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Animals, Volume 9, Issue 8 (August 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Seminatural pastures are important to biodiversity but are decreasing as a consequence of [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Clinical Effects of the Extract of the Seeds of the Indian Celery—Apium graveolens—In Horses Affected by Chronic Osteoarthritis
Animals 2019, 9(8), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080585 - 20 Aug 2019
Viewed by 530
Abstract
The extract of the seeds from Indian celery, Apium greaveolens (CSE), tested in experimental animals (rodents), and in humans affected by chronic osteoarthritic diseases, exhibits anti-inflammatory effects that can be compared, to some degree, to those of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). In view [...] Read more.
The extract of the seeds from Indian celery, Apium greaveolens (CSE), tested in experimental animals (rodents), and in humans affected by chronic osteoarthritic diseases, exhibits anti-inflammatory effects that can be compared, to some degree, to those of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). In view of a potential use of CSE in the equine species, it was tested on horses affected by chronic articular pathologies. The trial was performed on 20 horses divided into three different groups, orally treated with 0 (controls), 7.0 or 30 g of CSE BID. Basic orthopedic examinations were conducted, vital signs were observed, and blood samples collected. Improvement was observed at the highest dosage tested (30 g of CSE BID), as reflected in the score values of three clinical parameters, (i) amplitude and (ii) sensitivity to passive flexion and (iii) flexion test. Since the improvement of these parameters can be correlated with a lower perception of the pain, the present data suggest that the CSE treatment can have an analgesic effect in horses affected by chronic osteoarthritic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Horse as an Athlete: Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation and Wellness)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Welfare Training on Bird Welfare and Carcass Quality in Two Commercial Poultry Primary Processing Plants
Animals 2019, 9(8), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080584 - 20 Aug 2019
Viewed by 440
Abstract
The number of broilers slaughtered globally is increasing. Ensuring acceptable welfare conditions for birds at the time of slaughter is paramount in meeting legislative and retailer specifications, and in producing high quality meat. There is knowledge that welfare training programs for members of [...] Read more.
The number of broilers slaughtered globally is increasing. Ensuring acceptable welfare conditions for birds at the time of slaughter is paramount in meeting legislative and retailer specifications, and in producing high quality meat. There is knowledge that welfare training programs for members of the farming and red meat slaughter industry can improve animal welfare measures and product quality, however there is little evidence of the effects of welfare training in poultry processing plants. In our study, a comprehensive welfare training program was introduced to a Costa Rican and a British commercial broiler primary processing plant, both of which slaughter birds by way of neck cut post electrical water bath stunning. The effects of this program on some welfare and product quality measures were investigated, both immediately and six months post training. The welfare measures that showed significant improvements post training included; flapping at shackling, pre-stun shocks, stun parameters and effective neck cut. Product quality measures including broken wings and red pygostyles also improved, however the positive effect of training was not seen in all quality measures. Welfare training does have the potential to improve broiler welfare and product quality at slaughter, and these data could help the development and targeting of future welfare training courses and encourage the uptake of welfare training in the poultry slaughter industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Welfare at Slaughter)
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Open AccessArticle
Increasing River Temperature Shifts Impact the Yangtze Ecosystem: Evidence from the Endangered Chinese Sturgeon
Animals 2019, 9(8), 583; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080583 - 20 Aug 2019
Viewed by 329
Abstract
The Yangtze River has the third greatest water flow and is one of the most human-influenced rivers in the world. Since 1950, this river system has experienced drastic human interventions, leading to various environmental changes, including water temperature. In this study, based on [...] Read more.
The Yangtze River has the third greatest water flow and is one of the most human-influenced rivers in the world. Since 1950, this river system has experienced drastic human interventions, leading to various environmental changes, including water temperature. In this study, based on observations during the past sixty years, we found that the seasonal temperature regime has been altered, both temporally (1–5 °C variation) and spatially (>626 km distance). Temperature shifts not only delay the timing of fish spawning directly, but also lead to degeneration in gonad development. Temperature regime alterations have delayed the suitable spawning temperature window by approximately 29 days over a decade (2003–2016). It confirmed that a period of lower temperature, higher cumulative temperature, and relatively higher temperature differences promoted the maturation of potential spawners based on the correlation analysis (p < 0.05). Also, thermal alterations were highly correlated with reservoir capacity upstream (R2 = 0.866). On-going cascade dam construction and global warming will lead to further temperature shifts. Currently, rigorous protection measures on the breeding population of the Chinese sturgeon and its critical habitats is urgently needed to prevent the crisis of the species extinction. Increasing river thermal shifts not only threaten the Chinese sturgeon but also affect the entire Yangtze aquatic ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Pollutants on Fish)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Step Tail Biting Outbreak Intervention Protocols for Pigs Housed on Slatted Floors
Animals 2019, 9(8), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080582 - 20 Aug 2019
Viewed by 459
Abstract
Solutions are needed to keep pigs under commercial conditions without tail biting outbreaks (TBOs). However, as TBOs are inevitable, even in well managed farms, it is crucial to know how to manage TBOs when they occur. We evaluated the effectiveness of multi-step intervention [...] Read more.
