Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Milk fatty acids as possible biomarkers to diagnose hyperketonemia in early lactation
Jorjong, S. ; Knegsel, A.T.M. van; Verwaeren, J. ; Bruckmaier, R.M. ; Baets, B. De; Kemp, B. ; Fievez, V. - \ 2015
Journal of Dairy Science 98 (2015)8. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 5211 - 5221.
detect subclinical ketosis - beta-hydroxybutyrate concentrations - dairy-cows - energy-balance - reproductive-performance - dry period - elevated concentrations - transition period - cattle - chain
The aim of this study was to assess the potential of milk fatty acids as diagnostic tool for hyperketonemia of 93 dairy cows in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement. Cows were fed a glucogenic or lipogenic diet and originally were intended to be subjected to a 0-, 30-, or 60-d dry period. Nevertheless, some of the cows, which were intended for inclusion in the 0-d dry period group, dried off spontaneously. Milk was collected in wk 2, 3, 4, and 8 of lactation for milk fat analysis. Blood was sampled from wk 2 to 8 after parturition for ß-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) analysis. Cases were classified into 2 groups: hyperketonemia (BHBA =1.2 mmol/L) and nonhyperketonemia (BHBA
Effects of growth patterns and dietary protein levels during rearing of broiler breeders on fertility, hatchability, embryonic mortality, and offspring performance
Emous, R.A. van; Kwakkel, R.P. ; Krimpen, M.M. van; Brand, H. van den; Hendriks, W.H. - \ 2015
Poultry Science 94 (2015)4. - ISSN 0032-5791 - p. 681 - 691.
body-weight - feed restriction - reproductive-performance - recommended levels - maternal energy - sexual-maturity - egg-production - laying period - chick quality - frame size
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of different growth patterns and dietary crude protein levels during rearing in broiler breeder females on fertility, hatchability, embryonic mortality, and offspring performance. A 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments was used, with 2 growth patterns to reach a target body weight at 20¿wk of age of 2,200 g (standard = standard growth pattern) or 2,400 g (high = high growth pattern), and 3 dietary protein levels (high = crude protein, high), (medium = crude protein, medium), and low = crude protein, low). Fresh egg composition and organ development in hatchlings were determined. Offspring of the different groups were reared until an age of 34 d and feed intake, body weight gain, mortality, and carcass composition were determined. In 29-wk-old high growth pattern breeders compared to standard growth pattern breeders, fertility and hatchability of set eggs were increased; embryonic mortality between d 1 and 9 was decreased whereas hatchability of fertile eggs was not affected. Breeders fed the medium crude protein diet showed a decreased hatchability of fertile eggs caused by an increased embryonic mortality between d 18 and 21 compared to breeders fed the high crude protein and low crude protein diets. Offspring of 29-wk-old high growth pattern breeders tended (P = 0.059) to have a higher body weight at d 34 than offspring of standard growth pattern breeders, which was achieved by a tendency to a higher body weight gain (P = 0.057). Offspring of breeders fed the medium and low crude protein diet showed a higher feed intake between d 18 and 27 and during the total growth period, as compared to offspring of high crude protein breeders. Male broilers of low crude protein breeders had higher breast meat yield than male broilers of high crude protein breeders, while breast meat yield of female broilers was not affected by dietary protein levels. This experiment showed that a higher growth pattern during the rearing period increased fertility, decreased embryonic mortality, and improved offspring performance in young breeders, whereas decreased dietary protein level had no or less pronounced effects on these traits.
Manual and automatic locomotion scoring systems in dairy cows: A review
Schlageter-Tello, A. ; Bokkers, E.A.M. ; Groot Koerkamp, P.W.G. ; Hertem, T. van; Viazzi, S. ; Romanini Bites, E. ; Halachmi, I. ; Bahr, C. ; Berckmans, D. ; Lokhorst, K. - \ 2014
Preventive Veterinary Medicine 116 (2014)1-2. - ISSN 0167-5877 - p. 12 - 25.
