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See detailForage plants as alternative feed resource for sustainable pig production in the tropics: a review
Kambashi Mutiaka, Bienvenu ULg; Boudry, Christelle ULg; Picron, Pascale ULg et al

in Animal (2014), 8(8), 1298-1311

Globally, pressure on concentrate feed resources is increasing, especially in the tropics where many countries are net importers of food. Forage plants are a possible alternative but their use as feed ... [more ▼]

Globally, pressure on concentrate feed resources is increasing, especially in the tropics where many countries are net importers of food. Forage plants are a possible alternative but their use as feed ingredients for pigs raises several issues related to their higher fibre and plant secondary metabolites contents as well as their lower nutritive value. In this paper, the nutritive value of several forage species as well as the parameters that influence this nutritive value in relationship to the plant family, the physiological stage, the plant part and the preservation method (fresh, hay and silage) are reviewed. The influence of the breed and the physiological status of the animal on animal voluntary intake of fibre-rich ingredients, digestibility as related to gastrointestinal volume and transit time and growth performances are also discussed. The final section highlights the assets and drawbacks of forage plants in pig diets and stresses the need for proper economic evaluation to conclude on the benefits of the use of forage plants in pig feed. [less ▲]

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See detailSpread of hatch and delayed feed access affect post hatch performance of female broiler chicks up to day 5.
Wang, Y.; Li, Yue; Willems, E. et al

in Animal (2014)

It is not rare that newly hatched chicks remain without feed for about 24 to 48 h before they are placed on farms due to a series of logistic operations. Furthermore, the spread in hatching time can also ... [more ▼]

It is not rare that newly hatched chicks remain without feed for about 24 to 48 h before they are placed on farms due to a series of logistic operations. Furthermore, the spread in hatching time can also mount up to 30 to 48 h for late v. early hatchers. In other words, the practice is a complex combination of spread of hatch and delayed feed access. The present study was aimed to investigate the combined effects of hatching time with a delay in feed access of 48 h, starting from their hatch-time (biological age). When chicks had access to feed immediately after hatch, late hatchers had a higher feed intake and relative growth rate up to day 5 compared with their early hatched counterparts. Feed deprivation during the first 48 h resulted in retarded early growth rate, which was further aggravated by an impaired feed intake after refeeding. In addition, the differential effects of hatching time on relative growth rate and feed intake observed in immediately fed chicks were eliminated by the 48 h feed delay. The yolk utilization after hatch was faster for the late hatchers up to biological day 2 regardless of the feeding treatments. Hatching muscle glycogen content was higher in the late hatchers compared with that of their early counterparts at hatch and at biological day 2 independent of feeding treatment. Moreover, the liver glycogen content of the late hatchers was also higher at hatch. For the immediately fed chicks, the proportional breast muscle weight of the late hatchers was higher at biological day 2 and 5. For the starved chicks, on the other hand, this effect was only observed after they had access to feed (biological day 5). The different plasma T3 levels at hatch may have contributed to the different post hatch performance. It is concluded that the spread of hatch influenced post hatch performance, especially appetite and growth at least until day 5. Moreover, the delay in feed access interacted with the hatching time and caused adverse effects on the post hatch performance. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation of fatty acid predictions in milk using mid-infrared spectrometry across cattle breeds.
Maurice – Van Eijndhoven, Myrthe; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Dehareng, Frédéric et al

in Animal (2013), 7

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See detailThe use of SWOT analysis to explore and prioritize conservation and development strategies for local cattle breeds
Martin-Collado, D; Diaz, C; Mäki-Tanila, A et al

in Animal (2013), 7(6), 885-894

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is a tool widely used to help in decision making in complex systems. It suits to exploring the issues and measures related to the ... [more ▼]

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is a tool widely used to help in decision making in complex systems. It suits to exploring the issues and measures related to the conservation and development of local breeds, as it allows the integration of many driving factors influencing breed dynamics. We developed a quantified SWOT method as a ecisionmaking tool for identification and ranking of conservation and development strategies of local breeds, and applied it to a set of 13 cattle breeds of six European countries. The method has four steps: definition of the system, identification and grouping of the driving factors, quantification of the importance of driving factors and identification and prioritization of the strategies. The factors were determined following a multi-stakeholder approach and grouped with a three-level structure. Animal genetic resources expert groups ranked the factors, and a quantification process was implemented to identify and prioritize strategies. The proposed SWOT methodology allows analyzing the dynamics of local cattle breeds in a structured and systematic way. It is a flexible tool developed to assist different stakeholders in defining the strategies and actions. The quantification process allows the comparison of the driving factors and the prioritization of the strategies for the conservation and development of local cattle breeds. We identified 99 factors across the breeds. Although the situation is very heterogeneous, the future of these breeds may be promising. The most important strengths and weaknesses were related to production systems and farmers. The most important opportunities were found in marketing new products, whereas the most relevant threats were found in selling the current products. The across-breed strategies utility decreased as they gained specificity. Therefore, the strategies at European level should focus on general aspects and be flexible enough to be adapted to the country and breed specificities. [less ▲]

