184 research outputs found

    Piglet mortality in organic herds

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    Productive performance of organic pig farms is lower compared to conventional farms, but only very few data exist. Better knowledge of the productivity of organic herds regarding litter size at birth, piglet losses around birth and during lactation, as well as housing and management conditions should help to identify critical points and hence to improve the situation. Therefore, a research project was initiated in 6 EU countries (Corepig). As part of this, farmers recorded production data during 3-11 months starting between January and July 2008. Farmers were asked to record the numbers of piglets born dead, born alive as well as the number of piglets at weaning. Taking into account the quality of the records and setting a threshold of ‚Č• 10 litters/farm, data from 38 farms in 4 countries (France: 14, Germany: 12, Austria: 7, Sweden: 5) were analyzed (mean: 69, 10 to 713 litters/farm). Most farmers were not present at farrowing, meaning the number of piglets that were classified as ‚Äúborn dead‚ÄĚ was probably greatly overestimated. Therefore, mean total litter size at birth (born dead + born alive, MTLS), its standard deviation (SDLS), litter size at weaning and percentage of total losses (born dead + lactation losses, pLOSS) were calculated at the farm level. Overall, MTLS was 12.9 ¬Ī 1.6 piglets at birth, 9.2 ¬Ī 1.1 piglets at weaning and pLOSS was 26.7 ¬Ī 7.1 % with a lactation duration of 45.3 ¬Ī 5.9 days. Mortality of piglets increased with MTLS (2.1 ¬Ī 0.7% additional loss per piglet, p = 0.004) and with SDLS (3.9 ¬Ī 1.6% additional loss per unit of SDLS, mean ¬Ī SEM, P = 0.021). MTLS was correlated with SDLS (r = 0.44, p = 0.006). These data confirm the detrimental influence of large litter size at birth on piglet mortality. This is commonly observed in conventional pig production and related to a higher proportion of piglets with low birth weight and to increased competition for teats. High variability in litter size may exacerbate these problems, and in addition may be an indicator for other problems on the farm

    Ett av åtta : Föräldrar till barn med övervikt. Forskningsöversikt och metod för gruppstöd

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    Detta examensarbete ingår i projektet Barn med övervikt. Projektet stöder utvecklandet och genomförandet av ett interventionsprogram för barn i åldern 5-7 år. Syftet i del I med detta arbete är att sammanfatta resultat av forskningar gjorda om föräldrars uppfattning och upplevelse av sitt barns övervikt. Frågeställningen i arbetet är: hur uppfattar föräldrar till barn med övervikt sitt barns vikt och vilka faktorer påverkar uppfattningen? Metoden som använts är en systematisk artikelöversikt över de artiklar som framkommit genom de sökord och avgränsningar som gjorts. Resultatet från forskningsöversikten visar bland annat att föräldrarna som deltog i studierna hade svårigheter att bedöma sitt barns vikt rätt och att det fanns flera faktorer som påverkade föräldrarnas uppfattning. Målet med del II var att utveckla ett stödmaterial till föräldrar vars barn lider av övervikt. Metoden som vi utvecklat är ett referensgruppsstöd vars syfte är att främja förebyggandet av barns övervikt. Referensgruppstödet ger föräldrar möjlighet att diskutera med andra föräldrar i liknande situation samt möjlighet att få stöd av en professionell. Metodens namn Ett av åtta syftar på att vart åttonde barn i lekåldern i Finland har övervikt.Tämä opinnäytetyö on osa projektia: Barn med övervikt. Projekti tukee 5-7 vuotiaille lapsille suunnattujen interventio-ohjelmien kehittämistä ja toteuttamista. Tämän opinnäytetyön tarkoituksena on tehdä yhteenveto tutkimustuloksista jotka käsittelevät vanhempien käsityksiä lapsensa ylipainosta. Työn ensimmäisen osan kysymyksenasettelu on: Miten ylipainoisten lasten vanhemmat näkevät lapsensa ylipainon ja mitkä tekijät vaikuttavat vanhempien näkemykseen? Menetelmänä käytetään systemaattista artikkelikatsausta niistä artikkeleista, jotka ovat tulleet esiin hakusanojen ja rajausten kautta. Artikkelikatsauksen tulokset osoittivat muun muassa, että tutkimuksiin osallistuvilla vanhemmilla oli vaikeuksia arvioida lastensa paino oikein, ja että useat tekijät, vaikuttivat vanhempien näkemyksiin. Opinnäytetyön toisen osan tavoitteena on kehittää tukimateriaali vanhemmille, joiden lapsilla on ylipainoa. Työssä kehitettynä menetelmänä käytetään vertaistukiryhmää, jonka tarkoituksena on edistää lasten lihavuuden ehkäisemistä. Vertaistuen avulla vanhempien on mahdollista keskustella samanlaisessa tilanteessa olevien vanhempien kanssa, sekä saada tukea ammattilaiselta. Menetelmän nimi, Yksi kahdeksasta, viittaa siihen, että joka kahdeksas leikki-ikäinen lapsi Suomessa on ylipainoinen.This Bachelor’s thesis is a part of the project Barn med övervikt. The project supports the development and implementation of an intervention program for children in the age of 5-7 years. The purpose of this thesis is to summarize the result of researches made on parental perception of their overweight children. The literature study answered the questions, how do parents perceive their children’s overweight and what factors affect the perceptions. The result of the literature study show that the parents had difficulties in estimating their children’s weight correctly and that there are several factors that affects the parental perception. The aim goal with part II in this thesis was to develop support material for parents with overweight children. The method that was developed is a support group for parents which purpose is to promote the prevention of children’s overweight. The group gives the parents an opportunity to discuss with other parents in similar situations. They can also get support from a professional. The name of the method, One of Eight refers to that one of eight preschool children in Finland is overweight

