animal (ANIMAL)

Publisher: British Society of Animal Science; Institut national de la recherche agronomique (France); European Association for Animal Production, Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Journal description

Animal attracts the best research in animal biology and animal systems from across the spectrum of the agricultural, biomedical, and environmental sciences. It is the central element in an exciting collaboration between the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS), Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) and the European Federation for Animal Science (EAAP) and represents a merging of three scientific journals: Animal Science; Animal Research; Reproduction, Nutrition, Development. animal publishes original cutting-edge research, 'hot' topics and horizon-scanning reviews on animal-related aspects of the life sciences at the molecular, cellular, organ, whole animal and production system levels. The main subject areas include: breeding and genetics; nutrition; physiology and functional biology of systems; behaviour, health and welfare; farming systems, environmental impact and climate change; product quality, human health and well-being. Animal models and papers dealing with the integration of research between these topics and their impact on the environment and people are particularly welcome.

Current impact factor: 1.84

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 1.841
2013 Impact Factor 1.784
2012 Impact Factor 1.648
2011 Impact Factor 1.744
2010 Impact Factor 1.458
2009 Impact Factor 1.461
2008 Impact Factor 0.994
2007 Impact Factor

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 2.04
Cited half-life 4.10
Immediacy index 0.51
Eigenfactor 0.01
Article influence 0.60
Website Animal (Cambridge, UK) website
Other titles Animal (Cambridge, England)
ISSN 1751-7311
OCLC 84716891
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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  • Conditions
    • Author's Pre-print on author's personal website, departmental website, social media websites, institutional repository, non-commercial subject-based repositories, such as PubMed Central, Europe PMC or arXiv
    • Author's post-print on author's personal website on acceptance of publication
    • Author's post-print on departmental website, institutional repository, non-commercial subject-based repositories, such as PubMed Central, Europe PMC or arXiv, after a 6 months embargo
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Published abstract may be deposited
    • Pre-print to record acceptance for publication
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with set statement
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Publisher last reviewed on 07/10/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Cambridge University Press (CUP)'
  • Classification

Publications in this journal

  • T. A. Woyengo · R. Jha · E. Beltranena · R. T. Zijlstra ·
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    ABSTRACT: Canola co-products are sources of amino acid and energy in pig feeds, but their fermentation characteristics in the pig intestine are unknown. Thus, we determined the in vitro fermentation characteristics of the canola co-products Brassica juncea solvent-extracted canola meal (JSECM), Brassica napus solvent-extracted canola meal (NSECM), B. napus expeller-pressed canola meal (NEPCM) and B. napus cold-pressed canola cake (NCPCC) in comparison with soybean meal (SBM). Samples were hydrolysed in two steps using pepsin and pancreatin. Subsequently, residues were incubated in a buffer solution with fresh pig faeces as inocula for 72 h to measure gas production. Concentration of volatile fatty acids (VFA) per gram of dry matter (DM) of feedstuff was measured in fermented solutions. Apparent ileal digestibility (AID) and apparent hindgut fermentation (AHF) of gross energy (GE) for feedstuffs were obtained from pigs fed the same feedstuffs. On DM basis, SBM, JSECM, NSECM, NEPCM and NCPCC contained 15, 19, 22, 117 and 231 g/kg ether extract; and 85, 223, 306, 208 and 176 g/kg NDF, respectively. In vitro digestibility of DM (IVDDM) of SBM (82.3%) was greater ( P< 0.05) than that of JSECM (68.5%), NSECM (63.4%), NEPCM (67.5%) or NCPCC (69.8%). The JSECM had greater ( P< 0.05) IVDDM than NSECM. The IVDDM for NSECM was lower ( P< 0.05) than that for NEPCM, which was lower ( P< 0.05) than that for NCPCC. Similarly, AID of GE was greatest for SBM followed by NCPCC, JSECM, NEPCM and then NSECM. Total VFA production for SBM (0.73 mmol/g) was lower ( P <0.05) than that of JSECM (1.38 mmol/g) or NSECM (1.05 mmol/g), but not different from that of NEPCM (0.80 mmol/g) and NCPCC (0.62 mmol/g). Total VFA production of JSECM was greater ( P <0.05) than that of NSECM. Total VFA production of NSECM was greater ( P <0.05) than that of NEPCM or NCPCC, which differed ( P <0.05). The ranking of feedstuffs for total VFA production was similar to AHF of GE. In conclusion, in vitro fermentation characteristics of canola co-products and SBM simulated their fermentation in the small and large intestine of pigs, respectively. The 30% greater VFA production for JSECM than NSECM due to lower lignified fibre of JSECM indicates that fermentation characteristics differ between canola species. The NSECM had the highest fermentability followed by NEPCM and then NCPCC, indicating that fat in canola co-products can limit their fermentability in the hindgut.