Solutions are needed to keep pigs under commercial conditions without tail biting outbreaks (TBOs). However, as TBOs are inevitable, even in well managed farms, it is crucial to know how to manage TBOs when they occur. We evaluated the effectiveness of multi-step intervention protocols to control TBOs. Across 96 pens (1248 undocked pigs) managed on fully-slatted floors, 40 TBOs were recorded (≥3 out of 12–14 pigs with fresh tail wounds). When an outbreak was identified, either the biters or the victims were removed, or enrichment (three ropes) was added. If the intervention failed, another intervention was randomly used until all three interventions had been deployed once. Fifty percent of TBOs were controlled after one intervention, 30% after 2–3 interventions, and 20% remained uncontrolled. A high proportion of biters/victims per pen reduced intervention success more so than the type of intervention. When only one intervention was used, adding ropes was the fastest method to overcome TBOs. Removed biters and victims were successfully reintroduced within 14 days back to their home pens. In conclusion, 80% of TBOs were successfully controlled within 18.4 ± 1.7 days on average using one or multiple cost-effective intervention strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tail Biting in Pigs―Aetiology, Risk Factors and Solutions)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Weissella Cibaria JW15 Probiotic Derived from Fermented Korean Vegetable Product Supplementation in Diet on Performance Characteristics in Adult Beagle Dog
Animals 2019, 9(8), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080581 - 20 Aug 2019
Viewed by 363
Abstract
This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of Weissella cibaria JW15 (WJW15) isolated from traditional Korean fermented vegetable product (kimchi) as a probiotic feed additive on nutrient digestibility, blood profiles, feces noxious gas emission, and feces Escherichia coli and [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of Weissella cibaria JW15 (WJW15) isolated from traditional Korean fermented vegetable product (kimchi) as a probiotic feed additive on nutrient digestibility, blood profiles, feces noxious gas emission, and feces Escherichia coli and Lactobacillus counts in adult Beagle dogs. In total, 15 Beagle dogs with an average initial body weight of 10.20 ± 0.38 kg were randomly assigned into three dietary treatments in a 14-day feeding trial. Dietary treatments consisted of basal diet (CON); MJW = CON + 50 g of WJW15 (3.0 × 108 cfu/g); and BJW = CON + 50 g WJW15 (3.0 × 109 cfu/g). At the end of the experiment, the serum concentration of triglycerides and feces ammonia emissions were decreased (P < 0.05) with the increasing level of WJW15 supplementation. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol in serum and feces lactic acid bacteria count was improved (P < 0.05) with increasing levels of WJW15. In conclusion, WJW15 isolated from kimchi supplementation in adult Beagle dog diet may have beneficial effects as a probiotic feed additive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Agricultural By-Products in Animal Feeding)
Open AccessArticle
Validation of an Ultra-Wideband Tracking System for Recording Individual Levels of Activity in Broilers
Animals 2019, 9(8), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080580 - 20 Aug 2019
Viewed by 479
Abstract
Individual data on activity of broilers is valuable, as activity may serve as a proxy for multiple health, welfare and performance indicators. However, broilers are often kept in large groups, which makes it difficult to identify and monitor them individually. Sensor technologies might [...] Read more.
Individual data on activity of broilers is valuable, as activity may serve as a proxy for multiple health, welfare and performance indicators. However, broilers are often kept in large groups, which makes it difficult to identify and monitor them individually. Sensor technologies might offer solutions. Here, an ultra-wideband (UWB) tracking system was implemented with the goal of validating this system for individual tracking of activity of group-housed broilers. The implemented approaches were (1) a comparison of distances moved as recorded by the UWB system and on video and (2) a study recording individual levels of activity of broilers and assessing group-level trends in activity over time; that could be compared to activity trends from literature. There was a moderately strong positive correlation between the UWB system and video tracking. Using the UWB system, we detected reductions in activity over time and we found that lightweight birds were on average more active than heavier birds. Both findings match with reports in literature. Overall, the UWB system appears well-suited for activity monitoring in broilers, when the settings are kept the same for all individuals. The longitudinal information on differences in activity can potentially be used as proxy for health, welfare and performance; but further research into individual patterns in activity is required. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The First Identification and Antibiogram of Clostridium perfringens Type C Isolated from Soil and The Feces of Dead Foals in South Korea
Animals 2019, 9(8), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080579 - 20 Aug 2019
Viewed by 312
Abstract
Clostridium (C.) perfringens was isolated from 25 (11.1%) of 225 sampled horses and from 16 (35.56%) of 45 farms. All of the samples were negative for cpe, etx, itx, NetF genes and cpa gene were detected in 100% (25 of 25) of [...] Read more.
Clostridium (C.) perfringens was isolated from 25 (11.1%) of 225 sampled horses and from 16 (35.56%) of 45 farms. All of the samples were negative for cpe, etx, itx, NetF genes and cpa gene were detected in 100% (25 of 25) of the samples that were positive for C. perfringens. cpb and cpb2 were detected in 40.0% (10 of 25) and 60.0% (15 of 25) of the samples that were positive for C. perfringens, respectively. Of the 25 C. perfringens isolates, 15 (60%) were type A and 10 (40%) were type C. Type C was observed on all the farms where the foals’ deaths occurred. None of the isolates were positive for type B, type D, or type E. The MIC Evaluator strips antimicrobial susceptibility test showed meropenem (96%), ampicillin (92%), amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (84%), and tetracycline (8%) sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Supplementation of Dried Grape Pomace Increases the Amount of Linoleic Acid in Beef, Reduces the Lipid Oxidation and Modifies the Volatile Profile
Animals 2019, 9(8), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080578 - 19 Aug 2019
Viewed by 414
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation with dried grape pomace on beef quality. Ten Friesian calves were divided into two groups, a control group that received a standard diet, and an experimental group that was administered [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation with dried grape pomace on beef quality. Ten Friesian calves were divided into two groups, a control group that received a standard diet, and an experimental group that was administered the dietary supplementation. At the end of the 75 days of the trial, animals were slaughtered, and meat samples analyzed for physical and chemical properties, fatty acids composition, lipid oxidation, volatile compounds, and biogenic amines. The fatty acid profile resulted affected by dietary supplementation, since an increase in concentration of linoleic acid was observed. Furthermore, a reduction of lipid oxidation was found in the same samples. With reference to volatile compounds a reduction of hexanal and an increase of 2-3 octanedione was evidenced, while no effects were induced by diets on the synthesis of biogenic amines. The grape pomace exploitation as a dietary supplement in bovine diet did not have negative effects on the quality of beef and showed the potential to extend shelf life due to marked improvement in oxidative stability. Overall, the present study showed a viable way for the recovery and the valorization of the main by-product of the oenological industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Agricultural By-Products in Animal Feeding)
Open AccessReview
Clinical Practice Guidelines: An Opinion of the Legal Implication to Veterinary Medicine
Animals 2019, 9(8), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080577 - 19 Aug 2019
Viewed by 317
Abstract
The strengthening of the bond between humans and animals has changed the landscape of the veterinary profession. This has, in turn, led the legal system to assess damages in veterinary malpractice and liability cases more carefully, paying attention to the possibility of using [...] Read more.
