent animal welfare concerns among members of the public is critical to [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Maternal Magnesium Sulfate Supplementation in a Pre-Farrow Diet Improves Factors Important for Piglet Viability
Animals 2018, 8(10), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100185
Received: 11 September 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Piglet hypoxia during farrowing is common and can lead to increased stillbirth rates, reduced piglet vitality, and an increased risk of preweaning mortality. Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) has successfully been used as a neuroprotectant and readily crosses the placenta in humans. Based
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Piglet hypoxia during farrowing is common and can lead to increased stillbirth rates, reduced piglet vitality, and an increased risk of preweaning mortality. Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) has successfully been used as a neuroprotectant and readily crosses the placenta in humans. Based on this human data, the aim of this study was to determine if maternal dietary supplementation with MgSO4 prior to farrowing would reduce the impact of piglet hypoxia during the peri-natal period. Five days prior to farrowing, Large White × Landrace sows were fed either standard lactation sow diet (Cont; n = 30) or lactation diet supplemented to deliver 21 g/day MgSO4 (Mg; n = 31). There was no effect of treatment on the percentage of stillborn piglets (p > 0.05). However, Mg piglets tended to have higher vitality scores immediately after birth (p < 0.10), were quicker to suck, and had higher day one blood glucose concentrations when compared with Cont piglets (p < 0.05). Furthermore, hypoxic piglets born to Cont sows did not gain weight from birth to 24 h, but Mg piglets did (p < 0.05), suggesting improved colostrum ingestion. In conclusion, MgSO4 may reduce the negative impacts of birth hypoxia, improving piglet vitality, and colostrum intake during the peri-natal period. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Single and Combined Effects of Clostridium butyricum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae on Growth Indices, Intestinal Health, and Immunity of Broilers
Animals 2018, 8(10), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100184
Received: 26 August 2018 / Revised: 13 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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Abstract
A total of 120 1-day-old commercial Cobb chicks were used to study the effects of Clostridium butyricum (C. butyricum) and/or Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) on growth performance, intestinal health, and immune status in broilers. The experimental groups were as
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A total of 120 1-day-old commercial Cobb chicks were used to study the effects of Clostridium butyricum (C. butyricum) and/or Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) on growth performance, intestinal health, and immune status in broilers. The experimental groups were as follows: G1; basal diet (BD), G2; basal diet (BD) plus C. butyricum preparation at 0.5 g/kg diet, G3; BD plus S. cerevisiae preparation at 0.5 g/kg diet, G4; BD plus 0.25 g/kg C. butyricum preparation plus 0.25 g/kg S. cerevisiae. Results showed that the total body weight gain, feed conversion efficiency, and protein efficiency ratio were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the G4 group than in the other groups. The mortality percentage was reduced in the probiotic-supplemented groups. The villi height was elongated, and the villus height/crypt depth ratio was significantly increased in G2 and G4 chicks, compared to those in the control. The crypt depth was significantly decreased in all the probiotic-supplemented groups. Hemagglutination inhibition titers for Newcastle disease virus (NDV) were markedly increased in G2 and G4 chicks at 35 days of age, compared to those in G3 and control chicks. These results showed that dietary supplementation of a combined mixture of C. butyricum and S. cerevisiae in an equal ratio (G4) was more effective in improving growth performance, immune status, and gut health of broilers, compared with individual supplementation at a full dose. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Two Transport Options on the Welfare of Two Genetic Lines of Organic Free Range Pullets in Switzerland
Animals 2018, 8(10), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100183
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 14 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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Abstract
The welfare of two genetic lines of organic layer hen pullets—H&N Super Nick (HNS) and H&N Brown Nick (HNB)—was compared during two commercial transport variants of 15 flocks of mixed-reared birds. Birds were either transported overnight (with a break in travel), or were
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The welfare of two genetic lines of organic layer hen pullets—H&N Super Nick (HNS) and H&N Brown Nick (HNB)—was compared during two commercial transport variants of 15 flocks of mixed-reared birds. Birds were either transported overnight (with a break in travel), or were transported direct to the layer farm (without a break in travel). Samples of feces were collected non-invasively from 25 birds of each genetic line per flock for each transport variant before transportation to evaluate baseline values of glucocorticoid metabolites, and at 0 h, 3 h, 6 h, 10 h, 24 h, 34 h, 48 h, 58 h, and 72 h after the end of transportation, to measure transportation and translocation stress. We assessed the fear toward humans with the touch test before transportation, and we checked the birds’ body condition by scoring the plumage condition and the occurrence of injuries. Body weight before and weight loss after transportation were determined, and ambient temperature was measured before, during, and after transportation. Stress investigations showed no significant differences between the transport variants (effect: −0.208; 95% confidence interval (CI): (−0.567; 0.163)). Instead, we discovered differences between the pullet lines (effect: −0.286; 95% CI: (−0.334; 0.238)). Weight loss was different between the transport variants (2.1 percentage points; 95% CI: (−2.6; −1.5)) and between the genetic lines, as HNB lost significantly less weight than HNS (0.5 percentage points; 95% CI: (0.3; 0.7)). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
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Open AccessArticle Investigating Home Range, Movement Pattern, and Habitat Selection of Bar-headed Geese during Breeding Season at Qinghai Lake, China
Animals 2018, 8(10), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100182
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 5 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 18 October 2018
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Abstract
The Bar-headed Goose is the only true goose species or Anserinae to migrate solely within the Central Asian Flyway, and thus, it is an ideal species for observing the effects of both land use and climate change throughout the flyway. In this paper,