risk-factors - clinical lameness - lying behavior - holstein cows - reproductive-performance - genetic-parameters - detect lameness - leg health - floor type - interobserver reliability
The objective of this review was to describe, compare and evaluate agreement, reliability, and validity of manual and automatic locomotion scoring systems (MLSSs and ALSSs, respectively) used in dairy cattle lameness research. There are many different types of MLSSs and ALSSs. Twenty-five MLSSs were found in 244 articles. MLSSs use different types of scale (ordinal or continuous) and different gait and posture traits need to be observed. The most used MLSS (used in 28% of the references) is based on asymmetric gait, reluctance to bear weight, and arched back, and is scored on a five-level scale. Fifteen ALSSs were found that could be categorized according to three approaches: (a) the kinetic approach measures forces involved in locomotion, (b) the kinematic approach measures time and distance of variables associated to limb movement and some specific posture variables, and (c) the indirect approach uses behavioural variables or production variables as indicators for impaired locomotion. Agreement and reliability estimates were scarcely reported in articles related to MLSSs. When reported, inappropriate statistical methods such as PABAK and Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients were commonly used. Some of the most frequently used MLSSs were poorly evaluated for agreement and reliability. Agreement and reliability estimates for the original four-, five- or nine-level MLSS, expressed in percentage of agreement, kappa and weighted kappa, showed large ranges among and sometimes also within articles. After the transformation into a two-level scale, agreement and reliability estimates showed acceptable estimates (percentage of agreement = 75%; kappa and weighted kappa = 0.6), but still estimates showed a large variation between articles. Agreement and reliability estimates for ALSSs were not reported in any article. Several ALSSs use MLSSs as a reference for model calibration and validation. However, varying agreement and reliability estimates of MLSSs make a clear definition of a lameness case difficult, and thus affect the validity of ALSSs. MLSSs and ALSSs showed limited validity for hoof lesion detection and pain assessment. The utilization of MLSSs and ALSSs should aim to the prevention and efficient management of conditions that induce impaired locomotion. Long-term studies comparing MLSSs and ALSSs while applying various strategies to detect and control unfavourable conditions leading to impaired locomotion are required to determine the usefulness of MLSSs and ALSSs for securing optimal production and animal welfare in practice. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The effect of routine hoof trimming on locomotion score, ruminating time, activity and milk yield of dairy cows
Hertem, T. van; Parmet, Y. ; Steensels, M. ; Maltz, E. ; Antler, A. ; Schlageter Tello, A.A. ; Lokhorst, C. ; Romanini, C.E.B. ; Viazzi, S. ; Bahr, C. ; Berckmans, D. ; Halachmi, I. - \ 2014
Journal of Dairy Science 97 (2014)8. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 4852 - 4863.
level risk-factors - digital dermatitis - foot lesions - herd-level - reproductive-performance - lameness prevalence - cattle - health - claw - parameters
The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of hoof trimming on cow behavior (ruminating time, activity, and locomotion score) and performance (milk yield) over time. Data were gathered from a commercial dairy farm in Israel where routine hoof trimming is done by a trained hoof trimmer twice per year on the entire herd. In total, 288 cows spread over 6 groups with varying production levels were used for the analysis. Cow behavior was measured continuously with a commercial neck activity logger and a ruminating time logger (HR-Tag, SCR Engineers Ltd., Netanya, Israel). Milk yield was recorded during each milking session with a commercial milk flow sensor (Free Flow, SCR Engineers Ltd.). A trained observer assigned on the spot 5-point locomotion scores during 19 nighttime milking occasions between 22 October 2012 and 4 February 2013. Behavioral and performance data were gathered from 1 wk before hoof trimming until 1 wk after hoof trimming. A generalized linear mixed model was used to statistically test all main and interactive effects of hoof trimming, parity, lactation stage, and hoof lesion presence on ruminating time, neck activity, milk yield, and locomotion score. The results on locomotion scores show that the proportional distribution of cows in the different locomotion score classes changes significantly after trimming. The proportion of cows with a locomotion score =3 increases from 14% before to 34% directly after the hoof trimming. Two months after the trimming, the number of cows with a locomotion score =3 reduced to 20%, which was still higher than the baseline values 2 wk before the trimming. The neck activity level was significantly reduced 1 d after trimming (380 ± 6 bits/d) compared with before trimming (389 ± 6 bits/d). Each one-unit increase in locomotion score reduced cow activity level by 4.488 bits/d. The effect of hoof trimming on ruminating time was affected by an interaction effect with parity. The effect of hoof trimming on locomotion scores was affected by an interaction effect with lactation stage and tended to be affected by interaction effects with hoof lesion presence, indicating that cows with a lesion reacted different to the trimming than cows without a lesion did. The results show that the routine hoof trimming affected dairy cow behavior and performance in this farm.
Genetic analysis of atypical progesterone profiles in Holstein-Friesian cows from experimental research herds
Nyman, S. ; Johansson, K. ; Koning, C.J.A.M. de; Berry, D.P. ; Veerkamp, R.F. ; Wall, E. ; Berglund, B. - \ 2014
Journal of Dairy Science 97 (2014)11. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 7230 - 7239.
dairy-cows - reproductive-performance - luteal activity - postpartum ovulation - ovarian dysfunction - fertility traits - cattle - interval - resumption - endocrine
The objective of this study was to quantify the genetic variation in normal and atypical progesterone profiles and investigate if this information could be useful in an improved genetic evaluation for fertility for dairy cows. The phenotypes derived from normal profiles included cycle length traits, including commencement of luteal activity (C-LA), interluteal interval, luteal phase length. and interovulatory interval. In total, 44,977 progesterone test-day records were available from 1,612 lactations on 1,122 primiparous and multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows from Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The atypical progesterone profiles studied were delayed cyclicity, prolonged luteal phase, and cessation of cyclicity. Variance components for the atypical progesterone profiles were estimated using a sire linear mixed model, whereas an animal linear mixed model was used to estimate variance components for the cycle length traits. Heritability was moderate for delayed cyclicity (0.24 ± 0.05) and C-LA (0.18 ± 0.04) but low for prolonged luteal phase (0.02 ± 0.04), luteal phase length (0.08 ± 0.05), interluteal interval (0.08 ± 0.14), and interovulatory interval (0.03 ± 0.04). No genetic variation was detected for cessation of cyclicity. Commencement of luteal activity, luteal phase length, and interovulatory interval were moderately to strongly genetically correlated with days from calving to first service (0.35 ± 0.12, 0.25 ± 0.14, and 0.76 ± 0.24, respectively). Delayed cyclicity and C-LA are traits that can be important in both genetic evaluations and management of fertility to detect (earlier) cows at risk of compromised fertility. Delayed cyclicity and C-LA were both strongly genetically correlated with milk yield in early lactation (0.57 ± 0.14 and 0.45 ± 0.09, respectively), which may imply deterioration in these traits with selection for greater milk yield without cognizance of other traits.