The strengthening of the bond between humans and animals has changed the landscape of the veterinary profession. This has, in turn, led the legal system to assess damages in veterinary malpractice and liability cases more carefully, paying attention to the possibility of using clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) to prove whether the defendant veterinarian contravened or not the standard of care. In this era of evidence-based veterinary medicine, CPGs are becoming an integral part of many aspects of veterinary practice, even if CPGs do not have the force of law and are situated halfway between ethical rules and legal requirements. Although guidelines have been used for several years, there seems to be a general lack of recognition of the medical and legal ramifications of CPGs for veterinarians. This creates ambiguity and inconsistency in the care that veterinary practitioners provide, compromises the care animals receive, and prevents the courts from assessing veterinarian competence in a systematic and rational way. On the basis of these considerations, this article discusses the legal implications of CPGs in veterinary medicine for dogs and cats and explores how the law may treat CPGs in the future. Redefining the CPGs should be a priority for veterinary profession. NOTE: The authors chose to use the terms “companion animal,” “pet,” and “small animal” interchangeably throughout this article, as all three are commonly in use and refer to the same animals (dogs and cats). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Veterinary Ethics)
Open AccessComment
Addressing Lameness in Farmed Animals: An Urgent Need to Achieve Compliance with EU Animal Welfare Law
Animals 2019, 9(8), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080576 - 19 Aug 2019
Viewed by 501
Abstract
Lameness is the clinical manifestation of a range of painful locomotory conditions affecting many species of farmed animals. Although these conditions have serious consequences for animal welfare, productivity, and longevity, the prevention and treatment of lameness continue to receive insufficient attention in most [...] Read more.
Lameness is the clinical manifestation of a range of painful locomotory conditions affecting many species of farmed animals. Although these conditions have serious consequences for animal welfare, productivity, and longevity, the prevention and treatment of lameness continue to receive insufficient attention in most farming sectors across the European Union (EU). In this paper, we outline the legislative framework that regulates the handling of lameness and other painful conditions in farmed animals in the EU. We briefly outline the current situation in different livestock farming sectors. Finally, we make the case for the introduction of regular on-farm monitoring of lameness and for the setting of alarm thresholds that should trigger corrective actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lameness in Livestock)
Open AccessArticle
Extracellular Vesicles in the Blood of Dogs with Cancer—A Preliminary Study
Animals 2019, 9(8), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080575 - 19 Aug 2019
Viewed by 333
Abstract
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a heterogeneous population of submicron-sized structures released during the activation, proliferation, or apoptosis of various types of cells. Due to their size, their role in cell-to-cell communication in cancer is currently being discussed. In blood, the most abundant population [...] Read more.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a heterogeneous population of submicron-sized structures released during the activation, proliferation, or apoptosis of various types of cells. Due to their size, their role in cell-to-cell communication in cancer is currently being discussed. In blood, the most abundant population of EVs is platelet-derived EVs (PEVs). The aim of this study was to estimate the absolute number and the origin of EVs in the blood of healthy dogs and of dogs with various types of cancer. The EV absolute number and cellular origin were examined by flow cytometry technique. EVs were classified on the basis of surface annexin V expression (phosphatidylserine PS+) and co-expression of specific cellular markers (CD61, CD45, CD3, CD21). The number of PEVs was significantly higher in dogs with cancer (median: 409/µL, range: 42–2748/µL vs. median: 170/µL, range: 101–449/µL in controls). The numbers of EVs derived from leukocytes (control median: 86/µL, range: 40–240/µL; cancer median: 443/µL, range: 44–3 352/µL) and T cells (control median: 5/µL, range: 2–66/µL; cancer median: 108/µL, range: 3–1735/µL) were higher in dogs with neoplasia compared to healthy controls. The estimation of PEV and leukocyte-derived EV counts may provide a useful biological marker in dogs with cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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Open AccessArticle
The Blood and Muscle Expression Pattern of the Equine TCAP Gene during the Race Track Training of Arabian Horses
Animals 2019, 9(8), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080574 - 18 Aug 2019
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Horse musculature has been shaped through evolution by environmental and human factors, which has resulted in several extraordinary adaptations to physical effort. Skeletal muscle plasticity results from the response to mechanical stimulation causing hypertrophy, where sarcomeres increase the muscle’s cross-sectional area under the [...] Read more.
Horse musculature has been shaped through evolution by environmental and human factors, which has resulted in several extraordinary adaptations to physical effort. Skeletal muscle plasticity results from the response to mechanical stimulation causing hypertrophy, where sarcomeres increase the muscle’s cross-sectional area under the influence of contractile forces. The aim of the present study was the evaluation of transcript abundance of the telethonin (TCAP) gene, which is a part of the sarcomere macromolecular mechanosensory complex in the gluteus medius muscle, and the whole blood of Arabian horses during flat race training. The analysis, performed by quantitative PCR, showed an increase of TCAP transcripts in skeletal muscle. However, in whole blood, the transcript abundance decreased after the first stage of training and further increased after the second phase. The obtained results indicate a lack of similarity of TCAP gene expression in both tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessReview
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Poultry Nutrition: Effect on Production Performance and Health
Animals 2019, 9(8), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080573 - 18 Aug 2019
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Omega-3 (ω-3) and omega-6 (ω-6) fatty acids are important components of cell membranes. They are essential for health and normal physiological functioning of humans. Not all fatty acids can be produced endogenously owing to the absence of certain desaturases; however, they are required [...] Read more.
