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This study aimed to (1) evaluate the effects of flint maize processing methods on the estimation of the readily soluble fraction (a), the potentially degradable fraction (b) and the rate of degradation of b (c) for dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM) and starch in the rumen; and (2) verify whether two different applications of in situ technique can be used to estimate in vivo DM, OM and starch digestibilities. Five ruminally cannulated Nellore bulls (265 ± 18.2 kg; 8 ± 1.0 mo) were distributed in a 5 × 5 Latin square. Three experimental diets were composed of 0.30 whole-plant maize silage, 0.10 supplement and 0.60 of one of the following processing methods: dry ground maize grain (DMG); high-moisture maize (HMM); reconstituted maize grain silage (RMG). Two additional diets were composed of 0.10 supplement, 0.80 snaplage and 0.10 stalklage (SNAP-80); or 0.10 supplement and 0.90 snaplage (SNAP-90). Digestibilities were estimated using in vivo procedure or predicted from in situ technique using a single 24 h incubation point or an equation proposed in previous literature. Diets based on ensiled grains presented greater (P < 0.05) fraction a and c and lower (P < 0.05) fraction b of DM, OM and starch compared to DMG. Both alternative use of in situ technique accurately estimated (P > 0.05) in vivo DM, OM and starch digestibilities. The results suggest that ensilage process may increase the availability of nutrients. The two different applications of in situ technique showed precision and accuracy to estimate in vivo digestibility.
Literature describes breast milk as the best food for the newborn, recommending exclusive breastfeeding for up to 6 months of age. However, it is not available for more than 40% of children worldwide. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological models of 3-day early weaning were developed in rodents to investigate later outcomes related solely to this nutritional insult. Thus, the present work aimed to describe biometric, nutritional, biochemical, and cardiovascular outcomes in adult male rats submitted to 3-day early weaning achieved by maternal deprivation. This experimental model comprises not only nutritional insult but also emotional stress, simulating mother abandoning. Male offspring were physically separated from their mothers at 21st (control) or 18th (early weaning) postnatal day, receiving water/food ad libitum. Analysis performed at postnatal days 30, 90, 150, and 365 encompassed body mass and food intake monitoring and serum biochemistry determination. Further assessments included hemodynamic, echocardiographic, and cardiorespiratory evaluation. Early-weaned males presented higher body weight when compared to control as well as dyslipidemia, higher blood pressure, diastolic dysfunction, and cardiac hypertrophy in adult life. Animals early deprived of their mothers have also presented a worse performance on the maximal effort ergometer test. This work shows that 3-day early maternal deprivation favors the development of cardiovascular disease in male rats.
Litter size reduction can induce early overnourishment, being an attractive experimental model to study short- and long-term consequences of childhood obesity. Epidemiological data indicate sex differences regarding cardiometabolic disorders and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The present study aimed to describe biometric, nutritional and cardiovascular changes related to neonatal overweight promoted by litter size reduction in young and adult Wistar rats of both sexes. Litter adjustment to eight or four pups/mother (1:1 male-to-female ratio) gave, respectively, control and overweight groups. Body mass, food intake, haemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters and cardiorespiratory capacity were evaluated at postnatal days 30 and 150. Diminished litters were correlated with higher body mass and weight gain (12 %) during lactation, validating the experimental model of neonatal overweight. Soon after weaning male (16 %) and female (25 %) offspring of these litters presented a lower food intake than their respective control, without differences in body mass. Adult males from reduced litters presented higher abdominal circumference (7 %), systolic blood pressure (10 %), interventricular septum thickness (15 %) and relative wall thickness (15 %) compared with their respective control. Rats' performance on the maximal effort ergometer test was not affected by neonatal overweight. Data suggest the occurrence of catch-down growth and hypophagia in male and female rats submitted to neonatal overweight. However, only male rats presented haemodynamic and cardiac structural changes. These findings are crucial to personalised/gender medicine.