Mate preference of female blue tits varies with experimental photoperiod
Reparaz, L.B. ; Oers, K. van; Naguib, M. ; Doutrelant, C. ; Visser, M.E. ; Caro, S.P. - \ 2014
PLoS ONE 9 (2014)3. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 8 p.
parus-caeruleus populations - sexually selected trait - great tits - extrapair paternity - body-size - reproductive-performance - cyanistes-caeruleus - plumage coloration - european starlings - genetic-variation
Organisms use environmental cues to time their life-cycles and among these cues, photoperiod is the main trigger of reproductive behaviours such as territory defence or song activity. Whether photoperiod is also important for another behaviour closely associated with reproduction, mate choice, is unknown. In many bird species, mate choice occurs at two different times during the annual cycle that strongly differ in daylength: in late winter when photoperiod is short and social mates are chosen, and again around egg-laying when photoperiod is longer and extra-pair mates are chosen. This duality makes the role that photoperiod plays on mate choice behaviours intriguing. We investigated the effect of photoperiod on mate choice using three experimental photoperiodic treatments (9 L:15 D, 14 L:10 D, 18 L:6 D), using blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) as a biological model. We show that female choice was stronger under long photoperiods. In addition, female blue tits spent significantly more time near males with long tarsi and long wings. This latter preference was only expressed under long photoperiods, suggesting that some indices of male quality only become significant to females when they are strongly photostimulated, and therefore that females could select their social and extra-pair mates based on different phenotypic traits. These results shed light on the roles that photoperiod may play in stimulating pair-bonding and in refining female selectivity for male traits.
Exploring the value of routinely collected herd data for estimating dairy cattle welfare
Vries, M. de; Bokkers, E.A.M. ; Schaik, G. van; Engel, B. ; Dijkstra, T. ; Boer, I.J.M. de - \ 2014
Journal of Dairy Science 97 (2014)2. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 715 - 730.
body condition score - somatic-cell count - milk-production - reproductive-performance - social-dominance - animal-welfare - cows - behavior - weight - productivity
Routine on-farm assessment of dairy cattle welfare is time consuming and, therefore, expensive. A promising strategy to assess dairy cattle welfare more efficiently is to estimate the level of animal welfare based on herd data available in national databases. Our aim was to explore the value of routine herd data (RHD) for estimating dairy cattle welfare at the herd level. From November 2009 through March 2010, 7 trained observers collected data for 41 welfare indicators in a selected sample of 183 loose-housed and 13 tethered Dutch dairy herds (herd size: 10 to 211 cows) using the Welfare Quality protocol for cattle. For the same herds, RHD relating to identification and registration, management, milk production and composition, and fertility were extracted from several national databases. The RHD were used as potential predictors for each welfare indicator in logistic regression at the herd level. Nineteen welfare indicators were excluded from the predictions, because they showed a prevalence below 5% (15 indicators), or were already listed as RHD (4 indicators). Predictions were less accurate for 7 welfare indicators, moderately accurate for 14 indicators, and highly accurate for 1 indicator. By forcing to detect almost all herds with a welfare problem (sensitivity of at least 97.5%), specificity ranged from 0 to 81%. By forcing almost no herds to be incorrectly classified as having a welfare problem (specificity of at least 97.5%), sensitivity ranged from 0 to 67%. Overall, the best-performing prediction models were those for the indicators access to at least 2 drinkers (resource based), percentage of very lean cows, cows lying outside the supposed lying area, and cows with vulvar discharge (animal based). The most frequently included predictors in final models were percentages of on-farm mortality in different lactation stages. It was concluded that, for most welfare indicators, RHD have value for estimating dairy cattle welfare. The RHD can serve as a prescreening tool for detecting herds with a welfare problem, but this should be followed by a verification of the level of welfare in an on-farm assessment to identify false-positive herds. Consequently, the number of farm visits needed for routine welfare assessments can be reduced. The RHD also hold value for continuous monitoring of dairy cattle welfare. Prediction models developed in this study, however, should first be validated in additional field studies.
Comparison of a three-dimensional and two-dimensional camera system for automated measurement of back posture in dairy cows
Viazzi, S. ; Bahr, C. ; Hertem, T. van; Schlageter-Tello, A. ; Romanini, C.E.B. ; Halachmi, I. ; Lokhorst, C. ; Berckmans, D. - \ 2014
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 100 (2014). - ISSN 0168-1699 - p. 139 - 147.
reproductive-performance - hoof pathologies - milk-yield - lameness - cattle - gait - locomotion - assessments - impact
In this study, two different computer vision techniques to automatically measure the back posture in dairy cows were tested and evaluated. A two-dimensional and a three-dimensional camera system were used to extract the back posture from walking cows, which is one measurement used by experts to discriminate between lame and not lame cows. So far, two-dimensional cameras positioned in side view are used to measure back posture. This method, however, is not always applicable in farm conditions since it can be difficult to be installed. Shadows and continuous changes in the background also render image segmentation difficult and often erroneous. In order to overcome these problems, a new method to extract the back posture by using a three-dimensional camera from top view perspective is presented in this paper. The experiment was conducted in a commercial Israeli dairy farm and a dataset of 273 cows was recorded by both the three-dimensional and two-dimensional cameras. The classifications of both the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional algorithms were evaluated against the visual locomotion scores given by an expert veterinary. The two-dimensional algorithm had an accuracy of 91%, while the three-dimensional algorithm had an accuracy of 90% on the evaluation dataset. These results show that the application of a three-dimensional camera leads to an accuracy comparable to the side view approach and that the top view approach can overcome limitations in terms of automation and processing time.
