Special Issue "Feed Intervention in Livestock Nutrition: Effects on Gut Microbial Ecology"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Gabriel De La Fuente
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Animal Science, University of Lleida, Lleida 25198, Spain
Interests: microbial ecology; ruminant nutrition; control of greenhouse gases; precision feeding
Dr. Joaquim Balcells
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Animal Science, University of Lleida
Interests: Nutrient absorption and metabolism; microbial fermentation and yield; Ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions
Dr. Ahmad Reza Seradj
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Animal Science, University of Lleida
Interests: ruminant and pig nutrition, rumen fermentation, gut microbiota, greenhouse gas emissions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last decades, livestock nutrition has developed into a valuable tool to control disease and environmental impact. After the ban on antimicrobials as growth promoters in the EU, and the development of new technologies to boost our understanding of the effects of microbiota on the animal host, relevant research linked feed intervention (by feed additives, early intervention, and substitutive sources of feeds) to microbiota and their effects on animal health and performance. With this Special Issue, we intend to collect significant research related to both foregut and hindgut digestive systems.

Innovative papers from different research areas, such as immunology, precision feeding, microbiology, and environmental and animal science, are invited to this Special Issue, with the aim of bringing together the latest findings in the use of feed interventions on livestock. Interdisciplinary studies will be taken into account, especially those regarding (but not limited to):

  1. Precision livestock farming
  2. Early interventions on gut microbiota
  3. Feed additives as substitutes of antimicrobials
  4. Use of alternative sources of feeds

Dr. Gabriel De La Fuente
Dr. Joaquim Balcells
Dr. Ahmad Reza Seradj
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 1800 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

  • feed additives
  • precision feeding
  • early intervention
  • environmental impact
  • gut microbiota