Knowing how energy intake is partitioned between maintenance, growth and egg production (EP) of birds makes it possible to structure models and recommend energy intakes based on differences in the BW, weight gain (WG) and EP on commercial quail farms. This research was a dose-response study to re-evaluate the energy partition for Japanese quails in the EP phase, based on the dilution technique to modify the retained energy (RE) of the birds. A total of 300 VICAMI® Japanese quail, housed in climatic chambers, were used from 16 weeks of age, with averages for BW of 185 g and EP of 78%, for 10 weeks. To modify the RE in the bird’s body, a qualitative dilution of dietary energy was used. Ten treatments (metabolisable energy levels) were distributed in completely randomised units, with six replicates of five quails per experimental unit. Metabolisable energy intake (MEI), egg mass (EM) and RE were expressed in kJ/kg0.67. The utilisation efficiency (kt) was estimated from the relationship between RE and MEI. The metabolisable energy for maintenance was given by RE = 0. The net energy requirement for WG was obtained from the relationship between RE in the BW as a function of the BW. The utilisation efficiency for EP (ko) was obtained from the relationship between EM and RE corrected MEI for maintenance and WG. Based on these efficiencies, the requirements for WG and EM were calculated. The energy intake by Japanese quails was partitioned according to the model: MEI = 569.8 × BW0.67 + 22 × WG + 13 × EM. The current study provides procedures and methods designed for quails as well as a simple and flexible model that can be quickly adopted by technicians and poultry companies.
The rate of passage (ROP) in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) influences the exposure time of food to the digestion and absorption processes. Consequently, ROP affects the efficiency of nutrient utilization and energy from the diet. This study aimed to determine the physiological parameters that characterize the digestive response, such as first appearance time (FAT), ROP, mean retention time (MRT) and transit time (TT) in adult Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica), and to evaluate the effects of sex, apparent metabolizable energy corrected for nitrogen balance (AMEn) content in the diet and different types of markers on these parameters. In the first trial, we investigated the effects of sex and AMEn level (high- and low-energy diet) on the FAT parameter. Thirty-two male and 32 female Japanese quail were randomly allocated to 8 battery cages and assigned to 4 treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial design with 4 replicates of 4 birds for each treatment. To determine the FAT, ferric oxide (1%) was added to the diet, and the excreta of the quail was monitored until the first appearance of the marker. The results indicated significant differences (P < 0.05) in the FAT between males (100 min) and females (56 min), regardless of the AMEn content. In the second trial, thirty-two 32-week-old female Japanese quail in the laying phase were assigned to four treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial design, in which the main independent variables were type of marker (Cr or Ti) and AMEn level (high- and low-energy diets). In order to determine ROP (ET1%), MRT and TT (ET100%), the markers (0.5%: Cr2O3 and 0.5%: TiO2) were added to the diets, and the excreta were collected for 750 min. The excretion times for 1% (ET1%), 25% (ET25%), 50% (ET50%), 75% (ET75%) and 100% (ET100%) were estimated using cumulative excretion curves. No effect was detected for the AMEn level (P > 0.05); however, the effect of different marker types was significant (P < 0.05). This difference increased with time and ET100% was estimated to occur at 59 min. The ROP was estimated to be 68 min. The TT was estimated to be 540 min using Cr and 599 min using Ti, with an average MRT value of 0930 h. Taken together, our findings support the hypothesis that Japanese quail digestion through the GIT can be dynamic and differ based on sex or marker type.
