animal (ANIMAL )

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

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.

Impact factor 1.78

  • Hide impact factor history
     
    Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
    1.76
  • Cited half-life
    3.30
  • Immediacy index
    0.39
  • Eigenfactor
    0.01
  • Article influence
    0.50
  • 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

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • 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 for HSS journals, on author's personal website, departmental website, institutional repository, non-commercial subject-based repositories, such as PubMed Central, Europe PMC or arXiv, on acceptance of publication
    • Author's post-print for STM journals, on author's personal website on acceptance of publication
    • Author's post-print for STM journals, 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, for deposit of Authors Post-print or Publisher's version/PDF
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Publisher last reviewed on 07/10/2014
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Improvement of feed efficiency in pigs has been achieved essentially by increasing lean growth rate, which resulted in lower feed intake (FI). The objective was to evaluate the impact of strategies for improving feed efficiency on the dynamics of FI and growth in growing pigs to revisit nutrient recommendations and strategies for feed efficiency improvement. In 2010, three BWs, at 35±2, 63±9 and 107±7 kg, and daily FI during this period were recorded in three French test stations on 379 Large White and 327 French Landrace from maternal pig populations and 215 Large White from a sire population. Individual growth and FI model parameters were obtained with the InraPorc® software and individual nutrient requirements were computed. The model parameters were explored according to feed efficiency as measured by residual feed intake (RFI) or feed conversion ratio (FCR). Animals were separated in groups of better feed efficiency (RFI- or FCR-), medium feed efficiency and poor feed efficiency. Second, genetic relationships between feed efficiency and model parameters were estimated. Despite similar average daily gains (ADG) during the test for all RFI groups, RFI- pigs had a lower initial growth rate and a higher final growth rate compared with other pigs. The same initial growth rate was found for all FCR groups, but FCR- pigs had significantly higher final growth rates than other pigs, resulting in significantly different ADG. Dynamic of FI also differed between RFI or FCR groups. The calculated digestible lysine requirements, expressed in g/MJ net energy (NE), showed the same trends for RFI or FCR groups: the average requirements for the 25% most efficient animals were 13% higher than that of the 25% least efficient animals during the whole test, reaching 0.90 to 0.95 g/MJ NE at the beginning of the test, which is slightly greater than usual feed recommendations for growing pigs. Model parameters were moderately heritable (0.30±0.13 to 0.56±0.13), except for the precocity of growth (0.06±0.08). The parameter representing the quantity of feed at 50 kg BW showed a relatively high genetic correlation with RFI (0.49±0.14), and average protein deposition between 35 and 110 kg had the highest correlation with FCR (-0.76±0.08). Thus, growth and FI dynamics may be envisaged as breeding tools to improve feed efficiency. Furthermore, improvement of feed efficiency should be envisaged jointly with new feeding strategies.