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The Bar-headed Goose is the only true goose species or Anserinae to migrate solely within the Central Asian Flyway, and thus, it is an ideal species for observing the effects of both land use and climate change throughout the flyway. In this paper, we investigate the home range, movement pattern, and habitat selection of Bar-headed Geese (Anser indicus) during the breeding season at Qinghai Lake, which is one of their largest breeding areas and a major migration staging area in the flyway. We identified several areas used by the geese during the breeding season along the shoreline of Qinghai Lake and found that most geese had more than one core use area and daily movements that provided insight into their breeding activity. We also observed the intensive use of specific wetlands and habitats near Qinghai Lake. These data provide interesting insights into the movement ecology of this important species and also provide critical information for managers seeking to understand and respond to conservation concerns threatening Bar-headed Geese, such as landscape and habitat changes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Emotions and Ethical Decision-Making in Animal Ethics Committees
Animals 2018, 8(10), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100181
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 13 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
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Abstract
Ethical evaluation of projects involving animal testing is mandatory within the EU and other countries. However, the evaluation process has been subject to criticism, e.g., that the committees are not balanced or democratic enough and that the utilitarian weighting of harm and benefit
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Ethical evaluation of projects involving animal testing is mandatory within the EU and other countries. However, the evaluation process has been subject to criticism, e.g., that the committees are not balanced or democratic enough and that the utilitarian weighting of harm and benefit that is normally prescribed is difficult to carry out in practice. In this study, members of Swedish Animal Ethics Committees (AECs) completed a survey aiming to further investigate the decision-making process. We found that researchers and animal laypersons make significantly different ethical judgments, and hold disparate views on which ethical aspects are the most relevant. Researchers were significantly more content than laypersons with the functioning of the committees, indicating that the ethical model used suited their preferences better. We argue that in order to secure a democratic and proper ethical evaluation, the expectations of a scientific discourse must be acknowledged, while giving room for different viewpoints. Further, to fulfil the purpose of the project evaluations and meet public concern, the functions of the different AEC member categories need to be clarified. We suggest that one way of achieving a more thorough, balanced and inclusive ethical evaluation is to allow for more than one model of ethical reasoning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Tolerance of Broilers to Dietary Supplementation with High Levels of the DHA-Rich Microalga, Aurantiochytrium Limacinum: Effects on Health and Productivity
Animals 2018, 8(10), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100180
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 5 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
It is well established that the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content of commonly consumed meats, such as chicken, can be increased through dietary supplementation with DHA-rich ingredients. The purpose of this study was to investigate the tolerance of broilers to dietary supplementation with the
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It is well established that the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content of commonly consumed meats, such as chicken, can be increased through dietary supplementation with DHA-rich ingredients. The purpose of this study was to investigate the tolerance of broilers to dietary supplementation with the unextracted biomass of a DHA-rich microalgae Aurantiochytrium limacinum, so as to ensure its safety, since it is accumulated in broiler meat. Healthy day-old male Ross 308 chicks (n = 1120) were evenly distributed to 32 pens (35 chicks per pen), with pens randomly allocated to one of four dietary treatments, each having eight replicates. The dietary groups included one untreated control and three treatments corresponding to three inclusion levels (0.5, 2.5, and 5.0%) of All-G-Rich®, with the birds receiving the experimental diets ad libitum during the study (day 0–42). Bird survival, blood parameters, productivity, and breast and thigh DHA content were determined after 42 days of feeding. Supplementation at up to 10 times the intended use level had no negative effects on the mortality, blood parameters or productivity of the birds, while significant increases in the meat DHA content were observed. These results indicate that supplementation with Aurantiochytrium limacinum is a safe and effective way to increase broiler tissue DHA content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessLetter Letter to the Editor Re: Kipperman, B.S. and German, A.J. Animals 2018, 8, 143
Animals 2018, 8(10), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100179
Received: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
A recent opinion paper by Kipperman and German (2018) discussed the increasing prevalence of pet obesity, the risk factors contributing to this increase, and the role of veterinarians in helping manage pet obesity. They described the problem as a One Health problem as
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A recent opinion paper by Kipperman and German (2018) discussed the increasing prevalence of pet obesity, the risk factors contributing to this increase, and the role of veterinarians in helping manage pet obesity. They described the problem as a One Health problem as it has been previously characterized. Kipperman and German also reported a sample of medical records from their referring veterinarians wherein a surprisingly small number of veterinarians recorded information about pets’ body weight or discussions with owners about pet obesity. From their sample, they concluded that general practice veterinarians are not meeting their professional and ethical obligations to recognize and address pet obesity. This letter discusses reasons why veterinarians may not be adequately addressing the pet obesity problem. A similar situation exists in human medicine. Numerous studies in the human field have revealed some of the reasons many physicians do not address obesity with their patients. As it is likely that veterinarians have similar reasons for avoiding the obesity issue, obstacles identified by physicians in encountering overweight obesity are reviewed in this letter. Full article
Open AccessArticle Duetting Patterns of Titi Monkeys (Primates, Pitheciidae: Callicebinae) and Relationships with Phylogeny
Animals 2018, 8(10), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100178
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 13 October 2018
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Abstract
Long-range vocal communication in socially monogamous titi monkeys is mediated by the production of loud, advertising calls in the form of solos, duets, and choruses. We conducted a power spectral analysis of duets and choruses (simply “duets” hereafter) followed by linear discriminant analysis
