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Animals, Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Dogs are popular pets in many parts of the world, but the factors that influence owners’ decisions [...] Read more.
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Open AccessConcept Paper
Development of an Automated Pain Facial Expression Detection System for Sheep (Ovis Aries)
Animals 2019, 9(4), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040196
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
The use of technology to optimize the production and management of each individual animal is becoming key to good farming. There is a need for the real-time systematic detection and control of disease in animals in order to limit the impact on animal [...] Read more.
The use of technology to optimize the production and management of each individual animal is becoming key to good farming. There is a need for the real-time systematic detection and control of disease in animals in order to limit the impact on animal welfare and food supply. Diseases such as footrot and mastitis cause significant pain in sheep, and so early detection is vital to ensuring effective treatment and preventing the spread across the flock. Facial expression scoring to assess pain in humans and non-humans is now well utilized, and the Sheep Pain Facial Expression Scale (SPFES) is a tool that can reliably detect pain in this species. The SPFES currently requires manual scoring, leaving it open to observer bias, and it is also time-consuming. The ability of a computer to automatically detect and direct a producer as to where assessment and treatment are needed would increase the chances of controlling the spread of disease. It would also aid in the prevention of resistance across the individual, farm, and landscape at both national and international levels. In this paper, we present our framework for an integrated novel system based on techniques originally applied for human facial expression recognition that could be implemented at the farm level. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time that this technology has been applied to sheep to assess pain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Should Animal Welfare Regulations Be More Restrictive? A Case Study in Eight European Union Countries
Animals 2019, 9(4), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040195
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Increasingly, intensive livestock production systems have increased societal concern regarding the current animal welfare standards. We investigated whether individuals in their roles as consumers and citizens believe that the current European regulations regarding animal welfare should be more restrictive. Factors affecting this decision [...] Read more.
Increasingly, intensive livestock production systems have increased societal concern regarding the current animal welfare standards. We investigated whether individuals in their roles as consumers and citizens believe that the current European regulations regarding animal welfare should be more restrictive. Factors affecting this decision were assessed by analyzing respondents’ understanding of animal welfare-related issues, their subjective and objective knowledge levels, the credibility they assign to different information sources, their perceptions toward the current restrictiveness of animal welfare standards, and their socioeconomic characteristics. Data were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire distributed in eight European Union (EU) countries (Spain, the United Kingdom, Poland, Greece, Lithuania, Romania, Italy, and Sweden) with 3860 total responses. The results showed that consumers are more reluctant to adopt more restrictive regulations than respondents in the role of citizens. Respondents from northern European countries (Poland and Sweden) are more likely to support regulations that are more restrictive than the current minimum requirements than respondents from southern countries (Spain and Italy). Women were found to be more concerned with the welfare of pigs and laying hens—lending credibility to the Internet as an information source—and were more likely to support more restrictive animal welfare legislation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Dietary Hemp Seed on Oxidative Status in Sows during Late Gestation and Lactation and Their Offspring
Animals 2019, 9(4), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040194
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
This study shows the antioxidant effect of a dietary hemp seed diet rich in ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) on oxidative status in sows during late gestation and lactation and their offspring. Ten pregnant sows were divided into two groups and fed either [...] Read more.
This study shows the antioxidant effect of a dietary hemp seed diet rich in ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) on oxidative status in sows during late gestation and lactation and their offspring. Ten pregnant sows were divided into two groups and fed either a control diet (CD) or a hemp diet (HD) containing 2% hemp seed meal for a period of 10 days before farrowing and 5% throughout the lactation period (21 d). After farrowing, 16 of their resulting piglets were divided into two groups: control group CD (eight piglets derived from control sows) and HD group (eight piglets derived from HD sows), respectively. Blood collected from sows and piglets at day 1, 7 and 21 was used for the measurement of antioxidant enzymes (catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GPx)), nitric oxide production (NO), lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances—TBARS), reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in plasma. The results showed a significant improvement in the oxidative status of sows fed HD throughout lactation compared with CD. Similarly, in piglets, HD positively influenced the activities of antioxidant enzymes, TAC and NO levels and significantly decreased lipid peroxidation in plasma until weaning, in comparison with the CD group. This study suggests the potential of hemp seed diet to improve the overall antioxidant status of the lactating sows and their progeny. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Agricultural By-Products in Animal Feeding)
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Sea Buckthorn Pomace Induces Beige Adipocyte Formation in Inguinal White Adipose Tissue in Lambs
Animals 2019, 9(4), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040193
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 14 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
The sea buckthorn contains substantial amounts of bioactive compounds. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary sea buckthorn pomace (SBP) on sheep beige adipocyte formation. A total of thirty lambs were equally divided into three groups and fed [...] Read more.
The sea buckthorn contains substantial amounts of bioactive compounds. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary sea buckthorn pomace (SBP) on sheep beige adipocyte formation. A total of thirty lambs were equally divided into three groups and fed with diets containing different levels of SBP: 0% SBP (Control), 7.8% SBP (7.8SBP), and 16.0% SBP (16SBP). The results showed that dietary SBP affected inguinal adipocytes’ size distribution, and increased both UCP1 protein content (p < 0.05) and mitochondrial numbers (p < 0.05). mRNA expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1α (PGC-1α), nuclear respiratory factor 1, and mitochondrial transcription factor A were increased when animals were subjected to 16% SBP (p < 0.05). Supplementation with 16% SBP increased CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β content (p < 0.05) and PR domain containing 16 mRNA abundance (p < 0.05). Consistently, inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT) from the 16SBP group exhibited increased insulin sensitivity, which was associated with elevated glucose transporter 4 abundance (p < 0.05). Importantly, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was activated in the 16SBP group (p < 0.05). Collectively, these results suggest that dietary SBP promotes iWAT browning in lambs, which might be through the activation of the AMPK–PGC-1α–UCP1 signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminant)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Summer Transhumance of Dairy Cows to Alpine Pastures on Body Condition, Milk Yield and Composition, and Cheese Making Efficiency
Animals 2019, 9(4), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040192
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
Summer transhumance to alpine pastures (ALP) is widespread in dairy systems of alpine regions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of transhumance of Brown Swiss cows to ALP on the yield, composition, and coagulation properties of milk (MCP), and on cheese yield [...] Read more.
