Animal Production

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 0003-3561 / 2053-5872
Published by: Cambridge University Press (CUP) (10.1017)
Total articles ≅ 209

Latest articles in this journal

R. W. J. Steen
Animal Production, Volume 58, pp 209-219;

A 3-year experiment was carried out to compare systems of bull beef production involving continuous housing or pasture grazing from 5 to 10 months of age and to examine the effects of herbage allowance and concentrate supplementation on lifetime performance and carcass quality. Animals were either set-stocked at pasture to maintain nominal sward heights of 7, 9 and 11 cm or were offered grass silage (700 g digestible organic matter per kg dry matter (DM)) supplemented with 1·5 and 3·0 kg barley-based concentrates (183 g crude protein per kg DM) per head daily. Half of the animals grazed at each sward height were given 1·5 kg concentrates per head daily while the remainder received no supplement. A total of 160 continental X Friesian and 48 Friesian calves which were initially 197 kg live weight were used. From 10 months of age until slaughter at about 17 months all animals were given grass silage ad libitum and supplemented with 3·0 (year 1) or 3·75 (years 2 and 3) kg cereal-based concentrates per head daily.Animals which grazed the 9- and 11-cm swards produced carcasses of similar weight to those given silage and 3·0 kg concentrates per day, while those grazing the 6·7-cm swards produced carcasses of similar weight to those given silage supplemented with 1·5 kg concentrates. Reducing sward surface height from 11·0 to 9·3 cm did not affect performance but further reductions to 7·9 (year 1) and 6·7 (years 2 and 3) cm reduced live-weight gain by 0·13 and 0·32 kg/day respectively. Concentrate supplementation did not affect the performance of animals grazing swards which were 7·9 cm or taller but increased live-weight gain by 93 and 193 g/kg concentrates for those grazing the 6·7 cm swards and those receiving silage respectively. Differences in live weight at 10 months of age due to the feeding treatments imposed from 5 to 10 months of age were largely retained until slaughter at 17 months as there was little compensatory growth during the residual period. The treatments did not affect carcass composition when the data were adjusted to a constant carcass weight, or meat quality which was satisfactory for all treatments.
K. Christensen, P. Jensen, J. N. Jørgensen
Animal Production, Volume 58, pp 298-300;

Pigs with inbreeding coefficients, ranging from 0·125 to 0·375 were analysed for effect of inbreeding on daily carcass gain, body length and meat proportion in the carcass. The foundation animals were back crosses of a Landrace boar of his daughters which were Yorkshire Landrace hybrids. The statistical model included effect of sex and slaughter weight in addition to the effect of inbreeding. A statistically significant effect of inbreeding on daily carcass gain was found with a linear decline of 1·6 g for 0·1 increase in inbreeding coefficient. There was no effect of inbreeding on body length and meat proportion. Carcass weight had a highly significant effect on body length and daily carcass gain. Effect of sex was statistically significant for meat proportion only.
E. Charmley, R. E. McQueen, D. M. Veira
Animal Production, Volume 58, pp 221-229;

Three wilted silages (dry matter concentration of approximately 300 g/kg) were prepared from early-bloom lucerne which received no additive (MG-0), or was treated with a mixture of carboxylic salts (Maxgrass) at either 4 (MG-4) or 8 (MG-8) l/t fresh crop. Silages were stored in tower silos. Resulting silages were offered ad libitum to growing Holstein steers without supplementation. Untreated silage (MG-0) exhibited an extensive, predominantly lactic acid fermentation. The nitrogen (N) fraction was highly soluble, relative to the crop at ensiling. Silage fermentation and protein solublization were restricted by Maxgrass application. Maxgrass application reduced aerobic stability of silage removed from the upper third of silos but not of silage from the lower portion of silos. Apparent digestibility showed a quadratic response to level of Maxgrass application (P< 0·05). Voluntary intake was not affected by Maxgrass addition (P > 0·005) but intake of all silages was high (30 g/kg live weight (LW)). There was a positive linear response (P< 0·05) in LW gain to Maxgrass application with gains of 0·74, 0·86 and 0·87 kg/day being achieved in steers given MG-0, MG-4 and MG-8 silages, respectively. Degradability of silage N determined in nylon bags in situ was unaffected by Maxgrass application. However, the immediately degradable N fraction was reduced by Maxgrass application (linear effect, P< 0·001; quadratic effect, P< 0·05). Benefits in animal performance due to Maxgrass application were attributed to improved N composition while restricted carbohydrate fermentation during ensiling was considered to be of secondary importance.
N. F. G. Beck, A. R. Peters, S. P. Williams
Animal Production, Volume 58, pp 243-247;