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Long-range vocal communication in socially monogamous titi monkeys is mediated by the production of loud, advertising calls in the form of solos, duets, and choruses. We conducted a power spectral analysis of duets and choruses (simply “duets” hereafter) followed by linear discriminant analysis using three acoustic parameters—dominant frequency of the combined signal, duet sequence duration, and pant call rate—comparing the coordinated vocalizations recorded from 36 family groups at 18 sites in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Our analysis identified four distinct duetting patterns: (1) a donacophilus pattern, sensu stricto, characteristic of P. donacophilus, P. pallescens, P. olallae, and P. modestus; (2) a moloch pattern comprising P. discolor, P. toppini, P. aureipalatii, and P. urubambensis; (3) a torquatus pattern exemplified by the duet of Cheracebus lucifer; and (4) the distinctive duet of P. oenanthe, a putative member of the donacophilus group, which is characterized by a mix of broadband and narrowband syllables, many of which are unique to this species. We also document a sex-related difference in the bellow-pant phrase combination among the three taxa sampled from the moloch lineage. Our data reveal a presumptive taxonomic incoherence illustrated by the distinctive loud calls of both P. urubambensis and P. oenanthe within the donacophilus lineage, sensu largo. The results are discussed in light of recent reassessments of the callicebine phylogeny, based on a suite of genetic studies, and the potential contribution of environmental influences, including habitat acoustics and social learning. A better knowledge of callicebine loud calls may also impact the conservation of critically endangered populations, such as the vocally distinctive Peruvian endemic, the San Martin titi, P. oenanthe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Communication)
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Open AccessArticle Apulo-Calabrese and Crossbreed Pigs Show Different Physiological Response and Meat Quality Traits after Short Distance Transport
Animals 2018, 8(10), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100177
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
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Abstract
Despite the increasing interest in the welfare of animals during transport, very little is known on the response of local pig breeds to the transport procedures. This study aims to compare the effect of short journey on behaviour, blood parameters, and meat quality
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Despite the increasing interest in the welfare of animals during transport, very little is known on the response of local pig breeds to the transport procedures. This study aims to compare the effect of short journey on behaviour, blood parameters, and meat quality traits in 51 Apulo-Calabrese and 52 crossbreed [Duroc × (Landrace × Large White)] pigs. All the animals were blood sampled five days before delivery (basal condition) and at exsanguination for the analysis of creatine kinase, cortisol, glucose, lactate, albumin, albumin/globulin, total protein, urea, creatinine, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphate, sodium, and potassium. Post mortem pH, color, drip loss, cooking loss, and Warner-Bratzler shear force were measured at different times in longissimus thoracis samples. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that glucose, albumin/globulin, urea, and AST at exsanguination were influenced by the genetic type. Apulo-Calabrese showed the highest increase in blood values of lactate, creatinine, sodium and potassium after the short distance transport. Behavioural occurrences were similar in both genetic types during unloading and lairage. Small differences were observed for meat quality although significantly higher a* and lower L* were found in Apulo-Calabrese pigs, showing meat with a deeper red colour than crossbreeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
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Open AccessArticle You Are Not My Handler! Impact of Changing Handlers on Dogs’ Behaviours and Detection Performance
Animals 2018, 8(10), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100176
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 October 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
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Abstract
Dog-handler relationships can directly impact team success. Changing a dog’s handler may therefore compromise detection performance. However, there are currently few studies which support this. This research explored the performance and behavioural impact of changing a dog’s handler. Nine dogs trained at scent
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Dog-handler relationships can directly impact team success. Changing a dog’s handler may therefore compromise detection performance. However, there are currently few studies which support this. This research explored the performance and behavioural impact of changing a dog’s handler. Nine dogs trained at scent detection were accuracy tested with a familiar and unfamiliar handler. Both handlers were female with similar dog handling experience. The dogs were tested along brick lines containing target, non-target, and control samples. Testing was separated into four sessions, with each session having 36 samples. The dogs’ accuracy scores were then calculated and testing footage behaviour coded. The dogs had significantly higher sensitivity (p = 0.045) and negative predictive value (NPV) (p = 0.041) scores when handled by the familiar handler. With the unfamiliar handler the dogs performed more stress-related behaviours, and were distracted for a higher proportion of time (p = 0.012). Time spent distracted was negatively correlated to detection performance (correlation = −0.923, p < 0.001). With the unfamiliar handler the dogs’ performance did not improve throughout testing (p = 0.553). This research demonstrates how these dogs’ detection performances were impacted by changing handlers. Future research is required to determine if professional dog-handler teams are impacted similarly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Extensive Human Presence at an Early Age on Stress Responses and Reactivity of Juvenile Ostriches towards Humans
Animals 2018, 8(10), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100175
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 5 October 2018
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Abstract
The effect of extensive human presence and regular gentle handling performed at an early age (0–3 months old) on stress responses and reactivity of juvenile ostriches towards humans was investigated. A total of 416 ostrich chicks over two years were exposed to one
