Next Issue
Previous Issue

Table of Contents

Animals, Volume 9, Issue 6 (June 2019)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) Zoos must promote animals’ welfare. One way to do that is by encouraging cooperative interactions [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-106
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Fatty Acid Elongase 7 (ELOVL7) Plays a Role in the Synthesis of Long-Chain Unsaturated Fatty Acids in Goat Mammary Epithelial Cells
Animals 2019, 9(6), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060389
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
Viewed by 291 | PDF Full-text (2597 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In humans, fatty acid elongase 7 (ELOVL7) plays a role in synthesis of long-chain saturated fatty acids. Whether ELOVL7 protein plays a role in ruminants is unclear. The transcript abundance of ELOVL7 in goat mammary tissue was assessed at three stages of lactation. [...] Read more.
In humans, fatty acid elongase 7 (ELOVL7) plays a role in synthesis of long-chain saturated fatty acids. Whether ELOVL7 protein plays a role in ruminants is unclear. The transcript abundance of ELOVL7 in goat mammary tissue was assessed at three stages of lactation. Results showed that ELOVL7 had the highest expression in the dry period compared with peak and late lactation period. Results revealed that ELOVL7 overexpression was correlated with lower expression in diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2) and stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), and had no significant effect on triacylglycerol concentration. Overexpression of ELOVL7 significantly decreased the concentration of palmitoleic (C16:1n7) and oleic (C18:1n9) acid, and increased the concentration of vaccenic (C18:1n7) and linoleic (C18:2) acid. Overexpression of ELOVL7 significantly upregulated the elongation index of C16:1 in goat epithelial mammary cells (GMEC), but had a minor effect on that of palmitate (C16:0). Knockdown of ELOVL7 decreased mRNA expression of fatty acid binding protein 3 (FABP3) and fatty acid desaturase 2 (FADS2) and had a minor effect on triacylglycerol concentration; however, it increased concentration of C18:1n9 in GMEC. The elongation indices of C16:0 and C16:1 did not differ due to knockdown of ELOVL7. The minor change for the C16:0 and stearate (C18:0) was observed after activation of ELOVL7, suggesting the two fatty acids are not the preferential substrates of ELOVL7 in cultured GMEC. However, changes in C18:1n9 and C18:2 after overexpression or knockdown of ELOVL7 indicated a biological functional role of ELOVL7. Collectively, our data highlighted a role of ELOVL7 in long-chain unsaturated fatty acid elongation in goat mammary epithelial cells. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Improving Terrestrial Squamate Surveys with Camera-Trap Programming and Hardware Modifications
Animals 2019, 9(6), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060388
Received: 7 June 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 23 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
Viewed by 287 | PDF Full-text (5377 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Camera-traps are used widely around the world to census a range of vertebrate fauna, particularly mammals but also other groups including birds, as well as snakes and lizards (squamates). In an attempt to improve the reliability of camera-traps for censusing squamates, we examined [...] Read more.
Camera-traps are used widely around the world to census a range of vertebrate fauna, particularly mammals but also other groups including birds, as well as snakes and lizards (squamates). In an attempt to improve the reliability of camera-traps for censusing squamates, we examined whether programming options involving time lapse capture of images increased detections. This was compared to detections by camera-traps set to trigger by the standard passive infrared sensor setting (PIR), and camera-traps set to take images using time lapse in combination with PIR. We also examined the effect of camera trap focal length on the ability to tell different species of small squamate apart. In a series of side-by-side field comparisons, camera-traps programmed to take images at standard intervals, as well as through routine triggering of the PIR, captured more images of squamates than camera-traps using the PIR sensor setting alone or time lapse alone. Similarly, camera traps with their lens focal length set at closer distances improved our ability to discriminate species of small squamates. With these minor alterations to camera-trap programming and hardware, the quantity and quality of squamate detections was markedly better. These gains provide a platform for exploring other aspects of camera-trapping for squamates that might to lead to even greater survey advances, bridging the gap in knowledge of this otherwise poorly known faunal group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application of Camera Trap Technology in Field Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Transcriptomic Analysis Provides Novel Insights into Heat Stress Responses in Sheep
Animals 2019, 9(6), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060387
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 24 June 2019
Viewed by 177 | PDF Full-text (1016 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
With the intensified and large-scale development of sheep husbandry and global warming, sheep heat stress has become an increasingly important issue. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms related to sheep responses to heat stress. In this study, transcriptomic analysis of liver [...] Read more.
With the intensified and large-scale development of sheep husbandry and global warming, sheep heat stress has become an increasingly important issue. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms related to sheep responses to heat stress. In this study, transcriptomic analysis of liver tissues of sheep in the presence and absence of heat stress was conducted, with the goal of identifying genes and pathways related to regulation when under such stress. After a comparison with the sheep reference genome, 440,226,436 clean reads were obtained from eight libraries. A p-value ≤ 0.05 and fold change ≥ 2 were taken as thresholds for categorizing differentially expressed genes, of which 1137 were identified. The accuracy and reliability of the RNA-Seq results were confirmed by qRT-PCR. The identified differentially expressed genes were significantly associated with 419 GO terms and 51 KEGG pathways, which suggested their participation in biological processes such as response to stress, immunoreaction, and fat metabolism. This study’s results provide a comprehensive overview of sheep heat stress-induced transcriptional expression patterns, laying a foundation for further analysis of the molecular mechanisms of sheep heat stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminant)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Characterization of the Normal Portal and Hepatic Blood Flow of Adult Holstein-Friesian Cows
Animals 2019, 9(6), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060386
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
Viewed by 245 | PDF Full-text (3780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the past, hepatic blood flow in cows was invasively characterized to investigate different pathologies and physiological conditions. However, hepatic blood flow can be easily evaluated with transabdominal Doppler ultrasound. Sixteen healthy adult non-lactating, non-pregnant Holstein-Friesian cows were examined using B-mode and Doppler [...] Read more.