Summer transhumance to alpine pastures (ALP) is widespread in dairy systems of alpine regions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of transhumance of Brown Swiss cows to ALP on the yield, composition, and coagulation properties of milk (MCP), and on cheese yield (CY). The study involved 12 multiparous cows kept at a mountain lowland permanent farm (PF), which were divided into two equal groups: One remained at the PF, the other was moved to the ALP (1860 m above sea level) from July to September. Every month (June to October), daily milk yield (MY) and body condition score (BCS) were recorded, and individual milk samples (n = 60, 2000 mL each) were collected to assess milk composition, MCP, and CY. Compared with PF, ALP cows had a reduced MY and BCS, which was maintained on return to the PF, greater fat and lower protein contents of milk. Neither MCP nor CY were affected by summer transhumance. In conclusion, summer transhumance did not affect the cheese making efficiency of milk but depressed MY and consequently daily cheese yield, which was nearly 2 kg/d lower for the ALP than the PF cows and was only partially recovered after returning to the PF in autumn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feeding Cattle for Health Improvement)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating the Effects of In Utero Heat Stress on Piglet Physiology and Behavior Following Weaning and Transport
Animals 2019, 9(4), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040191
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
The study objective was to determine whether in utero heat stress (IUHS) affects piglet physiology and behavior following common production practices. A total of 12 gilts were confirmed pregnant and allocated to either heat stress (HS; n = 6) or thermoneutral (TN; n [...] Read more.
The study objective was to determine whether in utero heat stress (IUHS) affects piglet physiology and behavior following common production practices. A total of 12 gilts were confirmed pregnant and allocated to either heat stress (HS; n = 6) or thermoneutral (TN; n = 6) conditions on day 30–60 of gestation. At weaning (22.5 ± 2.3 days of age), 1 boar and 1 barrow of median weight were selected from each litter and transported for approximately 7 h. Piglets were then blocked into pens (n = 2/pen) by in utero treatment (IUHS (n = 12) or in utero thermoneutral (IUTN, n = 12)) and sexual status (boar (n = 6/in utero treatment) or barrow (n = 6/in utero treatment)). Plasma cortisol, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), insulin and glucose were evaluated 1 day prior to transport (pre-transport) and immediately after transport (post-transport). Behavioral data were collected on day 1–7 for 60 min at four different time points each day. In utero heat stressed piglets exhibited reduced cortisol concentrations compared to IUTN piglets immediately post-transport (p = 0.04). Glucose concentrations were not affected by in utero treatment. Insulin concentrations were reduced in IUTN piglets post-transport compared to pre-transport (p = 0.002), but no differences were detected for IUHS pigs. Non-esterified fatty acids tended to be reduced overall for IUHS vs. IUTN pigs (p = 0.08). Overall, IUHS piglets performed more drinking behaviors (p = 0.02) and tended to perform more aggressive behaviors (p = 0.07) than IUTN piglets in the 7 days post-transport. In summary, there was some evidence for altered physiological and behavioral responses among IUHS piglets compared to IUTN piglets following weaning and transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Environment and Stressors on Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Ameliorative Effect of Bacillus subtilis on Growth Performance and Intestinal Architecture in Broiler Infected with Salmonella
Animals 2019, 9(4), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040190
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
A total of 600 day-old broiler chicks (Ross 308) confirmed for the absence of Salmonella were randomly allocated to five treatments each with 10 replicates: negative control (basal diet only); positive control (basal diet) + infected with Salmonella; T1, Salmonella infected + [...] Read more.
A total of 600 day-old broiler chicks (Ross 308) confirmed for the absence of Salmonella were randomly allocated to five treatments each with 10 replicates: negative control (basal diet only); positive control (basal diet) + infected with Salmonella; T1, Salmonella infected + avilamycin; T2, Salmonella infected + Bacillus subtilis (ATCC PTA-6737; 2 × 107 CFU/g) and T3, Salmonella infected + B. subtilis (DSM 172999; 1.2 × 106 CFU/g). The results revealed that feed intake (FI) and body weight (BW) were significantly (p < 0.01) lower in T1 compared to T2. The feed conversion ratio (FCR) was significantly (p < 0.01) lower in T2 and T3 compared to other treatments. Similarly, the performance efficiency factor (PEF) was also significantly (p < 0.01) higher in T2 and T3 compared to positive control. Villus height was significantly (p < 0.01) higher in T2 compared to all other treatments. However, villus width and surface area were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in T1. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with B. subtilis improved growth and intestinal health by reversing the negative effects of Salmonellosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Growth and Safety Assessment of Feed Streams for Black Soldier Fly Larvae: A Case Study with Aquaculture Sludge
Animals 2019, 9(4), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040189
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 7 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
The production of food is an intensive source of environmental impact. In aquaculture, one source of impact is solid waste, which contains high concentrations of minerals, other nutrients, and metals. The larvae of Hermetia illucens are capable of consuming this material, but applying [...] Read more.