    A missense mutation in PMEL17 is associated with the Silver coat color in the horse

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    BACKGROUND: The Silver coat color, also called Silver dapple, in the horse is characterized by dilution of the black pigment in the hair. This phenotype shows an autosomal dominant inheritance. The effect of the mutation is most visible in the long hairs of the mane and tail, which are diluted to a mixture of white and gray hairs. Herein we describe the identification of the responsible gene and a missense mutation associated with the Silver phenotype. RESULTS: Segregation data on the Silver locus (Z) were obtained within one half-sib family that consisted of a heterozygous Silver colored stallion with 34 offspring and their 29 non-Silver dams. We typed 41 genetic markers well spread over the horse genome, including one single microsatellite marker (TKY284) close to the candidate gene PMEL17 on horse chromosome 6 (ECA6q23). Significant linkage was found between the Silver phenotype and TKY284 (őł = 0, z = 9.0). DNA sequencing of PMEL17 in Silver and non-Silver horses revealed a missense mutation in exon 11 changing the second amino acid in the cytoplasmic region from arginine to cysteine (Arg618Cys). This mutation showed complete association with the Silver phenotype across multiple horse breeds, and was not found among non-Silver horses with one clear exception; a chestnut colored individual that had several Silver offspring when mated to different non-Silver stallions also carried the exon 11 mutation. In total, 64 Silver horses from six breeds and 85 non-Silver horses from 14 breeds were tested for the exon 11 mutation. One additional mutation located in intron 9, only 759 bases from the missense mutation, also showed complete association with the Silver phenotype. However, as one could expect to find several non-causative mutations completely associated with the Silver mutation, we argue that the missense mutation is more likely to be causative. CONCLUSION: The present study shows that PMEL17 causes the Silver coat color in the horse and enable genetic testing for this trait

    Epidemiological study concerning the characteristics of organic pig farming in selected European countries

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    Interviews and on-farm assessments were conducted in a total of 101 organic pig farms in different European countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden) to gain knowledge about farm management and health status of organic pigs in Europe. 66 farms kept at least one age group outdoors while 35 farms kept their pigs exclusively indoors, for the most part with a concrete outside run. Housing and feeding conditions were characterised by a large heterogeneity within and between European countries. On many farms, the feeding regimes seemed suboptimal, leaving ample room for easily feasible improvements. With respect to the health management, some farms made comprehensive use of the various options, whereas many farmers neglected the implementation of preventive measures, including appropriate hygiene and disinfection measures. On the majority of organic farms with indoor housing, the options for disinfection were hindered by the fact that many farms were not able to implement an all-in all-out concept. In correspondence with the large variation in the living conditions for pigs, also production data and mortality rates differed widely between organic pig farms. According to the estimation by the farmer concerning the occurrence of selected animal health problems, mortality of suckling piglets and weaners and weaning diarrhoea were named as the most relevant disease problems. Although dedicated to the same minimum standards, it can be concluded that organic pig farming does not provide the same living conditions or a homogenous outcome of animal health parameters but, like all systems, also depends on the quality of management. Differences in management practices, housing conditions, restrictions in the availability of resources (labour time, financial budget etc.), and a lack of feedback and control mechanism within the farm system appears to be a main reason for the substantial variation between farms

