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Animals, Volume 8, Issue 9 (September 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Veterinary students are the future generation of practitioners, and thus they will be in charge of [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Supplementing Oregano Essential Oil in a Reduced-Protein Diet Improves Growth Performance and Nutrient Digestibility by Modulating Intestinal Bacteria, Intestinal Morphology, and Antioxidative Capacity of Growing-Finishing Pigs
Animals 2018, 8(9), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090159
Received: 20 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
This study investigated the effects of supplementing oregano essential oil (OEO) to a reduced-protein diet on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, intestinal bacteria, intestinal morphology, and antioxidative capacity of growing-finishing pigs. Forty-eight barrows were randomly allotted to four treatments including normal-protein diet (NPD), reduced-protein,
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This study investigated the effects of supplementing oregano essential oil (OEO) to a reduced-protein diet on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, intestinal bacteria, intestinal morphology, and antioxidative capacity of growing-finishing pigs. Forty-eight barrows were randomly allotted to four treatments including normal-protein diet (NPD), reduced-protein, amino acid-supplemented diet (RPD), the same RPD supplemented with chlortetracycline (RPA), and RPD supplemented with OEO (RPO). The data showed that dietary OEO supplementation increased the average daily gain of pigs compared with NPD and RPD. The gain:feed in RPO- and NPD-fed pigs was higher than those in RPD- and RPA-fed pigs. Increased average daily feed intake and 10th-rib backfat thickness were detected in RPA-fed pigs. Pigs fed the RPO had higher apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of crude protein than those fed the other diets. The RPD and RPA treatments showed reduced counts of Lactobacillus spp. in ileal digesta of pigs. The RPA and RPO treatments also showed lower Escherichia coli counts in ileal digesta than the NPD and RPD treatments. Dietary OEO supplementation increased villous height of the jejunum and the ileal and plasma total antioxidative capacity of pigs. In conclusion, dietary OEO supplementation could improve the growth performance and nutrient digestibility of pigs by modulating intestinal bacteria, intestinal morphology, and antioxidative capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Antibiotics in Farm Animal Production Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Physiological Changes as a Measure of Crustacean Welfare under Different Standardized Stunning Techniques: Cooling and Electroshock
Animals 2018, 8(9), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090158
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
Stunning of edible crustaceans to reduce sensory perception prior and during slaughter is an important topic in animal welfare. The purpose of this project was to determine how neural circuits were affected during stunning by examining the physiological function of neural circuits. The
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Stunning of edible crustaceans to reduce sensory perception prior and during slaughter is an important topic in animal welfare. The purpose of this project was to determine how neural circuits were affected during stunning by examining the physiological function of neural circuits. The central nervous system circuit to a cardiac or skeletal muscle response was examined. Three commercially important crustacean species were utilized for stunning by immersion in an ice slurry below 4 °C and by electrocution; both practices are used in the seafood industry. The blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), and the whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) responded differently to stunning by cold and electric shock. Immersion in ice slurry induced sedation within seconds in crayfish and shrimp but not crabs and cardiac function was reduced fastest in shrimp. However, crabs could retain a functional neural circuit over the same time when shrimp and crayfish were nonresponsive. An electroshock of 10 s paralyzed all three species and subsequently decreased heart rate within 1 min and then heart rate increased but resulted in irregularity over time. Further research is needed to study a state of responsiveness by these methods. Full article
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Open AccessOpinion “We Always Hurt the Things We Love”—Unnoticed Abuse of Companion Animals
Animals 2018, 8(9), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090157
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
Despite the fact that companion animals enjoy the status of “members of the family” in contemporary society, there are numerous diseases affecting the longevity of these animals and their quality of life. Some of the most pervasive and damaging problems accrue to pedigreed
