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Animals, Volume 9, Issue 12 (December 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Digestibility and Retention Time of Coastal Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) Hay by Horses
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121148 (registering DOI) - 14 Dec 2019
Abstract
Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) and other warm-season grasses are known for their increased fiber concentrations and reduced digestibility relative to cool-season grasses and legumes. This study investigated the digestive characteristics and passage kinetics of three maturities of Coastal bermudagrass hay. A 5 [...] Read more.
Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) and other warm-season grasses are known for their increased fiber concentrations and reduced digestibility relative to cool-season grasses and legumes. This study investigated the digestive characteristics and passage kinetics of three maturities of Coastal bermudagrass hay. A 5 × 5 Latin square design experiment was used to compare the digestion of five hays: alfalfa (Medicago sativa, ALF), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata, ORCH), and Coastal bermudagrass harvested at 4 (CB 4), 6 (CB 6), and 8 weeks of regrowth (CB 8). Horses were fed cobalt-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (Co-EDTA) and ytterbium (Yb) labeled neutral detergent fiber (NDF) before an 84-h total fecal collection to determine digesta retention time. Dry matter digestibility was greatest for ALF (62.1%) and least for CB 6 (36.0%) and CB 8 diets (36.8%, SEM = 2.1; p < 0.05). Mean retention time was longer (p < 0.05) for Coastal bermudagrass (particulate 31.3 h, liquid 25.3 h) compared with ORCH and ALF (28.0 h, SEM = 0.88 h; 20.7 h, SEM = 0.70 h). Further evaluation of digesta passage kinetics through mathematical modeling indicated ALF had distinct parameters compared to the other diets. Differences in digestive variables between forage types are likely a consequence of fiber physiochemical properties, warranting further investigation on forage fiber and digestive health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horse Feeding and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of the Genetic Parameters for Semen Traits in Spanish Dairy Sheep
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121147 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 111
Abstract
This work aimed to estimate genetic parameters for traits related to semen production and quality in Spanish dairy sheep breeds. For that, ejaculates of rams from Assaf, Churra, Latxa Cara Negra, Latxa Cara Rubia, and Manchega breeds were analyzed to measure volume, semen [...] Read more.
This work aimed to estimate genetic parameters for traits related to semen production and quality in Spanish dairy sheep breeds. For that, ejaculates of rams from Assaf, Churra, Latxa Cara Negra, Latxa Cara Rubia, and Manchega breeds were analyzed to measure volume, semen concentration, and motility. Estimates of variance components were obtained with multiple-trait animal models using the average information REML method in the BLUPF90 family of programs. Repeatability estimates for all the traits were also calculated, with values ranging from 0.077 to 0.304 for the motility and the semen concentration traits, respectively. Heritability estimates were of low to moderate magnitude, ranging from 0.014 (motility in Latxa Cara Rubia) to 0.198 (volume in Churra), although the estimates differed among the breeds. The estimated genetic correlations among the three semen traits showed adequate precision only in the MAN breed. The heritability estimates for the semen traits reported in the present paper suggest an adequate response to selection. The practical extension of these results to the other breeds studied here will be secondary to the estimation of more reliable genetic correlations in these breeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Applications of Quantitative Genetics in Livestock Production)
Open AccessBrief Report
Toxoplasma gondii Tetravalent Chimeric Proteins as Novel Antigens for Detection of Specific Immunoglobulin G in Sera of Small Ruminants
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121146 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 110
Abstract
The detection of Toxoplasma gondii infection in small ruminants has important significance for public health and veterinary medicine. This study, for the first time, describes the reactivity of four tetravalent chimeric proteins (AMA1N-SAG2-GRA1-ROP1, AMA1C-SAG2-GRA1-ROP1, AMA1-SAG2-GRA1-ROP1, and SAG2-GRA1-ROP1-GRA2) containing immunodominant [...] Read more.
The detection of Toxoplasma gondii infection in small ruminants has important significance for public health and veterinary medicine. This study, for the first time, describes the reactivity of four tetravalent chimeric proteins (AMA1N-SAG2-GRA1-ROP1, AMA1C-SAG2-GRA1-ROP1, AMA1-SAG2-GRA1-ROP1, and SAG2-GRA1-ROP1-GRA2) containing immunodominant regions from the AMA1 (apical membrane antigen 1), SAG2 (surface antigen 2), GRA1 (dense granule antigen 1), GRA2 (dense granule antigen 2), and ROP1 (rhoptry antigen 1) with specific IgG antibodies from the sera of small ruminants with the use of an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The reactivity of individual chimeric antigens was analyzed in relation to the results obtained in IgG ELISA based on a Toxoplasma lysate antigen (TLA). All chimeric proteins were characterized by high specificity (between 96.39% to 100%), whereas the sensitivity of the IgG ELISAs was variable (between 78.49% and 96.77%). The highest sensitivity was observed in the IgG ELISA test based on the AMA1-SAG2-GRA1-ROP1. These data demonstrate that this chimeric protein can be a promising serodiagnostic tool for T. gondii infection in small ruminants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Bacillus licheniformis-Fermented Products Reduce Diarrhea Incidence and Alter the Fecal Microbiota Community in Weaning Piglets
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121145 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 117
Abstract
Prophylactic use of antibiotics in-feed has been effective in decreasing the incidence of diarrhea in weaning piglets. However, the overuse of antibiotics as prophylactic or therapeutic agents in animal feed leads to the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria and antibiotic residues in pigs. This [...] Read more.
