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    About

Journal of Animal Science

Oxford University Press

1942-

ISSN: 0021-8812 (1525-3015, 1525-3163, 1544-7847)
Agriculture, Dairy & Animal Science - Animal Science and Zoology - Food Science - Genetics - Genetics

Recent articles

1 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003357

Two experiments were designed to explore the effects of coated zinc (Zn) oxide nanoparticles (NZO) on the diarrhea ratio, antioxidant capacity, intestinal morphology, and zinc excretion in growing pigs. In Exp.1, 270 growing pigs (21.88 ± 0.8 kg initial BW) were allocated to three treatments, each for 30 d: (i) control group (CG), basal diet containing Zn-free premix + 100 mg Zn/kg from ZnSO4; (ii) high Zn (HZN), basal diet containing Zn-free premix + 2,250 mg Zn/kg from ZnO; (iii) coated nano ZnO (CNZO), basal diet containing Zn-free premix + 100 mg Zn/kg from coated NZO. In Exp.2, 21 crossbred growing pigs (17.04 ± 0.01 kg initial BW) were allocated to three treatments, each for 28 d: (i) HZN, basal diet containing Zn-free premix + 2,250 mg Zn/kg from ZnO; (ii) low concentration of nano ZnO (LNZO), basal diet containing Zn-free premix + 100 mg Zn/kg from 5% coated NZO material; (iii) high concentration of nano ZnO (HNZO), basal diet containing Zn-free premix + 100 mg Zn/kg from 10% coated NZO material. In Exp. 1, compared with the CG diet, CNZO significantly reduced the diarrhea rate (P < 0.05) and increased the activities of glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase (P < 0.05). Compared with HZN, CNZO decreased the activities of serum alanine aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase, as well as the fecal zinc concentration (P < 0.05). In Exp. 2, pigs fed LNZO or HNZO had an increased final BW, average daily weigh and diarrhea rate, and a decreased level of Zn in the plasma, liver, and feces on day 14 compared with the HZN group (P < 0.05). The villous height and villous height/crypt depth ratio of duodenum were higher (P < 0.05) in the HZN group than the HNZO group, whereas the higher villous height of jejunum was observed in the LNZO group compared with that in the HNZO group (P < 0.05). We found that CNZO (100 mg/kg Zn) could improve the antioxidant capacity and reduce fecal Zn emission. However, the diarrhea rate was not effectively suppressed when compared with the HNZO supplementation. Furthermore, coated NZO material of 5% concentration is more effective in improving the morphology of intestinal villus.
2 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003358

Jiangquhai pigs are one of the 42 representative local breeds listed in the national livestock genetic resources conservation project of China. This breed is known for its prolificacy, desirable meat quality, and excellent adaptability to crude feed and local environments. In this study, we genotyped 105 Jiangquhai pigs from the state conservation farm using GeneSeek GGP Porcine 80K SNP chip, and explored the SNP data to unravel genetic diversity, evolutionary phylogeny, signatures of selection, and population structure of Jiangquhai pigs in a context of 33 global breeds. Five indices of observed heterozygosity, expected heterozygosity, effective population size, runs of homozygosity, and linkage disequilibrium extent indicate that the Jiangquhai breed are still rich in genetic diversity in comparison with other breeds also from East China despite the recent decline of its population size. Phylogenetic, principal component, TreeMix, and admixture analyses show that Jiangquhai pigs represent an authentic genetic resource and have close genetic relationships with East Chinese breeds, their geographical neighbors. A genome scan unravels a list of reproduction-related genes potentially under selection in Jiangquhai pigs. Using the neighbor-joining clustering approach, we reconstructed the family structure of the conservation population of Jiangquhai pigs. This finding allowed us to suggest a rotational mating scheme across the reconstructed families to reduce the risk of inbreeding depression in the population.
3 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003359

Cow mature weight (MWT) has increased in the past 30 yr. Larger cows cost more to maintain, but their efficiency—and thus profitability—depends on the production environment. Incorporating MWT effectively into selection and mating decisions requires understanding of growth to maturity. The objective of this study was to describe growth to maturity in crossbred beef cattle using Brody, spline, and quadratic functions. Parameter estimates utilized data on crossbred cows from cycle VII and continuous sampling phases of the Germplasm Evaluation Program at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. The MWT were estimated at 6 yr from the fitted parameters obtained from the Brody (BMWT), spline (SMWT), and quadratic (QMWT) functions. These were defined as BMWT, SMWT, and QMWT for the Brody, spline, and quadratic functions, respectively. Key parameters from the Brody function were BMWT and maturing constant. The spline was fitted as piecewise linear where the two linear functions joined at a knot. Key parameters were knot position and SMWT. For the quadratic model, the main parameter considered was QMWT. Data were scaled for fitting such that 180 d was the y-intercept with the average weight at 180 d (214.3 kg) subtracted from all weights. Weights were re-expressed by adding 214.3 kg after analysis. Once data were edited, with outliers removed, there were parameter estimates for 5,156, 5,041, and 4,905 cows for the Brody, spline, and quadratic functions, respectively. The average maturing constant (SD) was 0.0023 d−1 (0.0008 d−1). The mean MWT estimates (SD) from the Brody, spline, and quadratic functions were 650.0 kg (64.0 kg), 707.3 kg (79.8 kg), and 597.8 kg (116.7 kg), respectively. The spline function had the highest average R
2 value when fit to individual cows’ data. However, the Brody function produced more consistent MWT estimates regardless of the timeframe of data available and produced the fewest extreme MWT. For the spline and quadratic functions, weights through 4 and 5 yr of age, respectively, were needed before consistent estimates of MWT were obtained. Of the three functions fitted, the Brody was best suited for estimating MWT at a later age in crossbred beef cattle.
4 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003360

Two studies were conducted to investigate the effect of live yeast (LY) on the in vitro fermentation characteristics of wheat, barley, corn, soybean meal (SBM), canola meal, and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). In Study 1, LY yeast was added directly to in vitro fermentations inoculated with feces from lactating sows, whereas as in study 2, feces collected from lactating sows fed LY as a daily supplement was used. Selected feedstuffs were digested and the residue added to separate replicated (n = 3) fermentation reactions. Study 1 was conducted in two blocks, whereas study 2 was conducted using feces collected after a period of 3 (Exp. 1) or 4 wk (Exp. 2) of LY supplementation. Accumulated gas produced over 72 h was modeled for each substrate and the kinetics parameters compared between LY and control groups. The molar ratio of the volatile fatty acids (VFAs) produced in vitro were also compared at 12 and 72 h of incubation. In study 1, in vitro addition of yeast increased (P < 0.001) the rate of gas production (R
max). However, a yeast × substrate effect (P < 0.05) observed for total gas accumulated (
A
), time to half asymptote (
B
), and time required to reach maximum rate of fermentation (
T

max) suggested that yeast-mediated increases in extent and rate of fermentation varied by substrate. Greater total gas production was observed only for corn and SBM, associated with greater B and T
max. Supplementation with LY appeared to increase A and R
max although with variation between experiments and substrates. In Exp. 1, LY decreased (P < 0.05) B and T
max. However, a yeast × substrate effect (P < 0.05) was observed for only A (for wheat, barley, corn, and corn DDGS) and R
max (wheat, barley, corn, and wheat DDGS). In Exp. 2, LY increased (P < 0.0001) A and decreased B. However, an interaction (P < 0.05) with substrates was observed for R
max (except SBM) and T
max. With exception of the DDGS samples, LY supplementation increased (P < 0.05) VFA production at 12 and 72 h of incubation. Yeast increased (P < 0.05) the molar ratios of acetic acid and branch-chain fatty acids at 12 h of incubation; however, this response was more variable by substrate at 72 h. In conclusion, LY supplementation increased the rate and extent of in vitro fermentation of a variety of substrates prepared from common feedstuffs. Greater effects were observed when LY was fed to sows than added directly in vitro, suggesting effects on fermentation were not mediated directly.
5 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003361

This study was performed to evaluate the beneficial effects of dietary leonurine hydrochloride (LH) supplementation on intestinal morphology and barrier integrity and further illuminate its underlying antioxidant and immunomodulatory mechanisms in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated broilers. A total of 120 1-d-old male broilers (Ross 308) were assigned to 4 treatment groups with 6 replicates of 5 birds per cage. The experiment was designed in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with LH (0 or 120 mg/kg) and LPS (injection of saline or 1.5 mg/kg body weight) as treatments. On days 14, 16, 18, and 20 of the trial, broilers were intraperitoneally injected with LPS or physiological saline. Compared with the control group, LPS-challenged broilers showed impaired growth performance (P < 0.05) from day 15 to day 21 of the trial, increased serum diamine oxidase (DAO) and D-lactic acid (D-LA) levels coupled with reduced glutathione (GSH) content and total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) activity (duodenal and jejunal mucosa), reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) content (duodenal, jejunal, and ileal mucosa), and compromised morphological structure of the duodenum and jejunum. Additionally, LPS challenge increased (P < 0.05) the mRNA expression of proinflammatory cytokine genes and reduced tight junction (TJ) protein expression in the jejunum. However, dietary LH prevented LPS-induced reductions in average daily gain (ADG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) in broilers. It also alleviated LPS challenge-induced increases in serum DAO levels, MDA content (duodenal and jejunal mucosa), and jejunal crypt depth (P < 0.05) but reduced villus height, GSH content (jejunal mucosa), and T-SOD activity (duodenal and jejunal mucosa) (P < 0.05). Additionally, LH supplementation significantly downregulated the mRNA expression of nuclear factor (NF)-κB, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) and upregulated the mRNA expression of zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and Occludin in the jejunal mucosa induced by LPS (P < 0.05). On the other hand, LH administration prevented LPS-induced activation of the p38, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and attenuated IkB alpha (IκBα) phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of NF-κB (p65) in the jejunal mucosa. In conclusion, dietary LH supplementation attenuates intestinal mucosal disruption mainly by accelerating the expression of TJ proteins and inhibiting activation of the NF-κB/MAPK signaling pathway.
6 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003362