    animal 01/2015; 9(1):18-27.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We investigated the effect of maternal sire on early pregnancy failure (between D0, day of insemination and D90) in their progeny during the first and second lactations (n=3508) in the Holstein breed. The estimated breeding value (EBV) for cow fertility of 12 bulls (reliability⩾0.95) was used to create the following three groups: low, medium and high EBV (EBV from -0.7 to 1 expressed as genetic standard deviation relative to the mean of the breed). In their daughters (93 to 516 per bull), progesterone measurement was carried out on the day of artificial insemination (AI; D0) to check whether the cows were in the follicular phase and on D18 to 25 to assess non-fertilisation-early embryonic mortality (NF-EEM). Late embryonic mortality (LEM) and early foetal death (FD) were determined by ultrasonography on D45 and D90 and by the return to oestrus after the first AI. Frequencies of NF-EEM, LEM, FD and pregnancy were 33.3%, 11.7%, 1.4% and 48.5% and incidences were 35.1, 19.0, 2.7 and 51.1, respectively. Sire EBV was significantly related to the incidences of pregnancy failure between D0 and D90, fertilisation failure-early embryonic mortality (FF-EEM) and LEM but not to the incidence of FD between D45 and D90 of pregnancy. The relative risk (RR) of FF-EEM was significantly higher (RR=1.2; P<0.05) for the progeny group of low EBV bulls when compared with high EBV bulls. The same effect was observed when comparing LEM of the progeny groups from the low EBV bulls to those from moderate and high EBV bulls (RR, respectively, of 1.3 and 1.4; P<005). The incidence of FF-EEM was significantly higher when cows were inseminated before 80 days postpartum compared with later, and for the extreme values of the difference between milk fat and protein content measured during the first 3 months of lactation. FF-EEM was also significantly related to the year of observation. The incidence of LEM was higher for the highest producing cows and was influenced by interaction between milk yield×lactation rank and milk yield×milk protein content. In conclusion, this study showed large differences in early pregnancy failure between progeny groups and highlights the interest of accurate characterisation of embryonic death in order to identify potential candidate genes for female fertility.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Digestibility is a key parameter in the evaluation of feeds; however, the measurements on animals require heavy experimental trials, which are hardly feasible when large numbers of determinations are required - for example, in genetic studies. This experiment aimed at investigating the possibility to predict digestibility from NIRS spectra measured on faeces. A total of 196 samples were available from a digestibility experiment investigating the effects of age and genetic background of Large White pigs fed the same diet, rich in fibre (NDF=21.4% DM). Digestibility of dry matter (dDM), organic matter (dOM), nitrogen content (dN), energy (dE) and apparent digestible energy content (ADE) were calculated, as well as total N content of faeces (N). The faeces samples were submitted to reflectance NIRS analysis after freeze-drying and grinding. Calibration errors and validation errors were, respectively, 0.08 and 0.13% DM for total N in faeces, 0.97% and 1.08% for dDM, 0.79% and 1.04% for dOM, 1.04% and 1.47% for dN, 0.87% and 1.12% for dE and 167 and 213 kJ/kg DM for ADE. These results indicate that NIRS can account for digestibility differences due to animal factors, with an acceptable accuracy. NIRS appears to be a promising tool for large-scale evaluations of digestibility. It could also be used for the study of digestibility of different feeds, after appropriate calibration based on a wide range of feed types.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An appropriate energy feeding management that ensures the optimal dietary energy supply according to the energy expenditure (EE) is a crucial component for the horse's performance. The main purpose of this study was to determine the EE during four specific exercises used in the training of Standardbred trotters (promenade, jogging, parcours and interval work-outs). A total of six Standardbred geldings performed four different testing situations on a track. The intensity (expressed in percentage of the maximal velocity over 500 m, i.e. v500) and volume (distance and duration) of the testing situations were determined according to practices reported by French trainers. Promenade and jogging included only an exercise phase, whereas parcours and interval situations also included a warm-up and a recovery phase. Oxygen uptake (VO2), carbon dioxide production (VCO2) and heart rate (HR) were continuously recorded from 2 min before the beginning through to the end of the testing situations, using