Cystic ovaries in intermittently-suckled sows: follicle growth and endocrine profiles
Gerritsen, R. ; Laurenssen, B.F.A. ; Hazeleger, W. ; Langendijk, P. ; Kemp, B. ; Soede, N.M. - \ 2014
Reproduction Fertility and Development 26 (2014). - ISSN 1031-3613 - p. 462 - 468.
luteinizing-hormone - reproductive-performance - estrous behavior - dairy-cattle - lactation - estrus - pigs - estradiol - ovulation - cortisol
This paper presents follicle development and hormone profiles for sows with normal ovulation or cystic follicles during an intermittent-suckling (IS) regime that started at Day 14 of lactation. Sows were subjected to separation from their piglets during blocks of 6 h or 12 h. In total, 8 out of 52 sows developed cystic follicles; either full cystic ovaries (n = 6) or partial ovulation (n = 2). Increase in follicle size of these sows was similar to that of normal ovulating sows until pre-ovulatory size at Day 5 after the start of separation, but from then on became larger (P <0.05). LH surge was smaller or absent in sows that developed (partially) cystic ovaries (0.4 ± 0.1 vs 3.6 ± 0.3 ng mL–1; P <0.01). Peak levels of oestradiol (E2) were similar but high E2 levels persisted in sows that developed (partly) cystic ovaries and duration of oestrus tended to be longer. The risk of developing (partly) cystic ovaries was higher when IS occurred in blocks of 6 h versus 12 h (33 vs 10%). In conclusion, the appearance of cystic ovaries at approximately Day 20 of ongoing lactation was related to an insufficient LH surge, as is also the case in non-lactating sows.
Mitigation of methane and nitrous oxide emissions from animal operations: III. A review of animal management mitigation options
Hristov, A.N. ; Ott, T. ; Tricarico, J. ; Rotz, A. ; Waghorn, G. ; Adesogan, A.T. ; Dijkstra, J. ; Montes, F. ; Oh, J. ; Kebreab, E. ; Oosting, S.J. ; Gerber, P.J. ; Henderson, B.L. ; Makkar, H.P.S. ; Firkins, J.L. - \ 2013
Journal of Animal Science 91 (2013)11. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 5095 - 5113.
greenhouse-gas emissions - crop-livestock systems - recombinant bovine somatotropin - residual feed-intake - different roughage contents - holstein-friesian cows - dry period management - pastoral dairy farms - 2 complete diets - reproductive-performance
The goal of this review was to analyze published data on animal management practices that mitigate enteric methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from animal operations. Increasing animal productivity can be a very effective strategy for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of livestock product. Improving the genetic potential of animals through planned cross-breeding or selection within breeds and achieving this genetic potential through proper nutrition and improvements in reproductive efficiency, animal health, and reproductive lifespan are effective approaches for improving animal productivity and reducing GHG emission intensity. In subsistence production systems, reduction of herd size would increase feed availability and productivity of individual animals and the total herd, thus lowering CH4 emission intensity. In these systems, improving the nutritive value of low-quality feeds for ruminant diets can have a considerable benefit on herd productivity while keeping the herd CH4 output constant or even decreasing it. Residual feed intake may be a tool for screening animals that are low CH4 emitters, but there is currently insufficient evidence that low residual feed intake animals have a lower CH4 yield per unit of feed intake or animal product. Reducing age at slaughter of finished cattle and the number of days that animals are on feed in the feedlot can significantly reduce GHG emissions in beef and other meat animal production systems. Improved animal health and reduced mortality and morbidity are expected to increase herd productivity and reduce GHG emission intensity in all livestock production systems. Pursuing a suite of intensive and extensive reproductive management technologies provides a significant opportunity to reduce GHG emissions. Recommended approaches will differ by region and species but should target increasing conception rates in dairy, beef, and buffalo, increasing fecundity in swine and small ruminants, and reducing embryo wastage in all species. Interactions among individual components of livestock production systems are complex but must be considered when recommending GHG mitigation practices.