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Despite the fact that companion animals enjoy the status of “members of the family” in contemporary society, there are numerous diseases affecting the longevity of these animals and their quality of life. Some of the most pervasive and damaging problems accrue to pedigreed animals whose genetic lines contain many major and severe diseases which are detrimental to both the quality and length of life. If one considers the most popular dog breeds in the United States, the top 10 include the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, French Bulldog, Beagle, Poodle, Rottweiler, Yorkshire Terrier, and German Shorthaired Pointer. Some idea of the pervasiveness of genetic defects across breeds can be gleaned from a recent book detailing genetic predisposition to disease. The book contains 93 pages of references. The list of diseases for the most popular dog, the Labrador Retriever, is 6.25 pages long. Yet, despite the tragic consequences of such diseases in animals regarded as beloved family members, breed standards associated with these diseases remain unchanged. This represents a major tragedy to which insufficient attention is paid. The point of this paper is to show that even as dogs have increasingly become viewed as “members of the family”, this status is belied by the proliferation of genetic diseases perpetuated by breed standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Open AccessArticle Relationship between Rectal Temperature and Vaginal Temperature in Grazing Bos taurus Heifers
Animals 2018, 8(9), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090156
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
This study evaluated the relationship between rectal temperature (TREC, °C) and vaginal temperature (TVAG, °C) in grazing Bos taurus heifers, to develop an understanding of the reliability of these measures as estimates of core body temperature. Nineteen Angus heifers
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This study evaluated the relationship between rectal temperature (TREC, °C) and vaginal temperature (TVAG, °C) in grazing Bos taurus heifers, to develop an understanding of the reliability of these measures as estimates of core body temperature. Nineteen Angus heifers (BW = 232.2 ± 6.91 kg) were implanted with intra-rectal and intra-vaginal data loggers. Rectal temperature and TVAG were simultaneously recorded at 20 s intervals over 18.5 h. Heifers were housed as a singular cohort on grazing pastures for the duration of the study. A strong linear relationship (R2 = 0.72, p < 0.0001) between the measurement sites was identified. The mean difference between TREC and TVAG was small, in which TVAG was on average 0.22 ± 0.01 °C lower than TREC. Individual twenty second TREC and TVAG data were used to determine the pooled mean TREC and TVAG and then to highlight the within measure variation over time. The coefficient of variation was, on average, lower (p < 0.001) for TVAG (0.38%) than TREC (0.44%), indicating that TVAG exhibited less variation. Overall, the results from the current study suggest that a strong relationship exists between TREC and TVAG, and that TVAG may be a more reliable estimate of core body temperature than TREC in grazing Bos taurus heifers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Road Transport of Farm Animals: Mortality, Morbidity, Species and Country of Origin at a Southern Italian Control Post
Animals 2018, 8(9), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090155
Received: 17 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
Statistics on animal transport and its implications for health and welfare are limited. This study documented the animals transiting through a control post and their welfare outcomes measured by mortality rate and the prevalence of animals considered unfit for further transport (i.e., morbidity).
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Statistics on animal transport and its implications for health and welfare are limited. This study documented the animals transiting through a control post and their welfare outcomes measured by mortality rate and the prevalence of animals considered unfit for further transport (i.e., morbidity). Reports filed by the director of the control post and Official Veterinarians from 2010 to 2015 were analyzed. A total of 60,454 (54.2%) sheep/goats, 45,749 (41.0%) cattle, and 5333 (4.8%) pigs travelled in 225 (16.2%), 1116 (80.2%) and 50 (3.6%) trucks, respectively. Trucks coming mainly from France (71.3%), Spain (14.0%), and Ireland (7.4%) went mainly to Greece (95.4%), which was also the most common nationality of the transport companies (44.6%). Cases of mortality and/or morbidity were reported for only 11 out of the 1391 trucks (0.8%). The average mortality and morbidity rates were 0.025% and 0.010%, with maximum values for transport of lambs (0.084%, and 0.019%). Species of animal being transported and space allowance were associated with the measured welfare outcomes (p < 0.05). Overall, this study provided statistics based on official surveillance reports, suggesting that small space allowance during long haul transportation of sheep/goats may affect their health and welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring Social Desirability Bias in Perceptions of Dog Adoption: All’s Well that Ends Well? Or Does the Method of Adoption Matter?