The description of the growth of the Japanese quails is necessary to characterize the genetic potential of these birds raised in different countries. Thus, the aim of this study was to describe the genetic potential of Japanese quails by conducting a meta-analysis considering studies conducted in different countries. Only data about the subspecies Coturnix coturnix japonica were considered; studies regarding Coturnix coturnix coturnix were not examined. The criteria investigated were BW (W), age (t), year of publication and location of the study. Each set of genetic material within a publication was coded as one study. The Gompertz function was used to interpret the growth of laying quails; thus, each study was represented by Gompertz parameters. The W and t data were applied to estimate the values of Gompertz growth parameters, including BW at maturity (Wm), BW at birth (Wi), maturity rate (B) and inflection point (IP). The age at which the maximum growth rate was achieved (t*) was calculated considering the parameters Wm, Wi and B. To estimate these parameters, random regression was used to randomize the parameter Wm. The parameters estimated for each assay were used in exploratory, grouping, and principal component analyses. The values of Wi ranged from 4.1 to 11.6 g. The values of B ranged from 0.0393 to 0.1039/day, and consequently, the values of t* and IP ranged from 14 to 31 days and 9.21 to 31.03 g, respectively. These results show that there is considerable variability in the growth potential of Japanese quails. To better understand this variation, two groups were examined: Brazil and other countries, according to the grouping of Wi, Wm, B and t*; parameter B was the variable that presented the highest specificity, indicating that both groups modified the maturity rate. For the principal component analysis, the year of publication showed a relationship with the growth parameters but only for studies performed in Brazil. For studies carried out in other countries, the changes in growth parameters were not related to the year of publication. In Brazilian studies, there was a decrease in the maturity rate, but the weight at maturity was higher. Therefore, it appears that different strategies of genetic selection were adopted in Brazil compared to other countries.
Spontaneous abortion is considered a public health problem having several causes, including infections. Among the infectious agents, bacteria of the vaginal microbiota and Ureaplasma parvum have been associated with abortion, but their participation needs to be further elucidated. This study aims to evaluate the influence of Mollicutes on the development of spontaneous abortion. Women who underwent spontaneous abortion and those with normal birth (control) were studied. Samples of cervical mucus (CM) and placental tissue were collected to identify Mollicutes using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction methodology. Eighty-nine women who had a miscarriage and 20 women with normal pregnancies were studied. The presence of Mollicutes in placental tissue increased the chance of developing miscarriage sevenfold. The prevalence of U. parvum in women who experienced spontaneous abortion was 66.3% in placental tissue. A positive association was observed between the detection of U. parvum in samples of placental tissue and abortion. There was a significant increase in microbial load in placental tissue for M. hominis, U. urealyticum and U. parvum compared to the control group. Detection of U. parvum in CM in pregnant women can ascend to the region of the placental tissue and trigger a spontaneous abortion.
Each individual in the population has a distinct maximum growth potential, and the growth curve may vary depending on the response to nutrient intake, growth phase and variability among animals. The present study aimed to (1) model weight gain (WG) response to methionine+cystine (Met+Cys) supply using different mathematical functions, (2) identify functions that better fit the growth responses of pullets, (3) determine the Met+Cys requirements that maximize WG based on breeding standards and (4) partition the Met+Cys requirements for WG and maintenance. Three trials were performed using 1448 laying-type pullets. We adopted a completely randomized design with eight treatments and six replicates. The first trial (2 to 6 weeks, P1) used 15 pullets per experimental unit. The second and third trials (8 to 12 weeks, P2; 14 to 18 weeks, P3) were used eight pullets per replicate. The Met+Cys levels were obtained using a dilution technique. The mathematical functions used to describe WG responses to Met+Cys intake were broken line, broken line with curvilinear ascendancy, Michaelis–Menten, saturation kinetics and three logistic and three exponential models. Models were selected using the Bayesian information criterion and evaluated by residual analysis. It was possible to model the responses using the studied functions. The best functions were obtained by logistic and sigmoidal models in P1 and P2, and with the broken line by the curvilinear ascendancy model in P3. The Met+Cys intake that determined the maximum potential for WG (WGmax) in P1, P2 and P3 were 313, 381 and 318 mg/day, respectively. The Met+Cys requirements for WG were 20, 22 and 27 mg/g, and for maintenance were 214, 53 and 30 mg/kgBW0.75 for P1, P2 and P3, respectively.