Omega-3 (ω-3) and omega-6 (ω-6) fatty acids are important components of cell membranes. They are essential for health and normal physiological functioning of humans. Not all fatty acids can be produced endogenously owing to the absence of certain desaturases; however, they are required in a ratio that is not naturally achieved by the standard diet of industrialized nations. Poultry products have become the primary source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), with one of the most effective solutions being to increase the accretion of PUFAs in chicken products via the adjustment of fatty acids in poultry diets. Several studies have reported the favorable effects of ω-3 PUFA on bone strength, bone mineral content and density, and semen quality. However, other studies concluded negative effects of LC-PUFA on meat quality and palatability, and acceptability by consumers. The present review discussed the practical application of ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids in poultry diets, and studied the critical effects of these fatty acids on productive performance, blood biochemistry, immunity, carcass traits, bone traits, egg and meat quality, and semen quality in poultry. Future studies are required to determine how poultry products can be produced with higher contents of PUFAs and favorable fatty acid composition, at low cost and without negative effects on palatability and quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome Reduced Heart Rate Variability and Increased Irregularity and Complexity of Short-Term RR Time Series in Rabbits
Animals 2019, 9(8), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080572 - 18 Aug 2019
Viewed by 501
Abstract
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been linked to a higher prevalence of sudden cardiac death (SCD), but the mechanisms are not well understood. One possible underlying mechanism may be an abnormal modulation of autonomic activity, which can be quantified by analyzing heart rate variability [...] Read more.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been linked to a higher prevalence of sudden cardiac death (SCD), but the mechanisms are not well understood. One possible underlying mechanism may be an abnormal modulation of autonomic activity, which can be quantified by analyzing heart rate variability (HRV). Our aim was to investigate the modifications of short-term HRV in an experimental rabbit model during the time-course of MetS development. NZW rabbits were randomly assigned to a control (n = 10) or a MetS group (n = 13), fed 28 weeks with control or high-fat, high-sucrose diets. After anesthesia, a 15-min ECG recording was acquired before diet administration and at weeks 14 and 28. We analyzed short RR time series using time-domain, frequency-domain and nonlinear analyses. A mixed-model factorial ANOVA was used for statistical analysis. Time-domain analysis showed a 52.4% decrease in the standard deviation of heart rate in animals from the MetS group at week 28, but no changes in the rest of parameters. In the frequency domain, we found a 9.7% decrease in the very low frequency and a 380.0% increase of the low frequency bands in MetS animals at week 28, whereas high frequency remained unchanged. Nonlinear analyses showed increased complexity and irregularity of the RR time series in MetS animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disease and Immunology of Rabbits)
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Open AccessArticle
Sowing Date and Seeding Rate Affect Bioactive Compound Contents of Chickpea Grains
Animals 2019, 9(8), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080571 - 17 Aug 2019
Viewed by 385
Abstract
Chickpea grains may represent an alternative to soybean meals and energetic concentrates in animal feeding, as their nutritional value can help to increase the sustainability of livestock systems. Unfortunately, the presence of bioactive compounds with anti-nutritional effects can prevent its direct use, especially [...] Read more.
Chickpea grains may represent an alternative to soybean meals and energetic concentrates in animal feeding, as their nutritional value can help to increase the sustainability of livestock systems. Unfortunately, the presence of bioactive compounds with anti-nutritional effects can prevent its direct use, especially in mono-gastrics. It is known that the synthesis of these compounds depends on genetic expression, which is also influenced by growth conditions. The objective of this two-year study was to assess the effect of sowing date (winter versus spring) and seeding rate (70 versus 110 seeds m−2) on the accumulation of soluble carbohydrates, α-galactosides, trypsin inhibitors, and inositol phosphates in the grains of two Kabuli cultivars, in the Mediterranean climate. The results showed that seeds collected from winter sowing contained more trypsin inhibitors than those seeded in spring (+ 4%, on average), reaching values between 16.1 and 18.6 TIU mg protein−1. The seeding rate affects only the α-galactosides content, which increases (+9%) at lower densities (70 seeds m−2). These findings suggest that agronomic management can be used to modulate the content of some anti-nutritional factors in the seeds, even though the genetic characteristics and phenotypic expression, in relation to the climatic conditions, seem to deeply affect the content of all the bioactive compounds investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Open AccessReview
Killing Traps and Snares in North America: The Need for Stricter Checking Time Periods
Animals 2019, 9(8), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080570 - 17 Aug 2019
Viewed by 762
Abstract
In this review, we make the point that current checking times for killing traps and snares are inadequate or nonexistent in most North American jurisdictions. We use Conibear 120 rotating-jaw traps and killing neck snares as examples of trapping devices that may fail [...] Read more.
In this review, we make the point that current checking times for killing traps and snares are inadequate or nonexistent in most North American jurisdictions. We use Conibear 120 rotating-jaw traps and killing neck snares as examples of trapping devices that may fail to consistently and humanely kill furbearers. Because these killing devices are not powerful enough for the target species, the trigger systems do not properly position the animals in traps, or trappers are inexperienced and improperly set traps or snares, these killing devices become restraining devices, and animals suffer long and painful deaths. Because trappers use a variety of trigger configurations and trap sets, all killing devices, even those certified by trapper organizations or governments, should be monitored at least once every 24 h on traplines, but preferably every 12 h, because one cannot know a priori whether traps will strike animals in appropriate locations for a quick kill. However, when using trapping devices such as killing neck snares that are legal and allowed by government agencies despite being inhumane, trappers should check them every 12 h. When traplines are situated near urban areas, e.g., within 10 km, checks should be done every 12 h to release pets and non-target animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Welfare of Wild Vertebrates)
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Open AccessArticle
Intra- and Inter-Observer Reliability of Qualitative Behaviour Assessments of Housed Sheep in Norway
Animals 2019, 9(8), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080569 - 17 Aug 2019
Viewed by 394
Abstract
This study tested the reliability of a Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA) protocol developed for the Norwegian Sheep House (FåreBygg) project. The aim was to verify whether QBA scores were consistent between different observers, i.e., inter-observer reliability, and between scorings of the [...] Read more.