Although n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) has been shown to efficiently alleviate oxidative stress, inflammatory response, and alter gut microbiota, little attention has been focused on their interactions with placental metabolic status of sows. The effects of NAC on the placental redox status, function, inflammasome, and fecal microbiota in sows were explored to clarify the correlation between the fecal microbiota and placenta. Sows were divided into either the control group or the NAC group which received dietary 0.5% NAC supplementation from day 85 of gestation to delivery. Plasma redox status, placental growth factors, nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor containing pyrin domain 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome, fecal microbial metabolites, and communities were evaluated. Compared with the control group, although NAC did not ameliorate reproductive performance of sows (P > 0.05), it significantly improved maternal-placental health, which was accompanied by increased activities of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), decreased level of malondialdehyde (MDA), and lowered expression of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 through inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome (P < 0.05). Additionally, NAC significantly increased placental insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and E-cadherin contents (P < 0.05), elevated the expression of genes involved in angiogenesis and amino acids transporters (P < 0.05), and decreased the microtubule-associated protein light chain 3B (LC3B) and Beclin-1 protein expression (P < 0.05). Furthermore, NAC increased the relative abundances of fecal Prevotella, Clostridium cluster XIVa, and Roseburial/Eubacterium rectale (P < 0.05), which were negatively correlated with placental NLRP3 and positively with solute carrier family 7, member 8 (Slc7a8; P < 0.05). In conclusion, NAC supplementation during late gestation alleviated maternal-placental oxidative stress and inflammatory response, improved placental function, and altered fecal microbial communities.
7 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003363

In the last decades, strategies have been evaluated to reduce rumen methane (CH

4
) production by supplementing tropical forages rich in secondary compounds; however, most of these beneficial effects need to be validated in terms of their persistence over time. The aim of this study was to assess CH4 emissions over time in heifers fed with and without Gliricidia sepium foliage (G) mixed with ground pods of Enterolobium cyclocarpum
(E). Two groups of 4 crossbred (Bos taurus x Bos indicus) heifers (284 ±17 kg initial weight) were fed with 2 diets (0% and 15% of a mixture of the pods and foliage [E + G:0 and E + G:15, respectively]) over 80 d, plus 2 wk before the experiment, in which every animal was fed a legume and pod-free diet. Every 14 d, CH4 production, apparent digestibility, volatile fatty acids (VFA), and microbial population were quantified for each animal. The experiment was conducted with a repeated measurements design over time. Diets fed differed in terms of their crude protein (CP), condensed tannins, and saponins content supplied by E. cyclocarpum and G. sepium. For most of the experiment, dry matter intake (DMI) and digestible dry-matter intake (DDMI) were 6.3 kg DMI/d and 512 g DDMI/kg, respectively, for both diets (diet: P > 0.05). Apparent digestible crude protein (DCP) was reduced by 21 g DCP/kg DM when the diet was supplemented with E + G:15 (P = 0.040). Molar proportions of VFA’s in the rumen did not differ between diets or in time (P > 0.05). Daily methane production, expressed in relation to DMI, was 23.95 vs. 23.32 g CH4/kg DMI for the diet E + G:0 and E + G:15, respectively (diet: P = 0.016; Time: P > 0.05). Percent gross energy loss as CH4 (
Ym
) with grass-only diets was above 8.1%, whereas when feeding heifers with the alternate supplementation,
Ym
values of 7.59% (P = 0.016) were observed. The relative abundance of total bacterial, protozoa, and methanogenic archaeal replicates was not affected by time nor by the incorporation of legume and pods into the diet (P > 0.05). Results suggest that addition of G. sepium mixed with E. cyclocarpum pods can reduce CH4 production in heifers and this response remains over time, without effect on microbial population and VFA concentration and a slight reduction in CPD digestibility.
8 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003364

Eight crossbred steers (BW 719.0 ± 65.0 kg) with ruminal and duodenal cannulae were used to examine the effect of trace mineral (TM) source on digestibility; ruminal and duodenal solubility of Cu, Zn, and Mn; and in vitro release of Cu, Zn, and Mn from the solid fraction of ruminal digesta. Experiment 1 determined the effect of TM source on DM and NDF digestibility in steers fed a corn silage and steam-flaked corn-based diet. Treatments consisted of 10 mg Cu, 20 mg Mn, and 30 mg Zn/kg DM from either sulfate TM (STM) or hydroxy TM (HTM) sources. Following a 14-d adaptation period, total fecal output was collected for 5 d. Dry matter digestibility was not affected by treatment, but NDF digestibility tended (P < 0.09) to be greater in HTM vs. STM supplemented steers. In Exp. 2, steers were fed a diet without supplemental Cu, Zn, or Mn for 19 d. Steers were then administrated a pulse dose of STM or HTM (2× the National Research Council requirements for Cu, Mn, and Zn) via the rumen fistula. Ruminal and duodenal samples were obtained at 2-h intervals starting at −4 and ending at 24 h relative to dosing. Ruminal soluble Cu and Zn concentrations were affected by treatment, time, and treatment × time. Soluble concentrations and percent soluble Cu and Zn in ruminal digesta increased (P < 0.05) above 0-h values for 10 h following dosing with STM, but not HTM. Concentrations of Cu and Zn in ruminal solid digesta were also affected by treatment, time, and treatment × time. Steers dosed with STM had greater (P < 0.05) solid digesta Cu concentrations at 2 and 4 h but lesser (P < 0.05) concentrations from 6 to 20 h post-dosing than those receiving HTM. Ruminal solid digesta Zn concentrations were greater (P < 0.05) in HTM vs. STM-dosed steers from 6 through 24 h post-dosing. Distribution of Mn in ruminal digesta was affected by TM source, but to a lesser extent than Zn and Cu. Duodenal soluble TM concentrations were variable and not affected by treatment. Binding strength of TM to ruminal solid digesta was estimated at 0, 6, and 12 h post-dosing using dialysis against chelating agents. The percentage of Cu and Zn released from ruminal solid digesta by dialysis against Tris–EDTA was greater (P < 0.05) at 12 h post-dosing from steers receiving HTM vs. STM. Results indicate that Cu and Zn from HTM have low solubility in the rumen and appear to be less tightly bound to ruminal solid digesta than Cu and Zn from STM.
9 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003365

Tall fescue [Lolium arundinaceum (Scheyreb.) Darbysh] is the primary cool season forage grass in the Southeastern United States. Most tall fescue contains an endophytic fungus (Epichloë coenophiala) that produces ergot alkaloids and upon ingestion induces fescue toxicosis. The objective of this study was to assess how exposure to endophyte-infected (E+; 1.77 mg hd−1 d−1 ergovaline and ergovalinine) or endophyte-free (E-; 0 mg hd−1 d−1 ergovaline and ergovalinine) tall fescue seed fed during 2 stages of gestation (MID, days 35–85/LATE, days 86–133) alters placental development. Thirty-six, fescue naïve Suffolk ewes were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 fescue treatments: E−/E−, E−/E+, E+/E−, or E+/E+. Ewes were individually fed the same amount of E+ or E− seed mixed into total mixed ration during MID and LATE gestation. Terminal surgeries were conducted on day 133 of gestation. Ewes fed E+ fescue seed had elevated (P < 0.001) ergot alkaloid excretion and reduced (P < 0.001) prolactin levels during the periods when fed E+ seed. Ewes switched on day 86 from E− to E+ seed had a 4% reduction (P = 0.005) in DMI during LATE gestation, which translated to a 2% reduction (P = 0.07) in DMI overall. Average daily gain was also reduced (P = 0.049) by 64% for E−/E+ ewes during LATE gestation and tended to be reduced (P = 0.06) by 33% overall. Ewes fed E+ seed during LATE gestation exhibited a 14% and 23% reduction in uterine (P = 0.03) and placentome (P = 0.004) weights, respectively. Caruncle weights were also reduced by 28% (P = 0.003) for E−/E+ ewes compared with E−/E− and E+/E−. Ewes fed E+ seed during both MID and LATE gestation exhibited a 32% reduction in cotyledon (P = 0.01) weights, whereas ewes fed E+ seed only during MID gestation (E+/E−) had improved (P = 0.01) cotyledon weights. The percentage of type A placentomes tended to be greater (P = 0.08) for E+/E+ ewes compared with other treatments. Other placentome types (B, C, or D) did not differ (P > 0.05). Total fetal weight per ewe was reduced (P = 0.01) for ewes fed E+ seed during LATE gestation compared with E−; however, feeding E+ seed during MID gestation did not alter (P = 0.70) total fetal weight per ewe. These results suggest that exposure to ergot alkaloids during LATE (days 86–133) gestation has the greatest impact on placental development by reducing uterine and placentome weights. This, in turn, reduced total fetal weight per ewe by 15% in ewes fed E+ seed during LATE gestation (E−/E+ and E+/E+).
10 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003366

Fescue toxicosis is a multifaceted syndrome common in cattle grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of the slick hair trait on physiological and reproductive parameters in heifers experiencing fescue toxicosis. Angus × Senepol heifers (n = 31) were blocked by weight (393.5 ± 17.3 kg) and phenotype relative to hair coat at birth, and randomly fed novel endophyte fescue (EN) or endophyte-infected fescue (EI) haylage in a total mixed ration for 91 d. Weekly measurements were collected to monitor heifer growth and response during ergot alkaloids exposure. Following 28 d of treatment, estrus was synchronized and heifers were inseminated. Ovary mapping and AI pregnancy rate were examined via transrectal ultrasonography. Blood samples were taken for genotyping: slick (S) or wildtype (W). Data were analyzed using repeated measures in PROC MIXED of SAS including fescue treatment (EN vs. EI), genotype (S vs. W), and sample collection time as main effects. Body condition scores were decreased for W heifers compared with S heifers (5.48 vs. 5.66, respectively; P < 0.0001). Surface temperature was greater for EI-W heifers (37.2 °C) compared with other groups (36.4, 36.6, 36.7 °C for EN-S, EN-W, EI-S, respectively; P < 0.05). Serum PRL concentrations were reduced for EI heifers compared with EN heifers (133.5 vs. 163.1 ng/mL, respectively; P < 0.05). The average number of 2 to 4 mm follicles were greater in EI-W heifers (13.8 follicles) compared with other groups (12.2, 10.6, and 11.1 for EN-S, EN-W, and EI-S, respectively; P < 0.0001). However, the average number of preovulatory follicles (≥9 mm) were reduced in EI-W heifers (0.52 follicles) compared with other heifer groups (0.94, 0.88, and 0.85 ± 0.04 for EN-S, EN-W, and EI-S, respectively; P < 0.05). Ovulatory follicle size was smaller in EI-W heifers compared with EN-W heifers (9.14 vs. 11.57 mm, respectively; P = 0.05). Corpus luteum area was reduced in EI-W heifers (235.1 mm2) compared with other heifer groups (297.2, 272.7, and 276.8 mm2 for EN-S, EN-W, and EI-S, respectively; P < 0.05). Concentrations of P4 were greater for EN heifers compared with EI heifers (2.7 vs. 1.8 ng/mL, respectively; P < 0.05). Pregnancy was not established in EI-W heifers (0%) compared with other heifer groups (37.5%, 57.1%, and 62.5% for EN-S, EN-W, and EI-S, respectively; P < 0.05). Overall, the slick hair mutation appears to aid in offsetting the physiological symptoms associated with fescue toxicosis and helps to improve reproductive performance.
11 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003367

