Special Issue "Improvement and Innovation in the Nutritional Quality and Technologies of Animal Feed"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Farm Animal Production".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Vito Laudadio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of DETO, Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production, University of Bari Aldo Moro, s.p. Casamassima Km 3, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy
Interests: animal nutrition; feed technology; animal production
Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Tufarelli
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of DETO, Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production, University of Bari Aldo Moro, s.p. Casamassima Km 3, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy
Interests: animal nutrition; poultry nutrition; feed science; feed technology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Livestock management has been changing in the last several decades, and the main change is related to the feed requirements for optimum animal performance. An increased understanding of nutrition, of the impact of the environment on animal performance, and even the differences between nutritionists, have caused feed manufacturers to revise their manufacturing procedures. Feed cost is the major issue in farm animal production, and without doubt, efforts are imperative to refine feed processing techniques to reduce feed costs and to enhance feed value for target animals.

The scope of the present Special Issue is to publish high-quality papers concerning animal feed quality and technology, and to deeply investigate the correlations between new feed strategies and farm animal production and health. Therefore, we invite you to submit, in this Special Issue, your recent findings, in the form of original research, communications or reviews, on feed science and technology regarding, but not limited to: the effect of feed technologies on animal production quality; the use of functional feed additives to improve animal health and immune status; feed science and microbiota; nutraceuticals; alternative feed by-products for livestock species; feed technology and environmental impact; and new feed technology.

Prof. Vito Laudadio
Prof. Vincenzo Tufarelli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • feed science
  • feed technology
  • animal nutrition
  • feed additives
  • feed by-products
  • animal nutrition

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

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Article
Rumen Degradability of Barley, Oats, Sorghum, Triticale, and Wheat In Situ and the Effect of Pelleting
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070647 - 09 Jul 2021
Viewed by 522
Abstract
Feeding cereal grain to cattle is common practice for optimal beef and milk production. High concentrations of starch and other soluble carbohydrates may cause acidosis. Information on the effect of processing on starch and protein degradability in the rumen are scarce. This study [...] Read more.
Feeding cereal grain to cattle is common practice for optimal beef and milk production. High concentrations of starch and other soluble carbohydrates may cause acidosis. Information on the effect of processing on starch and protein degradability in the rumen are scarce. This study was to determine the ruminal degradation patterns of common grains and the effect of steam pelleting on starch and crude protein (CP) degradability in the rumen. The ruminal degradation pattern of dry matter (DM), starch, and CP of ground and pelleted sorghum, barley, wheat, and samples along with ground oats and triticale were determined using the in situ nylon bags method. Cereals were incubated for 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 16, 32, and 60 h, and the fast and slowly degradable fraction, the effective degradation rate, and effective degradability (ED) of DM, starch, and CP were calculated. The starch ED of ground and pelleted sorghum, barley, and two wheat samples were 57.3, 93.6, 95.2, and 97.2%; and 61.5, 93.8, 93.8, and 95.6%, and their crude protein ED was 54.8, 82.3, 83.3, 82.6% and 51.9, 79.2, 81.8, and 78.1% respectively. The starch ED of ground oat and triticale were 98.3 and 94.7%, and that of CP were 93.7 and 75.2%, respectively. The degradability of sorghum was significantly lower than that of the other grains. Pelleting increased the fast-degradable DM and starch faction of sorghum and tended to improve its DM degradability (p = 0.081). Pelleting significantly reduced the fast-degradable fraction of DM and starch of wheat samples and numerically reduced its degradability. Full article
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Article
Screening of High 1,2-Propanediol Production by Lactobacillus buchneri Strains and Their Effects on Fermentation Characteristics and Aerobic Stability of Whole-Plant Corn Silage
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070590 - 25 Jun 2021
Viewed by 433
Abstract
The study was conducted to screen high 1,2-propanediol produced by Lactobacillus buchneri strains, isolated from baled silages stored for 1 or 2 years, and to evaluate their effects on fermentation quality and aerobic stability of whole-plant corn silage. In total, 31 L. buchneri [...] Read more.
