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See detailMother-Young Relationships in Belgian Blue Cattle after a Caesarean Section: Characterisation and Effects of Parity
Vandenheede, Marc ULg; Nicks, Baudouin ULg; Desiron, A. et al

in Applied Animal Behaviour Science (2001), 72(3), 281-292

The systematic use of Caesarean section in "double muscled" Belgian Blue cattle can induce ethical concerns. The aims of the following study was to characterise mother-young relationships in such a ... [more ▼]

The systematic use of Caesarean section in "double muscled" Belgian Blue cattle can induce ethical concerns. The aims of the following study was to characterise mother-young relationships in such a situation and to assess the effect of parity. Fifteen heifers and 15 cows of the Belgian Blue breed were observed using video recording when isolated with their calf during the 3 days following Caesarean, a rapid surgery with rare occurrence of aggressive behaviour and no sign of cows' discomfort or weakness. All calves were bottle-fed mother's colostrum once before first suckling occurred. Heifers' calves received a supplementary number of three such artificial meals, while cows' calves needed only one. The overall median time to first licking of the calf by the mother was 3.3min without any effect of parity. The mean licking frequency was 29.2+/-15.8 per 24h: heifers licked their calf less frequently than cows, respectively 23.4+/-15.3 per 24h versus 35.1+/-14.5 per 24h (P<0.05). The mean total licking duration was 42.2+/-25.9min per 24h: there was no significant difference between heifers and cows. The overall median time to first suckling was 6.1h, without any effect of parity. The mean suckling frequency was 8.4+/-4.8 per 24h: for half of these suckling bouts, the calf was situated on the left side of the mother, i.e. the side of the scar. The suckling frequency was negatively correlated with the number of artificial meals (r(s)=-0.45,P<0.05). Heifers suckled their calf less often than cows, respectively 6.1+/-3.1 per 24h versus 10.7+/-5.2 per 24h (P<0.01), but the left side proportion was not significantly different. The mean suckling total duration was 35.3+/-21.0min per 24h. The calf was on the left side of the mother during half of this time. Heifers suckled their calf during a shorter time than cows, respectively 26.9+/-20.0min per 24h versus 43.8+/-19.1min per 24h (P<0.05), and the left side proportion was not significantly different. Licking frequency and suckling duration were positively correlated (r=0.43,P<0.05). Only 10% of the mothers (one heifer and two cows) butted their calf and kicking was never observed. Despite the difficult comparison with results of the literature according to various methodologies, mother-young relationships were considered as similar to those reported after natural calving. In our study, cows can be considered as better mothers than heifers. [less ▲]

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See detailEmissions d'ammoniac, de protoxyde d'azote, de méthane, de gaz carbonique et de vapeur d'eau lors de l'élevage de porcs charcutiers sur litière accumulée de sciure: quantification et corrélations avec le niveau d'activités des animaux
Delcourt, M.; Vandenheede, Marc ULg; Desiron, A. et al

in Annales de Médecine Vétérinaire (2001), 145(6), 357-364

During a 4-month fattening period, emissions of NH3, N2O, CH4, CO2 and H2O from a pig house with fattening pigs on deep litter was measured once a month during four days (one measurement every 30 min ... [more ▼]

During a 4-month fattening period, emissions of NH3, N2O, CH4, CO2 and H2O from a pig house with fattening pigs on deep litter was measured once a month during four days (one measurement every 30 min). The activity rate of the animals was also measured hourly as the mean proportion of standing animals observed each two minutes. The mean daily emissions of gas, calculated per pig, were 9,5 g NH3, 3,2 g N2O, 4,8 g CH4, 1,3 kg CO2 and 3,3 kg water vapour. Emissions increased during the fattening period, the values observed at the end being 50%, 50%, 680% and 1000% higher than those at the beginning, for CO2, H2O, CH4 and NH3 respectively. Emissions of N2O were however higher at the beginning than at the end of the fattening period. The activity rate of the pigs followed a circadian rhythm, pigs being observed in a standing position much more frequently during the day than during the night, especially in the morning, at the end of the afternoon and at the beginning of the evening. The activity rate decreased continuously during the fattening period, from 22,6 +/- 4,1% to 8,8 +/- 0,5%. Within each monthly observation period, the hourly emissions of NH3, CO2 and H2O were positively correlated with the pigs' activity rate, the mean correlation coefficients being 0,61 for NH3, 0,71 for CO2 and 0,75 for water vapour. The correlation coefficients were not significant for N2O and CH4 in periods 2 et 3 but significant in periods 1 and 4 with mean values of -0,55 for N2O and +0,26 for CH4. [less ▲]