Yeast products may serve as functional ingredients due to their benefits on host health but vary greatly in source, composition, and functionality, justifying research in host species of interest. In this study, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product (SCFP) was investigated as a dietary supplement for adult dogs. Adult female beagles (n = 12; mean age = 3.3 ± 0.8 yr; mean BW = 10.3 ± 0.68 kg) were fed the same diet, but supplemented with three levels of SCFP (125, 250, and 500 mg/d) or a placebo (sucrose) via gelatin capsules in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design. Fecal samples for nutrient digestibility, fecal characteristics and microbial populations as well as blood samples for immune indices were collected after a 21-d adaptation phase in each period. A separate palatability test was conducted to examine palatability of an SCFP-containing diet (0.2% of diet). All data, except for palatability data, were analyzed by Mixed Models procedure of SAS (version 9.4). A paired t-test was conducted to analyze data from the palatability test. Supplementation of SCFP did not affect total tract apparent macronutrient and energy digestibilities or fecal characteristics. Fecal phenol and total phenol + indole concentrations decreased linearly with SCFP dosage (P < 0.05). Relative abundance of Bifidobacterium was greater (P < 0.05), while Fusobacterium was lower (P < 0.05) in SCFP-supplemented dogs. Total white blood cell counts were decreased by SCFP (P < 0.05). The percentage of natural killer cells and antigen-presenting cells were not altered by SCFP. However, when comparing control vs. all SCFP treatments, SCFP-supplemented dogs had greater (P < 0.05) major histocompatibility complex class II presenting B cell and monocyte populations than control dogs. IFN-γ secreting helper and cytotoxic T cells increased linearly with SCFP consumption (P < 0.05). Immune cells derived from SCFP-supplemented dogs produced less (P < 0.05) TNF-α than those from control dogs when cells were stimulated with agonists of toll-like receptors 2, 3, 4, and 7/8. A linear increase (P < 0.05) in serum IgE with SCFP dosage was noted. In the palatability test, a 1.9:1 consumption ratio was observed for the SCFP-containing diet vs. control diet, demonstrating a preference (P < 0.05) for SCFP. Results of this study suggest that SCFP supplementation may be beneficial to adult dogs by positively altering gut microbiota, enhancing immune capacity and reducing inflammation.
12 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003368

A study was conducted using 3 groups of gestating gilts and sows (n = 98) to determine the effects of Pichia guilliermondii (Pg), a whole cell–inactivated yeast product (CitriStim; ADM Alliance Nutrition), on performance and immune parameters of dams and litters. Within 24 h of breeding, gilts and sows were allotted to 1 of 3 treatments consisting of a control (SC) diet or SC diet supplemented with 0.1 (S1) or 0.2% (S2) Pg. Dietary treatments were maintained through lactation. Colostrum and milk (day 14) samples were collected for IgA, IgG, and IgM analysis. Blood samples were collected from sows on day 110 of gestation (group 3 only), while at weaning for all 3 groups, and from piglets at 14 d of age for peripheral white blood cell counts and serum IgA, IgG, and IgM analysis. Inclusion of Pg resulted in an increase in number born alive as the level of Pg increased (12.49, 13.33, and 13.43 born alive per litter for SC, S1, and S2, respectively; linear effect [LS], P = 0.003). Additionally, the percentage of piglets weighing less than 0.9 kg at birth was reduced in sows provided Pg at 0.1% or 0.2% compared with control (LS, P = 0.006). Sows receiving Pg during gestation and lactation also weaned a greater number of piglets (10.31, 10.55, and 10.60 weaned per litter in control, 0.1% and 0.2% Pg, respectively; LS, P = 0.02). However, percent preweaning mortality was 17.58%, 19.38%, and 19.61% for control, 0.1%, and 0.2% Pg, respectively (LS, P = 0.02). There were no differences in gestation BW gain, farrowing (days 110 to 48 h postfarrowing) or lactation (day 110 to weaning) BW loss, number of mummies or stillborn, or piglets’ individual birth or weaning weight. On day 110 of gestation, the neutrophil concentration (quadratic effect [QS], P = 0.03) and neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio (QS, P = 0.04) in peripheral blood were greater in S1 than SC, with S2 being intermediate. At weaning there was a linear increase in neutrophil concentration (P = 0.03), neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio (P = 0.01), and percentage of neutrophils in the leukocyte population (P = 0.01) as level of Pg increased in sow diets. In conclusion, Pg inclusion in sow diets linearly increased total number born alive and weaned, with no change in average birth or weaning weight, and decreased the number of lightweight pigs at birth. However, inclusion of Pg had no effect on immune parameters measured in milk, colostrum, or day 14 piglet serum, but increased the peripheral blood neutrophil concentration of gilts and sows.
13 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003369

Through domestication and human selection, horses have acquired various coat colors, including seven phenotypes: black, brown, dark bay, bay, chestnut, white, and gray. Here we determined the genotypes for melanocortin-1 receptor (
MC1R
) and agouti signaling protein (
ASIP
) in 709 horses from 15 breeds. We found that the E

E

E

E
genotype frequency at MC1R decreased from dark to light colors (black = 64.5%, brown = 67.5%, dark bay = 47.0%, bay = 16.5%, and chestnut = 0.0%), whereas the A

A

A

A
genotype frequency at ASIP increased as coat color lightened (black = 0.0%, brown = 22.9%, dark bay = 69.2%, and bay = 83.0%). When combined genotypes at MC1R and ASIP were examined, different advantage genotype combinations were found for each color: black E

E

E

E
–A

a

A

a
(64.5%), brown E

E

E

E
–A

A

A

a
(47.0%), dark bay E

E

E

E
–A

A

A

A
, and E

E

E

e
–A

A

A

A
(36.2% and 33.0%, totally 69.2%), bay E

E

E

e
–A

A

A

A
(69.6%), and chestnut E

e

E

e
–A

A

A

A
(62.6%). The χ2 test showed that the phenotypes of horse coat colors were significantly related with the genotypes of MC1R and ASIP (p < 0.001). Furthermore, in contrast to a previous study where A

a

A

a
was only found in black, chestnut, and gray horses, we also found this allele in brown, dark bay, bay, and white horses. These results indicated that MC1R and ASIP may synergistically affect the levels of melanin in equine coat colors and that additional genes are likely involved in regulating coat colors, especially for white and gray colors. Our research provides new data for further studies on the synergetic actions of MC1R and ASIP in coat color of horses.
14 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003370

Though lamb sales account for the majority of annual receipts on U.S. sheep operations, wool is an important income source for many Western flocks. Crossing fine-wool sheep with prolific or composite hair sheep breeds can increase lamb production, but fleece quality and marketability may be reduced by a greater content of nonwool fibers (e.g., med and kemp). The objectives of this study were to compare BW and wool characteristics of Rambouillet, Polypay, and Romanov–White Dorper × Rambouillet (RW-RA) ewes under extensive rangeland management conditions. Ewe BW was collected before mating (fall) and 30 d postlambing (spring) each year from 1 yr up to 4 yr of age. In spring and fall, Rambouillet and Polypay ewes were similar in BW (P ≥ 0.94). Spring BW did not differ (P = 0.13) between RW-RA and Polypay, but Rambouillet ewes were heavier than RW-RA in the spring (P = 0.02). Both Rambouillet and Polypay ewes were heavier (P < 0.07) than RW-RA in the fall. Greasy fleece weight and mid-side wool samples were collected from ewes at 1 and 4 yr of age. Clean fleece weights (CFW) were estimated from average laboratory scoured yield of mid-side wool samples composited within-breed. Average fiber diameter (AFD), SD of fiber diameter (SD-FD), and percentage med (%M), kemp (%K), and total medullated fibers (%T) were quantified on individual mid-side wool samples. There was no difference in 1-yr-old CFW among breed types (P ≥ 0.96). Four-yr-old Rambouillet ewes had heavier CFW (2.29 kg; P < 0.001) than 4-yr-old Polypay (1.83 kg) and RW-RA ewes (1.86 kg), which were not different (P > 0.99). Within 1- and 4-yr-olds, AFD differed among breed type (P < 0.001) and was the finest for Rambouillet (20.1 and 21.9 µm, respectively), intermediate for RW-RA (22.8 and 24.8 µm), and coarsest for Polypay (24.2 and 26.7 µm). Also within 1- and 4-yr olds, SD-FD was lowest in Rambouillet, intermediate in Polypay, and greatest in RW-RA (P < 0.01). Wool from RW-RA ewes had greater %M, %K, and %T (P < 0.001) than wool from Rambouillet and Polypay ewes, which were not different (P > 0.99). Results indicated superior wool production for Rambouillet compared with the coarser, more variable wool produced by Polypay and RW-RA. Still, past research reported greater lamb production in Polypay and RW-RA ewes which, under recent market conditions, would be associated with greater annual gross revenue for these breed types than for Rambouillet.
15 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003371

