To send this article to your account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Previous work led to the proposal that the precision feeding of a high-concentrate diet may represent a potential method with which to enhance feed efficiency (FE) when rearing dairy heifers. However, the physiological and metabolic mechanisms underlying this approach remain unclear. This study used metabolomics analysis to investigate the changes in plasma metabolites of heifers precision-fed diets containing a wide range of forage to concentrate ratios. Twenty-four half-sib Holstein heifers, with a similar body condition, were randomly assigned into four groups and precision fed with diets containing different proportions of concentrate (20%, 40%, 60% and 80% based on DM). After 28 days of feeding, blood samples were collected 6 h after morning feeding and gas chromatography time-of-ﬂight/MS was used to analyze the plasma samples. Parameters of oxidative status were also determined in the plasma. The FE (after being corrected for gut fill) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing level of dietary concentrate. Significant changes were identified for 38 different metabolites in the plasma of heifers fed different dietary forage to concentrate ratios. The main pathways showing alterations were clustered into those relating to carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism; all of which have been previously associated with FE changes in ruminants. Heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher (P < 0.01) plasma total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dismutase but lower (P ≤ 0.02) hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide than heifers fed with a low-concentrate diet, which might indicate a lower plasma oxidative status in the heifers fed a high-concentrate diet. Thus, heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher FE and antioxidant capacity but a lower plasma oxidative status as well as changed carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide a better understanding of how forage to concentrate ratios affect FE and metabolism in the precision-fed growing heifers.
Phytase has long been used to decrease the inorganic phosphorus (Pi) input in poultry diet. The current study was conducted to investigate the effects of Pi supplementation on laying performance, egg quality and phosphate–calcium metabolism in Hy-Line Brown laying hens fed phytase. Layers (n = 504, 29 weeks old) were randomly assigned to seven treatments with six replicates of 12 birds. The corn–soybean meal-based diet contained 0.12% non-phytate phosphorus (nPP), 3.8% calcium, 2415 IU/kg vitamin D3 and 2000 FTU/kg phytase. Inorganic phosphorus (in the form of mono-dicalcium phosphate) was added into the basal diet to construct seven experimental diets; the final dietary nPP levels were 0.12%, 0.17%, 0.22%, 0.27%, 0.32%, 0.37% and 0.42%. The feeding trial lasted 12 weeks (hens from 29 to 40 weeks of age). Laying performance (housed laying rate, egg weight, egg mass, daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio) was weekly calculated. Egg quality (egg shape index, shell strength, shell thickness, albumen height, yolk colour and Haugh units), serum parameters (calcium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, calcitonin and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D), tibia quality (breaking strength, and calcium, phosphorus and ash contents), intestinal gene expression (type IIb sodium-dependent phosphate cotransporter, NaPi-IIb) and phosphorus excretion were determined at the end of the trial. No differences were observed on laying performance, egg quality, serum parameters and tibia quality. Hens fed 0.17% nPP had increased (P < 0.01) duodenum NaPi-IIb expression compared to all other treatments. Phosphorus excretion linearly increased with an increase in dietary nPP (phosphorus excretion = 1.7916 × nPP + 0.2157; R2 = 0.9609, P = 0.001). In conclusion, corn–soybean meal-based diets containing 0.12% nPP, 3.8% calcium, 2415 IU/kg vitamin D3 and 2000 FTU/kg phytase would meet the requirements for egg production in Hy-Line Brown laying hens (29 to 40 weeks of age).
The farrowing process is one of the most energy-demanding activities for the modern hyperprolific sow. This study evaluated the effects of supply of energy on the expected date of farrowing on the farrowing kinetics and piglets’ performance during the first 24 h after birth. A total of 80 sows were used. The sows and their respective litters were considered as the experimental unit. On the expected day of farrowing, the sows were allocated to one of the following groups: sows that did not have access to feed from farrowing induction until the end of the farrowing process (CON, n = 40); sows fed 500 g of energetic supplement, which consisted of 250 g of the basal lactation diet plus 250 g of cane sugar, 18 h after farrowing induction (SUP, n = 40). The farrowing duration, farrowing assistance, birth interval, number of total born, stillborn and mummified piglets were recorded for each sow. Piglets were weighed individually at birth and 24 h later. The interval from birth to first suckle was evaluated individually for each piglet in 16 randomly selected litters (eight litters per treatment group). Blood glucose concentrations of six sows were measured shortly after expulsion of the first piglet. Farrowing duration, farrowing assistance and stillborn rate tended to be greater (P = 0.06, P = 0.09 and P = 0.07, respectively) in sows from the CON group compared to sows from the SUP group. However, there was no difference (P > 0.05) between the groups for birth interval. Colostrum intake was greater (P < 0.05) for piglets from the SUP group compared to piglets from the CON group. Additionally, BW gain of the piglets suckling the SUP group was greater (P < 0.05) than those suckling the CON group at 24 h after birth. The blood glucose concentrations during the expulsive stage of farrowing were greater (P < 0.05) in the SUP group than for sows from the CON group. In conclusion, supplying modern hyperprolific sows energy on the expected day of farrowing is a valuable nutritional intervention to improve the farrowing kinetics and piglets’ performance in early life.