In the past, hepatic blood flow in cows was invasively characterized to investigate different pathologies and physiological conditions. However, hepatic blood flow can be easily evaluated with transabdominal Doppler ultrasound. Sixteen healthy adult non-lactating, non-pregnant Holstein-Friesian cows were examined using B-mode and Doppler ultrasound between the right flank and 9th intercostal space to establish the best approach to the different parts of the portal and hepatic vein systems, and determine normal blood flow characteristics. The main portal vein was characterized by a turbulent, high-velocity flow due to the opposing confluence of the splenic and cranial mesenteric veins, while hepatic and caudal vena cava veins have laminar blood flow, in which the phasicity is considered mainly respiratory in origin. Reference values were determined in relation to the anatomical point of observation. In conclusion, transabdominal Doppler ultrasound of the portal system is a simple technique that allows non-invasive characterization of portal and hepatic blood haemodynamics in cows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Randomized Cross-Over Trial Comparing the Effect of Intramuscular Versus Intranasal Naloxone Reversal of Intravenous Fentanyl on Odor Detection in Working Dogs
Animals 2019, 9(6), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060385
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 10 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
Viewed by 1896 | PDF Full-text (1053 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Fentanyl is a potent opioid used clinically as a pain medication and anesthetic but has recently seen a sharp rise as an illicit street drug. The potency of fentanyl means mucous membrane exposure to a small amount of the drug can expose first [...] Read more.
Fentanyl is a potent opioid used clinically as a pain medication and anesthetic but has recently seen a sharp rise as an illicit street drug. The potency of fentanyl means mucous membrane exposure to a small amount of the drug can expose first responders, including working canines, to accidental overdose. Naloxone, a fast-acting opioid antagonist administered intranasally (IN) or intramuscularly (IM) is currently carried by emergency personnel in the case of accidental exposure in both humans and canines. Despite the fact that law enforcement relies heavily on the olfactory abilities of canine officers, the effects of fentanyl exposure and subsequent reversal by naloxone on the olfactory performance of canines are unknown. In a block-randomized, crossover trial, we tested the effects of IN and IM naloxone on the abilities of working dogs to recognize the odor of Universal Detection Calibrant (UDC) prior to, and two, 24, and 48 h after intravenous fentanyl sedation and naloxone reversal. No detectable influence of fentanyl sedation and naloxone reversal on the dogs’ olfactory abilities was detected. We also found no difference in olfactory abilities when dogs received IN or IM naloxone. Together, results suggest no evidence that exposure to intravenous fentanyl followed by naloxone reversal impairs canine olfactory ability under these conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognition and Olfaction of Dogs)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Use of Infrared Thermography for the Monitoring of Udder Teat Stress Caused by Milking Machines
Animals 2019, 9(6), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060384
Received: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
Viewed by 496 | PDF Full-text (1338 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to test infrared thermography (IRT) as a possible tool for scoring teat color changes after cluster removal; thus, indirectly, to classify the short-term stress of teats caused by milking machines. Thermographic images (n = 137) from [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to test infrared thermography (IRT) as a possible tool for scoring teat color changes after cluster removal; thus, indirectly, to classify the short-term stress of teats caused by milking machines. Thermographic images (n = 137) from three farms were collected and evaluated to calculate the average and maximum skin surface temperatures (SSTs) at the base, center, and tip of each teat (Tavg,B, Tavg,C, Tavg,T, Tmax,B, Tmax,C, and Tmax,T). Obtained results confirmed a significant relationship between the indicators Tavg, Tmax and the levels of teat color change (level one: pink-colored teat; level two: red-colored teat; level three: blue or purple-colored teat). Nevertheless, when a teat was considered to be stressed because its scoring fell in level 3 of the color-change scale used, sensitivity and specificity in the classification of the teat status ranged respectively between 45.6% and 54.3%, and 54.4% and 59.2%, for the indicators Tavg; and 56.5% and 60.9%, and 59.7% and 61.8%, for the indicators Tmax. When a teat was considered stressed because its scoring fell between the levels 2 and 3 of the scale adopted, sensitivity and specificity were between 49.0% and 55.8%, and 58.3% and 61.8%, for the indicators Tavg; and 55.8% and 59.9%, and 60.6% and 61.4%, for the indicators Tmax. As a consequence, the low values of sensitivity and specificity do not seem to justify the development of an ad hoc infrared device for the monitoring of udder teat stress. Nonetheless, this technology can be a viable solution for a preliminary evaluation of the mechanical stress of teats if a milking system would be equipped with an infrared sensor already in place for other purposes (e.g., the monitoring of udder health status). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Cow Welfare)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Pig Welfare—A Review
Animals 2019, 9(6), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060383
Received: 24 April 2019 / Revised: 12 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
Viewed by 444 | PDF Full-text (276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Good husbandry conditions on farms is of key importance for assuring animal welfare. One of the most important legal documents regulating the rules of maintaining pigs is the Directive 2008/120/EC, which states that group-housed pigs should have access to litter or other materials [...] Read more.
Good husbandry conditions on farms is of key importance for assuring animal welfare. One of the most important legal documents regulating the rules of maintaining pigs is the Directive 2008/120/EC, which states that group-housed pigs should have access to litter or other materials that provide exploration and occupation. Released in 2016, the Commission Recommendation (EU) 2016/336 on the application of the Council Directive 2008/120/EC characterizes the various categories of materials that may be used to improve animal welfare. According to the document, straw is considered as an optimal material for pig housing, however, materials categorized as suboptimal (e.g., wood bark) and materials of marginal interest (e.g., plastic toys) are often used in practice and scientific research. As such, the aim of this paper is to review and systematize the current state of knowledge on the topic of the impact of environmental enrichment on pig welfare. This article raises mainly issues, such as the effectiveness of the use of various enrichment on the reduction of undesirable behavior—tail biting; aggression; and stereotypies at the pre-weaning, post-weaning, and fattening stage of pig production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Positive Aspects of Animal Welfare)
Open AccessArticle
Effect and Interaction of β-Lactoglobulin, Kappa Casein, and Prolactin Genes on Milk Production and Composition of Awassi Sheep
Animals 2019, 9(6), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060382
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
Viewed by 323 | PDF Full-text (802 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A participatory animal-breeding program was applied to 9 commercial Awassi sheep flocks in Jordan. This study aimed to assess the influence of Beta-lactoglobulin (β-LG), Prolactin (PRL), and Kappa casein (CSN3) genes, genotypes and their interaction on milk [...] Read more.