Previous research has shown that livestock exposed to ergot alkaloids results in decreased vasoactivity of gastrointestinal and peripheral vasculature. Little is known regarding the effect ergot alkaloid exposure during gestation may have on vasculature supporting the fetus. The objective of this study was to evaluate contractile responses of uterine and umbilical arteries collected from ewes consuming ergot alkaloids during gestation. On day 35 of gestation, 36 Suffolk ewes (78.24 ± 9.5 kg) were assigned to endophyte-infected (E+) or endophyte-free (E−) tall fescue seed treatments that were fed either throughout or switched on day 86 of gestation, creating four seed treatments E+E+, E+E−, E−E+, and E−E−. Ewes were fed E+ tall fescue seed to provide 1.77 mg of total ergovaline ⋅ hd−1 ⋅ d−1 with E− ewes receiving the same quantity of E− seed. Gestation was terminated on day 133, and sections of uterine artery and umbilical cord were surgically collected. Only collections from 28 ewes (n = 7/treatment) were of sufficient viability to proceed with the contractility experiments. Arteries were cleaned, sliced into 2-mm cross sections, and suspended in multi-myograph chambers containing 5 mL of continuously oxygenated Krebs–Henseleit buffer. Vessels were exposed to increasing concentrations (5 × 10−8 to 1 × 10−4 M) of norepinephrine, serotonin, ergotamine, and ergovaline (5 × 10−9 to 1 × 10−5
M; extract of tall fescue seed) in 15-min intervals. Increasing concentrations of norepinephrine generated a contractile response by the uterine artery (P < 0.05), but no response in the umbilical artery. Increasing concentrations of serotonin resulted in negligible responses in uterine preparations, whereas umbilical artery preparations were responsive (P < 0.05) to serotonin. Ewes receiving E+E+ and E−E+ treatments had decreased vasoactivity in umbilical arteries to serotonin with a dextral shift in concentrations where the response curve initiated (P < 0.05). Interestingly, uterine arteries were not responsive to exposure to ergotamine or ergovaline, whereas umbilical arteries were responsive (P < 0.05). Umbilical arteries collected from ewes receiving E−E− and E+E− were more vasoactive to ergot alkaloids (P < 0.05) than other treatments. These findings indicate that maternal blood supply to the placenta appears protected from negative effects of ergot alkaloids; however, umbilical vasculature is not, and this could adversely influence fetal growth.
16 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003372

This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary resveratrol supplementation on growth performance, meat quality, serum lipid profiles, intramuscular fat (IMF) deposition, and the expression levels of several lipid metabolism-related miRNAs and genes in growing–finishing pigs. A total of 36 healthy crossbred pigs (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire) with an average initial BW of 24.67 ± 3.49 kg were randomly divided into two groups and fed either with a basal diet (CON) or basal diet containing 600 mg/kg resveratrol (RES). The trial lasted for 119 d. Resveratrol had no significant effect on growth performance and carcass characteristics. However, the concentrations of serum triglyceride, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and very low-density lipoprotein were lower in RES group than those of CON group (P < 0.05). Dietary resveratrol supplementation increased the IMF content in longissimus dorsi (P < 0.05), up-regulated mRNA abundances of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, fatty acid synthase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, and lipoprotein lipase (P < 0.05), while downregulated mRNA abundances of carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1, sirtuin 1, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (P < 0.05) in LM. In addition, resveratrol enhanced (P < 0.05) the expression of ssc-miR-181a, ssc-miR-370, and ssc-miR-21 and reduced (P < 0.05) the expression of ssc-miR-27a in longissimus dorsi. These results indicated that dietary resveratrol supplementation significantly improved IMF content and decreased serum lipids levels, which might be related with the changes in ssc-miR-181a, ssc-miR-370, ssc-miR-21, ssc-miR-27a and their downstream genes expression.
17 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003373

To evaluate how the inclusion of Bos indicus genotype influences early fetal development in cattle, a reciprocal embryo transfer approach was used in a completely randomized design with a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments to generate 55 pregnancies over 2 consecutive years (n = 55). Recipient cows were randomly assigned to (i) a diet that met daily energy maintenance requirements (MAINT) or (ii) a diet that restricted intake to 70% of the energy maintenance requirements (RESTR). Angus (AN) and Brangus (BN) embryo donors were superovulated and artificially inseminated with female sexed-sorted semen from the same breed. Embryos were then randomly transferred to either AN or BN recipients fed their respective diets for 28 d. Recipients remained on the dietary scheme until day 91 of gestation and were then comingled and fed a common diet that met their energy requirements until calving. Measurements included pregnancy establishment at day 28 of gestation, interferon-stimulated genes (ISG) expression in peripheral blood leukocytes, pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAG; using two commercial [A1 and A2] and one in-house assay), and fetal crown-to-rump length (CRL). Recipients in the RESTR diet had lower BWs and BCS (diet × day; P < 0.01) than MAINT recipients. Energy-restricted AN recipients experienced greater (recipient breed × diet, P < 0.01) pregnancy failure by day 28 than the other recipient breed × diet combinations. Restricted recipients that received AN embryos experienced greater pregnancy failure than RESTR recipients receiving BN embryos (embryo breed × diet; P = 0.03). No relevant differences were observed in ISG expression (P > 0.10). Recipients that received BN embryos had greater plasma concentrations of PAG in both A1 (embryo breed × day, P < 0.01) and A2 (embryo breed; P < 0.01). Alternatively, recipients that received AN embryos had greater plasma concentrations of PAG for the in-house assay (embryo breed × day; P < 0.01). In addition, fetuses from AN recipients had greater CRL on day 91 (breed × day, P < 0.01). In summary, Bos taurus cows experienced greater pregnancy failure when nutrient restricted. Furthermore, fetal size and the profile of PAG production during early gestation differed between B. indicus-influenced and B. taurus cattle.
18 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003374

An experiment was conducted to evaluate growth performance, fecal bacterial counts, frequency of diarrhea, and clinical blood parameters in weanling pigs inoculated with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) who were fed a whole yeast cell (WYC) product and capsicum, a plant essential oil. Weanling pigs (34 barrows and 30 gilts, 21 d of age, 5.90 ± 1.03 kg BW) were allotted to experimental treatments in a randomized complete block design based on litter, sex, and initial BW. Four pigs were individually housed within each containment chamber and assigned to 1 of 4 dietary treatments, which included a control diet without or with 0.2% WYC (CitriStim; ADM, Decatur, IL) or 10 ppm of capsicum (XTract 6933; Pancosma, Geneva, Switzerland), provided either alone or in combination. After receiving diets for 13 d, pigs were orally inoculated with F18+ ETEC and maintained on their assigned diets for an additional 10 d; a separate cohort of 12 pigs receiving the control diet was sham-inoculated using PBS. Body and feeder weights were recorded, and fecal swabs collected, on 0, 5, and 10 d postinoculation (DPI), with blood sampled at 0, 2, 7, and 10 DPI for isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Pigs challenged with ETEC and fed diets containing WYC or capsicum alone had a higher frequency of diarrhea when compared with pigs receiving diets without those compounds (P < 0.05). Total fecal bacterial counts in pigs fed the combination of additives were highest when compared with either additive alone (interaction, P = 0.03) at 10 DPI. Blood leukocyte counts were increased in challenged pigs receiving the combination of additives compared with all other challenged treatment groups (interaction, P = 0.04). The addition of WYC increased (main effect, P = 0.01) lymphocyte counts at 7 DPI. Proportions of CD8+ and CD4+CD8+ cells were lower in pigs fed the combination of additives compared with pigs fed either additive alone at 0 and 7 DPI. In conclusion, these data indicate that the combination of the 2 additives elicited higher ETEC shedding and circulating leukocyte counts, and reduced the proportions of cytotoxic and memory T-cells than either additive alone.
19 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003375

To improve the performance of lightweight piglets during suckling, producers are advised to create uniform litters using young sows. However, fostering piglets to primiparous sows may confer penalties due to their lower milk yield and milk immunoglobulin concentrations compared with multiparous sows. The objective was to determine the effect of foster sow parity (primiparous (F), second (S), and mid parity (M: parity 3 to 5)) on the performance from birth to day 68 of piglets born light (L: ≤1.25 kg) or heavy (H: 1.50–2.00 kg) and on creep feed consumption. Piglets (n = 507) considered L or H were cross-fostered, creating litters of 13 similar-sized piglets/litter and were randomly fostered to one of the foster parities. All litters were offered creep feed with a green dye to discern between consumers and nonconsumers, and the medication administered was recorded. Medication administrated pre- and postweaning did not differ (P > 0.05) across the different experimental groups. A significantly (P ≤ 0.025) lower number of H piglets were removed as a result of preweaning weight loss from F and S, rather than M litters. The interaction between birth weight and foster parity only affected piglet BW at day 10 (P = 0.020); foster parity did not influence BW of L piglets, but influenced that of H piglets. H piglets in F and M litters (3.82 and 3.80 kg) were significantly lighter (P ≤ 0.013) than H piglets in S litters (4.15 kg). As expected, L piglets performed worse pre- and postweaning than H piglets; they were 4.50 kg lighter at day 68. Foster parity significantly affected BW: F piglets were weaned lighter (P = 0.004) than S and M piglets (7.52 vs. 8.02 kg). Postweaning (day 68) however, F piglets achieved similar BW as S piglets (29.7 vs. 29.9 kg), whereas M piglets performed best (31.2 kg, P ≤ 0.079). Significantly fewer (almost none) of the L than the H piglets consumed creep feed (P < 0.001); significantly (P = 0.007) more F and M piglets were considered consumers than S piglets. The results suggest that irrespectively of birth weight, piglets tend to perform better when in M litters, being weaned heavy and having a high creep feed intake; however, more piglets are removed from such litters preweaning. Although S litters were weaned heavy, they were unable to maintain this BW advantage postweaning, due to their low creep feed intake and F litters remained small throughout. Long-term performance monitoring to slaughter is recommended.
20 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003376