This study tested the reliability of a Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA) protocol developed for the Norwegian Sheep House (FåreBygg) project. The aim was to verify whether QBA scores were consistent between different observers, i.e., inter-observer reliability, and between scorings of the same observers on different time points, i.e., intra-observer reliability. Six trained observers, including two veterinary students, two animal welfare inspectors and two sheep farmers observed sheep in 16 videos, and independently scored 14 pre-defined behavioural descriptors on visual analogue scales (VAS). The procedure was repeated one week after the first scoring session. QBA scores were analysed using Principal Component Analysis. Inter- and intra-observer agreement was assessed using Kendall’s coefficient of concordance (W). Principal component 1 (PC 1) and 2 (PC 2) combined explained >60% of the total variation in the QBA scores in both scoring sessions. PC 1 (44.5% in sessions 1 and 2) ranged from the positive descriptors calm, content, relaxed and friendly to the negative descriptors uneasy, vigilant and fearful, and was therefore labelled mood. PC 2 (18% in session 1, 16.6% in session 2) ranged from bright to dejected and apathetic, and was therefore labelled arousal. Kendall’s coefficient of concordance of PC 1 for all observers was high in the two scoring sessions (W = 0.87 and 0.85, respectively), indicating good inter-observer reliability. For PC 2, the agreement for all observers was moderate in both video sessions (W = 0.45 and 0.65). The intra-observer agreement was very high for all observers for PC 1 (W > 0.9) except for one, where the agreement was considered to be high (W = 0.89). For PC 2, Kendall’s coefficient was very high for the veterinary students and interpreted as moderate for the two farmers and welfare inspectors. This study indicates that the QBA approach and the terms included in the Fårebygg protocol were reliable for assessing video recordings of sheep behaviour when applied by trained observers, regardless of whether they were a veterinary student, animal welfare inspector or sheep farmer. Further work is needed to examine the reliability of the QBA protocol when tested on-farms for sheep managed under Norwegian housing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Positive Aspects of Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Feeding Cows with Unsaturated Fatty Acid Sources on Milk Production, Milk Composition, Milk Fatty Acid Profile, and Physicochemical and Sensory Characteristics of Ice Cream
Animals 2019, 9(8), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080568 - 17 Aug 2019
Viewed by 484
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of supplementation of dairy cows with different fatty acid sources (soybean oil (SO) and fish oil (FO)) on milk production, milk composition, milk fatty acid profile, and physicochemical and sensory characteristics of ice [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of supplementation of dairy cows with different fatty acid sources (soybean oil (SO) and fish oil (FO)) on milk production, milk composition, milk fatty acid profile, and physicochemical and sensory characteristics of ice cream. During 63 days, fifteen Holstein cows averaging 198 ± 35 days in milk were assigned to three groups: control diet with no added lipid (n = 5 cows); and supplemented diets with SO (n = 5 cows; unrefined SO; 30 g/kg DM) or FO (n = 5 cows; FO from unrefined salmon oil; 30 g/kg DM). Milk production, milk fat, and milk protein were not affected by treatments. Saturated fatty acids in milk fat were decreased with SO and FO compared with control. C18:2 cis-9, cis-12 was increased with SO whereas C18:2 cis-9, trans-11, C20:3n-3, C20:3n-6, C20:5n-3, and C22:6n-3 were the highest with FO. Draw temperature and firmness were higher in SO compared to control and FO ice creams. Melting resistance was higher in FO compared with control and SO ice creams. Supplementation of cow diets with SO and FO did not have detrimental effects on milk production, or ice cream physicochemical and sensory characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Lactational Responses of Heat-Stressed Dairy Goats to Dietary L-Carnitine Supplementation
Animals 2019, 9(8), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080567 - 16 Aug 2019
Viewed by 454
Abstract
Heat stress causes significant losses in milk production, and nutritional strategies are needed to alleviate its effects. Endogenous carnitine synthesis is also reduced by heat stress (HS). Carnitine plays a central role in fatty acid oxidation and buffers the toxic effects of acyl [...] Read more.
Heat stress causes significant losses in milk production, and nutritional strategies are needed to alleviate its effects. Endogenous carnitine synthesis is also reduced by heat stress (HS). Carnitine plays a central role in fatty acid oxidation and buffers the toxic effects of acyl groups. We hypothesized that carnitine supplementation would make up for any carnitine deficiencies during HS and improve lipid metabolism. The objective was to evaluate rumen-protected L-carnitine (CAR) supplementation in dairy goats under thermo-neutral (TN) or HS conditions. Four Murciano-Granadina dairy goats were used in a four × four Latin square design. Goats were allocated to one of four treatments in a two × two factorial arrangement. Factors were 1) diet: control (CON) or supplementation with CAR (1 g/d); and 2) ambient conditions: TN (15 to 20 °C) or HS (0900 to 2100 h at 35 °C, 2100 to 0900 h at 28 °C). Blood free-, acetyl-, and total-carnitine concentrations increased almost three times by supplementation. Despite this efficient absorption, CAR had no effect on feed intake, milk production or blood metabolites in TN or HS conditions. Heat stress increased rectal temperature and respiratory rate. Additionally, HS goats experienced 26% loss in feed intake, but they tended to eat longer particle sizes. Compared to TN, heat-stressed goats lost more subcutaneous fat (difference in fat thickness measured before and after each period = −0.72 vs. +0.64 mm). In conclusion, supplemented L-carnitine was efficiently absorbed, but it had no lactational effects on performance of goats under thermo-neutral or heat stress conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
A Meta-Analysis on the Impact of the Supplementation of Rumen-Protected Choline on the Metabolic Health and Performance of Dairy Cattle
Animals 2019, 9(8), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080566 - 16 Aug 2019
Viewed by 473
Abstract
After parturition, cows undergo negative energy balance leading to fat mobilization, predisposing them to fatty liver syndrome and ketosis with major consequences for health and reproduction. Supplementation of rumen-protected choline (RPC) has attracted major research efforts during the last decade, assuming that choline [...] Read more.
