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A two-year (2015 and 2016) grazing study was established to compare ewe and lamb performance when grazed on a perennial ryegrass only sward compared to more diverse sward types. In that study four sward types were investigated: a perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) only sward receiving 163 kg nitrogen per hectare per year (N/ha/yr) (PRG); a perennial ryegrass and white clover (Trifolium repens) sward receiving 90 kg N/ha/yr (PRGWC); a six species sward (two grasses (perennial ryegrass and timothy (Phleum pratense)), two legumes (white and red clover (Trifolium pratense)) and two herbs (ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) and chicory (Cichorium intybus)) receiving 90 kg N/ha/yr (6S); and a nine species sward containing cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), greater birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium) in addition to the six species listed above, receiving 90 kg N/ha/yr (9S). Each sward type was managed as a separate farmlet and stocked with 30 twin-rearing ewes at a stocking rate of 12.5 ewes/ha under rotational grazing management from turnout post-lambing until housing. Lamb live weight was recorded fortnightly and lambs were drafted for slaughter at 45 kg. Ewe live weight and body condition score (BCS) were recorded on five occasions annually. Lamb faecal egg count (FEC) was recorded fortnightly and lambs were treated with anthelmintics when mean lamb FEC per sward type was above 400 eggs per gram. Ewes grazing the 6S and 9S swards had heavier (P < 0.01) live weights and BCS throughout the study than the ewes grazing the PRG sward. Lambs grazing the 6S sward were heavier than lambs grazing all other sward types of 14 weeks old (P < 0.05). Lambs grazing the PRG sward required more days to reach slaughter weight than lambs grazing all other sward types (P < 0.001). Lambs grazing the 6S and 9S swards required fewer anthelmintic treatments than lambs grazing the PRG or PRGWC swards. In conclusion, grazing multispecies swards improved ewe and lamb performance and reduced the requirement for chemical anthelmintics.
Studies have demonstrated that decreases in slow-wave activity (SWA) predict decreases in depressive symptoms in those with major depressive disorder (MDD), suggesting that there may be a link between SWA and mood. The aim of the present study was to determine if the consequent change in SWA regulation following a mild homeostatic sleep challenge would predict mood disturbance.
Thirty-seven depressed and fifty-nine healthy adults spent three consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory. On the third night, bedtime was delayed by 3 h, as this procedure has been shown to provoke SWA. The Profile of Mood States questionnaire was administered on the morning following the baseline and sleep delay nights to measure mood disturbance.
Results revealed that following sleep delay, a lower delta sleep ratio, indicative of inadequate dissipation of SWA from the first to the second non-rapid eye movement period, predicted increased mood disturbance in only those with MDD.
These data demonstrate that in the first half of the night, individuals with MDD who have less SWA dissipation as a consequence of impaired SWA regulation have greater mood disturbance, and may suggest that appropriate homeostatic regulation of sleep is an important factor in the disorder.
The use of monthly intranasal mupirocin was associated with a significant reduction in the rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus transmission and Staphylococcus aureus invasive infection in a large neonatal intensive care unit. Resistance to mupirocin emerged over time, but it was rare and was not associated with adverse clinical outcomes.
This paper describes the steps that were taken to increase the productivity of a commercial cheese company by genetically altering the milk composition. These steps included validation of the effect of b–lactoglobulin polymorphism on casein production and cheese yield under typical New Zealand pastoral farming conditions, manufacture and ripening of cheese from single variant milks, selection of a suitable company to trial breeding for a single variant, development of a suitable payment scheme to reflect the additional value of the higher casein milk, development of a testing regime to support the payment system and getting buy–in from the company. These steps have all been taken, and the company has pursued the recommended breeding strategy for 3 years, purchased instrumentation and elected to move to the new testing and payment scheme for the current dairy season.
Recombined milks manufactured from milk powders made from milk produced by b-lactoglobulin (b-LG) AA phenotype cows were not suitable for processing into ultra-heat-treated (UHT) milk products as these milks rapidly fouled heat exchanger surfaces when compared with standard mixed b-LG variant milk. Recombined milks manufactured from powders from b-LG BB phenotype milk generally gave low fouling rates upon UHT treatment and in some cases gave almost negligible fouling of UHT heat exchanger surfaces. Fresh milk from b-LG AA phenotype cows fouled evaporator preheaters more rapidly than standard milk, whereas fresh milk produced from b-LG BB phenotype cows fouled evaporator preheaters less rapidly than standard milk. Recombined milks manufactured from powders made with milk from k-casein (k-CN) BB phenotype cows fouled heat exchanger surfaces more rapidly than recombined milks manufactured from powders from milk from k-CN AA phenotype cows.