Bile acid, a cholesterol metabolite, promotes gastrointestinal tract digestion and absorption of cholesterol, lipids, and fat-soluble vitamins. It is a signaling regulatory molecule that influences a variety of endocrinal and metabolic activities. This study investigated the effects of hyodeoxycholic acid (HDCA) as a dietary supplement on endocrine cell differentiation and function and weaned piglet serum biochemical indices. Sixteen piglets [Duroc × (Landrace × Yorkshire)] were individually housed and weaned at 21 d of age (BW of 6.14 ± 0.22 kg). Uniform weight animals were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatments (8 replicate pens per treatment and 1 piglet per pen). The treatments were 1) base diet (control) and 2) base diet supplemented with 2 g/kg of HDCA. Control and HDCA piglet numbers of chromogranin A (CgA)-positive cells per crypt did not differ. HDCA CgA-positive cells numbers decreased (P < 0.05) in the jejunal villi showed a tendency to decrease (P < 0.10) in the ileal villi and showed tendency toward an increase (P < 0.10) in the duodenal villi compared with the controls. The HDCA diet led to a decline in glucagon-like peptide 2 (P < 0.01) concentrations, but did not affect plasma glucagon-like peptide 1. HDCA supplementation increased (P < 0.05) the mRNA expression of jejunal Insm1, Sst, PG, and Gast, but decreased (P < 0.05) duodenal expression of Insm1, jejunal Pdx1, and ileal NeuroD1. HDCA elevated globulin and immunoglobulin A (P < 0.05) serum concentrations and decreased the albumin/globulin ratio (P < 0.05). Total protein and immunoglobulin G serum levels tended to increase compared with the control group. These results indicate that dietary HDCA at 2 g/kg may regulate enteroendocrine cell differentiation and play a role in increasing weaned piglet humoral immunity.
21 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003377

The objective of the present study was to quantify the genetic and non-genetic contributors to variability in both carcass dressing percentage and dressing difference (i.e., the difference between carcass weight and live weight immediately prior to slaughter) in young animals and cows. The datasets contained 18,479 young animals from 653 herds, and 2,887 cows from 665 herds. Live weight records within 7 d of slaughter and associated carcass weight were available for all animals. Association analyses were undertaken using linear mixed models with fixed effects for the model of young animals consisting of animal breed, days between the date of last recorded live weight and slaughter date, heterosis and recombination loss coefficients, dam parity, a 3-way interaction between whether the animal originated in a dairy or beef herd, animal sex, and age at slaughter, as well as a 2-way interaction between calendar year of slaughter and month of slaughter; contemporary group was included as a random effect. Fixed effects in the cow model were cow breed, the number of days between the date of last recorded live weight and slaughter date, heterosis and recombination loss coefficients, the number of days postcalving, parity of the cow, and a 2-way interaction between calendar year of slaughter and month of slaughter; contemporary group was included as a random effect. The mean dressing percentage (phenotypic standard deviation in parentheses) and dressing difference in young animals were 55.86% (3.21%) and 280.03 kg (41.44 kg), respectively. Steers had the heaviest dressing difference at 34.18 and 60.44 kg heavier than a 16-mo old bull and 22-mo old heifer, respectively. Dressing difference for 30-mo old Simmental steers (breed with heaviest dressing difference) was 41.66 kg heavier than 30-mo old Belgian Blue steers (breed with lightest dressing difference). The heritability of dressing percentage (0.48) and dressing difference (0.35) in young animals was relatively similar to each other, in contrast to dressing percentage (0.08) in cows which was considerably lower than dressing difference (0.28). Considerable genetic variability existed in dressing difference amongst young animals (genetic standard deviation of 15.03 kg), despite the near unity genetic correlation (0.93) between carcass weight and live weight. This therefore indicates that genetic selection for increased saleable product can be achieved by selecting for increased carcass weight while concurrently selecting for lighter animals although the opportunity is limited by the strong part-whole relationships that exists between carcass weight, live weight, and dressing difference.
22 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003378

Three experiments were conducted to determine the optimal dietary standardized ileal digestible (SID) lysine and CP concentrations for finishing pigs over 100 kg BW. In Exp. 1, 253 pigs (DNA 600 × 241, initially 102.0 kg) were used in a 23-d trial with 7 to 8 pigs per pen and 8 pens per treatment. Dietary treatments contained 4 SID lysine concentrations (0.45, 0.55, 0.65, or 0.75%). To formulate the experimental diets, a corn-soybean meal diet with 0.45% SID lysine was formulated without L-lysine HCl. Then, a corn-soybean meal diet containing 0.75% SID lysine was formulated including 0.23% L-lysine HCl. The 0.45 and 0.75% SID lysine diets were blended to provide the 0.55 and 0.65% SID lysine diets. Increasing SID lysine increased (quadratic, P < 0.05) ADG and ADFI with pigs fed 0.55% SID lysine having the greatest final BW. Marginal improvements in gain:feed (G:F; quadratic, P = 0.058) and carcass yield (linear, P = 0.051) and reduction in backfat (quadratic, P = 0.074) were also observed with increasing SID lysine. The quadratic polynomial models predicted maximum ADG and G:F at 0.62 and 0.63% SID lysine, respectively. The broken-line linear model predicted no further improvement in G:F over 0.55% SID lysine. In Exp. 2, 224 pigs (PIC 327 × 1050, initially 109.4 kg) were used in a 20-d trial with 7 pigs per pen and 7 to 8 pens per treatment. Dietary treatments included 4 concentrations of CP (10, 11, 12, or 13%) that were formed by reducing the amount of L-lysine HCl in a corn-soybean meal diet. Increasing CP increased (linear, P < 0.05) ADG and ADFI with the greatest responses observed in pigs fed the diet with 12% CP. Increasing dietary CP also improved (linear, P < 0.05) G:F, final BW, and hot carcass weight (HCW). In Exp. 3, 238 pigs (DNA 600 × 241, initially 111.8 kg) were used in a 26-d trial with 7 to 8 pigs and 6 pens per treatment. Dietary treatments included 5 concentrations of CP (9, 10, 11, 12, or 13%). Increasing CP improved (quadratic, P < 0.05) ADG and G:F with the greatest response observed in pigs fed 13% CP. Increasing CP marginally increased (quadratic, P < 0.074) HCW, with the greatest response observed in pigs fed 12% CP. In conclusion, the SID lysine requirement for pigs from 100 to 122 kg was 0.55 to 0.63% depending on the response criteria with performance maximized with diets containing 12 to 13% CP.
23 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003379

Researches have shown that dietary zearalenone (ZEA) caused oxidative stress in the liver and reproductive organs of postweaning gilts. However, information on the effects of ZEA on oxidative stress of the small intestine in the piglets is limited. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of ZEA exposure on oxidative stress, the Kelch-like erythroid cell-derived protein with CNC homology (ECH)–associated protein 1 (Keap1)–nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling pathway and on immunohistochemistry of the jejunum in postweaning gilts. A 35-d feeding experiment using 40 postweaning gilts (Landrace × Yorkshire × Duroc) with an average BW of 14.01 ± 0.86 kg in 4 groups fed corn–soybean meal-based diets containing 0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mg ZEA/kg was conducted. The jejunum was obtained at the end of the experiment and used for analyses. The results showed that the activities of total superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase and the relative expressions of Keap1 mRNA and protein in the jejunum linearly and quadratically decreased (P < 0.05) with increasing concentrations of ZEA in the diets. The malondialdehyde content, the integrated optical density of Nrf2 and glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPX1), and the relative expressions of Nrf2, GPX1, quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), and modifier subunit of glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCLM) mRNA and proteins linearly and quadratically increased (P < 0.05) with increasing levels of ZEA. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that Nrf2 and GPX1 immunoreactivity was enhanced by the ZEA treatments, and block localization of yellow and brown immunoreactive substances in the jejunum was observed with increasing levels of ZEA. The results suggest that ingested ZEA induced oxidative stress in the jejunum in postweaning gilts through upregulation of the Keap1–Nrf2 signaling pathway and downstream target genes NQO1, HO1, and GCLM, indicating the important role of the Keap1–Nrf2 signaling pathway in oxidative stress induced by ZEA in the jejunum of the postweaning piglets.
24 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003380

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of cinnamaldehyde, on feed intake, rumen fermentation, nutrient digestibility, milk yield, and components in lactating dairy cows. Six lactating Holstein dairy cows (3 ruminally cannulated and 3 noncannulated) averaging 263 ± 41 d in milk (DIM) and 754 ± 45 kg of BW at the beginning of the study were used. Cows were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design with 19 d periods (14 d for diet adaptation and 5 d for sample collection). Treatments were 0, 2, or 4 mg/kg of BW of cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde was mixed with 40 g of corn meal and top-dressed onto the total mixed ration (TMR). Diet was fed as a TMR and contained 37% corn silage, 18.5% mixed-mostly grass silage, 24.5% energy supplement, 16.5% protein supplement, and 3.5% vitamin and mineral mix on a DM basis. The dietary nutrient composition averaged 15.1% CP, 37.8% NDF, and 24.7% ADF. Cows were fed and milked twice daily. No differences were observed for DMI (mean = 24.6 kg/d), milk yield (mean = 28.4 kg/d), 3.5% fat-corrected milk (FCM; mean = 30.6 kg/d), and 3.5% energy-corrected milk (ECM; mean = 30.7 kg/d). The dose of cinnamaldehyde did not have any effect on milk components, rumen fermentation, or pH. There were no differences in nutrient digestibility, but there was a trend for a quadratic effect for DM digestibility (P = 0.09): 74.4%, 76.3%, and 73.7% for treatments 0, 2, and 4 mg/kg of BW of cinnamaldehyde, respectively. A linear effect (P = 0.02) and a quadratic effect (P < 0.02) observed for urinary urea N and a quadratic effect (P = 0.03) for allantoin and total purine derivatives with the 2 mg/kg treatment being the lesser value. These data suggest that cinnamaldehyde at these dosages may have an antimicrobial effect in the rumen as suggested by a lesser concentration of urinary total purine derivatives. Overall, supplementing lactating dairy cows with cinnamaldehyde had no effect on feed intake, milk yield, or milk components. However, it appears that cinnamaldehyde has a negative effect on rumen microbial protein synthesis as suggested by the reduced concentration of urinary purine derivatives.
25 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003381