The production of food is an intensive source of environmental impact. In aquaculture, one source of impact is solid waste, which contains high concentrations of minerals, other nutrients, and metals. The larvae of Hermetia illucens are capable of consuming this material, but applying technology that is based on these larvae for managing waste streams, like those from aquaculture, requires careful examination of safety risks. A study is performed examining the growth performance of larvae that were fed on solid aquaculture waste. Subsequently, a thorough analysis of safety risks from inorganics, with detailed the results on microelements that have previously received little attention in the literature, is performed to serve as a guideline for how to assess the safety of waste streams such as these. Findings confirm existing results in the literature that Cd is bioaccumulative, but also that other elements, including Hg, Mn, and especially K, are bioaccumulative. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first research where the accumulation of Ag is also tested. The results of these tests are explained within the context of regulations in various countries where Hermetia illucens is cultivated, serving as a reference for practitioners to rigorously screen out high risk feed streams that they may consider using as feed sources. It is intended that these references and the demonstrated accumulation of a range of elements motivate comprehensive industry safety practices when evaluating new feed sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Different Papua New Guinea Sweetpotato Varieties on Performance and Level of Enteric Pathogens in Chickens
Animals 2019, 9(4), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040188
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
In the last decade, research has targeted the evaluation of local feed ingredients for use in monogastric diets to alleviate the high cost of production of livestock at smallholder levels in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The PNG smallholder poultry production system involves many [...] Read more.
In the last decade, research has targeted the evaluation of local feed ingredients for use in monogastric diets to alleviate the high cost of production of livestock at smallholder levels in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The PNG smallholder poultry production system involves many families who rear multiple batches of meat birds every year. This study was conducted to evaluate the levels of enteric pathogens in the caeca of broilers fed with sweetpotato diets with varying levels of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). Selection of a sweetpotato variety for use in broiler diets should be based on the total NSP content. In particular, varieties with low soluble NSPs are economical to use as Apparent Metabolizable Energy (AME) values are within the desired range for poultry and there is minimal need to include enzymes to improve NSP digestibility. The use of varieties with a low total NSP is also advantageous as the numbers of Clostridium perfringens was lower in broilers fed with these sweetpotato varieties. The level of Campylobacter and Salmonella levels were high in the ceca of birds fed with the sweetpotato varieties with high total NSP. These levels can be reduced with the inclusion of enzymes. This information will assist in the efficient use of local varieties of sweetpotato in PNG by small holder poultry farmers for sustainable poultry production and the commercial industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Poultry Production Systems)
Open AccessArticle
Graded Incorporation of Defatted Yellow Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Diet Improves Growth Performance and Nutrient Retention
Animals 2019, 9(4), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040187
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
Insects are emerging as a sustainable alternative to fishmeal and fish oil in aquafeeds. This study assessed the effect of graded incorporation levels of defatted yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) protein meal on juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) growth performance, [...] Read more.
Insects are emerging as a sustainable alternative to fishmeal and fish oil in aquafeeds. This study assessed the effect of graded incorporation levels of defatted yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) protein meal on juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) growth performance, body composition, and apparent nutrient digestibility. The trial comprised five dietary treatments: control diet with 25% fishmeal, and four experimental diets with yellow mealworm protein meal at 5%, 7.5%, 15%, or 25%, which corresponded to a fishmeal replacement of 20%, 30%, 60%, or 100%, respectively. After 90 days, the graded incorporation of insect protein meal led to a significant stepwise increase in final body weight, and a significant improvement of specific growth rate, feed conversion ratio, and protein efficiency ratio compared to the control treatment. Regardless of the incorporation level, the insect protein meal had no effects on fish whole-body composition and apparent digestibility coefficients of dry matter, protein, fat, phosphorus, and energy. Protein, phosphorus, and energy retention significantly increased in fish fed the diets with an insect protein meal. In conclusion, the yellow mealworm protein meal could effectively replace 100% of fishmeal in the diet of juvenile rainbow trout with positive effects on its overall zootechnical performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
Open AccessArticle
Grooming Device Effects on Behaviour and Welfare of Japanese Black Fattening Cattle
Animals 2019, 9(4), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040186
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
In livestock farming, a stark or barren environment compromises animal welfare. Environmental enrichment has been used to address the issue. For this study, after fattening cattle were provided with a grooming device (a brush), its effect on animal self-grooming and welfare were investigated. [...] Read more.
In livestock farming, a stark or barren environment compromises animal welfare. Environmental enrichment has been used to address the issue. For this study, after fattening cattle were provided with a grooming device (a brush), its effect on animal self-grooming and welfare were investigated. For Research trial 1 and 2, respectively, 28 and 11 Japanese Black steers were observed. Three or four of the animals were group-housed in a pen. For Trial 1, half of the animals were provided with a brush. The animals’ behaviour, carcass weight, and Viscera disease were recorded. Enrichment animals (E) performed self-grooming and scratching of the animals’ body on the brush and pen structures more than control animals (C) did (mean time budgets, 3.34% (SD = 2.48) in E and 0.89% (SD = 0.81) in C, GLMM, z value = 8.28, p < 0.001). The number of animals in which viscera disease was detected after slaughter was lower in E than in C (E = 0, C = 4, a Fisher’s exact probability test, p = 0.03). In Trial 2, brush use behaviour was observed continuously for 72 h. The observation revealed that the animals scratched various body parts on the brush. Results show that providing a brush as environmental enrichment improves welfare by satisfying the motivation of fattening cattle to perform self-grooming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Environment and Stressors on Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Feasibility Study: Improving Floor Cleanliness by Using a Robot Scraper in Group-Housed Pregnant Sows and Their Reactions on the New Device
Animals 2019, 9(4), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040185
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 7 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
Successful pig farming needs the best conditions of cleanliness in the housings. The present study examined for the first time whether a robot scraper usually applied in dairy farming is usable in sow housings for cleaning the slatted floors and improving hygiene and [...] Read more.