Efficient milk production in Ireland in both spring and autumn calving herds is very much dependent on compact calving. This requires an early resumption of ovarian activity, high submission rate, and pregnancy rate to service. Since 1984 there has been an increase in the genetic merit of Irish dairy herds. High genetic merit animals have reduced reproductive performance due to the demands of high milk yield (Nebel and McGilliard, 1993) and the loss of body weight and body condition (Butler and Smith, 1989). However, little comparative data on the reproductive performance of dairy cows of different genetic merit are available. The objective of this study was therefore, to determine the relationship between genetic merit of dairy cows and follicular growth patterns, milk production, body weight loss, insulin and glucose levels in early lactation.
The placenta prevents the transfer of maternal immunity to the foetus and consequently lambs are born hypoimmunocompetent. The IgG content in colostrum and its absorption into the blood stream has important consequences for lamb liveability in early life. Recent experiments carried out at this institute found that when ewes had access to a mineral block or the mineral component of this block in the form of powdered minerals in late pregnancy, the absorption of IgG by their offspring was reduced (Boland et al., 2003). Keane (2001) stated that it would appear that the lamb was pre-programmed in-utero for lowered IgG efficiency and that the problem lay with the lamb rather than to any altered characteristics of the colostrum. The aim of this experiment was to investigate the period of time necessary for high levels of mineral supplementation to the ewe to affect a reduction in IgG values in the progeny.
Lambs are born hypoimmunocompetent as the placenta prevents the transfer of maternal immunity to the foetus of the ruminant. Colostrum is the source of imunoglobulins for the young lamb and any interference with the absorption of immunoglobulins from colostrum would have important consequences for lamb liveability in early life. Recent experiments at this institute found that when ewes had access to mineral blocks in late pregnancy the absorption of immunoglobulin (IgG) by their offspring was reduced (Keane 2001). This author also stated that the lamb was preprogrammed in-utero for lowered IgG absorption efficiency. The aim of this experiment was to determine whether it was the mineral or molasses component of the mineral block which caused the reduced IgG absorption by the lamb.
In recent years there has been increasing use of mineral blocks in the diets of sheep both at mating time and in pregnancy. However, recent work carried out at this institute (Joyce, 2000) found that lambs whose dams had access to mineral blocks had significantly lower IgG serum values at 24 hours than lambs whose dams had no access to mineral blocks. This experiment investigated further the effects of supplementing the pregnant ewe diet with mineral blocks on IgG absorption efficiency and on the level of faecal adhesion to the tail-end of the lambs in early life.
The production of early-weaned lamb is a high cost production system with the major cost being the concentrate consumed by the lamb. However the transformation of concentrate to weight gain is more efficient when the concentrate is fed to the lamb directly rather than fed to the dam and the lamb avails of the mother’s milk. This type of finishing system requires a lamb with a high lean proportion in the carcass, a trait that characterises Texel cross lambs. Molasses, a by-product of the sugar processing industry, is high in soluble carbohydrates and is a common ingredient in commercial animal feed formulations. Inclusion levels in excess of 10% have been reported to cause excessive stickiness of the feed (Ewing, 1997). Molasses based diets increase propionic acid concentrations in sheep (Cortez et al., 1987), which promotes soft carcass fat (Bozzolo et al., 1990). The objective of this experiment was to determine the optimum inclusion rate of molasses in the diet of early-weaned lambs, based on growth rate, lamb cleanliness and carcass characteristics.
High levels of mineral supplementation to ewes in late gestation results in reduced blood serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentration and a lowered efficiency of colostral IgG absorption at 24h post partum (Boland et al., 2003). Given that lambs are born hypogammaglobulinemic and are dependent on the absorption of immunoglobulins from colostrum for immunity in early life, this decrease in serum IgG concentration is likely to present a significant challenge to the neonatal lamb in relation to disease susceptibility. The aim of this experiment was to determine which element(s) in the mineral supplement are having the greatest effect in reducing colostral IgG absorption and if the removal of this element(s) from the formulation would result in a return to what might be considered as normal immunoglobulin absorption values.