The ability to determine total heat production (THP) in individual sows and litters can be logistically difficult and often requires the use of multiple animals to generate data on a per room basis. Furthermore, these systems may be costly to construct, precluding their use by many researchers. Therefore, the objective was to develop a low-cost indirect calorimetry system to determine THP in individual lactating sows and litters. Six indirect calorimeters were constructed to house 1 sow and litter in a crate throughout farrowing and a 21-d lactation period. Farrowing crates were placed within a high-density polyethylene pan filled with water and then a polyvinyl chloride frame was constructed around the crate. The frame provided a structure to hold the inlet and outlet air pipes, feed and water inlets, air circulation fans, and a polyethylene plastic sheet that was secured at the bottom of the frame and submerged under water to maintain an air tight seal. Chamber accuracies for O2 and CO2 were evaluated by ethanol combustion. One week pre-farrowing, 6 pregnant multiparous sows (parity 2.9 ± 0.9; 218.3 ± 38.6 kg BW) were housed individually in each farrowing crate and the calorimeters were maintained at thermoneutral conditions (20.9 ± 2.6°C and 43.7 ± 18.6% relative humidity) throughout lactation. On lactation day 4, 8, 14, and 18, indirect calorimetry was performed on all sows and their litters, as well as 2 piglets from a sentinel litter to determine THP and the respiratory quotient (RQ). Sentinel piglet data were used to estimate THP and RQ for the sows independent of the litter. Sow + litter THP (kcal/h) increased (P = 0.01; 16.6%) on day 8 compared to day 4 and was greater (27.3%) on day 14 and day 18 compared to day 4 and day 8. Sow THP was greater (P = 0.01) on day 8 (401.19 ± 17.15 kcal/h) and day 14 (430.79 ± 12.42 kcal/h) compared to day 4 (346.16 ± 16.62 kcal/h), and was greater on day 14 compared to day 8, and on day 18 (386.16 ± 20.02 kcal/h) compared to day 14. No sow + litter RQ differences (P = 0.21; 1.02 ± 0.04) were detected by day of lactation. However, sow RQ was reduced (P = 0.01) on day 14 (0.98 ± 0.02) compared to day 4 (1.03 ± 0.03), day 8 (1.02 ± 0.02), and day 18 (1.04 ± 0.03). In summary, this cost-effective system (total cost: $1,892 USD) can allow researchers to accurately evaluate THP in individual lactating sows and their litters.
26 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003382

The objective was to test the hypothesis that the standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of Ca and the response to microbial phytase on STTD of Ca and apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of P in diets fed to gestating sows are constant throughout gestation. The second objective was to test the hypothesis that retention of Ca and P does not change during gestation. Thirty-six gestating sows (parity = 3.3 ± 1.5; d of gestation = 7 d) were allotted to 4 diets. Two diets containing 0 or 500 units of microbial phytase per kilogram were based on corn, potato protein concentrate, and calcium carbonate. Two Ca-free diets were also formulated without or with microbial phytase to estimate basal endogenous loss of Ca. Daily feed allowance was 1.5 times the maintenance energy requirement. Sows were housed individually in gestation stalls and fed a common gestation diet, but they were moved to metabolism crates from days 7 to 20 (early gestation), days 49 to 62 (midgestation), and again from days 91 to 104 (late gestation). When sows were in metabolism crates, they were fed experimental diets and feces and urine were quantitatively collected for 4 d after 4 d of adaptation. Results indicated that outcomes were not influenced by the interaction between period of gestation and dietary phytase. The basal endogenous loss of Ca was greater (P < 0.05) by sows in early gestation than by sows in mid- or late-gestation, but supplementation of microbial phytase to the Ca-free diet decreased (P < 0.01) the basal endogenous loss of Ca and tended (P = 0.099) to increase ATTD of P. Supplementation of microbial phytase did not affect ATTD of DM, STTD of Ca, Ca retention, ATTD of P, or P retention in sows fed the calcium carbonate-containing diet. The ATTD of DM was not affected by period of gestation, but the ATTD of Ca, the ATTD of P, and the retention of Ca were least (P < 0.05) in midgestation, followed by early and late gestation, respectively, and the STTD of Ca in midgestation was also reduced (P < 0.05) compared with sows in early or late gestation. Phosphorus retention was greater (P < 0.05) in late gestation than in the earlier periods. In conclusion, Ca retention was less negative and ATTD of P tended to increase with supplementation of microbial phytase to the Ca-free diet regardless of gestation period. The basal endogenous loss, STTD of Ca, ATTD of P, and retention of Ca and P in gestating sows change during gestation with the greatest digestibility values observed in late gestation.
27 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003383

The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of Artemisia argyi on the production performance and intestinal barrier of rabbits. Weaned Hyla rabbits (30 d, n = 160) of similar body weight were divided into 4 groups (40 rabbits per treatment), and they were fed a control diet or fed an experimental diet supplemented with 3%, 6%, or 9% A. argyi. The results showed that the dietary supplementation with A. argyi did not affect the rabbits’ food intake and body weight gain regardless of the inclusion level but decreased the diarrhea rate and diarrhea index (P < 0.05). Dietary addition of A. argyi increased the small intestine length and villus height/crypt depth, regardless of the inclusion level (P < 0.05). Compared with the control, the A. argyi supplementation increased the gene expression of zonula occludens 1 (
ZO-1
) and claudin 1 in all segments of the small intestine and regardless of the level of A. argyi (P < 0.05). In the duodenum, a dietary supplementation with 6% and 9% A. argyi increased the immunoglobulins A (IgA) content (P < 0.05). In the jejunum, the A. argyi supplementation decreased interleukin 2 (IL2) and IL6 content regardless of the inclusion level (P < 0.05). In the ileum, a 3% A. argyi addition decreased IL2 content, whereas a 6% A. argyi addition decreased IL6 content (P < 0.05). Furthermore, 6%–9% A. argyi supplementation increased the IgA content in the ileum (P < 0.05). In conclusion, dietary addition of A. argyi reduces diarrhea and modulates the gut immune function without affecting growth performances of rabbits.
28 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003384

Polyphenols are known to affect digestion of ruminants, whereas there is little information about their metabolic effects. In a 2 × 2-factorial experiment, the effects of supplementing a phenolic grapeseed extract were compared in 11 East Friesian dairy sheep and 9 Saanen goats. The concentrate, supplemented with 7.4 g/100 g DM grapeseed extract, had contents of 3.5 g additional phenols/100 g DM and was compared with a low phenolic control concentrate. Performance, total phenols in blood, milk, urine and feces, antioxidant capacity of the blood, and saliva properties were examined. The experiment lasted for 11 wk from parturition to late lactation, with an initial adaptation phase of 1 wk. Milk yield was measured daily after weaning at about 7 wk after parturition. Blood, milk, saliva, feces, and urine were sampled 4, 3, 2, 2, and 2 times per animal, respectively. The phenolic diet increased phenol concentrations in blood (+10% and 17% in weeks 5 and 11, respectively) and in milk (+32% in week 5) in some of the sampling weeks. There were no clear species differences in phenol concentrations in blood plasma, milk, urine, and feces. However, at the end of the experiment, the supplemented goats had higher (P < 0.05) urinary phenol concentrations than the nonsupplemented goats. A weak relationship (P < 0.05) was found between phenol intake and phenol excretion with milk for sheep but not goats. The phenolic diet did not influence blood antioxidant capacity and tannin-binding capacity of the saliva. The saliva of the goats had a higher tannin-binding capacity than sheep saliva. The effects of the extract on milk yield were inconsistent between sheep and goats. In general, goats had higher feed and nutrient intakes, were heavier, and yielded more milk. Additionally, milk protein and lactose contents were lower and milk urea content was higher in goats than sheep. In conclusion, supplementing grapeseed extract to sheep and goats elevated phenol concentrations in milk and blood to a certain extent, but most of the phenols were lost via urine. The study gave another indication that goats seem to have developed coping mechanisms like a higher salivary tannin-binding capacity, mechanisms which are less pronounced in sheep.
29 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003385

For genomic predictors to be of use in genetic evaluation, their predicted accuracy must be a reliable indicator of their utility, and thus unbiased. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the accuracy of prediction of genomic breeding values (GBV) using different clustering strategies and response variables. Red Angus genotypes (n = 9,763) were imputed to a reference 50K panel. The influence of clustering method [k-means, k-medoids, principal component (PC) analysis on the numerator relationship matrix (A) and the identical-by-state genomic relationship matrix (G) as both data and covariance matrices, and random] and response variables [deregressed estimated breeding values (DEBV) and adjusted phenotypes] were evaluated for cross-validation. The GBV were estimated using a Bayes C model for all traits. Traits for DEBV included birth weight (BWT), marbling (MARB), rib-eye area (REA), and yearling weight (YWT). Adjusted phenotypes included BWT, YWT, and ultrasonically measured intramuscular fat percentage and REA. Prediction accuracies were estimated using the genetic correlation between GBV and associated response variable using a bivariate animal model. A simulation mimicking a cattle population, replicated 5 times, was conducted to quantify differences between true and estimated accuracies. The simulation used the same clustering methods and response variables, with the addition of 2 genotyping strategies (random and top 25% of individuals), and forward validation. The prediction accuracies were estimated similarly, and true accuracies were estimated as the correlation between the residuals of a bivariate model including true breeding value (TBV) and GBV. Using the adjusted Rand index, random clusters were clearly different from relationship-based clustering methods. In both real and simulated data, random clustering consistently led to the largest estimates of accuracy, while no method was consistently associated with more or less bias than other methods. In simulation, random genotyping led to higher estimated accuracies than selection of the top 25% of individuals. Interestingly, random genotyping seemed to overpredict true accuracy while selective genotyping tended to underpredict accuracy. When forward in time validation was used, DEBV led to less biased estimates of GBV accuracy. Results suggest the highest, least biased GBV accuracies are associated with random genotyping and DEBV.
30 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003386