A participatory animal-breeding program was applied to 9 commercial Awassi sheep flocks in Jordan. This study aimed to assess the influence of Beta-lactoglobulin (β-LG), Prolactin (PRL), and Kappa casein (CSN3) genes, genotypes and their interaction on milk production and composition traits of 167 genotyped Awassi ewes via Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) followed by sequencing. Allele frequencies for the two variants were 0.42 and 0.58 for β-LG, 0.82 and 0.18 for PRL, and 0.92 and 0.08 for CSN3. No association was found among β-LG and CSN3 polymorphic genotypes with milk production traits. However, ewes with PRL AA genotype showed higher milk production, β-LG AB was associated with lowest fat%, high solid not fat (SNF)%, protein%, and lactose%. β-LG BB was associated with highest milk density. PRL, β-LG, and CSN3 polymorphic genotypes were differentially associated with milk production and component traits. Furthermore, β-LG × PRL interaction showed the highest milk production and fat%; β-LG × PRL recorded the highest SNF%, protein%, lactose%, and milk density, while the PRL × CSN3 had the highest fat% and SNF%. The enhancing effects of these gene interactions can be incorporated in Awassi breeding programs to improve milk production and composition. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Using Qualitative Behaviour Assessment to Investigate Human-Animal Relationships in Zoo-Housed Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis)
Animals 2019, 9(6), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060381
Received: 8 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
Viewed by 900 | PDF Full-text (895 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human-Animal Relationships (HAR) in zoos develop from repeated interactions between animals and their caretakers. HAR have been shown to affect health and welfare in farm animals, but limited zoo-based studies exist. This study investigates the association between the qualitative behaviour assessment (QBA) of [...] Read more.
Human-Animal Relationships (HAR) in zoos develop from repeated interactions between animals and their caretakers. HAR have been shown to affect health and welfare in farm animals, but limited zoo-based studies exist. This study investigates the association between the qualitative behaviour assessment (QBA) of emotional expression in giraffes and keeper action score in four types of keeper-animal interaction (KAI). Three giraffes generating 38 clips. QBA, using a free-choice profiling methodology, was applied instructing 18 observers to assess giraffe expressions shown in these clips. QBA scores were analysed using Generalized Procrustes Analysis. Keeper actions during each KAI event were rated by an independent marker, resulting in cumulative scores for keeper action quality. The association between QBA and the keeper action was analyzed using Spearman’s rank correlations. Two main QBA dimensions were identified explaining 59% of the variation between clips. There were significant effects of giraffe and KAI type on QBA dimension 2 (inquisitive/impatient—calm/distracted), and significant positive associations between keeper action quality rating and QBA dimensions 1 and 2, indicating that positive keeper actions resulted in calm and confident giraffes with a willingness to interact. This is the first successful application of QBA for empirically addressing HARs in zoos, however given the small sample size of giraffes in this study, it can be regarded as a pilot study only, and further research is needed to validate the use of QBA in this context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Influences on the Behaviour and Welfare of Zoo Animals)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
An Open-Circuit Indirect Calorimetry Head Hood System for Measuring Methane Emission and Energy Metabolism in Small Ruminants
Animals 2019, 9(6), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060380
Received: 22 April 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
Viewed by 251 | PDF Full-text (1554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Methane (CH4) is a natural by-product of microbial fermentation in the rumen and is a powerful greenhouse gas. An open-circuit indirect calorimetry system for continuous determination of CH4 and CO2 production and O2 consumption and, thereafter, heat production [...] Read more.
Methane (CH4) is a natural by-product of microbial fermentation in the rumen and is a powerful greenhouse gas. An open-circuit indirect calorimetry system for continuous determination of CH4 and CO2 production and O2 consumption and, thereafter, heat production (HP) calculation for small ruminants was described and validated. The system consisted of a computerized control, data acquisition and recording system for gases and air flux. The average value ± standard deviation for the calibration factors in the system were 1.005 ± 0.0007 (n = 6), 1.013 ± 0.0012 (n = 6) and 0.988 ± 0.0035 (n = 6) for O2, CO2 and CH4, respectively. Calibration factors close to 1 confirmed the absence of leaks in the indirect calorimetry system. In addition, an experimental test with 8 goats at mid lactation was conducted to validate the system. The repeatability for CH4 and heat production measured with the open-circuit indirect calorimetry system was 79% and 61%, respectively. Daily average HP measured by indirect calorimetry (Respiration Quotient method) was close to the average HP determined from Carbon-Nitrogen balance (CN method), accounting for 685 and 667 kJ per kg metabolic body weight, respectively. Therefore, discrepancies averaged 1.92%, a rather satisfactory value considering the substantial amount of technical and analytical work involved. The close agreement found between both methods can be considered as being indicative of the absence of systematic error. Two diets with different forage were tested: 40% was either alfalfa hay (HAY) or alfalfa silage (SIL), and the proportion of concentrate was the same in both groups (60%). The experimental trial shown that HP and CH4 were higher in HAY than SIL diet (differences between treatments of 28 kJ of HP per kg of metabolic body weight and 7.1 L CH4/day were found). The data acquisition and recording device developed improved the accuracy of the indirect calorimetry system by reducing the work involved in managing output data and refining the functionality for measuring gas exchange and energy metabolism in small ruminants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Two Insertion/Deletion Variants within SPAG17 Gene Are Associated with Goat Body Measurement Traits
Animals 2019, 9(6), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060379
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 8 June 2019 / Accepted: 15 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
Viewed by 311 | PDF Full-text (1174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sperm-associated antigen 17 (SPAG17) gene encodes a multifunctional cytoplasmic protein, which influences not only reproduction but also skeletal development related body measurement traits, especially body height. Thus, this study aimed to identify crucial insertion-deletion (indel) variations, which influence the body measurement [...] Read more.
Sperm-associated antigen 17 (SPAG17) gene encodes a multifunctional cytoplasmic protein, which influences not only reproduction but also skeletal development related body measurement traits, especially body height. Thus, this study aimed to identify crucial insertion-deletion (indel) variations, which influence the body measurement traits of goats in large goat populations (n = 1725). As a result, two intronic indels (14 bp and 17 bp indel) were identified by sequencing. For the two indel loci, the distributions of genotypes and alleles were significantly different between the Shaanbei white cashmere goat (SBWC) and the Hainan black goat (HNBG). In SBWC goats, the different genotypes of the 14 bp indel were markedly associated with goat body height, chest width, body length and chest depth. The genotypes of the 17 bp indel were significantly related to body height and chest width. At the two loci, for all seven analyzed traits of SBWC goat, the growth data of DD homozygotes were the worst, which means that the 14 bp insertion and the 17 bp deletion were beneficial and detrimental variations, respectively. Moreover, the combined genotypes were significantly related to body height and chest width of SBWC goats and ten traits of HNBG. These results suggested that the 14 and 17 bp indels within SPAG17 can be used in goat growth related traits marker-assisted selection breeding, especially body height. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Quantitative Genetics in Livestock Production)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Isolation and Culture of Skin-Derived Differentiated and Stem-Like Cells Obtained from the Arabian Camel (Camelus dromedarius)
Animals 2019, 9(6), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060378
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 10 June 2019 / Accepted: 15 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
Viewed by 342 | PDF Full-text (7696 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Elite camels often suffer from massive injuries. Thus, there is a pivotal need for a cheap and readily available regenerative medicine source. We isolated novel stem-like cells from camel skin and investigated their multipotency and resistance against various stresses. Skin samples were isolated [...] Read more.