Animals 2018, 8(9), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090154
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 8 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
Dogs are a popular companion animal in the United States; however, dog acquisition is often a contentious subject. Adoption is often cited as an ethical and popular method of acquisition but interpretation of the term ‘adoption’ may vary. In a nationally representative survey
[...] Read more.
Dogs are a popular companion animal in the United States; however, dog acquisition is often a contentious subject. Adoption is often cited as an ethical and popular method of acquisition but interpretation of the term ‘adoption’ may vary. In a nationally representative survey of the U.S., 767 respondents were asked questions regarding their opinions of dog acquisition and adoption. Within the sample, 45% had a dog; of those, 40% had adopted a dog, and 47% visited a veterinarian once a year. A best-worst choice experiment, where respondents were asked to choose the most ethical and least ethical method of acquiring a dog from a statistically determined set of choices, was used to elicit respondents’ preferences for the most ethical method of dog adoption. A random parameters logit and a latent class model were used to estimate relative rankings of dog adoption methods. In the random parameters logit model, the largest preference share was for adoption from a municipal animal shelter (56%) and the smallest preference share was for adoption from a pet store (3%). Dog acquisition was further evaluated by creating an index of social desirability bias using how important respondents believed certain dog characteristics were compared to how important respondents believed others would rate/rank the same dog characteristics. The highest incidences of social desirability bias occurred for the dog characteristics of appearance and breed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Animal Welfare in Animal-Visitor Interactions in Zoos and Other Facilities. A Pilot Study Involving Giraffes
Animals 2018, 8(9), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090153
Received: 8 July 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract
In recent years, awareness of the controversial aspects connected with wild animal-visitor interactions (AVIs) in zoos and other facilities has increased due to cultural changes. Therefore, the need to apply transparent procedures to evaluate AVIs programs in zoos and similar facilities has also
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In recent years, awareness of the controversial aspects connected with wild animal-visitor interactions (AVIs) in zoos and other facilities has increased due to cultural changes. Therefore, the need to apply transparent procedures to evaluate AVIs programs in zoos and similar facilities has also increased. This study presents results of animal welfare’s assessment of a pilot test of a protocol based on six steps that aim to explore and assess the overall value of AVIs considering the impact both on animals and visitors. In the present paper, we discuss the multifaceted approach to animal welfare assessment during animal-visitor interactions, combining quantitative behavioural observations/analysis and a welfare risk-assessment procedure, which forms the basis of the six-step protocol. Pilot testing of said approach to animal welfare assessment involved giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) in an Italian zoo. No change in behaviour, suggestive of an increased welfare risk to the animals, was found. The risk analysis reported overall low risks for welfare, whereas enclosure analysis highlighted that the enclosure was suitable for allowing interactions without jeopardising animal welfare, mainly because it allowed animals to choose whether to interact or withdraw from interactions without decreasing the space available to them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoo Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Is Heightened-Shoaling a Good Candidate for Positive Emotional Behavior in Zebrafish?