An investigation was conducted to determine the effects of treatment with the GnRH agonist buserelin on day 12 post mating on the reproductive performance of ewes. There was a non-significant (P > 0·05) increase in nonreturn rate (control 0·76 v. buserelin 0·83) and litter size (control 1·51 v. buserelin 1·77) in three flocks. However, there was a significant (P< 0·05) increase in the number of twin lambs born (control 20 v. buserelin 40) and litter size (control 1·44 v. buserelin 1·68) in the yearling flock. There was no effect of buserelin on oestrous cycle length, although there was a tendency for treated animals to have a longer gestation length and heavier lambs. In a ewe lamb flock there was no effect of buserelin on non-return rate or litter size assessed post slaughter on day 31 of pregnancy. However, ovulation rate tended to be greater in the treated animals, which suggests that buserelin may have induced the formation of accessory corpora lutea. These results indicate that buserelin treatment improves embryo survival and that this effect is particularly evident in yearling ewes.
I. A. Wright, J. R. Jones, T. J. Maxwell, A. J. F. Russel, E. A. Hunter
Animal Production, Volume 58, pp 197-207;

An experiment was conducted to examine the response of three genotypes of beef cows to contrasting levels of nutrition supplied from grazed pasture. Twenty-two Hereford × Friesian (HF), 20 Aberdeen Angus × Friesian (AF) and 24 Welsh Black (WB) spring-calving beef cows with their Charolais-cross calves were used in 4 years consecutively. During the summer grazing period they grazed permanent pasture maintained at either 4 to 5 cm (short) or 7 to 8 cm (tall) sward surface height. Sward height treatment significantly (P< 0·001) affected cow and calf live-weight gain (0·498 v. 0·041 (s.e.d. 0·0405) kg/day and 1·12 v. 0·90 (s.e.d. 0·021) kg/day for cow and calf live-weight gain on the tall and short swards respectively). The live-weight gains of the HF and WB cows were similar, but the AF cows gained less weight on the tall sward and lost weight on the short sward. Calf live-weight gain reflected cow milk yield, with the calves from HF and AF cows having similar live weight gains (1·06 and 1·02 kg/day respectively) and those from WB cows having lower gains (0·95 kg/day; P< 0·001). The effect of sward height on calf live-weight gain was greatest in the WB-born calves because of the lower milk yield from WB cows. Body chemical composition changes of cows were predicted from live weight and body condition score, using prediction equations derived from separate groups of cows which were slaughtered at a range of body compositions for determination of chemical composition. Energy balances, calculated from changes in chemical composition, showed the AF cows to have the lowest energy balances with the WB cows the highest. Calculation of energetic efficiency and land use efficiency of weaned calf production taking account of annual food requirements indicated that the HF cows were most efficient, and the WB cows least efficient. The effect of increasing nutritional environment (as represented by sward height treatment) was such as to increase energetic efficiency for all genotypes, but land use efficiency was increased for HF and AF cows, and decreased for WB cows. These results indicate the factors such as size of cows, milk yield potential and pattern of nutrient partitioning can influence energetic land use efficiency of weaned calf production, and that important interactions between genotype and nutritional environment can occur in different measures of efficiency.
J. de Alba, B. W. Kennedy
Animal Production, Volume 58, pp 159-165;