Successful pig farming needs the best conditions of cleanliness in the housings. The present study examined for the first time whether a robot scraper usually applied in dairy farming is usable in sow housings for cleaning the slatted floors and improving hygiene and thus animal welfare. For evaluating the suitability of the robot scraper with regard to the cleaning performance (polluted surface area and occluded slots), the whole housing area was divided into score-squares, which were individually scored at defined intervals. Selected excrement quantities removed by the robot were weighed. In order to assess the animals’ interactions with the robot scraper, their behaviour towards the device was observed. Although the faeces of pigs had a firmer consistency than bovine excrement, excrement quantities of up to 1.4 kg m−2 were almost completely removed. Even 6 h after the cleaning its effect was still visible. Dry-cleaning led faster to nonslip surfaces for the sows than wet-cleaning. Within half an hour of observation, up to 8.2 of 120 sows were occupied with the robot scraper, but without harming it. The use of robot scrapers in pig housings is recommended, although slight technical modifications should be made to the robot scraper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Dietary Supplementation of a Formulation Containing Ascorbic Acid and a Solid Dispersion of Curcumin with Boric Acid against Salmonella Enteritidis and Necrotic Enteritis in Broiler Chickens
Animals 2019, 9(4), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040184
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of the prophylactic or therapeutic administration of a 0.1% mixture containing ascorbic acid and a solid dispersion of curcumin with polyvinylpyrrolidone and boric acid (AA-CUR/PVP-BA) against Salmonella Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) in broiler chickens. [...] Read more.
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of the prophylactic or therapeutic administration of a 0.1% mixture containing ascorbic acid and a solid dispersion of curcumin with polyvinylpyrrolidone and boric acid (AA-CUR/PVP-BA) against Salmonella Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) in broiler chickens. A third experiment was conducted to evaluate the impact of the dietary administration of 0.1% AA-CUR/PVP-BA in a necrotic enteritis (NE) model in broiler chickens. The prophylactic administration of 0.1% AA-CUR/PVP-BA significantly decreased S. Enteritidis colonization in cecal tonsils (CT) when compared to the positive control group (PC, p < 0.05). The therapeutic administration of 0.1% AA-CUR/PVP-BA significantly reduced the concentration of S. Enteritidis by 2.05 and 2.71 log in crop and CT, respectively, when compared with the PC on day 10 post-S. Enteritidis challenge. Furthermore, the serum FITC-d concentration and total intestinal IgA levels were also significantly lower in chickens that received 0.1% AA-CUR/PVP-BA. Contrary, the PC group showed significantly higher total intestinal IgA levels compared to the negative control or AA-CUR/PVP-BA groups in the NE model. However, 0.1% AA-CUR/PVP-BA showed a better effect in reducing the concentration of S. Enteritidis when compared to the NE model. Further studies with higher concentration of AA-CUR/PVP-BA into the feed to extend these preliminary results are currently being evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Lying Postures of Dairy Cows in Cubicles and on Pasture
Animals 2019, 9(4), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040183
Received: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 21 April 2019
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Abstract
Cows housed indoors with cubicles are probably more restricted in their choice of lying posture and orientation compared with cows housed on pasture. We therefore compared lying postures on pasture in Uruguay and the Netherlands with lying postures in cubicles in the Netherlands, [...] Read more.
Cows housed indoors with cubicles are probably more restricted in their choice of lying posture and orientation compared with cows housed on pasture. We therefore compared lying postures on pasture in Uruguay and the Netherlands with lying postures in cubicles in the Netherlands, also recording orientation on pasture in Uruguay and divider and bedding type in Dutch cubicles. We visited one farm with four herds in Uruguay, doing live observations, and 25 Dutch farms, taking pictures of cows. Observations of 205 cows on pasture in Uruguay showed more long postures, lying on their belly with their neck stretched. Two herds preferred lying towards north and south, while one herd preferred west and east. Pictures of 217 cows on pasture in the Netherlands showed more wide postures (lying on the side with three or four legs stretched out). Pictures of 527 cows in cubicles in the Netherlands showed more narrow postures (lying on the side with hind legs folded). More long postures (lying on the belly with a stretched neck) and less short postures (lying with the head folded back) were seen in cubicles with soft floors and English dividers; more narrow postures were seen in cubicles with concrete floors. Wide postures were seen more in cubicles with mattresses and free-hanging dividers. We conclude that since cows in cubicles show more narrow postures than on pasture and cannot choose their orientation, their choice in showing preferred behavior is restricted. More research is needed to study the consequences of restricted choice in lying behavior on the health and welfare of dairy cows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Killing Methods on Lipid Oxidation, Colour and Microbial Load of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae
Animals 2019, 9(4), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040182
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 21 April 2019
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Abstract
Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae represent a promising alternative ingredient for animal feed. Post-production processing can, however, affect their quality. This project aimed to optimize larval killing by comparing the effects on the nutritional and microbiological quality of 10 methods, i.e., blanching (B [...] Read more.
Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae represent a promising alternative ingredient for animal feed. Post-production processing can, however, affect their quality. This project aimed to optimize larval killing by comparing the effects on the nutritional and microbiological quality of 10 methods, i.e., blanching (B = 40 s), desiccation (D = 60 °C, 30 min), freezing (F20 = −20 °C, 1 h; F40 = −40 °C, 1 h; N = liquid nitrogen, 40 s), high hydrostatic pressure (HHP = 3 min, 600 MPa), grinding (G = 2 min) and asphyxiation (CO2 = 120 h; N2 = 144 h; vacuum conditioning, V = 120 h). Some methods affected the pH (B, asphyxiation), total moisture (B, asphyxiation and D) and ash contents (B, p < 0.001). The lipid content (asphyxiation) and their oxidation levels (B, asphyxiation and D) were also affected (p < 0.001). Killing methods altered the larvae colour during freeze-drying and in the final product. Blanching appears to be the most appropriate strategy since it minimizes lipid oxidation (primary = 4.6 ± 0.7 mg cumen hydroperoxide (CHP) equivalents/kg; secondary = 1.0 ± 0.1 mg malondialdehyde/kg), reduces microbial contamination and initiates dehydration (water content = 78.1 ± 1.0%). We propose herein, an optimized protocol to kill BSF that meet the Canadian regulatory requirements of the insect production and processing industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
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Open AccessArticle
Digestibility of Insect Meals for Nile Tilapia Fingerlings
Animals 2019, 9(4), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040181
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
Insects are a valuable source of nutrients for fish, but little is known about their nutritional value for Nile tilapia fingerlings. To evaluate the nutritional value and energy apparent digestibility coefficient (ADC) of five insects for Nile Tilapia male fingerlings, 900 fish were [...] Read more.