    Inälvsparasiter i betesmark och hos grisar i ekologiska besättningar

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    Utevistelse på åkermark ger grisar goda möjligheter till sysselsättning och rörelse. Bökandet i jorden och intag av växtdelar och kryp är ett djupt rotat beteende. För att kunna ge grisarna denna möjlighet och samtidigt hålla deras inälvsparasiter under kontroll behövs mer kunskap. Danska studier tyder på att om smågrisar får en mycket tidig infektion ger detta upphov till en hög och varaktig spolmask-börda, som även kan ge betydande ekonomiska konsekvenser. Dessutom tycks vissa parasiter kunna ackumuleras i jorden ju längre besättningen har haft utegrisar. Syftet med detta projekt var att kartlägga smittrycket från inälvsparasiter i mark som användes till grisarna på ekologiska gårdar, och att ställa smittrycket i relation till förekomsten av parasiter i träckprover från grisarna. Det långsiktiga målet var att öka kunskapen om vilka åtgärder som minskar smittrycket i marken och därmed förbättrar djurhälsa och djurvälfärd. Mängden ägg från inälvsparasiter i jordprover från grishagar och i träckprover från grisarna undersöktes på elva gårdar med ekologisk smågrisuppfödning. Dessutom kartlades de utvalda gårdarnas rutiner för inhysning och skötsel av grisarna liksom markanvändning, växtföljder, jordart och rotationen av grishagarna. Endast besättningar som var fullt omställda till ekologisk produktion enligt KRAVs regler, och hade minst 15 suggor, ingick i studien. Under april och maj 2008 samlades från varje gård jordprover från hagar som skulle användas till suggor med smågrisar respektive sinsuggor följande sommar. Dessutom togs prover från ytor som bedömdes ha varit mest använda till grisar, såsom permanenta rasthagar eller transportytor. Grisarnas parasitstatus undersöktes inom ramen för ett EU-nätverksprojekt (COREPIG). Träckprover samlades från 12-veckor gamla små-grisar, suggor och i förekommande fall även från slaktsvin under våren (mars-april) och hösten (augusti-september) 2008. De studerade gårdarna hade i genomsnitt haft ekologisk produktion i 8,6 år. På de flesta gårdarna var smittrycket lågt i mark som skulle användas till digivande suggor med smågrisar. Däremot fanns det mer parasitägg i jordprover från mark som skulle användas till sinsuggor och det var vanligt med transportytor, eller ibland hela hagar, som användes flera somrar i rad till sinsuggor. Sambandet mellan antalet parasitägg i jord där grisarna skulle släppas och i träckprov från grisar som sedan gått på marken var osäkert, speciellt då det gällde suggor. På marker med lågt smittryck hade ofta endast spridits stallgödsel från gris, men grisar hade inte vistats på marken. Det fanns dock även marker som tidigare använts till grisar, som kunde hålla en låg smittnivå. I dessa fall var det främst mark som använts enbart sommartid eller för många år sedan. Marker med högt smittryck var sådana som användes varje år, såsom hagar till sinsuggor, transportytor eller hagar i anslutning till stallar. De flesta användes till sinsuggor, men det förekom också att smågrisar gick i hagar eller på transportytor som användes varje år. På cirka hälften av gårdarna fanns det någon mark med högt smittryck där man inte planerat någon förändrad användning. Beträffande sådana marker rekommenderas att lantbrukarna förändrar sin markanvändning, för att undvika uppförökning av parasitsmitta

    Intercalibration of a concentration McMaster Technique between eight European laboratories

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    Prior to a European prevalence survey of intestinal parasites of organic pig herds it was decided to introduce one common technique for faecal egg counts and to compare its execution at all involved laboratories to ensure data compatibility. It was clearly shown that avoid confounding variation it is extremely important not only to use identical techniques but also to implement the technique in exactly the same way