Effects of growth patterns and dietary crude protein levels during rearing on body composition and performance in broiler breeder females during the rearing and laying period
Emous, R.A. van; Kwakkel, R.P. ; Krimpen, M.M. van; Hendriks, W.H. - \ 2013
Poultry Science 92 (2013)8. - ISSN 0032-5791 - p. 2091 - 2100.
fed representative 1957 - reproductive-performance - feed restriction - egg-production - recommended levels - sexual maturity - frame size - weight - photostimulation - hens
ABSTRACT The combined effects of growth pattern (GP) and dietary CP level during rearing (2 to 22 wk of age) on body composition and performance were investigated in broiler breeder females from 0 to 40 wk of age. One-day-old pullets (n = 768) were randomly allotted to 48 pens according to 2 growth patterns (standard = SGP and high = HGP) and fed using 1 of 3 dietary CP levels (high = CPh, medium = CPm, and low = CPl). From 19 to 22 wk of age, feeding level was gradually adjusted to obtain a similar target BW for all birds, and then until 40 wk of age, all birds received similar amounts of a standard breeder diet. During the rearing period, the HGP pullets were fed a higher feed intake level (6.5%) than SGP pullets. To meet BW targets at 22 wk of age, feed intake from d 14 onward had to be increased for the CPm (4.6%) and CPl (10.0%) treatments. Breast muscle percentages of HGP and SGP pullets were similar at any age, although abdominal fat pad at 20 wk was 0.18% higher for HGP pullets. Pullets fed the CPl diet had a lower breast muscle percentage compared with pullets fed the CPm and CPh diets (0.46 and 0.85% at wk 10, 0.81 and 1.45% at wk 20, respectively). Abdominal fat pads in CPl pullets were 0.18 and 0.22% (wk 10), and 0.24 and 0.42% (wk 20) higher compared with CPm and CPh pullets, respectively. At 40 wk of age, no effects on breast muscle and abdominal fat pad were found among all treatments. Egg production, sexual maturation, and egg weight were not affected by GP and CP levels during rearing. It was concluded that a low CP diet during rearing decreased breast muscle and increased abdominal fat pad, whereas a high GP only increased abdominal fat pad, at the end of the rearing period. Decreasing dietary CP level seems to be more effective in increasing abdominal fat pad than increasing GP.
Contrasting context dependence of familiarity and kinship in animal social networks
Kurvers, R.H.J.M. ; Adamczyk, M.A.P. ; Kraus, R.H.S. ; Hoffman, J.I. ; Wieren, S.E. van; Jeugd, H.P. van der; Amos, W. ; Prins, H.H.T. ; Jonker, R.M. - \ 2013
Animal Behaviour 86 (2013)5. - ISSN 0003-3472 - p. 993 - 1001.
barnacle geese - reproductive-performance - dominance hierarchies - avian personalities - decision-making - wild population - behavior - relatedness - evolution - fitness
The social structure of a population is a crucial element of an individual's environment, fundamentally influencing the transfer of genes, information and diseases. A central question in social network analysis is how different traits affect associations within populations. However, previous studies of animal social networks have typically focused on a single predictor or stage in the life cycle whereas social interactions within populations are known to be dynamic and not fixed through time and/or context. Relatively few animal network studies have explored how individual traits affect decisions across different ecologically relevant contexts. We collected detailed behavioural data (personality, dominance, familiarity) and high-resolution genetic data from a flock of 43 captive barnacle geese, Branta leucopsis, to understand how these traits affect association patterns in two different evolutionary and ecologically highly relevant contexts: foraging and mate choice. Using a novel analytical framework for node label permutations, we found that barnacle geese preferentially associated with close kin and other individuals familiar from earlier in life when foraging, but selected unfamiliar partners during mate choice. We found no effect of either personality or dominance on foraging associations or mate choice. Our study shows how using social network analysis can increase our understanding of the drivers behind population structure (in our case kin selection and inbreeding avoidance). Moreover, our study demonstrates that social networks can be largely determined by long-term processes, in particular early life familiarity.
Analysis of individual classification of lameness using automatic measurement of back posture in dairy cattle
Viazzi, S. ; Schlageter Tello, A.A. ; Hertem, T. van; Romanini, C.E.B. ; Pluk, A. ; Halachmi, I. ; Lokhorst, C. ; Berckmans, D. - \ 2013
Journal of Dairy Science 96 (2013)1. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 257 - 266.
locomotion score - cow gait - reproductive-performance - hoof pathologies - holstein cows - milk-yield - system - pain - association - assessments
Currently, diagnosis of lameness at an early stage in dairy cows relies on visual observation by the farmer, which is time consuming and often omitted. Many studies have tried to develop automatic cow lameness detection systems. However, those studies apply thresholds to the whole population to detect whether or not an individual cow is lame. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop and test an individualized version of the body movement pattern score, which uses back posture to classify lameness into 3 classes, and to compare both the population and the individual approach under farm conditions. In a data set of 223 videos from 90 cows, 76% of cows were correctly classified, with an 83% true positive rate and 22% false positive rate when using the population approach. A new data set, containing 105 videos of 8 cows that had moved through all 3 lameness classes, was used for an ANOVA on the 3 different classes, showing that body movement pattern scores differed significantly among cows. Moreover, the classification accuracy and the true positive rate increased by 10 percentage units up to 91%, and the false positive rate decreased by 4 percentage units down to 6% when based on an individual threshold compared with a population threshold.