Records on total of 1746 calvings of principally Milking Criollos and their crosses were collected between 1972 and 1990 at the experiment station of the Mexican Association of Animal Production on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Traits of interest were 305-day milk yield, days in lactation, number of services per lactation (raised to power 1/2), age at first calving and lifetime milk yield. Data were analysed by restricted maximum likelihood (REML) under an individual animal model based on 584 animals of which 146 were female ancestors and 35 were male ancestors. Heritabilities of 305-day milk and age at first calving were 0·17 and 0·07, respectively, but heritabilities of other traits were close to zero. Genetic trend in the Milking Criollos for 305-day milk was small and not significant (0·76 (s.e. 2·38) kg/year). Of crosses with Criollo sires, those involving Holstein and Canadienne breeding had highest 305-day and lifetime milk yields and those involving Brown Swiss and native Mexican (mostly Oaxaca) had lowest yields. Jersey crosses were intermediate for 305-day yield. The F1 Criollo × Jersey cross had highest lifetime yield, but backcrosses involving Jersey breeding were poor for lifetime milk. Additive breed effects for Jersey and Canadienne, relative to Milking Criollo, were 88 (s.e. 91) and 227 (s.e. 74) kg 305-day milk, respectively. Heterosis was 144 (s.e. 55) kg (11·6%) for 305-day milk, 16–4 (s.e. 9·6) (5·0%) for days in milk, −0·107 (s.e. 0–042) (7·7%) for number of services per lactation raised to power 1/2, −25·6 (s.e. 41·4) days (2•3%) for age at first calving and 1789 (s.e. 664) kg (60·0%) for lifetime milk. A plan was designed to develop a nucleus breeding scheme utilizing multiple ovulation and embryo transfer technology (MOET) for the genetic improvement of the Milking Criollo breed in Mexico.
, J. A. M. van Arendonk
Animal Production, Volume 58, pp 173-180;

Inbreeding leads to reduction of the additive variance, whereas inbreeding depression reduces the performance of milk producing cows in both the nucleus and the commercial population. In this study, the cumulative additive response to 30 years of selection corrected for variance reduction due to inbreeding and inbreeding depression in the commercial cow population (denoted as expected phenotypic level or P) was evaluated in a closed (1024 cows tested per year) dairy cattle nucleus scheme, assuming a large number of gametes available per female. No dominance effects were simulated nor estimated in the nucleus. Various hierarchical and factorial designs with fewer sires than dams, an equal number of sires and dams, or even a larger number of sires than dams were compared for P. The trait considered was overall economic merit for milk production with a heritability of the unselected base population of 0·30. Sires and dams were selected on their animal model estimated additive effect for the trait considered at either 15 or 27 months of age. All full-sibs were available for selection. In the absence of inbreeding depression, a complete factorial scheme with more sires than dams resulted in the highest P. With increasing inbreeding depression, the optimal number of sires increased relatively more than the optimal number of dams. Increasing the number of sires decreased inbreeding relatively more than increasing the number of dams, and resulted in a relatively higher P. This is due to the fact that correlations between estimated additive effects of male selection candidates are higher than between those of female selection candidates.
N. D. Cameron, S. C. Bishop, B. K. Speake, J. Bracken, R. C. Noble
Animal Production, Volume 58, pp 237-242;