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Oat Hay Content in Diets on Nutrient Metabolism and the Rumen Microflora in Sheep
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2341; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122341 - 09 Dec 2020
Abstract
Oats have the characteristics of drought tolerance, cold resistance, strong adaptability, high forage yield, and high nutritional value. However, there are few reports on the most appropriate amount of oat hay in ruminant diets, the digestion and metabolism of ruminants, and the rumen [...] Read more.
Oats have the characteristics of drought tolerance, cold resistance, strong adaptability, high forage yield, and high nutritional value. However, there are few reports on the most appropriate amount of oat hay in ruminant diets, the digestion and metabolism of ruminants, and the rumen microflora. To study the effects of oat hay content in diets on nutrient digestion and metabolism and the rumen microflora in sheep, 9 German Merino and Mongolian crossbred rams of similar body condition and weight with permanent fistulas were selected. The 3 × 3 Latin square design was used to randomly divide the rams into 3 groups, with 3 animals in each group. The three groups were fed different kinds of roughage: whole-plant corn silage only (corn silage group, CSG), oat hay mixed with whole-plant corn silage (1:1) (mixed group, MG), and oat hay only (oat hay group, OHG). The nutrient digestion and metabolism of each group were measured, and the pH and rumen microflora were examined after feeding for different durations. Dynamic changes in microbial communities were detected. The nutrient digestion and metabolism results showed that, with an increase in the content of oat hay in the diet, the intake and apparent digestibility of dry matter (DM) and organic matter (OM) showed an increasing trend, and the intake, digestion, and stability of acid detergent fiber (ADF) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) increased in the OHG. The apparent digestibility, dietary nitrogen, deposited nitrogen, and nitrogen retention rate in this group were significantly higher than those in the CSG (p < 0.05). The rumen pH and sequencing results showed that the rumen fluid pH of the CSG was significantly lower than that of the OHG at 1 and 5 h (p < 0.05). The main microbial in the rumen of the three groups of sheep were Bacteroides, Sclerotium, and Proteus. The dominant taxon in the CSG was Prevotella, followed by Vibrio syringae, and the dominant taxon in the MG and OHG was Prevotella, followed by Rikenellaceae. Redundancy analysis showed that ADF and NDF in the feed had an effect on the abundance of Fibrobacteres, Ruminococcaceae, and Prevotella. Our findings indicate that the use of oat hay roughage in the diet significantly improves the apparent digestibility of NDF and ADF and helps maintain the stable state of the sheep’s rumen internal environment and the growth of rumen microorganisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Producing Type and Dietary Crude Protein on Animal Performances and Microbiota Together with Greenhouse Gases Emissions in Growing Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1742; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101742 - 25 Sep 2020
Abstract
In order to reduce dietary nitrogen and achieve an efficient protein deposition as well as decrease N wastage, we challenged the nutrient utilization efficiency of two different producing types in front of a dietary crude protein (CP) restriction and studied the role of [...] Read more.
In order to reduce dietary nitrogen and achieve an efficient protein deposition as well as decrease N wastage, we challenged the nutrient utilization efficiency of two different producing types in front of a dietary crude protein (CP) restriction and studied the role of the microbiota in such an adaptation process. Therefore, 32 pure castrated male Duroc (DU) and 32 entire male hybrid (F2) piglets were raised in a three-phase feeding regime. At each phase, two iso caloric diets differing in CP content, also known as normal protein (NP) and low protein (LP), were fed to the animals. LP diets had a fixed restriction (2%) in CP content in regards to NP ones throughout the phases of the experiment. At the end of third phase, fecal samples were collected for microbiota analysis purposes and greenhouse gases emissions, together with ammonia, were tested. No changes were found in average daily feed intake (ADFI) of animals of two producing types (Duroc vs. F2) or those consumed different experimental diets (NP vs. LP) throughout the course of study. However, at the end of each experimental phase the average body weight (BW) of hybrid animals were higher compared to Duroc pigs, whereas a reverse trend was observed for average daily gain (ADG), where Duroc pigs showed greater values with respect to hybrid ones. Despite, greater CH4 and ammonia emissions in Duroc pigs with respect to F2, no significant differences were found in contaminant gases emissions between diets. Moreover, LP diets did not alter the microbial community structure, in terms of diversity, although some genera were affected by the dietary challenge. Results suggest that the impact of reducing 2% of CP content was limited for reduction in contaminant gases emissions and highlight the hypothesis that moderate change in the dietary protein levels can be overcome by long-term adaptation of the gut microbiota. Overall, the influence of the producing type on performance and digestive microbiota composition was more pronounced than the dietary effect. However, both producing types responded differently to CP restriction. The use of fecal microbiota as biomarker for predicting feed efficiency has a great potential that should be completed with robust predictive models to achieve consistent and valid results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Encapsulated Calcium Butyrate Supplement Enhances On-Farm Dairy Calf Growth Performance and Body Conformation in a Pasture-Based Dairy Production System
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1380; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081380 - 08 Aug 2020
Abstract
The effect of supplementing neonatal heifer calves with varying levels of ECAB on pre-weaning growth performance was investigated. Post-weaning growth was also measured, to determine any carry-over effect of pre-weaning supplementation of ECAB. Forty-eight heifer calves (7 ± 0.4 days old, average liveweight [...] Read more.
The effect of supplementing neonatal heifer calves with varying levels of ECAB on pre-weaning growth performance was investigated. Post-weaning growth was also measured, to determine any carry-over effect of pre-weaning supplementation of ECAB. Forty-eight heifer calves (7 ± 0.4 days old, average liveweight of 39.3 ± 5.3 kg) were utilized in a complete randomised experimental design, comprising 16 calves per pen, randomly allocated to one of the following three treatments: (1) Basal commercial calf starter mix without ECAB (Control); (2) control plus 4 kg/ton of ECAB (Low); and (3) control plus 6 kg/ton of ECAB (High). Calves were group-fed ad libitum for 77 days (11 weeks, pre-weaning period) with free choice access to water and 5.5 L of milk per head per day through an automated feeder. Calves were weighed weekly during the pre-weaning period, after which all calves were then weaned onto the same ryegrass pasture as one group. At approximately 9 months of age, calves were weighed to estimate post-weaning body weight gain. During the pre-weaning period, average daily dry matter feed intake was similar for 4 kg/ton and 6 kg/ton calves (649 g versus 688 g, respectively) and both were greater than that of the control calves (382 g). Average daily gain (ADG) was significantly higher for 4 kg/ton calves compared to 6 kg/ton calves or control calves (0.83 ± 0.03 kg, 0.74 ± 0.03 kg and 0.71 ± 0.03 kg, respectively; p = 0.0001). Similarly, 4 kg/ton calves had significantly increased chest girth (95.9 ± 0.7 cm), withers height (88.9 ± 0.5 cm), body length (82.9 ± 0.6 cm), and body condition score (1.99 ± 0.12) compared to 6 kg/ton calves (93.4 ± 0.7 cm, 87.4 ± 0.7, 81.5 ± 0.6 cm, and 1.67 ± 0.10, respectively) or control calves (92.9 ± 0.7 cm, 88.2 ± 0.5 cm, 80.1 ± 0.6 cm, and 1.30 ± 0.08, respectively). There was significant treatment × week interaction for all pre-weaning growth parameters. Breed differences were detected but there was no treatment × breed interaction. Post-weaning, 4 kg/t calves and 6 kg/t calves had significantly higher ADG compared to control calves (0.80 ± 0.03 kg, 0.85 ± 0.03 kg versus 0.70 ± 0.03 kg, respectively; p = 0.0047). It is concluded that under the conditions of this study, supplementing heifer calves with ECAB during pre-weaning period resulted in improved growth performance and there appears to be a post-weaning carry-over effect. Full article
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