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The effect of extensive human presence and regular gentle handling performed at an early age (0–3 months old) on stress responses and reactivity of juvenile ostriches towards humans was investigated. A total of 416 ostrich chicks over two years were exposed to one of three treatments for three months after hatching; namely, Human Presence 1 (HP1, N = 144): extensive/prolonged human presence with physical contact (touch, stroking), gentle human voice, and visual stimuli; Human Presence 2 (HP2, N = 136): extensive/prolonged human presence without physical contact, but with gentle human voice and visual stimuli; and the Standard treatment (S, N = 136): human presence limited to routine feed and water supply as a control. At 7.5 months of age, the plasma heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio was measured before and 72 h after feather harvesting and feather clipping to determine acute stress responses, while chronic stress was measured by quantification of corticosterone (CORT) concentrations in the floss feathers of the birds. Birds’ behavioural response towards a familiar or an unfamiliar handler was evaluated at 12 months using docility and fear tests, and through behavioural observations conducted on random days between the ages of 8–13 months. Willingness to approach, and to allow touch interactions, aggressiveness, and exhibition of sexual display towards the handler, was recorded. No difference in the H/L ratios before and after feather harvesting and clipping was observed in HP1 birds, whereas H/L ratios showed a significant increase 72 h post feather harvesting and clipping in HP2 and S birds (p < 0.05). Birds from the S treatment exhibited a significantly (p < 0.05) higher feather CORT concentration compared with HP1 birds, while HP2 birds had intermediate responses. Birds’ reactivity towards humans and temperament as evaluated using behavioural observations, docility, and fear tests was not affected by treatment (p > 0.05). However, HP1 and HP2 birds were more inclined (p < 0.05) to approach a familiar rather than an unfamiliar handler during the behavioural observations, indicating an ability to distinguish between a familiar and an unfamiliar handler. Overall, the results indicate that early gentle human interactions with ostrich chicks can be beneficial in reducing physiological stress sensitivity later in life and facilitate the ability of ostriches to distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar handlers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Demographics Regarding Belief in Non-Human Animal Sentience and Emotional Empathy with Animals: A Pilot Study among Attendees of an Animal Welfare Symposium
Animals 2018, 8(10), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100174
Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 30 September 2018 / Accepted: 30 September 2018 / Published: 4 October 2018
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Abstract
Attitudes to animals are linked to beliefs about their ability to experience pain and suffering, their cognition, and their sentience. Education and awareness-raising play a pivotal role in increasing society’s consideration of non-human animal welfare. The current pilot study explores the attitudes towards
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Attitudes to animals are linked to beliefs about their ability to experience pain and suffering, their cognition, and their sentience. Education and awareness-raising play a pivotal role in increasing society’s consideration of non-human animal welfare. The current pilot study explores the attitudes towards animal welfare among a unique population of people who attended an animal welfare symposium at the University of Sydney. It involved administration of a validated questionnaire that assessed attitudes to animals; specifically exploring participants’ (n = 41) beliefs about the sentience of animals and their emotional empathy with animals. The resultant data revealed significant associations between participants’ beliefs in animal sentience and their demographic variables (age, sex and occupation). Female attendees showed stronger beliefs in sentience than male attendees did. Concerning sentience in cows, pigs and cats, older attendees showed stronger beliefs than younger people in sentience relating to hunger and pain. Also, with regard to questions about sentience in dogs, older attendees showed stronger beliefs than younger people in pain-related sentience in dogs. When exploring emotional empathy with animals, the participants’ statements could be assigned to three clusters characterised by the internal emotional lives of animals and the treatment of animals by humans (Cluster 1), human interactions with animals (Cluster 2) and the keeping of companion and zoo animals (Cluster 3). To the authors’ knowledge, this pilot study is the first of its kind to investigate the attitudes towards animal welfare of an important group of people who work, study or have a special interest within the animal care and welfare domain. Full article
Open AccessArticle Reducing Stress Susceptibility of Broiler Chickens by Supplementing a Yeast Fermentation Product in the Feed or Drinking Water
Animals 2018, 8(10), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100173
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 4 October 2018
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Abstract
Reducing stress is an important goal in animal production. Previous research has demonstrated the ability of Original XPCTM to reduce the stress response of broilers during heat stress. Three trials were conducted to evaluate the effects of adding Original XPCTM to
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Reducing stress is an important goal in animal production. Previous research has demonstrated the ability of Original XPCTM to reduce the stress response of broilers during heat stress. Three trials were conducted to evaluate the effects of adding Original XPCTM to the feed or AviCareTM to the water on stress susceptibility of broiler chickens. Treatments included: control nonstressed (CNS), control stressed (CS), stressed with Original XPCTM (1.25 kg/metric ton feed, 0–42 days; XPC), and stressed with AviCareTM (160 mL/100 L drinking water, 0–42 days; AVI). All stressed treatments received the following stressors: live coccidiosis vaccination (day 1), reared on reused litter (days 0–42), and heat stress with feed/water withdrawal (12 h on day 18). Plasma corticosterone and heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio were determined from 60 birds/T on day 19, and 24 birds/T on day 41. Physical asymmetry was determined using bilateral bone measurements from 60 birds/T on day 41. Birds provided XPC or AVI had lower corticosterone and H/L ratios than CS (p < 0.05) on day 19 and lower corticosterone, H/L ratios, and asymmetry scores than both CNS and CS on day 41 (p < 0.05) in all three trials. Supplementing XPC or AVI improved broiler welfare measured by reduced stress indicators after acute heat stress or normal rearing stress in all trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
Open AccessArticle N Balance Studies Emphasize the Superior Protein Quality of Pig Diets at High Inclusion Level of Algae Meal (Spirulina platensis) or Insect Meal (Hermetia illucens) when Adequate Amino Acid Supplementation Is Ensured
Animals 2018, 8(10), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100172
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
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Abstract
Two age-dependent nitrogen (N) balance studies (average body mass 25 and 60 kg) utilized 16 male castrated piglets and 16 barrows to measure N utilization parameters of diets with complete substitution of SBM by alternative protein sources (SM, HM), but different AA fortifications.