Elite camels often suffer from massive injuries. Thus, there is a pivotal need for a cheap and readily available regenerative medicine source. We isolated novel stem-like cells from camel skin and investigated their multipotency and resistance against various stresses. Skin samples were isolated from ears of five camels. Fibroblasts, keratinocytes, and spheroid progenitors were extracted. After separation of different cell lines by trypsinization, all cell lines were exposed to heat shock. Then, fibroblasts and dermal cyst-forming cells were examined under cryopreservation. Dermal cyst-forming cells were evaluated for resistance against osmotic pressure. The results revealed that resistance periods against trypsin were 1.5, 4, and 7 min for fibroblasts, keratinocytes, and spheroid progenitors, respectively. Furthermore, complete recovery of different cell lines after heat shock along with the differentiation of spheroid progenitors into neurons was observed. Fibroblasts and spheroid progenitors retained cell proliferation after cryopreservation. Dermal cyst-forming cells regained their normal structure after collapsing by osmotic pressure. The spheroid progenitors incubated in the adipogenic, osteogenic, and neurogenic media differentiated into adipocyte-, osteoblast-, and neuron-like cells, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, we isolated different unique cellular types and stem-like cells from the camel skin and examined their multipotency for the first time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminant)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
Genetic Polymorphism of β-Casein Gene in Polish Red Cattle—Preliminary Study of A1 and A2 Frequency in Genetic Conservation Herd
Animals 2019, 9(6), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060377
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
Viewed by 284 | PDF Full-text (214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although there is growing interest in Red cow’s milk in Poland, to date there are few reports investigating the characteristics of milk components in the studied population. Particular emphasis on milk proteins is advised, since β-casein is a source of bioactive peptides named [...] Read more.
Although there is growing interest in Red cow’s milk in Poland, to date there are few reports investigating the characteristics of milk components in the studied population. Particular emphasis on milk proteins is advised, since β-casein is a source of bioactive peptides named β-casomorphins. β-casomorphin 7, which originates mostly from β-casein variants A1, may be a significant risk factor in human ischemic heart disease, arteriosclerosis, type I diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome, and autism. The aim of the present study was to identify CSN2 polymorphism gene in exon 7 using the genomic sequence from GenBank (M55158), g.8101C>A, (codon 67). Blood samples were collected from 201 Polish Red cattle (24 males and 177 females). The genotype of β-casein was determined using PCR-ACRS. The frequency of β-casein A2 in Polish Red population was 0.47. β-casein A2 frequency in Polish Red bulls and in cows was 0.58 and 0.37, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
Open AccessArticle
Comparative Personality Traits Assessment of Three Species of Communally Housed Captive Penguins
Animals 2019, 9(6), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060376
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 12 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
Viewed by 383 | PDF Full-text (1905 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Understanding animal personalities has notable implications in the ecology and evolution of animal behavior, but personality studies can also be useful in optimizing animal management, with the aim of improving health and well-being, and optimizing reproductive success, a fundamental factor in the species [...] Read more.
Understanding animal personalities has notable implications in the ecology and evolution of animal behavior, but personality studies can also be useful in optimizing animal management, with the aim of improving health and well-being, and optimizing reproductive success, a fundamental factor in the species threatened with extinction. Modern zoos are increasingly being structured with enclosures that host different species, which permanently share spaces. This condition has undeniable positive aspects, but, in some species, it could determine the appearance of collective or synchronized behaviors. The aim of this study was to verify, in a colony of three species of communally housed penguins (Pygoscelis papua, Aptenodytes patagonicus and Eudyptes moseleyi), through a trait-rating assessment, if interspecific group life impacts on the expression of personality traits, and if it is possible to highlight specie-specific expression of personality traits, despite the influence of forced cohabitation. For many of the personality traits we analyzed, we have observed that it was possible to detect an expression that differed, according to the species. From a practical point of view, these data could ameliorate the management of the animals, allowing to design animal life routines, according to the different behavioral characteristics of the cohabiting species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Zoo Animals)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Novel SNP in EIF2AK4 Gene Is Associated with Thermal Tolerance Traits in Chinese Cattle
Animals 2019, 9(6), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060375
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 10 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
Viewed by 296 | PDF Full-text (521 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2-alpha kinase 4 (EIF2AK4, also known as GCN2), which pertains to the family of serine–threonine kinase, is involved in oxidative stress and DNA damage repair. A missense single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (NC_037337.1 g.35615224 T > G) in [...] Read more.
Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2-alpha kinase 4 (EIF2AK4, also known as GCN2), which pertains to the family of serine–threonine kinase, is involved in oxidative stress and DNA damage repair. A missense single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (NC_037337.1 g.35615224 T > G) in exon 6 of the EIF2AK4 gene which encodes a p.Ile205Ser substitution was observed in the Bovine Genome Variation Database and Selective Signatures (BGVD). The purpose of the current study is to determine the allelic frequency distribution of the locus and analyze its association with thermal tolerance in Chinese indigenous cattle. In our study, the allelic frequency distribution of the missense mutation (NC_037337.1 g.35615224 T > G) in Chinese cattle was analyzed by sequencing 1105 individuals of 37 breeds including 35 Chinese indigenous cattle breeds and two exotic breeds. In particular, association analysis was carried out between the genotypes and three environmental parameters including annual mean temperature (T), relative humidity (RH), and temperature–humidity index (THI). The frequency of the mutant allele G (NC_037337.1 g.35615224 T > G) gradually decreased from the southern cattle groups to the northern cattle groups, whereas the frequency of the wild-type allele T showed an opposite pattern, consistent with the distribution of indicine and taurine cattle in China. In accordance with the association analysis, genotypes were significantly associated with T (P < 0.01), RH (P < 0.01), and THI (P < 0.01), suggesting that the cattle with genotype GG were found in regions with higher T, RH, and THI. Thus, our results suggest that the mutation (NC_037337.1 g.35615224 T > G) of the EIF2AK4 gene is associated with thermal tolerance traits in Chinese cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Arachidonic Acid Regulation of Intracellular Signaling Pathways and Target Gene Expression in Bovine Ovarian Granulosa Cells
Animals 2019, 9(6), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060374
Received: 5 May 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
Viewed by 325 | PDF Full-text (2635 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the present study, AA was used to challenge bovine ovarian granulosa cells in vitro and the related parameters of cellular and molecular biology were measured. The results indicated that lower doses of AA increased survival of bovine granulosa cells whereas higher doses [...] Read more.