Insects are a valuable source of nutrients for fish, but little is known about their nutritional value for Nile tilapia fingerlings. To evaluate the nutritional value and energy apparent digestibility coefficient (ADC) of five insects for Nile Tilapia male fingerlings, 900 fish were distributed in 18 fiberglass conic tanks, in a completely randomized design, with six dietary treatments (control, Nauphoeta cinerea meal (NCM) (Blattodea), Zophobas morio larvae meal (ZMM) (Coleptera), Gromphadorhina portentosa meal (GPM) (Blattodea), Gryllus assimilis meal (GAM) (Orthoptera) and Tenebrio molitor larvae meal (TMM) (Coleptera)) and three replicates (tanks), each containing 50 fish. The control diet had no insect meal included and the other five treatments comprised 80% commercial diet and 20% test ingredient with 0.1% chromic oxide as an inert marker. TMM presented a higher ADC for dry matter, protein, corrected protein and chitin than to other treatments (p < 0.01). GPM presented the highest ADC for lipids (p < 0.01). In general, the TMM presented better ADC of nutrients and energy and all the insect meals evaluated are potential feed for Nile tilapia fingerlings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Long-Term Dietary Protein Restriction on Intestinal Morphology, Digestive Enzymes, Gut Hormones, and Colonic Microbiota in Pigs
Animals 2019, 9(4), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040180
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
Using protein-restriction diets becomes a potential strategy to save the dietary protein resources. However, the mechanism of low-protein diets influencing pigs’ growth performance is still controversial. This study aimed to investigate the effect of protein-restriction diets on gastrointestinal physiology and gut microbiota in [...] Read more.
Using protein-restriction diets becomes a potential strategy to save the dietary protein resources. However, the mechanism of low-protein diets influencing pigs’ growth performance is still controversial. This study aimed to investigate the effect of protein-restriction diets on gastrointestinal physiology and gut microbiota in pigs. Eighteen weaned piglets were randomly allocated to three groups with different dietary protein levels. After a 16-week trial, the results showed that feeding a low-protein diet to pigs impaired the epithelial morphology of duodenum and jejunum (p < 0.05) and reduced the concentration of many plasma hormones (p < 0.05), such as ghrelin, somatostatin, glucose-dependent insulin-tropic polypeptide, leptin, and gastrin. The relative abundance of Streptococcus and Lactobacillus in colon and microbiota metabolites was also decreased by extreme protein-restriction diets (p < 0.05). These findings suggested that long-term ingestion of a protein-restricted diet could impair intestinal morphology, suppress gut hormone secretion, and change the microbial community and fermentation metabolites in pigs, while the moderately low-protein diet had a minimal effect on gut function and did not impair growth performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Geese Reared in Vineyard: Soil, Grass and Animals Interaction
Animals 2019, 9(4), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040179
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
Agroforestry systems aim at increasing the productivity and the environmental sustainability of both crop and animal productions. The integration of small animals such as geese in the vineyard could represent an opportunity to improve farm income and reduce land use for grazing. The [...] Read more.
Agroforestry systems aim at increasing the productivity and the environmental sustainability of both crop and animal productions. The integration of small animals such as geese in the vineyard could represent an opportunity to improve farm income and reduce land use for grazing. The main objective of this work was to study the impact of geese rearing in an organic vineyard on the chemical and biochemical properties of the soil and the effect of Copper (Cu) supplied with the fungicide treatments. Furthermore, the amount of Cu in the animal tissues was also investigated. Three experimental areas within the vineyard were selected: High Geese Density (HGD-240 geese ha−1), Low Geese Density (LGD-120 geese ha−1) and Without Geese used as control soil (WG). The results indicated that both HGD and LGD did not affect the main chemical properties of the vineyard soils. LGD increased the amount and the efficiency of the microbial biomass in the upper soil horizons. Moreover, geese through the grazing activity reduced the Cu content in the vineyard soils, accumulating this element in their liver. However, the content of Cu in the breast and drumstick of vineyard geese did not show any significant difference in respect the meat of the control ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Poultry Production Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Diet Formulation on the Yield, Proximate Composition, and Fatty Acid Profile of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens L.) Prepupae Intended for Animal Feed
Animals 2019, 9(4), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040178
Received: 23 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
The black soldier fly (BSF; Hermetia illucens L.) is a very promising insect species due to the ability to convert low-value substrates in highly nutrient feed. This work aimed to study the effect of three nominally isoenergetic diets containing plant ingredients such as [...] Read more.