The study was conducted to screen high 1,2-propanediol produced by Lactobacillus buchneri strains, isolated from baled silages stored for 1 or 2 years, and to evaluate their effects on fermentation quality and aerobic stability of whole-plant corn silage. In total, 31 L. buchneri strains were isolated from alfalfa, whole-plant corn and oat silages. Based on growth performance and 1,2-propanediol and acetic acid production, two strains, L. buchneri 9-2 and L. buchneri 10-1, from alfalfa silage, were further assessed in an ensiling trial on whole-plant corn. The corn silage inoculated with L. buchneri 9-2 or L. buchneri 10-1 had a higher concentration of 1,2-propanediol (34.7 or 34.6 g/kg dry matter (DM)) and acetic acid (47.2 or 45.9 g/kg DM) in comparison with L. buchneri 40788 (reference strain) treated silage (19.5 and 35.9 g/kg DM) after 90 d of fermentation. In addition, these two strains performed better in improving silage aerobic stability relative to control and L. buchneri 40788. The results above indicated that L. buchneri 9-2 and L. buchneri 10-1 could be candidate strains to increase 1,2-propanediol and acetic acid concentrations and improve the aerobic stability of whole-plant corn silage. Full article
Article
Freshwater Cladophora glomerata Biomass as Promising Protein and Other Essential Nutrients Source for High Quality and More Sustainable Feed Production
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070582 - 24 Jun 2021
Viewed by 427
Abstract
A scientific justification, focused on the development of the sustainability of feed ingredients and farm animals’ ecosystems, is required. Thus, it is crucial to search for alternative feed materials from natural sources for potential applications. The aim of this study was to evaluate [...] Read more.
A scientific justification, focused on the development of the sustainability of feed ingredients and farm animals’ ecosystems, is required. Thus, it is crucial to search for alternative feed materials from natural sources for potential applications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prospective utilization of freshwater Cladophora glomerata (C. glomerata) as an alternative source of protein and other essential nutrients in animals’ feed. For this purpose, chemical analysis was performed on collected biomass samples from the Lithuanian rivers, Dubysa (B1), Šventoji (B2), Nevėžis (B3), and Jūra (B4). Microelements (Ca > K > N > P > Mg), trace elements (Zn > Cu), and heavy metals (Cr > Ni > Pb > Cd) have not exceeded permissible levels. The crude protein content of C. glomerata biomass ranged from 16% to 21.5% DM. The essential amino acid profile excelled, with the highest total amino acid amount of 140.99 g/kg in B4. The highest total presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids (11.71%) as well as the ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids (0.22) was observed in B1. The lowest ratio of omega-6/omega-3 was in B1 (1.30). As a result of bioaccumulation, C. glomerata could serve as a source of proteins, as well as amino and fatty acids, implying that biomass could be an alternative and a beneficial component of animal feed. Full article
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Article
Effect of Red Orange and Lemon Extract-Enriched Diet in Suckling Lambs’ Fecal Microbiota
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070572 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 454
Abstract
Red orange and lemon extract (RLE) is an anthocyanins-rich dietary supplement that may influence gastrointestinal bacterial community in ruminants. The aim of the present study was to investigate the RLE effects on gut microbiota composition in lambs. Twenty-eight lambs were randomly divided into [...] Read more.
Red orange and lemon extract (RLE) is an anthocyanins-rich dietary supplement that may influence gastrointestinal bacterial community in ruminants. The aim of the present study was to investigate the RLE effects on gut microbiota composition in lambs. Twenty-eight lambs were randomly divided into a control group (CON; n = 14) and an anthocyanin group (ANT; n = 14) and fed the same diet; additionally, only the ANT received 90 mg/kg live weight of RLE at day. After lamb slaughter (40 ± 1 days), fecal samples were collected from the rectum and stored at −20 °C until analysis. Analysis of fecal microbiome was carried out by metabarcoding analysis of 16S rRNA. After reads denoising, sequences were aligned against SILVA rRNA sequence database using MALT, and taxonomic binning was performed with MEGAN. A significant increase in Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes and a decrease in Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria was observed in ANT compared to CON. Moreover, an interesting increase of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera and a decrease in Escherichia coli and Salmonella species were detected in ANT compared to CON. Results recommend that anthocyanin supplementation in lamb diet is able to modulate positively gut microbiota and may inhibit the growth of some potential pathogenic microorganisms. Full article
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Article
Enhanced Ruminal Fermentation Parameters and Altered Rumen Bacterial Community Composition by Formulated Rumen Buffer Agents Fed to Dairy Cows with a High-Concentrate Diet
Agriculture 2021, 11(6), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11060554 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 594
Abstract
The effects of rumen buffer agents on ruminal fermentation parameters and bacterial community composition were determined using in vitro and in vivo experiments in three rumen-cannulated, high-concentrate fed Holstein Friesian dairy cows. Experiment 1 in vitro treatments included bentonite, calcium carbonate, calcium oxide, [...] Read more.
