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Breeding leaner pigs during the last decades may have changed pig’s empty body (EB) composition, a key trait for elaborating feeding recommendations. This research aimed to provide new experimental data on changes in the chemical composition of the EB of pigs from 20 to 140 kg BW. In addition, the impact of a reduction in the dietary CP associated with lower lysine, methionine+cystine, threonine and tryptophan levels was determined. In total, 48 males, castrates and females weighing 20 kg BW were allocated either to a control grower–finisher diet formulated according to current Swiss feeding recommendations, or a low CP grower–finisher diet (80% of control). Feed intake was monitored and pigs were weighed weekly. The chemical composition of EB (blood, hairs and hoofs, offals, bile, carcass) was determined at 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 120 and 140 kg BW on four pigs per gender and diet (eight pigs per gender at 20 kg). The five fractions were weighed and samples were analysed for dry matter, protein, fat and energy. Nutrient deposition rates and N efficiency were calculated by using the 20 kg BW category as reference. Analysis revealed an accurate feed optimisation for the aforementioned essential amino acids (EAA), whereas digestible isoleucine content in the low CP diet was at 70% of the control diet. Despite similar feed intake, daily gain and feed efficiency were impaired (P<0.01) from 20 to 100 kg BW in the low CP compared with the control pigs. In the same growth period, castrates had the greatest feed intake but, together with females, displayed the lowest (P<0.01) feed efficiency. Protein deposition was reduced (P<0.01) by up to 31% with low CP diet and was lower (P<0.01) in castrates and females than males at 100 kg BW. The greatest fat deposition rates were found with low CP diet and castrates. N efficiency improved (P<0.05) by 10% with the low CP diet from 100 to 140 kg. The males displayed the greatest (P<0.05) N efficiency. These findings suggest that the CP content of finisher II diets could be reduced to 102, 102 and 104 g/kg for females, castrates and males, respectively, without a negative impact on protein deposition or growth. It remains unclear whether the negative effects found in the BW range from 20 to 100 kg on the EB deposition were due to the 20% reduction of the dietary CP and the five limiting EAA or to other EAA via an unbalanced EAA profile.
Mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS), as zootechnical feed ingredients, are widely used in animal nutrition. MOS has been commercially available since the launch of Bio-Mos® in the early 1990's and has a substantial body of scientific papers and practical examples of its efficacy. Since 1999, the use of MOS in animal feed has become more prominent, mainly due to the European ban on prophylactic antibiotic growth promoters in animal feed. MOS, with its ability to bind and limit the colonisation of gut pathogens, has proven to be an effective solution for antibiotic-free diets, as well as providing support for immunity and digestion. MOS has been shown to improve gastrointestinal health, thus improving wellbeing, energy levels and performance. Most MOS products, particularly those that have been scientifically developed, derive from the cell wall of the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In 2009, a mannose-rich fraction (MRF) product was commercially launched as a ‘second generation’ of these MOS-type products, with enhanced activities in immune modulation and intestinal health. The purpose of this paper is to review the existing data on the benefits of MOS for all species of animals, discuss its mechanisms of action in vivo and compare the benefits of using second generation MRF to original MOS.
Controlling potentially harmful and polluting emissions from farms is important in the developed world, where legislation exists in many countries limiting emissions such as ammonia and controlling how manure is disposed of from intensive farming operations. In Switzerland, there are legal agreements concerning controls of ammonia emissions, most especially from farms. Ammonia production from pig farms can be controlled by dietary intervention, such as reducing protein levels, which in turn reduces excretion, mainly via urine. The following paper surveys current practices for nitrogen use on Swiss pig farms, and how feeding strategies may assist in controlling ammonia production from pig production systems. The survey found that 70-75% of all feeds used for pigs of all categories were reduced in protein and nitrogen, with 90% being reduced in protein in high animal density areas. Regression analysis showed that CP levels explained up to 49% of the nitrogen efficiency, suggesting that other factors are important in pollution control. Although piglet diets are more tightly regulated in terms of controlling N input, excessive protein levels in so-called reduced protein diets for finisher pigs and dry sows are common in the market. Hence, there is considerable potential to reduce N-input and ammonia emissions from Swiss pig production, which could be implemented at no or minimal extra cost.
The trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of a by-product of solid state fermentation (Synergen™ (SGN), Alltech Inc, Nicholasville KY, USA) on broiler performance and health. One thousand two hundred and eighty male Ross 308 broilers were used in a 42 day pen trial. The trial was designed as a 2 × 2 factorial, with two diet specifications (standard and reformulated) plus or minus SGN (0 and 200 g/t, SGN replaced with commercial enzyme Ronozyme™ at 150 g/t) to give four dietary treatments in total in a corn-soy based diet formulated to commercial standards. Birds fed the reduced energy diets had significantly lower cumulative feed intakes at 42 d (P < 0.01) compared to those on the full specification standard diet. There were no significant differences in broiler body weight due to treatments at any age. Significant improvements (P < 0.05) in FCR, primarily due to SGN inclusion in the feed, were observed for all weekly reported data. There were no significant differences in either mortality or EPEF for any of the treatment diets. The present study indicates that SGN, a by-product of solid state fermentation (SSF) can improve feed conversion of broilers fed a corn-soy diet.