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See detailPotential use of milk mid-infrared spectra to predict individual methane emission of dairy cows
Dehareng, Frédéric; Delfosse, Camille; Froidmont, Eric et al

in Animal (2012), 6(10), 1694-1701

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See detailA hidden Markov model to predict early mastitis from test-day somatic cell scores
Detilleux, Johann ULg

in Animal (2011), 5(2), 175-181

In many countries, high somatic cell scores (SCS) in milk are used as an indicator for mastitis because they are collected on a routine basis. However, individual test-day SCS are not very accurate in ... [more ▼]

In many countries, high somatic cell scores (SCS) in milk are used as an indicator for mastitis because they are collected on a routine basis. However, individual test-day SCS are not very accurate in identifying infected cows. Mathematical models may improve the accuracy of the biological marker by making better use of the information contained in the available data. Here, a simple hidden Markov model (HMM) is described mathematically and applied to SCS recorded monthly on cows with or without clinical mastitis to evaluate its accuracy in estimating parameters (mean, variance and transition probabilities) under healthy or diseased states. The SCS means were estimated at 1.96 (s.d.50.16) and 4.73 (s.d.50.71) for the hidden healthy and infected states, and the common variance at 0.83 (s.d.50.11). The probability of remaining uninfected, recovering from infection, getting newly infected and remaining infected between consecutive test days was estimated at 78.84%, 60.49%, 11.70% and 15%, respectively. Three different health-related states were compared: clinical stages observed by farmers, subclinical cases defined for somatic cell counts below or above 250 000 cells/ml and infected stages obtained from the HMM. The results showed that HMM identifies infected cows before the appearance of clinical and subclinical signs, which may critically improve the power of the studies on the genetic determinants of SCS and reduce biases in predicting breeding values for SCS. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating myostatin gene effect on milk performance traits using estimated gene content for a large number of non-genotyped cows
Buske, Bernd ULg; Szydlowski, Maciej; Verkenne, Catherine et al

in Animal (2011), 5(1), 43-47

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See detailEffects of available surface on gaseous emissions from group-housed gestating sows kept on deep litter
Philippe, François-Xavier ULg; Canart, Bernard; Laitat, Martine ULg et al

in Animal (2010), 4(10), 1716-1724

In the European Union, the group-housed pregnant sows have to have a minimal legal available area of 2.25m²/sow. However, it has been observed that an increased space allowance reduces agonistic behaviour ... [more ▼]

In the European Union, the group-housed pregnant sows have to have a minimal legal available area of 2.25m²/sow. However, it has been observed that an increased space allowance reduces agonistic behaviour and consecutive wounds and thus induces better welfare conditions. But, what about the environmental impacts of this greater available area? Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify pollutant gases emissions (nitrous oxide, N2O, methane, CH4, carbon dioxide, CO2 and ammonia, NH3), according to the space allowance in the raising of gestating sows group-housed on a straw-based deep litter. Four successive batches of 10 gestating sows were each divided into two homogeneous groups and randomly allocated to a treatment: 2.5 v. 3.0m²/sow. The groups were separately kept in two identical rooms. A restricted conventional cereals based diet was provided once a day in individual feeding stalls available only during the feeding time. Rooms were automatically ventilated. The gas emissions were measured by infra red photoacoustic detection during six consecutive days at the 6th, 9th and 12th weeks of gestation. Sows performance (body weight gain, backfat thickness, number and weight of piglets) was not significantly different according to the space allowance. In the room with 3.0m²/sow and compared with the room with 2.5m²/sow, gaseous emissions were significantly greater for NH3 (6.29 v. 5.37 g NH3-N/day per sow; P<0.01) and significantly lower for N2O (1.78 v. 2.48 g N2O-N/day per sow; P<0.01), CH4 (10.15 v. 15.21 g/day per sow; P<0.001), CO2 equivalents (1.11 v. 1.55 kg/day per sow; P<0.001), CO2 (2.12 v. 2.41 kg/day per sow; P,0<001) and H2O (3.10 v. 3.68 kg/day per sow; P<0.001). In conclusion, an increase of the available area for group-housed gestating sow kept on straw-based deep litter seems to be ambiguous on an environmental impacts point of view. Compared with a conventional and legal available area, it favoured NH3 emissions, probably due to an increased emitting surface. However, about greenhouse gases, it decreased N2O, CH4 and CO2 emissions, probably due to reduced anaerobic conditions required for their synthesis, and led to a reduction of CO2 equivalents emissions. [less ▲]