The effects of rumen buffer agents on ruminal fermentation parameters and bacterial community composition were determined using in vitro and in vivo experiments in three rumen-cannulated, high-concentrate fed Holstein Friesian dairy cows. Experiment 1 in vitro treatments included bentonite, calcium carbonate, calcium oxide, sodium bicarbonate, sodium sesquicarbonate, and processed coral, and unbuffered samples served as the control. Experiment 2 in vitro treatments were based on the formulation of various combinations of the buffer agents used in Experiment 1. Combinations were selected for the in vivo study based on their buffering ability. Calcium oxide, sodium bicarbonate, and sodium sesquicarbonate stabilized the ruminal pH and improved in vitro rumen fermentation. The combined buffer agents had a significant effect on pH, buffering capacity, total gas, and total volatile fatty acids. Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla in both treatments and the control. Ruminococcus and Prevotella were found to be the dominant genera. Ruminococcus bromii was predominant in the treatment group. Prevotella jejuni was more abundant in the control group compared to the treatment group, in which its abundance was very low. Ruminococcus flavefaciens and Intestinimonas butyriciproducens gradually increased in abundance as cows received treatment. Overall, a high-concentrate diet administered to cows induced adverse changes in ruminal pH; however, buffer supplementation enhanced ruminal fermentation characteristics and altered bacterial community, which could contribute to preventing ruminal acidosis. Full article
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Article
Effect of Vegetable Oils Feed Additives on Endoparasites Associated with Dewormed Racing Horses
Agriculture 2021, 11(6), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11060525 - 05 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1050
Abstract
The effectiveness of commonly used parasiticides decreases due to the drug resistance developed by many organisms. Therefore, the application of feed additives possessing antiparasitic properties may be helpful in limiting the burden of parasites. The aim of this research was to evaluate parasitological [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of commonly used parasiticides decreases due to the drug resistance developed by many organisms. Therefore, the application of feed additives possessing antiparasitic properties may be helpful in limiting the burden of parasites. The aim of this research was to evaluate parasitological coefficients for endoparasites of regularly dewormed Arabian horses and Thoroughbreds, fed on a basal diet of oat and muesli with vegetable oils and/or without vitamin E. The observations revealed parasitic invasion in 25 of 27 examined horses. The most frequent in both breeds were Strongylidae—accounting for 86% of Thoroughbreds and 100% of Arabian horses. Strongyloididae were observed in 33% of individuals representing both breeds while botflies were found in one Arabian horse and one Thoroughbred. Mean EPG coefficients for strongylids and strongyloidids were higher in Thoroughbreds (530 vs. 529 and 43 vs. 29, respectively), although the differences were not statistically significant. The addition of pure linseed oil significantly reduced the number of Strongylidae in fecal samples. The results indicate that properly selected plant additives obtained from arable crops may be helpful in limiting the numbers of drug-resistant strongylids. Full article
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Article
Changes in the In Vitro Ruminal Fermentation of Diets for Dairy Cows Based on Selected Sorghum Cultivars Compared to Maize, Rye and Grass Silage
Agriculture 2021, 11(6), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11060492 - 26 May 2021
Viewed by 755
Abstract
An in vitro experiment was conducted to determine the impact of silage produced from selected varieties of sorghum on the microbial fermentation profile of cows’ ruminal fluid. To determine the main microbial fermentation products, ruminal fluid samples were obtained from Polish Holstein–Friesian cows. [...] Read more.