In the present study, AA was used to challenge bovine ovarian granulosa cells in vitro and the related parameters of cellular and molecular biology were measured. The results indicated that lower doses of AA increased survival of bovine granulosa cells whereas higher doses of AA suppressed survival. While lower doses of AA induced accumulation of lipid droplet in granulosa cells, the higher dose of AA inhibited lipid accumulation, and AA increased abundance of FABP3, CD36 and SLC27A1 mRNA. Higher doses of AA decreased the secretion of E2 and increased the secretion of P4 accompanied by down-regulation of the mRNA abundance of CYP19A1, FSHR, HSD3B1 and STAR in granulosa cells. The signaling pathways employed by AA in the stimulation of genes expression included both ERK1/2 and Akt. Together, AA specifically affects physiological features, gene expression levels and steroid hormone secretion, and thus altering the functionality of granulosa cells of cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Order of Grass and Maize Silage Supplementation Modifies Milk Yield, Grazing Behavior and Nitrogen Partitioning of Lactating Dairy Cows
Animals 2019, 9(6), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060373
Received: 24 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
Viewed by 293 | PDF Full-text (379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the order of grass silage (GS) and maize silage (MS) supplementation on milk yield, grazing behavior and nitrogen (N) partitioning of lactating dairy cows during autumn. Thirty-six Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were randomly [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the order of grass silage (GS) and maize silage (MS) supplementation on milk yield, grazing behavior and nitrogen (N) partitioning of lactating dairy cows during autumn. Thirty-six Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were randomly assigned to one of three treatments, and cows remained on these treatments for a 62 days period: (1) MIX; cows supplemented with 3 kg of dry matter (DM) of silage containing 1.5 kg DM of MS and 1.5 kg DM of GS in both the morning and afternoon; (2) GS-MS; cows supplemented with 3 kg DM of GS in the morning and 3 kg DM of MS in the afternoon; (3) MS-GS; cows supplemented with 3 kg DM of MS in the morning and 3 kg DM of GS in the afternoon. All cows received a pasture allowance of 17 kg DM/cow/d and 3 kg DM of concentrate. Grazing time and pasture intake were unaffected by treatment; however, milk production was greater for MS-GS, while milk protein was greater for GS-MS. Urinary N excretion was greater for MS-GS than MIX. In conclusion, MS-GS resulted in high milk yield but also high urinary N excretion, while MIX resulted in low urinary N excretion but also decreased milk yield. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Food Preferences in Cats: Effect of Dietary Composition and Intrinsic Variables on Diet Selection
Animals 2019, 9(6), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060372
Received: 13 April 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
Viewed by 349 | PDF Full-text (1162 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A ten-year database of food preference tests (n = 1021; period 2007−2017) was used to explore the feeding behavior of domestic cats. Principal component (PC) analysis and linear regression between food nutrients and preferences (for the most preferred diet of each test; [...] Read more.
A ten-year database of food preference tests (n = 1021; period 2007−2017) was used to explore the feeding behavior of domestic cats. Principal component (PC) analysis and linear regression between food nutrients and preferences (for the most preferred diet of each test; Diet A) were performed. Intake and preference for Diet A were analyzed by intrinsic cats’ variables and climate season. The PC1 (calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), and ash), PC2 (lipids and ether extract) and PC4 (crude fiber; CF) had borderline significance (p < 0.06; β = −1.42, β = −1.56, and β = 2.68, respectively). Ash and CF contents presented negative correlations with food preference (rho = −0.269, p = 0.031; rho = −0.338, p = 0.006, respectively), and Ca had borderline significance and negative correlation with food preference (rho = −0.241, p = 0.054). Body weight and sex influenced the intake of Diet A, being lower for females (β = 11.758; p = 0.014) and heaviest cats (β = −5.490; p < 0.001). However, only body weight affected food preferences, where the heaviest cats had greater preferences for Diet A. Hot season decreased food intake (β = −2,117; p = 0.032), mostly in females (rho = −3.537; p = 0.002). Males had greater preferences for Diet A during hot seasons (β = 10.216; p = 0.023) and females presented similar preferences throughout the year (p = 0.950). Mineral contents, body weight and sex affected food intake and preferences of cats under the influence of climate season, probably explained by adaptive changes in food detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Grazing on the Behaviour, Oxidative and Immune Status, and Production of Organic Dairy Cows
Animals 2019, 9(6), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060371
Received: 24 March 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
Viewed by 333 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study compared the effects of a short daily grazing time with those of permanent free-stall housing on the behaviour, oxidative status, immune response, and milk production of organically reared cows. During a 63-day period, two homogeneous groups of eight lactating Brown cows [...] Read more.
This study compared the effects of a short daily grazing time with those of permanent free-stall housing on the behaviour, oxidative status, immune response, and milk production of organically reared cows. During a 63-day period, two homogeneous groups of eight lactating Brown cows were allocated to either housing (H) in a free-stall building for 24 h/day. Feeding was based on a total mixed ration or grazing (G) on barley grass for 5 h/day, and housing in a free-stall structure with feeding was based on the same total mixed ration offered to the H group. With regard to behaviour, H cows spent more time idling, walking, drinking, and self-grooming, whereas G cows showed a greater intent to eat and interact socially. Moreover, G cows exhibited slightly higher reactive oxygen metabolites and similar biological antioxidant potential concentrations than the H group, which indicates that short grazing resulted in an almost negligible increase in oxidative stress and an unchanged antioxidant capacity. Skin tests, performed by injecting phytohemoagglutinin intradermally, indicated that G cows had thicker skin than H cows at the end of the trial, an index of a better cell-mediated immune response. Grazing did not affect milk yield but improved milk quality in terms of an increase in fat and a reduction in urea content, somatic cell count, and total microbial count. Milk from G cows was richer in saturated fatty acids, likely because of the contribution of palmitic acid present in the grazed barley grass, and also showed higher contents of some healthy fatty acids, such as rumenic acid and α-linolenic acid, and a lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio. These results show that including a short grazing time in the diets of organic dairy cows does not have negative consequences for milk production and contributes to improved milk quality as well as to a more efficient immune response in the cows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feeding Cattle for Health Improvement)
Open AccessArticle
Coping Styles in the Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris catus) and Implications for Cat Welfare
Animals 2019, 9(6), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060370
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
Viewed by 406 | PDF Full-text (1389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Identifying coping styles in cats may lead to improved health and welfare. The aims of this study were to (1) identify individual differences in response to acute confinement, and (2) to assess the predictability of guardian-rated personality traits on behavior. Adult cats ( [...] Read more.