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See detailEnvironmental effects on lactation curves included in a test-day model genetic evaluation
Leclerc, Hélène; Duclos, Delphine; Barbat, Anne et al

in Animal (2008), 2:3

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See detailEvolution of anti-eCG antibodies in response to eCG doses and number of injections. Relation with rabbit does productivity
Theau-Clément, M.; Lebas, F.; Beckers, J. F. et al

in Animal (2008), 2(5), 746-751

The aim of this experiment was to study the kinetics of anti-eCG (equine chorionic gonadotrophin) antibodies in relation to eCG dose (8 or 25 IU) and number of injections (n = 11) in comparison with a ... [more ▼]

The aim of this experiment was to study the kinetics of anti-eCG (equine chorionic gonadotrophin) antibodies in relation to eCG dose (8 or 25 IU) and number of injections (n = 11) in comparison with a control group (no injection), and to relate antibody production to sexual receptivity and productivity of rabbit does. In all, 124 lactating primiparous rabbit does were inseminated every 35 days for a year. Just before eCG injection (48 h before insemination), blood samples were collected from all the does to assay anti-eCG antibodies. The anti-eCG antibody binding rate, regardless of the injected dose, shows that none of the does developed detectable anti-eCG antibodies before the 7th injection. The level of detectable anti-eCG antibodies began to show an increase at the 7th injection and was significant only for the 25 IU dose at the 11th injection. At the end of the experiment, 15% and 39% of does treated with 8 and 25 IU, respectively, developed immunity to eCG (binding rate >6%: higher binding rate of the control group). Consequently, the immune response depends on the eCG dose and on the number of injections. Moreover, productivity of does estimated from the number of weaned rabbits produced per insemination is not influenced by the level of eCG antibodies (7.0 and 6.9 for binding rate <6% and binding rate 6%, respectively). Only 19 inseminations (n = 6 and n = 13 for 8 and 25 IU, respectively) were made on hyperimmune does. Consequently, the immune response to eCG seems to be marginal for rabbit does. Moreover, under the described experimental conditions, reproductive performances of hyperimmune does were not affected [less ▲]

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See detailEffect Of A Bovine Colostrum Whey Supplementation On Growth Performance, Faecal Escherichia Coli Population And Systemic Immune Response Of Piglets At Weaning
Boudry, Christelle ULg; Dehoux, Jean-Paul; Wavreille, José et al

in Animal (2008), 2(5), 730-737

This study examined the effect of a bovine colsotrum whey supplementation on growth performance, feed intake, faecal Escherichia coli population and systemic immune response of piglets.

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See detailComparison of non-linear growth models to describe the growth curve in West African Dwarf Sheep
Gbangboche, A. B.; Gleke-Kakai, R.; Albuquerque, L. G. et al

in Animal (2008), 2(7), 1003-1012

The objectives of this study were to compare the goodness of fit of four non-linear growth models, i.e. Brody, Gompertz, Logistic and Von Bertalanffy, in West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep. A total of 5274 ... [more ▼]

The objectives of this study were to compare the goodness of fit of four non-linear growth models, i.e. Brody, Gompertz, Logistic and Von Bertalanffy, in West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep. A total of 5274 monthly weight records from birth up to 180 days of age from 889 lambs, collected during 2001 to 2004 in Betecoucou breeding farm in Benin were used. In the preliminary analysis, the General Linear Model Procedure of the Statistical Analysis Systems Institute was applied to the dataset to identify the significant effects of the sex of lamb (male and female), type of birth (single and twin), season of birth (rainy season and dry season), parity of dam (1, 2 and 3) and year of birth (2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004) on the observed birth weight and monthly weight up to 6 months of age. The models parameters (A, B and k), coefficient of determination (R2), mean square error (MSE) were calculated using language of technical computing package Matlab􏰀 R , 2006. The mean values of A, B and k were substituted into each model to calculate the corresponding Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC). Among the four growth functions, the Brody model has been selected for its accuracy of fit according to the higher R2, lower MSE and AIC. Finally, the parameters A, B and k were adjusted in Matlab􏰀 R , 2006 for the sex of lamb, year of birth, season of birth, birth type and the parity of ewe, providing a specific slope of the Brody growth curve. The results of this study suggest that Brody model can be useful for WAD sheep breeding in Betecoucou farm conditions through growth monitoring. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Asp298Asn missense mutation in the porcine melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) gene can be used to affect growth and carcass traits without an effect on meat quality
Van den Maagdenberg, Karijn; Stinckens, Anneleen; Claeys, Eric et al

in Animal (2007), 1(8), 1089-1098

A promising tool to improve daily gain in pigs is the missense mutation (Asp298Asn) in the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) gene, especially in the Belgian pig industry where the slow-growing Pietrain breed ... [more ▼]