a portable respiratory gas analyser. Blood lactate levels and rectal temperature were determined before and immediately after the exercise phase of each testing situations. EE of the different phases (warm-up, exercise and recovery) and EE of the entire testing situations (EETOTAL) were calculated from VO2 measurements and the O2 caloric equivalent. Interval and parcours situations induced higher physiological responses than promenade and jogging situations, particularly in terms of VO2peak, VCO2peak and HRpeak. The highest blood lactate concentration (6 mmol/l) was measured after the interval exercise, and respiratory exchange ratios ⩾1 were observed only for the parcours situation. The EE of exercise phase varied from 0.49 to 1.79 kJ/min per kg for promenade and parcours situations. The EE of warm-up and recovery phases did not differ between parcours and interval situations, and was estimated at 1.04 and 0.57 kJ/min per kg BW, respectively. On average, the warm-up and the recovery phases contributed to 38% and 19% of the EETOTAL. For promenade, jogging, parcours and interval situations, EETOTAL was evaluated at 12 618, 11 119, 13 698 and 18 119 kJ, respectively.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Genomic selection is becoming a common practise in dairy cattle, but only few works have studied its introduction in pig selection programs. Results described for this species are highly dependent on the considered traits and the specific population structure. This paper aims to simulate the impact of genomic selection in a pig population with a training cohort of performance-tested and slaughtered full sibs. This population is selected for performance, carcass and meat quality traits by full-sib testing of boars. Data were simulated using a forward-in-time simulation process that modeled around 60K single nucleotide polymorphisms and several quantitative trait loci distributed across the 18 porcine autosomes. Data were edited to obtain, for each cycle, 200 sires mated with 800 dams to produce 800 litters of 4 piglets each, two males and two females (needed for the sib test), for a total of 3200 newborns. At each cycle, a subset of 200 litters were sib tested, and 60 boars and 160 sows were selected to replace the same number of culled male and female parents. Simulated selection of boars based on performance test data of their full sibs (one castrated brother and two sisters per boar in 200 litters) lasted for 15 cycles. Genotyping and phenotyping of the three tested sibs (training population) and genotyping of the candidate boars (prediction population) were assumed. Breeding values were calculated for traits with two heritability levels (h 2=0.40, carcass traits, and h 2=0.10, meat quality parameters) on simulated pedigrees, phenotypes and genotypes. Genomic breeding values, estimated by various models (GBLUP from raw phenotype or using breeding values and single-step models), were compared with the classical BLUP Animal Model predictions in terms of predictive ability. Results obtained for traits with moderate heritability (h 2=0.40), similar to the heritability of traits commonly measured within a sib-testing program, did not show any benefit from the introduction of genomic selection. None of the considered genomic models provided improvements in prediction ability of pigs with no recorded phenotype. However, a few advantages were found for traits with low heritability (h 2=0.10). These heritability levels are characteristic for meat quality traits recorded after slaughtering or for reproduction or health traits, typically recorded on field and not in performance stations. Other scenarios of data recording and genotyping should be evaluated before considering the implementation of genomic selection in a pig-selection scheme based on sib testing of boars.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the EU, pigs must have permanent access to manipulable materials such as straw, rope, wood, etc. Long straw can fulfil this function, but can increase labour requirements for cleaning pens, and result in problems with blocked slatted floors and slurry systems. Chopped straw might be more practical, but what is the effect on pigs' behaviour of using chopped straw instead of long straw? Commercial pigs in 1/3 slatted, 2/3 solid pens of 15 pigs were provided with either 100 g/pig per day of long straw (20 pens) or of chopped straw (19 pens). Behavioural observations were made of three focal pigs per pen (one from each of small, medium and large weight tertiles) for one full day between 0600 and 2300 h at each of ~40 and ~80 kg. The time spent rooting/investigating overall (709 s/pig per hour at 40 kg to 533 s/pig per hour at 80 kg), or directed to the straw/solid floor (497 s/pig per hour at 40 kg to 343 s/pig per hour at 80 kg), was not affected by straw length but reduced with age. Time spent investigating