Prophylactic use of antibiotics in-feed has been effective in decreasing the incidence of diarrhea in weaning piglets. However, the overuse of antibiotics as prophylactic or therapeutic agents in animal feed leads to the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria and antibiotic residues in pigs. This study investigated the effects of Bacillus licheniformis-fermented products on diarrhea incidence and the fecal microbial community in weaning piglets. A total of 120 crossbred piglets with an average initial body weight of 9.87 ± 1.43 kg were randomly allotted to four dietary treatments consisting of three replicate stalls with 10 piglets in each. The dietary treatments comprised a basal diet as control, control plus 1 g/kg or 4.5 g/kg of B. licheniformis-fermented products, and control plus 30 mg/kg antibiotics (bacitracin methylene disalicylate). Results showed that 4.5 g/kg of B. licheniformis-fermented product supplementation significantly reduced diarrhea incidence in weaning piglets. Principal coordinate analysis and a heatmap of species abundance indicated distinct clusters between the groups treated with antibiotics and B. licheniformis-fermented products. The bacterial richness and evenness in the feces decreased in weaning piglets fed 1 g/kg of B. licheniformis-fermented products and antibiotics. The abundance of the genera [Ruminococcus] gauvreauii group, Ruminococcaceae UCG-005, and Ruminococcaceae UCG-008 in the feces decreased in weaning piglets fed B. licheniformis-fermented products or antibiotics. The average abundance of the genus Prevotella 9 in the feces was positively correlated with the concentration of B. licheniformis-fermented products and negatively correlated with the diarrhea incidence in weaning piglets. Furthermore, the average abundance of the genus Prevotella 9 in the feces was positively correlated with the growth performance of weaning piglets. These results demonstrate that B. licheniformis-fermented products can improve diarrhea incidence and fecal microflora composition in weaning piglets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut microbiota and growth and health of monogastric farm animals)
Open AccessArticle
Dietary Dihydroartemisinin Supplementation Attenuates Hepatic Oxidative Damage of Weaned Piglets with Intrauterine Growth Retardation through the Nrf2/ARE Signaling Pathway
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121144 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 107
Abstract
The object of present study was to evaluate the effects of dihydroartemisinin (DHA) supplementation on the hepatic antioxidant capacity in IUGR-affected weaned piglets. Eight piglets with normal birth weight (NBW) and sixteen IUGR-affected piglets were selected. Piglets were weaned at 21 days. NBW [...] Read more.
The object of present study was to evaluate the effects of dihydroartemisinin (DHA) supplementation on the hepatic antioxidant capacity in IUGR-affected weaned piglets. Eight piglets with normal birth weight (NBW) and sixteen IUGR-affected piglets were selected. Piglets were weaned at 21 days. NBW and IUGR groups were fed a basal diet and the ID group was fed the basal diet supplemented with 80 mg/kg DHA for 28 days. The result indicated that compared with NBW piglets, IUGR-affected piglets increased (p < 0.05) the concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA) and decreased (p < 0.05) the serum activities of total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px). In addition, IUGR-affected piglets showed increased (p < 0.05) hepatic concentrations of protein carbonyl (PC), 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), and oxidized glutathione (GSSG), and an increased GSSG:GSH value. IUGR-affected piglets exhibited lower (p < 0.05) activities of GSH-Px, T-SOD, total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), and the concentration of glutathione (GSH). DHA supplementation decreased (p < 0.05) the serum concentration of MDA and increased the serum activities of T-AOC, T-SOD, GSH-Px, and CAT. The ID group showed decreased (p < 0.05) concentrations of MDA, PC, 8-OHdG, and GSSG, and a decreased GSSG:GSH value in the liver. The hepatic activity of T-SOD and the concentration of GSH were increased (p < 0.05) in the liver of ID group. IUGR-affected piglets downregulated (p < 0.05) mRNA expression of nuclear erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), and CAT. DHA supplementation increased (p < 0.05) mRNA expression of Nrf2, HO-1, GPx1, and CAT in the ID group. In addition, the protein expression of Nrf2 was downregulated (p < 0.05) in the liver of IUGR-affected piglets and DHA supplementation increased (p < 0.05) the protein content of Nrf2 and HO-1. In conclusion, DHA may be beneficial in alleviating oxidative damage induced by IUGR through the Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway in the liver. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
Open AccessArticle
The Morphology of Cross-Beaks and BMP4 Gene Expression in Huiyang Bearded Chickens
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121143 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 113
Abstract
Bird beaks are important for biological purposes such as food intake, removing parasites, and defining phenotypic attributes. Cross-beaks are a threat to poultry health and are harmful to productivity, wasting some units in the poultry industry. However, there is still limited research on [...] Read more.
Bird beaks are important for biological purposes such as food intake, removing parasites, and defining phenotypic attributes. Cross-beaks are a threat to poultry health and are harmful to productivity, wasting some units in the poultry industry. However, there is still limited research on subtypes of cross-beaks and the genetic basis of cross-beaks as well. Here, we described the subtypes of cross-beaks in terms of left or right and upper or lower jaw bones. We evaluated the impact of cross-beaks on craniofacial bones and figured out the relationship between bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) and the development of craniofacial bones in Huiyang bearded chickens. We identified five typical subtypes of cross-beaks by morphological assessment and X-ray scanning. We found that cross-beaks caused certain changes in the facial bone morphology, including changes to the length and width of the bone around the ocular area (p < 0.05). The relative expressions of BMP4 in lacrimal, mandible, premaxilla, frontal, and parietal bones were significantly higher in the severe cross-beak group, followed by that of the medium cross-beak group, weak cross-beak group, and control group (p < 0.05). Overall, we constructed a generally applicable method to classify cross-beaks in term of the angle. The skeleton around the ocular area was affected by the cross-beak. The expression levels of BMP4 in craniofacial bones may provide insight to potential role of BMP4 in the development of cross-beaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
Open AccessArticle
Rabbit Enteropathies on Commercial Farms in the Iberian Peninsula: Etiological Agents Identified in 2018–2019
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121142 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 96
Abstract
Digestive disorders are the main cause of economic damage to rabbit farms. This article provides a global and updated overview of the diverse etiological agents causing them, since 757 clinical cases were analyzed during 2018 and 2019—Ninety-five from young rabbits (<15 days old), [...] Read more.
Digestive disorders are the main cause of economic damage to rabbit farms. This article provides a global and updated overview of the diverse etiological agents causing them, since 757 clinical cases were analyzed during 2018 and 2019—Ninety-five from young rabbits (<15 days old), 117 from preweaning rabbits (15–35 days old), and 545 from growing rabbits. Etiological diagnosis was carried out by bacteriological culture and a set of real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) tests for the detection of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), Clostridium spiroforme, C. perfringens, rotavirus A, Bacteroides fragilis, and Eimeria spp. Also, 40 EPEC and 38 non EPEC isolates were investigated for the presence of other colonization factors (afr2, ral, liftA, and paa) by qPCR. EPEC is the most prevalent agent in young rabbits, and although different virulence profiles have been found among EPEC isolates, the liftA+, ral+, and paa+ profile is the most prevalent. C. spiroforme and EPEC are the more frequently detected pathogens in preweaning rabbits, but B. fragilis appears to be a new possible emergent pathogen. In growing rabbits, diverse co-infections between C. spiroforme, Eimeria spp., EPEC, and rotavirus are much more frequent than infections due to only one of them. Other pathogens detected in very few cases are Salmonella spp. and Enterococcus hirae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disease and Immunology of Rabbits)
Open AccessArticle
Liver Transcriptome Changes of Hyla Rabbit in Response to Chronic Heat Stress
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121141 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 99
Abstract
Rabbit is an economically important farm animal in China and also is a widely used animal model in biological researches. Rabbits are very sensitive to the environmental conditions, therefore we investigated the liver transcriptome changes in response to chronic heat stress in the [...] Read more.
