49 research outputs found

    Dry Matter Intake Prediction from Milk Spectra in Sarda Dairy Sheep

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    Individual dry matter intake (DMI) is a relevant factor for evaluating feed efficiency in livestock. However, the measurement of this trait on a large scale is difficult and expensive. DMI, as well as other phenotypes, can be predicted from milk spectra. The aim of this work was to predict DMI from the milk spectra of 24 lactating Sarda dairy sheep ewes. Three models (Principal Component Regression, Partial Least Squares Regression, and Stepwise Regression) were iteratively applied to three validation schemes: records, ewes, and days. DMI was moderately correlated with the wavenumbers of the milk spectra: the largest correlations (around ±0.30) were observed at ~1100–1330 cm−1 and ~2800–3000 cm−1. The average correlations between real and predicted DMI were 0.33 (validation on records), 0.32 (validation on ewes), and 0.23 (validation on days). The results of this preliminary study, even if based on a small number of animals, demonstrate that DMI can be routinely estimated from the milk spectra

    Linseed supplementation during uterine and early post-natal life markedly affects fatty acid profiles of brain, liver and muscle of lambs

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    This study investigated the effects of maternal linseed supplementation during gestation and lactation on muscle, brain and liver tissues composition and fatty acid (FA) profile in lambs. In a 2 × 2 factorial design, a total of 36 Sarda dairy ewes were fed a control diet (CON, n = 18) or a diet containing linseed (LIN, n = 18) during the last 8 weeks of gestation. After lambing, 9 ewes per group changed to the other diet, moving from CON to LIN and vice-versa. The single-born lambs (n = 36) were reared exclusively on milk and were slaughtered at 4 weeks of age and samples of muscle, brain, and liver tissues were collected. Data were analysed with a general linear model to test the effects of mothers’ gestation and lactation diets, their interaction and the effect of lamb sex. Experimental results evidenced that lambs from mothers fed LIN diet during lactation had a greater content of almost all C18:1 and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers, both in muscle (P < .01) and in the liver (P < .05), than those from mothers fed CON. Linseed supplementation during gestation generally increased the content of C22:5n3 (P < .01) and C22:6n3 in the brain. In conclusion, experimental results evidenced that the supplementation of ewes’ diet with linseed during lactation strongly affected the muscle and liver FA profile of lambs. The effect of linseed was effective also during gestation, especially on brain tissue, but to a minor extent.Highlights Results of the present work confirm the large impact of maternal diet on the fatty acid composition of lamb tissues Linseed supplementation during gestation generally increased the content of PUFA n3 in the brain of lambs Linseed supplementation of mothers during lactation affects the muscle and liver FA profile of sucking lamb

    Comparison of Milk Odd- and Branched-Chain Fatty Acids among Human, Dairy Species and Artificial Substitutes

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    The aim of the study was to compare odd and branched-chain fatty acids (OBCFA) of milk from sheep, goat, cow, buffalo, donkey, human, and formula milk. Ruminant, monogastric, and human milks have different concentrations of these fatty acids (FA). To highlight the differences on OBCFA, a total of 282 individual milk samples were analyzed by gas chromatography. The OBCFA were found higher in ruminant than non-ruminant milks (p &lt; 0.05). Among ruminants, sheep milk had the highest OBCFA (4.5 g/100 g of total FAME), whereases the lowest values were found in formula milk (0.18 g/100 g of total FAME). Regarding individual linear odd-chain FA (linear-OCFA), C11:0 was found higher in donkey milk than others, while sheep and buffalo milks had the greatest concentration of C15:0. Among BCFA, the iso-BCFA were higher than anteiso-BCFA in all considered milks. The isoC17:0 showed the highest concentration in all milks except for donkey and buffalo, which showed higher concentration of isoC16:0 than others. In conclusion, ruminant milks are different in terms of these FA compared to human milk and its substitutes. However, the greatest differences were found with formula milk, suggesting that this product needs the implementation of these FA to be more similar to human milk composition

    Effect of Suckling Management and Ewe Concentrate Level on Methane-Related Carbon Footprint of Lamb Meat in Sardinian Dairy Sheep Farming