    animal 11/2015; DOI:10.1017/S1751731115002566
  • M. Barahona · J. L. Olleta · C. Sañudo · P. Albertí · B. Panea · M. Pérez-Juan · C. E. Realini · M. M. Campo ·
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    ABSTRACT: Instrumental assessments and sensory tests were performed to evaluate the effects of diet and postmortem ageing time (1, 7 and 21 days) on beef quality. A total of 48 Friesian calves were randomly allocated to four dietary treatments: control, whole linseed (10% linseed), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (2% protected CLA), and whole linseed+CLA (10% linseed and 2% protected CLA). Animals were slaughtered at 458±16.6 kg live weight and 11 months of age. Ageing was more significant than diet on most instrumental parameters. Meat from linseed enriched diets had greater drip loss ( P ⩽0.001) and intramuscular fat ( P ⩽0.01) than meat from animals fed CLA. Beef aged for 7 and 21 days had lower cooking losses ( P ⩽0.01) and shear force ( P ⩽0.001) than beef aged for 1 day. Lightness was affected only by display time. The addition of CLA in the diet increased hue and yellowness, whereas the inclusion of linseed decreased these values, as well as increased redness. Linseed in the diet decreased fat odour ( P ⩽0.05), but increased beef ( P ⩽0.01) and liver ( P ⩽0.05) flavours. Meat aged for 21 days was significantly more rancid ( P ⩽0.001), even under vacuum storage. Several organoleptic properties were improved with the inclusion of linseed in the diet, whereas they remained unaffected by the inclusion of CLA.
    animal 11/2015; DOI:10.1017/S1751731115002591
  • K. M. Hartcher · K. A. Hickey · P. H. Hemsworth · G. M. Cronin · S. J. Wilkinson · M. Singh ·
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    ABSTRACT: Severe feather-pecking (SFP), a particularly injurious behaviour in laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus), is thought to be negatively correlated with range use in free-range systems. In turn, range use is thought to be inversely associated with fearfulness, where fearful birds may be less likely to venture outside. However, very few experiments have investigated the proposed association between range use and fearfulness. This experiment investigated associations between range use (time spent outside), fearfulness, plumage damage, and BW. Two pens of 50 ISA Brown laying hens ( n =100) were fitted with radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders (contained within silicone leg rings) at 26 weeks of age. Data were then collected over 13 days. A total of 95% of birds accessed the outdoor run more than once per day. Birds spent an average duration of 6.1 h outside each day over 11 visits per bird per day (51.5 min per visit). The top 15 and bottom 15 range users ( n =30), as determined by the total time spent on the range over 13 days, were selected for study. These birds were tonic immobility (TI) tested at the end of the trial and were feather-scored and weighed after TI testing. Birds with longer TI durations spent less time outside ( P =0.01). Plumage damage was not associated with range use ( P =0.68). The small group sizes used in this experiment may have been conducive to the high numbers of birds utilising the outdoor range area. The RFID technology collected a large amount of data on range access in the tagged birds, and provides a potential means for quantitatively assessing range access in laying hens. The present findings indicate a negative association between fearfulness and range use. However, the proposed negative association between plumage damage and range use was not supported. The relationships between range use, fearfulness, and SFP warrant further research.