Mycotoxins are a major contaminant of pig feed and have negative effects on health and performance. The present study investigated the impact of single or repeated acute challenges with a diet naturally contaminated with deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEN) on growth performances of finishing pigs and their fecal microbiota composition. A total of 160 pigs (castrated males and females) in two successive batches were randomly divided into four experimental groups of 40 pigs each. The control group received a control finisher diet from 99 to 154 days of age. Challenged groups were subjected to a 7-day acute challenge by being fed a DON- and ZEN-contaminated diet (3.02 mg DON/kg feed and 0.76 mg ZEN/kg feed) at 113 days (group DC), 134 days (group CD) or both 113 and 134 days (group DD). Microbiota composition was analyzed via 16S rRNA sequencing from fecal samples collected from the 80 females at 99, 119, 140 and 154 days. Challenged pigs (i.e. groups DC, CD and DD) reduced their average daily feed intake by 25% and 27% (P < 0.001) and feed efficiency by 34% and 28% (P < 0.05) during the first and second mycotoxin exposure, respectively. Microbiota composition was affected by mycotoxin exposure (P = 0.07 during the first exposure and P = 0.01 during the second exposure). At the family level, mycotoxin exposure significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the relative abundances of Ruminococcaceae, Streptococcaceae and Veillonellaceae and increased that of Erysipelotrichaceae at both 119 and 140 days of age. After the 7-day DON/ZEN challenge, the relative abundance of 6 to 148 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) differed among the treatment groups. However, none of these OTUs changed in all treatment groups. Using 27 functional pathways, pigs exposed to DON/ZEN challenges could be distinguished from control pigs using sparse partial least squares discriminant analysis, with a 15% misclassification rate. Regarding the functionality of these predictors, two pathways were involved in detoxifying mycotoxins: drug metabolism and xenobiotic metabolism by cytochrome P450. In challenged pigs, microbiota composition returned to the initial state within 3 weeks after the end of a single or repeated DON/ZEN challenge, highlighting the resilience of the gut microbiome. The feeding and growth performances of the pigs during challenge periods were significantly correlated with biological pathways related to health problems and modifications in host metabolism. To conclude, short-term DON/ZEN challenges resulted in transient modifications in the composition and functions of fecal microbiota.
The digestive microbiota plays a decisive role in shaping and preserving health throughout life. Rabbit younglings are born with a sterile digestive tract but then it gets progressively colonised by the microbiota of the nursing mother, by entering in contact with or ingesting the maternal droppings present in the nest. Here we posit that (i) offspring survival and (ii) lifespan of female rabbits are linked to how diverse their microbiota are. To test the hypothesis that maternal microbiota evolves in females having had different levels of offspring survival in their lifetime, we obtained 216 hard faecal samples from 75 female rabbits at ages 19.6, 31.6, 62.6 and 77.6 weeks. The annual mean offspring survival (MOS) at 64 days was calculated for each female then crossed against three alpha-diversity indexes (operational taxonomic units (OTUs), inverse Simpson index and Shannon index). Age was also analysed against these three parameters. The alpha-diversity indexes of the female faecal microbiota did not correlate with MOS, but they did decrease with age (e.g. from 712 OTUs at age 19.6 weeks to 444 OTUs at 77.6 weeks; P < 0.05). The age effect was also found in beta-diversity non-metric multidimensional scaling plots using the Bray–Curtis dissimilarity index and the unweighted UniFrac index but not for MOS. The ability of the microbiota composition from the faecal samples of young females (19.6 weeks old) to predict their lifespan was also evaluated. After subdividing the initial population into two classes (females that weaned a maximum of three litters and females living longer), we found no clear distinction between these two classes. To our knowledge, this is the first long-term study to characterise the gut microbiota of adult female rabbits through their reproductive life, thus laying foundations for using the gut microbiota data and its influence in studies on adult rabbits.