An in vitro experiment was conducted to determine the impact of silage produced from selected varieties of sorghum on the microbial fermentation profile of cows’ ruminal fluid. To determine the main microbial fermentation products, ruminal fluid samples were obtained from Polish Holstein–Friesian cows. Serum bottles were filled with 80 mL of ruminal samples, and 1 g of one of the following substrates was added: corn silage (CS), grass silage (GS), rye silage (RS), sorghum silage (sweet) (SS1), sorghum silage (grain) (SS2) or sorghum silage (dual-purpose) (SS3). The serum bottles were flushed with CO2 and fermented for 8 and 24 h at 39 °C. After incubation, the obtained gas and rumen fluid were then analysed to determine the methane and volatile fatty acid (VFA) contents using gas chromatography. The use of sorghum silage (SS) resulted in a decrease in the total concentration VFA concentration in the ruminal fluid compared with the use of other silages, especially GS. Moreover, the ruminal fluid contained a lower molar proportion of propionic and butyric acids when SS was used compared with CS. The butyric acid proportion was higher in SS samples than in RS samples. The differences in chemical composition between sorghum varieties did not influence the rumen VFA concentration or profile. A decrease in gas production, but without effects on methanogenesis, was observed when SS was used compared with GS and CS. The analysis demonstrates the physiological processes of fermentation in the rumen, as evidenced by the products of microbial fermentation. The main advantage is that the addition of SS, irrespective of the plant variety, reduced fermentation gas production in the ruminal fluid compared with CS. The silage of the analyzed sorghum varieties may be used in the diets of dairy cows as a substitute for corn and grass silages. Full article
Article
Effect of Increasing Supplementation Levels of Coffee Pulp on Milk Yield and Food Intake in Dual-Purpose Cows: An Alternative Feed Byproduct for Smallholder Dairy Systems of Tropical Climate Regions
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11050416 - 05 May 2021
Viewed by 679
Abstract
Coffee is one of the main traded commodities worldwide, unfortunately, it generates massive amounts of by-products like coffee pulp (CoP), which could be utilized as an alternative feedstuff for cattle contributing to mitigate coffee production environmental damage. The objective of this work was [...] Read more.
Coffee is one of the main traded commodities worldwide, unfortunately, it generates massive amounts of by-products like coffee pulp (CoP), which could be utilized as an alternative feedstuff for cattle contributing to mitigate coffee production environmental damage. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of increasing levels of CoP supplementation on milk production, milk composition, and grass dry matter intake (GDMI) by dual-purpose tropical cows. A 4 × 4 Latin square experimental design was conducted, where four multiparous dual-purpose Holstein x Cebu cows with an average live weight of 477 ± 7 kg and milk yield of 12.1 ± 2.7 kg/d were used. The cows grazed 10 h/d on a Cynodon plectostachius sward with a stocking rate of three cows/ha. All cows received 6 kg/d DM of an experimental concentrate (EC), and the treatments consisted of four supplementation levels of CoP: T1 = 0, T2 = 0.6, T3 = 0.9, and T4 = 1.2 kg DM/d, which was provided on top of the concentrate and mixed with the EC. Grass intake was determined by the n-alkanes technique. A significant difference was observed for the average total daily DM intake (p < 0.02). No significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed for milk yield, milk composition, body weight, and GDMI for all the inclusion levels of CoP. It was concluded that CoP can be included at levels of 0.6 to 0.9 kg DM/d in the diets of cows without compromising milk yield or GDMI. Full article
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Article
Supplementation of Microbial and Fungal Phytases to Low Protein and Energy Diets: Effects on Productive Performance, Nutrient Digestibility, and Blood Profiles of Broilers
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11050414 - 04 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 565
Abstract
To evaluate in possible use of phytases for improving the utilization of low protein and energy diets, 420, one-day-old chicks were distributed among 7 groups (5 replicates of 12 chicks/group). During the starter (1–35 day), grower (37–56 day), and finisher (57–64 day) periods, [...] Read more.