A detailed survey was undertaken to assess the rate of production and current management practices on Irish sheep farms and quantify their associations with flock size and ewe breed type. A total of 39 questions relating to the farm production system and farm management practices were devised, including: producer age, location, farm size, livestock numbers and type, in addition to flock management data such as flock breeding policy, lamb finishing strategy, flock health, lambing date, winter housing and feeding practices. A total of 717 sheep producers were surveyed across 45 different discussion groups. The surveyed respondents were sub-divided into four groups depending on flock size (very small, small, medium and large) and into three groups depending on ewe breed type (maternal, terminal and hill). The average survey respondent was 48 years old, with a flock size of 150 breeding ewes on a farm size of 58 ha. The average stocking rates were 6·55 and 3·14 ewes/ha and weaning rates were 1·44 and 1·02 lambs per ewe joined to the ram for the lowland and hill flocks, respectively. Relative to very small flocks (<62 ewes), larger flocks (>190 ewes) had higher stocking rates (6·98 v. 5·66 ewes/ha) and ewe to ram ratios (40 v. 30), and tended to lamb later in the year. The rate of technology adoption such as faecal egg sampling and pregnancy scanning was greater on larger flocks compared with smaller flocks. Flocks with maternal ewe breeds had higher scanning and weaning rates, and drafted a greater proportion of lambs off grass compared with flocks with terminal and hill ewe breeds. Flocks with maternal and terminal ewe breed types were more likely to winter house ewes, lamb indoors, test silage quality and have a handling unit compared with flocks with hill-type ewe breeds. Results from the present study provide a bank of knowledge on current Irish sheep industry performance and show that flock size and ewe breed type have a significant impact on key flock performance variables.
An experiment was conducted to determine: (1) the effect of excess maternal I supplementation on the thyroid hormone status of the ewe and her progeny; (2) potential mechanisms underpinning the failure of passive transfer associated with excess I and (3) the growing lambs’ response to natural gastrointestinal infection. Twin-bearing ewes received one of two treatments (n 32/treatment group): basal diet (C) or C plus 26·6 mg of iodine/ewe per d (I), supplied as calcium iodate. Ewes were individually fed from day 119 of gestation to parturition. Progeny of I ewes had lower (P<0·01) serum IgG concentrations from 24 h to 28 d postpartum but higher serum IgG concentrations at day 70 postpartum (P<0·05). I supplementation increased the relative expression of Fc receptor, IgA, IgM high affinity and polymeric Ig receptor in the ileum of the lamb at 24 h postpartum; however, thyroid hormone receptor-β (THRB) and β-2-microglobulin (B2M) expression declined (P<0·05). Progeny of I ewes had higher growth rates to weaning (P<0·05) and lower faecal egg count (FEC) for Nematodirus battus (P<0·05) between weeks 6 and 10 postpartum. In conclusion, excess maternal I supplementation negatively affected the thyroid hormone status, serum IgG concentration, ileal morphology and the gene expression of THRB and B2M in the ileum and ras-related protein (RAB) RAB25 and the mucin gene (MUC) MUC1 in the duodenum of the lamb postpartum. These effects were followed by an enhancement of average daily gain and lower N. battus FEC in the pre-weaning period of I-supplemented lambs.