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    The aim of this study was to estimate the methane-linked carbon footprint (CF) of the suckling lamb meat of Mediterranean dairy sheep. Ninety-six Sarda dairy ewes, divided into four groups of 24 animals each, were assigned to 2 &times; 2 factorial design. The experiment included the suckling lamb feeding system: traditional (TS), in which lambs followed their mothers on pasture during grazing time, vs. separated (SS), in which lambs remained indoors, separated from their mothers during the grazing time. Each group was divided into high (HS) and low (LS) supplemented ewes (600 g/d vs. 200 g/d of concentrate). The estimated CH4 emission of the ewes, calculated per kg of body weight (BW) gain of the lamb during the suckling period, was then converted to CO2eq with multiplying factor of 25. The TS lambs showed lower methane-linked emissions than SS ones (p &lt; 0.05). The sex of lambs affected their methane-linked CF, with males having lower (p &lt; 0.05) values than females. Twins displayed much lower methane-linked CF than singles (4.56 vs. 7.30 kg of CO2eq per kg of BW gained), whereas the level of supplementation did not affect greenhouse gases (GHG) emission. Interaction displayed lower and not-different GHG emissions for both indoor- and outdoor-reared twins. In conclusion, the methane-linked CF of the suckling lamb meat can be reduced by maintaining the traditional lamb rearing system and by improving flock prolificacy

    Effect of Dams and Suckling Lamb Feeding Systems on the Fatty Acid Composition of Suckling Lamb Meat

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    The effects of the dams and suckling lamb feeding systems on the fatty acid (FA) profile of lamb meat are reviewed in this article. The suckling lamb can be considered a functional monogastric, and therefore, its meat FA composition is strongly influenced by the FA composition of maternal milk. The major source of variation for ewe milk FA composition is represented by pasture amount and type. In the traditional sheep breeding system of the Mediterranean area, the main lambing period occurs in late autumn–early winter, and ewes are able to exploit the seasonal availability of the natural pastures at their best. Therefore, lambs start suckling when maternal milk concentrations of vaccenic, rumenic, and n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated FA in maternal milk are the highest. When maternal diet is mainly based on hay and concentrates, the use of vegetable oils can be considered a good strategy to improve the meat FA profile of suckling lambs

    Impact of increasing levels of condensed tannins from sainfoin in the grower-finisher diets of entire male pigs on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality.

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    Sainfoin is a protein-rich legume with an ideal amino acid profile and therefore could partly replace soybeans in the diets of growing pigs. However, sainfoin also contains a non-negligible amount of condensed tannins (CTs), which can act as antinutritional factors. Bioactive plant compounds, like hydrolysable tannins, have been suggested to be suitable in entire male (EM) production, as they impair the development of accessory sex glands and, by that, reduce boar taint compound levels without negatively impacting growth. It is unknown whether, similar to hydrolysable tannins, CTs from sainfoin reduce the incidence of boar taint without impacting growth performance, carcass traits, and meat quality. For the experiment, 48 Swiss Large White EM were assigned within litter to one of four grower (25-60 kg BW) and finisher (60-105 kg BW) diets supplemented with 0 (T0), 5 (T5), 10 (T10), and 15% (T15) sainfoin meal, respectively. The four diets were designed to be isocaloric and isoproteic. Increasing the dietary sainfoin level had no negative effect on growth performance or the carcass characteristics. Despite leading to a similar feed intake between the treatment groups, increasing the dietary sainfoin levels tended (P ≤ 0.08) to reduce the number of feeder visits but increased the time spent at the feeder as well as the feed intake per visit during the finisher period. By increasing sainfoin intake, the levels of C18:3n-3 and long-chain homologs linearly increased (P < 0.01) in the backfat and intramuscular fat (IMF), whereas in the backfat, but not the IMF, the 18:2n-6 levels decreased (P < 0.01). The latter triggered a greater (P < 0.01) desaturation rate (C18:1n-9/C18:0) of the saturated fatty acids, resulting in a greater (P < 0.01) proportion of monounsaturated fatty acid. Apart from a linear decrease (P = 0.02) in the androstenone levels in the longissimus thoracis (LT), increasing the sainfoin intake had no effect on the level of boar taint in the LT and backfat. As determined by the elevated correlation coefficient, skatole and indole levels, but not androstenone levels, in the adipose tissue seem to be reliable proxies for their respective levels in LT and, therefore, in pork. In conclusion, sainfoin is a suitable homegrown protein source for grower finisher pigs and can be included at up to 15% in the diet to replace 7% of soybean in a diet without producing any noteworthy effects on growth, whereas the impact of CTs on boar taint was limited