After parturition, cows undergo negative energy balance leading to fat mobilization, predisposing them to fatty liver syndrome and ketosis with major consequences for health and reproduction. Supplementation of rumen-protected choline (RPC) has attracted major research efforts during the last decade, assuming that choline improves liver function by increasing very low-density lipoprotein exportation from the liver, thereby improving metabolic profiles, milk production, and reproduction. However, the effects of RPC on production, health, and reproduction have been inconsistent. Therefore, the aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of RPC supplementation, starting from d 20 (± 12.2) ante partum to d 53 (± 31.0) postpartum, on feed intake, milk production performance and metabolic profiles of dairy cows early postpartum. Data analyses from 27 published studies showed an increase in postpartal dry matter intake (from on average 19.1 to 19.9 kg/d; p < 0.01) and milk yield (from on average 31.8 to 32.9 kg/d; p = 0.03) in cows receiving RPC. Milk fat yield and milk protein yield were also increased (p ≤ 0.05), without changing milk protein and fat contents. However, no interactive effects between cow’s milk yield level and RPC-supplementation as well as no dose-dependent effects of RPC supplementation were observed. Supplementing the diet with RPC showed no effects on blood metabolites (non-esterified fatty acids, beta-hydroxybutyrate, glucose, and cholesterol), independent of the milk yield level of the cows. An effect on liver triacylglycerol contents, incidence of ketosis, and mastitis could not be confirmed across all studies included in this meta-analysis. Also, the positive effects of RPC supplementation on reproductive performance were not consistent findings. In conclusion, supplementing RPC in lactating dairy cows showed positive effects on dry matter intake which likely caused the improved milk yield. However, RPC supplementation did not improve the metabolic health status of the cows. As several factors might be related to the responses to RPC, further research is needed to explore the precise mechanisms of RPC action in lactating cows, especially with regards to feed intake improvement and its related metabolic health-promoting potential in early lactating dairy cows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Open AccessCommunication
Effect of Varying Inclusion Levels of Fossil Shell Flour on Growth Performance, Water Intake, Digestibility and N Retention in Dohne-Merino Wethers
Animals 2019, 9(8), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080565 - 16 Aug 2019
Viewed by 354
Abstract
This study was carried out to determine the effect of varying levels of Fossil shell flour (FSF) supplementation on growth performance, water intake, digestibility and N retention in Dohne Merino sheep pursuant to establishing the optimum inclusion rate of this supplement in Dohne [...] Read more.
This study was carried out to determine the effect of varying levels of Fossil shell flour (FSF) supplementation on growth performance, water intake, digestibility and N retention in Dohne Merino sheep pursuant to establishing the optimum inclusion rate of this supplement in Dohne Merino diets. Sixteen Dohne-Merino wethers (18 ± 1.5 kg body weight) were used in a complete randomized design with four animals per treatment. Sheep were fed a basal diet without FSF addition (control, T1), or with the addition of FSF (2%, T2), (4%, T3) or (6%, T4) of the diet for 105 days. Treatment 3 (4% FSF) has the highest values of dry matter intake, total weight gain, N retention and for most of the apparent digestibility nutrients (CP, EE and Ash) compared to treatment T1, T2 and T4(p < 0.05). The urinary and fecal N excretion also significantly decreased in the FSF treated diets compared to the control (p < 0.05). Water intake values were highest in control and were significantly (p < 0.05) different from those in treatments 2 and 4, but not to treatment 3. It is concluded that 4% inclusion rate of FSF will give the best improvement on growth performance, diet digestibility and N retention of Dohne-Merino sheep. Also, the addition of FSF in the diets of sheep is a safe natural additive that can help to reduce environmental pollution by reducing fecal and urinary N excretion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Robust Canine Welfare Assessment Protocol for Use in Dog (Canis Familiaris) Catch-Neuter-Return (CNR) Programmes
Animals 2019, 9(8), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080564 - 16 Aug 2019
Viewed by 470
Abstract
The aim of this study was to develop a welfare assessment tool based on objective, reliable and relevant measures to be applied to individual dogs as they underwent a Catch-Neuter-Return (CNR) programme. A modified Delphi method and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to develop a welfare assessment tool based on objective, reliable and relevant measures to be applied to individual dogs as they underwent a Catch-Neuter-Return (CNR) programme. A modified Delphi method and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) approach was used to develop the composite canine welfare assessment protocol, comprising both animal-based and resource-based measures. This draft welfare assessment protocol was then trialed and refined in existing CNR programmes to identify key control points where individual dog welfare may be moderately or significantly compromised in the CNR process. The results show that animal-based welfare indicators, e.g., pain behaviours, which provide a more direct indication of an animal’s welfare state, require training and skill to recognise, whilst resource-based indicators are simple to measure but act only as indirect measures of welfare. We concluded that whilst CNR projects can potentially improve the health and welfare of free-roaming dogs in the long-term, the risk of short-term welfare harms during the CNR process is high. Thus, it is essential for staff involved in dog population management programmes to assess the welfare state of dogs in CNR and take remedial action to safeguard individual dog welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Welfare Assessment Protocol)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison Between Non-Invasive Methane Measurement Techniques in Cattle
Animals 2019, 9(8), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080563 - 15 Aug 2019
Viewed by 494
Abstract
The aim of this trial was to study the agreement between the non-dispersive infrared methane analyzer (NDIR) method and the hand held laser methane detector (LMD). Methane (CH4) was measured simultaneously with the two devices totaling 164 paired measurements. The repeatability [...] Read more.
The aim of this trial was to study the agreement between the non-dispersive infrared methane analyzer (NDIR) method and the hand held laser methane detector (LMD). Methane (CH4) was measured simultaneously with the two devices totaling 164 paired measurements. The repeatability of the CH4 concentration was greater with the NDIR (0.42) than for the LMD (0.23). However, for the number of peaks, repeatability of the LMD was greater (0.20 vs. 0.14, respectively). Correlation was moderately high and positive for CH4 concentration (0.73 and 0.74, respectively) and number of peaks (0.72 and 0.72, respectively), and the repeated measures correlation and the individual-level correlation were high (0.98 and 0.94, respectively). A moderate concordance correlation coefficient was observed for the CH4 concentration (0.62) and for the number of peaks (0.66). A moderate-high coefficient of individual agreement for the CH4 concentration (0.83) and the number of peaks (0.77) were observed. However, CH4 concentrations population means and all variance components differed between instruments. In conclusion, methane concentration measurements obtained by means of NDIR and LMD cannot be used interchangeably. The joint use of both methods could be considered for genetic selection purposes or for mitigation strategies only if sources of disagreement, which result in different between-subject and within-subject variabilities, are identified and corrected for. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Eye Blink Rates and Eyelid Twitches as a Non-Invasive Measure of Stress in the Domestic Horse
Animals 2019, 9(8), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080562 - 15 Aug 2019
Viewed by 1101
Abstract
Physiological changes provide indices of stress responses, however, behavioural measures may be easier to determine. Spontaneous eye blink rate has potential as a non-invasive indicator of stress. Eyelid movements, along with heart rate (HR) and behaviour, from 33 horses were evaluated over four [...] Read more.
