ISSN / EISSN : 20762615 / 20762615
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 1,430
Latest articles in this journal
Animals, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/ani9100790
Abstract:One experiment was conducted to determine the effects of supplementing Saccharomyces cerevisiae-derived yeast fermentate (Diamond V Mills, Cedar Rapids, IA, USA) in the feed (XPC; 1.25 kg/metric ton feed, days 0–35) or drinking water (AviCare; 160 mL/100 L, days 0–35) on plasma biochemical and immune parameters, as well as ileal histomorphology of mixed-sex Pekin ducks grown to 35 d and exposed to cyclic heat stress (8 h/d) or thermoneutral environment (days 21–35). On the day of hatching, 144 straight run White Pekin ducks were randomly assigned to one of six treatments: stressed control (CS), stressed + XPC (XS), stressed + AviCare (AS), non-stressed control (CN), non-stressed + XPC (XN), and non-stressed + AviCare (AN). On day 33, blood samples were collected from 12 birds/treatment to assess plasma chemistry, packed cell volume, and plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-8, and α1-acid glycoprotein (α1-AGP). On day 34, ileum sections were collected from 12 birds/treatment to assess goblet cell density, villus length, crypt depth, and villus/crypt ratio from 6 villi per sample. Plasma phosphorus was influenced by diet (p < 0.001) and heat–diet interaction (p = 0.003), and was higher in XS than XN, and higher in AS than AN. Heat stress increased plasma glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH) (p = 0.008). Uric acid was increased by adding yeast fermentate to the feed or drinking water (p = 0.002), but was not influenced by heat (p > 0.05). The heat–diet interaction affected plasma IL-1α (p = 0.021) and sodium (p = 0.046). Heat stress reduced villus length (p < 0.001), villus/crypt ratio (p < 0.001), and goblet cell density (p < 0.001), but did not affect crypt depth (p > 0.05). Both XPC and AviCare increased villus length (p < 0.001) and villus/crypt ratio (p < 0.001), and decreased crypt depth (p < 0.001), but did not affect goblet cell density (p > 0.05). Although adding yeast fermentate to the feed or drinking water does not appear to alleviate the effects of heat stress on goblet cell density, both routes of administration improved other measures of villus morphology and affected amino acid metabolism.
Animals, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/ani9100792
Abstract:Oxytocin (OT) is involved in multiple social bonds, from attachment between parents and offspring to “friendships”. Dogs are an interesting species in which to investigate the link between the oxytocinergic system and social bonds since they establish preferential bonds with their own species but also with humans. Studies have shown that the oxytocinergic system may be involved in the regulation of such inter-specific relationships, with both dogs and their owners showing an increase in OT levels following socio-positive interactions. However, no direct comparison has been made in dogs’ OT reactivity following a social interaction with the owner vs. a familiar (but not bonded) person, so it is unclear whether relationship type mediates OT release during socio-positive interactions or whether the interaction per se is sufficient. Here we investigated OT reactivity in both dogs and owners, following a socio-positive interaction with each other or a familiar partner. Results showed neither the familiarity with the partner, nor the type of interaction affected OT reactivity (as measured in urine) in either dogs or owners. Given the recent mixed results on the role of oxytocin in dog-human interactions, we suggest there is a need for greater standardization of methodologies, an assessment of overall results taking into account ‘publication bias’ issues, and further studies investigating the role of relationship quality and interaction type on OT release.
Animals, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/ani9100791
Abstract:The effect of different water-to-feed ratios on apparent total tract digestibility of energy and nutrients were evaluated in growing–finishing pigs. In trial 1 (26 d), 16 female pigs (46.7 ± 1.98 kg of body weight, BW) were individually assigned to four treatments (n = 4). In trial 1, pigs were fed a control diet in dry form (CON) and in blend form with water-to-feed ratios of 0.6:1, 2.1:1 and 2.7:1. In trial 2 (26 d), rearranged animals (65.4 ± 3.14 kg of BW) were assigned a control diet in dry form (CON) and ratios of 1.35:1, 2.7:1 and 3.5:1. In trial 1, pigs fed on ratios of 2.1:1 and 2.7:1 had a higher organic matter digestibility (OMd) and gross energy digestibility (GEd) than CON. In trial 2, pigs fed on ratios of 1.35:1, 2.7:1, and 3.5:1 had a higher OMd and GEd than CON. Quadratic regressions showed the maximum dilution rate to reach higher digestibility coefficients at 1.83:1 and at 2.7:1 for trials 1 and 2, respectively. During trial 1, pigs on the 0.6:1 dilution rate had higher weight gain than those on CON. The water-to-feed ratio that optimized OM and GE digestibility may increase with the age of the pigs.