other pigs (83 s/pig per hour at 40 kg), the slatted floor (57 s/pig per hour) or pen fixtures (21 s/pig per hour) was not affected by age or straw length. Aggressive behaviour was infrequent, but lasted about twice as long in pens with chopped straw (2.3 s/pig per hour at 40 kg) compared with pens with long straw (1.0 s/pig per hour at 40 kg, P=0.060). There were no significant effects of straw length on tail or ear lesions, but shoulders were significantly more likely to have minor scratches with chopped straw (P=0.031), which may reflect the higher levels of aggression. Smaller pigs showed more rooting/investigatory behaviour, and in particular directed towards the straw/solid floor and the slatted floor than their larger pen-mates. Females exhibited more straw and pen fixture-directed behaviour than males. There were no effects of pig size or sex on behaviour directed towards other pigs. In summary, pigs spent similar amounts of time interacting with straw/solid floor when long and chopped straw were provided, and most aspects of pig-directed behaviour and injuries were not affected by straw length. There was an increase in pigs with minor shoulder lesions with chopped straw, perhaps because of increased aggression. The use of chopped straw as an enrichment material for pigs warrants further investigation in larger and more detailed studies.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: One of the consequences of intense genetic selection for growth of poultry is the recent appearance of abnormalities in chicken breast muscles, such as white striping (characterised by superficial white striations) and wooden breast (characterised by pale and bulged areas with substantial hardness). The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality traits of chicken fillets affected by white striping and wooden breast abnormalities. In two replications, 192 fillets were divided into the following four classes: normal (n=48; absence of any visual defects), white striping (n=48, presence of white striations), wooden breast (n=48; diffusely presence of hardened areas) and white striping/wooden breast (n=48; fillets affected by both abnormalities). Morphology, raw meat texture and technological properties were assessed in both unprocessed (pH, colour, drip loss, cooking loss and cooked meat shear force) and marinated meat (marinade uptake, purge loss, cooking loss and cooked meat shear force). Fillets affected by white striping, wooden breast or both abnormalities exhibited higher breast weights compared with normal fillets (305.5, 298.7, 318.3 and 244.7 g, respectively; P<0.001). Wooden breast, either alone or in combination with white striping, was associated with a significant (P<0.001) increase of fillet thickness in the caudal area and raw meat hardness compared with both normal and the white striping abnormality, for which there was no difference. Overall, the occurrence of the individual and combined white striping and wooden breast abnormalities resulted in substantial reduction in the quality of breast meat, although these abnormalities are associated with distinct characteristics. Wooden breast fillets showed lower marinade uptake and higher cooking losses than white-striped fillets for both unprocessed and marinated meats. On the other hand, white-striped fillets showed a moderate decline in marinade and cooking yield. Fillets affected by both abnormalities had the highest (P<0.001) ultimate pH values. In contrast, the effects on colour of raw and cooked meat, drip loss, purge loss and cooked meat shear force were negligible or relatively low and of little practical importance. Thus, the presence of white striping and wooden breast abnormalities impair not only breast meat appearance but also the quality of both raw and marinated meats mainly by reducing water holding/binding abilities.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Measurements of respiratory exchanges in genuine exercise conditions are undoubtedly of interest to further define the energy needs of endurance horses. However, the equine K4b2, the gas exchanges portable device validated for equines, has not been used in Arabian endurance horses yet. Therefore, the objective of this study was to implement field cardio-respiratory measurements in such horses using the equine K4b2 in order to assess energy expenditure (EE). Measurements of heart rate (HR), oxygen uptake (VO2), carbon dioxide production (VCO2), respiratory frequency (RF), tidal volume (VT) and minute expired volume (VE) were carried out at rest and during a 20-min submaximal incremental field exercise in five trained Arabian endurance horses equipped with the K4b2 system. The relationship between HR and VO2 was determined for each horse. EE of the exercise session was calculated from direct VO2 measurements and individual HR-VO2 regression. Out of the five horses, four tolerated the