    Exploratory Survey on European Consumer and Stakeholder Attitudes towards Alternatives for Surgical Castration of Piglets

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    Simple SummaryIn many countries, surgical castration of piglets without pain relief or anaesthesia is still common practice. Castration is performed to minimise the incidence of boar taint, a bad taste (urine/fecal like), typically present in the meat of 5 to 10% of uncastrated male pigs. It also helps to avoid aggressive and sexual behaviour. For animal welfare reasons, alternatives are being considered, and in some countries, an alternative is already practiced. One option is to perform surgical castration with anaesthesia and relieve pain. A second option is to produce male pigs without castration, which requires detection of tainted carcasses in the slaughter house. A third option is to apply immunocastration: by a two-fold injection of a vaccine, the testes function is inhibited, which reduces boar-like behaviour and avoids boar taint. In this study, we evaluated the acceptability of each of these methods in 16 countries in Europe. Of the 4 presented options, the practice of surgical castration was least accepted (32%), whilst there was a high acceptance of castration with anaesthesia (85%), followed by immunocastration (71%) and production of boars (49%). The developed questionnaire and infographic can be used in future studies to further gain insights in consumer and stakeholder attitudes on this topic.Surgical castration of piglets without pain relief is still common practice in many countries. Possible alternatives for surgical castration are application of pain relief or anaesthesia or production of boars (entire males) and immunocastrates. Each of these alternatives faces advantages and disadvantages which may result in different citizen attitudes and consumers acceptability. Understanding which practice is acceptable to whom and why may further stimulate implementation. Consumer (n = 3251) and stakeholder (n = 1027) attitudes towards surgical castration without pain relief, surgical castration with anaesthesia, immunocastration, and production of boars were surveyed from April to June 2020 via an online questionnaire in 16 countries (>175 respondents per country). Surgical castration without pain relief was separated from each of the alternatives due to animal welfare and showed the lowest acceptability (32%). Within the alternatives, a further partitioning between the alternatives was based on perceived quality and food safety, with an acceptance of 85% for applying anaesthesia, 71% for immunocastration, and 49% for boar production. Differences depending on professional involvement and familiarity with agriculture could be observed, mainly for the acceptance of surgical castration without anaesthesia, immunocastration, and boars. Castration with anaesthesia was highly accepted by all types of respondents

    Exploratory Survey on European Consumer and Stakeholder Attitudes towards Alternatives for Surgical Castration of Piglets

    Get PDF
    Simple Summary In many countries, surgical castration of piglets without pain relief or anaesthesia is still common practice. Castration is performed to minimise the incidence of boar taint, a bad taste (urine/fecal like), typically present in the meat of 5 to 10% of uncastrated male pigs. It also helps to avoid aggressive and sexual behaviour. For animal welfare reasons, alternatives are being considered, and in some countries, an alternative is already practiced. One option is to perform surgical castration with anaesthesia and relieve pain. A second option is to produce male pigs without castration, which requires detection of tainted carcasses in the slaughter house. A third option is to apply immunocastration: by a two-fold injection of a vaccine, the testes function is inhibited, which reduces boar-like behaviour and avoids boar taint. In this study, we evaluated the acceptability of each of these methods in 16 countries in Europe. Of the 4 presented options, the practice of surgical castration was least accepted (32%), whilst there was a high acceptance of castration with anaesthesia (85%), followed by immunocastration (71%) and production of boars (49%). The developed questionnaire and infographic can be used in future studies to further gain insights in consumer and stakeholder attitudes on this topic. Surgical castration of piglets without pain relief is still common practice in many countries. Possible alternatives for surgical castration are application of pain relief or anaesthesia or production of boars (entire males) and immunocastrates. Each of these alternatives faces advantages and disadvantages which may result in different citizen attitudes and consumers acceptability. Understanding which practice is acceptable to whom and why may further stimulate implementation. Consumer (n = 3251) and stakeholder (n = 1027) attitudes towards surgical castration without pain relief, surgical castration with anaesthesia, immunocastration, and production of boars were surveyed from April to June 2020 via an online questionnaire in 16 countries (>175 respondents per country). Surgical castration without pain relief was separated from each of the alternatives due to animal welfare and showed the lowest acceptability (32%). Within the alternatives, a further partitioning between the alternatives was based on perceived quality and food safety, with an acceptance of 85% for applying anaesthesia, 71% for immunocastration, and 49% for boar production. Differences depending on professional involvement and familiarity with agriculture could be observed, mainly for the acceptance of surgical castration without anaesthesia, immunocastration, and boars. Castration with anaesthesia was highly accepted by all types of respondents