Animals, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/ani9100793
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to investigate the rumen degradation characteristic of amaranth silage (Amaranthus hypochondriacus) including four kinds of growing stages (budding stage (BS), 50 d after planting (DAP); early flowering stage (ES), 58 DAP; peak flowering stage (PS), 70 DAP; heading stage (HS), 90 DAP). Four Holstein dairy cows with permanent ruminal cannulas were used as experimental animals. Nylon-bag method was used to assess the ruminal degradability of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and acid detergent fiber (ADF). The results showed that the concentration of DM in HS was significantly higher than other stages (p < 0.05), whereas the contents of CP, were lower than in other stages (p < 0.05). With the extension of the growing period, the DM effective degradability of amaranth silage decreased gradually, and the difference was significant (p < 0.05). The ruminal CP degradation of 72 h was more than 80%, and compared with ES and HS, the degradation rate of BS and PS was significantly increased (p < 0.05). Compared to BS, the effective degradability of CP was increased (p < 0.05) in ES and HS. For ruminal NDF degradability, the effective degradability of HS was minimum, and it had a noticeable difference with BS and ES (p < 0.05). Thus, the different quality of amaranth growth stage including chemical contents and rumen degradation should be taken into consideration when making amaranth silage. In the present study, the optimal growth stage of amaranth was from the peak flowering stage to heading stage for ensiling.
Animals, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/ani9100789
Abstract:Genomic selection (GS) has been widely considered as a valuable strategy for enhancing the rate of genetic gain in farm animals. However, the construction of a large reference population is a big challenge for small populations like indigenous cattle. In order to evaluate the potential application of GS for Chinese indigenous cattle, we assessed the influence of combining multiple populations on the reliability of genomic predictions for 10 indigenous breeds of Chinese cattle using simulated data. Also, we examined the effect of different genetic architecture on prediction accuracy. In this study, we simulated a set of genotype data by a resampling approach which can reflect the realistic linkage disequilibrium pattern for multiple populations. We found within-breed evaluations yielded the highest accuracies ranged from 0.64 to 0.68 for four different simulated genetic architectures. For scenarios using multiple breeds as reference, the predictive accuracies were higher when the reference was comprised of breeds with a close relationship, while the accuracies were low when prediction were carried out among breeds. In addition, the accuracy increased in all scenarios with the heritability increased. Our results suggested that using meta-population as reference can increase accuracy of genomic predictions for small populations. Moreover, multi-breed genomic selection was feasible for Chinese indigenous populations with genetic relationships.
Animals, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/ani9100783
Abstract:It is claimed that positive animal welfare (PAW) developed over the last decade in reaction to animal welfare focusing too much on avoiding negatives. However, it remains unclear what PAW adds to the animal welfare literature and to what extent its ideas are new. Through a critical review of the PAW literature, we aim to separate different aspects of PAW and situate it in relation to the traditional animal welfare literature. We find that the core PAW literature is small (n = 10 papers) but links to wider areas of current research interest. The PAW literature is defined by four features: (1) positive emotions which is arguably the most widely acknowledged; (2) positive affective engagement which serves to functionally link positive emotions to goal-directed behavior; (3) quality of life which serves to situate PAW within the context of finding the right balance of positives over negatives; (4) happiness which brings a full life perspective to PAW. While the two first points are already part of welfare research going back decades, the two latter points could be linked to more recent research agendas concerning aggregation and how specific events may affect the ability of animals to make the best of their lives.
Animals, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/ani9100788
Abstract:This work aimed to explore the effects of dietary supplementation of Chlorella vulgaris (CLV) on the growth performance, carcass traits, hematobiochemical variables, immunity responses, and the antioxidant status of growing rabbits. A total number of 100 rabbits were randomly distributed into four treatment groups, each of five replicates (25 rabbits/group). The experimental groups were as follows; control: a basal diet without supplementation, CLV0.5: basal diet + 0.5 g chlorella powder/kg diet; CLV1.0: basal diet + 1.0 g chlorella powder/kg diet, CLV1.5: basal diet + 1.5 g chlorella powder/kg diet. Live body weight (LBW), cumulative body weight gain (CBWG), feed intake (FI), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were not affected by dietary CLV supplementation. Platelet count (PLT), hematocrit (HCT), means corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) values were significantly increased in the CLV0.5 group compared with the other treatment groups. Dietary supplementation of CLV (1.5 g/kg diet) significantly reduced the alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity. The concentrations of serum triglycerides and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) were lower (p < 0.05) in the CLV-treated groups than those of the control. Supplemental CLV at all experimental levels gave the best values of immunoglobulins (IgG and IgM) and glutathione activities. Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were lower in the animals that received CLV in their diet than those of the control group. Dietary supplementation of 1.0 g CLV/kg had the potential to enhance immune responses and antioxidant status, as well as reduce blood lipid accumulation. Therefore, it could be concluded that CLV supplementation to growing rabbit diets can improve the health status.