To evaluate in possible use of phytases for improving the utilization of low protein and energy diets, 420, one-day-old chicks were distributed among 7 groups (5 replicates of 12 chicks/group). During the starter (1–35 day), grower (37–56 day), and finisher (57–64 day) periods, the control group fed diets containing 21.2% crude protein (CP)-2947 Kcal/kg metabolizable energy (ME), 19.6 CP-3023 ME and 18.0 CP-3100 ME, respectively. The three low-CP groups received diets isocaloric but with −1% CP than the control, while the three low-CPME groups fed diets with −1% CP and −100 Kcal than the control. In addition, the low-CP and low-CPME groups were supplemented with 0 (low-CP_uns and low-CPME_uns), 500 U/kg of an Aspergillus niger (low-CP_AP and low-CPME_AP) or 500 FTU/kg of an Escherichia coli phytase (low-CP_EP and low-CPME_EP), respectively. Low-CP and low-CPME diets decreased (p < 0.01) the intake of feed as well as the protein and metabolizable energy conversion ratios in comparison to the control group. In general, phytases lowered (p < 0.01) the intake of feed, protein, and energy, but bacterial phytase showed a higher (p < 0.01) effect than A. niger one. The diets with low-CP and low-CPME levels decreased (p < 0.01) the amount of the excreta nitrogen. The supplementation of phytases had similar effects on digestibility of nutrients, carcass traits, bone mineralization and blood biochemistry. The supplementation of A. niger increased abdominal fat deposition of compared low-CPME diet compared to low-CPME_uns diet. All diets showed similar production index allowing the use of low-CPME diet when phytases was supplemented. Full article
Article
Effects of Grape Seed Oil Supplementation to Broilers Diets on Growth Performance, Meat Fatty Acids, Health Lipid Indices and Lipid Oxidation Parameters
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11050404 - 29 Apr 2021
Viewed by 580
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of grape seed oil (GSO) supplementation to broilers fed polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)-enriched diets on growth performance, color, texture, fatty acid content and lipid peroxidation of meat. The 4-week feeding trial was conducted [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of grape seed oil (GSO) supplementation to broilers fed polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)-enriched diets on growth performance, color, texture, fatty acid content and lipid peroxidation of meat. The 4-week feeding trial was conducted on 120 Cobb 500 broilers, assigned to three groups and housed in an experimental hall on permanent wood shaves litter. GSO was tested as source of natural antioxidants at different levels, 0% (GSO0, control), 1.5% (GSO1.5) and 3% (GSO3) in the presence of 4% flaxseed meal (FSM) in a completely randomized design. The results show that at the end of the experiment (42 days) the GSO supplementation had no effect (p < 0.05) on productivity parameters, except the final weight which was improved in GSO3 compared to GSO. The thigh meat color indicated a higher degree of lightness (p < 0.05), but the meat texture was not influenced (p < 0.05) by the new tested diets. The GSO diets increased (p < 0.05) the saturated fatty acid (SFA) content and decreased the PUFA content in the thigh meat. Thigh meat samples from GSO treatments had significantly (p < 0.05) improved oxidative stability. In the breast meat only the concentration of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) decreased (p < 0.05). It is concluded that the GSO significantly improved the thigh meat oxidative stability. Full article
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Article
An Attempt to Enrich Pig Meat with Omega-3 Fatty Acids Using Linseed Oil Ethyl Ester Diet Supplement
Agriculture 2021, 11(4), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11040365 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 607
Abstract
This study aims to evaluate an effect of pig diet supplementation with ethyl esters derived from linseed oil with a high content of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) on the fatty acids profile of meat. The study was conducted on Polish Landrace fatteners supplemented for [...] Read more.
This study aims to evaluate an effect of pig diet supplementation with ethyl esters derived from linseed oil with a high content of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) on the fatty acids profile of meat. The study was conducted on Polish Landrace fatteners supplemented for a period of 7 weeks (control and experimental groups of 8 animals each, 16 in total). After this period, loin (Longissimus dorsi) and ham (Biceps femoris) samples were collected for laboratory analysis, including basic composition (fat, protein, ash, dry matter) and fatty acids (FAs) profile. The supplementation caused a significant increase in the level of ALA acid, decrease in the content of saturated fatty acids (SFAs), increase in unsaturated FAs level, and resulting decrease in the ratio of n-6/n-3. The indices of atherogenicity and thrombogenicity were beneficially altered in the experimental groups. It can thus be supposed that meat enriched this way may be considered as an interesting choice for consumers who are aware of the importance of diet consumed. Full article
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Communication
Novel Two-Slope Equations to Predict Amino Acid Concentrations Using Crude Protein Concentration in Soybean Meal
Agriculture 2021, 11(4), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11040280 - 25 Mar 2021
Viewed by 659
Abstract
Amino acid (AA)-to-crude protein (CP) ratios in soybean meal (SBM) may be different for different sources of SBM depending on the presence of additional hulls. Therefore, this study was conducted to develop novel two-slope equations to predict the concentrations of AAs in SBM [...] Read more.