Rabbit is an economically important farm animal in China and also is a widely used animal model in biological researches. Rabbits are very sensitive to the environmental conditions, therefore we investigated the liver transcriptome changes in response to chronic heat stress in the present study. Six Hyla rabbits were randomly divided into two groups: chronic heat stress (HS) and controls without heat stress (CN). Six RNA-Seq libraries totally yielded 380 million clean reads after the quality filtering. Approximately 85.07% of reads were mapped to the reference genome. After assembling transcripts and quantifying gene expression levels, we detected 51 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between HS and CN groups with thresholds of the adjusted p-value < 0.05 and |log2(FoldChange)| > 1. Among them, 33 and 18 genes were upregulated and downregulated, respectively. Gene ontology analyses further revealed that these DEGs were mainly associated with metabolism of lipids, thyroid hormone metabolic process, and cellular modified amino acid catabolic process. The upregulated ACACB, ACLY, LSS, and CYP7A1 genes were found to be inter-related through biological processes of thioester biosynthetic process, acyl-CoA biosynthetic process, acetyl-CoA metabolic process, and others. Six DEGs were further validated by quantitative real-time PCR analysis. The results revealed the candidate genes and biological processes that will potentially be considered as important regulatory factors involved in the heat stress response in rabbits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disease and Immunology of Rabbits)
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Open AccessArticle
Computational Analysis of Movement Patterns of Dogs with ADHD-Like Behavior
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121140 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 115
Abstract
Computational approaches were called for to address the challenges of more objective behavior assessment which would be less reliant on owner reports. This study aims to use computational analysis for investigating a hypothesis that dogs with ADHD-like (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) behavior exhibit [...] Read more.
Computational approaches were called for to address the challenges of more objective behavior assessment which would be less reliant on owner reports. This study aims to use computational analysis for investigating a hypothesis that dogs with ADHD-like (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) behavior exhibit characteristic movement patterns directly observable during veterinary consultation. Behavioral consultations of 12 dogs medically treated due to ADHD-like behavior were recorded, as well as of a control group of 12 dogs with no reported behavioral problems. Computational analysis with a self-developed tool based on computer vision and machine learning was performed, analyzing 12 movement parameters that can be extracted from automatic dog tracking data. Significant differences in seven movement parameters were found, which led to the identification of three dimensions of movement patterns which may be instrumental for more objective assessment of ADHD-like behavior by clinicians, while being directly observable during consultation. These include (i) high speed, (ii) large coverage of space, and (iii) constant re-orientation in space. Computational tools used on video data collected during consultation have the potential to support quantifiable assessment of ADHD-like behavior informed by the identified dimensions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals of Clinical Animal Behaviour)
Open AccessArticle
A Study of the Head during Prenatal and Perinatal Development of Two Fetuses and One Newborn Striped Dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba, Meyen 1833) Using Dissections, Sectional Anatomy, CT, and MRI: Anatomical and Functional Implications in Cetaceans and Terrestrial Mammals
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121139 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 86
Abstract
Our objective was to analyze the main anatomical structures of the dolphin head during its developmental stages. Most dolphin studies use only one fetal specimen due to the difficulty in obtaining these materials. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) of two [...] Read more.
Our objective was to analyze the main anatomical structures of the dolphin head during its developmental stages. Most dolphin studies use only one fetal specimen due to the difficulty in obtaining these materials. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) of two fetuses (younger and older) and a perinatal specimen cadaver of striped dolphins were scanned. Only the older fetus was frozen and then was transversely cross-sectioned. In addition, gross dissections of the head were made on a perinatal and an adult specimen. In the oral cavity, only the mandible and maxilla teeth have started to erupt, while the most rostral teeth have not yet erupted. No salivary glands and masseter muscle were observed. The melon was well identified in CT/MRI images at early stages of development. CT and MRI images allowed observation of the maxillary sinus. The orbit and eyeball were analyzed and the absence of infraorbital rim together with the temporal process of the zygomatic bone holding periorbit were described. An enlarged auditory tube was identified using anatomical sections, CT, and MRI. We also compare the dolphin head anatomy with some mammals, trying to underline the anatomical and physiological changes and explain them from an ontogenic point of view. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Animal Anatomy)
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Leucine Supplementation Restores Serum Glucose Levels, and Modifying Hepatic Gene Expression Related to the Insulin Signal Pathway in IUGR Piglets
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1138; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121138 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 86
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effects of leucine with different levels on the insulin resistance in intrauterine growth restriction/retardation (IUGR) piglets. Thirty-two weaned piglets were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial design and four treatments (n = 8) were as follow: [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of leucine with different levels on the insulin resistance in intrauterine growth restriction/retardation (IUGR) piglets. Thirty-two weaned piglets were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial design and four treatments (n = 8) were as follow: (1) normal weaned piglets fed a basal diet (CONT), (2) IUGR weaned piglets fed a basal diet (IUGR), (3) normal weaned piglets fed a basal diet with the addition of 0.35% l-leucine (C-LEU), and (4) IUGR fed a basal diet with the addition of 0.35% l-leucine (I-LEU) for a 21-days trial. The results showed that compared to the IUGR group, the I-LEU group had higher final body weight and body weight gain, higher serum glucose concentrations, and higher serum insulin concentrations (p < 0.05). The gene expression of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase p110 gamma, protein kinase adenosine monophosphate-activated γ 3-subunit, glycogen synthase kinase-3 alpha, and glucose transporter type 2 were increased in the I-LEU group as compared to the IUGR group (p < 0.05). It was concluded that dietary leucine supplementation restored serum glucose concentrations, increased insulin and creatinine concentrations, and enhanced protein kinase adenosine monophosphate-activated γ 3-subunit and glucose transporter type 2 expression, suggesting that leucine might play a positive role in hepatic lipid metabolism and glucose metabolism in IUGR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
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Open AccessArticle
Different Diets Change the Expression of Bovine Serum Extracellular Vesicle-miRNAs
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121137 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 73
Abstract
Cells can communicate with neighboring or distant cells using extracellular vesicles (EVs), mainly attributed to their containing miRNAs. Given that diets can change host circulatory miRNA profiling, and EVs are the major miRNA carriers in serum, we hypothesized that different diets could change [...] Read more.
