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The water content of feedstuffs is an important factor when considering both the nutritive value of a feed for dietary rationing purposes and when assessing the functional properties associated with the practical inclusion of a feedstuff in animal diets. Water is a vital nutrient in its own right and must be supplied on a daily basis. Feed associated water provides one source of this obligatory requirement. In addition, the water holding capacity (WHC) of a feedstuff and its relationship with other constituents of the feed may have important effects. Water can be associated with feedstuff in one of three ways (Robertson and Eastwood, 1981b). Firstly, water can be bound by the hydrophilic polysaccharides of the fibre component of feeds. Secondly, water can be held within the structural fibre matrix of feeds and finally, water can be associated with feedstuff fibre other than bound or matrix water and is usually considered as water trapped within the cell wall lumen.
Most mature horses and ponies in the UK are given restricted amounts of concentrate and forage diets in order to avoid excessive nutrient intake and obesity, usually in a number of small meals per day. One practical question often asked by horse owners relates to the timing of concentrate feeding relative to the timing of forage provision. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of feeding concentrate meals either before, with or after forage when either oat straw or grass haylage was offered as the basal forage. Actual dry matter intakes and diet digestibility values from this study have been published previously (Hyslop, 2004). This summary details the effects of offering concentrates either 2 hours before, along with or 2 hours after forage provision on digesta passage rates and mean retention times in mature ponies.
6 mature Welsh-cross pony geldings (mean LW 298 kg: s.e. 16.2) were individually housed and used in an eight treatment, 6 x 4 partially balanced incomplete block design experiment consisting of four 21 day periods.
This paper describes how experimental adaptation of the mobile bag and in situ porous bag techniques for use in nutrition studies with equines, combined with mathematical modelling of feed degradation profiles and digesta passage rates, allows the quantitative partition of feed degradation amongst the major segments of the equine digestive tract. Dry matter effective degradability values in the small intestine (pre–caecal), caecal and colonic segments of the equine digestive tract for four fibre feeds are presented. Measurement of digesta passage rates in the caecum and total tract of equines are also discussed. Further studies are now required to capitalise on this development and partition degradation of individual feed constituents in common equine feeds across each of the major segments of the equine digestive tract. This would allow optimum, balanced and healthy diets to be formulated in practice across a wide range of equine husbandry systems.
Fibrous foods are major sources of energy and protein for equids. The potentially energy yielding fraction of dietary fibre consists of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). NSP cannot be digested by equine enzymes and in order for the animal to obtain energy from NSP it must be fermented by the gut microflora to yield volatile fatty acid. This fermentation process is less efficient in terms of yield of ATP than the digestion of starch to glucose, and is generally believed to occur solely in the large intestine. Plant protein may be associated with the NSP or the protoplast. However, horses can only utilize that protein which has been digested and absorbed in the small intestine. Thus, knowledge of the site and extent of nutrient degradation is important to enable the accurate formulation of diets for horses. Therefore in the current study the site and extent of NSP and crude protein (CP) degradation from four fibrous foods commonly given to horses in the United Kingdom were determined in caecally fistulated ponies using mobile bags.
The trial was a 4 X 3 incomplete Latin square design with three caecally fistulated Welsh X pony geldings (ca. 250 kg live weight) and four botanically diverse sources of dietary fibre. The ponies were maintained on a basal diet of hay and grass nuts and water was available ad libitum. Bags (6X1 cm) of monofilament polyester mesh pore size 4 μm were filled with 350 mg of either unmolassed sugar-beet pulp (SB), hay cubes (HC), soya hulls (SH) or oat hulls : naked oats (2:1) (OH: NO), which had been ground to pass a 1-mm steel mesh. On two consecutive mornings 20 bags were introduced into the ponies via a naso-gastric tube. Each bag contained two 100 mg steel washers which enabled their capture by a magnet placed inside the caecal fistula: the cannulae were positioned just posterior to the ileo-caecal junction. Between 10 and 16 bags were recovered on the magnet, the remaining bags were allowed to continue through the hind-gut and were subsequently collected in the faeces.
As a result of the need to excrete the waste products of protein catabolism in urine, increases in protein intake have been associated with increases in water intake in poultry (Bailey, 1990), in pigs (Brooks and Carpenter, 1990) and in ruminants (Agricultural Research Council, 1980). Whilst there is only very limited data available to support a similar relationship in horses (Meyer, 1987) it is believed that increases in protein intake in equines also result in greater water consumption when high protein diets are fed (Lawrence, 1998). The objective of the current study was to examine the relationship between crude protein intake and water consumption when forage based diets were offered ad libitum to individually fed ponies. Six mature Welsh–cross pony geldings with a mean liveweight (LW) of 281 kg (s.e.d. 0.89) were individually housed in pens bedded with wood shavings and used in a changeover design experiment consisting of two 21-day periods.
Six mature Welsh-cross pony geldings with a mean liveweight (LW) of 281 kg (s.e.d. 0.89) were individually housed in pens bedded with wood shavings and used in a changeover design experiment consisting of two 21-day periods.