Amino acid (AA)-to-crude protein (CP) ratios in soybean meal (SBM) may be different for different sources of SBM depending on the presence of additional hulls. Therefore, this study was conducted to develop novel two-slope equations to predict the concentrations of AAs in SBM using CP as an independent variable. Regression analyses were performed with each AA in SBM as the dependent variable and the CP as the independent variable. Among all AAs, the predicted Lys in SBM (% dry matter (DM)) was: Lys = 3.19 − 0.026 × (51.88 − CP) where CP < 51.88% DM and Lys = 3.19 + 0.072 × (CP − 51.88) where CP > 51.88% DM with R2 = 0.51 and p < 0.001. In conclusion, the novel equations provided reasonable estimates of the AA concentrations from different ranges of CP in SBM. Full article
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Communication
Clostridia in Insect Processed Animal Proteins—Is an Epidemiological Problem Possible?
Agriculture 2021, 11(3), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11030270 - 21 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 808
Abstract
The aim of this study was the evaluation of the insect processed animal protein (IPAP) contamination level by Clostridium spp. Particularly, we screened for the occurrence of pathogenic species of Clostridia. The samples of IPAP were derived from yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was the evaluation of the insect processed animal protein (IPAP) contamination level by Clostridium spp. Particularly, we screened for the occurrence of pathogenic species of Clostridia. The samples of IPAP were derived from yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) and black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) available in the Polish market. The IPAPs were added to experimental feeds for poultry. The differences between the contamination levels of the control (without the addition of IPAP) and experimental (with the addition of IPAP) groups were monitored. The samples were also examined by culture and PCR-based methods to detect 16S rDNA and genes determining botulinum toxin (BoNT) production. Statistical significance was noticed among the feed with the IPAP addition, as well as an increase of contamination by Clostridium spp. In one sample of IPAP, the occurrence of ntnh and bont/D genes determining the production of BoNT/D was noticed. However, a positive result was noticed only at the step of the liquid culture; the Clostridium botulinum type D strain was not isolated. Phenotypically, and according to the 16S rDNA analysis, genetically similar strains to C. botulinum species were isolated. Considering the microbiological safety of IPAP and expanding possibility of its use in livestock animal feed, it seems to be reasonable to provide complex risk assessment on the potential transfer of Clostridia into feed compounds, to assure the safety and sustainable development of insect PAP industry. Full article
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Article
Effect of Sucrose and Lactic Acid Bacteria Additives on Fermentation Quality, Chemical Composition and Protein Fractions of Two Typical Woody Forage Silages
Agriculture 2021, 11(3), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11030256 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 649
Abstract
Paper mulberry (PM) and mulberry (MU) have been considered potential substitutes for traditional forages in response to the increasing demand for high-protein feed for livestock. To improve the utility of these two typical woody forages, our study investigated the effects of sucrose and [...] Read more.
Paper mulberry (PM) and mulberry (MU) have been considered potential substitutes for traditional forages in response to the increasing demand for high-protein feed for livestock. To improve the utility of these two typical woody forages, our study investigated the effects of sucrose and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) additives on the fermentation quality, nutritive value, and protein fractions of their leaf silages. Collected leaves were separately subjected to ensiling treatments, either with or without sucrose (S), in combination with Lactobacillus plantarum (LP), or Lactobacillus casei (LC). The silage was sampled and analyzed for fermentation parameters, carbohydrates, and protein fractions after ensiling for 60 days. The pH value of paper mulberry silages with S was 19% lower than that without S, while LAB-treated mulberry silages showed decreased ammonia nitrogen (by 71%) and fraction A in crude protein (by 15%) compared with no LAB additives. In summary, adding S improved the fermentation quality, with no positive effect on protein fractions, in PM silage, whereas LAB additives improved the potential utilization of protein in MU silage. Full article
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Article
Feeding of Phytobiotics and Exogenous Protease in Broilers: Comparative Effect on Nutrient Digestibility, Bone Strength and Gut Morphology
Agriculture 2021, 11(3), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11030228 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 627
Abstract
In this feeding trial, a total of 500 Cobb-500 broiler (day-old) chickens were randomly assigned to a control dietary treatment (basal diet only) or supplemented with crushed seeds of coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.), black cumin (Bunium persicum (Boiss.) B. Fedtsch) [...] Read more.
