Special Issue "Dietary Strategies to Enhance Environmental Sustainability of Livestock Systems"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Matteo Crovetto
Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
Interests: Agricultural and Biological
Dr. Stefania Colombini
Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
Interests: nutrition and feeding of ruminant and monogastric animals; study of energy and protein metabolism in farm animals; feeding evaluation by in vitro, situ and in vivo methods of forages; - environmental impact of livestock farms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental sustainability is more and more a fundamental aspect of human activities, including crop and livestock systems. Particularly, animal production is often believed by media and public opinion to be responsible for a significant share of air, water, and soil pollution. This is only partially true, since other human activities are more impacting than agriculture and animal husbandry. In addition, it has to be underlined that animals have a positive role in utilizing fibrous feeds and byproducts otherwise of no use and source of environmental impacts; therefore, they are an important factor in the circular economy. Moreover, in recent years, an important reduction in the excretion and the emission of environmental pollutants has been attained. Among the factors contributing more to this decrease in pollutants release is nutrition and feeding.

Many dietary strategies have been investigated to reduce the excretion of nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and other elements by farm animals and fish, and to minimize methane emission by dairy and meat ruminants, and ammonia emission from animal slurries.

A precision feeding approach in formulating diets for farm animals, both monogastrics and ruminants, is able to enhance feed efficiency, meat and milk production, and the environmental sustainability per unit of product (milk, meat, eggs).

For this Special Issue, we are interested in research papers or reviews aimed at evaluating the positive effects of different nutritional/feeding strategies for livestock in increasing the environmental sustainability of animal productions.

Prof. Matteo Crovetto
Dr. Stefania Colombini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • dietary strategies
  • environmental impact
  • livestock
  • precision feeding
  • sustainability

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Effect of the Inclusion of Different Levels of Dietary Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) on Gilts’ Biochemical Parameters and Feed Intake during Lactation
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1881; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101881 - 15 Oct 2020
Abstract
The regulation of sows’ metabolic state during the gestation-lactation transition is a requirement for a higher feed intake in lactation, an important aspect in improving animal welfare in current swine production systems. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of the inclusion [...] Read more.
The regulation of sows’ metabolic state during the gestation-lactation transition is a requirement for a higher feed intake in lactation, an important aspect in improving animal welfare in current swine production systems. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of the inclusion of different cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) levels in the diet of gilts during late gestation and lactation on their biochemical parameters and voluntary feed intake during lactation. From day 85 of gestation until weaning, 40 gilts were divided into four groups: GNC (group with no cactus) with a basal diet (BD) only, G1C; group with 1% inclusion of cactus plus BD, G2C; group with 1.5% inclusion of cactus plus BD, and G3C; group with 2% inclusion of cactus plus BD. The dietary cactus supplementation increased the gilts’ feed intake (by 1.04 kg/day on average) during lactation and reduced their weight loss (4.3%) at weaning. The glucose concentrations were higher (range 73.0–83.9 mg/dL) in the GNC. The GNC had the highest triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations at day 100 of gestation. G3C had the highest osteocalcin concentration at day 100 of gestation. The highest feed intake and lowest glucose concentration were achieved with a cactus consumption of 1.04% in lactating gilts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phytate Degradation, Transcellular Mineral Transporters, and Mineral Utilization by Two Strains of Laying Hens as Affected by Dietary Phosphorus and Calcium
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1736; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101736 - 24 Sep 2020
Abstract
Laying hens require less phosphorus (P) but markedly more calcium (Ca) in their diet than broilers. These differences may cause more distinct interactions with phytate degradation and utilization of minerals in laying hens than those in broilers. The objective of the study was [...] Read more.
Laying hens require less phosphorus (P) but markedly more calcium (Ca) in their diet than broilers. These differences may cause more distinct interactions with phytate degradation and utilization of minerals in laying hens than those in broilers. The objective of the study was to characterize intestinal phytate degradation, ileal transcript copy numbers of transcellular Ca and P transporters, and mineral utilization by two laying hen strains fed with standard or reduced levels of dietary Ca and P at the laying peak. The strains showed differences regarding several traits driving Ca and P metabolism along the digestive tract. Thus, the two strains may use different mechanisms to meet their respective P demand, i.e., via effective phytate degradation and transcellular transport. Clear effects of the Ca level on myo-inositol concentrations and mineral utilization revealed the significance of this element for the measured traits. The absence of P-mediated effects confirmed the findings of several studies recommending that P concentrations used in laying hen feeds are too high. Differences were noted between individuals within one treatment. The next step would be to evaluate the data in individual birds to identify birds that better cope with a challenging diet. Full article
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