The black soldier fly (BSF; Hermetia illucens L.) is a very promising insect species due to the ability to convert low-value substrates in highly nutrient feed. This work aimed to study the effect of three nominally isoenergetic diets containing plant ingredients such as barley, alfalfa, and wheat byproducts, formulated to be higher in nonfiber carbohydrates (TMD1), fibers (TMD2), and protein (TMD3) in comparison to an extensively genetic modified cereal (cornmeal)-based diet (C), on the growth, yield, and nutritive traits of BSF prepupae (BSFPs). Three growing trials with four biological replicates were carried out. Proximate and fatty acid analyses were performed on the diets and BSFPs. Feed conversion ratios (FCR), dry matter and nutrient yields, and apparent concentration factors (aBCF) for fatty acids (FAs) were calculated. Diet formulation had a substantial effect on the survival, development rate, and larval yield, but the FCR was unaffected. The BSFPs fed TMD3 did not result in a higher crude protein content in comparison to the C or TMD2 diets. Despite the leveled fat content of the diets, BSFPs reared on TMD1 were highest in fat, saturated FA, and fat yield. An apparent bioconcentration factor (aBCF) value lower than unity that was found for the unsaturated FA suggests that the BSFPs inefficiently absorb them from the diet or possibly turn them into saturated FA. However, the unsaturated FA accumulation in BSFPs depended on the levels that were found in the diet, which suggested some possibilities for the FA profile modulation. Overall, the TMD2 performed well despite the low-value of its main ingredients and high fiber content and can be considered to be a feasible option for the mass rearing of BSFPs that are intended for animal feed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of the Forage Type and Chop Length of Ramie Silage on the Composition of Ruminal Microbiota in Black Goats
Animals 2019, 9(4), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040177
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the forage type and chop length of ramie (Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaud.) silage on rumen fermentation and ruminal microbiota in black goats. Sixteen Liuyang black goats (22.35 ± 2.16 kg) were [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the forage type and chop length of ramie (Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaud.) silage on rumen fermentation and ruminal microbiota in black goats. Sixteen Liuyang black goats (22.35 ± 2.16 kg) were fed with the roughage of corn silage or ramie silage at chop lengths of 1, 2, or 3 cm. The Chao 1 index and the observed number of microbial species differed significantly between the corn and ramie silage groups (p < 0.05); however, Firmicutes (relative proportion: 34.99–56.68%), Bacteroidetes (27.41–47.73%), and Proteobacteria (1.44–3.92%) were the predominant phyla in both groups. The relative abundance of Verrucomicrobia (0.32–0.82%) was lowest for the 2 and 3 cm chop lengths (p < 0.05) and was negatively correlated with rumen pH and propionic acid concentration (p < 0.05), but positively correlated with the ratio of acetic acid to propionic acid (p < 0.05). The ramie silage fermentation quality was highest for the 1 cm chop length, suggesting that moderate chopping produces optimal quality silage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminant)
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Open AccessArticle
Variation of Detailed Protein Composition of Cow Milk Predicted from a Large Database of Mid-Infrared Spectra
Animals 2019, 9(4), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040176
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to investigate factors affecting protein fractions, namely α-casein (α-CN), β-casein (β-CN), κ-casein (κ-CN), β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) and α-lactalbumin (α-LA) predicted from milk infrared spectra in milk of dairy and dual-purpose cattle breeds. The dataset comprised 735,328 observations from 49,049 cows in [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate factors affecting protein fractions, namely α-casein (α-CN), β-casein (β-CN), κ-casein (κ-CN), β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) and α-lactalbumin (α-LA) predicted from milk infrared spectra in milk of dairy and dual-purpose cattle breeds. The dataset comprised 735,328 observations from 49,049 cows in 1782 herds. Results highlighted significant differences of protein fractions in milk of the studied breeds. Significant variations of protein fractions were found also through parities and lactation, with the latter thoroughly influencing protein fractions percentage. Interesting correlations (r) were estimated between β-CN, κ-CN and β-LG, expressed as percentage of crude protein, and milk urea nitrogen (r = 0.31, −0.20 and −0.26, respectively) and between α-LA and fat percentage (r = 0.41). The present study paves the way for future studies on the associations between protein fractions and milk technological properties, and for the estimation of genetic parameters of predicted protein composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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Open AccessArticle
Engaging with Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Communities and Their Cats: Human Behaviour Change for Animal and Human Benefit
Animals 2019, 9(4), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040175
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract
The overpopulation of free-roaming domestic cats (Felis catus) is fuelled by uncontrolled breeding of both owned and unowned populations and has been identified as a particular problem in socio-economically deprived areas. Consequently, for sustainable change, it is recommended that Trap-Neuter-Return activities [...] Read more.
The overpopulation of free-roaming domestic cats (Felis catus) is fuelled by uncontrolled breeding of both owned and unowned populations and has been identified as a particular problem in socio-economically deprived areas. Consequently, for sustainable change, it is recommended that Trap-Neuter-Return activities are linked with community engagement to encourage positive behaviours towards cats. This paper assesses the acceptability and impact of a community-partnership program called “Bulwell Cat Watch” (BCW), set-up to control cat numbers in Bulwell, UK. The data are based on a (1) cross-sectional survey (n = 478); (2) pre-post analysis (n = 21); and (3) targeted survey of people known to engage with BCW (n = 34). We found significant associations between awareness of BCW and an increased likelihood of reporting unowned cats now compared to previous years. Respondents reported increased self-efficacy and confidence to help cats. Our pre-post study corroborated these findings with residents significantly more likely to report unowned cats compared to when surveyed pre-BCW. An indirect benefit to residents engaged with the program was the positive impact on confidence and self-esteem. Taken in combination these results show community partnerships can effectively engage often hard-to-reach populations and foster sustainable management by overcoming barriers to helping cats, alongside the potential for wider community benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Open AccessArticle
Dnd1 Knockout in Sturgeons By CRISPR/Cas9 Generates Germ Cell Free Host for Surrogate Production
Animals 2019, 9(4), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040174
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract
Sturgeons also known as living fossils are facing threats to their survival due to overfishing and interference in natural habitats. Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus) due to its rapid reproductive cycle and small body size can be used as a sterile host for [...] Read more.