    Health status in organic pig herds in Europe

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    Introduction Organic pig production is still a small-scale produc-tion, achieving, however, increased interest by con-sumers who are concerned about the conventional production method. The EU-Regulation (EEC-No. 1804/1999) on organic livestock production, now replaced by EEC-No 834/2007, was introduced to provide a framework ensuring living conditions for organic livestock to be better than those in conven-tional systems and to harmonize the rules across member states. Scientifically based information on how and to what degree the EU-Regulation contrib¬¨utes to the objective of a high status of pig health in organic farming is scarce. Further information is needed to assess whether consumer expectations in organic pig production in Europe are met. MATERIAL AND METHODS An epidemiological study was performed on 101 organic sow herds in 6 European countries (Denmark, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Italy and France). 13 to 20 farms per country were assessed. On-farm data included a comprehensive interview with the herd manager in relation to housing conditions, feeding regime, data acquisition, cleaning and disinfection measures, medicine usage, culling reasons, vaccina¬¨tion protocols, etc.. Recorded livestock data included: liveborn and stillborn piglets/farrowing, weaned piglets/sow/year, piglet losses/farrowing, losses of weaned piglets, litters /sow lifetime, and the preva-lence of diseases according to the treatment records. Data from all countries were merged into one joint database and analysed statistically. Results Although dedicated to the same minimum standards, the farm structures were characterised by a huge heterogeneity. 67 farms were keeping their sows outdoors while 34 farms were indoors with outside runs. Group suckling was implemented on 52% of the farms. The degree of specialisation was compara¬¨tively low. About 40% of the farms had another eco¬¨nomically relevant livestock enterprise on the farm apart from keeping pigs. Farmers differed widely in their feeding regimes, in making use of phase feeding and diet calculations. Moreover, the farms varied in the cleaning management and in the implementation of disinfection measures. The study also revealed large differences in animal health management with respect to the use of quarantine, availability of hospi¬¨tal pens, presence of the farmer during farrowing, and regarding routine measures such as castration, teeth reduction, and iron supplementation of piglets. For 50 % of the farms the abattoirs provided feedback of pathological findings for slaughtered sows, and 80 % for fattening pigs. Huge differ-ences were detected in the perception of the farmers with regard to health problems on their farm and with respect to the availability of labo-ratory results. Mean mortality rates of piglets until and after weaning averaged 19.7 ¬Ī 9.7% and 4.9 ¬Ī 5.4% resp., showing clear differences between coun¬¨tries and farms. Mean values for the annual re¬¨placement rates of sows and litters per sow life-time were 32.4 ¬Ī 14.3% and 6.3 ¬Ī 2.3 resp. Ac-cording to the treatment records, metritis and mastitis appeared as the predominant diseases of the sows, nearly all treated with antibiotics, fol-lowed by cases of lameness and abscesses. In the case of suckling piglets, diarrhoea, arthritis and respiratory diseases were predominant. Also the weaned piglets suffered primarily from diarrhoea. Farms showed an incidence of 27.6 ¬Ī 34.3%. of piglets treated with antibiotics against diarrhoea. Conclusions The results indicated that in general the status of animal health in organic pig herds was compara¬¨ble to data found on conventional farms. Differ¬¨ences between farms appear to be greater than those between production methods. Obviously, the production method defined by standards does not provide a homogenous outcome with respect to the animal health status. Differences in man¬¨agement practices and in feedback and control mechanisms within the farm system might be the main reasons for substantial variation in the prevalence rates of diseases. Any improvements in organic pig production require the use of feed¬¨back mechanisms and a clear definition of the expected results with respect to the outcome of the farm system. Consequently, there is a need for a change in the paradigm from standard and resource oriented to a result and outcome ori¬¨ented approach. The implementation of a moni¬¨toring system including on farm clinical assess¬¨ment, abattoir data and review of treatment data, concepts to deal with potential problems (e.g. health planning strategies, HACCP protocols, etc.) and a definition of the expected results with respect to the output of the farm system might be a way forward for organic farming ensuring a high status of animal health and welfare

    Mutations in \u3ci\u3eDMRT3\u3c/i\u3e Affect Locomotion in Horses and Spinal Circuit Function in Mice

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    Locomotion in mammals relies on a central pattern-generating circuitry of spinal interneurons established during development that coordinates limb movement. These networks produce left‚Äďright alternation of limbs as well as coordinated activation of flexor and extensor muscles. Here we show that a premature stop codon in the DMRT3 gene has a major effect on the pattern of locomotion in horses. The mutation is permissive for the ability to perform alternate gaits and has a favorable effect on harness racing performance. Examination of wild-type and Dmrt3-null mice demonstrates that Dmrt3 is expressed in the dI6 subdivision of spinal cord neurons, takes part in neuronal specification within this subdivision, and is critical for the normal development of a coordinated locomotor network controlling limb movements. Our discovery positions Dmrt3 in a pivotal role for configuring the spinal circuits controlling stride in vertebrates. The DMRT3 mutation has had a major effect on the diversification of the domestic horse, as the altered gait characteristics of a number of breeds apparently require this mutation

    Using an Inbred Horse Breed in a High Density Genome-Wide Scan for Genetic Risk Factors of Insect Bite Hypersensitivity (IBH)

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    While susceptibility to hypersensitive reactions is a common problem amongst humans and animals alike, the population structure of certain animal species and breeds provides a more advantageous route to better understanding the biology underpinning these conditions. The current study uses Exmoor ponies, a highly inbred breed of horse known to frequently suffer from insect bite hypersensitivity, to identify genomic regions associated with a type I and type IV hypersensitive reaction. A total of 110 cases and 170 controls were genotyped on the 670K Axiom Equine Genotyping Array. Quality control resulted in 452,457 SNPs and 268 individuals being tested for association. Genome-wide association analyses were performed using the GenABEL package in R and resulted in the identification of two regions of interest on Chromosome 8. The first region contained the most significant SNP identified, which was located in an intron of the DCC netrin 1 receptor gene. The second region identified contained multiple top SNPs and encompassed the PIGN, KIAA1468, TNFRSF11A, ZCCHC2, and PHLPP1 genes. Although additional studies will be needed to validate the importance of these regions in horses and the relevance of these regions in other species, the knowledge gained from the current study has the potential to be a step forward in unraveling the complex nature of hypersensitive reactions
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