equipment. Respiratory and metabolic variables at rest and during exercise, as well as EE measured at the different gaits, were consistent with reported values in exercising horses: VO2 ranged from 4.8 to 54.1 ml/min per kg from rest to canter, respectively, and EE from 82 to 1095 J/min per kg BW. The 20-min exercise session EE accounted for 6258 and 6332 J from direct VO2 measurements and individual HR-VO2 regression, respectively, which did not differ significantly. Providing an adaptation period and several technical adjustments, the present equine K4b2 could be used to assess EE in Arabian endurance horses in a controlled environment. The prediction of EE from the individual VO2-HR relationship might be an alternative method to evaluate EE when VO2 measurements are not possible.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Outdoor farrowing huts facilitate a less restricted maternal behaviour in sows compared with sows kept indoors in farrowing pens. The aim of our study was to investigate whether there are behavioural differences between primiparous sows kept outdoors in farrowing huts and indoors in pens, and whether the maternal behaviour during the second parity, when all sows were kept outdoors in farrowing huts, would differ between sows that have experienced the indoor or the outdoor environment, respectively, during their first parturition. A total of 26 Yorkshire×Swedish Landrace sows were studied. Of these, 11 sows were housed outdoors in farrowing huts during both parturitions (group=OUTOUT). The other 15 sows were kept indoors in a barn with single farrowing pens during their first parturition. During their second parturition, sows were kept outdoors in farrowing huts (group=INOUT). The behaviour was video recorded from 2 h prepartum to 48 h postpartum. The sows' responsiveness to playbacks of a piglet's screams was tested on days 2 to 3 postpartum. Parity 1: during the last 2 h prepartum, OUTOUT sows had a higher proportion of observations in the sternal lying position (P<0.01). During parturition, OUTOUT sows changed posture more often (P<0.05) and were lying less (P<0.05) than INOUT sows. All sows in both groups responded with 'lifting head' towards the playback of piglet scream, whereas 100% of OUTOUT sows and only 43% of INOUT sows thereafter were 'getting up' (P <0.01). Parity 2: There were no behavioural differences between INOUT and OUTOUT sows. In conclusion, it is not problematic for a second parity sow with initial maternal experience from an indoor farrowing pen to be kept outdoors in farrowing huts during its following farrowing.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Based on the potential benefits for long-term human health, there is interest in developing sustainable nutritional strategies for lowering medium-chain saturated fatty acids (FA) and increasing specific unsaturated FA in ruminant milk. Dietary supplements of extruded linseeds (EL), fish oil (FO) or a mixture of EL and FO increase cis-9,trans-11 CLA and long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated FA in bovine milk. Supplements of FO cause milk fat depression in lactating cows, but information for dairy goats is limited. A total of 14 Alpine goats were used in a replicated 3×3 Latin square with 28-days experimental periods to examine the effects of EL alone or in combination with FO on animal performance, milk fat synthesis and milk FA composition. Treatments comprised diets based on natural grassland hay supplemented with no additional oil (control), 530 of EL or 340 g/day of EL and 39 g/day of FO (ELFO). Compared with the control, ELFO tended (P=0.08) to lower milk fat yield, whereas EL increased (P<0.01) milk fat content and yield (15% and 10%, respectively). Relative to EL, ELFO decreased (P<0.01) milk fat content and yield (19% and 17%, respectively). Relative to the control and ELFO, EL decreased (P<0.05) milk 10:0 to 16:0 and odd- and branched-chain FA content and increased 18:0, cis-18:1, trans-13 18:1 (and their corresponding ∆-9 (desaturase products), trans-12,cis-14 CLA, cis-13,trans-15 CLA, cis-12,trans-14 CLA and trans-11,cis-13 CLA and 18:3n-3 concentrations. ELFO was more effective for enriching (P<0.05) milk cis-9, trans-11 CLA and trans-11 18:1 concentrations (up to 5.4- and 7.1-fold compared with the control) than EL (up to 1.7- and 2.5-fold increases). Furthermore, ELFO resulted in a substantial increase in milk trans-10 18:1 concentration (5.4% total FA), with considerable variation between individual animals. Relative to the control and EL, milk fat responses to ELFO were characterized by increases (P<0.05) in milk trans-16:1 (Δ9 to 11), trans-18:1 (Δ6 to 11), trans-18:2, CLA (cis-9,trans-11, trans-9,cis-11, trans-8,trans-10 and trans-7,trans-9) and 20- and 22-carbon FA concentrations. Overall, EL resulted in a relatively high cis-9 18:1 concentration and an increase in the 18:3n-3/18:2n-6 ratio, whereas combining EL and FO resulted in substantial increases in trans-FA, marginal enrichment in 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3 and lower 16:0 concentration changes associated with a decrease in milk fat content. In conclusion, data provide further evidence of differential mammary lipogenic responses to diet in the goat compared with the cow and sheep.