Sturgeons also known as living fossils are facing threats to their survival due to overfishing and interference in natural habitats. Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus) due to its rapid reproductive cycle and small body size can be used as a sterile host for surrogate production for late maturing and large sturgeon species. Dead end protein (dnd1) is essential for migration of Primordial Germ Cells (PGCs), the origin of all germ cells in developing embryos. Knockout or knockdown of dnd1 can be done in order to mismigrate PGCs. Previously we have used MO and UV for the aforementioned purpose, and in our present study we have used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to knockout dnd1. No or a smaller number of PGCs were detected in crispants, and we also observed malformations in some CRISPR/Cas9 injected embryos. Furthermore, we compared three established methods to achieve sterility in sterlet, and we found higher embryo survival and hatching rates in CRISPR/Cas9, UV and MO, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Maternal Undernutrition during Mid-Gestation on the Yield, Quality and Composition of Kid Meat Under an Extensive Management System
Animals 2019, 9(4), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040173
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 23 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract
Nutritional status during mid-gestation is often ignored under extensive husbandry. This study aimed to examine the effect of maternal undernutrition during mid-gestation on kid meat production under an extensive system. Twenty-seven goats (45 ± 3 d of gestation) were randomly assigned to an [...] Read more.
Nutritional status during mid-gestation is often ignored under extensive husbandry. This study aimed to examine the effect of maternal undernutrition during mid-gestation on kid meat production under an extensive system. Twenty-seven goats (45 ± 3 d of gestation) were randomly assigned to an unrestricted group (100% of nutrient requirements), or a restricted group (60% of nutrient requirements from 45 to 100 d of gestation, and then re-alimented to 100%). Among the offspring, 16 eligible kids (eight per treatment) were selected, based on birth type and survival, and were harvested to evaluate the meat yield, quality, and composition at 90 d after birth. Maternal undernutrition reduced the body weight and size, average daily gain and hot carcass weight of the kids (p < 0.05). The lightness of the meat at 45 min postmortem was increased (p = 0.029) in the restricted kids. Apart from an increase in tyrosine concentration (p = 0.046), the proximate composition and the amino acid and fatty acid profiles were unaffected in the restricted kids (p > 0.05). Overall, maternal undernutrition during mid-gestation decreased the yield of kid meat, but did not significantly modify the quality and composition. These results highlight the importance of nutrient status during mid-gestation in the meat production of small ruminants under an extensive regime. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Open AccessArticle
The Welfare of Cows in Indian Shelters
Animals 2019, 9(4), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040172
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Cow shelters (gaushalas) are unique traditional institutions in India, where aged, infertile, diseased, rescued, and abandoned cows are sheltered for the rest of their life, until they die of natural causes. These institutions owe their existence to the reverence for the cow as [...] Read more.
Cow shelters (gaushalas) are unique traditional institutions in India, where aged, infertile, diseased, rescued, and abandoned cows are sheltered for the rest of their life, until they die of natural causes. These institutions owe their existence to the reverence for the cow as a holy mother goddess for Hindus, the majority religion in India. There is a religious and legal prohibition on cow slaughter in most Indian states. A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the welfare of cows in these shelters, which included the development of a welfare assessment protocol, based on direct animal-based measurements, indirect resource-based assessments, and description of the herd characteristics by the manager. A total of 54 cow shelters in 6 states of India were studied and 1620 animals were clinically examined, based on 37 health, welfare, and behavior parameters. Thirty resources provided to the animals, including housing, flooring, feeding, watering, ease of movement, cleanliness of facilities, lighting, temperature, humidity, and noise levels in the sheds were measured. The study showed that the shelters contained mostly non-lactating cows, with a mean age of 11 years. The primary welfare problems appeared to be different to those in Western countries, as the major issues found in the shelters were facility-related—the low space allowance per cow, poor quality of the floors, little freedom of movement, and a lack of pasture grazing. Very few cows were recorded as lame, but about one half had carpal joint hair loss and swelling, and slightly less had lesions from interacting with shelter furniture. Some shelters also had compromised biosecurity and risks of zoonosis. These issues need to be addressed to aid in ensuring the acceptability of these institutions to the public. This welfare assessment protocol aims to address the welfare issues and problems in the shelters, by providing feedback for improvement to the stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
Open AccessReview
A Case of Letting the Cat out of The Bag—Why Trap-Neuter-Return Is Not an Ethical Solution for Stray Cat (Felis catus) Management
Animals 2019, 9(4), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040171
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs, in which stray cats are captured, neutered and returned to the environment are advocated as a humane, ethical alternative to euthanasia. We review the TNR literature in light of current debate over whether or not there should be further TNR [...] Read more.
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs, in which stray cats are captured, neutered and returned to the environment are advocated as a humane, ethical alternative to euthanasia. We review the TNR literature in light of current debate over whether or not there should be further TNR trials in Australia. We revisit the problems arising from stray cats living in association with human habitation and estimate how many stray cats would have to be processed through a scientifically-guided TNR program to avoid high euthanasia rates. We also identify 10 ethical and welfare challenges that have to be addressed: we consider the quality of life for stray cats, where they would live, whether the TNR process itself is stressful, whether TNR cats are vulnerable to injury, parasites and disease, can be medically treated, stray cats’ body condition and diet, and their impacts on people, pet cats, and urban wildlife, especially endemic fauna. We conclude that TNR is unsuitable for Australia in almost all situations because it is unlikely to resolve problems caused by stray cats or meet ethical and welfare challenges. Targeted adoption, early-age desexing, community education initiatives and responsible pet ownership have greater promise to minimize euthanasia, reduce numbers rapidly, and address the identified issues. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Animals Fed Insect-Based Diets: State-of-the-Art on Digestibility, Performance and Product Quality
Animals 2019, 9(4), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040170
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
In 2018, the industrial compound feed production throughout the world was 1.103 metric billion tons, which was an increase of 3% compared to 2017. In order to meet the needs of the increasing population, a further increment in compound feed production is necessary. [...] Read more.