    animal 11/2015; DOI:10.1017/S1751731115002463
  • A. Govignon-Gion · R. Dassonneville · G. Baloche · V. Ducrocq ·
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    ABSTRACT: In 2010, a routine genetic evaluation on occurrence of clinical mastitis in three main dairy cattle breeds – Montbéliarde (MO), Normande (NO) and Holstein (HO) – was implemented in France. Records were clinical mastitis events reported by farmers to milk recording technicians and the analyzed trait was the binary variable describing the occurrence of a mastitis case within the first 150 days of the first three lactations. Genetic parameters of clinical mastitis were estimated for the three breeds. Low heritability estimates were found: between 2% and 4% depending on the breed. Despite its low heritability, the trait exhibits genetic variation so efficient genetic improvement is possible. Genetic correlations with other traits were estimated, showing large correlations (often>0.50, in absolute value) between clinical mastitis and somatic cell score (SCS), longevity and some udder traits. Correlation with milk yield was moderate and unfavorable ( ρ =0.26 to 0.30). High milking speed was genetically associated with less mastitis in MO ( ρ =−0.14) but with more mastitis in HO ( ρ =0.18). A two-step approach was implemented for routine evaluation: first, a univariate evaluation based on a linear animal model with permanent environment effect led to pre-adjusted records (defined as records corrected for all non-genetic effects) and associated weights. These data were then combined with similar pre-adjusted records for others traits in a multiple trait BLUP animal model. The combined breeding values for clinical mastitis obtained are the official (published) ones. Mastitis estimated breeding values (EBV) were then combined with SCSs EBV into an udder health index, which receives a weight of 14.5% to 18.5% in the French total merit index (ISU) of the three breeds. Interbull genetic correlations for mastitis occurrence were very high ( ρ =0.94) with Nordic countries, where much stricter recording systems exist reflecting a satisfactory quality of phenotypes as reported by the farmers. They were lower (around 0.80) with countries supplying SCS as a proxy for the international evaluation on clinical mastitis.
    animal 11/2015; DOI:10.1017/S1751731115002529
  • C. X. Zou · F. O. Lively · A. R. G. Wylie · T. Yan ·
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    ABSTRACT: Seventeen non-lactating dairy-bred suckler cows (LF; Limousin×Holstein-Friesian) and 17 non-lactating beef composite breed suckler cows (ST; Stabiliser) were used to study enteric methane emissions and energy and nitrogen (N) utilization from grass silage diets. Cows were housed in cubicle accommodation for 17 days, and then moved to individual tie-stalls for an 8-day digestibility balance including a 2-day adaption followed by immediate transfer to an indirect, open-circuit, respiration calorimeters for 3 days with gaseous exchange recorded over the last two of these days. Grass silage was offered ad libitum once daily at 0900 h throughout the study. There were no significant differences ( P >0.05) between the genotypes for energy intakes, energy outputs or energy use efficiency, or for methane emission rates (methane emissions per unit of dry matter intake or energy intake), or for N metabolism characteristics (N intake or N output in faeces or urine). Accordingly, the data for both cow genotypes were pooled and used to develop relationships between inputs and outputs. Regression of energy retention against ME intake ( r 2 =0.52; P <0.001) indicated values for net energy requirements for maintenance of 0.386, 0.392 and 0.375 MJ/kg 0.75 for LF+ST, LF and ST respectively. Methane energy output was 0.066 of gross energy intake when the intercept was omitted from the linear equation ( r 2 =0.59; P <0.001). There were positive linear relationships between N intake and N outputs in manure, and manure N accounted for 0.923 of the N intake. The present results provide approaches to predict maintenance energy requirement, methane emission and manure N output for suckler cows and further information is required to evaluate their application in a wide range of suckler production systems.
    animal 11/2015; DOI:10.1017/S1751731115002268
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    ABSTRACT: To tackle the high prevalence of lameness, techniques to monitor cow locomotion are being developed in order to detect changes in cows’ locomotion due to lameness. Obviously, in such lameness detection systems, alerts should only respond to locomotion changes that are related to lameness. However, other environmental or cow factors can contribute to locomotion changes not related to lameness and hence, might cause false alerts. In this study the effects of wet surfaces, dark environment, age, production level, lactation and gestation stage on cow locomotion were investigated. Data was collected at Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research research farm (Melle, Belgium) during a 5-month period. The gait variables of 30 non-lame and healthy Holstein cows were automatically measured every day. In dark environments and on wet walking surfaces cows took shorter, more asymmetrical strides with less step overlap. In general, older cows had a more asymmetrical gait and they walked slower with more abduction. Lactation stage or gestation stage also showed significant association with asymmetrical and shorter gait and less step overlap probably due to the heavy calf in the uterus. Next, two lameness detection algorithms were developed to investigate the added value of environmental and cow data into detection models. One algorithm solely used locomotion variables and a second algorithm used the same locomotion variables and additional environmental and cow data. In the latter algorithm only age and lactation stage together with the locomotion variables were withheld during model building. When comparing the sensitivity for the detection of non-lame cows, sensitivity increased by 10% when the cow data was added in the algorithm (sensitivity was 70% and 80% for the first and second algorithm, respectively). Hence, the number of false alerts for lame cows that were actually non-lame, decreased. This pilot study shows that using knowledge on influencing factors on cow locomotion will help in reducing the number of false alerts for lameness detection systems under development. However, further research is necessary in order to better understand these and many other possible influencing factors (e.g. trimming, conformation) of non-lame and hence ‘normal’ locomotion in cows.
