Animal Production from Local Breeds: Opportunities to Enhance Traditional Products and Farming Systems

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 8417

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: animal feeding; nutrition; meat quality; sheep; goat; beef production
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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: poultry; meat quality; fish quality; rabbit production

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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: animal genetics; milk quality; animal production
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to our Special Issue focusing on scientific research concerning animal productions obtained from local breeds. The valorisation of autochthonous breeds suffering genetic erosion is still a topic of current interest, due to the nutritional, organoleptic and health qualities of their productions. The promotion and valorisation of these products in rural areas has received a wealth of attention, also from the economic point of view, since it may be related to the multifunctionality of agri-zootechnical production systems and the circular economy.

This Special Issue aims to gather scientific research regarding food and nonfood productions obtained from local animal breeds, particularly concerning sustainable farming systems, genetic investigation, feeding strategies, reproductive performances, animal welfare, marketing promotion strategies, traditional agri-food (TAP) and PDO and GPI products of animal origin and the promotion of rural tourism.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviewers are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Livestock production systems and agroforestry;
  • The role of local (plant and animal) resources in the resilience of livestock farming systems;
  • Multifunctional grassland systems for livestock production;
  • High-quality and sustainable milk, meat and egg production;
  • Novelties in genomics research and their impact on the valorisation of local breeds;
  • Value chain initiatives contributing to societal/ecological transition;
  • Novel/alternative/innovative/revised feeds in farm animals;
  • Tools to improve profitability in agroforestry systems;
  • Genetic characterisation of autochthonous breeds.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Maria Antonietta Colonna
Dr. Simona Tarricone
Dr. Maria Selvaggi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • autochthonous breeds
  • farming systems
  • animal production
  • milk, meat and egg quality
  • multifunctional systems
  • animal feeding
  • animal genetics