This review will outline the role of visiting cardiac surgical teams in low- and middle-income countries drawing on the collective experience of the authors in a wide range of locations. Requests for assistance can emerge from local programmes at a beginner or advanced stage. However, in all circumstances, careful pre-trip planning is necessary in conjunction with clinical and non-clinical local partners. The clinical evaluation, surgical procedures, and postoperative care all serve as a template for collaboration and education between the visiting and local teams in every aspect of care. Education focusses on both common and patient-specific issues. Case selection must appropriately balance the clinical priorities, safety, and educational objectives within the time constraints of trip duration. Considerable communication and practical challenges will present, and clinicians may need to make significant adjustments to their usual practice in order to function effectively in a resource-limited, unfamiliar, and multilingual environment. The effectiveness of visiting trips should be measured and constantly evaluated. Local and visiting teams should use data-driven evaluations of measurable outcomes and critical qualitative evaluation to repeatedly re-assess their interim goals. Progress invariably takes several years to achieve the final goal: an autonomous self-governing, self-financed, cardiac programme capable of providing care for children with complex CHD. This outcome is consistent with redundancy for the visiting trips model at the site, although fraternal, professional, and academic links will invariably remain for many years.
In line with international treaties, UK Government policy seeks to diminish the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of agricultural activities through reductions in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions associated with livestock production. For suckler beef production systems these GHGs are principally methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) associated with rumen fermentation of feeds consumed and management of manure produced by animals and spread on land. The objective of this simulation exercise was to simulate the GHG emissions and therefore GWP associated with a range of suckler beef production systems potentially available to current and future UK beef producers.
In line with international treaty obligations, UK Government policy seeks to reduce ammonia (NH3) emissions from livestock production systems. For suckler beef production systems NH3 release is principally associated with cattle grazing, emissions during winter housing, storage and management of animal manures and spreading of both animal manures and artificial fertilisers on land. The objective of this simulation exercise was to simulate the NH3 emissions associated with a range of suckler beef production systems potentially available to current and future UK beef producers.
Previous work has shown that dimensional information derived from visual images can be used to accurately estimate pig growth, in terms of size and shape (Doeschl et al, 2004). The use of visual images to derive accurate estimates of weight could be very useful information in the commercial environment within and across the livestock industries. The objective of the current study was to examine a small number of digital images of finished beef cattle to ascertain if digital image analysis (DIA) has potential to predict the liveweight (LW) of the animals at slaughter.
As financial pressures on UK beef farms increase, each beef industry stockman will be expected to look after more animals. Consequently, labour availability around calving will be reduced in future years. In order to enable limited human assistance to be targeted towards those cows and calves that need it, a sound understanding of the time course of the natural calving process is needed. The objective of this study was to detail the time dynamics of the major externally visible calving events in unassisted spring calving suckler cows housed in a straw bedded yard, typical of UK practice.
The mobile bag technique (MBT) has recently been used to provide single time point estimates of feed digestibility in both the small intestine (Macheboeuf et al 1996) and the whole tract of equids (Hyslop and Cuddeford 1996). This experiment develops the use of the MBT as a method to study the dynamics of the digestive process over time in the whole tract of ponies.
Three mature Welsh-cross pony geldings (270 kg LW) were offered ad libitum threshed grass hay plus minerals. Two sizes of mobile bag (6 x 1 cm Ø - large & 4 x 1 cm Ø - small) made from monofilament polyester with a 41 μrn pore size containing either 200 or 130 mg of feed respectively were used. Bags containing either dehydrated alfalfa (DHA), threshed grass hay (THAY), dehydrated grass (DHG) or grass hay (HAY) were introduced directly into the stomach via a naso-gastric tube in batches of 22 (14 large and 8 small). Batches of bags were administered twice daily on days 1, 2, 8 and 9 of a 14 day period according to an incomplete latin square experimental design giving a total of 44 bags per feed in each pony. On recovery in the faeces, dry matter (DM) disappearances were calculated for each bag.
X-ray computed tomography (CT) measurements of live sheep have been used to predict carcass composition very accurately (Macfarlane et al., 2006). The utilisation of spiral CT scans (SCTS) for quantifying muscle volumes and weights, using automatic image analysis procedures has also been shown to be very accurate in sheep (Navajas et al., 2006). Although the limiting size of the CT gantry prevents CT scanning of live beef cattle, beef primal joints are small enough to be scanned. Hence, SCTS could be used to quantify beef carcass composition, and provide valuable information for breeding programmes including composition faster than by anatomical dissection. The objective of this study was to develop a CT image analysis procedure to assess fat, muscle and bone weights of beef carcasses and to evaluate its accuracy.
There is increased interest, in using sugar beet pulp (SBP) products in equine diets as a major source of fibre in place of traditional forages. It has been observed that voluntary feed intake (VFI) was lower when SBP products were included in the diet of dry sows compared to other fibrous foodstuffs (Brouns, et al 1995). Equids are similar to pigs in respect that fibrous feed components must pass through the stomach and small intestine before reaching the hindgut; the primary site of fibre fermentation. This study examines the VFI and apparent digestibility in vivo of two SBP based diets and determines their ability to meet the predicted energy and protein needs of mature ponies.