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Two age-dependent nitrogen (N) balance studies (average body mass 25 and 60 kg) utilized 16 male castrated piglets and 16 barrows to measure N utilization parameters of diets with complete substitution of SBM by alternative protein sources (SM, HM), but different AA fortifications. Lysine supplementation up to 80% of the recommended lysine (Lys) supply in diets HM (A) and SM (A) yielded similar protein quality data (63.6 ± 2.1 and 63.7 ± 3.4). Surprisingly, only in piglet diet HM (AA) did the extended AA supplementation (Lys, methionine (Met), threonine (Thr)) enhance protein quality (72.8 ± 6.7) significantly (p = 0.004). Similar trends were observed in growing pigs. However, when the level of histidine (His) in diet SM (AA) was increased, feed protein quality (71.8 ± 1.3) was significantly (p < 0.001) improved indicating the importance of adequate His supply in diets with a complete substitution of SBM by the algae meal (SM) under study. AA efficiency data extend the possibilities to explain the observed responses on protein quality. When an adequate AA balancing in the diet is guaranteed, from nutritional point of view both of the alternative proteins may replace SBM in pig diets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
Open AccessArticle “I Feel Sorry for Them”: Australian Meat Consumers’ Perceptions about Sheep and Beef Cattle Transportation
Animals 2018, 8(10), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100171
Received: 9 September 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
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Abstract
Concern for livestock welfare is significantly increasing in many parts of the world. One area of concern is the transportation of livestock. Using qualitative research methods, this research explores the concerns of Australian meat consumers related to livestock transportation practices, both on land
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Concern for livestock welfare is significantly increasing in many parts of the world. One area of concern is the transportation of livestock. Using qualitative research methods, this research explores the concerns of Australian meat consumers related to livestock transportation practices, both on land by truck and on sea by ship. Participants were predominantly concerned about animals being “crammed” into trucks and ships, and the long distances over which livestock were transported. Likely contributors to these reactions are the high visibility of truck transport in urban areas, and recent media and political attention to the live-export issue in Australia. We argue that participants’ concerns about transport are arising for a variety of reasons, including anthropomorphic tendencies, genuine concern for the welfare of farm animals, and emotional responses related to the discomfort experienced by meat consumers when they are reminded of the meat-animal connection. Given the importance of transport to the red-meat production industry, these results suggest that the sector may need to reconsider some of their practices and increase transparency and communication about the practices, which they utilise to ensure good animal welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Open AccessCommunication Effects of Short Transport and Prolonged Fasting in Beef Calves
Animals 2018, 8(10), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100170
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
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Abstract
Marketing is a stressful process for beef calves, because they are removed from their environment, often weaned just before loading, loaded, transported, and unloaded. It also involves extended periods without food and water and mixing with unfamiliar animals in an unknown environment. Some
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Marketing is a stressful process for beef calves, because they are removed from their environment, often weaned just before loading, loaded, transported, and unloaded. It also involves extended periods without food and water and mixing with unfamiliar animals in an unknown environment. Some studies have shown that calves sold through markets are exposed to extended fasting periods even when they undergo only short transportation times. The aim of this controlled study was to determine the consequences for beef calves of a short transportation time followed by a prolonged time without food and water on their tympanic temperature (TT), maximum eye temperature (MET), blood variables related to stress, and live weight. Ten calves were transported for 3 h and then kept in an outdoor pen for 21 h, completing a 24 h fasting period. Sampling took place before loading, after transport and unloading, and then after completing 24 h without food and water. TT, MET, blood glucose, and creatine kinase (CK) increased significantly after transportation. Live weight decreased across sample times (mean of 10 kg per calf after 24 h of fasting), which was consistent with the higher concentration of β-HB found after fasting. Further studies to measure the actual consequences of true, commercial marketing on calf welfare and productivity are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of a Change from an Indoor-Based Total Mixed Ration to a Rotational Pasture System Combined with a Moderate Concentrate Feed Supply on the Health and Performance of Dairy Cows
Animals 2018, 8(10), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100169
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
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Abstract
In spring, the transition from a total mixed ration (TMR) to pasture requires metabolic adaptions for the cow. It had been shown that supply of low amounts of concentrate after transition to full-time grazing caused energy deficits, resulting in a lower milking performance