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-5 (IGFBP-5) is a key molecule in mammary gland development, which facilitates the removal of mammary epithelial cells (MECs) by apoptosis that takes place during remodeling of the mammary gland during involution. IGFBP-5 binds with IGFs for their bioavailability. IGFBP-5 has been reported to perform pleiotropic roles such as cellular apoptosis, proliferation and differentiation. To understand the role of IGFBP-5 during lactation and clinical mastitis, expression profiling of IGFBP-5 at the protein level was performed in both indigenous cows (Bos indicus) and buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) belonging to two different breeds - Sahiwal cows and Murrah buffaloes. Reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) of IGFBP-5 mRNA confirmed its expression in milk somatic cells and MECs of Sahiwal cows. ELISA was performed for quantitative measurement of IGFBP-5 concentrations in milk during different days (0, 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300) of lactation, during the involution period and in animals exhibiting short lactation and clinical mastitis. The highest concentration of IGFBP-5 in milk was observed during the involution period followed by colostrum, late and early lactation, respectively, in both cattle and buffaloes. No significant difference in the concentration of IGFBP-5 was observed during the first 150 days of lactation between cows and buffaloes. However, higher concentration of IGFBP-5 was observed in cows during late lactation (200 to 300 days) in comparison with buffaloes. To validate the ELISA data, quantitative real-time PCR was performed in MECs of Sahiwal cows. The relative mRNA abundance of IGFBP-5 was found to be significantly (P<0.05) higher on day 15 than between 50 and 150 days of lactation in case of Sahiwal cows. Highest mRNA expression of IGFBP-5 was observed around 300 days of lactation followed by 200 and 250 days (P<0.05), respectively. Murrah buffaloes showed low levels of IGFBP-5 protein in milk as compared with Sahiwal cows during lactation in ELISA. Animals having history of short lactation length (short lactating animals) showed higher levels of IGFBP-5 expression (at protein level) in comparison with normal lactating animals. We propose that higher level IGFBP-5 expression may have functional significance in lactation persistency. As a pro-apoptotic molecule, higher expression of IGFBP-5 was observed to be inversely related to lactation length and milk production.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study, we investigated the effects of maternal gestation and/or lactation diets supplemented with extruded linseed (rich in 18:3n-3) on growth performance and long-chain polyunsaturated faaty acid (PUFA) accumulation in muscle tissues of suckling lambs. A total of 36 dairy ewes were fed a control diet (CON) and a diet containing linseed (LIN) during the last 8 weeks of gestation and/or the first 4 weeks of lactation. The four dietary treatments consisted of the following gestation/lactation feeding treatments: CON/CON, CON/LIN, LIN/LIN or LIN/CON. The lambs born from ewes fed the aforementioned diets were reared exclusively on milk and were slaughtered at 4 weeks of age. Profiles of ewes' milk fatty acids and that of intramuscular fat (IMF) of leg muscles from lambs were determined. Compared with the CON/CON, LIN/CON offspring tended to grow slower and to have reduced cold carcass weights. Moreover, the LIN supplementation only in the prepartum period (LIN/CON) resulted in greater PUFAn-3 accumulation in the IMF compared with the CON/CON offspring due to increased 20:5n-3 (1.20 v. 0.64 mg/100 mg of total FA), 22:5n-3 (1.91 v. 1.46;) and 22:6n-3 (1.25 v. 0.89) contents, respectively. Compared with the CON/CON diet, providing LIN only during lactation (CON/LIN) caused a greater PUFAn-3 content in the IMF mainly due to a greater 18:3n-3 (1.79 v. 0.75 mg/100 g total FA) concentration. Continuous PUFAn-3 exposure, both via the maternal gestation and lactation diet, had no additive effects on PUFAn-3 accumulation in tissues. The results suggest that linseed, as an 18:3n-3 source, seems to be more efficient in increasing long-chain PUFAn-3 in fetal than in suckling lamb tissues.