Animals 2018, 8(9), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090152
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
Zebrafish, a highly-social species of freshwater fish, are widely studied across many fields of laboratory science including developmental biology, neuroscience, and genomics. Nevertheless, as standard housing for zebrafish typically consists of small and simplistic environments, less is known about their social behavioral repertoire
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Zebrafish, a highly-social species of freshwater fish, are widely studied across many fields of laboratory science including developmental biology, neuroscience, and genomics. Nevertheless, as standard housing for zebrafish typically consists of small and simplistic environments, less is known about their social behavioral repertoire in more naturalistic settings. In particular, spontaneously occurring, socio-positive affiliative behaviors (e.g., social coordination and cohesion) that may be indicative of positive emotional experiences have rarely been reported or studied deliberately in zebrafish. Housing adult zebrafish (10 fish/tank) in large semi-natural tanks (110 L; n = 6) with sloping gravel substrate, rocks, and artificial plants, we observed a previously undescribed behavior: Distinct periods of spontaneous, synchronized, compact aggregations, what we call “heightened-shoaling”. This project aimed to quantify the characteristics of this distinctive behavior and compare parameters of heightened-shoaling to baseline periods (normal behavior) and pre-feed periods (feed-anticipatory behavior). First, across 4 days, we selected video-clips (100 s each) from within (i) instances of heightened-shoaling (n = 9), (ii) baseline periods (n = 18), and (iii) pre-feed periods (n = 18). For each of these video clips, we scan sampled every 10 s to determine fish orientations and location within the tank and agonistic behavior. Next, we used an all-occurrence sampling method to record the timing and duration of all episodes of heightened-shoaling behavior when tank-lights were on (8:00 h to 18:00 h) across 10 days. From the scan-sampling data, we found that compared to baseline periods, heightened-shoaling was characterized by increased shoal cohesion (p < 0.0001), increased adherence to the horizontal plane (p < 0.0001), decreased agonism (p < 0.0001), and no diving behavior (lower positions within the water column signal negative effect in zebrafish, p > 0.1). From the all-occurrence sampling data, we found 31 episodes of heightened-shoaling with instances observed in all six tanks and only a single case in which heightened-shoaling occurred in two tanks at the same time. The median episode duration was 7.6 min (Range 1.3–28.6). As the first systematic description of heightened-shoaling behavior, this research contributes to our knowledge of the range of zebrafish social dynamics living in naturalistic environments. Moreover, as a spontaneously occurring, protracted, affiliative behavior, heightened-shoaling appears to be a good candidate for future research into positive emotional behavior in zebrafish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Emotion)
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Open AccessReview Behavioral and Perceptual Differences between Sexes in Dogs: An Overview
Animals 2018, 8(9), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090151
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we review the scientific reports of sex-related differences in dogs as compared to the outcomes described for wild animals. Our aim was to explore whether the differences in male and female dogs were affected by the domestication process, in which
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In this paper, we review the scientific reports of sex-related differences in dogs as compared to the outcomes described for wild animals. Our aim was to explore whether the differences in male and female dogs were affected by the domestication process, in which artificial selection is the main driver. For this purpose, we used information regarding personality traits, cognitive processes, and perception, for which there is a wide theoretical framework in behavioral ecology. Aggressiveness and boldness, described as a behavioral syndrome, were reported as being higher in males than females. Females also seemed more inclined to interspecific social interactions with humans in tasks that require cooperative skills, whereas males appeared more inclined to social play, thus implying different levels of social engagement between the sexes, depending on the context. Studies on cognitive processes underlined a greater flexibility in resorting to a particular navigation strategy in males. Most lateralization studies seem to support the view that males are preferentially left-handed and females are preferentially right-handed. Reports on visual focusing coherently rank females as superior in focusing on single social and physical stimuli. Only male dogs are able to discriminate kin; however, the timing of the olfactory recording in sexes is related to the stimulus relevance. Dogs are largely in line with life-history theories, which indicate that sex differences in dogs are mainly rooted in their biological and evolutionary heritage, remaining unchanged despite artificial selection. In contrast, the higher intraspecific sociability in wild male animals was not replicated in dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Open AccessArticle Familiarity and Interest in Working with Livestock Decreases the Odds of Having Positive Attitudes towards Non-Human Animals and Their Welfare among Veterinary Students in Italy