Cells can communicate with neighboring or distant cells using extracellular vesicles (EVs), mainly attributed to their containing miRNAs. Given that diets can change host circulatory miRNA profiling, and EVs are the major miRNA carriers in serum, we hypothesized that different diets could change bovine circulating EV-miRNA expression. We partly replaced alfalfa hay with whole cotton seed and soybean hull in the feed formula of the tested cows. Blood EVs were isolated using a polyethylene glycol precipitation kit. Particle size analysis revealed exosomes were dominant in bovine serum EVs. Small RNAs were enriched in bovine serum EVs, including miRNAs, snRNAs, tiRNAs, Cis-regulatory elements, piRNAs, etc. In total, 359 types of Bos taurus miRNAs were identified by Solexa sequencing. Each cow in the control group contained about 244 types of serum EV-miRNAs, compared to 246 types in the tested group. There were 15 immune-related miRNAs in the top 20 serum EV-miRNAs, accounting for about 80% of the total. Seven differently expressed known miRNAs were detected in responding to different diets. An analysis of the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) showed differently expressed miRNAs were related to hormone signal pathways and protein metabolism. Bovine serum EVs are abundant with miRNAs, most of which are immune-related. Different diets eventually change the miRNA profiling of bovine serum EVs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Methane and Carbon Dioxide Emission of Beef Heifers in Relation with Growth and Feed Efficiency
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121136 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 168
Abstract
Reducing enteric methane production and improving the feed efficiency of heifers on roughage diets are important selection objectives for sustainable beef production. The objective of the current study was to assess the relationship between different methane production and feed efficiency criteria of beef [...] Read more.
Reducing enteric methane production and improving the feed efficiency of heifers on roughage diets are important selection objectives for sustainable beef production. The objective of the current study was to assess the relationship between different methane production and feed efficiency criteria of beef heifers fed ad libitum roughage diets. A total of 326 Charolais heifers aged 22 months were controlled in two farms and fed either a grass silage (n = 252) or a natural meadow hay (n = 74) diet. Methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission rates (g/day) were measured with GreenFeed systems. The dry matter intake (DMI), average daily gain (ADG), CH4 and CO2 were measured over 8 to 12 weeks. Positive correlations were observed among body weight, DMI, ADG, CH4 and CO2. The residual feed intake (rwgDMI) was not related to CH4 or residual methane (rwiCH4). It was negatively correlated with methane yield (CH4/DMI): Rp = −0.87 and −0.83. Residual gain (rwiADG) and ADG/DMI were weakly and positively related to residual methane (rwiCH4): Rp = 0.21 on average. The ratio ADG/CO2 appeared to be a useful proxy of ADG/DMI (Rp = 0.64 and 0.97) and CH4/CO2 a proxy of methane yield (Rp = 0.24 and 0.33) for selecting low-emitting and efficient heifers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reducing Enteric Methane Emissions from Ruminants)
Open AccessArticle
Trends and Drivers of Change of Pastoral Beef Production Systems in a Mediterranean-Temperate Climate Zone of Chile
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1135; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121135 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 152
Abstract
The present study used surveys of the cattle sector over the period of 2009–2015 to develop a typology of cattle farms to evaluate their evolution over time and to identify variables that may be associated with systems’ adaptive changes and continuance. Four groups [...] Read more.
The present study used surveys of the cattle sector over the period of 2009–2015 to develop a typology of cattle farms to evaluate their evolution over time and to identify variables that may be associated with systems’ adaptive changes and continuance. Four groups of farms were defined using multivariate analyses as follows: Group I are small calf-cow operations using non-specialized beef breeds; Group II is similar to Group I but employs specialized beef breeds; Group III is dedicated to finishing cattle, and Group IV are larger farms (>1000 animals) with a complete cycle of breeding and fattening. In general, beef cattle production in the temperate—Mediterranean Southern Zone of Chile is declining in response to the opening up of the economy that allows for ample imports, the high opportunity cost of land, and recurrent droughts associated with climate change. Current policies and regulations have modified farms’ businesses models depending on their ease of access to markets, farm size and financial capacity. The defined groups require different development paths and strategies. Sustainable intensification is an alternative strategy for farms in Group I and II, particularly if they were to contract the finishing stage of their cattle with Group III farms. In contrast, it is suggested that Group IV farms concentrate on pastoral production using low external inputs to enhance the production of “natural” beef for high-value niche markets, with positive externalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
Open AccessArticle
Zinc and Copper with New Triazine Hydrazone Ligand: Two Novel Organic Complexes Enhanced Expression of Peptide Growth Factors and Cytokine Genes in Weaned V-Line Rabbit
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121134 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 141
Abstract
Two novel transitional organic Zn/Cu complexes based on a new biocompatible bidentate triazine–hydrazone ligand (Thz) was designed, synthesized, and evaluated in this study. This study evaluated the effects of injecting 60 mg of Zn and 40 mg of Cu in three different forms, [...] Read more.
Two novel transitional organic Zn/Cu complexes based on a new biocompatible bidentate triazine–hydrazone ligand (Thz) was designed, synthesized, and evaluated in this study. This study evaluated the effects of injecting 60 mg of Zn and 40 mg of Cu in three different forms, twice per week, for eight weeks on growth performance, expression of growth factors and cytokine genes, carcass yield, blood biochemicals, and intestinal morphology in weaned rabbits. The tested complexes were sulfate (Cu/ZnSO4), montmorillonite (Cu/Zn-Mnt), and triazine hydrazone (Cu/Zn-Thz). A total of 60 V-line weaned rabbits at four weeks of age were assigned to four treatments (n = 15), which were intramuscularly injected with 0.5 mL of either (1) saline (control) or saline containing (2) Cu/ZnSO4, (3) Cu/Zn-Mnt, or (4) Cu/Zn-Thz. Compared to the controls, the rabbits injected with Cu/Zn-Thz showed a higher (p < 0.01) growth rate, carcass yield (p < 0.05), and liver expression of insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), growth hormone receptor (GHR), fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF1), and transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGFB1) (p < 0.05), as well as better jejunum morphometric variables (p < 0.05). On the other hand, mRNA of FGF1, TGF1, TCIRG1, and adenosine deaminase (ADA) were higher expressed (p < 0.05) in the spleen tissues of Cu/Zn-Mnt group. Collectively, the results indicated that our novel synthesized organic complexes of Zn/Cu-Thz proved to be a suitable feed supplement, as it increased rabbit productive performance through enhancing expression of peptide growth factors and cytokine genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
A Review of Medical Conditions and Behavioral Problems in Dogs and Cats
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1133; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121133 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 241
Abstract
Not all animals behave identically when faced with the same situation. These individual differences in the expression of their behavior could be due to many factors, including medical conditions. These medical problems can change behavior directly or indirectly. The aims of this review [...] Read more.