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In spring, the transition from a total mixed ration (TMR) to pasture requires metabolic adaptions for the cow. It had been shown that supply of low amounts of concentrate after transition to full-time grazing caused energy deficits, resulting in a lower milking performance and changes in a variety of variables indicative for energy metabolism. The present study aimed to investigate how a moderate concentrate supply (4.5 kg dry matter cow/day) after transition to pasture influences health and production indicators. Over a 12-week trial period dairy cows were observed during transition from confinement to pasture (pasture group: PG) and compared to cows fed TMR indoors (confinement group: CG). On average, the PG consumed less feed and energy than the CG and mobilized body reserves, which is mirrored in a decrease of body condition and various fat depots. These effects were paralleled by elevated serum concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids and ketone bodies as well as an increase in liver fat content. The physical activity (elevated walking, eating, decreasing rumination time) of the PG was significantly higher than that of the CG, which intensified the energy deficiency and resulted in a lower milk yield. In conclusion, the moderate concentrate supply was insufficient to counterbalance the lower energy intake from pasture during transition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Growth, Carcass Traits, Blood Hematology, Serum Metabolites, Immunity, and Oxidative Indices of Growing Rabbits Fed Diets Supplemented with Red or Black Pepper Oils
Animals 2018, 8(10), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100168
Received: 11 September 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 2 October 2018
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Abstract
The present study aimed to examine the impacts of the supplementation of red or black pepper oils to rabbit diet as growth promoters on New Zealand white (NZW) rabbits. One hundred and forty weaned NZW rabbits were divided randomly into seven groups in
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The present study aimed to examine the impacts of the supplementation of red or black pepper oils to rabbit diet as growth promoters on New Zealand white (NZW) rabbits. One hundred and forty weaned NZW rabbits were divided randomly into seven groups in a completely randomized experiment using different quantities of red pepper oil (RPO; 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 g/kg diet) or black pepper oil (BPO; 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 g/kg diet), in addition to the control group. Compared to the control, values of live body weight (LBW) for rabbits fed either RPO or BPO enriched diets were greater. The concentrations of serum triglycerides and cholesterol were lower (p < 0.01) in the RPO- and BPO-treated groups than in the control. Immunity parameters and antioxidant indices were improved in treated groups in comparison to the control. Dietary RPO or BPO can affect some growth traits, improve immunity parameters and the antioxidant activity, and decrease the lipid profile and lipid peroxidation. The use of 0.5 g RPO/kg diet as a dietary supplement had a larger effect on growth parameters than the other treatment groups. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Field Propagation Experiments of Male African Savanna Elephant Rumbles: A Focus on the Transmission of Formant Frequencies
Animals 2018, 8(10), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100167
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 23 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 30 September 2018
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Abstract
African savanna elephants live in dynamic fission–fusion societies and exhibit a sophisticated vocal communication system. Their most frequent call-type is the ‘rumble’, with a fundamental frequency (which refers to the lowest vocal fold vibration rate when producing a vocalization) near or in the
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African savanna elephants live in dynamic fission–fusion societies and exhibit a sophisticated vocal communication system. Their most frequent call-type is the ‘rumble’, with a fundamental frequency (which refers to the lowest vocal fold vibration rate when producing a vocalization) near or in the infrasonic range. Rumbles are used in a wide variety of behavioral contexts, for short- and long-distance communication, and convey contextual and physical information. For example, maturity (age and size) is encoded in male rumbles by formant frequencies (the resonance frequencies of the vocal tract), having the most informative power. As sound propagates, however, its spectral and temporal structures degrade progressively. Our study used manipulated and resynthesized male social rumbles to simulate large and small individuals (based on different formant values) to quantify whether this phenotypic information efficiently transmits over long distances. To examine transmission efficiency and the potential influences of ecological factors, we broadcasted and re-recorded rumbles at distances of up to 1.5 km in two different habitats at the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. Our results show that rumbles were affected by spectral–temporal degradation over distance. Interestingly and unlike previous findings, the transmission of formants was better than that of the fundamental frequency. Our findings demonstrate the importance of formant frequencies for the efficiency of rumble propagation and the transmission of information content in a savanna elephant’s natural habitat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Expression Analysis of the Prolific Candidate Genes, BMPR1B, BMP15, and GDF9 in Small Tail Han Ewes with Three Fecundity (FecB Gene) Genotypes
Animals 2018, 8(10), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100166
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
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Abstract
The expression characteristics of the prolific candidate genes, BMPR1B, BMP15, and GDF9, in the major visceral organs and hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis tissues of three FecB genotypes (FecB BB, FecB B+, and FecB ++) were explored in STH ewes using RT-PCR
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The expression characteristics of the prolific candidate genes, BMPR1B, BMP15, and GDF9, in the major visceral organs and hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis tissues of three FecB genotypes (FecB BB, FecB B+, and FecB ++) were explored in STH ewes using RT-PCR and qPCR. The results were as follows, BMPR1B was expressed in all FecB BB genotype (Han BB) tissues, and GDF9 was expressed in all selected tissues, but BMP15 was specifically expressed in the ovaries. Further study of ovarian expression indicated that there was no difference in BMPR1B expression between genotypes, but the FecB B+ genotype (Han B+) had greater expression of GDF9 and BMP15 than Han BB and FecB ++ genotype (Han ++) (p < 0.05, p < 0.01). BMP15 expression was lower in the ovaries of Han BB than in Han ++ sheep, but the reverse was shown for GDF9. The gene expression in non-ovarian tissues was also different between genotypes. Therefore, we consider that the three genes have an important function in ovine follicular development and maturation. This is the first systematic analysis of the tissue expression pattern of BMPR1B, BMP15, and GDF9 genes in STH sheep of the three FecB genotypes. These results contribute to the understanding of the molecular regulatory mechanism for ovine reproduction. Full article