Animals 2018, 8(9), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090150
Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
We investigated the attitudes of veterinary students towards animals and their welfare in Italy. Regression analyses revealed predictors that are significant in differentiating students’ scoring tendency based on their gender, familiarity, and intention to work with a specific animal species, type of diet,
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We investigated the attitudes of veterinary students towards animals and their welfare in Italy. Regression analyses revealed predictors that are significant in differentiating students’ scoring tendency based on their gender, familiarity, and intention to work with a specific animal species, type of diet, and membership in an animal rights association. Female students, who were mostly familiar with pets and aspired to work with species other than livestock, following an animal-free diet and being a member of an animal rights association, had a significantly greater odds of having a high Animal Attitude Scale score (AAS), i.e., very positive attitude towards animals, versus a less positive attitude. Conversely, the familiarity with livestock and preference for working with livestock significantly increased the odds of a low AAS. Overall, students considered all of the Brambell Report’s Five Freedoms important for animal welfare protection. However, students scored higher for companion animals than for livestock, particularly regarding the freedom to express normal behaviour and the absence of fear and distress. This study suggests that veterinary students place less importance on the psychological aspects of welfare for livestock, and there is a tendency for students who are mostly familiar, or aspire to work, with livestock to have a less positive attitude towards non-human animals and their welfare. These findings should be considered within the veterinary educational curriculum due to their potential impact on animal welfare. Full article
Open AccessArticle Weak General but No Specific Habituation in Anticipating Stimuli of Presumed Negative and Positive Valence by Weaned Piglets
Animals 2018, 8(9), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090149
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
Positive and negative stimuli have asymmetric fitness consequences. Whereas, a missed opportunity may be compensated, an unattended threat can be fatal. This is why it has been hypothesised that habituation to positive stimuli is fast while it may be difficult to habituate to
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Positive and negative stimuli have asymmetric fitness consequences. Whereas, a missed opportunity may be compensated, an unattended threat can be fatal. This is why it has been hypothesised that habituation to positive stimuli is fast while it may be difficult to habituate to negative stimuli, at least for primary (innate) stimuli. However, learning of secondary stimuli may delay the process of habituation. Here, we tested 64 weaned piglets in pairs. In three phases, lasting one week each, piglets were exposed five times to a stimulus of presumed negative, intermediate, or positive valence. Etho-physiological measurements of heart rate, heart rate variability, and general movement activity were collected during the last 4 min before the confrontation with the stimulus (anticipation phase). We found no consistent effect of the interaction between the valence of the stimuli and the repetition and a main effect of valence on our outcome variables. Therefore, we could neither support the hypothesis that piglets habituate more slowly to secondary positive stimuli than to primary negative stimuli nor that they habituate less to primary negative stimuli when compared with other stimuli. These results could have been caused because stimuli may not have differed in the presumed way, the experimental design may not have been adequate, or the measures were not suitable for detecting habituation to the stimuli. Based on the stimuli used here and their valence that was only presumed, we could not support the hypothesis that the habituation process differs according to the valence of the stimuli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Emotion)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Stocking Density on Milk Fatty Acids Composition and Oxidative Stability of Mid- and Late-Lactating Dairy Cows
Animals 2018, 8(9), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090148
Received: 5 July 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
The objective of the current study was to investigate the effects of stocking density (SD) on the milk fatty acid profile and oxidation stability in mid- and late-lactating cows. Twenty-four multiparous mid-lactating Holstein dairy cows (milk yield = 34.5 kg/d (standard deviation 0.68),