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See detailEmissions de vapeur d’eau et bilan azoté lors de l’élevage de porcelets sevrés sur litière accumulée de sciure
Nicks, Baudouin ULg; Laitat, Martine ULg; Vandenheede, Marc ULg et al

in Annales de Zootechnie (2000), 49

Five batches of a total of 180 weaned pigs were reared successively in an experimental room on 30 cm deep litter without cleaning between the batches. The litter was a mixture of sawdust from coniferous ... [more ▼]

Five batches of a total of 180 weaned pigs were reared successively in an experimental room on 30 cm deep litter without cleaning between the batches. The litter was a mixture of sawdust from coniferous and beech trees. Water was added to the Litter every 10 days to lower the dust concentration in the room. The total amounts of sawdust and water used were respectively 21.3 kg per pig and 10.21 per pig. The mean temperature of the litter at 20 cm depth recorded during each of the 5 periods varied from 32.5 degrees C to 41.8 degrees C. The average liveweight of the pigs at the beginning and at the end of the post-weaning period was respectively 7.9 +/- 1.2 kg and 24.5 +/- 4.2 kg. The average daily gain was 392 +/- 87 g. The temperature and the relative humidity of the air inside and outside the experimental room and the ventilation rate were continuously recorded in order to calculate the water vapour emission for each batch. The amount of water vapour produced was significantly correlated to the water consumption of the pigs and reached an average of 1 732 g per pig per day. This amount is 36% greater than the reference used for pigs on slatted floors. This value may be used as a reference to calculate the minimum ventilation rate for piggeries with pigs on sawdust deep litters. The amount of compost produced was 19.9 kg per pig with a dry matter content of 44.7%. The amount of nitrogen in the compost was 231 g per pig which is about 50% lower than the reference used for the slurry. The volatile nitrogen emissions are thus much higher from composts than from slurries [less ▲]

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See detailFeeding weaned pigs pellets or meal? Effects on performance, water intake and eating behaviour
Laitat, Martine ULg; Vandenheede, Marc ULg; Desiron, A. et al

in Proceedings of the 50th EAAP (1999)

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See detailIncidences de la césarienne sur le comportement des vaches et de leur veau en race Blanc Bleu belge
Nicks, Baudouin ULg; Desiron, A.; Vandenheede, Marc ULg et al

Article for general public (1999)

Detailed reference viewed: 50 (9 ULg)
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See detailComparaison de l'utilisation de sciure ou d'un mélange paille-sciure comme substrat de litière accumulée pour porcs charcutiers
Nicks, Baudouin ULg; Desiron, A.; Canart, B.

in Annales de Zootechnie (1998), 47(2), 107-116

Two similar rooms were used to keep pigs on deep litter, one room with pigs on sawdust (litter S) and the other with pigs on a mixture of straw and sawdust with 50% dry matter (DM) of each material ... [more ▼]

Two similar rooms were used to keep pigs on deep litter, one room with pigs on sawdust (litter S) and the other with pigs on a mixture of straw and sawdust with 50% dry matter (DM) of each material (litter PS). Three batches of 17 pigs were reared in each room over the 14-month period of experiment. The deep litters were started with a bedding of about 30 cm. Afterwards the amounts of litters used were adjusted to keep the pigs clean. Each week the litter S was manually aerated and manure incorporated in the litter. This work was not per formed with the litter PS. Both temperatures, relative humidities and ventilation rates were similar in the two rooms. The temperatures in the litters were continuously recorded. Ammonia concentrations were measured once a week using 8-h diffusion tubes. Electrochemical probes were occasionally used to measure the NH3 concentrations continuously, at l-h intervals, during 1-week periods. NO concentrations were measured dul-ing all the experimental period with electrochemical probes. At the end of the experiment the amounts of litter DM used per pig were of 32 kg with the litter S and 40 kg with the litter PS. The litter temperatures measured at 20 cm depth varied between 30 and 37 degrees C. Heat evaporated the dung water and the DM content of the composts produced staid above 50%. The amounts of compost produced per fattening pig were of 127 kg with the litter S and of 157 kg with the litter PS. Corresponding amounts of N in the composts were of 1.38 and 1.92 kg/pig, respectively. NH3 emission was lower from litter S than from litter PS but small increases of NH3 concentration until 50 ppm were observed during the work of aeration. Adding new litter decreased the emissions. NO emissions were only observed with the litter S, during the aeration period. Pig performance and carcass qualities were not affected by the litter mate. [less ▲]

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See detailEnvironmental and technical results of keeping fattening pigs on deep litters
Nicks, Baudouin ULg; Desiron, A.; Canart, B. et al

in Proceedings of the 14th International Pig Veterinary Society Congress (1996)

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See detailResults from keeping fattening pigs on deep litters
Nicks, Baudouin ULg; Desiron, A.; Marlier, D. et al

in Proceedings of the VIII International Congress on Animal Hygiene (1994)

Detailed reference viewed: 8 (3 ULg)