Our research group demonstrated that vitamin A restriction affected meat quality of Angus cross and Simmental steers. Therefore, the aim of this study is to highlight the genotype variations in response to dietary vitamin A levels. Commercial Angus and Simmental steers (n = 32 per breed; initial BW = 337.2 ± 5.9 kg; ~8 months of age) were fed a low-vitamin A (LVA) (1017 IU/kg DM) backgrounding diet for 95 days to reduce hepatic vitamin A stores. During finishing, steers were randomly assigned to treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of genotype × dietary vitamin A concentration. The LVA treatment was a finishing diet with no supplemental vitamin A (723 IU vitamin A/kg DM); the control (CON) was the LVA diet plus supplementation with 2200 IU vitamin A/kg DM. Blood samples were collected at three time points throughout the study to analyze serum retinol concentration. At the completion of finishing, steers were slaughtered at a commercial abattoir. Meat characteristics assessed were intramuscular fat concentration, color, Warner-Bratzler shear force, cook loss and pH. Camera image analysis was used for determination of marbling, 12th rib back fat and longissimus muscle area (LMA). The LVA steers had lower (P < 0.001) serum retinol concentration than CON steers. The LVA treatment resulted in greater (P = 0.03) average daily gain than the CON treatment, 1.52 and 1.44 ± 0.03 kg/day, respectively; however, there was no effect of treatment on final BW, DM intake or feed efficiency. Cooking loss and yield grade were greater and LMA was smaller in LVA steers (P < 0.05). There was an interaction between breed and treatment for marbling score (P = 0.01) and percentage of carcasses grading United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Prime (P = 0.02). For Angus steers, LVA treatment resulted in a 16% greater marbling score than CON (683 and 570 ± 40, respectively) and 27% of LVA Angus steers graded USDA Prime compared with 0% for CON. Conversely, there was no difference in marbling score or USDA Quality Grades between LVA and CON for Simmental steers. In conclusion, feeding a LVA diet during finishing increased marbling in Angus but not in Simmental steers. Reducing the vitamin A level of finishing diets fed to cattle with a high propensity to marble, such as Angus, has the potential to increase economically important traits such as marbling and quality grade without negatively impacting gain : feed or yield grade.
The energy content of finishing diets offered to feedlot cattle may vary across countries. We assumed that the lower is the energy content of the finishing diet, the shorter can be the adaptation period to high-concentrate diets without negatively impacting rumen health while still improving feedlot performance. This study was designed to determine the effects of adaptation periods of 6, 9, 14 and 21 days on feedlot performance, feeding behaviour, blood gas profile, carcass characteristics and rumen morphometrics of Nellore cattle. The experiment was designed as a completely randomised block, replicated 6 times, in which 96 20-month-old yearling Nellore bulls (391.1 ± 30.9 kg) were fed in 24 pens (4 animals/pen) according to the adaptation period adopted: 6, 9, 14 or 21 days. The adaptation diets contained 70%, 75% and 80.5% concentrate, and the finishing diet contained 86% concentrate. After adaptation, one animal per pen was slaughtered (n = 24) for rumen morphometric evaluations and the remaining 72 animals were harvested after 88 days on feed. Orthogonal contrasts were used to assess linear, quadratic and cubic relationships between days of adaptation and the dependent variable. Overall, as days of adaptation increased, final BW (P = 0.06), average daily gain (ADG) (P = 0.07), hot carcass weight (P = 0.04) and gain to feed ratio (G : F) (P = 0.07) were affected quadratically, in which yearling bulls adapted by 14 days presented greater final BW, ADG, hot carcass weight and improved G : F. No significant (P > 0.10) days of adaptation effect was observed for any of feeding behaviour variables. As days of adaptation increased, the absorptive surface area of the rumen was affected cubically, where yearling bulls adapted by 14 days presented greater absorptive surface area (P = 0.03). Thus, Nellore yearling bulls should be adapted by 14 days because it led to improved feedlot performance and greater development of rumen epithelium without increasing rumenitis scores.
Soybean meal is rich in soybean isoflavones, which exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer functions in humans and animals. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of soybean isoflavones on the growth performance, intestinal morphology and antioxidative properties in pigs. A total of 72 weaned piglets (7.45 ± 0.13 kg; 36 males and 36 females) were allocated into three treatments and fed corn-soybean meal (C-SBM), corn-soy protein concentrate (C-SPC) or C-SPC supplemented with equal levels of the isoflavones found in the C-SBM diet (C-SPC + ISF) for a 72-day trial. Each treatment had six replicates and four piglets per replicate, half male and half female. On day 42, one male pig from each replicate was selected and euthanized to collect intestinal samples. The results showed that compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had higher BW on day 72 (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM diet had significantly higher average daily gain (ADG) during days 14 to 28 (P < 0.05), with C-SPC + ISF being intermediate; pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P = 0.063), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P < 0.05). Moreover, compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have greater villus height (P = 0.092), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly greater villus height (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had significantly increased villus height-to-crypt depth ratio (P < 0.05). Compared with the C-SPC diet, dietary C-SPC + ISF tended to increase plasma superoxide dismutase activity on days 28 (P = 0.085) and 42 (P = 0.075) and reduce plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) content on day 42 (P = 0.089), as well as significantly decreased jejunal mucosa MDA content on day 42 (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference in the expression of tight junction genes among the three groups was found (P > 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that a long-term exposure to soybean isoflavones enhances the growth performance, protects the intestinal morphology and improves the antioxidative properties in pigs.