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 1951 KiB  
Article
Energetic and Monetary Analysis of Efficiency in Family-Owned Dairy Goat Production Systems in Andalusia (Southern Spain)
by Yolanda Mena, Eduardo Morales-Jerrett, Marta Soler-Montiel, David Pérez-Neira and Juan Manuel Mancilla-Leytón
Animals 2024, 14(1), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14010104 - 27 Dec 2023
Viewed by 872
Abstract
The family-owned dairy goat sector in Andalusia presents great diversity. Taking into account the particularities of their economic strategies, which are focused on generating net value added and a stable long-term remuneration for family labor, this work aims to expand the scarce existing [...] Read more.
The family-owned dairy goat sector in Andalusia presents great diversity. Taking into account the particularities of their economic strategies, which are focused on generating net value added and a stable long-term remuneration for family labor, this work aims to expand the scarce existing knowledge on the energetic and economic profiles of the different caprine management systems in a context of climate and energy crisis. For this purpose, twenty-one farms, representatives of the four typologies of the Andalusian dairy goat system, were monitored for one year: pastoral systems, grazing systems with high feed supply, indoor systems with associated crops, and indoor systems without associated crops. Technical-economic information was obtained that allowed the calculation of energy and economic indicators. In terms of socialized output, the differences found were due to the energy derived from milk sales, which was clearly lower in pastoral systems. The higher proportion of energy output obtained from manure with respect to edible products (milk and meat) highlights the importance of the former in energetic terms. High values for external inputs are found in the intensive group (111.22 GJ LSU−1), while the lowest results correspond to the pastoral group (36.96 GJ LSU−1). The main external input is the energy proceeding from purchased feed, which accounts for over 79% of the total external energy input in all four groups. The highest energy efficiency corresponds to the pastoral group, which is also the most efficient one in the use of non-renewable energy to produce milk and meat. Additionally, the level of eco-efficiency is higher in pastoral systems. Common Agricultural Policy funds contribute to increasing the remuneration of family work in pastoral systems, assimilating it to the rest of the systems. Therefore, intensification does not imply an absolute monetary advantage in all cases, while extensification can be remunerative for family-owned dairy farming. Full article
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13 pages, 4531 KiB  
Article
Colostrum Quality in Different Goat Breeds Reared in Northern Italy
by Stella Agradi, Marta González-Cabrera, Anastasio Argüello, Lorenzo Enrique Hernández-Castellano, Noemí Castro, Laura Menchetti, Gabriele Brecchia, Daniele Vigo, Edoardo Tuccia and Giulio Curone
Animals 2023, 13(19), 3146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13193146 - 9 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1228
Abstract
This study aimed to characterize the colostrum quality in three different local goat breeds of Northern Italy (i.e., Frisa Valtellinese, Orobica, and Lariana) and a cosmopolitan one (i.e., Camosciata delle Alpi) (n = 30 per breed), reared under traditional semi-extensive and intensive [...] Read more.
This study aimed to characterize the colostrum quality in three different local goat breeds of Northern Italy (i.e., Frisa Valtellinese, Orobica, and Lariana) and a cosmopolitan one (i.e., Camosciata delle Alpi) (n = 30 per breed), reared under traditional semi-extensive and intensive systems, respectively. Lariana showed the highest percentage of fat (10.18 ± 3.14%) and total solids (30.73 ± 4.89%) but the lowest percentage of lactose (1.87 ± 0.82%; p < 0.05); Orobica had the lowest percentage of fat (7.13 ± 2.48%), total solids (24.11 ± 5.48%), and protein (10.77 ± 4.53%) but the highest percentage of lactose (3.16 ± 0.73%; p < 0.05). This suggests that breeds which have a more pronounced meat aptitude (i.e., Frisa and Lariana) have a higher concentration of components than breeds with more dairy aptitude (i.e., Orobica and Camosciata). Uni- and multivariate analyses showed that IgG is the parameter that best differentiates local breeds from cosmopolitan ones (p < 0.01). Colostrum from Frisa goats showed the highest IgG concentration (100.90 ± 8.11 mg/mL), while the lowest concentration was in the Camosciata breed (74.75 ± 20.16 mg/mL). Finally, the highest lactoferrin concentration was in Frisa (1781.3 ± 892.6 µg/mL) and the lowest in Camosciata and Lariana (763.1 ± 357.9 and 1148.0 ± 858.6 µg/mL, respectively; p < 0.05). Differences between Camosciata and local breeds could be due to the different farming systems, in addition to the genetic characteristics. The higher quality of colostrum produced by some local goats could be an adaptive characteristic that helps the growth and survival of the kids. Full article
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15 pages, 311 KiB  
Article
Dietary Supplementation with Oregano and Linseed in Autochthonous “Facciuta Lucana” Goats: Effects on Meat Quality Traits in Suckling Kids
by Maria Antonietta Colonna, Despoina Karatosidi, Carlo Cosentino, Pierangelo Freschi, Claudia Carbonara, Francesco Giannico, Caterina Losacco, Vincenzo Tufarelli, Simona Tarricone, Maria Selvaggi and Marco Ragni
Animals 2023, 13(19), 3050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13193050 - 28 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 944
Abstract
Extruded linseed (Linum usitatissimum) in ruminant diets has been investigated as a strategy to improve the nutritional value and healthiness of meat fat; however, increased polyunsaturated fatty acids may limit the shelf-life of meat. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) has a [...] Read more.
Extruded linseed (Linum usitatissimum) in ruminant diets has been investigated as a strategy to improve the nutritional value and healthiness of meat fat; however, increased polyunsaturated fatty acids may limit the shelf-life of meat. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) has a documented antioxidant activity. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation with extruded linseed and oregano on goat milk quality and whether the characteristics of goat milk affect the physical and chemical features, fatty acid profile, meat lipid oxidation, and sensory properties of meat from suckling kids. Thirty-six male kids were weaned and divided into three homogeneous groups (n = 12); each group was either fed a control diet (C), or a diet containing 3% extruded linseed with or without the addition of 0.6% oregano (“L + O” and “L”, respectively). The diets containing linseed lowered (p < 0.05) the saturated fatty acid content in meat, and increased (p < 0.05) monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid. Oregano addition to the linseed diet proved to be effective in preserving meat shelf-life, as shown by a significant (p < 0.01) reduction in the malondialdehyde concentration after 10 days of storage, and improved meat succulence, tenderness, juiciness, and overall acceptance. Full article
14 pages, 1833 KiB  
Article
Methionine Supplementation Affects Fecal Bacterial Community and Production Performance in Sika Deer (Cervus nippon)
by Yan Wu, Yongzhen Zhu, Xiaolan Guo, Xiaoxu Wang, Weitao Yuan, Cuiliu Ma, Xiaoli Chen, Chao Xu and Kaiying Wang
Animals 2023, 13(16), 2606; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13162606 - 12 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