This study presents two years of characterization of a warm temperate rhodolith bed in order to analyse how certain environmental changes influence the community ecology. The biomass of rhodoliths and associated species were analysed during this period and in situ experiments were conducted to evaluate the primary production, calcification and respiration of the dominant species of rhodoliths and epiphytes. The highest total biomass of rhodoliths occurred during austral winter. Lithothamnion crispatum was the most abundant rhodolith species in austral summer. Epiphytic macroalgae occurred only in January 2015, with Padina gymnospora being the most abundant. Considering associated fauna, the biomass of Mollusca increased from February 2015 to February 2016. Population densities of key reef fish species inside and around the rhodolith beds showed significant variations in time. The densities of grouper (carnivores/piscivores) increased in time, especially from 2015 to 2016. On the other hand, grunts (macroinvertebrate feeders) had a modest decrease over time (from 2014 to 2016). Other parameters such as primary production and calcification of L. crispatum were higher under enhanced irradiance, yet decreased in the presence of P. gymnospora. Community structure and physiological responses can be explained by the interaction of abiotic and biotic factors, which are driven by environmental changes over time. Biomass changes can indicate that herbivores play a role in limiting the growth of epiphytes, and this is beneficial to the rhodoliths because it decreases competition for environmental resources with fleshy algae.
Corticosteroids have either somatic and psychiatric side effects. Somatic adverse effects are well described while neuropsychiatric have received less attention. Psychiatric symptoms such as depression, psychosis and especially mania are common side effects of corticotherapy.
Aims and Objectives:
Describe a case of a 53-year-old female patient, with no psychiatric history, who developed psychiatric symptoms during the treatment of an acute exacerbation of multiple sclerosis with large parenteral doses of corticosteroids. Three days after the onset of corticotherapy she developed increased energy, elevated mood, increased motor activity, racing thoughts, and diminished need for sleep. She subsequently developed grandiose and persecutory ideation and then feared her grandson was going to die. This lead to her admission to psychiatric unit of our hospital to address these behavioral problems. Her husband noticed that she had become’hyper’ in the past when she received pulse corticosteroid therapy, but the most recent episode was by far the worst.
Revision of the scientific literature through Pubmed, Embase and Psychinfo using search terms including corticosteroids, mania, depression, psychosis and mood.
Prednisone was suspended and Risperidone 2mg was begun for presumed steroid-induced mood disorder, and the patient became calmer and much less guarded over the next 2-3 days. After a week she recovered complete euthymic mood and reverted to normal functioning.
These data suggest that Risperidone is well tolerated and appears to be useful for mood disturbances associated with corticosteroid therapy. Controlled trials seem warranted to confirm these observations.
There is an increased risk to develop mental disorder during adolescence and early adulthood. Given this vulnerability, and in order to facilitate the transition from child and adolescent to adult mental health services, specific services for this age group have been developed in the last years, focusing on accessibility and early referral of young mental patients. Our Psychiatry Department (Coimbra Hospital and University Centre, Portugal) created a specific unit for young adults in order to provide better care, in accordance with the specificities of this subpopulation. The team consists of psychiatrists, psychiatry residents, nurses and a clinical psychologist. Referred patients are under 20 years old, presenting clinically relevant psychopathology or behavior disturbances.
We aimed to characterize help-seeking outpatients regarding socio-demographic variables and its relation to depressive and anxiety symptoms.
Socio-demographic characterization was undertaken with young adult psychiatric outpatients observed during eleven months (1st January to 30th November 2015). Multivariate analyses were performed to identify a relationship among socio-demographic and psychopathology variables (assessed with the Portuguese version of Brief Symptom Inventory–53 itens).