Faltering lemming cycles reduce productivity and population size of a migratory Arctic goose species
Nolet, B.A. ; Bauer, S. ; Feige, N. ; Kokorev, Y. ; Popov, I.Y. ; Ebbinge, B.S. - \ 2013
Journal of Animal Ecology 82 (2013)4. - ISSN 0021-8790 - p. 804 - 813.
geese branta-bernicla - nyctea-scandiaca nests - brent geese - clutch size - climate-change - b.-bernicla - reproductive-performance - trophic interactions - incubation behavior - northeastern taimyr
1. The huge changes in population sizes of Arctic-nesting geese offer a great opportunity to study population limitation in migratory animals. In geese, population limitation seems to have shifted from wintering to summering grounds. There, in the Arctic, climate is rapidly changing, and this may impact reproductive performance, and perhaps population size of geese, both directly (e.g. by changes in snow melt) or indirectly (e.g. by changes in trophic interactions). 2. Dark-bellied brent geese (Branta bernicla bernicla L.) increased 20-fold since the 1950s. Its reproduction fluctuates strongly in concert with the 3-year lemming cycle. An earlier analysis, covering the growth period until 1988, did not find evidence for density dependence, but thereafter the population levelled off and even decreased. The question is whether this is caused by changes in lemming cycles, population density or other factors like carry-over effects. 3. Breeding success was derived from proportions of juveniles. We used an information-theoretical approach to investigate which environmental factors best explained the variation in breeding success over nearly 50 years (1960–2008). We subsequently combined GLM predictions of breeding success with published survival estimates to project the population trajectory since 1991 (year of maximum population size). In this way, we separated the effects of lemming abundance and population density on population development. 4. Breeding success was mainly dependent on lemming abundance, the onset of spring at the breeding grounds, and the population size of brent goose. No evidence was found for carryover effects (i.e. effects of conditions at main spring staging site). Negative density dependence was operating at a population size above c. 200 000 individuals, but the levelling off of the population could be explained by faltering lemming cycles alone. 5. Lemmings have long been known to affect population productivity of Arctic-nesting migratory birds and, more recently, possibly population dynamics of resident bird species, but this is the first evidence for effects of lemming abundance on population size of a migratory bird species. Why lemming cycles are faltering in the last two decades is unclear, but this may be associated with changes in winter climate at Taimyr Peninsula (Siberia). Key-words: bird migration, climate change, dark-bellied brent goose, density dependence, reproductive success
Suitability of cross-bred cows for organic farms based on cross-breeding effects on production and functional traits
Haas, Y. de; Smolders, E.A.A. ; Hoorneman, J.N. ; Nauta, W.J. ; Veerkamp, R.F. - \ 2013
Animal 7 (2013)4. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 655 - 665.
conventional dairy herds - somatic-cell counts - milk-production - reproductive-performance - genetic-parameters - clinical mastitis - udder health - short-communication - energy-balance - cattle
Data from 113 Dutch organic farms were analysed to determine the effect of cross-breeding on production and functional traits. In total, data on 33 788 lactations between January 2003 and February 2009 from 15 015 cows were available. Holstein–Friesian pure-bred cows produced most kg of milk in 305 days, but with the lowest percentages of fat and protein of all pure-bred cows in the data set. Cross-breeding Holstein dairy cows with other breeds (Brown Swiss, Dutch Friesian, Groningen White Headed, Jersey, Meuse Rhine Yssel, Montbéliarde or Fleckvieh) decreased milk production, but improved fertility and udder health in most cross-bred animals. In most breeds, heterosis had a significant effect (P <0.05) on milk (kg in 305 days), fat and protein-corrected milk production (kg in 305 days) and calving interval (CI) in the favourable direction (i.e. more milk, shorter CI), but unfavourably for somatic cell count (higher cell count). Recombination was unfavourable for the milk production traits, but favourable for the functional traits (fertility and udder health). Farm characteristics, like soil type or housing system, affected the regression coefficients on breed components significantly. The effect of the Holstein breed on milk yield was twice as large in cubicle housing as in other housing systems. Jerseys had a negative effect on fertility only on farms on sandy soils. Hence, breed effects differ across farming systems in the organic farming and farmers can use such information to dovetail their farming system with the type of cow they use.
Partial and total fish meal replacement by agricultural products in the diets improve sperm quality in African catfish (Clarias gariepinus)
Nyina-wamwiza, L. ; Milla, S. ; Pierrard, M.A. ; Rurangwa, E. ; Mandiki, S.N.M. ; Look, K.J.W. van; Kestemont, P. - \ 2012
Theriogenology 77 (2012)1. - ISSN 0093-691X - p. 184 - 194.
trout oncorhynchus-mykiss - rainbow-trout - reproductive-performance - dicentrarchus-labrax - cottonseed meal - hormone levels - by-products - sea bass - growth - motility
This study investigated the long-term effects of total and partial replacement of dietary fish meal (FM) by a mixture of agricultural products on sperm quality of African catfish Clarias gariepinus. Four isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets were formulated containing graded levels of either 50% FM and maize meal (diet 1); 25% FM mixed with crude sunflower oil cake (SFOC) and bean meal (BM) (diet 2); 12.5% FM mixed with sunflower oil cake, BM and ground nut oil cake (GOC) (diet 3) and 0% FM mixed with de-hulled sunflower oil cake (SFOCD), BM and ground nut oil cake (diet 4). Gonadosomatic index (GSI), sperm quality, plasma sex steroids (11-keto testosterone [11-KT]; testosterone [T]; estradiol-17beta [E2]) were evaluated on 10 to 24 fish fed on each diet. Sperm quality was assessed using computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA). Total replacement of fish meal by plant products markedly increased sperm volume, spermatocrit, spermatozoa integrity, and sperm motility. Fish fed diet 3 (12.5% fish meal) provided intermediate results on sperm quality whereas the lowest values were obtained in fish fed diets 1 and 2. In fish fed 0% fish meal (diet 4), androgen levels were higher and estrogen levels were lower than in fish fed fish meal diets. Based on dietary lipid and fatty acid analyses, these results suggest a positive impact of short chain n-6 fatty acids on androgen synthesis and sperm quality. In conclusion, a combination of ground nut oil cake, bean meal and sunflower oil cake (preferably when the sunflower is dehulled) in African catfish diet improves the sperm quality.