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Open AccessReview Main Factors Affecting Animal Welfare and Meat Quality in Lambs for Slaughter in Chile
Animals 2018, 8(10), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100165
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 23 September 2018 / Accepted: 24 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
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Abstract
Consumers have become increasingly demanding about the quality of products of animal origin, particularly regarding animal welfare during production, transport, and slaughter. The aim of the present study was to review the factors affecting the welfare of lambs for slaughter in Chile and
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Consumers have become increasingly demanding about the quality of products of animal origin, particularly regarding animal welfare during production, transport, and slaughter. The aim of the present study was to review the factors affecting the welfare of lambs for slaughter in Chile and show the implications on meat quality. Rounding up and driving the lambs from the fields in large extensive production systems and long distance transport through difficult geographical routes affect the blood variable indicators of stress and reduces muscle glycogen reserves, increasing the risk of high pH of meat. In small farmer sheep production conditions there is a lack of appropriate installations for loading/unloading and deficiencies in vehicle structure specific for lambs; this together with the work of untrained handlers results in a high percentage of mortality and bruised carcasses, compared to European studies. These problems are common for other South American countries and should be addressed firstly by educating and training all the people involved in the lamb meat chain regarding animal welfare. In Chile there is legislation, ongoing since 2013, regarding the protection of animals during production, transport, and slaughter, including compulsory training of animal handlers and livestock transporters, which should improve animal welfare and meat quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessReview A Systematic Review of Heat Load in Australian Livestock Transported by Sea
Animals 2018, 8(10), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100164
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 23 September 2018 / Accepted: 23 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
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Abstract
The transport of animals by sea (‘live export’) is one of the most important current animal welfare issues in Australian society. Recent media attention has highlighted concerns regarding the effects of high environmental temperature and humidity on the welfare and mortality of sheep
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The transport of animals by sea (‘live export’) is one of the most important current animal welfare issues in Australian society. Recent media attention has highlighted concerns regarding the effects of high environmental temperature and humidity on the welfare and mortality of sheep being shipped live from Australia to the Middle East, especially during the Northern Hemisphere summer. To improve understanding of how and why harmful heat load occurs, we systematically reviewed Australian research into heat load and sea transport. High thermal load occurs during the sea transport of sheep and cattle from Australia when animals are subject to hot and humid environmental conditions and cannot remove heat generated by metabolic processes in the body, potentially also gaining heat from the environment. Several approaches have been proposed to mitigate these risks, including avoidance of voyages in hot seasons, selection of heat-resistant livestock breeds, reducing stocking density, and improved ventilation. We identified a lack of scientific literature relating to heat load in animals transported by sea and considerable potential for bias in the literature that was found. We identified the following priority research areas: (i) experimental manipulation of variables thought to influence the incidence and severity of harmful heat load, including sheep density; (ii) further assessment of the Heat Stress Risk Assessment (HSRA) model used to predict heat load events, and (iii) development of a suite of animal welfare indicators that may allow identification of ‘at risk’ sheep before they reach debilitating heat load condition. Addressing these knowledge gaps will assist efforts to reduce the frequency and intensity of harmful heat load events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
Open AccessArticle Development and Assessment of a Body Condition Score Scheme for European Bison (Bison bonasus)
Animals 2018, 8(10), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100163
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 22 September 2018 / Published: 26 September 2018
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Abstract
Resettlement projects of the strongly threatened European bison (Bison bonasus) require a monitoring phase to assess both population status and habitat quality. Schemes of animal body condition scores (BCS) are robust tools to meet this requirement in practice. However, so far,
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Resettlement projects of the strongly threatened European bison (Bison bonasus) require a monitoring phase to assess both population status and habitat quality. Schemes of animal body condition scores (BCS) are robust tools to meet this requirement in practice. However, so far, no BCS scheme has been designed for European bison. Here, we suggest a body condition score scheme based on the extent of soft tissue around bony structures. The scoring system was developed with scores ranging from 1 (emaciated) to 5 (obese). Condition scores can be deduced after visually assessing the European bison both from the side and behind. Robustness of the scheme was evaluated: Unbiased people from different professional backgrounds were asked to assess the BCS of photographed semiwild European bison under field conditions and results were compared. Results demonstrate the suitability of the method. Nevertheless, variability of the results among assessors illustrates the necessity for training as well as for further research to validate the scheme as a true measure of physiological condition. We discuss the prospects and limits of a broad use of this scheme within the European bison community, and recommend the BCS scheme as a management tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Betaine and Antioxidants Improve Growth Performance, Breast Muscle Development and Ameliorate Thermoregulatory Responses to Cyclic Heat Exposure in Broiler Chickens