    animal 11/2015; DOI:10.1017/S175173111500244X
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    ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to verify whether vitamin (Vit) E or natural clay as feed additives has the potential to modulate the deleterious effects resulting from exposure to cadmium (Cd) in growing Japanese quail. 648 Japanese quail chicks (1 week old) were used to evaluate the effects of dietary Cd (0, 40, 80 and 120 mg/kg diet) and two levels of Vit E (0, 250 mg/kg diet) or two levels of natural clay (0 and 100 mg/kg diet) to study the influences of Cd, Vit E, clay or their different combinations on growth performance, carcass traits, some blood biochemical components and Cd residues in muscles and liver. Live BW and weight gain of quails were linearly decreased with increasing dietary Cd levels. Moreover, feed conversion was significantly worsened with increasing Cd level. Mortality percentage was linearly increased as dietary Cd level increased up to 120 mg/kg diet. Carcass percentage was linearly decreased as dietary Cd level increased. While, giblets percentage were linearly and quadratically differed as dietary Cd level increased. Cd caused significant changes in total plasma protein, albumin, globulin, A/G ratio, creatinine, urea-N and uric acid concentrations as well as ALT, AST and ALP activities. Increasing dietary Cd level was associated with its increase in the muscles and liver. Dietary supplementation with 250 mg of Vit E/kg diet or 100 mg clay/kg improved live BW, BW gain and feed conversion when compared with the un-supplemented diet. Quails fed diet contained 250 mg Vit E/kg and those fed 100 mg clay/kg had the highest percentages of carcass and dressing than those fed the un-supplemented diet. Blood plasma biochemical components studied were better when birds received 250 mg of Vit E/kg diet and those received 100 mg clay/kg. Cd residues in the muscles and liver were significantly less in the birds had 250 mg of Vit E/kg or those received 100 mg clay/kg diet than those un-supplemented with Vit E. Growth performance traits and blood plasma biochemical components studied were significantly affected linearly by the interactions among Cd and each of Vit E and clay levels. In conclusion, the present results indicate that the deleterious effects induced by Cd plays a role in decreasing the performance of Japanese quail and that dietary supplementation with natural clay or Vit E may be useful in partly alleviating the adverse effects of Cd.
    animal 11/2015; DOI:10.1017/S1751731115002578
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    ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary addition of cinnamon oil (CIN), cinnamaldehyde (CDH), or monensin (MON) on enteric methane (CH 4 ) emission in dairy cows. Eight multiparous lactating Holstein cows fitted with ruminal cannulas were used in a replicated 4×4 Latin square design (28-day periods). Cows were fed ( ad libitum ) a total mixed ration ((TMR); 60 : 40 forage : concentrate ratio, on a dry matter (DM) basis) not supplemented (CTL), or supplemented with CIN (50 mg/kg DM intake), CDH (50 mg/kg DM intake), or monensin (24 mg/kg of DM intake). Dry matter intake (DMI), nutrient digestibility, N retention, and milk performance were measured over 6 consecutive days. Ruminal degradability of the basal diet (with no additive) was assessed using in sacco incubations (0, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h). Ruminal fermentation characteristics (pH, volatile fatty acids (VFA), and ammonia (NH 3 )) and protozoa were determined over 2 days. Enteric CH 4 emissions were measured over 6 consecutive days using the sulfur hexafluoride (SF 6 ) tracer gas technique. Adding CIN, CDH or MON to the diet had no effects on DMI, N retention, in sacco ruminal degradation and nutrient digestibility of the diet. Ruminal fermentation characteristics and protozoa numbers were not modified by including the feed additives in the diet. Enteric CH 4 emission and CH 4 energy losses averaged 491 g/day and 6.59% of gross energy intake, respectively, and were not affected by adding CIN, CDH or MON to the diet. Results of this study indicate that CIN, CDH and MON are not viable CH 4 mitigation strategies in dairy cows.
