Special Issue "Nutrition, Physiology, Feeding Management and Welfare of Ruminants in the Sustainability Era"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 May 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Mariangela Caroprese
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Food and Environmental Sciences (SAFE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy
Interests: ruminant welfare; veterinary immunology; oxidative state of ewes; effects of heat stress and feeding strategies on ruminant welfare and production; effects of algae and PUFAs in the diet on ruminant immune responses and milk production
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Maria Giovanna Ciliberti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE), University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy
Interests: immune system; ruminants; cytokines; environmental stressors; feeding strategy; animal welfare
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past half century, economic growth has led to a sharp increase in global per capita meat consumption. In order to meet the demand associated with the increase in consumption through sustainable intensification, animal husbandry has made advancements in all aspects of animal production, including development, growth, nutrition, metabolism, management, and welfare according to livestock precision farming technologies.

The aim of this Special Issue is to publish high-quality papers concerning ruminants nutrition physiology,  metabolism,feeding management, and welfare in the sustainability era. Therefore, we invite the submission of recent findings, as original research articles or reviews, on ruminants nutrition and management including, but not limited to, the following areas: ruminant production systems; the nutrient requirements of ruminants; the use of functional feed additives and feeding systems oriented toward improving ruminant immune systems during climate change;  ruminant production: meat, milk, and dairy products in order to improve the sustainability of livestock production.

Prof. Dr. Mariangela Caroprese
Dr. Maria Giovanna Ciliberti
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.


  • ruminant production systems
  • functional feed additives
  • feeding strategies
  • immune responses
  • physiological responses
  • ruminant products
  • sustainable intensification
  • precision livestock farming
  • productive performance

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Association of Melatonin Administration in Pregnant Ewes with Growth, Redox Status and Immunity of Their Offspring
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113161 - 05 Nov 2021
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In this study, the effects of melatonin treatment on growth, redox status and immunity in prenatally stressed newborn lambs were evaluated. Thirty-seven newborn lambs were allocated into two groups (melatonin-MEL and control-CON), based on whether their mothers were treated with melatonin implants or [...] Read more.
In this study, the effects of melatonin treatment on growth, redox status and immunity in prenatally stressed newborn lambs were evaluated. Thirty-seven newborn lambs were allocated into two groups (melatonin-MEL and control-CON), based on whether their mothers were treated with melatonin implants or not, respectively. All pregnant ewes were exposed to heat stress. The body weight of lambs was recorded at birth (L0), and then on days 15 (L15) and 40 (L40). Redox biomarkers [total antioxidant capacity (TAC), glutathione (GSH), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS)] were assayed in blood samples collected from lambs on days L0, L1, L2, L5, L10 and L40. Chemical analysis and antioxidant capacity were evaluated in colostrum and milk samples collected at the same time points with blood samples. Cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-γ) and immunoglobulin (IgG) were assayed in blood and colostrum samples collected from ewes on days L0 and L1, and in lambs’ blood on days L0, L1 and L2. The results revealed that body weight gain of newborn lambs did not differ between the two groups (p > 0.05). Better redox status was found in MEL lambs until L2, as well as higher antioxidant capacity in the colostrum of MEL ewes compared to CON ones on day L0 (p < 0.05). In MEL ewes’ colostrum, higher protein content was measured on day L0 and higher fat content on L1 compared to CON group (p < 0.05). The highest level of IL-6 was found in MEL ewes on L1, with a concomitant increase of IL-10 level in MEL lambs in comparison to CON lambs on L2. Moreover, CON colostrum resulted in a higher level of IL-10 within time, coupled with an increased level of IgG found in lambs’ plasma on L2 (p = 0.04). This study indicated that melatonin could be administered as antioxidant and immune-modulatory regime in prenatally stressed offspring in order to cope with the crucial first days of their life. This effect of melatonin was also amplified by crosstalk between IL-6, IL-10 and IgG production, resulting in an improved quality of produced milk. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Further solutions to an isotope dilution model for partitioning phenylalanine and tyrosine uptake by the liver of lactating dairy cows
Authors: Leslie A Crompton; Leslie L. McKnight; Christopher K. Reynolds; Jennifer L. Ellis; Jan Dijkstra; James France
Affiliation: Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada
Abstract: An isotope dilution model for partitioning phenylalanine and tyrosine uptake by the liver of the lactating dairy cow is constructed and solved in the steady state. An original ten-pool model is adopted and solved by cleaving it into two five-pool sub-models, one representing phenylalanine and the other tyrosine. If assumptions are made, model solution permits calculation of the rate of phenylalanine and tyrosine uptake from portal vein and hepatic arterial blood supply, hydroxylation, and synthesis and degradation of constitutive protein. The model requires the measurement of plasma flow rate through the liver in combination with amino acid concentrations and plateau isotopic enrichments in arterial and portal and hepatic vein plasma during a constant infusion of [1-13C]phenylalanine and [2,3,5,6-2H]tyrosine tracers. It also requires estimates of the rate of oxidation and protein export secretion. Analysis of measurement errors in experimental enrichments and infusion rates on model solutions indicated that accurate values of the intracellular and extracellular enrichments are central to minimizing errors in the calculated flows. Solving the model by cleaving into two five-pool schemes rather than solving the ten-pool scheme directly is preferred as there appears to be less compounding of errors. The model provides a means for assessing the impact of hepatic metabolism on amino acid availability to peripheral tissues such as the mammary gland.

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