One hundred and sixty-two outpatients were observed: 97 females (59,9%) and 65 males (40,1%), ages between 17 and 31 years old (average: 19,9; median: 20). We found a positive correlation between depressive and anxiety symptoms and the education level. A negative correlation was found between depressive and anxiety symptoms and male gender and presence of mental illness in the family.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The BW has been largely used as a selection criterion in genetic selection programmes; however, increases in BW can affect animal metabolism and metabolites. The knowledge of how genetic potential for growth affects the metabolites can give a footprint of growth metabolism. This research aimed to evaluate the effect of genetic potential for post-weaning growth (GG) on performance, carcass traits and serum metabolome of non-castrated Nellore males during the finishing phase. Forty-eight Nellore non-castrated males, with divergent potential for post-weaning growth, were selected and divided into two groups: high potential for post-weaning growth (HG; n = 24) and low potential for post-weaning growth (LG; n = 24). Animals were kept and fed for 90 days where performance and ultrasound carcass traits were evaluated. Blood samples were collected at the beginning and end of feeding period to analyse serum metabolites concentration. The hot carcass weight and dressing percentage were recorded at slaughter. The feedlot performance and carcass traits were not affected by genetic potential. The HG animals had a lower glucose (P = 0.039), glutamate (P = 0.038), glutamine (P = 0.004), greater betaine (P = 0.039) and pyruvate (P = 0.039) compared to the LG group at the beginning of feedlot. In addition, higher creatine phosphate concentrations were observed at the beginning of feeding period, compared to final, for both groups (P = 0.039). In conclusion, the genetic potential for post-weaning growth does not affect performance and carcass traits during the finishing period. Differences in metabolite concentrations can be better found at the beginning of feedlot, providing a footprint of growth metabolism, but similar metabolite concentration at the end of finishing period.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
With still limited information on vitamin requirements and considering that many commercial practices adopt dietary vitamin levels above the values suggested by nutritional tables, this study aimed to assess the effect of administering vitamin supplementation to sows in gestation and lactation and to their litters on the reproductive performance and body condition of the sows and on the performance and immune profile of the litters until slaughter. The trial was split into two phases. The first phase used 104 sows, assigned to be randomized to blocks according to parity, submitted until 21 days of lactation to two treatments: control–standard (standard levels of vitamins) and test–elevated (elevated levels of vitamins). Each sow and its respective farrow were considered an experimental unit. The sows underwent evaluations of body condition score, back fat thickness and reproductive performance. In the second phase, 60 barrows and 60 gilts at 21 days of age and mean initial weight of 5.33 ± 1.5 kg until slaughter at 164 days of age. The piglets were assigned to randomized blocks according to the weight and sex of the animals in a 2 × 2 factorial model, with 10 replicates per treatment, where a pen with three animals represented the experimental unit. Following the same treatments of the first phase, the piglets were evaluated for daily weight gain, daily feed intake, feed conversion, mortality rate and humoral immune response. Vitamin supplementation had no positive effects on the reproductive parameters or body composition of sows. However, it positively impacted the performance of the litters in the early nursery stage, but did not lead to superior effects on the immune responses to vaccination against circovirus or mycoplasma.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The dietary inclusion of feed additives to improve the carcass characteristics of the final product is of great importance for the pork production chain. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of the association of ractopamine (RAC) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on the performance traits of finishing pigs during the last 26 days prior to slaughter. In total, 810 commercial hybrid barrows were used. Animals were distributed among treatments according to a randomised block design in a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, with three RAC levels (0, 5 or 10 ppm) and three CLA levels (0, 0.3 or 0.6%). Pigs fed the diet with 5 ppm RAC had higher average daily feed intake (ADFI) (2.83 kg; P < 0.05) when compared with those fed 10 ppm RAC and the control diet (2.75 and 2.74 kg, respectively). Lower ADFI values (P < 0.01) were observed with the diets containing CLA compared with the control diet with no CLA (2.73 and 2.75 v. 2.85 kg/day, respectively). The average daily weight gain of pigs fed 5 and 10 ppm RAC was +148 and +173 g/dayhigher (P < 0.001), respectively, than those fed the control diet. Dietary RAC levels influenced (P < 0.001) feed conversion ratio (FCR), which was reduced as RAC levels increased, with the pigs fed 10, 5 and 0 ppm RAC presenting FCR values of 2.57, 2.71 and 3.05, respectively. FCR also improved (P < 0.05) with the inclusion of 0.6% CLA relative to the control diet (2.70 v. 2.84, respectively). There was a significant interaction between CLA × RAC levels (P < 0.01) for final BW, loin eye area (LEA) (P < 0.05) and backfat thickness (BT) (P < 0.05). The treatments containing 10 ppm RAC + 0.6% or 0.3% CLA increased LEA and reduced BT. In conclusion, the level of 10 ppm inclusion of RAC increased the overall performance parameters of pigs and therefore improved production efficiency. The combined use of RAC and CLA promoted a lower feed conversion ratio as well as better quantitative carcass traits, as demonstrated by the higher LEA and lower BT. The dietary inclusion of CLA at 0.3% improved feed efficiency, however, without affecting LEA or BT yields.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases worldwide. Among the estimated cases of drug-resistant TB, approximately 60% occur in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Among Brazilian states, primary and acquired multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) rates were the highest in Rio Grande do Sul (RS). This study aimed to perform molecular characterisation of MDR-TB in the State of RS, a high-burden Brazilian state. We performed molecular characterisation of MDR-TB cases in RS, defined by drug susceptibility testing, using 131 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) DNA samples from the Central Laboratory. We carried out MIRU-VNTR 24loci, spoligotyping, sequencing of the katG, inhA and rpoB genes and RDRio sublineage identification. The most frequent families found were LAM (65.6%) and Haarlem (22.1%). RDRio deletion was observed in 42 (32%) of the M.tb isolates. Among MDR-TB cases, eight (6.1%) did not present mutations in the studied genes. In 116 (88.5%) M.tb isolates, we found mutations associated with rifampicin (RIF) resistance in rpoB gene, and in 112 isolates (85.5%), we observed mutations related to isoniazid resistance in katG and inhA genes. An insertion of 12 nucleotides (CCAGAACAACCC) at the 516 codon in the rpoB gene, possibly responsible for a decreased interaction of RIF and RNA polymerase, was found in 19/131 of the isolates, belonging mostly to LAM and Haarlem families. These results enable a better understanding of the dynamics of transmission and evolution of MDR-TB in the region.
Intake in sugar-rich diets can be limited either via rumen fill or excessive rumen fermentation and source of non-fibre carbohydrate (NFC) in the diet can affect both factors. The aim of the current study was to quantify the effect of partially replacing ground maize (GM) with steam-rolled maize (SRM) or pelleted citrus pulp (PCP) at two concentrate levels in sugarcane-based diets on digestibility, rumen ecosystem and metabolism of Nellore steers. Six rumen-cannulated steers were assigned to a 6 × 6 Latin square, replicated in time, in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments with two levels of concentrate (600 or 800 g concentrate/kg dry matter [DM]) and three NFC sources. Each steer within a period was considered an experimental unit. Feeding more concentrate increased total tract digestibility of organic matter and decreased fibre intake and passage rate. It also reduced rumen populations of Fibrobacter succinogenes and Streptococcus bovis and increased Ruminococcus flavefaciens. Substituting PCP for GM increased rumen pH, acetic acid and organic matter digestibility. Feeding PCP also reduced R. flavefaciens and R. amylophilus rumen populations. Substituting SRM for GM increased starch digestibility and rumen propionic acid, but decreased rumen ammonia concentration. Feeding SRM increased rumen populations of Megasphaera elsdenii with the high-concentrate diet but reduced Ruminococcus albus populations at both concentrate levels. In conclusion, partial replacement of GM by PCP decreased intake in sugar-rich diets, while increasing total tract neutral detergent fibre digestibility. Replacement of GM with SRM increases rumen fermentation and total tract digestibility of starch.