Identifying coping styles in cats may lead to improved health and welfare. The aims of this study were to (1) identify individual differences in response to acute confinement, and (2) to assess the predictability of guardian-rated personality traits on behavior. Adult cats (n = 55) were singly housed in enriched cages and behavioral observations were recorded for three days. On day 3, familiar and unfamiliar person approach tests were conducted. Fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM) were quantified from voided samples. A questionnaire assessing personality traits and sickness behaviors was completed by each guardian. Analysis identified two clusters—cats in Cluster 1 (n = 22) were described as shy, calm, mellow, and timid; cats in Cluster 2 (n = 33) were described as active, playful, curious, and easygoing. Multilevel mixed-effects GLM revealed significant differences between the clusters including food intake (C1 > C2, p < 0.0001), affiliative/maintenance behaviors (C2 > C1, p < 0.0001), vocalization (C2 > C1, p < 0.0001), hide (C1 > C2, p < 0.0001), perch (C2 > C1, p < 0.0001), and latency to approach a familiar (C1 > C2, p < 0.0001) and unfamiliar (C1 > C2, p = 0.013) person. No statistically significant differences in FGM concentrations were identified (cluster p = 0.28; day p = 0.16, interaction p = 0.26). Guardian-rated personality traits agreed with the response of the cats when confined to a cage, suggesting that domestic cats have different coping styles. Identifying individual differences in response to stressful events or environments may provide caretakers with important information leading to improved welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Welfare of Cats and Dogs)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Enrichment Type, Presentation and Social Status on Enrichment Use and Behaviour of Sows with Electronic Sow Feeding
Animals 2019, 9(6), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060369
Received: 9 March 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
Viewed by 282 | PDF Full-text (1839 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal of this study was to identify practical enrichments for sows in partially or fully slatted pen systems. Four treatments were applied: (1) Constant: constant provision of wood on chain; (2) Rotate: rotation of rope, straw and wood enrichments; (3) Stimulus: rotation [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to identify practical enrichments for sows in partially or fully slatted pen systems. Four treatments were applied: (1) Constant: constant provision of wood on chain; (2) Rotate: rotation of rope, straw and wood enrichments; (3) Stimulus: rotation of enrichments (as in Rotate) with an associative stimulus (bell or whistle); and (4) Control: no enrichment, with each treatment lasting 12 days. Six groups of 20 ± 2 sows were studied from weeks 6 to 14 of gestation in pens with one electronic sow feeder. Each group received all treatments in random order. Six focal animals (3 dominant and 3 subordinate) were selected per pen using a feed competition test. Digital photos were collected at 10 min intervals for 8 h (between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.) on 4 days/treatment (d 1, 8, 10 and 12) to record interactions with enrichment. Skin lesions were assessed on days 1 and 12, and saliva cortisol samples collected in weeks 6, 10 and 14 of gestation on focal pigs. Sows spent more time in contact with enrichments in Rotate and Stimulus treatments than Constant. Enrichment treatments did not influence lesion scores. Subordinate sows spent more time standing and near enrichments than dominants. Subordinate sows also received more skin lesions and had higher salivary cortisol concentrations than dominants. These results indicate that access to enrichment is valued by sows but can result in greater aggression directed towards subordinates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Enrichment of Pigs)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Remote Identification of Sheep with Flystrike Using Behavioural Observations
Animals 2019, 9(6), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060368
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 8 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
Viewed by 281 | PDF Full-text (637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Flystrike is a major problem affecting sheep in Australia. Identification of ‘flystruck’ individuals is crucial for treatment; but requires labour-intensive physical examination. As the industry moves toward more low-input systems; there is a need for remote methods to identify flystruck individuals. The aim [...] Read more.
Flystrike is a major problem affecting sheep in Australia. Identification of ‘flystruck’ individuals is crucial for treatment; but requires labour-intensive physical examination. As the industry moves toward more low-input systems; there is a need for remote methods to identify flystruck individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the behaviour of sheep with breech flystrike within a paddock setting. Video footage of sixteen Merino sheep; eight later confirmed with flystrike and eight without; was collected as they moved freely within the paddock with conspecifics. Quantitative behavioural measurements and a qualitative behavioural assessment (QBA) were conducted and compared to their breech conditions (i.e., faecal/urine staining; flystrike severity). Both qualitative and quantitative assessments indicated behavioural differences between flystruck and non-flystruck animals. Flystruck sheep had a behavioural profile characterised by restless behaviour; abnormal postures and reduced grazing time (p < 0.05). Furthermore; flystruck sheep were scored to have a more ‘exhausted/irritated’ demeanour using QBA (p < 0.05). The behavioural responses also corresponded to the flystrike severity scores and condition of the breech area. We conclude that remotely assessed behaviour of flystruck sheep diverges markedly from non-flystruck sheep; and thus could be a low-input method for identifying and treating affected animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Welfare Assessment Protocol)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommentary
US Farm Animal Welfare: An Economic Perspective
Animals 2019, 9(6), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060367
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
Viewed by 272 | PDF Full-text (191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The topic of farm animal welfare (FAW) is both complex and controversial, and inherently involves expertise and views from multiple disciplines. This article provides a summary of economic perspectives on FAW issues in the United States. Practices related to FAW can occur through [...] Read more.
The topic of farm animal welfare (FAW) is both complex and controversial, and inherently involves expertise and views from multiple disciplines. This article provides a summary of economic perspectives on FAW issues in the United States. Practices related to FAW can occur through legal, market or voluntary programs. FAW is not a primary driver of US food demand but negative press has industry-wide effects. Aligning FAW supply and demand can be facilitated through labeling, education, and voluntary programs, but all have pros and cons. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Visitor Effect on Zoo Animals: Implications and Opportunities for Zoo Animal Welfare
Animals 2019, 9(6), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060366
Received: 18 May 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
Viewed by 1014 | PDF Full-text (331 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Achieving and maintaining high standards of animal welfare is critical to the success of a modern zoo. Research has shown that an animal’s welfare is highly dependent on how various individual animal factors (e.g., species traits, genetics, temperament and previous experience) interact with [...] Read more.