A promising tool to improve daily gain in pigs is the missense mutation (Asp298Asn) in the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) gene, especially in the Belgian pig industry where the slow-growing Pietrain breed is very frequently used as the sire breed The MC4R is expressed in the appetite-regulating region of the brain where it regulates feed intake and energy balance. The mutation has been associated with differences in fatness, daily gain and feed intake. However, less information on the correlated effects on meat quality is available. In order to evaluate the influence of the MC4R mutation on carcass and meat quality parameters, a total of 1155 pigs of a four-way cross were slaughtered at an average live weight of 109 kg, and data about daily live-weight gain, carcass and meat quality were collected Allelic frequencies were 0.69 for the G-allele (298Asp variant or well-conserved variant) and 0.31 for the A-allele (298Asn variant or the mutated variant). Barrows and gilts were almost equally distributed in this population with, respectively, 49.9% and 50.1%. Moreover, independent of this mutation, the relationship between average daily gain (ADG) and carcass on the one hand and meat quality traits on the other hand was evaluated in this population. A significant positive influence of the MC4R mutation on ADG (P < 0.001) was found accompanied by a higher fat thickness (P < 0.05) and a lower carcass lean meat content (P < 0.01), whereas muscle thickness and carcass conformation traits were not affected. The effects on meat quality traits were not significant, except for a lower shear force (P = 0.054) and a higher intramuscular fat content (P = 0.052) in AA animals. In the longissimus, pH and pork quality meter (PQM) values were not influenced, and effects on drip loss and colour were not apparent. Residual correlation coefficients between ADG and carcass lean meat content on the one hand and meat quality traits on the other hand were generally very low (vertical bar r vertical bar > 0.1). Higher ADG, higher carcass fat thickness and lower carcass lean meat content were correlated with slightly lower shear force values (vertical bar r vertical bar similar to 0.1, P < 0.05). In conclusion, in the studied population, the Asp298Asn mutation in the MC4R gene was associated with improved daily gain, higher carcass fatness and almost no effect on meat quality traits. [less ▲]

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See detailA simple method to approximate gene content in large pedigree populations: application to the myostatin gene in dual-purpose Belgian Blue cattle
Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Mayeres, P.; Szydlowski, M.

in Animal (2007), 1(1), 21-28

Gene content is the number of copies of a particular allele in a genotype of an animal. Gene content can be used to study additive gene action of candidate gene. Usually genotype data are available only ... [more ▼]

Gene content is the number of copies of a particular allele in a genotype of an animal. Gene content can be used to study additive gene action of candidate gene. Usually genotype data are available only for a part of population and for the rest gene contents have to be calculated based on typed relatives. Methods to calculate expected gene content for animals on large complex pedigrees are relatively complex. in this paper we proposed a practical method to calculate gene content using a linear regression. The method does not estimate genotype probabilities but these can be approximated from gene content assuming Hardy-Weinberg proportions. The approach was compared with other methods on multiple simulated data sets for real bovine pedigrees of 1082 and 907 903 animals. Different allelic frequencies (0.4 and 0.2) and proportions of the missing genotypes (90, 70, and 50%) were considered in simulation. The simulation showed that the proposed method has similar capability to predict gene content as the iterative peeling method, however it requires less time and can be more practical for large pedigrees. The method was also applied to real data on the bovine myostatin locus on a large dual-purpose Belgian Blue pedigree of 235 133 animals. It was demonstrated that the proposed method can be easily adapted for particular pedigrees. [less ▲]