Amino acid balance is central to improving the efficiency of feed protein utilization and for reducing environmental pollution caused by intensive farming. In previous studies, supplementation with limiting amino acids has been shown to be an effective means of improving animal nutrient utilization [...] Read more.
Amino acid balance is central to improving the efficiency of feed protein utilization and for reducing environmental pollution caused by intensive farming. In previous studies, supplementation with limiting amino acids has been shown to be an effective means of improving animal nutrient utilization and performance. In this experiment, the effects of methionine on the apparent digestibility of nutrients, antler nutrient composition, rumen fluid amino acid composition, fecal volatile fatty acids and intestinal bacteria in antler-growing sika deer were investigated by randomly adding different levels of methionine to the diets of three groups of four deer at 0 g/day (CON), 4 g/day (LMet) and 6 g/day (HMet). Methionine supplementation significantly increased the apparent digestibility of organic matter, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) in the LMet group (p < 0.05). The crude protein and collagen protein of antlers were significantly higher in the LMet and HMet groups compared to the CON group and also significantly higher in the HMet group compared to the LMet group, while the calcium content of antlers was significantly lower in the HMet group (p < 0.05). Ruminal fluid free amino acid composition was altered in the three groups of sika deer, with significant changes in aspartic acid, citrulline, valine, cysteine, methionine, histidine and proline. At the phylum level, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were highest in the rectal microflora. Unidentified bacterial abundance was significantly decreased in the HMet group compared to the CON group. Based on the results of principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) and Adonis analysis, there was a significant difference in the composition of the intestinal flora between the CON and HMet groups (p < 0.05). At the genus level, compared with the CON group, the abundance of Rikenellaceae_RC9_gut_group and Lachnospiraceae_UCG-010 in the LMet group increased significantly (p < 0.05), the abundance of dgA-11_gut_group in the HMet group decreased significantly (p < 0.05) and the abundance of Lachnospiraceae_UCG-010, Saccharofermentans and Lachnospiraceae_NK3A20_group increased significantly. Taken together, the results showed that methionine supplementation was beneficial in increasing the feed utilization efficiency and improving antler quality in sika deer, while affecting the composition of fecal bacteria. Full article
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16 pages, 5923 KiB  
Article
New Insight into the Quality Traits of Milk and Cheese from Teramana Goats, a Native Italian Breed
by Marco Florio, Costanza Cimini, Andrea Ianni, Francesca Bennato, Lisa Grotta, Luca Valbonetti and Giuseppe Martino
Animals 2023, 13(8), 1344; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13081344 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1519
Abstract
The preservation and enhancement of native breeds is a central issue to initiate new breeding policies, which are sustainable and adapted to climate changes. The aim of this study was the characterisation of the qualitative traits of milk and cheese obtained from Teramana [...] Read more.
The preservation and enhancement of native breeds is a central issue to initiate new breeding policies, which are sustainable and adapted to climate changes. The aim of this study was the characterisation of the qualitative traits of milk and cheese obtained from Teramana goats compared with Saanen goats reared in the same breeding facilities or environment. The research involved 41 Teramana goats and 40 Saanen goats. The milk of each group was collected and used to produce cheese, which was analysed fresh and after 30 and 60 days of ripening. Cheese samples were subjected to evaluations of the physical parameters, including colour and the TPA test, in addition to chemical evaluations that were focused on the determination of total lipids, fatty acids composition, volatile profile and proteolysis. The results showed the Teramana goat to be rich in fat, characterised by a significant increase in conjugates of linoleic acid (CLA), which are attributed to important health benefits. The analysis of volatile compounds showed more oxidative stability of Teramana goats’ cheeses during the ripening. The results from sensory analyses indicated an improved hardness and yellowness, which could be accompanied by an improvement in customer acceptance. In conclusion, our study shows interesting results regarding the milk and cheese from the Teramana goat, as well as a positive evaluation by consumers, findings that encourage the importance of promoting native breeds. Full article
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21 pages, 676 KiB  
Article
Dairy Sheep Grazing Management and Pasture Botanical Composition Affect Milk Macro and Micro Components: A Methodological Approach to Assess the Main Managerial Factors at Farm Level
by Andrea Cabiddu, Sebastian Carrillo, Salvatore Contini, Simona Spada, Marco Acciaro, Valeria Giovanetti, Mauro Decandia, Luigi Lucini, Terenzio Bertuzzi, Antonio Gallo and Lorenzo Salis
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12192675 - 5 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1729
Abstract
The fatty acid profile, vitamins A and E, cholesterol, antioxidant power colour and the phenols profile of Sarda sheep milk from 11 commercial sheep flocks managed under permanent grassland were investigated. In each farm, the structural and managerial data and milk samples were [...] Read more.
The fatty acid profile, vitamins A and E, cholesterol, antioxidant power colour and the phenols profile of Sarda sheep milk from 11 commercial sheep flocks managed under permanent grassland were investigated. In each farm, the structural and managerial data and milk samples were collected during four periods (sampling dates, SD): January, March, May, and July. Data from the milk composition (fat, protein, casein, lactose, and somatic cell count), 68 fatty acids, 7 phenols, 1 total gallocatechin equivalent, ferric reducing antioxidant power, vitamins A and E, cholesterol, degree of antioxidant protection, and the colour (b *, a * and L *) were analyzed by multivariate factorial analysis using a principal component analysis approach. A proc mixed model for repeated measurement to point out the studied factors affecting significant macro and micro milk composition was also used. Only the first five components were detailed in this paper, with approximately 70% of the explained variance detected. PC1 presented the highest positive loadings for milk lactose, de novo FA synthesis and the BH intermediate, whereas OBCFA had negative loadings values. The PC2, LCFA, UFA, MUFA, vitamins E, and DAP showed positive loadings values, while SFA had a negative value. The PC3 showed a high positive loading for total phenols and non-flavonoids. PC4 presented a high positive loading for the milk macro-composition and negative values for n-3 FAs. The PC5 is characterized by high positive loadings for the a * and L * colour parameters whereas negative loadings were detected for the milk flavonoids content. These preliminary results could help to establish future threshold values for the biomarkers in milk sourced from grazing dairy sheep in natural, permanent pasture-based diets. Full article
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