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The objective of the current study was to investigate the effects of stocking density (SD) on the milk fatty acid profile and oxidation stability in mid- and late-lactating cows. Twenty-four multiparous mid-lactating Holstein dairy cows (milk yield = 34.5 kg/d (standard deviation 0.68), days in milk = 106 (standard deviation 2.2)) and 24 multiparous late-lactating animals (milk yield = 31.8 kg/d (standard deviation 0.98), DIM = 201 (standard deviation 3.5)) were allocated into 12 blocks based on parity, milk yield, and DIM and were randomly assigned to one of four treatments: mid-lactating cows with high SD (HSD, 100%), mid-lactating cows with low SD (LSD, 75%), late-lactating cows with HSD, and late-lactating cows with LSD. The experiment lasted for eight weeks. Lactation performance (milk yield and composition including fat, protein and lactose) was measured weekly. The milk fatty acids (FAs) profiles and oxidation stability indexes in milk were measured in the fourth day of the eighth week. Plasma variables were measured in the fourth day of fourth and eighth experimental weeks. Yield and composition (protein, fat and lactose) were not affected by SD in neither mid- nor late-lactating dairy cows. Among mid-lactating cows, LSD cows had higher contents of unsaturated FAs (total, C18:1 cis-9 and C18:2 cis-9 cis-12) and lower concentrations of saturated FAs (total, C14:0 and C16:0) in milk fat than those of the HSD animals. Moreover, LSD lowered SOD, GSH-px, and T-AOC activities and reduced the malonaldehyde content in the milk of mid-lactating cows compared with those of HSD cows. Mid-lactating cows under LSD had reduced cortisol and greater MDA contents in plasma than those of HSD cows. Our results suggested that the effect of SD on the milk FA profile and stability varied depending on lactation stages. In mid-lactating cows, although cows with LSD were less stressed, the milk they produced had lower oxidation stability due to the higher unsaturated FAs levels compared with that of HSD cows. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Expeller Barrel Dry Heat and Moist Heat Pressure Duration Induce Changes in Canola Meal Protein for Ruminant Utilisation
Animals 2018, 8(9), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090147
Received: 15 July 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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To improve the protein nutritional quality of canola (Brassica napus L.) meal, further investigation of the effects of processing conditions and post-production treatments is desirable. The impact of barrel dry heat temperature (20 °C (cold press) and 100 °C (expeller)) and moist
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To improve the protein nutritional quality of canola (Brassica napus L.) meal, further investigation of the effects of processing conditions and post-production treatments is desirable. The impact of barrel dry heat temperature (20 °C (cold press) and 100 °C (expeller)) and moist heat pressure (MHP) duration time on general nutritional properties, Maillard reaction product (MRP) formation, in vitro protein degradability, and molecular and microscopic structural characteristics of canola meals were investigated. Increased MHP duration reduced (p < 0.05) dry matter, soluble protein, rapidly degradable protein, yellowness (early MRP), whiteness (late MRPs), absorbance at 294 nm (intermediate MRPs), and amide I; and increased (p < 0.05) non-protein N, neutral detergent fibre, neutral detergent insoluble crude protein (CP), intermediately and slowly degradable protein, in vitro effective CP degradability, redness, degree of colour change, and browning. Increased dry heat temperature reduced (p < 0.01) CP and rapidly degradable protein, constricted amide II, reduced (p < 0.05) protein solubility in 0.5% KOH and increased (p < 0.05) acid-detergent fibre and intermediate MRPs. Browning index and redness exhibited potential as rapid indicators of effective CP degradability and soluble protein, respectively. Dry heat and MHP altered (p < 0.05) lipid-related functional groups. Dry heat affected napin solubility, and MHP altered cruciferin and napin solubility. Application of MHP induced the formation of proteolysis-resistant protein aggregates with crevices containing oil bodies. Induced changes may impact the supply of proteins and amino acids and subsequently the yield and composition (protein and lipid) of milk produced by dairy cows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Thermography as a Non-Invasive Measure of Stress and Fear of Humans in Sheep
Animals 2018, 8(9), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090146
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
No data have been published on the use of infrared thermography (IRT) to evaluate sheep emotions. We assessed whether this technique can be used as a non-invasive measure of negative emotions. Two voluntary animal approach (VAA) tests were conducted (and filmed) on five
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No data have been published on the use of infrared thermography (IRT) to evaluate sheep emotions. We assessed whether this technique can be used as a non-invasive measure of negative emotions. Two voluntary animal approach (VAA) tests were conducted (and filmed) on five ewes before and after being restrained. The restraining process was performed by a handler for five minutes. IRT was used during restraint and the VAA tests. The lacrimal caruncle temperature was significantly higher during restraint and in the VAA test after the restraint compared with the VAA test before the restraint (Wilcoxon’s test; p = 0.04). The latency period until first contact was longer in the second VAA test (132 s) than in the first one (60 s). Our preliminary results suggest that IRT, combined with behavioral data, is a non-invasive technique that can be useful to assess stress and infer about negative emotions in sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Emotion)