In this feeding trial, a total of 500 Cobb-500 broiler (day-old) chickens were randomly assigned to a control dietary treatment (basal diet only) or supplemented with crushed seeds of coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.), black cumin (Bunium persicum (Boiss.) B. Fedtsch) and ajwain (Carum copticum L.) (at 10 mg/kg each) and exogenous protease (30,000 IU/kg), respectively, in order to assess the effect of the diets on nutrient digestibility, bone strength and gut morphology. The results indicated that the digestibility coefficients of crude protein, crude fat, nitrogen-free extract, calcium and phosphorous were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in protease-treated birds compared to the control. The tibia bone weight was improved (p = 0.03) in Carum copticum, Coriandrum sativum and protease-supplemented birds. Bone length increased (p < 0.05) in protease and Carum copticum fed broilers, while the robusticity index decreased (p < 0.05) in all treatments. Villus length and width decreased (p < 0.05) in Carum copticum and Bunium persicum fed broilers. From findings, it was demonstrated that exogenous protease shows comparatively better results in improving bone quality, ileal digestibility and villus morphology in broilers. Full article
Article
Effect of Mixing Alfalfa with Whole-Plant Corn in Different Proportions on Fermentation Characteristics and Bacterial Community of Silage
Agriculture 2021, 11(2), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11020174 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 733
Abstract
The influence of mixing alfalfa with whole-plant corn in different proportions on the fermentation characteristics and bacterial community of silage was investigated. Alfalfa and whole-plant corn, harvested at dry matter content of 276.47 and 328.43 g/kg fresh weight, accordingly, were chopped to approximately [...] Read more.
The influence of mixing alfalfa with whole-plant corn in different proportions on the fermentation characteristics and bacterial community of silage was investigated. Alfalfa and whole-plant corn, harvested at dry matter content of 276.47 and 328.43 g/kg fresh weight, accordingly, were chopped to approximately 2 cm and mixed at ratios of 100:0 (C0, control), 80:20 (C20), 60:40 (C40), 40:60 (C60), 20:80 (C80) and 0:100 (C100) on a fresh weight basis, respectively. Silos of each treatment were produced in triplicate and anaerobically fermented in darkness for 100 days at room temperature (20–21 °C). At silo opening, silage fermentation characteristics and bacterial composition and diversity were analyzed. The C0 silage was weakly preserved, evidenced by a low lactic acid concentration and a high value of pH, acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid and ammonia nitrogen. With corn proportion in the mixture increasing from 0% to 40%, silage pH, acetic acid, butyric acid and ammonia nitrogen level decreased, whereas the value of lactic acid and lactic acid to acetic acid ratio increased. The C40, C60, C80 and C100 silages’ Flieg score, used to evaluate the overall fermentation quality, was above 80 and higher than C0 (25) and C20 (61) silages. The C0 silage contained a complex bacterial community at the genus level, consisting mainly of Enterococcus (38.86%), Enterobacteria (20.61%), Rhizobium (8.45%), Lactobacillus (8.15%), Methylobacterium (5.54%) and Weissella (5.24%). As corn percentage increased from 0% to 40%, the relative abundance of desirable Lactobacillus increased and undesirable Rhizobium and Methylobacterium population reduced. With corn proportion in the mixture increasing from 0% to 40%, inclusion of corn to alfalfa at ensiling significantly improved silage fermentation quality and shifted the bacterial community for better silage preservation. Overall, high quality silage was produced when alfalfa was combined with at least 40% whole-plant corn on a fresh weight basis. Full article
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Article
Effects of Different Carbohydrate Sources on Alfalfa Silage Quality at Different Ensiling Days
Agriculture 2021, 11(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11010058 - 12 Jan 2021
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Abstract
This study was evaluated the effects of different carbohydrate sources on the fermentation profiles, chemical compositions, and correlation of fermentation profiles and chemical compositions with water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) silage. Alfalfa was harvested at early flowering stage from [...] Read more.