The objective of this experiment was to compare the effects of two concentrate feeding strategies offered with a grass silage and maize silage diet on the dry matter (DM) intake, milk production (MP) and estimated energy balance of autumn calved dairy cows. Over a 2-year period, 180 autumn calving Holstein Friesian cows were examined. Within year, cows were blocked into three MP sub-groups (n=9) (high (HMP), medium (MMP) and low (LMP)) based on the average MP data from weeks 3 and 4 of lactation. Within a block cows were randomly assigned to one of two treatments (n=54), flat rate (FR) concentrate feeding or feed to yield (FY) based on MP sub-group. Cows on the FR treatment were offered a fixed rate of concentrate (5.5 kg DM/cow per day) irrespective of MP sub-group. In the FY treatment HMP, MMP and LMP cows were allocated 7.3, 5.5 and 3.7 kg DM of concentrate, respectively. The mean concentrate offered to the FR and FY treatments was the same. On the FR treatment there was no significant difference in total dry matter intake (TDMI, 17.3 kg) between MP sub-groups. In the FY treatment, however, the TDMI of HMP-FY was 2.2 kg greater than MMP-FY, and 4.5 kg greater than LMP-FY (15.2 kg DM). The milk yield of LMP-FR was 3.5 kg less than the mean of the HMP-FR and MMP-FR treatments (24.5 kg). The milk yield of the HMP-FY treatment was 3.6 and 7.9 kg greater than the MMP-FY and LMP-FY treatments, respectively. The difference in MP between the HMP sub-groups was 2.6 kg, which translates to a response of 1.4 kg of milk per additional 1 kg of concentrate offered. There was no significant difference in MP between the two LMP sub-groups; however, MP increased 0.8 kg per additional 1 kg of concentrate offered between cows on the LMP-FR and LMP-FY treatments. The estimated energy balance was positive for cows on the LMP-FR treatment, but negative for cows on the other treatments. The experiment highlights the variation within a herd in MP response to concentrate, as cows with a lower MP potential are less responsive to additional energy input than cows with a greater MP potential. Cows with a greater MP capacity did not substitute additional concentrate for the basal forage, which indicates an additional demand for energy based on ability of individual cows to produce milk.
Excess iodine intake by the pregnant dam reduces lamb serum antibody concentration, specifically immunoglobulin G (IgG). An experiment was conducted to investigate the mechanisms under pinning the reduced serum IgG concentration at 24 h postpartum in the progeny of iodine supplemented dams. Forty-five mature twin bearing ewes (n=15/treatment) were allocated to one of three dietary treatments as follows: basal diet (Control); basal diet plus 26.6 mg of iodine per ewe per day as calcium iodate (CaIO3); or potassium iodide (KI). Ewes were individually housed and fed from d 119 of gestation until parturition. All lambs received colostrum at 1, 10 and 18 h postpartum via stomach tube. At 1 h postpartum lambs from the control and an iodine supplemented treatment (n=10 per treatment from control and CaIO3) were euthanised before colostrum consumption and ileal segments isolated to determine the gene expression profile of a panel of genes identified as having a role in antibody transfer. Preceding euthanasia, lambs were blood sampled for determination of serum IgG, total thyroxine and free tri-iodothyronine concentrations. Progeny of CaIO3 supplemented dams had lower tri-iodothyronine concentrations (P<0.01) at 1 h postpartum and lower serum IgG concentrations (P<0.001) at 24 h postpartum when compared with the progeny of control dams. Iodine (CaIO3) supplementation of the dam increased the relative expression (P<0.05) of the B2M, PIGR and MYC genes in the ileum of the lamb, before colostrum consumption; while the expression of THRB declined when compared with the progeny of C dams (P<0.01). In conclusion, the results of this study show that it is the actual inclusion of excess iodine in the diet of the ewe, regardless of the carrier element, that negatively affects passive transfer in the newborn lamb. This study presents novel data describing the relationship between maternal iodine nutrition and its effect on the thyroid hormone status and subsequent gene expression in the newborn lamb; which results in a failure of passive transfer and a decline in serum IgG concentration.
The echelle diffraction grating can be used to provide high spectral resolution in compact instrumentation which is very suitable for space astronomy applications. Spectrographs in which the high dispersion of the echelle is crossed with that of a concave grating have been flown in ‘Skylark’ sounding rockets to record the solar spectrum in the wavelength range 1200 Å–2200 Å, and further instrumentation is in preparation for observation of stellar spectra. Efficiency measurements have been made on some echelle replicas used in the instruments, and are correlated with surface conditions on the reflecting facets of the rulings. Results are also presented to demonstrate a spectral resolving power of λ/Δλ ≈ 105 over the wavelength range.