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) or betaine on the growth performance, carcass characteristics and fatty acid composition in backfat and belly fat of pigs fed distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). Thirty-two (60±2 kg) crossbred barrows (Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshine) were assigned to one of four diets randomly: (1) the control diet containing no corn DDGS (control group); (2) the diet containing 30% corn DDGS (DDGS-fed group); (3) the diet containing 30% corn DDGS and 10 g/kg CLA (CLA-fed group); (4) the diet containing 30% corn DDGS and 1 g/kg BET (BET-fed group). The pigs fed DDGS showed that the percentages of C18:2, polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and iodine value (IV) increased, while C18:1, saturated fatty acid (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) decreased. Pigs fed the DDGS+CLA or DDGS+betaine diets showed the increased percentage of SFA, and the decreased percentage of C18:2, PUFA and IV. In conclusion, results confirmed that the diets containing 30% DDGS had no detrimental effects on growth performance, but increased the percentage of PUFA and IV and decreased the percentage of SFA and MUFA in the backfat and belly fat. However, supplementation with CLA or BET can part reverse these effects on carcass fat in finishing pigs.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Australian dairy herd size has doubled over the last 20 years substantially increasing the time that farmers require for individual animal attention to monitor and intervene with events such as calving. Technology will help focus this limited labour resource on individual cows that require assistance. The objective of this experiment was to first determine the profiles of rumination duration and level of activity as determined by sensors between, and within, days around calving and second to use these data to predict the day of calving for pasture-based dairy cows. After 2 weeks from the expected calving date, 27 cows were fitted with SCR HR LD Tags, located in 40×90 m2 paddock and offered ad libitum oaten hay and 2 kg grain-based concentrate/cow per day until calving. Hourly activity and rumination data for each cow, as determined by the SCR tags, were fitted with linear mixed models and all parameters were estimated using restricted maximum likelihood. Rumination duration decreased by 33% over the day prior and the day of calving, with the decline in rumination duration starting the day prepartum. Activity levels were maintained prepartum but increased in the days postpartum. The day of calving was recorded and used to determine the gold standard positive (the day before calving) and negative (all other) dates. A threshold rumination level of 0.9 (decline in rumination duration of 10%) gave the optimal combination of 70% sensitivity and 70% specificity. This experiment shows the potential to use rumination duration to predict the day of calving and the opportunity to use sensor data to monitor animal health.
    animal 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study, the effects of breed composition and predictor dimensionality on the accuracy of direct genomic values (DGV) in a multiple breed (MB) cattle population were investigated. A total of 3559 bulls of three breeds were genotyped at 54 001 single nucleotide polymorphisms: 2093 Holstein (H), 749 Brown Swiss (B) and 717 Simmental (S). DGV were calculated using a principal component (PC) approach for either single (SB) or MB scenarios. Moreover, DGV were computed using all SNP genotypes simultaneously with SNPBLUP model as comparison. A total of seven data sets were used: three with a SB each, three with different pairs of breeds (HB, HS and BS), and one with all the three breeds together (HBS), respectively. Editing was performed separately for each scenario. Reference populations differed in breed composition, whereas the validation bulls were the same for all scenarios. The number of SNPs retained after data editing ranged from 36 521 to 41 360. PCs were extracted from actual genotypes. The total number of retained PCs ranged from 4029 to 7284 in Brown Swiss and HBS respectively, reducing the number of predictors by about 85% (from 82% to 89%). In all, three traits were considered: milk, fat and protein yield. Correlations between deregressed proofs and DGV were used to assess prediction accuracy in validation animals. In the SB scenarios, average DGV accuracy did not substantially change when either SNPBLUP or PC were used. Improvement of DGV accuracy were observed for some traits in Brown Swiss, only when MB reference populations and PC approach were used instead of SB-SNPBLUP (+10% HBS, +16%HB for milk yield and +3% HBS and +7% HB for protein yield, respectively). With the exclusion of the abovementioned cases, similar accuracies were observed using MB reference population, under the PC or SNPBLUP models. Random variation owing to sampling effect or size and composition of the reference population may explain the difficulty in finding a defined pattern in the results.
    animal 12/2014;