Physiological changes provide indices of stress responses, however, behavioural measures may be easier to determine. Spontaneous eye blink rate has potential as a non-invasive indicator of stress. Eyelid movements, along with heart rate (HR) and behaviour, from 33 horses were evaluated over four treatments: (1) control—horse in its normal paddock environment; (2) feed restriction—feed was withheld at regular feeding time; (3) separation—horse was removed from visual contact with their paddock mates; and (4) startle test—a ball was suddenly thrown on the ground in front of the horse. HR data was collected every five s throughout each three min test. Eyelid movements and behaviours were retrospectively determined from video recordings. A generalized linear mixed model (GLIMMIX) procedure with Sidak’s multiple comparisons of least squares means demonstrated that both full blinks (16 ± 12b vs. 15 ± 15b vs. 13 ± 11b vs. 26 ± 20a full blinks/3 min ± SEM; a,b differ p < 0.006) and half blinks (34 ± 15ab vs. 27 ± 14bc vs. 25 ± 13c vs. 42 ± 22a half blinks/3 min ± SEM; a,b,c differ p < 0.0001) decreased during feed restriction, separation and the startle test compared to the control, respectively. Eyelid twitches occurred more frequently in feed restriction (p < 0.0001) along with an increased HR (p < 0.0001). This study demonstrates that spontaneous blink rate decreases while eyelid twitches increase when the horse experiences a stressful situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horse Feeding and Management)
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Open AccessReview
The Usefulness of Retinoic Acid Supplementation during In Vitro Oocyte Maturation for the In Vitro Embryo Production of Livestock: A Review
Animals 2019, 9(8), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080561 - 15 Aug 2019
Viewed by 574
Abstract
Retinoic acid (RA) is an indigenous metabolite and descriptive physiologically functioning constituent of vitamin A. Retinoids were documented as vital regulators for cell development and distinction, embryonic growth, and reproductive function in both male and female livestock. Previously, RA has been shown to [...] Read more.
Retinoic acid (RA) is an indigenous metabolite and descriptive physiologically functioning constituent of vitamin A. Retinoids were documented as vital regulators for cell development and distinction, embryonic growth, and reproductive function in both male and female livestock. Previously, RA has been shown to have several positive impacts in vivo and in vitro and critically control many reproductive events, such as oocyte development, follicular growth, and early embryonic growth. In addition, RA manages apoptotic signaling and oxidative damages in cells. Recently, RA has been used widely in assisted reproductive technology fields, especially during in vitro embryo development in various mammalian species, including buffaloes, bovine, goats, sheep, pigs, and rabbits. However, the optimum concentration of RA greatly differs based on the condition of maturation media and species. Based on the obtained findings, it was generally accepted that RA enhances nuclear oocyte maturation, cleavage and maturation rates, blastocyst formation, and embryo development. As such, it possesses antioxidant properties against reactive oxygen species (ROS) and an anti-apoptotic effect through enhancing the transcription of some related genes such as superoxide dismutase, prostaglandin synthase, glutathione peroxidase, peroxiredoxins, and heme oxygenase. Therefore, the current review concludes that an addition of RA (up to 50 nM) has the potential to improve the oocyte maturation media of various species of livestock due to its antioxidant activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Variations in Fecal Bacterial Community and Fermentation Profile of Holstein Steers in Response to Three Stepwise Density Diets
Animals 2019, 9(8), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080560 - 15 Aug 2019
Viewed by 372
Abstract
The objective of this study was to track the dynamic variations in fecal bacterial composition and fermentation profile of finishing steers in response to three stepwise diets varied in energy and protein density. A total of 18 Holstein steers were divided into three [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to track the dynamic variations in fecal bacterial composition and fermentation profile of finishing steers in response to three stepwise diets varied in energy and protein density. A total of 18 Holstein steers were divided into three groups in such a way that each group contained six animals and received one of three stepwise dietary treatments. Dietary treatments were C = standard energy and protein diet, H = high energy and protein diet, and L = low energy and protein diet. Animals were fattened for 11 months with a three-phase fattening strategy. Fecal samples were collected to evaluate the dynamics of fecal fermentation and bacterial composition in response to dietary treatments and fattening phases using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Fecal acetate, propionate, and butyrate increased with increasing density of diet and as the fattening phase continued. The relative abundances of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes dominated and showed 56.19% and 33.58%, respectively. Higher dietary density decreased the fecal bacterial diversity, Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio, and the relative abundances of Ruminococcaceae_UCG-005, Rikenellaceae_RC9_gut_group, and Bacteroides, whereas higher dietary density increased the abundance of Prevotella_9. Our results indicated that both fecal fermentation profile and bacterial composition share a time-dependent variation in response to different dietary densities. This knowledge highlights that both diet and fattening phase impact fecal fermentation profile and bacterial composition, and may provide insight into strategies to reduce fecal contamination from the origin by optimizing diet and fattening time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feeding Cattle for Health Improvement)
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Open AccessArticle
Uptake of Manganese from the Manganese-Lysine Complex in Primary Chicken Intestinal Epithelial Cells
Animals 2019, 9(8), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080559 - 15 Aug 2019
Viewed by 353
Abstract
Organic manganese (Mn) sources can replace inorganic Mn as dietary Mn supplements in poultry. To compare the uptake of Mn from the Mn-lysine complex (MnLys) and MnSO4, we first established the primary chicken intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) model and used it [...] Read more.