Animals, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/ani9100781
Abstract:Twenty-seven Dorper lambs were used to determine the effect of supplementing corn as a source of energy into the palm kernel cake (PKC) urea-treated rice straw basal diet on the blood metabolic profile and metals in lambs. The lambs were randomly allotted to three experimental treatments according to their initial body weight for a 120 day trial. Dietary treatments were: T1 (control diet) = 75.3% of PKC + 0% corn, T2 = 70.3% of PKC + 5% corn, and T3 = 65.3% of PKC + 10% corn. The results of this study indicated that copper (Cu), selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), and iron (Fe) concentration intake, retention, and its absorption from the gut and apparent mineral digestibility were highly significant for the levels of corn supplementation. The biochemical and hematological parameters remained within normal levels with the treatments, but the white blood cell, eosinophil count, cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) were significantly higher in T3. Treatment 3 significantly increased the concentration of Se and Fe, while Zn was reduced in the blood serum of lambs on day 120. The result shows that the inclusion of corn has no effect on the hematological and biochemical parameters of lambs after incorporating corn into the PKC-based diet at 5% and 10%.
Animals, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/ani9100782
Abstract:Carcass parameters and meat quality in lambs that consumed diets having layer hen litter (LL) were evaluated in a complete randomized study. Forty-two lambs were allocated equally (14 lambs/treatment diet) into one of three iso-nitrogenous diets for 75 days. To partially replace soybean meal and barley, LL was given at 0 (LL0), 150 (LL150), or 300 g/kg (LL300) of dietary dry matter (DM). At the termination of the trial, the characteristics of carcasses (hot and cold carcass weight, dressing percentage, and carcass cuts) and meat quality (Musculus longissimus linear dimensions, ultimate pH, cooking loss, water holding capacity (WHC), shear force (SF), color coordinates) were measured after slaughtering all lambs. Longissimus muscle weight was greatest (p < 0.05) for the LL150. For the dissected loin, intermuscular fat content was lowest for the LL0 diet. However, subcutaneous fat content was lower (p < 0.05) in the LL300 diet than LL0 and LL150 diets. Rib fat depth and Musculus longissimus area were greater (p < 0.05) for LL150 than L0. No differences were found in meat pH or color parameters among treatments but WHC and SF were lower in L0 lambs than in lambs fed LL containing diets. Cooking loss was greater for the LL300 diet than the LL0 diet. In summary, quality of meat and carcasses data indicate the possibility of inclusion of LL up to 300 g/kg DM to growing Awassi lambs.
Animals, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/ani9100784
Abstract:This study was conducted to determine the dietary supplemental effects of nitroethanol (NEOH) in comparison with monensin on growth performance and estimated methane (CH4) production in feedlotting lambs. Sixty male, small-tailed Chinese Han lambs were arranged at random into three dietary treatment groups: (1) a basal control diet (CTR), (2) the basal diet added with 40 mg/kg monensin (MON), (3) the basal diet added with 277 mg/kg nitroethanol (NEOH). During the 32-day lamb feeding, monensin and nitroethanol were added in period 1 (day 0–16) and then withdrawn in the subsequent period 2 (day 17–32) to determine their withdrawal effects. The average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion rate in the whole period ranked: NEOH > MON > CTR (p < 0.01), suggesting that the dietary addition of NEOH in comparison with monensin presented a more lasting beneficial effect on feed efficiency. Methane emission was estimated with rumen VFA production and gross energy intake. Both monensin and NEOH addition in comparison with the control remarkably decreased CH4 emission estimate (24.0% vs. 26.4% decrease; p < 0.01) as well as CH4 emission per kg ADG (8.7% vs. 14.0% decrease; p < 0.01), but the NEOH group presented obvious lasting methanogenesis inhibition when they were withdrawn in period 2. Moreover, the in vitro methanogenic activity of rumen fluids was also decreased with monensin or NEOH addition (12.7% vs. 30.5% decrease; p < 0.01). In summary, the dietary addition of NEOH in comparison with monensin presented a greater promoting effect on growth performance in feedlotting lambs by inhibiting rumen methanogenesis more efficiently and persistently.