Animals 2018, 8(10), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100162
Received: 17 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 23 September 2018 / Published: 25 September 2018
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Abstract
Heat stress (HS) is an environmental stressor challenging poultry production and requires a strategy to cope with it. A total of 288-day-old male broiler chicks were fed with one of the following diets: basal diet, basal with betaine (BET), or with selenium and
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Heat stress (HS) is an environmental stressor challenging poultry production and requires a strategy to cope with it. A total of 288-day-old male broiler chicks were fed with one of the following diets: basal diet, basal with betaine (BET), or with selenium and vitamin E (AOX), or with a combination of BET and AOX, under thermoneutral and cyclic HS. Results showed that HS reduced average daily feed intake (ADFI) (p = 0.01) and average daily gain (ADG) (p < 0.001), and impaired feed conversion ratio (FCR) (p = 0.03) during rearing period (0–42 day). BET increased ADG (p = 0.001) and decreased FCR (p = 0.02), whereas AOX had no effects. Breast muscle weight was decreased by HS (p < 0.001) and increased by BET (p < 0.001). Rectal temperature was increased by HS (p < 0.001) and improved by BET overall. Respiration rate was increased by HS (p < 0.001), but BET decreased it during HS (p = 0.04). Jejunum transepithelial resistance was reduced by HS and had no effect on permeability whereas BET increased jejunum permeability (p = 0.013). Overall, the reductions in ADG of broiler chickens during HS were ameliorated by supplementation with BET, with much of the increase in ADG being breast muscle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Observation of the Breeding Behavior of the Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus) Using a Digital Monitoring System
Animals 2018, 8(10), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100161
Received: 4 August 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 25 September 2018
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Abstract
Knowledge of natural animal behavior is essential for enhancing the protection and artificial breeding of animals. At present, the behavior of the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) is studied through interviews with local people or occasional observations under artificial conditions, leading
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Knowledge of natural animal behavior is essential for enhancing the protection and artificial breeding of animals. At present, the behavior of the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) is studied through interviews with local people or occasional observations under artificial conditions, leading to a lack of systematic records. Thus, most reports are descriptive and lack quantitative analyses. To ascertain the types of reproductive activities and their corresponding time allocations, this study observed the reproductive behavior of A. davidianus using a digital monitoring system for the first time. The results showed that sand-pushing behavior is mainly carried out by the limbs, tail, head, and body of den-dominant males. Showering behaviors included rinsing the trunk, head, and tail. Courtship was composed of a series of behaviors, including standing side-by-side, belly colliding, mounting, mouth-to-mouth posturing, chasing, inviting, cohabitating, and rolling over. After chasing and interlocking with the male, the female discharged her eggs. The oviposition process began at either 02:04 or 04:09, and lasted either 66 or 182 min. Parental care included tail fanning, agitation, shaking, and eating dead and unfertilized eggs, and the durations of these behaviors accounted for 31.74 ± 4.35%, 17.42 ± 4.00%, 3.85 ± 1.18%, and 1.19 ± 0.69% of the entire incubation period, respectively. This paper reveals the characteristics of the reproductive behavior of A. davidianus and provides a scientific basis for the management of its ecological breeding and the conservation of its wild populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Molecular Cloning of the B4GALNT2 Gene and Its Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Association with Litter Size in Small Tail Han Sheep
Animals 2018, 8(10), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100160
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 1 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
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Abstract
A new fecundity gene named the FecL (mutation), which regulates the ovulation rate, was discovered in French Lacaune sheep. The B4GALNT2 (beta-1, 4-N-acetyl-galactosaminyl transferase 2) gene was considered as the potential FecL mutation gene. This study explores whether the effect of
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A new fecundity gene named the FecL (mutation), which regulates the ovulation rate, was discovered in French Lacaune sheep. The B4GALNT2 (beta-1, 4-N-acetyl-galactosaminyl transferase 2) gene was considered as the potential FecL mutation gene. This study explores whether the effect of the FecL mutation exists in other sheep breeds, and the features of the B4GALNT2 gene in terms of the molecular structure and its expression profile. Using Sanger sequencing, we found that high and low fecundity breeds from among 11 measured sheep breeds all had no variation in the three specific mutation sites, which were linked with the FecL mutation. However, two mutations of g.36946470C > T and g.36933082C > T in the exon of B4GALNT2 had a significant effect on litter size in the first parity for Small Tail Han (STH) Sheep (p < 0.05). Two transcription start sites (TSS) of B4GALNT2 in its 5′-flanking region were discovered in ovine granule cells in vitro, through the RACE (Rapid amplification of cDNA ends) method. Except for in the kidney and oviduct, no significant difference in expression levels had been found between STH sheep and Tan sheep breeds. The B4GALNT2 gene, as a candidate for FecL, may have a relationship with the differences in litter size in STH sheep. B4GALNT2 is mainly expressed in the ovine ovary, which also suggests that B4GALNT2 plays an important role in sheep reproduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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