Replacing ground maize (GM) with steam-rolled maize typically increases feed efficiency in maize-silage-based diets. However, little is known about optimal carbohydrate supplementation in sugarcane silage-based diets. The objective was to quantify the effect of partially replacing GM with steam-rolled maize (SRM) or pelleted citrus pulp (PCP) at two concentrate levels (600 or 800 g/kg DM) in sugarcane-based diets on feeding behaviour, performance and blood parameters of finishing Nellore bulls. One hundred and eight young bulls were allocated to 36 pens in a randomized block design and fed for 84 d. Feeding 800 g/kg concentrate decreased time spending eating and ruminating, but improved G:F ratio, hot carcass weight and carcass dressing, compared to 600 g/kg concentrate. Bulls fed SRM and PCP diets with 600 g/kg concentrate had lower intake compared to GM. Both final weight and average daily gain decreased when bulls were fed PCP and SRM with 600 g/kg concentrate compared to GM diets, and when fed with PCP and 800 g/kg concentrate. Substituting PCP for GM decreased gain efficiency, carcass weight, rumination time and intake efficiency, indicating that the bulls consumed less feed per hour spent eating. Substituting SRM for GM increased backfat thickness and blood urea concentration. In conclusion, the replacement of GM with PCP reduces intake and enhances selection against large particles, decreasing rumination, performance and final carcass weight and dressing. Replacement of GM with SRM increases blood urea and fat deposition, with no impact on performance.
Expression of estrus near timed artificial insemination (TAI) is associated with greater fertility, and estrus detection could improve TAI fertility or direct TAI management, although accurate estrus detection can be difficult and time-consuming using traditional methods. The aim of this study is to evaluate influence of estrus on pregnancy (artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI)) and to validate an alternative method to classify estrus/heat expression using tail chalking (HEATSC) in postpartum Bos indicus cows subjected to TAI in progesterone–estrogen-based protocols. In experiment 1 (Exp. 1), cows (5491) were subjected to visual observation of estrus after progesterone device removal, before TAI, and P/AI was evaluated according to estrus and body condition score (BCS). Cows received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate (EB). After 8 days, the device was removed and 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotrophin was given. Later, animals in Exp. 1 received 1 mg EB and TAI 44 to 48 h. In the Exp. 2 – 3830 cows using similar protocol, received different ovulation inducers: 1 mg EB (n=1624) or 1 mg estradiol cypionate (EC; n=2206) on day 8 (D8). Cows were then marked with chalk, and HEATSC evaluated at TAI on D10 (HEATSC1 – no chalk removal=no estrus expression; HEATSC2 – partial chalk removal=low estrus expression; HEATSC3 – near complete/complete chalk removal=high estrus expression). In Exp. 1, cows showing estrus presented greater P/AI (48.4% v. 40.2%, P<0.05). In Exp. 2, P/AI (HEATSC1 – 40.0%; HEATSC2 – 49.7%; HEATSC3 – 60.9%; P<0.001), and larger follicle timed artificial insemination (LFTAI) (<0.001) varied according to HEATSC. There was no difference in P/AI (P=0.41) or LFTAI (P=0.33) according to ovulation inducer. Cows with greater BCS showed greater P/AI in both experiments (P<0.05). Estrus presence and greater HEATSC improved P/AI, and EC v. EB used promoted differential estrus manifestation (cows showing HEATSC2 and HEATSC3: 79.5% with EB v. 69.98% with EC use, P<0.001), however, with similar P/AI. The use of HEATSC in B. indicus cows subjected to TAI is useful to identify cows with greater estrus expression and consequently improved pregnancy rates in TAI, allowing the cows with low HEATSC to be targeted for additional treatments aimed at improving P/AI.