    Can Agro-Industrial By-Products Rich in Polyphenols be Advantageously Used in the Feeding and Nutrition of Dairy Small Ruminants?

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    Recently, the interest in industrial by-products produced at the local level in Mediterranean areas, resulting from fruit and vegetable processes, has increased because of their considerable amounts of bioactive compounds, including polyphenols. In this review, we analyze the most recent scientific results concerning the use of agro-industrial by-products, naturally rich in polyphenols (BPRP), in the diets of small dairy ruminants. Effects on milk production, milk and rumen liquor fatty acid profile, metabolic parameters, and methane production are reviewed. The feed intake and digestibility coefficients were generally depressed by BPRP, even though they were not always reflected in the milk yield. The main observed positive effects of BPRP were on quality of the milk&rsquo;s FA profile, antioxidant activity in milk and blood, a reduction of rumen ammonia, and, consequently, a reduction of milk and blood urea. The expected beneficial effects of dietary polyphenols in small ruminants were not always observed because of their complex and variable matrices. However, owing to the large quantities of these products available at low prices, the use of BPRB in small ruminant nutrition offers a convenient solution to the valorization of residues arising from agricultural activities, reducing feed costs for farmers and conferring added value to dairy products at the local level, in a sustainable way

    Bio-Electrical Impedance Device for Remote Control of an Indirect Index of Mechanical Tenderness in Ripening Beef Meat

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    With the aim to contribute in increasing the meat beef preference from consumers on the basis of their unbiased knowledge of meat tenderness, we have built an information and communication technology platform: the ICTZm, based on the measure of the ratio between the transversal resistivity and the longitudinal one of the muscle fibres, i.e. the electrical anisotropy ratio (RT/RL), which decreases during the ripening period of the meat while increasing mechanical tenderness since its mechanical resistance to compression stress decreases. For this we integrated a commercial electronic board generating a constant current (1 mA at 65 KHz) together with a command and control system and a remote data acquisition system by which RT/RL values of 6 beef longissimus dorsi muscle portion from 3 young cattle where remotely assessed, along the processing line, within 14 days from slaughter at 5°C. From assessed data we obtained a nonlinear equation, of the symmetrical sigmoidal type, which fitted curve consents to obtain the RT/RL value at a given day from slaughter (R2 = 0.96). So our ICTZm allowed us to acquire numerical values from which an indirect but objective index of meat mechanical resistance/tenderness could be furnished to the consumer.Fil: Dell'osa, Antonio Héctor. Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego. Instituto de Desarrollo Economico E Innovacion; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas; ArgentinaFil: Battacone, Gianni. Università Degli Studi Di Sassari; ItaliaFil: Pulina, Giuseppe. Università Degli Studi Di Sassari; ItaliaFil: Fois, Giuliana. No especifíca;Fil: Concu, Alberto. Università Degli Studi Di Cagliari.; ItaliaFil: Kalb, Alberto. Università Degli Studi Di Cagliari.; ItaliaFil: Melis, Sinuhe. Università Degli Studi Di Cagliari.; ItaliaFil: Loviseli, Andrea. Università Degli Studi Di Cagliari.; ItaliaFil: Velluzzi, F.. Università Degli Studi Di Cagliari.; Itali
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