Antibiotics are designed to affect gut microbiota and subsequently gut homeostasis. However, limited information exists about short- and long-term effects of early antibiotic intervention (EAI) on gut homeostasis (especially for the small intestine) of pigs following antibiotic withdrawal. We investigated the impact of EAI on specific bacterial communities, microbial metabolites and mucosal immune parameters in the small intestine of later-growth-stage pigs fed with diets differing in CP levels. Eighteen litters of piglets were fed creep feed with or without antibiotics from day 7 to day 42. At day 42, pigs within each group were offered a normal- or low-CP diet. Five pigs per group were slaughtered at days 77 and 120. At day 77, EAI increased Enterobacteriaceae counts in the jejunum and ileum and decreased Bifidobacterium counts in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). Moreover, tryptamine, putrescine, secretory immunoglobulin (Ig) A and IgG concentrations in the ileum and interleukin-10 (IL-10) mRNA and protein levels in the jejunum and ileum were decreased in pigs with EAI (P < 0.05). At day 120, EAI only suppressed Clostridium cluster XIVa counts in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). These results suggest that EAI has a short-term effect on specific bacterial communities, amino acid decarboxylation and mucosal immune parameters in the small intestine (particularly in the ileum). At days 77 and 120, feeding a low-CP diet affected Bifidobacterium, Clostridium cluster IV, Clostridium cluster XIVa and Enterobacteriaceae counts in the jejunum or ileum (P < 0.05). Moreover, feeding a low-CP diet increased the concentrations of Igs in the jejunum and decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines levels in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). At day 120, feeding a low-CP diet increased short-chain fatty acid concentrations, reduced ammonia and spermidine concentrations and up-regulated genes related to barrier function in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). These results suggest that feeding a low-CP diet changes specific bacterial communities and intestinal metabolite concentrations and modifies mucosal immune parameters. These findings contribute to our understanding on the duration of the impact of EAI on gut homeostasis and may provide basis data for nutritional modification in young pigs after antibiotic treatment.
Single concentrate feeds are mixed together forming compound feeds for cattle. However, knowledge regarding the potential interactions (associative effects) between the feeding values of single feeds in compound feeds is lacking. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate ruminal fermentation characteristics and feeding values of eight industrially produced compound feeds in mash form from their constituent single feeds for dairy cows through in vitro assays. Additivity was given for gas production (GP), digestibility of organic matter (dOM) and utilisable CP at the duodenum (uCP). Additivity of CP fractions (determined using the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS)) was dependent on the fraction and compound feed type; however, the effective degradation calculated from CP fractions (EDCNCPS) showed additivity. Additivity was not given for intestinal digestibility of rumen-undegraded protein (IDRUP) for five out of eight compound feeds. Precise calculation of metabolisable energy (ME) of compound feeds from ME of single feeds was possible when using the same ME equations for all single and compound feeds. Compound feeds are often provided in pellet form; therefore, our second objective was to evaluate the effects of pelleting on ruminal fermentation characteristics and feeding values of compound feeds. Pelleting affected GP at 24 h (GP24; up to 2.4 ml/200 mg DM), dOM (up to 2.3 percentage point (pp)) and ME (up to 0.3 MJ/kg DM), but these differences were overall small. More considerable effects of pelleting were observed for uCP, which was increased in all compound feeds except the two with the highest CP concentrations. The IDRUP was lower in most compound feeds following pelleting (up to 15 pp). Pelleting also affected CP fractions in a non-systematic way. Overall, the effects of pelleting were not considerable, which could be because pelleting conditions were mild. Our third objective was to compare in situ ruminal CP degradation (EDIN_SITU) of compound feeds with ED using two prediction methods based on CP fractions. EDIN_SITU reference data were obtained from a companion study using the same feeds. Prediction accuracy of EDIN_SITU and EDCNCPS was variable and depended on the compound feed and prediction method. However, future studies are needed as to date not enough data are published to draw overall conclusions for the prediction of EDIN_SITU from CP fractions.