Not all animals behave identically when faced with the same situation. These individual differences in the expression of their behavior could be due to many factors, including medical conditions. These medical problems can change behavior directly or indirectly. The aims of this review are to describe the state of the art of the relationship among some medical and behavioral problems, and to propose new lines of investigation. The revision is focused on the relation between behavioral problems and pain, endocrine diseases, neurological problems, vomeronasal organ alterations, and cardiac disorders. These problems represent a diagnostic challenge from a practical point of view. The most common sign of pain in animals is a change in behavior. Although the relation of pain to behavioral problems has been widely studied, it is not absolutely clear. As an example, the relation between sleep disorders and pain is poorly known in veterinary medicine. New studies in humans and laboratory animals show that a reciprocal relationship does, in fact, exist. More specifically, the literature suggests that the temporal effect of sleep deprivation on pain may be stronger than that of pain on sleep. Some behavioral problems could modify the sleep–awake cycle (e.g., cognitive dysfunction). The impact of these behavioral problems on pain perception is completely unknown in dogs and cats. Thyroid hormones play an important role, regarding behavioral control. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism have been related to behavioral changes. Concerning hypothyroidism, this relationship remains controversial. Nonetheless, new neuro-imaging studies provide objective evidence that brain structure and function are altered in hypothyroid patients, both in laboratory animals and in humans. There are many neurological problems that could potentially change behavior. This paper reviews those neurological problems that could lead to behavioral changes without modifying neurological examination. The most common problems are tumors that affect central nervous system silent zones, mild traumatic brain injury, ischemic attacks, and epilepsy. Most of these diseases and their relationship to behavior are poorly studied in dogs and cats. To better understand the pathophysiology of all of these problems, and their relation to behavioral problems, may change the diagnostic protocol of behavioral problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals of Clinical Animal Behaviour)
Open AccessArticle
Weaning Holstein Calves at 17 Weeks of Age Enables Smooth Transition from Liquid to Solid Feed
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121132 - 12 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Development of calves depends on prenatal and postnatal conditions. Primiparous cows were still maturing during pregnancy, which can lead to negative intrauterine conditions and affect the calf’s metabolism. It is hypothesized that weaning calves at higher maturity has positive effects due to reduced [...] Read more.
Development of calves depends on prenatal and postnatal conditions. Primiparous cows were still maturing during pregnancy, which can lead to negative intrauterine conditions and affect the calf’s metabolism. It is hypothesized that weaning calves at higher maturity has positive effects due to reduced metabolic stress. We aimed to evaluate effects of mothers’ parity and calves’ weaning age on growth performance and blood metabolites. Fifty-nine female Holstein calves (38.8 ± 5.3 kg birth weight, about 8 days old) were used in a 2 × 2 factorial experiment with factors weaning age (7 vs. 17 weeks) and parity of mother (primiparous vs. multiparous cows). Calves were randomly assigned one of these four groups. Live weight, live weight gain and morphometry increased over time and were greater in calves weaned later. Metabolic indicators except total protein were interactively affected by time and weaning age. Leptin remained low in early-weaned calves born to primiparous cows, while it increased in the other groups. The results suggest that weaning more mature calves has a positive effect on body growth, and calves born to primiparous cows particularly benefit from this weaning regimen. It also enables a smooth transition from liquid to solid feed, which might reduce the associated stress of weaning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Calf and Heifer Feeding and management)
Open AccessCommunication
Practice of Noseband Use and Intentions Towards Behavioural Change in Dutch Equestrians
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1131; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121131 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 148
Abstract
Understanding equestrians’ noseband tightening practices and intentions is necessary to target welfare improvement strategies. Firstly, we measured tightness in dressage and show jumping horses in The Netherlands, shortly after implementation of the two-finger rule by the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation. Noseband tightness decreased [...] Read more.
Understanding equestrians’ noseband tightening practices and intentions is necessary to target welfare improvement strategies. Firstly, we measured tightness in dressage and show jumping horses in The Netherlands, shortly after implementation of the two-finger rule by the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation. Noseband tightness decreased with age, was less tight in dressage horses than in show jumpers, and was dependent on the interaction between competition level and discipline. Fifty-nine percent of the riders tightened nosebands to such an extent that they adhered to the new regulation. Secondly, we conducted an online survey to gain insight into whether riders were aware of noseband use and tightening behaviour. Of the 386 respondents, 54.5% agreed with the new regulations, and 62% believe that it improves horses’ welfare. Applying cluster analysis to statements regarding their own attitude, peer pressure, and behavioural control produced three clusters. Noticeably, a lower percentage of Cluster 1 respondents (38%) performing at higher levels was convinced that the new regulation improved welfare than Cluster 2 (77.9%) and 3 (89.0%) respondents. Designing strategies to ensure the successful implementation of the new regulation and to convince equestrians to comply would be most effective if targeted differentially, and should include a transparent and objective form of regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horse Welfare)
Open AccessArticle
A New Method of Assessing Sheep Red Blood Cell Types from Their Morphology
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121130 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 116
Abstract
: Data concerning the morphometric parameters of sheep red blood cells (RBCs) obtained using computer-assisted image analysis have not yet been investigated, and there are no data on any analyses of ovine RBC subpopulations based on their morphometric parameters. The aims of this [...] Read more.