The objective of the present study was to quantify the accuracy of imputing medium-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotypes from lower-density panels (384 to 12,000 SNPs) derived using alternative selection methods to select the most informative SNPs. Four different selection methods were used to select SNPs based on genomic characteristics (i.e., minor allele frequency (MAF) and linkage disequilibrium (LD)) within five sheep breeds (642 Belclare, 645 Charollais, 715 Suffolk, 440 Texel, and 620 Vendeen) separately. Selection methods evaluated included (i) random, (ii) splitting the genome into blocks of equal length and selecting SNPs within block based on MAF and LD patterns, (iii) equidistant location while optimizing MAF, (iv) a combination of MAF, distance from already selected SNPs, and weak LD with the SNP(s) already selected. All animals were genotyped on the Illumina OvineSNP50 Beadchip containing 51,135 SNPs of which 44,040 remained after edits. Within each breed separately, the youngest 100 animals were assumed to represent the validation population; the remaining animals represented the reference population. Imputation was undertaken under three different conditions: (i) SNPs were selected within a given breed and imputed for all breeds individually, (ii) all breeds were collectively used to select SNPs and were included as the reference population, and (iii) the SNPs were selected for each breed separately and imputation was undertaken for all breeds but excluding from the reference population, the breed from which the SNPs were selected. Regardless of SNP selection method, mean animal allele concordance rate improved at a diminishing rate while the variability in mean animal allele concordance rate reduced as the panel density increased. The SNP selection method impacted the accuracy of imputation although the effect reduced as the density of the panel increased. Overall, the most accurate SNP selection method for panels with <9,000 SNPs was that based on MAF and LD pattern within genomic blocks. The mean animal allele concordance rate varied from 0.89 in Texel to 0.97 in Vendeen. Greater imputation accuracy was achieved when SNPs were selected and imputed within each breed individually compared with when SNPs were selected across all breeds and imputed using a multi-breed reference population. In all, results indicate that accurate genotype imputation to medium density is achievable with low-density genotype panels with at least 6,000 SNPs.
31 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003387

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of Lactobacillus inoculants on fermentation, losses, and aerobic stability of a total mixed ration (TMR) silage. A TMR, formulated to meet the requirements of dairy cows producing 25 kg of milk/d, was applied with the following treatments prior to ensiling: 1) Control (CON), 2) Lactobacillus buchneri (105 cfu/g of fresh forage; LB), and 3) Lactobacillus plantarum (105 cfu/g of fresh forage; LP). TMR silages were ensiled for 15 and 60 d in silos equipped with an apparatus for determination of gravimetric DM, gas, and effluent losses. The experiment was performed in a complete randomized design with a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement of the treatments, with 5 replicates per treatment. Chemical changes, microbial counts, fermentation profile, and aerobic stability were measured after opening the silos. Data were submitted to ANOVA, and means were compared by Tukey and T-test and statistical significance was declared at P ≤ 0.05. After 15 d of ensiling, the inclusion of inoculant decreased NDF (P < 0.05) and butyric acid concentrations (P < 0.05) in TMR. LP had the lowest aerobic stability (P < 0.05) and the greatest loss of DM (P < 0.03). Ensiling for 60 d increased ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N), lactic acid bacteria (LAB), aerobic stability, and concentrations of lactic and acetic acid (P < 0.01) and lowered (P < 0.02) total fermentation losses compared to 15 d across all treatments. After 60 d of ensiling, LP lowered pH to the greatest extent. Treatment had no effect on concentrations of DM, CP, ADF, ash, and EE, as well as in vitro DM digestibility. In conclusion, inoculants containing LP or LB did not improve fermentation profile, did not prolong the aerobic stability, nor reduced losses. Furthermore, the 15-d ensiling period was insufficient for adequate bacterial activity.
32 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003388

Factors that affect follicle health and growth can influence estrus, ovulation, conception, and litter size. Since the majority of the breeding herd is composed of sows, production schedules are established based on synchronized follicle growth following weaning. Insemination of sows over a 3- to 4-d period after weaning facilitates farrowing over fewer days and helps improve the uniformity of pigs at weaning. Synchronized inseminations of the group are reduced when disturbance to the follicular phase results in delayed estrus. The failure of >15 follicles to uniformly progress beyond the 6.0 mm size within 4 d during the follicular phase is associated with delayed estrus and ovulation, reduced ovulation rate, and reduced farrowing rate. In sows, the follicular phase is initiated at weaning by removal of the suckling inhibition, whereas in cycling gilts, luteolysis and clearance of progesterone begins the process. The timing and patterns of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone stimulation to the ovary determine follicle health and selection for ovulation. Interestingly, abnormal wean-to-estrus intervals in sows and deviations from a 19- to 22-d estrous cycle in gilts are associated with reduced fertility. However, in both cases, it is not entirely clear whether the abnormal intervals are a direct result of problems occurring prior to or only during the follicular phase. In prepubertal gilts, the signal for initiating the follicular phase remains elusive, but could reside in differential sensitivity and response to hormone signals at the level of the ovary and brain. Although the mechanisms are not clear, factors such as boar exposure, stress, feed intake, growth rate, and birthweight have been shown to stimulate an early follicular phase. In contrast, inhibitors to follicle growth have been associated with season, heat stress, photoperiod, negative energy balance, poor body condition, slow growth, fewer parities, and short lactation length. Hormonal aids for inducing and delaying the follicular phase, as well as for inducing ovulation are available to aid in synchronized breeding schedules.
33 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003389

Objectives were to evaluate the effects of temperament at feedlot arrival and breed type on productivity, feed efficiency, feeding behavior, and carcass quality traits in finishing beef heifers, and to examine interactions between temperament and breed type. Heifers (Angus, Braford, Brangus, and Simbrah, N = 411, BW = 280 kg) were fed a high-grain diet (ME = 3.0 Mcal/kg DM) in pens equipped with electronic feed bunks. Quality grade (QG), yield grade (YG), and Warner-Bratzler shear (WBS) force values (day 1 and 14 postmortem) were evaluated. Relative exit velocity (REV) at feedlot arrival was used as a covariate in mixed models to assess the effects of temperament and interactions with breed type, with means compared at ±1 SD from the mean initial REV. Calm heifers (mean REV minus 1 SD) had 4% greater (P < 0.001) initial BW, 12% greater (P < 0.001) ADG, 8% greater (P < 0.001) DMI, and 4% greater (P < 0.02) G:F than heifers with excitable temperaments (mean REV plus 1 SD). A temperament × breed interaction was detected (P < 0.01) for residual feed intake (RFI). Braford heifers had a more (P < 0.05) negative REV covariate slope (−1.49 ± 0.65) than the other breeds, such that excitable Braford heifers had lower (P < 0.05) RFI than the other breeds with excitable temperaments. Temperament × breed interactions were observed (P < 0.001) for DMI per BW0.75 and bunk visit (BV) duration. Braford heifers had more (P < 0.05) negative REV covariate slopes for both traits than Angus, Brangus, and Simbrah heifers such that excitable Braford heifers consumed less (P < 0.05) DMI per BW0.75 and had less BV duration compared to excitable Angus and Brangus heifers. Calm heifers had 9% greater (P < 0.01) meal duration, and consumed meals that were 22% longer (P < 0.001) and 17% larger (P < 0.001) compared to excitable heifers. Calm heifers had 12% more (P < 0.001) BV events per meal then excitable heifers. Carcasses from calm heifers were 4% heavier (P < 0.05) and had 7% greater (P = 0.05) backfat (BF) depth and tended to have 4% greater (P = 0.07) USDA YG than carcasses from excitable heifers. Additionally, loin steaks from calm heifers had 8% lower (P < 0.05) WBS force than steaks from excitable heifers. Based on a carcass grid with discounts and premiums for HCW, QG, YG, and tenderness, calm heifers returned $62 more (P < 0.01) revenue per animal than excitable heifers. These results demonstrate that heifers with divergent phenotypes for temperament on feedlot arrival differ in their performance, feed efficiency, and feeding behavior patterns, as well as carcass quality and revenue.
34 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003390

Our objective was to examine the potential of limit feeding that keeps a previously growing animal at a constant size (termed progressive limit feeding) to maximize profit using a 3D surface to integrate the effects of animal size, feeding rate, and time in the feedlot. The constant size contours of the surface were determined using a combination of results. We used data from a study of growing beef cattle being fed to maintain specified sizes coupled with modern growth rate data for animals fed ad libitum in a feedlot. These feed rate contours were best-fit declining exponentials. They shared the same exponent and they originated on the ad libitum curve, thus defining the entire possible growth surface. The asymptotes of these exponentials coincided with the interspecies mean for the metabolic body size of mature animals. This surface also demonstrated the phenomenon of compensatory growth. We proved that the most profitable growth path across this surface is of a particular form under realistic assumptions. Specifically, we proved that the profit maximizing growth path in the feedlot began with a period of progressive limit feeding and then allowed ad libitum feeding to the same market time as experienced by the standard continuous ad libitum fed animal. The opportunity cost of holding the progressively limit-fed animal longer in the feedlot than the animal fed ad libitum quickly overpowered any profit gained by limit feeding. Consequently the progressively limit-fed animal on the optimal feeding path at sale time was slightly smaller but potentially more profitable than the animal fed ad libitum, both slaughtered at the same time. It may also have an economically favorable body composition. Thus we have demonstrated a process for maximizing profit in the feedlot. The approach involved developing a growth surface to integrate the effects of progressive limit feeding and subsequent compensatory growth. After refinement this same process could be applied to other livestock.
35 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003391