Although cattle can synthesize vitamin C (VC) endogenously, stress may increase VC requirements above the biosynthetic threshold and warrant supplementation. This study investigated the effects of a VC injection delivered before or after a long-distance transit event on blood parameters and feedlot performance of beef steers. Fifty-two days prior to trial initiation, 90 newly weaned, Angus-based steers from a single source were transported to Ames, IA, USA. On day 0, 72 steers (356 ± 17 kg) were blocked by BW and randomly assigned to intramuscular injection treatments (24 steers/treatment): saline injection pre- and post-transit (CON), VC (Vet One, Boise, ID, USA; 5 g sodium ascorbate/steer) injection pre-transit and saline injection post-transit (PRE) or saline injection pre-transit and VC injection post-transit (POST). Following pre-transit treatment injections, steers were transported on a commercial livestock trailer for approximately 18 h (1675 km). Post-transit (day 1), steers were sorted into pens with one GrowSafe bunk/pen (4 pens/treatment; 6 steers/pen). Steers were weighed on day 0, 1, 7, 30, 31, 56 and 57. Blood was collected from 3 steers/pen on day 0, 1, 2 and 7; liver biopsies were performed on the same 3 steers/pen on day 2. Data were analyzed as a randomized complete block design (experimental unit = steer; fixed effects = treatment and block) and blood parameters were analyzed as repeated measures. A pre-transit VC injection improved steer average daily gain from day 7 to 31 (P = 0.05) and overall (day 1 to 57; P = 0.02), resulting in greater BW for PRE-steers on day 30/31 (P = 0.03) and a tendency for greater final BW (day 56/57; P = 0.07). Steers that received VC pre- or post-transit had greater DM intake from day 31 to 57 (P = 0.01) and overall (P = 0.02) v. CON-steers. Plasma ascorbate concentrations were greatest for PRE-steers on day 1 and POST-steers on day 2 (treatment × day; P < 0.01). No interaction or treatment effects were observed for other blood parameters (P ≥ 0.21). Plasma ferric-reducing antioxidant potential and malondialdehyde concentrations decreased post-transit (day; P < 0.01), while serum non-esterified fatty acids and haptoglobin concentrations increased post-transit (day; P < 0.01). In general, blood parameters returned to pre-transit values by day 7. Pre-transit administration of injectable VC to beef steers mitigated the decline in plasma ascorbate concentrations and resulted in superior feedlot performance compared to post-transit administration.
Breeding values for feed intake and feed efficiency in beef cattle are generally derived indoors on high-concentrate (HC) diets. Within temperate regions of north-western Europe, however, the majority of a growing beef animal’s lifetime dietary intake comes from grazed grass and grass silage. Using 97 growing beef cattle, the objective of the current study was to assess the repeatability of both feed intake and feed efficiency across 3 successive dietary test periods comprising grass silage plus concentrates (S+C), grazed grass (GRZ) and a HC diet. Individual DM intake (DMI), DMI/kg BW and feed efficiency-related parameters, residual feed intake (RFI) and gain to feed ratio (G : F) were assessed. There was a significant correlation for DMI between the S+C and GRZ periods (r = 0.32; P < 0.01) as well as between the S+C and HC periods (r = 0.41; P < 0.001), whereas there was no association for DMI between the GRZ and HC periods. There was a significant correlation for DMI/kg BW between the S+C and GRZ periods (r = 0.33; P < 0.01) and between the S+C and HC periods (r = 0.40; P < 0.001), but there was no association for the trait between the GRZ and HC periods. There was a significant correlation for RFI between the S+C and GRZ periods (r = 0.25; P < 0.05) as well as between S+C and HC periods (r = 0.25; P < 0.05), whereas there was no association for RFI between the GRZ and HC periods. Gain to feed ratio was not correlated between any of the test periods. A secondary aspect of the study demonstrated that traits recorded in the GRZ period relating to grazing bite rate, the number of daily grazing bouts and ruminating bouts were associated with DMI (r = 0.28 to 0.42; P < 0.05 - 0.001), DMI/kg BW (r = 0.36 to 0.45; P < 0.01 - 0.001) and RFI (r = 0.31 to 0.42; P < 0.05 - 0.001). Additionally, the number of ruminating boli produced per day and per ruminating bout were associated with G : F (r = 0.28 and 0.26, respectively; P < 0.05). Results from this study demonstrate that evaluating animals for both feed intake and feed efficiency indoors on HC diets may not reflect their phenotypic performance when consuming conserved forage-based diets indoors or when grazing pasture.
Reducing dietary CP content is an effective approach to reduce animal nitrogen excretion and save protein feed resources. However, it is not clear how reducing dietary CP content affects the nutrient digestion and absorption in the gut of ruminants, therefore it is difficult to accurately determine how much reduction in dietary CP content is appropriate. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of reduced dietary CP content on N balance, intestinal nutrient digestion and absorption, and rumen microbiota in growing goats. To determine N balance, 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were randomly assigned to one of three diets: 13.0% (control), 11.5% and 10.0% CP. Another 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were surgically fitted with ruminal, proximate duodenal, and terminal ileal fistulae and were randomly assigned to one of the three diets to investigate intestinal amino acid (AA) absorption and rumen microbiota. The results showed that fecal and urinary N excretion of goats fed diets containing 11.5% and 10.0% CP were lower than those of goats fed the control diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, N retention was decreased and apparent N digestibility in the entire gastrointestinal tract was increased in goats fed the 10% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the duodenal flow of lysine, tryptophan and phenylalanine was decreased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of lysine, methionine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, leucine, glutamic acid, tyrosine, essential AAs (EAAs) and total AAs (TAAs) was decreased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the apparent absorption of TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of isoleucine, serine, cysteine, EAAs, non-essential AAs, and TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the relative richness of Bacteroidetes and Fibrobacteres was increased and that of Proteobacteria and Synergistetes was decreased in the rumen of goats fed a diet with 10.0% CP. In conclusion, reducing dietary CP content reduced N excretion and increased nutrient utilization by improving rumen fermentation, enhancing nutrient digestion and absorption, and altering rumen microbiota in growing goats.