In 2018, the industrial compound feed production throughout the world was 1.103 metric billion tons, which was an increase of 3% compared to 2017. In order to meet the needs of the increasing population, a further increment in compound feed production is necessary. Conventional protein sources are no longer suitable to completely satisfy the increment of feed production in a sustainable way. Insects are one of the most promising options, due to their valuable nutritional features. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art of research on the use of insect meals and oils in aquatic, avian and other animal species diets, focusing mainly on the effects on digestibility, performance and product quality. In general, insect-derived product digestibility is affected by the insect species, the inclusion levels and by the process. Sometimes, the presence of chitin can lead to a decrease in nutrient digestibility. The same considerations are true for animal performance. As far as product quality is concerned, a dramatic effect of insect products has been recorded for the fatty acid profile, with a decrease in valuable n3 fatty acids. Sensory analyses have reported no or slight differences. Insect-derived products seem to be a good alternative to conventional feed sources and can make an important contribution to the sustainable development of the livestock industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
Open AccessArticle
Modelling Nutritional Requirements of Growing Pigs from Local Breeds Using InraPorc
Animals 2019, 9(4), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040169
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Models such as InraPorc enable the growth of pigs to be simulated and their nutrient requirements to be determined. However, so far, these models have not been applied to local breeds. We used InraPorc to determine the nutrient requirements of growing pigs from [...] Read more.
Models such as InraPorc enable the growth of pigs to be simulated and their nutrient requirements to be determined. However, so far, these models have not been applied to local breeds. We used InraPorc to determine the nutrient requirements of growing pigs from local breeds (H2020 European Union project TREASURE). Data on feed composition, allowance and intake, and body weight (BW) were obtained from literature reports or experiments conducted within the project. Data were used in InraPorc to calibrate 16 growth and intake profiles from nine breeds (Alentejana, Basque, Bísara, Apulo Calabrese, Cinta Senese, Iberian, Krškopolje pig, Mangalitsa, and Moravka), with one to three profiles per breed depending on the experimental conditions or data source. On the 40–100 kg BW range, mean protein deposition (PDm) was low for all breeds (below 116 g/d vs. over 130 g/d in conventional breeds). The age of pigs at 40 kg BW (110 to 206 days) denoted different types of feeding management in addition to genetic differences. The PDm and the lysine requirements were the highest in breeds with the highest average daily gain. In all breeds, a small proportion of total body energy retention was dedicated to protein, with the greatest proportion of energy retention in the form of lipids. Despite some methodological limitations, this study provides initial insights into the nutrient requirements of some local breeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Open AccessViewpoint
The Emperor’s New Clothes—An Epistemological Critique of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Acupuncture
Animals 2019, 9(4), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040168
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
Within the last few decades, complementary and alternative medicines have gained increased popularity in the veterinary field. Although many authors have exposed the scientific fallacies and historical misconceptions used to justify such therapies, those efforts have not succeeded in detracting veterinary practitioners from [...] Read more.
Within the last few decades, complementary and alternative medicines have gained increased popularity in the veterinary field. Although many authors have exposed the scientific fallacies and historical misconceptions used to justify such therapies, those efforts have not succeeded in detracting veterinary practitioners from embracing them. Notably, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), including acupuncture, has emerged as one of the main alternatives to conventional veterinary medicine. In this paper, analogical reasoning is used to investigate conceptual, historical and scientific assertions made by the advocates of TCVM. The paper is divided into two parts: The first aims to appraise conceptual and historical claims made by veterinary acupuncturists. I defend that TCVM is a pre-scientific construct, similar to humoral doctrine, and that acupuncture is analogous to bloodletting. The second part is focused on scientific evidence of clinical application of acupuncture in the dog, showing how science is yet to validate veterinary acupuncture and defending that claims of efficacy are due to placebo effect. It is suggested that veterinary acupuncture needs to abandon Traditional Chinese Medicine and embrace science-based medicine tout court. On the other hand, high quality scientific studies, including randomized controlled trials, need to be presented. Veterinary regulators must bring the issue of non-conventional therapies into their agendas. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Effects of Dietary Rumen-Protected Betaine Supplementation on Performance of Postpartum Dairy Cows and Immunity of Newborn Calves
Animals 2019, 9(4), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040167
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of rumen-protected betaine supplementation on performance of postpartum dairy cows and immunity of newborn calves. Twenty-four multiparous Holstein dairy cows were randomly divided into the control (CON, n = 12) and rumen-protected betaine [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of rumen-protected betaine supplementation on performance of postpartum dairy cows and immunity of newborn calves. Twenty-four multiparous Holstein dairy cows were randomly divided into the control (CON, n = 12) and rumen-protected betaine (BET, n = 12) groups after blocking by parity and milk yield during the previous lactation cycle. The cows were fed a basal total mixed ration diet without BET (CON) or with BET at 20 g/d per cow (BET) from four weeks before expected calving to six weeks postpartum. The results showed that betaine supplementation had no effect on dry matter intake and milk yield of the cows. The BET cows tended to increase feed efficiency (energy-corrected milk/dry matter intake) and body weight loss postpartum compared to the CON cows. The plasma β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations of the BET cows were greater at d seven after calving than those of the CON cows. Moreover, compared to the CON calves, the BET calves had greater plasma total protein and globulin concentrations. The plasma glucose concentrations of the BET calves tended to decrease relative to CON cows. In conclusion, rumen-protected betaine supplementation from four weeks before expected calving tended to increase fat mobilization of postpartum dairy cows, and might improve the immunity of newborn calves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Calf and Heifer Feeding and management)
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