    animal 11/2015; DOI:10.1017/S175173111500230X

  • animal 11/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Recent genomic evaluation studies using real data and predicting genetic gain by modeling breeding programs have reported moderate expected benefits from the replacement of classic selection schemes by genomic selection (GS) in small ruminants. The objectives of this study were to compare the cost, monetary genetic gain and economic efficiency of classic selection and GS schemes in the meat sheep industry. Deterministic methods were used to model selection based on multi-trait indices from a sheep meat breeding program. Decisional variables related to male selection candidates and progeny testing were optimized to maximize the annual monetary genetic gain (AMGG), that is, a weighted sum of meat and maternal traits annual genetic gains. For GS, a reference population of 2000 individuals was assumed and genomic information was available for evaluation of male candidates only. In the classic selection scheme, males breeding values were estimated from own and offspring phenotypes. In GS, different scenarios were considered, differing by the information used to select males (genomic only, genomic+own performance, genomic+offspring phenotypes). The results showed that all GS scenarios were associated with higher total variable costs than classic selection (if the cost of genotyping was 123 euros/animal). In terms of AMGG and economic returns, GS scenarios were found to be superior to classic selection only if genomic information was combined with their own meat phenotypes (GS-Pheno) or with their progeny test information. The predicted economic efficiency, defined as returns (proportional to number of expressions of AMGG in the nucleus and commercial flocks) minus total variable costs, showed that the best GS scenario (GS-Pheno) was up to 15% more efficient than classic selection. For all selection scenarios, optimization increased the overall AMGG, returns and economic efficiency. As a conclusion, our study shows that some forms of GS strategies are more advantageous than classic selection, provided that GS is already initiated (i.e. the initial reference population is available). Optimizing decisional variables of the classic selection scheme could be of greater benefit than including genomic information in optimized designs.
    animal 10/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past 23 years (1990 to 2012), French beef cattle farms have expanded in size and increased labour productivity by over 60%, chiefly, though not exclusively, through capital intensification (labour–capital substitution) and simplifying herd feeding practices (more concentrates used). The technical efficiency of beef sector production systems, as measured by the ratio of the volume value (in constant euros) of farm output excluding aids to volume of intermediate consumption, has fallen by nearly 20% while income per worker has held stable thanks to subsidies and the labour productivity gains made. This aggregate technical efficiency of beef cattle systems is positively correlated to feed self-sufficiency, which is in turn negatively correlated to farm and herd size. While volume of farm output per hectare of agricultural area has not changed, forage feed self-sufficiency decreased by 6 percentage points. The continual increase in farm size and labour productivity has come at a cost of lower production-system efficiency – a loss of technical efficiency that 20 years of genetic, technical, technological and knowledge-driven progress has barely managed to offset.
    animal 09/2015; 9(12):1-10. DOI:10.1017/S1751731115002013
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    ABSTRACT: A 3 to 4 week feed restriction of about 20% to 25% of the free intake is widely applied in rabbit breeding systems to reduce post-weaning digestive disorders. However, a short intensive feed restriction is described in few studies and can be beneficial for growing rabbits due to a longer re-alimentation period. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ad libitum (AL) and two restriction levels of feeding (50 and 65 g/rabbit per day) applied for 1 week on performance, gastrointestinal morphology and physiological parameters during the restriction and during the re-alimentation period. Rabbits were divided into three experimental groups: AL rabbits were fed AL, R1 rabbits were restricted from 42 to 49 days of age and received 50 g daily (29% of AL) and R2 rabbits were restricted at the same age and were fed 65 g of feed daily (37% of AL). In the 1 st week after weaning and in the weeks after restriction, all the groups were fed AL. During the restriction period, daily weight gain (DWG) in R1 significantly dropped to 11% (experiment 1) and 5% (experiment 2) compared with rabbits in the AL group, although they were fed 29% of AL, whereas in the R2 group it decreased to 20% (experiment 1) and 10% (experiment 2). In the week following feed restriction, DWG in the restricted groups increased ( P <0.001) to 166% and 148% in R1 and to 128% and 145% in R2. Restricted rabbits in both the experiments reached up to 90% to 93% of the final live weight (70 days) of the AL group. Over the entire experimental period, feed restriction significantly decreased feed intake to 85% to 88% of the AL group; however, the feed conversion ratio was lower ( P <0.05) only in experiment 1 (−6% in R1 and −4% in R2). Digestibilities of CP and fat were not significantly higher during the restriction period and during the 1 st week of re-alimentation compared with the AL group. Significant interactions between feeding regime and age revealed the shortest large intestine in the AL group at 49 days of age and the longest at 70 days in the AL and R1 groups. Small intestinal villi were significantly higher and the crypts were significantly deeper in the restricted groups. It could be concluded that short intensive feed restriction increased digestible area in the small and large intestines, including the height of villi and depth of crypts, which might be involved in the compensatory growth and defence mechanism.