: Data concerning the morphometric parameters of sheep red blood cells (RBCs) obtained using computer-assisted image analysis have not yet been investigated, and there are no data on any analyses of ovine RBC subpopulations based on their morphometric parameters. The aims of this study are to determine the values of RBC haematological and morphometric size and shape parameters, to form groups according to the obtained values of haematological parameters; to determine the differences in RBC morphometric parameters between the formed groups, and to determine RBC subpopulations and their respective proportions in the formed groups. Thirty-six blood samples were collected from the jugular vein of clinically healthy Lika pramenka sheep, aged between 2 and 5 years. Haematological parameters including haemoglobin (HGB), haematocrit (HTC), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), and RBC distribution width were analysed using a haematology analyser. Haematological parameters were categorized into two groups: those with lower values or values below the physiological range (Groups 1) and groups with higher values or values above the physiological range (Groups 2). Morphometric parameters of RBCs were determined from stained blood smears using SFORM, a computer-assisted program. Significantly higher values of RBC area, outline, convex, minimal and maximal radius, as well as length and breadth were established in Groups 2 compared to Groups 1 of HGB, HCT, MCV, MCH, and MCHC, respectively. Based on the morphometric parameters of RBCs, three RBC subpopulations were obtained using principal component and cluster analysis: ES 1—the smallest and most elongated RBCs, ES 2—the biggest and most rounded RBCs, and ES 3—average size and shape RBCs. Significantly higher proportions of ES 2 and ES 3 subpopulations, as well as a significantly lower proportion of ES 1 subpopulation, were established in Groups 2 compared to Groups 1 of HGB, HTC, MCV, and MCH, respectively. It can be concluded that ovine RBC subpopulations, based on their morphometric parameters, can be obtained by using computer-assisted image analysis of RBC morphometry and multivariate statistical methods, including principal component and cluster analysis. RBC morphometry, including classification into subpopulations, could serve as a basis for future possibilities in the diagnostic interpretation of anaemic syndromes in veterinary medicine, especially in normocytic, macrocytic, and microcytic anaemias in sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
Open AccessArticle
Real-Time Monitoring of Self-Fed Supplement Intake, Feeding Behaviour, and Growth Rate as Affected by Forage Quantity and Quality of Rotationally Grazed Beef Cattle
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121129 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 123
Abstract
Supplement intake and liveweight (LW) data were collected daily and remotely by digital in-paddock technologies (electronic feeder (EF) and walk-over-weighing scale (WOW)) to study the effect of forage quantity and quality on the intake of a self-fed supplement (molasses-lick blocks (MLB)), LW, liveweight [...] Read more.
Supplement intake and liveweight (LW) data were collected daily and remotely by digital in-paddock technologies (electronic feeder (EF) and walk-over-weighing scale (WOW)) to study the effect of forage quantity and quality on the intake of a self-fed supplement (molasses-lick blocks (MLB)), LW, liveweight change (LWC), and feeding behaviour of grazing beef cattle. Fifty-two crossbred weaners were rotationally grazed or fed for 254 days on different forages: sudangrass (SG), autumn pastures (P), winter pastures with concentrate (P+C), oat crops (OC), lucerne hay (LH), and oaten hay (OH). Forage quantity and quality were measured on the day of entry (high feed availability) and exit (low feed availability) stages of grazing or hay delivery. The intake of MLB was 111% higher (p < 0.05) at low compared to high feed availability, and this was also reflected in the feeding behaviour of animals (e.g., greater feeding frequency and rate). Moreover, there was a large temporal variability of daily MLB intake (CV = 146.41%). Supplementing MLB improved LWC only with SG, P, or OH (p < 0.05). The behaviour of animals around MLB reflects changes in feed quantity and quality and could be used to enhance cattle grazing and nutritional management in real time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information Technology Applied to Animal Management)
Open AccessArticle
Tenebrio molitor and Zophobas morio Full-Fat Meals in Broiler Chicken Diets: Effects on Nutrients Digestibility, Digestive Enzyme Activities, and Cecal Microbiome
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121128 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 116
Abstract
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of insect full-fat meals added in relatively small amounts to a complete diet on the coefficients of apparent ileal digestibility, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations, bacterial enzymes, and the microbiota community in the cecal digesta [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of insect full-fat meals added in relatively small amounts to a complete diet on the coefficients of apparent ileal digestibility, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations, bacterial enzymes, and the microbiota community in the cecal digesta of broiler chickens. In total, 600 one-day-old female Ross 308 broiler chicks were randomly assigned to six dietary treatments with 10 replicate pens/treatment and 10 birds/pen. The groups consisted of a negative control (NC) with no additives; a positive control (PC; salinomycin 60 ppm), and supplementation with 0.2% or 0.3% Tenebrio molitor or Zophobas morio full-fat meals. Z. morio (0.2%) addition increased the activities of α- and β-glucosidase and α-galactosidase. Dietary insects significantly decreased the cecal counts of the Bacteroides–Prevotella cluster in comparison to those in the NC and PC. Whereas, Clostridium perfringens counts were increased in the broiler chickens subjected to the 0.3% Z. morio treatment. In conclusion, small amounts of full-fat insect meals added to broiler diets were capable of reducing the abundance of potentially pathogenic bacteria, such as the Bacteroides–Prevotella cluster and Clostridium perfringens. In addition, this supplementation was able to stimulate the GIT microbiome to produce enzymes, especially glycolytic enzymes. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Insects as Animal Feed: a New Promising Sector)
Open AccessArticle
The Demography and Practice of Australians Caring for Native Wildlife and the Psychological, Physical and Financial Effects of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release of Wildlife on the Welfare of Carers
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1127; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121127 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 118
Abstract
The rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned Australian wildlife is managed by over 20,000 carers, mostly voluntarily. These volunteers experience mental, physical and financial challenges that have not been researched adequately. This study collated the responses (n = 316) to [...] Read more.
The rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned Australian wildlife is managed by over 20,000 carers, mostly voluntarily. These volunteers experience mental, physical and financial challenges that have not been researched adequately. This study collated the responses (n = 316) to a survey conducted among Australian wildlife carers who actively foster orphaned joeys for hand-raising and injured adult mammals for rehabilitation and release. It confirmed 86% of rehabilitators are female, 70% are over the age of 46 years and their prime motivation is an affinity with animals. The average time spent in the sector is 11.5 years, and the work week is 31.6 h, caring for 15 animals per year, with an average of 2.6 dying. The average financial commitment is AUD5300 annually and up to AUD800,000 over a lifetime. Regarding the grief experienced by carers, the lower the age, the longer the time spent, the greater the financial input and the more joeys that died, the more severe is the grief experienced. Moderate to severe grief is experienced by 28% of carers, which, coupled with other factors, could lead to burnout or compassion fatigue. Soon, wildlife carer welfare will likely be compromised unless financial and mental support is provided and their workload reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessReview
Seaweeds in Pig Nutrition
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121126 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 112
Abstract
Seaweeds are macroalgae, with different sizes, colors and composition. They consist of brown algae, red algae and green algae, which all have a different chemical composition and bioactive molecule content. The polysaccharides, laminarin and fucoidan are commonly present in brown seaweeds, ulvans are [...] Read more.