Five mature Welsh-cross and three mature Shetland pony geldings with a mean liveweight (LW) of 219 kg (s.e.d. 2.2) were individually housed and offered 2 kg/d dry matter (DM) of a mature threshed grass hay (THAY), 60 g/h/d minerals and ad libitum access to either soaked molassed sugar beet pulp (MSBP) or soaked unmolassed sugar beet pulp (USBP).
The UK Biodiversity Action Plan identifies upland heath and blanket bog as priorities for conservation. Heavy grazing by livestock has damaged these habitats in many parts of the UK. Agri-environment schemes have partly addressed the problem by encouraging farmers to reduce sheep stocking levels on degraded moorland. This can prevent further loss of dwarf shrub cover, but the increased biomass of moorland grasses can inhibit regeneration of dwarf shrubs and other desirable species. The objectives of this system-scale study are to assess the impact on plant species composition and animal performance, of sheep-only and mixed grazing regimes with both cattle and sheep on degraded wet heath vegetation. It is being carried out as part of a wider project to determine environmentally sustainable and economically viable grazing systems for heather moorland.
Following commercial practice in France, there is increased interest in using specifically selected purebred maternal lines as suckler cow dams in the UK. Consequently, there is also a need to evaluate the finishing performance of the concomitant purebred male progeny from these maternal lines within typical UK suckled calf finishing systems. The objective of this study was to compare the post-weaning performance of purebred Charolais (CH) steers and crossbred Limousin x Aberdeen Angus (LIMxAA) steers when finished using a cereal-based ration.
De-hydrated forages are often fed to equids in the UK in place of more traditional grass hay, particularly where individual animals are known to have a sensitivity to dusty, mouldy hay which may play a part inducing respiratory problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). One such alternative forage is short-chop de-hydrated grass. However, there is very little information available on voluntary feed intake (VFI), apparent digestibility and nutrient intake parameters when de-hydrated grass is offered to equids compared with traditional grass hay. This study examines the VFI and apparent digestibility in vivo of a short-chop de-hydrated grass compared with a traditional grass hay and determines their ability to meet the predicted energy and protein needs of mature ponies.
Six mature Welsh-cross pony geldings with a mean liveweight (LW) of 281 kg (s.e.d. 0.89) were individually housed and offered ad libitum access to either short-chop de-hydrated grass (DHG) or traditional grass hay (HAY) plus 60 g/h/d minerals. The DHG and HAY were made from the same 2nd cut perennial ryegrass sward cut on the same day.
Many mature, non-pregnant, non-lactating equids are often kept in circumstances where they are expected to perform only light physical work or activity eg: a childs pony. Consequently their maintenance energy and protein needs can often be met at very restricted feed intake levels. Conversely, when they are housed during the winter months it is believed desirable to manage such animals on unrestricted ad libitum feeding regimes in order to allow the animals to exhibit their natural feed intake pattern and consume forage on a little and often basis throughout the daily feeding period. However, ad libitum access to the diet may lead to such animals becoming excessively fat. These conflicting needs of low energy and protein requirement coupled with the desirability of unrestricted access to the diet could both be met, at least in part, if a low quality forage is available ad libitum. This study examines the voluntary feed intake and apparent digestibility in vivo of a mature threshed grass hay offered ad libitum and determines its ability to meet the predicted energy and protein needs of mature ponies.
Cereal grains are often subjected to physical processing before being fed to equids. However, little information is available on how physical processing of cereals affects degradation dynamics in equids. This experiment examines the effect of two physical processing methods (micronisation and extrusion) on in situ degradation of barley in the caecum of ponies
Three caecally fistulated mature Welsh-cross pony geldings (approx. LW 270kg) were offered ad libitum grass hay plus minerals. Incubation bags (monofilament polyester 6.5 x 20cm, 41μm pores, 16mg/cm2 sample size) containing either unprocessed barley (UB), micronised barley (MB) or extruded barley (EB) were incubated in the caecum for fixed times according to both a forward (0, 2, 4, 6, 12, 8, 24, 48h) and reverse (48, 24, 8, 4, 12, 6, 2, 0h) incubation sequence. For each feedstuff residues from each time were bulked within pony and across incubation sequence for subsequent analysis of dry matter (DM) and starch (STC). Degradation profiles were fitted to the DM and STC disappearance data according to Ørskov and McDonald (1979).
Digesta passage rate may have influenced previously reported work on the intakes, apparent digestibilities and nutritive values of complete pelleted diets containing unmolassed sugar beet pulp (USBP) at levels ranging from 0-800 g/kg dry matter (DM) when offered to ponies (Hyslop, 2002). This study’s objective was to compare total tract mean retention time (TMRT) of digesta using two algebraic calculation methods in the same ponies.
Little information is available on the performance of suckled calves sired by either traditional UK beef breeds or continental beef breeds in conjunction with modern continental x dairy suckler cow genotypes. The objectives of this study were to determine gestation length, calf liveweight (LW) and pre-weaning daily liveweight gain (DLWG) from contrasting suckler dam and terminal sire breeds when managed within an upland suckler herd.