The use of antibiotics as performance enhancers in animal feeding is declining, so Lippia gracilis Schauer essential oil (LGSEO) could be used as a potential substitute for the conventionally used growth promoters. The LGSEO contains components such as carvacrol and thymol, which kill and/or control pathogenic bacteria, increase population of beneficial organisms, act against oxidative processes and onto nutrient digestibility and absorption. The aim of this study was to investigate the action and the effects of LGSEO as a growth promoter in the diet of Japanese quail by examining their productive performance, intestinal microbiology, blood biochemical parameters, hepatic thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) content and intestinal gene expression. A total of 252 two-day-old quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) were assigned to 3 treatments in 7 replicates, using 12 birds per experimental unit. The treatments consisted of a basal diet, basal diet + LGSEO at 400 mg/kg of diet and basal diet + chemical antimicrobial (bacitracin methylene disalicylate) at 500 mg/kg of diet. The experimental period was 34 days. The highest feed intake (P < 0.01) was found in the group receiving the conventional antimicrobial, whereas the best feed conversion (P < 0.01) was shown by the animals receiving LGSEO. Escherichia coli growth was restricted in the quail receiving the growth promoters. Salmonella spp. growth was controlled by the treatment containing the conventional antimicrobial. There was no difference between the treatments (P > 0.05) for the concentration of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase enzymes in the blood or hepatic TBARS content. Birds receiving negative-control treatment exhibited a higher expression of sodium-glucose cotransporter (SGLT1), while those receiving the treatment with essential oil showed lower catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX7) expressions compared to the conventional antimicrobial and control groups, respectively. Lippia gracilis Schauer essential oil is a powerful performance enhancer for Japanese quail by virtue of its abilities to improve their intestinal environment, balance the microbial population and reduce energy expenditure for oxidative processes.
Se can enhance lactation performance by improving nutrient utilization and antioxidant status. However, sodium selenite (SS) can be reduced to non-absorbable elemental Se in the rumen, thereby reducing the intestinal availability of Se. The study investigated the impacts of SS and coated SS (CSS) supplementation on lactation performance, nutrient digestibility, ruminal fermentation and microbiota in dairy cows. Sixty multiparous Holstein dairy cows were blocked by parity, daily milk yield and days in milk and randomly assigned to five treatments: control, SS addition (0.3 mg Se/kg DM as SS addition) or CSS addition (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mg Se/kg DM as CSS addition for low CSS (LCSS), medium CSS (MCSS) and high CSS (HCSS), respectively). Experiment period was 110 days with 20 days of adaptation and 90 days of sample collection. Dry matter intake was higher for MCSS and HCSS compared with control. Yields of milk, milk fat and milk protein and feed efficiency were higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Digestibility of DM and organic matter was highest for CSS addition, followed by SS addition and then control. Digestibility of CP was higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Higher digestibility of ether extract, NDF and ADF was observed for SS or CSS addition. Ruminal pH decreased with dietary Se addition. Acetate to propionate ratio and ammonia N were lower, and total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) concentration was greater for SS, MCSS and HCSS than control. Ruminal H ion concentration was highest for MCSS and HCSS and lowest for control. Activities of cellobiase, carboxymethyl-cellulase, xylanase and protease and copies of total bacteria, fungi, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminococcus amylophilus increased with SS or CSS addition. Activity of α-amylase, copies of protozoa, Ruminococcus albus and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and serum glucose, total protein, albumin and glutathione peroxidase were higher for SS, MCSS and HCSS than for control and LCSS. Dietary SS or CSS supplementation elevated blood Se concentration and total antioxidant capacity activity. The data implied that milk yield was elevated due to the increase in total tract nutrient digestibility, total VFA concentration and microorganism population with 0.2 or 0.3 mg Se/kg DM from CSS supplementation in dairy cows. Compared with SS, HCSS addition was more efficient in promoting lactation performance of dairy cows.