Seaweeds are macroalgae, with different sizes, colors and composition. They consist of brown algae, red algae and green algae, which all have a different chemical composition and bioactive molecule content. The polysaccharides, laminarin and fucoidan are commonly present in brown seaweeds, ulvans are found in green seaweeds and, red algae contain a large amount of carrageenans. These bioactive compounds may have several positive effects on health in livestock. In order to reduce the antimicrobials used in livestock, research has recently focused on finding natural and sustainable molecules that boost animal performance and health. The present study thus summarizes research on the dietary integration of seaweeds in swine. In particular the influence on growth performance, nutrients digestibility, prebiotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory activities were considered. The review highlights that brown seaweeds seem to be a promising dietary intervention in pigs in order to boost the immune system, antioxidant status and gut health. Data on the use of green seaweeds as a dietary supplementation seems to be lacking at present and merit further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
The Meat Paradox, Omnivore’s Akrasia, and Animal Ethics
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121125 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 172
Abstract
Western cultures have witnessed an intriguing phenomenon in recent years: People are both more concerned for animal wellbeing and consume more animal products than ever before. This contradiction has been explored in psychology under the term “meat paradox”. However, what has been omitted [...] Read more.
Western cultures have witnessed an intriguing phenomenon in recent years: People are both more concerned for animal wellbeing and consume more animal products than ever before. This contradiction has been explored in psychology under the term “meat paradox”. However, what has been omitted from the explorations is the age-old philosophical notion of “akrasia”, within which one both knows “the good” and acts against it. The paper seeks to address this omission by comparing psychological research on the meat paradox with philosophy of akrasia. Applying Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Spinoza, I investigate the underlying factors of and solutions to what is here called “omnivore’s akrasia”. Whilst contemporary research on the meat paradox focuses on various descriptive cognitive errors (such as cognitive dissonance), philosophy of akrasia has tended to focus more prescriptively on moral reason and virtue. After discussing “nudging” as an implication of the descriptive approach, the paper supports the prescriptive perspective and “the cultivation argument”. The claim is that contemporary research on the contradictions concerning attitudes toward other animals would greatly benefit from paying more attention to the value-laden mental factors underlying moral agency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Ethics: Questioning the Orthodoxy)
Open AccessArticle
Improving the Recognition of Equine Affective States
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1124; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121124 - 11 Dec 2019
Viewed by 157
Abstract
A key welfare problem for horses is that people commonly fail to recognise, and consequently neglect to resolve, equine behavioural signs of distress, worsening the welfare of the horse and potentially putting the safety of the handler at risk as a result. Members [...] Read more.
A key welfare problem for horses is that people commonly fail to recognise, and consequently neglect to resolve, equine behavioural signs of distress, worsening the welfare of the horse and potentially putting the safety of the handler at risk as a result. Members of equestrian Facebook groups were asked to view six videos and assess the horse’s behaviour in each; the authors selected the videos and considered each video to demonstrate behaviour associated with negative affective states. An additional six equine behaviourists also completed the survey as an “expert comparison group” from whom we could define “correct” answers; their responses were consistent with each other and the views of the authors. Although the majority of respondents successfully recognised behaviour indicative of distress in some instances, behaviour associated with negative affective states was commonly missed; videos featuring natural horsemanship and bridle-less riding were particularly interpreted incorrectly to be positive experiences for the horses. Binary logistic regression analysis (72.1% success rate) confirmed that the different video types (ridden dressage, natural horsemanship, in-hand dressage, bridle-less riding, Western reining and behavioural rehabilitation) were strong predictors for obtaining a correct answer (p < 0.01) but that experience of equine-ownership was not. Of the equestrian activities preferred by participants, only proponents of clicker training showed an increased likelihood of obtaining the correct answer (p = 0.05). Even when behavioural signs suggestive of negative affective states were recognised, a minority of respondents stated that they would be happy for their horse to be treated similarly. In conclusion, behavioural signs of equine distress are poorly recognised; they therefore warrant an increased prominence in education and the outreach activity of welfare organisations, in order to reduce equine suffering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals of Clinical Animal Behaviour)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Dietary Energy on Growth Performance, Rumen Fermentation and Bacterial Community, and Meat Quality of Holstein-Friesians Bulls Slaughtered at Different Ages
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121123 - 11 Dec 2019
Viewed by 157
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary energy levels on growth performance, rumen fermentation and bacterial community, and meat quality of Holstein-Friesians bulls slaughtered at different ages. Thirty-six Holstein-Friesians bulls (17 months of age) were divided into a [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary energy levels on growth performance, rumen fermentation and bacterial community, and meat quality of Holstein-Friesians bulls slaughtered at different ages. Thirty-six Holstein-Friesians bulls (17 months of age) were divided into a 3 × 3 factorial experiment with three energy levels (LE, ME and HE; metabolizable energy is 10.12, 10.90 and 11.68 MJ/kg, respectively) of diets, and three slaughter ages (20, 23 and 26 months). Results indicated that bulls fed with ME and HE diets had higher dry matter intake, average daily gain, and dressing percentage at 23 or 26 months of age. The ME and HE diets also reduced bacterial diversity, altered relative abundances of bacteria and produced lower concentrations of acetate, but higher butyrate and valerate concentrations in rumen fluid. Increasing in dietary energy and slaughter age increased the intramuscular fat (IMF) and water holding capacity. In summary, Holstein-Friesians bulls fed with ME and HE diets, slaughtered at 23 and 26 months of age could be a good choice to produce beef with high IMF. Slaughter age may have less influence than dietary energy in altering fermentation by increasing amylolytic bacteria and decreasing cellulolytic bacteria, and thus, further affecting meat quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Dietary Selenium Deficiency or Excess on Selenoprotein Gene Expression in the Spleen Tissue of Pigs
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1122; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121122 - 11 Dec 2019
Viewed by 147
Abstract
To evaluate the effects of dietary Se deficiency and excess on the mRNA levels of selenoproteins in pig spleen tissues, 20 healthy uncastrated boars (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire, 10 ± 0.72 kg) were randomly divided into four groups (5 pigs per group). [...] Read more.