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See detailGaseous emissions during the fattening of pigs kept either on fully slatted floor or on straw flow
Philippe, François-Xavier ULg; Laitat, Martine ULg; Canart, Bernard et al

in Animal (2007), 1(1), 1515-1523

The aim of this study was to compare the environmental impact of the straw-flow system for fattening pigs with the slatted-floor system by measuring pollutant gas emissions such as ammonia (NH3), nitrous ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to compare the environmental impact of the straw-flow system for fattening pigs with the slatted-floor system by measuring pollutant gas emissions such as ammonia (NH3), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), manure nitrogen (N) content and emissions of water vapour (H2O). Three successive batches of 32 pigs were fattened. For each batch, pigs were allotted to two groups raised in separated rooms fitted either with a concrete totally slatted-floor system (0.75 m(2) per pig) or with a straw-flow system (0.79 m(2) per pig). With this last system, pigs were kept on a sloped floor, straw being provided daily at the top of the pen. Throughout the fattening period, about 34.4 kg of straw were supplied per pig. The straw, mixed with dung, travelled down the slope by pig motion and went out of the pen to a scraped passage. The solid fraction was scraped every day, stored in a heap in the room and removed every month, 1 week before each period of gaseous emission measurement. The liquid fraction was automatically pumped from the scraped passage into a hermetic tank, which was emptied at the end of each fattening period. Rooms were ventilated mechanically in order to maintain a constant ambient temperature. Once a month, the emissions of NH3, N2O, CH4, CO2 and H2O were measured hourly for 6 consecutive days via infrared photoacoustic detection. Mean daily emissions per pig fattened on the slatted floor or on the sloped floor were, respectively, 4.98 and 13.31 g NH3, 0.67 and 0. 68 g N2O, 15.2 and 8.88 g CH4, 548 g and 406 g CO2 equivalents, 1.61 and 1.77 kg CO2 and 2.33 and 2.95 kg H2O. Except for N2O emissions, all the differences were statistically significant (P < 0.001). From the slatted-floor system, the amount of slurry removed per fattening period was on average 256 kg per pig. From the straw-flow system, solid manure amounted on average to 209 kg per pig and liquid manure to 53 kg per pig. The total N-content of the manure was 2.23 kg N per pig with the straw-flow system (solid and liquid manure) v. 3.26 kg N per pig for slurry from the slatted-floor system. This reduction of 30% observed with the sloped floor was mainly explained by the higher level of NH3-N emissions. [less ▲]

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See detailThe source of fermentable carbohydrates influences the in vitro protein synthesis by colonic bacteria isolated from pigs
Bindelle, Jérôme ULg; Buldgen, André; Wavreille, José et al

in Animal (2007), 1(8), 1126-1133

Two in vitro experiments were carried out to quantify the incorporation of nitrogen (N) by pig colonic bacteria during the fermentation of dietary fibre, including non-starch polysaccharides and resistant ... [more ▼]

Two in vitro experiments were carried out to quantify the incorporation of nitrogen (N) by pig colonic bacteria during the fermentation of dietary fibre, including non-starch polysaccharides and resistant starch. In the first experiment, five purified carbohydrates were used: starch (S), cellulose (C), inulin (I), pectin (P) and xylan (X). In the second experiment, three pepsin–pancreatin hydrolysed ingredients were investigated: potato, sugar-beet pulp and wheat bran. The substrates were incubated in an inoculum, prepared from fresh faeces of sows and a buffer solution providing 15N-labelled NH4Cl. Gas production was monitored. Bacterial N incorporation (BNI) was estimated by measuring the incorporation of 15N in the solid residue at halftime to asymptotic gas production (T/2). The remaining substrate was analysed for sugar content. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) were determined in the liquid phase. In the first experiment, the fermentation kinetics differed between the substrates. P, S and I showed higher rates of degradation (P,0.001), while X and C showed a longer lag time and T/2. The sugar disappearance reached 0.91, 0.90, 0.81, 0.56 and 0.46, respectively, for P, I, S, C and X. Among them, S and I fixed more N per gram substrate (P,0.05) than C, X and P (22.9 and 23.2mg fixed N per gram fermented substrate v. 11.3, 12.3 and 9.8, respectively). Production of SCFA was the highest for the substrates with low N fixation: 562 and 565 mg/g fermented substrate for X and C v. 290 to 451 for P, I and S (P,0.01). In the second experiment, potato and sugar-beet pulp fermented more rapidly than wheat bran (P,0.001). Substrate disappearance at T/2 varied from 0.17 to 0.50. BNI were 18.3, 17.0 and 10.2 fixed N per gram fermented substrate, for sugar-beet pulp, potato and wheat bran, respectively, but were not statistically different. SCFA productions were the highest with wheat bran (913mg/g fermented substrate) followed by sugar-beet pulp (641) and potato (556) (P,0.05). The differences in N uptake by intestinal bacteria are linked to the partitioning of the substrate energy content between bacterial growth and SCFA production. This partitioning varies according to the rate of fermentation and the chemical composition of the substrate, as shown by the regression equation linking BNI to T/2 and SCFA (r250.91, P,0.01) and the correlation between BNI and insoluble dietary fibre (r520.77, P,0.05) when pectin was discarded from the database. [less ▲]

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