Achieving and maintaining high standards of animal welfare is critical to the success of a modern zoo. Research has shown that an animal’s welfare is highly dependent on how various individual animal factors (e.g., species traits, genetics, temperament and previous experience) interact with environmental features (e.g., social grouping, enclosure design and sensory environment). One prominent feature of the zoo environment is the presence of visitors. Visitor contact can be unpredictable and intense, particularly in terms of auditory and visual interaction. Depending on an animal’s perception of this interaction, visitors can have either negative, neutral or positive impacts on zoo animal behaviour and welfare. This paper reviews the literature on the implications and potential opportunities of human-zoo animal interactions on animal behaviour and welfare, with the aim of stimulating interest, understanding and exploration of this important subject. The literature to date presents a mixed range of findings on the topic. It is possible this variation in the responses of zoo animals to visitors may be due to species-specific differences, the nature and intensity of the visitor interactions, enclosure design, and individual animal characteristics. Analysing these studies and better understanding animal preferences and motivations can provide insight into what animals find negatively and positively reinforcing in terms of visitor contact in a specific zoo setting. This understanding can then be applied to either safeguard welfare in cases where visitors can have a negative impact, or, conversely, it can be applied to highlight opportunities to encourage animal-visitor interaction in situations where animals experience positive emotions associated with visitor interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Influences on the Behaviour and Welfare of Zoo Animals)
Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Straw, Rope, and Bite-Rite Treatment in Weaner Pens with a Tail Biting Outbreak
Animals 2019, 9(6), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060365
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
Viewed by 310 | PDF Full-text (1116 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tail biting in pigs is an injurious behaviour that spreads rapidly in a group. We investigated three different treatments to stop ongoing tail biting outbreaks in 65 pens of 6–30 kg undocked pigs (30 pigs per pen; SD = 2): (1) straw (7 [...] Read more.
Tail biting in pigs is an injurious behaviour that spreads rapidly in a group. We investigated three different treatments to stop ongoing tail biting outbreaks in 65 pens of 6–30 kg undocked pigs (30 pigs per pen; SD = 2): (1) straw (7 g/pig/day on the floor), (2) rope, and (3) Bite-Rite (a hanging plastic device with chewable rods). Pigs were tail scored three times weekly, until an outbreak occurred (four pigs with a tail wound; day 0) and subsequently once weekly. After an outbreak had occurred, a subsequent escalation in tail damage was defined if four pigs with a fresh tail wound were identified or if a biter had to be removed. Straw prevented an escalation better (75%) than Bite-Rite (35%; p < 0.05), and rope was intermediate (65%). Upon introduction of treatments (day 0), pigs interacted less with tails than before (day −1; p < 0.05). Behavioural observations showed that pigs engaged more with rope than Bite-Rite (p < 0.05). Bite-Rite pigs (but not straw or rope) increased their interaction with tails between day 0 and day 7 (p < 0.05). Straw was the most effective treatment. However, further investigations may identify materials or allocation strategies which are more effective still. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Enrichment of Pigs)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Sexual Dimorphism and Foraging Trips of the Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) on Guadalupe Island
Animals 2019, 9(6), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060364
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
Viewed by 463 | PDF Full-text (3426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sexual dimorphism in the Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) on Guadalupe Island was evaluated during the breeding seasons of 2015–2018 by measuring and comparing 10 morphological attributes: cranial length, bill length, nostril length, cranial width, bill height, bill width, tarsus length, closed [...] Read more.
Sexual dimorphism in the Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) on Guadalupe Island was evaluated during the breeding seasons of 2015–2018 by measuring and comparing 10 morphological attributes: cranial length, bill length, nostril length, cranial width, bill height, bill width, tarsus length, closed wing length, opened wing length, and wingspan length in reproductive adults (n = 135). Males were larger than females across all traits (Student’s t-test, p < 0.05, p < 0.05). We created a logistic model using stepwise regression to predict sex based on morphological variables. This model indicated four significant morphological predictor variables (z < 0.05) and was able to successfully predict the sex of P. immutabilis individuals in more than 90% of the cases. Based on these predictor variables, a web app was developed to determine the sex of the Laysan albatross in the field, providing a non-invasive method for rapid data collection that reduces costs and handling times while improving conservation efforts. We tracked Laysan albatross (n = 36) during breeding seasons and found no significant differences between females and males for either trip length (GLMM, F = 0.017, DF = 1, 1, p = 0.917 > 0.05) or maximum trip distance (GLMM, F = 0.374, DF = 1, 1, p = 0.651 > 0.05). Our results suggest that both sexes show a strong preference to travel to highly productive coastal waters northeast of the breeding colony that are influenced by the California Current. The present research will serve to establish a baseline to protect this species on Guadalupe Island and highlights the importance of understanding sexual dimorphism in at-risk seabird species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Stakeholder Perceptions of the Challenges to Racehorse Welfare
Animals 2019, 9(6), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060363
Received: 3 May 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
Viewed by 304 | PDF Full-text (248 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to highlight some of the key challenges to racehorse welfare as perceived by racing industry stakeholders. The paper draws upon statements and transcripts from 10 focus group discussions with 42 participants who were taking part in a [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to highlight some of the key challenges to racehorse welfare as perceived by racing industry stakeholders. The paper draws upon statements and transcripts from 10 focus group discussions with 42 participants who were taking part in a larger study investigating stakeholders’ perceptions of racehorse welfare, which participants recognised as maintaining the physical and mental well-being of a performance animal. Analysis of the 68 statements participants identified as challenges produced nine themes. Among these, 26% (18 statements) of the challenges were health related, whilst 41% (28 statements) focused on the effect staff shortages were having on the racing industry. Staff shortages were perceived as affecting standards of racehorse care and the opportunity to develop a human–horse relationship. Poor employee relations due to a lack of recognition, communication and respect were perceived as having a detrimental effect on employee attitudes, behaviour and staff retention which, in turn, can have a sequential effect on the welfare and health of horses in training. Although the number of challenges produced is small (68), they emphasise the perceptions of stakeholders closely associated with the racing industry. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Dietary Supplementation of L-Carnitine and Excess Lysine-Methionine on Growth Performance, Carcass Characteristics, and Immunity Markers of Broiler Chicken
Animals 2019, 9(6), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060362
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 16 June 2019
Viewed by 442 | PDF Full-text (296 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
L-carnitine as well as lysine and methionine are amino acids of important nutritional and nutraceutical interest and are used in nutritional strategies as diet supplements to improve feed quality characteristics in animals and broiler chicken in particular. This study investigated the effect of [...] Read more.