To evaluate the effects of dietary Se deficiency and excess on the mRNA levels of selenoproteins in pig spleen tissues, 20 healthy uncastrated boars (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire, 10 ± 0.72 kg) were randomly divided into four groups (5 pigs per group). The pigs were fed a Se deficient corn-soybean basal feed (Se content <0.03 mg/kg) or basal feed with added sodium selenite at 0.3, 1.0, or 3.0 mg Se/kg diet, respectively. The experiment lasted 16 weeks. The spleen tissue was collected to examine the mRNA expression levels of 24 selenoprotein genes at the end of the study. Compared with pigs in other groups, those fed with the 1.0 mg Se/kg diet had higher mRNA levels of glutathione peroxidase 1 (Gpx1), glutathione peroxidase 2 (Gpx2), deiodinase type II (Dio2), thioredoxin reductase 3 (Txnrd3), selenoprotein H (Selh), selenoprotein N, 1 (Sepn1), selenoprotein P1 (Sepp1), and selenoprotein V (Selv) in the spleen (p < 0.05). Dietary Se deficiency resulted in lower mRNA levels of Gpx1, Gpx2, glutathione peroxidase 3 (Gpx3), Dio2, thioredoxin reductase 2 (Txnrd2), Txnrd3, Selh, selenoprotein I (Seli), selenoprotein K (Selk), selenoprotein M (Selm), Sepn1, Sepp1, and Selv in the spleen than the other three groups. Dietary Se levels did not affect the mRNA levels of glutathione peroxidase 4 (Gpx4), deiodinase type I (Dio1), deiodinase type III (Dio3), selenophosphate synthetase 2 (Sephs2), thioredoxin reductase 1 (Txnrd1), selenoprotein O (Selo), selenoprotein S (Sels), selenoprotein W (Selw), selenoprotein X (Selx), and selenoprotein 15 (Sel15) in the spleen (p > 0.05). Dietary Se levels can affect the transcription levels of 14 selenoprotein genes in the spleen of pigs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Animal Cruelty and Neglect: Prevalence and Community Actions in Victoria, Australia
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1121; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121121 - 11 Dec 2019
Viewed by 249
Abstract
While animal mistreatment is common worldwide, its true scale is largely unknown. Currently, organisations rely on community reporting (case data) and trends found therein to inform prevention activities. To investigate the prevalence, types, and responses to animal mistreatment in Victoria, we conducted a [...] Read more.
While animal mistreatment is common worldwide, its true scale is largely unknown. Currently, organisations rely on community reporting (case data) and trends found therein to inform prevention activities. To investigate the prevalence, types, and responses to animal mistreatment in Victoria, we conducted a representative telephone survey (n = 1801) across six Local Government Areas (LGAs); three with high numbers of RSPCA reported cases and three demographically similar areas with low numbers of such cases. Overall, 25.7% of people surveyed had witnessed at least one incident of mistreatment in the last 12 months, with those relating to neglect or poor management predominating. No differences in prevalence were found between LGAs when socio-economic index and local government comparator group were controlled for. However, participants in regional cities recalled witnessing more separate incidents than those in metropolitan or interface areas. Actions taken after witnessing mistreatment were varied, yet many participants did nothing (27%) and only 9% reported to RSPCA Victoria. Attitudes to reporting were positive but did not predict reporting behaviour. Together, these results demonstrate that case data are not reliable indicators of the true prevalence of animal mistreatment; it is common and grossly underreported, highlighting the need for effective, evidence-based prevention programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animals in Public Policy, Politics and Society)
Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Evaluation of Different Dietary Methane Mitigation Strategies
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1120; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121120 - 11 Dec 2019
Viewed by 139
Abstract
We assessed and ranked different dietary strategies for mitigating methane (CH4) emissions and other fermentation parameters, using an automated gas system in two in vitro experiments. In experiment 1, a wide range of dietary CH4 mitigation strategies was tested. In [...] Read more.
We assessed and ranked different dietary strategies for mitigating methane (CH4) emissions and other fermentation parameters, using an automated gas system in two in vitro experiments. In experiment 1, a wide range of dietary CH4 mitigation strategies was tested. In experiment 2, the two most promising CH4 inhibitory compounds from experiment 1 were tested in a dose-response study. In experiment 1, the chemical compounds 2-nitroethanol, nitrate, propynoic acid, p-coumaric acid, bromoform, and Asparagopsis taxiformis (AT) decreased predicted in vivo CH4 production (1.30, 21.3, 13.9, 24.2, 2.00, and 0.20 mL/g DM, respectively) compared with the control diet (38.7 mL/g DM). The 2-nitroethanol and AT treatments had lower molar proportions of acetate and higher molar proportions of propionate and butyrate compared with the control diet. In experiment 2, predicted in vivo CH4 production decreased curvilinearly, molar proportions of acetate decreased, and propionate and butyrate proportions increased curvilinearly with increased levels of AT and 2-nitroethanol. Thus 2-nitroethanol and AT were the most efficient strategies to reduce CH4 emissions in vitro, and AT inclusion additionally showed a strong dose-dependent CH4 mitigating effect, with the least impact on rumen fermentation parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Vitro Digestibility in Animal Nutritional Studies)
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Open AccessArticle
Trot Accelerations of Equine Front and Hind Hooves Shod with Polyurethane Composite Shoes and Steel Shoes on Asphalt
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121119 - 11 Dec 2019
Viewed by 131
Abstract
The present study investigated accelerations of the front and hind hooves of horses comparing two different shoe types. A standard steel shoe, with studs, pins, and in some instances with toe grabs, was compared to a steel shoe covered on the bottom with [...] Read more.
The present study investigated accelerations of the front and hind hooves of horses comparing two different shoe types. A standard steel shoe, with studs, pins, and in some instances with toe grabs, was compared to a steel shoe covered on the bottom with a layer of polyurethane. Four horses were used; they trotted in hand on an asphalt track at their self-selected speed. The results showed significantly reduced decelerations during the stance phase with the polyurethane-covered shoes (10th percentile median steel −2.77 g, polyurethane −2.46 g; p = 0.06) and significantly increased decelerations in front hooves compared to hind hooves with steel shoes (70th percentile median −1.04 g front hooves, 0.12 g hind hooves, p = 0.04). Horses trotted faster using longer strides with the polyurethane-covered shoes compared to the steel shoes. The results show that effects of shoe types should be investigated simultaneously in front and hind hooves, and that PU shoes may aid in reducing the overload present in the front limbs of horses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics of the Exercising Animals)
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