Precision feeding requires a mathematical model to estimate standardized ileal digestible (SID) lysine (Lys) requirements (SIDLysR) in real time. However, this type of model requires constant calibration updates. The objective of this study was to review the calibration of the model used to estimate the real-time Lys requirements of individual growing-finishing pigs. A digestibility trial (n = 10) was conducted to evaluate amino acids digestibility during the growing and finishing phases. Additionally, 120 pigs were used in two 28-day growth experiments conducted as completely randomized design with growing (25 ± 2.1 kg BW, n = 60; 10 pigs per treatment) or finishing barrows (68.1 ± 6 kg BW, n = 60; 10 pigs per treatment). In each experiment, the pigs were divided into six equal treatment groups and fed 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, 100% or 110% of their estimated individual SIDLysR. The Lys requirement of each pig was estimated daily using a real-time model. Body composition was measured with dual-energy X-ray densitometry on day 1 and 28 of the experiments. Average daily feed intake increased quadratically (P < 0.05) during both growth phases. Maximum average daily gain (ADG) (0.98 kg) and maximum protein deposition (PD; 170 g/day) were observed in growing pigs fed 100% of the estimated SIDLysR (P < 0.001). During the growing period, PD in BW gain (17% to 19%) and N efficiency (52% to 65%) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing inclusion rates of SID Lys. Finishing pigs had maximum ADG (1.2 kg/day) when they were fed 100% of the requirements. However, the amount of protein in BW gain (13% to 16%) and N efficiency (40% to 55%) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing inclusion rates of SID Lys. In conclusion, the model proposed for precision feeding is correctly calibrated to predict SIDLysR that maximize PD and ADG of average pigs from 25 to 50 kg BW. Still, there is an opportunity to improve the estimation of SIDLysR and N retention in individual pigs by better representing the individual proportion of protein in BW gain and the factors controlling the efficiency of Lys utilization in individual pigs.
The comparison of the effects of all forage offering methods would be particularly useful information in modeling growth performance and rumen fermentation of dairy calves. Therefore, this study attempted to evaluate the effects of methods of oat hay provision on growth performance, rumen fermentation and biochemical blood indices of dairy calves during preweaning and postweaning periods. At birth, 40 female Polish Holstein-Friesian calves (3 days of age; 39.6 ± 0.39 kg BW) were randomly assigned to four treatment groups differing in the access to chopped oat hay: CON (control, starter without oat hay), OH (starter feed containing 10% DM basis oat hay), OH-FC (starter feed containing 10% DM basis oat hay and oat hay fed as free-choice provision in different buckets) and FC (starter feed and oat hay fed as free-choice provision in different buckets). The calves were weaned on day 56, and then the study continued until day 84. Intakes of starter feed and oat hay were recorded daily, whereas BW and hip height (HH) on day 3 and then every 14 days. Samples of blood were collected on the initiation of experiment and then every 14 days, and rumen contents on day 28, 56 and 84. No treatment effects were found for starter, starch, CP, total DM intake, average daily gain, feeding efficiency, change in HH, ruminal fluid pH, concentrations of ruminal propionate and NH3-N, concentrations of urea nitrogen and non-esterified fatty acids in the blood. There were differences between treatments in terms of ruminal total volatile fatty acids and molar concentrations of acetate, butyrate and acetate to propionate ratio; highest in OH and OH-FC groups, especially during the postweaning period. On the other hand, lower concentrations of iso-valerate were found in OH and OH-FC groups on day 56 and 84. The concentrations of IGF-I throughout the experiment and β-hydroxybutyrate during the postweaning period in the blood were influenced by treatment, with the greatest values observed in OH and OH-FC calves. Results of this study indicate that starter feed containing chopped oat hay improves rumen fermentation parameters, which might allow successful transition from preruminant to mature ruminant state. Also, providing chopped oat hay with pelleted starter feed seems to be a better method than free-choice supplementation.
Beef cattle are often fed high-concentrate diet (HCD) to achieve high growth rate. However, HCD feeding is strongly associated with metabolic disorders. Mild acid treatment of grains in HCD with 1% hydrochloric acid (HA) followed by neutralization with sodium bicarbonate (SB) might modify rumen fermentation patterns and microbiota, thereby decreasing the negative effects of HCD. This study was thus aimed to investigate the effects of treatment of corn with 1% HA and subsequent neutralization with SB on rumen fermentation and microbiota, inflammatory response and growth performance in beef cattle fed HCD. Eighteen beef cattle were randomly allocated to three groups and each group was fed different diets: low-concentrate diet (LCD) (concentrate : forage = 40 : 60), HCD (concentrate : forage = 60 : 40) or HCD based on treated corn (HCDT) with the same concentrate to forage ratio as the HCD. The corn in the HCDT was steeped in 1% HA (wt/wt) for 48 h and neutralized with SB after HA treatment. The animal trial lasted for 42 days with an adaptation period of 7 days. At the end of the trial, rumen fluid samples were collected for measuring ruminal pH values, short-chain fatty acids, endotoxin (or lipopolysaccharide, LPS) and bacterial microbiota. Plasma samples were collected at the end of the trial to determine the concentrations of plasma LPS, proinflammatory cytokines and acute phase proteins (APPs). The results showed that compared with the LCD, feeding the HCD had better growth performance due to a shift in the ruminal fermentation pattern from acetate towards propionate, butyrate and valerate. However, the HCD decreased ruminal pH and increased ruminal LPS release and the concentrations of plasma proinflammatory cytokines and APPs. Furthermore, feeding the HCD reduced bacterial richness and diversity in the rumen. Treatment of corn increased resistant starch (RS) content. Compared with the HCD, feeding the HCDT reduced ruminal LPS and improved ruminal bacterial microbiota, resulting in decreased inflammation and improved growth performance. In conclusion, although the HCD had better growth performance than the LCD, feeding the HCD promoted the pH reduction and the LPS release in the rumen, disturbed the ruminal bacterial stability and increased inflammatory response. Treatment of corn with HA in combination with subsequent SB neutralization increased the RS content and helped counter the negative effects of feeding HCD to beef steers.