L-carnitine as well as lysine and methionine are amino acids of important nutritional and nutraceutical interest and are used in nutritional strategies as diet supplements to improve feed quality characteristics in animals and broiler chicken in particular. This study investigated the effect of different levels of L-carnitine and extra levels of lysine-methionine on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and some immune system markers. Two hundred seventy male Ross 308 broilers were a fed control diet (C) and eight different diets supplemented with an excess of amino acids. In the experimental diets, identified as D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, D7, and D8, extra L-carnitine, lysine, and methionine were added in excess with respect to the American National Research Council (NRC) recommendations: L-carnitine equal to NRC (D1); control diet supplemented with lysine at 30% in excess of NRC, methionine at 30% in excess of NRC, and L-carnitine equal to NRC (D2); control diet supplemented with lysine equal to NRC, methionine equal to NRC, and L-carnitine at 15% in excess of NRC (D3); control diet supplemented control diet supplemented with lysine at 15% in excess of NRC, methionine at 15% in excess of NRC, and L-carnitine at 15% in excess of NRC (D4); control diet supplemented lysine at 30% in excess of NRC, methionine at 30% in excess of NRC, and L-carnitine at 15% in excess of NRC (D5); control diet supplemented with lysine equal to NRC recommendations, methionine equal to NRC recommendations, and L-carnitine at 75% in excess of NRC (D6); control diet supplemented with lysine at 15% in excess of NRC, methionine at 15% in excess of NRC, and L-carnitine at 75% in excess of NRC (D7); and control diet supplemented with lysine at 30% in excess of NRC, methionine at 30% in excess of NRC, and L-carnitine at 75% in excess of NRC (D8). During the starter and growth phases, feed intake was not affected by dietary treatment (p > 0.05). By contrast, body weight and FCR were both affected (p < 0.001) during the starter period. During the finisher phase, feed consumption was affected (p < 0.05) by dietary treatment. Feed intake of broilers fed on C, D3, D6, and D7 were statistically similar (p > 0.05) (1851.90, 1862.00, 1945.10, and 1872.80 g/pen/day, respectively) and were higher (p < 0.05) than 1564.40 g/pen/day (D5). With the exception of drumsticks, neck, back thoracic vertebrae, and proventriculus weights, economical carcass segments were not affected (p > 0.05) by the dietary supplementation of amino acids. Duodenum and ileum weights and lengths decreased with amino acid supplementation (p < 0.05). IgT and IgG titers against Sheep Red Blood Cells (SRBC) for both primary and secondary responses were not affected by dietary treatments (p > 0.05). Dietary amino acids supplementation did not affect IgM titer after the secondary challenge (p > 0.05) and had a significant effect (p < 0.05) on serum antibody titers in broilers vaccinated against Newcastle disease (NCD) and Gumboro ‘s disease at the 27th and 30th days, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Genetic Diversity of Indigenous Pigs from South China Area Revealed by SNP Array
Animals 2019, 9(6), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060361
Received: 19 April 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 16 June 2019
Viewed by 340 | PDF Full-text (1969 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To investigate the genetic diversity, population structure, extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD), effective population size (Ne), and selection signatures in indigenous pigs from Guangdong and Guangxi in China, 226 pigs belonging to ten diverse populations were genotyped using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chips. [...] Read more.
To investigate the genetic diversity, population structure, extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD), effective population size (Ne), and selection signatures in indigenous pigs from Guangdong and Guangxi in China, 226 pigs belonging to ten diverse populations were genotyped using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chips. The genetic divergence between Chinese and Western pigs was determined based on the SNP chip data. Low genetic diversity of Dahuabai (DHB), Luchuan (LC), Lantang (LT), and Meihua (MH) pigs, and introgression of Western pigs into Longlin (LL), MH, and Yuedonghei (YDH) pigs were detected. Analysis of the extent of LD showed that indigenous pigs had low LD when pairwise SNP distance was short and high LD when pairwise SNP distance was long. Effective population size analysis showed a rapid decrease for Chinese indigenous pigs, and some pig populations had a relatively small Ne. This result indicated the loss of genetic diversity in indigenous pigs, and introgression from Western commercial pigs. Selection signatures detected in this study overlapped with meat quality traits, such as drip loss, intramuscular fat content, meat color b*, and average backfat thickness. Our study deepened understanding of the conservation status and domestication of Chinese indigenous pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Quantitative Genetics in Livestock Production)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Lameness in Sheltered Cows and Its Association with Cow and Shelter Attributes
Animals 2019, 9(6), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060360
Received: 24 April 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 16 June 2019
Viewed by 347 | PDF Full-text (240 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The sheltering of old, unproductive and abandoned cows in traditional cow shelters, known as gaushalas, has been practiced in India since ancient times. Cows are kept in these shelters until they die of natural causes. The welfare of the cows in these shelters [...] Read more.
The sheltering of old, unproductive and abandoned cows in traditional cow shelters, known as gaushalas, has been practiced in India since ancient times. Cows are kept in these shelters until they die of natural causes. The welfare of the cows in these shelters was assessed through a cross-sectional study of 54 cow shelters in six states of India. A total of 1620 cows were examined to assess the prevalence of lameness in these cows, and the associated risk factors for lameness were identified through the measurement of animal-based and resource-based welfare indicators. The overall lameness prevalence was 4.2%. The majority (86%) had mild to moderate hock joint swellings but no or only mild carpal joint injuries. Approximately one-half had mild to moderate hock joint hair loss and most were free of hock joint ulcerations. Claw overgrowth was present in almost one half of the cows. Lameness prevalence was positively correlated with coat dirtiness, hock and carpal joint lesions, diarrhea and claw overgrowth scores. In a multivariate analysis, lameness prevalence increased as the Body Condition Score (BCS) decreased and was associated with increased udder dirtiness, the ulceration of the hock joint, carpal joint injuries and claw overgrowth. Resource-based indicators measured at the shelter level suggested that an absence of bedding in the sheds and an increase in the gradient of the shed flooring increased lameness. Addressing the principle risk factors identified for lameness in the sheltered cows (low body condition, dirty udders, lesions on the hock and carpal joints, overgrown claws, and a steep floor gradient) may help to reduce this serious animal welfare problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lameness in Livestock)
Animals EISSN 2076-2615 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top