Pigs exposed to heat stress (HS) reduce feed intake and consequently the consumption of AA. Adding extra protein-bound or free AA to the diet may correct the reduced AA intake of HS pigs. However, extra protein-bound AA may further increase the body heat load, whereas extra free AA does not affect the heat load of HS pigs. Two experiments were conducted. In Exp. 1, the performance depression because of HS, compared with thermal neutrality, was determined with 30 pigs (31.1 ± 1.2 kg BW) fed diets with AA only as protein or as a mix of protein and free AA. Heat stress pigs consumed 18 to 25% less Lys and Thr than thermal neutral. In Exp. 2, the effect of extra dietary protein-bound or free AA on performance and serum concentration of AA in 25 HS pigs (33.6 ± 0.65 kg BW) was evaluated. Treatments were as follows: CON, wheat-soybean meal-free Lys-Thr-Met diet; xP diet, 26% more protein than the CON diet; xAA diet, 24% or more of each AA than the recommended level. Pigs were fed ad libitum. Blood samples were collected between 1600 and 1700 h, when pigs were exposed to the highest ambient temperature (around 41.3 °C). Body temperature ranged daily from 39.9 to 41.1 °C. The performance data were reported already. Pigs fed the xP diet consumed more of all indispensable AA and dispensable AA than the CON pigs (P < 0.05), and more Arg, Ile, Asp, Glu, Gly, and Ser (P < 0.05) than the xAA pigs. Except for Arg, xAA pigs consumed more indispensable AA than the CON pigs (P < 0.05). Serum Arg, His, Lys, Phe, Thr, Trp, and Val, was higher (P < 0.05) in xP than in CON pigs. Except for Ile serum, indispensable AA were higher in xAA than in CON pigs (P < 0.05). Serum Ile, Leu, Thr, and Val were higher (P < 0.05), and Met tended to be higher (P < 0.10) in xAA than in xP pigs. The difference of Ile, Leu, Met, Thr, and Val between the CON and the xAA pigs was larger than that between the CON and the xP pigs (P < 0.05). Serum Asn and Tyr were higher, and Cys and Glu were lower (P < 0.05) in xP than in CON pigs. Serum Cys tended to be lower in xAA than in CON pigs (P < 0.10). Asp and Glu were higher (P < 0.05) in xAA pigs than in xP pigs. In conclusion, these serum AA results combined with the reported performance data indicate that extra free AA in diets for HS pigs may help to correct the reduced AA availability and performance of HS pigs, although higher levels of specific AA such as Ile and Met might be needed.
36 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003392

Livestock production is increasingly subjected to environmental and economic challenges related to water quantities being utilized, expressed as green (evapotranspiration from rainwater), blue (surface and groundwater), or gray (waste) water footprints at each stage of the product life cycle. Published data indicated that the largest share of water being used for producing beef in the United States can be traced back to growing forage and feed (>90%), whereby the green water footprint was substantially greater (12,933 liters of water per kg of product) than the blue water footprint, as only a small amount of pasture- and cropland is irrigated (525 L/kg). Based on prevailing quantification methods, feed conversion ratios, and grazing land required, water footprints for beef produced through grazing alone can be relatively high. Green water footprints can easily reach more than 19,000 L/kg for beef from grazing compared with a maximum of 1,731 L/kg for chicken under a typical scenario. However, much of the existing grazing land cannot or should not be converted to cropland for various ecological reasons, and large water footprints would remain for the vegetation even if cattle were removed. Life cycle assessments (LCA) were historically developed to provide a framework for evaluation of the full life cycle of a product or service and to ultimately model environmental impacts through life cycle impact assessment methods. Life cycle assessments grew more refined during past years and efforts are being made to reflect the environmental and economic consequences of different livestock and crop production systems more accurately than in the past. Typical beef production systems on natural and naturalized grasslands in North America generate environmental, economic, and societal benefits that should be reflected in future LCA, farm policies, and regulations. To increase the water use efficiency of each segment of the beef supply chain and thereby to reduce water footprints, grazing systems and methods as well as external inputs should be further optimized and integrated toward enhanced ecosystem services, thereby lowering the overall environmental impact of livestock production.
37 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003393

This review summarizes studies we conducted to test the hypothesis that size of the ovarian reserve (number of healthy follicles and oocytes in ovaries) positively impacts ovarian function and fertility in cattle. Key results, primarily in Bos taurus dairy cattle, show that antral follicle count (AFC) during follicular waves is highly variable between individuals, but very highly repeatable within individuals. Cycling heifers with low (≤15 follicles ≥3 mm, ~20% of a herd) vs. a high AFC (≥25, ~20% of a herd) have a smaller ovarian reserve, higher FSH but lower anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), androstenedione, estradiol, and progesterone concentrations. Moreover, cattle with low AFC have a thinner endometrium, decreased response of granulosal, thecal, or luteal cells to FSH or LH and a poorer response to superovulation compared to cattle with high AFC. Interestingly, cows with a very high AFC as heifers have reduced fertility, fewer lactations, and shorter herd longevity, whereas cows with a low vs. intermediate AFC have reduced fertility, fewer lactations, and shorter herd longevity. Anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations are static within individuals but highly positively correlated with AFC, but fertility is not correlated with circulating AMH concentration in heifers and dairy cows with low vs. a higher AMH as heifers have reduced fertility and a shorter herd longevity. Anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations in dairy heifers are a moderately heritable trait (36%), and negatively impacted by inadequate maternal nutrition during early pregnancy or high maternal somatic cell count. We conclude that genetic or environmental manipulations of AMH could enhance size of the ovarian reserve and ovarian function, thereby improving fertility, response to superovulation, and longevity in dairy cows.
38 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003394

Genomic selection (GS) is routinely applied to many purebreds and lines of farm species. However, this method can be extended to predictions across purebreds as well as for crossbreds. This is useful for swine and poultry, for which selection in nucleus herds is typically performed on purebred animals, whereas the commercial product is the crossbred animal. Single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP) is a widely applied method that can explore the recently developed algorithm for proven and young (APY). The APY allows for greater efficiency in computing BLUP solutions by exploiting the theory of limited dimensionality of genomic information and chromosome segments (Me). This study investigates the predictivity as a proxy for accuracy across and within 2 purebred pig lines and their crosses, under the application of APY in ssGBLUP setup, and different levels of Me overlapping across populations. The data consisted of approximately 210k phenotypic records for 2 traits (T1 and T2) with moderate heritability. Genotypes for 43k SNP markers were available for approximately 46k animals, from which 26k and 16k belong to 2 pure lines (L1 and L2), and approximately 4k are crossbreds. The complete pedigree had more than 720k animals. Different multivariate ssGBLUP models were applied, either with the regular or APY inverse of the genomic relationship matrix (G). The models included a standard bivariate animal model with 3 lines evaluated as 1 joint line, and for each trait individually, a 3-trait animal model with each line treated as a separate trait. Both models provided the same predictivity across and within the lines. Using either of the pure lines data as a training set resulted in a similar predictivity for the crossbreed animals (0.18 to 0.21). Across-line predictive ability was limited to less than half of the maximum predictivity for each line (L1T1 0.33, L1T2 0.25, L2T1 0.35, L2T2 0.36). For crossbred predictions, APY performed equivalently to regular G inverse when the number of core animals was equal to the number of eigenvalues explaining between 98% and 99% of the variance of G (4k to 8k) including all lines. Predictivity across the lines is achievable because of the shared Me between them. The number of those shared segments can be obtained via eigenvalue decomposition of genomic information available for each line.
39 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003395

The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the impact of complexed trace mineral supplementation on ovum pick-up (OPU) and in vitro embryo production in lactating beef cows. Thirty days prior to fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI; day −30), 68 postpartum cows were stratified by BW, BCS, and parity before being randomly assigned to 10 pens of either a treatment (TRT; n = 5) or a control (CNT; n = 5) group. Each group received a weekly mineral supplement allotment of 1.16 kg × week−1 × cow–calf pair−1 for 14 wk. Cows assigned to the TRT group received a mineral supplement that contained amino acid complexes of zinc, copper, and manganese, as well as cobalt glucoheptonate (Availa Plus; Zinpro Corp., Eden Prairie, MN, USA), while cows assigned to the CNT group received a mineral supplement that was formulated to contain similar concentrations of these trace minerals from inorganic sources. All cows were submitted to a 7 d CO-Synch + CIDR protocol on day −10 and bred using FTAI on day 0. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed on day 28 and nonpregnant cows were removed. All pregnant cows were subjected to ovum pick-up (OPU) on day 52 and 67 of gestation. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were evaluated and graded prior to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Analysis of variance was conducted to determine effects of treatment on response variables, and pen was considered the experimental unit. Supplement consumption did not differ (P = 0.48) between treatments (1.16 ± 0.12 vs. 1.07 ± 0.15 kg of DM × week−1 × cow–calf pair−1 for TRT and CNT, respectively). Total COC recovery was greater (P = 0.03) from TRT when compared with CNT cows (22.4 ± 2.0 vs. 16.4 ± 1.4 COCs × pen−1, respectively) and the number of COCs meeting maturation criteria was increased in TRT cows (P = 0.05) when compared with CNT cows (15.9 ± 1.6 vs. 11.8 ± 1.0 COCs × pen−1, respectively). Production of transferable embryos tended to be greater (P = 0.06) for TRT than CNT cows (4.7 ± 0.6 vs. 2.7 ± 0.7 embryos × pen−1, respectively). Furthermore, when expressed as a ratio, the number of recovered COCs meeting maturation criteria that were required to produce a transferable embryo tended to be lower for TRT than CNT cows (3.10 ± 0.93 vs. 7.02 ± 1.60; P = 0.06). In summary, complete replacement with complexed trace mineral improved COC recovery and in vitro embryo production when compared with inorganic forms of these trace minerals in beef cows.
40 show abstract
0021-8812 * 1525-3163 * 30003396

Male reproductive capacity is a critical component of cattle production and the majority of genetic gain is made via selective utilization of gametes from desirable sires. Thus, strategies that enhance sperm production increase the availability of elite genetics for use in improving production characteristics of populations on a worldwide scale. In all mammals, the amount of sperm produced is strongly correlated to the number of Sertoli cells in testes. Studies with rodents showed that the size of the Sertoli cell population is set during prepubertal development via signaling from thyroid hormones. Here, we devised a strategy to increase Sertoli cell number in bulls via induction of a transient hypothyroidic state just prior to and extending beyond the period of Sertoli cell proliferation that we found to normally cease between 4.5 and 5 mo of age. In adulthood, these bulls produced a significantly greater number of sperm compared to age-matched controls and their testes contained nearly 2 times more Sertoli cells. Importantly, sperm motility, morphology, fertilizing ability, and viability after cryopreservation were found to be no different for treated bulls compared to untreated control bulls. This strategy of transient induction of hypothyroidism during a defined period of prepubertal development in bulls could prove to be an efficacious approach for enhancing daily sperm production in genetically desirable sires that will, in turn, provide an avenue for improving the efficiency of commercial cattle production.

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Journal Citation Reports (2017)

Impact factor: 1.711
Q1 (Agriculture, Dairy & Animal Science (12/60))

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SJR: 0.848
SNIP: 0.982
Impact (Scopus CiteScore): 0.161
Quartile: Q1
CiteScore percentile: 77%
CiteScore rank: 81 out of 367
Cited by WUR staff: 1390 times. (2014-2016)

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