    animal 09/2015; DOI:10.1017/S1751731115001810
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    ABSTRACT: It has been documented that floor heating of the farrowing area in loose housed sows improves survival of piglets significantly. However, today, the majority of farrowing pens are designed with crating of sows and slatted floor at the birth site. The aim of this study was to investigate whether providing radiant heat at the birth site to new-born piglets in pens with crated sows reduced hypothermia, time to first milk intake and growth of the piglets during the 1 st week. Second parity Danish Landrace×Yorkshire sows ( n =36) were randomly divided into two groups: Control (CG) and heat (HG). In the area behind the sow (zone 1), two radiant heat panels were mounted above the slatted floor in the HG. The farrowings were attended, and the heaters were turned on at birth of first piglet and turned off 12 h after. Birth time, time to leave zone 1, time to first contact with udder and time to first suckling were registered by direct observation. The piglet’s rectal temperature (RT) was measured 15, 30, 60, 120, 180, 240 min after birth and 12, 14 and 24 h after birth of first piglet. Piglets were weighed at birth, 24 and 48 h and 7 days after birth. Data were analysed in a mixed model in SAS. The drop in RT was lower in HG compared with CG ( P =0.002), and the RT in HG remained higher than in CG from 30 to 240 min after birth ( P <0.05), whereas no difference was found at 12 h after birth of first piglet ( P =0.92). Piglets in HG stayed longer in zone 1 than those in CG ( P =0.01), whereas time to reach udder ( P =0.35) and to first suckling ( P =0.56) did not differ. No difference in weight gain was found between piglets in HG and CG at 24 h ( P =0.23), 48 h ( P =0.28) and 7 days after birth ( P =0.44). Birth weight had a positive effect on RT ( P <0.001) and reduced time to leave zone 1 ( P <0.01), reach udder ( P <0.001) and time to first suckling ( P <0.001). The results showed that radiant heating behind the sows reduced hypothermia in new-born piglets and indicate that providing heat during the first half hour after birth is important.
    animal 09/2015; DOI:10.1017/S1751731115001913
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    ABSTRACT: In order to describe the lactation curves of milk yield (MY) and composition in buffaloes, seven non-linear mathematical equations (Wood, Dhanoa, Sikka, Nelder, Brody, Dijkstra and Rook) were used. Data were 116 117 test-day records for MY, fat (FP) and protein (PP) percentages of milk from the first three lactations of buffaloes which were collected from 893 herds in the period from 1992 to 2012 by the Animal Breeding Center of Iran. Each model was fitted to monthly production records of dairy buffaloes using the NLIN and MODEL procedures in SAS and the parameters were estimated. The models were tested for goodness of fit using adjusted coefficient of determination ( $$_{{{\rm adj}}}^{2} $$ ), root means square error (RMSE), Durbin–Watson statistic and Akaike’s information criterion (AIC). The Dijkstra model provided the best fit of MY and PP of milk for the first three parities of buffaloes due to the lower values of RMSE and AIC than other models. For the first-parity buffaloes, Sikka and Brody models provided the best fit of FP, but for the second- and third-parity buffaloes, Sikka model and Brody equation provided the best fit of lactation curve for FP, respectively. The results of this study showed that the Wood and Dhanoa equations were able to estimate the time to the peak MY more accurately than the other equations. In addition, Nelder and Dijkstra equations were able to estimate the peak time at second and third parities more accurately than other equations, respectively. Brody function provided more accurate predictions of peak MY over the first three parities of buffaloes. There was generally a positive relationship between 305-day MY and persistency measures and also between peak yield and 305-day MY, calculated by different models, within each lactation in the current study. Overall, evaluation of the different equations used in the current study indicated the potential of the non-linear models for fitting monthly productive records of buffaloes.
    animal 09/2015; DOI:10.1017/S1751731115001846