The objective of this study was to investigate the immediate and carryover effects of imposing two post-grazing sward heights (PGSH) for varying duration during early lactation on sward characteristics and dairy cow production. The experiment was a randomised block design with a 2×2 factorial arrangement of treatments. A total of 80 spring-calving (mean calving date – 6 February) dairy cows were randomly assigned, pre-calving, to one of the two (n=40) PGSH treatments – S (2.7 cm) and M (3.5 cm) – from 13 February to 18 March, 2012 (P1). For the subsequent 5-week period (P2: 19 March to 22 April, 2012), half the animals from each P1 treatment remained on their treatment, whereas the other half of the animals switched to the opposing treatment. Following P2, all cows were managed similarly for the remainder of the lactation (P3: 23 April to 4 November, 2012) to measure the carryover effect. Milk production, BW and body condition score were measured weekly, and grass dry matter intake (GDMI) was measured on four occasions – approximately weeks 5, 10, 15 and 20 of lactation. Sward utilisation (above 2.7 cm; P1 and P2) was significantly improved by reducing the PGSH from 3.5 (0.83) to 2.7 cm (0.96). There was no effect of PGSH on cumulative annual grass dry matter (DM) production (15.3 t DM/ha). Grazing to 2.7 cm reduced GDMI by 1.7 and 0.8 kg DM/cow in P1 and P2, respectively, when compared with 3.5 cm (13.3 and 14.0 kg/cow per day, respectively). Cows grazing to 2.7 cm for both P1 and P2 (SS) tended to have reduced cumulative 10-week milk yield (−105 kg) and milk solids yield (−9 kg) when compared with cows grazing to 3.5 cm for both periods (MM; 1608 and 128 kg/cow, respectively). Treatments that alternated PGSH at the end of P1, SM and MS had intermediate results. There was no interaction between P1 and P2 treatments. There was also no carryover effect of early lactation grazing regime on milk and milk solids production in P3, given the reduction in early lactation milk yield. The results indicate that the diet of dairy cows should not be restricted by imposing a severe PGSH for all of the first 10 weeks of lactation, cows should graze to 3.5 cm for at least 5 of these weeks.
The frequency of full syndromal and subsyndromal delirium is understudied.
We conducted a point prevalence study in a general hospital.
Possible delirium identified by testing for inattention was evaluated regarding delirium status (full/subsyndromal delirium) using categorical (Confusion Assessment Method (CAM), DSM-IV) and dimensional (Delirium Rating Scale-Revised-98 (DRS-R98) scores) methods.
In total 162 of 311 patients (52%) screened positive for inattention. Delirium was diagnosed in 55 patients (17.7%) using DSM-IV, 52 (16.7%) using CAM and 58 (18.6%) using DRS-R98⩾12 with concordance for 38 (12.2%) individuals. Subsyndromal delirium was identified in 24 patients (7.7%) using a DRS-R98 score of 7–11 and 41 (13.2%) using 2/4 CAM criteria. Subsyndromal delirium with inattention (v. without) had greater disturbance of multiple delirium symptoms.
The point prevalence of delirium and subsyndromal delirium was 25%. There was modest concordance between DRS-R98, DSM-IV and CAM delirium diagnoses. Inattention should be central to subsyndromal delirium definitions.
The prediction of grass dry matter intake (GDMI) and milk yield (MY) are important to aid sward and grazing management decision making. Previous evaluations of the GrazeIn model identified weaknesses in the prediction of GDMI and MY for grazing dairy cows. To increase the accuracy of GDMI and MY prediction, GrazeIn was adapted, and then re-evaluated, using a data set of 3960 individual cow measurements. The adaptation process was completed in four additive steps with different components of the model reparameterised or altered. These components were: (1) intake capacity (IC) that was increased by 5% to reduce a general GDMI underprediction. This resulted in a correction of the GDMI mean and a lower relative prediction error (RPE) for the total data set, and at all stages of lactation, compared with the original model; (2) body fat reserve (BFR) deposition from 84 days in milk to next calving that was included in the model. This partitioned some energy to BFR deposition after body condition score nadir had been reached. This reduced total energy available for milk production, reducing the overprediction of MY and reducing RPE for MY in mid and late lactation, compared with the previous step. There was no effect on predicted GDMI; (3) The potential milk curve was reparameterised by optimising the rate of decrease in the theoretical hormone related to secretory cell differentiation and the basal rate of secretory cell death to achieve the lowest possible mean prediction error (MPE) for MY. This resulted in a reduction in the RPE for MY and an increase in the RPE for GDMI in all stages of lactation compared with the previous step; and (4) finally, IC was optimised, for GDMI, to achieve the lowest possible MPE. This resulted in an IC correction coefficient of 1.11. This increased the RPE for MY but decreased the RPE for GDMI compared with the previous step. Compared with the original model, modifying this combination of four model components improved the prediction accuracy of MY, particularly in late lactation with a decrease in RPE from 27.8% in the original model to 22.1% in the adapted model. However, testing of the adapted model using an independent data set would be beneficial and necessary to make definitive conclusions on improved predictions.