This study was evaluated the effects of different carbohydrate sources on the fermentation profiles, chemical compositions, and correlation of fermentation profiles and chemical compositions with water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) silage. Alfalfa was harvested at early flowering stage from the third cutting in September 2018, wilted to 32% dry matter (DM) and chopped into 1–2 cm pieces. Treatments included the addition of pectin (PEC), starch (STA; powdered corn), molasses (MOL), and fructose (FRU), as well as distilled water as a control (CON). Afterward, 300 g of prepared alfalfa was packed into polyethylene bags, vacuumed, and sealed, after which they were stored at room temperature for 1, 3, 7, 15, and 30 d. FRU and PEC additions resulted in desirable fermentation profiles and chemical compositions throughout the ensiling period. FRU and PEC rapidly decreased the pH and increased Fleig’s point, exhibiting lower pH and higher Fleig’s point from 3 d to the end of ensiling. Acetic acid (AA), propionic acid (PA) and ammonia nitrogen (AN) contents of FRU and PEC were lower at 30 d after ensiling. Higher lactic acid (LA) contents were found in FRU and PEC from 7 d to the end of ensiling and higher LA:AA ratios from 15 d to the end of ensiling. Butyric acid (BA) was not detected at any point during the ensiling period. Additives exhibited higher DM content from 7 to 30 d after ensiling. The WSC content decreased as the number of ensiling days increased and was stable from 15 d to the end of ensiling. PEC, STA, and FRU exhibited higher WSC than CON. FRU and PEC improved the fermentation quality throughout the ensiling period. Thus, FRU and PEC or related agricultural byproducts may offer alternative additives for improving the alfalfa silage fermentation profile. Full article
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Article
Effects of Sorghum Silage in Lactating Buffalo Cow Diet: Biochemical Profile, Milk Yield, and Quality
Agriculture 2021, 11(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11010057 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 910
Abstract
The influence of replacing silage with sorghum silage in the diet of dairy buffalo cows on metabolic status and on milk yield, chemical characteristics, and fatty acid profile was studied. Forty dairy buffalo cows were included in the trial and divided into two [...] Read more.
The influence of replacing silage with sorghum silage in the diet of dairy buffalo cows on metabolic status and on milk yield, chemical characteristics, and fatty acid profile was studied. Forty dairy buffalo cows were included in the trial and divided into two homogeneous groups (SS, sorghum silage and CS, corn silage). Blood was collected at the end of the trial (120 days), individual milk yield was registered daily. Samples of milk were monthly collected and analyzed for fat, protein, and lactose. Moreover, fatty acid profiles of silages and milk were determined. Buffalo cows fed sorghum silage showed an average milk yield higher than group CS (kg/d 10.120 vs. 9.270; p < 0.05), probably due to the lower lignin content of sorghum silage (31.0 g/kg dry matter (DM)) compared to corn silage (47.0 g/kg DM) and, by consequence, to the higher digestibility of SS diet. The percentage of linoleic acid was significantly higher in milk of group CS (C18:2: 1.27 vs. 2.05%; p < 0.01) due to the higher content of these acids in corn than in sorghum silage. The omega 6/omega 3 ratio was significantly lower in milk from buffalo cows fed sorghum than those fed corn silage (7.8 vs. 12.9; p < 0.01). Serum biochemistry showed no negative effects of the corn replacing with sorghum. Full article

Review

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Review
By-Product Feeds: Current Understanding and Future Perspectives
Agriculture 2021, 11(3), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11030207 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 601
Abstract
Recently, industrial and agricultural by-products, resulting from crops, fruit and vegetable processing which can be used in animal diets have become a hot topic in the animal feed industry. This review focuses on the agro-industry by-products as feeds, not only for the nutritional [...] Read more.
Recently, industrial and agricultural by-products, resulting from crops, fruit and vegetable processing which can be used in animal diets have become a hot topic in the animal feed industry. This review focuses on the agro-industry by-products as feeds, not only for the nutritional values, but also for their nutricine contribution. In this review, we described the chemical composition of some by-products as feeds and their limiting factors in animal feeding. Full article
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