Lactation Weight Loss in Primiparous Sows: Consequences for Embryo Survival and Progesterone and Relations with Metabolic Profiles
Hoving, L.L. ; Soede, N.M. ; Feitsma, H. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2012
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 47 (2012)6. - ISSN 0936-6768 - p. 1009 - 1016.
growth-factor-i - dietary energy-source - feed-intake - reproductive-performance - hormone profiles - insulin - state - mobilization - restriction - pattern
Our objective was to study reproductive consequences of lactation bodyweight loss occurring in primiparous sows with mild feed restriction and to relate these lactation weight losses and its consequences to metabolic profiles during lactation and subsequent early gestation. After weaning, 47 first-litter sows were retrospectively assigned to a high– (HWL, >13.8%, n = 24) or low (LWL, =13.8%, n = 23)–weight loss group. Thirty-six animals received an indwelling jugular vein catheter to determine lactational and gestational profiles of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and urea and gestational profiles of progesterone. At day 35 after insemination, sows were euthanized and their reproductive tract collected. Pregnancy rate was 75% (18/24) for HWL and 96% (22/23) for LWL sows. High–weight loss sows had a lower number of implantation sites (17.2 ± 0.8 vs 19.5 ± 0.7, respectively, p = 0.03) and a lower embryonic survival (65.6 ± 3.4 vs 77.4 ± 2.9%, p = 0.02), resulting in fewer vital embryos (14.9 ± 0.9 vs 16.8 ± 0.7, p = 0.07) than LWL sows. Progesterone peak values were reached later in HWL than in LWL sows (day 13.4 ± 0.5 vs 12.0 ± 0.5, respectively, p = 0.05). Gestational concentrations of IGF-1, NEFA and urea were almost identical for HWL and LWL sows, whilst numerical differences were seen during lactation. The current study shows negative consequences of lactational weight loss in mildly feed-restricted primiparous sows for embryonic survival and shows that these consequences seem only mildly related with metabolic alterations during lactation and not with metabolic alterations during subsequent gestation.
Embryo survival, progesterone profiles and metabolic responses to an increased feeding level during second gestation in sows
Hoving, L.L. ; Soede, N.M. ; Feitsma, H. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2012
Theriogenology 77 (2012)8. - ISSN 0093-691X - p. 1557 - 1569.
dietary energy-source - growth-factor-i - early-pregnancy - reproductive-performance - primiparous sows - multiparous sows - parity sows - postweaning performance - conceptus growth - nursing behavior
This study describes reproductive and metabolic responses in sows fed at two different feeding levels from day 3–35 of second gestation. After insemination, 37 sows were assigned to one of two treatments: 1) Control: 2.5 kg/day of a gestation diet; 2) Plus Feed 3.25 kg/day of a gestation diet (+30%). Sow weight, back fat and loin muscle depth were measured at farrowing, weaning, start of treatment, day 14 after start treatment and end of treatment. Frequent blood samples were taken for progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), glucose and insulin, insulin-like-growth-factor-1 (IGF-1), non-esterified-fatty-acids (NEFA) and urea analysis. At day 35 after insemination sows were euthanized and their reproductive tract collected to assess ovarian, embryonic and placental characteristics. Plus Feed sows gained 5.4 kg more weight and 0.9 mm more back fat and tended to be heavier at slaughter compared to Control sows (193 vs. 182 kg, P = 0.06). No difference in loin muscle gain was found. Treatment also did not affect vital embryonic survival, which was 72.1 ± 3.9% for Control and 73.4 ± 3.2% for Plus Feed sows, resulting in, respectively, 15.9 ± 0.9 and 15.7 ± 0.7 vital embryos. No effect of treatment on any of the ovarian, embryonic or placental characteristics was found. Progesterone profiles during the first month of gestation, and LH characteristics at day 14 of gestation were not different between treatments. Progesterone concentration was lower (P <0.05) 3 h after feeding compared with the prefeeding level on days 7–11 after first progesterone rise for Plus Feed and on days 8–10 after first progesterone rise for Control sows. At day 15, preprandial glucose and insulin concentrations were not different between treatments, insulin peaked later (48 vs. 24 min) and at a higher concentration in Plus Feed than in Control sows. Furthermore, glucose area under the curve (AUC) tended to be lower (-171.7 ± 448.8 vs. 1257.1 ± 578.9 mg/6.2 h, P = 0.06, respectively) for Plus Feed vs. Control sows. IGF-1 concentration was not different between treatments, but NEFA concentrations were lower for Plus Feed vs. Control sows (149.5 ± 9.2 vs. 182.4 ± 11.9 µm/L, respectively, P = 0.04) and urea concentration tended to be higher in Plus Feed than in Control sows (4.3 ± 0.1 vs. 3.9 ± 0.1, respectively, P = 0.13). None of the metabolic parameteres were related to reproductive measures. In conclusion, feeding 30% more feed from day 3 till d 35 of second gestation increased weight gain and resulted in lower NEFA concentrations, but did not affect progesterone, LH or IGF-1 and embryonic and placental characteristics.