Mycotoxins are present in almost all feedstuffs used in animal nutrition but are often ignored in beef cattle systems, even though they can affect animal performance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of mycotoxins and a mycotoxin adsorbent (ADS) on performance of Nellore cattle finished in a feedlot. One hundred Nellore cattle (430 ± 13 kg) were used in a randomized complete block design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. The factors consisted of two diets with either natural contamination (NC) or exogenous contamination (EC) and the presence (1 g/kg of DM; ADS) or absence of a mycotoxin adsorbent. The NC and EC diets had the following contaminations, respectively: 0.00 and 10.0 µg/kg aflatoxins, 5114 and 5754 µg/kg fumonisins, 0.00 and 42.1 µg/kg trichothecenes B, 0.00 and 22.1 µg/kg trichothecenes A and 42.9 and 42.9 µg/kg fusaric acid. At the beginning of the experiment, all animals were weighed, and four randomly selected animals were slaughtered to evaluate the initial carcass weight. After 97 days of treatment, all animals were weighed and slaughtered. There was no interaction among factors for the DM intake (DMI; P = 0.92); however, there was a tendency for the EC diets to decrease the DMI by 650 g/day compared to animals fed NC diets (P = 0.09). There was a trend for interaction among factors (P = 0.08) for the average daily gain (ADG), where the greatest ADG was observed for cattle fed the NC diet (1.77 kg), and the lowest was observed for those fed the EC diet (1.51 kg). The NC + ADS and EC + ADS treatments presented intermediate values for ADG. The animals fed the NC diet had a greater final BW (596 kg) than animals fed the EC treatment (582 kg; P = 0.04). There was a tendency for interaction among factors for carcass gain (P = 0.08). Similarly to ADG, the highest carcass gain was observed for animals fed the NC diet (1.20 kg), and the lowest was observed for those fed the EC diet (1.05 kg). The NC + ADS and EC + ADS treatments presented intermediate values. The natural contamination groups had greater carcass gain than that of the EC groups, and the use of the ADS recovered part of the weight gain in animals fed the EC diet. In conclusion, mycotoxins at the levels evaluated affected the performance of beef cattle, and adsorbents may mitigate their impact.
The recent increased prevalence of uterine prolapses in sows around parturition has led to inferences that the prolapses may be associated with hypocalcemia. However, limited data are available to support that hypocalcemia occurs in sows. Hypocalcemia in dairy cows is associated with feeding excess dietary Ca during late gestation. The excess Ca is assumed to suppress homeostatic mechanisms critical to maintain serum Ca concentrations as the Ca demand increases during the early stages of lactation. In this experiment, sows were fed diets with excess Ca during late gestation and early lactation to assess the potential development of hypocalcemia in the peripartum period. Twelve crossbred (Large White × Landrace) multiparous gestating sows were fed a control diet (CON), 0.65% Ca to 0.38% standardized total tract digestible P (STTD P) and 0.67% Ca to 0.38% STTD P in gestation and lactation diets, respectively) or a high Ca diet (HCa, 1.75% Ca to 0.46% STTD P and 1.75% Ca to 0.45% STTD P in gestation and lactation diets, respectively). The diets were fed from gestation day 86 þ ± 1 until the end of lactation (27 þ ± 2 days period). On day 112 of gestation, indwelling venous catheters were placed in each sow. Blood samples were collected at 15-min intervals within four designated times (0700, 1000, 1300 and 1700 h) on gestation day 113 and lactation days 1, 3 and 5. Venous blood pH, gases (pO2, pCO2 and HCO3−), electrolytes (K+, Na+ and Cl−), ionized Ca (iCa), metabolites (glucose and lactate), plasma total Ca (tCa), and P were analyzed. Overall, sows fed HCa diet had greater (P < 0.001) concentrations of blood iCa and plasma tCa than sows fed CON diets. No clinical signs of Ca metabolism disorders were observed. Unexpectedly, concentrations of plasma P in sows fed HCa diets were lower (P < 0.001) than in sows fed CON diets. Plasma P tended to decrease (P = 0.057) as day of lactation increased. Differences between dietary treatments for blood pH, gases, electrolytes and metabolites were not detected (P > 0.05). No evidence for hypocalcemia was detected in peripartum sows fed CON or HCa diets. These data imply that excess Ca in late gestation diets did not result in hypocalcemia during the peripartum period. Future experiments should focus on factors other than hypocalcemia to identify causes of uterine prolapses in sows.