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Open AccessArticle Copy Number Variations of KLF6 Modulate Gene Transcription and Growth Traits in Chinese Datong Yak (Bos Grunniens)
Animals 2018, 8(9), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090145
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 6 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
Copy number variation (CNV) is a significant marker of the genetic and phenotypic diversity among individuals that accounts for complex quantitative traits of phenotype and diseases via modulating gene dosage and disrupting coding regions in the genome. Biochemically, Kruppel-like factor 6 (KLF6
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Copy number variation (CNV) is a significant marker of the genetic and phenotypic diversity among individuals that accounts for complex quantitative traits of phenotype and diseases via modulating gene dosage and disrupting coding regions in the genome. Biochemically, Kruppel-like factor 6 (KLF6) genes plays a significant role in the regulation of cell differentiation and proliferation and muscle development. The aim of this study was to detect the distributions of KLF6 copy number variations (CNVs) in five breeds of domestic yak and to explore their effect on growth traits and gene expression. The data were analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). Our results elucidated that a decreased CNV in the KLF6 gene is more highly associated (p < 0.05) with various growth traits than increased or normal CNVs in six-month-old and five-year-old Datong yak. Nevertheless, negative correlations between the DNA copy number and KLF6 gene expression were observed in the skeletal muscle of adult Datong yak. These results suggest that CNVs of the KLF6 gene could be crucial genomic markers for growth phenotypes of Chinese Datong yak breeds and this finding constitutes the first evidence of the biological role of KLF6 CNVs in Chinese Datong yak breeds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Determination of the Genetic Component of Fur-Chewing in Chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera) and Its Economic Impact
Animals 2018, 8(9), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090144
Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Fur-chewing is a common behavioral disorder developed by chinchillas kept in confinement that can indicate a past or present welfare problem. It also has a negative productive impact associated. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic component of fur-chewing, and
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Fur-chewing is a common behavioral disorder developed by chinchillas kept in confinement that can indicate a past or present welfare problem. It also has a negative productive impact associated. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic component of fur-chewing, and the effect of this undesired behavior on fur price in a commercial fur-farming system of chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera). The data for the analysis was derived from a commercial population of 10,196 chinchillas, recorded between the years 1990 and 2011. For determining differences in fur price according to presence of fur-chewing behavior, analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used, considering 3007 animals. For estimation of variance components of fur-chewing a sire-dam threshold (probit) mixed model was used, using data of 9, 033 individuals, and then heritability on the underlying liability scale was calculated. The analysis revealed a significant negative impact on fur price from fur-chewing chinchillas (p-value < 0.05). In addition, the study showed that fur-chewing presents significant genetic variation, with an estimated heritability of 0.16. The presentation of fur-chewing should be taken into account when selecting broodstock in these systems, in order to reduce the number of affected individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
Open AccessOpinion The Responsibility of Veterinarians to Address Companion Animal Obesity
Animals 2018, 8(9), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090143
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 11 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
Obesity is a modern-day epidemic in both people and companion animals. A summary of the current research on the causes, risk factors, consequences, and implications of overweight and obesity, and the compliance of small-animal practitioners in recognizing and addressing pet obesity, is provided.
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Obesity is a modern-day epidemic in both people and companion animals. A summary of the current research on the causes, risk factors, consequences, and implications of overweight and obesity, and the compliance of small-animal practitioners in recognizing and addressing pet obesity, is provided. Ethical and animal welfare concerns are raised regarding these findings. We argue that a patient advocacy posture compels the veterinary profession to confront this issue more reliably. Evidence is presented to support obesity as a One-Health problem, and discrete and practical recommendations for preventing and addressing companion animal obesity are proposed. The One-Health perspective encourages coordinated action by veterinary healthcare professionals in order to address overweight and obesity in companion animals as a public health concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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