Timing of lactational oestrus in intermittent suckling regimes: Consequences for sow fertility
Soede, N.M. ; Laurenssen, B.F.A. ; Abrahamse-Berkeveld, M. ; Gerritsen, R. ; Dirx-Kuijken, N.C.P.M.M. ; Langendijk, P. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2012
Animal Reproduction Science 130 (2012)1-2. - ISSN 0378-4320 - p. 74 - 81.
conventional housing systems - dietary energy-source - 2 feeding levels - reproductive-performance - luteinizing-hormone - primiparous sows - extended lactation - progesterone - pigs - ovulation
Three intermittent suckling (IS) regimes were evaluated for their effects on lactational oestrus and subsequent fertility. Control sows were weaned (CW; n = 38) at d 26 ± 2 of lactation. In IS19-7D (n = 40) and IS19-14D (n = 42) sows, IS started at d 19 ± 1 of lactation and sows were weaned 7 or 14 d later. In IS26-7D (n = 41), IS started at d 26 ± 1 of lactation and sows were weaned 7 d later. During IS, sows were separated from their piglets for 10 h/day. Oestrus detection was performed twice daily without a boar and ovulation was confirmed by ultrasound once a week. In IS19-7D, IS19-14D and IS26-7D, respectively, 50%, 64% and 61% of the sows showed oestrus and ovulation during IS (P > 0.05), and, of the remaining sows, 100%, 93%, and 69% showed oestrus in the first week after weaning. In CW sows, 95% showed oestrus in the first week after weaning. Parity 1 sows were considerably less likely than older parities (23% vs. 68%) to show oestrus in lactation. Pregnancy rate of the first post partum oestrus (during lactation or after weaning) was 89% (CW), 92% (IS19-7D), 80% (IS19-14D) and 77% (IS26-7D) (P > 0.05) and subsequent litter size was 14.5 ± 0.5, 14.5 ± 0.6, 15.3 ± 0.5 and 15.2 ± 0.8, respectively (P > 0.05). Sows mated during lactation had similar pregnancy rate and litter size to those mated after weaning. Hence, ongoing lactation for the first 2–9 d of pregnancy did not negatively affect fertility. A total of 50–64% of IS sows showed lactational oestrus, regardless of the stage of lactation. Pregnancy rates and litter size were similar to control sows, and were not affected by stage of lactation at mating
Piglet uniformity and mortality in large organic litters: Effects of parity and pre-mating diet composition
Wientjes, J.G.M. ; Soede, N.M. ; Peet-Schwering, C.M.C. van der; Brand, H. van den; Kemp, B. - \ 2012
Livestock Science 144 (2012)3. - ISSN 1871-1413 - p. 218 - 229.
purebred swedish landrace - birth-weight - reproductive-performance - lactation length - preweaning mortality - farrowing systems - yorkshire sows - ontario swine - growth - farms
In large organic litters, relationships between piglet birth weight, piglet uniformity and pre-weaning piglet mortality were studied. Furthermore, effects of parity and insulin-stimulating diets during the pre-mating period on piglet birth weight, uniformity, and mortality were investigated. Organically kept sows (n = 137 sow cycles) were fed a control diet during lactation and weaning-to-insemination interval (CON), or an insulin-stimulating diet (sucrose plus lactose, both 150 g/d) during only the weaning-to-insemination interval (WII) or during the last two weeks of a 41 ± 4 d lactation and the weaning-to-insemination interval (LAC + WII). Piglets (live born and stillborn) were weighed individually within 24 h after birth. Cross-fostering was allowed within treatments within the first 3 d after birth. Litter size was higher for parities 3 and 4 sows compared with older sows, whereas parity 2 sows had an intermediate litter size (the number of total born piglets was 17.0, 18.8 and 16.3 for sows of parities 2, 3 + 4 and = 5, respectively; P <0.01). Mean birth weight (1.26 ± 0.02 kg) was not influenced by parity, but birth weight CV and percentage of piglets <800 g increased with increasing parity class, after corrections for number of total born piglets (for parities 2, 3 + 4 and = 5, respectively, CV of birth weights were 21.3, 23.2 and 24.8%, P = 0.05; and % piglets <800 g were 6.2, 8.7 and 13.6%, P = 0.02). Pre-weaning piglet mortality also increased with parity class (20.9, 24.2, and 33.3% for parities 2, 3 + 4 and = 5, respectively; P = 0.01). Litter characteristics at birth and pre-weaning piglet mortality were not affected by the insulin-stimulating diets before mating. Piglet mortality from d0 to 3 was strongly related with the number of total born piglets (ß = 1.47%/piglet; P <0.001), mean birth weight of the piglets (ß = - 30.99%/kg; P <0.001), CV of birth weights (ß = 1.08%/%; P <0.001) and % piglets <800 g (ß = 0.58%/%; P <0.01). It is concluded that piglet birth weight and birth weight uniformity affect pre-weaning piglet mortality in organic sows with large litters. Piglet uniformity and piglet mortality were also affected by parity, but not by pre-mating insulin-stimulating diets
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