Fatty acid synthetase and lipoprotein lipase activities, lipid content of adipose tissue and the fatty acid composition of subcutaneous fat, sampled by biopsy at the 13th rib, were measured in 20-week-old rams from lines of Texel-Oxford (TO) and Scottish Blackface (SB) sheep, both divergently selected for carcass lean content. A total of 150 animals were measured, with close to equal numbers of animals per selection line-breed combination. In both breeds, the high (lean) selection lines had significantly lower backfat depths (TO : 0·5 mm and SB : 0·6 mm, s.e.d. 0·2) than the low (fat) lines. The lipid content of subcutaneous fat was 65 mg lipid per g fat tissue wet weight (s.e.d. 24) greater in TO rams than in SB rams. The TO low line had a higher lipid content than the high selection line (426 v. 448 (s.e.d. 36)) and although the SB selection lines did not differ, the selection line with breed interaction was not significant. SB rams had higher fatty acid synthetase activity (3·1 v. 2·6 (s.e.d. 0·3) on a log scale) but there were no differences between selection lines. Lipoprotein lipase activities were similar between breeds and selection lines. The lower concentration of myristic acid (C14:0) of TO rams compared with SB rams (0·9 (s.e.d. 0·3)) was the only breed or selection line difference which was statistically significant for fatty acid composition of subcutaneous fat. Lipid content of subcutaneous fat and lipoprotein lipase activity were highly correlated and both were positively correlated with performance test traits, especially with backfat depth. The correlation between backfat depth and fatty acid synthetase activity was not different from zero. Performance test traits, lipid content of subcutaneous fat and lipoprotein lipase activity were positively correlated with the unsaturated fatty acids, with the exception of C18 :1 when correlations were negative.
K. H. de Greef, M. W. A. Verstegen, B. Kemp, P. L. van der Togt
Animal Production, Volume 58, pp 263-270;

Many pig growth models assume that there is no effect of energy intake and of body weight on the ratio of lipid to protein deposition rate in pigs below their maximal protein deposition rate. An experiment was performed to check whether an effect of body weight and of amount of energy intake on this partitioning of energy is indeed absent when protein deposition is limited by energy intake. Two constant amounts of energy were given above maintenance requirement (12·6 and 16·3 MJ digestible energy (DE) per day for production, treatment L and H, respectively). A total of 52 entire male pigs were slaughtered at 25,45, 65, 85 or 105 kg live weight. Results showed that, for both levels of intake, the ratio of lipid to protein deposition rate increased with increasing body weight. At the L energy intake, the ratio of lipid to protein deposition rate increased from 0·74 at 25 kg to 0·99 at 105 kg body weight. In animals receiving the H treatment, the ratio of lipid to protein deposition rate increased from 0·82 to 1·35 in that weight range. This change in nutrient partition was also reflected in daily gain. Daily gain declined with increasing live weight, a decrease of 150 g/day over the weight range 25 to 105 kg. The 3·7 MJ DE difference in energy intake between treatment H and L resulted in an average overall difference of 105 g daily gain. A control group fed ad libitum showed that protein deposition capacity was above 200 g/day, thus the pigs at the L and H treatment were below their protein deposition capacity. It was concluded that both live weight and energy intake influence the ratio of lipid to protein deposition rate. The mechanism of partitioning between lipid and protein deposition below maximal protein deposition capacity needs further specification in order to improve the predictions of growth models which use the linear-plateau concept.
M. B. Salawut, S. K. Adedeji, W. H. Hassan
Animal Production, Volume 58, pp 285-289;

Experiments were carried out to establish the suitability of full fat neem seed meal (FFNSM) in broiler and growing rabbit diets. In the broiler experiment, 200-day-old (Babcock) broiler chicks were used in a 10-week trial, with the FFNSM fixed at 0 (control), 25, 50, 75 and 100 g/kg diet. In the rabbit experiment 24 rabbits of three different breeds were used in an 8-week trial, with the FFNSM fixed at 0 (control), 100, 200 and 300 g/kg diet. The criteria of response were food intake, weight gain, food conversion and protein efficiency ratio and mortality. There was a significant (P < 0·05) negative correlation between the dietary inclusion of FFNSM, weight gain and food conversion efficiency of the birds in the starter phase. In the finisher phase from 5 to 10 weeks, food intake, weight gain, food conversion and protein efficiency ratio did not differ significantly (P > 0·05) between the birds on the control diet and diets containing up to 75 g FFNSM per kg. For all the measurements, rabbits on the diet with 100 g FFNSM per kg gave better results than the control. Food intake, weight gain, food conversion efficiency and protein efficiency ratio did not differ significantly (P > 0·05) between rabbits on control diet and the diet containing 200 g FFNSM per kg. Performance on the diet with 300 g FFNSM per kg was poorest.
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