Organic manganese (Mn) sources can replace inorganic Mn as dietary Mn supplements in poultry. To compare the uptake of Mn from the Mn-lysine complex (MnLys) and MnSO4, we first established the primary chicken intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) model and used it to determine Mn uptake. The MnLys increased the uptake of Mn compared to MnSO4. The uptake of Mn decreased in the IECs with Fe addition in the medium regardless of the Mn sources. The MnLys decreased the Mn2+ efflux transporter ferroportin 1 (FPN1) mRNA level but did not influence the Mn2+ influx transporter divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) mRNA expression when compared to MnSO4. The results above indicated that the increase of Mn accumulation for MnLys at least partly was due to the decrease of Mn efflux by reduced FPN1 expression. The addition of N-ethylmaleimide, an L-lysine transport system y+ inhibitor, decreased the uptake of Mn from MnLys but did not affect the uptake of Mn from MnSO4. The cycloheximide, as an L-lysine transport system b0,+ activator, increased the uptake of Mn from MnLys, whereas they did not influence the uptake of Mn from MnSO4. The MnLys increased the system y+ members cationic amino acid transporter (CAT) 1 and CAT2, and system b0,+ components rBAT and b0,+AT mRNA expression when compared to MnSO4. These results suggested that the uptake of MnLys complex might be transported by CAT1/2 and system b0,+, which was different from the ionized Mn2+ uptake pathway. In conclusion, the uptake of Mn from MnLys complex not only might be uptake through the ionized Mn2+ pathway, but also appeared to be transported through the CAT1/2 and system b0,+ in primary chicken IECs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enrichment with Lucerne Hay Improves Sow Maternal Behaviour and Improves Piglet Survival
Animals 2019, 9(8), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080558 - 15 Aug 2019
Viewed by 394
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of providing lucerne hay on the behaviour and the performance of sows housed in farrowing crates during farrowing and lactation. Seventy-two mixed parity sows received either 1 kg lucerne hay daily from entry into the farrowing crate (−2 [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of providing lucerne hay on the behaviour and the performance of sows housed in farrowing crates during farrowing and lactation. Seventy-two mixed parity sows received either 1 kg lucerne hay daily from entry into the farrowing crate (−2 d from expected farrowing date) until weaning at 17 d (lucerne group, n = 36), or received no additional enrichment (control group, n = 36). In the 18 h prior to farrowing, the sows in the lucerne treatment spent more time performing nest-building behaviour (14.8% lucerne vs 11.1% control, p = 0.0009) and less time sham-chewing (1.0% lucerne vs 1.9% control, p = 0.01) than control sows, and gave birth to fewer stillborn piglets/litter (0.1 lucerne vs 0.4 control, p = 0.027). After farrowing (Day 3), the control sows spent less time lying than the lucerne sows (26% control vs 43% lucerne, p < 0.05). The control sows also spent less time interacting with their piglets during early lactation compared to late lactation (25.5% Day 5 vs 47.3% Day 12, p < 0.05), suggesting reduced maternal behaviour in this group. The lucerne sows continued to interact with the lucerne throughout lactation, indicating that they still found the enrichment rewarding after the nesting period had ceased. Based on these results, lucerne enrichment was considered to improve sow welfare during farrowing and lactation and reduce the number of stillborn piglets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Peri-Parturient and Lactating Sows and Piglets)
Open AccessArticle
Comparative Transcriptomics Identify Key Hypothalamic Circular RNAs that Participate in Sheep (Ovis aries) Reproduction
Animals 2019, 9(8), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080557 - 14 Aug 2019
Viewed by 485
Abstract
Circular RNA (circRNA), as an emerging class of noncoding RNA, has been found to play key roles in many biological processes. However, its expression profile in the hypothalamus, a powerful organ initiating the reproductive process, has not yet been explored. Therefore, we used [...] Read more.
Circular RNA (circRNA), as an emerging class of noncoding RNA, has been found to play key roles in many biological processes. However, its expression profile in the hypothalamus, a powerful organ initiating the reproductive process, has not yet been explored. Therefore, we used RNA sequencing to explore the expression of circRNAs in the hypothalamus of sheep with the FecB ++ genotype. We totally identified 41,863 circRNAs from sheep hypothalamus, in which 333 (162 were upregulated, while 171 were downregulated) were differentially expressed in polytocous sheep in the follicular phase versus monotocous sheep in the follicular phase (PF vs. MF), moreover, 340 circRNAs (163 were upregulated, while 177 were downregulated) were differentially expressed in polytocous sheep in the luteal phase versus monotocous sheep in the luteal sheep (PL vs. ML). We also identified several key circRNAs including oar_circ_0018794, oar_circ_0008291, oar_circ_0015119, oar_circ_0012801, oar_circ_0010234, and oar_circ_0013788 through functional enrichment analysis and oar_circ_0012110 through a competing endogenous RNA network, most of which may participate in reproduction by influencing gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) activities or affecting key gene expression, indirectly or directly. Our study explored the overall expression profile of circRNAs in sheep hypothalamus, which potentially provides an alternative insight into the mechanism of sheep prolificacy without the effects of FecB mutation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminant)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Fermentation and Chemical Characteristics of Mediterranean By-Products for Swine Nutrition
Animals 2019, 9(8), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080556 - 14 Aug 2019
Viewed by 429
Abstract
The purpose of the study is to determine the nutritional characteristics of some by-products derived from fruit juice and olive oil production to evaluate their use in pig nutrition. Five by-products of citrus fruit (three citrus fruit pulp and two molasses) and three [...] Read more.
The purpose of the study is to determine the nutritional characteristics of some by-products derived from fruit juice and olive oil production to evaluate their use in pig nutrition. Five by-products of citrus fruit (three citrus fruit pulp and two molasses) and three by-products of olive oil (olive cake) obtained by different varieties are analysed for chemical composition. The fermentation characteristics are evaluated in vitro using the gas production technique with swine faecal inoculum. All the citrus by-products are highly fermentable, producing gas and a high amount of short-chain fatty acids. The fermentation kinetics vary when comparing pulps and molasses. Citrus fruit pulps show lower and slower fermentation rates than molasses. The olive oil by-products, compared to citrus fruits ones, are richer in NDF and ADL. These characteristics negatively affect all the fermentation parameters. Therefore, the high concentration of fiber and lipids represents a key aspect in the nutrition of fattening pigs. The preliminary results obtained in this study confirm that the use of by-products in pig nutrition could represent a valid opportunity the reduce the livestock economic cost and environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Agricultural By-Products in Animal Feeding)
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