Genetically reducing boar taint using low-taint lines is considered the most sustainable and economic long-term alternative to surgical castration of male pigs. Owing to the high heritability of the main boar taint components (androstenone, skatole and indole), breeding is an excellent tool for reducing the number of tainted carcasses. To incorporate boar taint into breeding programmes, standardized performance testing is required. The objective of this study was to develop and formally present a performance test for the main boar taint compounds on live breeding candidates. First, a standardized performance test for boar taint was established. A biopsy device was developed to extract small tissue samples (200 to 300 mg) from breeding candidates. Quantification of boar taint components from these small samples using specialized chemical extraction methods proved accurate and repeatable (r = 0.938). Following establishment of the method, biopsy samples of 516 live boars (100 to 130 kg live weight) were collected in the second step. Various mixed linear models were tested for each boar taint compound; models were ranked in terms of their information content. Pedigree information of 2245 ancestors of biopsied animals was included, and genetic parameters were estimated using univariate and multivariate models. Androstenone (in μg/g liquid fat (LF): mean = 0.578, σ = 0.527), skatole (in μg/g LF: mean = 0.033, σ = 0.002) and indole (in μg/g LF: mean = 0.032, σ = 0.002) levels obtained by biopsy were plausible. Heritability estimates for androstenone calculated with univariate (0.453) and multivariate (0.452) analyses were comparable to those in the literature. Heritabilities for skatole (0.495) and indole (0.550) were higher than that for androstenone. Genetic and phenotypic correlations were similar to those published previously. Our results show that data on boar taint compounds from small adipose samples obtained by biopsy provide similar genetic parameters as that described in the literature for larger samples and are therefore a reliable performance test for boar taint in live breeding candidates.
A study was conducted to evaluate a natural carbohydrate fraction Actigen™ (NCF), derived from mannanoligosaccharide, in feed on growth performance, intestinal morphology and goblet cell number and area of male broilers'. Dietary treatments included: 1) control diet (antibiotic and NCF free), 2) NCF at 200 g/t, 3) NCF at 400 g/t, and 4) NCF 800 g/t. Two hundred and forty birds were placed into 12 replicate pens per treatment (5 birds/pen), sixty birds per treatment. Body weight and feed intake were recorded weekly up to day 42. At this time a 2.5cm section of jejunum and duodenum were excised post mortem for morphological analysis. Birds fed 200 g/t and 800 g/t NCF were significantly (P < 0.01) heavier from day 14 onwards than the control birds. Feed intake was significantly higher in birds fed 200 g/t NCF compared to those fed the control at 21 and 35 days (P < 0.05). Diets containing 200 g/t and 800 g/t of NCF significantly decreased broiler feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared to the control in the first phase (1–14 days) (P < 0.01) and levels of NCF decreased FCR (P < 0.05) in the second phase (15–28 days). NCF had no significant effect on villus height, villus width, crypt depth or villus to crypt ratio in either duodenum or jejunum. NCF did not significantly affect goblet cell area or goblet cell number in the duodenum, however, in the jejunum, 800 g/t NCF significantly (P < 0.05) increased goblet cell area over the control. In conclusion, NCF showed a positive effect on broiler performance in the starter and grower phases, and increased goblet cell area in the jejunum, suggesting higher levels of mucin production. This indicated that the performance benefit of NCF could be age-dependent, with younger birds responding more than the older ones. There were no additional benefits to performance when feeding NCF for a longer period (after 28 d of age), however it is postulated that birds fed NCF would have greater defence to pathogenic challenge through increased storage capacity of mucin.
A 2 × 2 factorial experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of cereal type (barley v. oat) and exogenous enzyme supplementation (with or without) on intestinal fermentation, and on indole and skatole levels in the intestinal content and the adipose tissue in finisher boars. The experimental treatments were as follows: (i) barley-based diet, (ii) barley-based diet with enzyme supplement, (iii) oat-based diet and (iv) oat-based diet with enzyme supplement. The enzyme supplement contained endo-1,3(4)-β-glucanase (EC 220.127.116.11) and endo-1,4-β-xylanase (EC 18.104.22.168). The animals were fed ad libitum for 45 days from 76.0 to 113.6 kg live weight. Feeding barley-based diets led to higher (P < 0.05) total volatile fatty acids concentrations in the large intestine. Proportions of propionic- and butyric-acids were higher and that of acetic acid lower in digesta from barley-based in comparison to oat-based diets (P < 0.001). Consequently, pH in the large intestine was higher after feeding oat-based in comparison to barley-based diets. Animals fed unsupplemented oat-based diet had higher (P < 0.01) indole concentrations in the digesta from the proximal colon than those fed barley-based diets. Feeding oat-based diets led to lower (P < 0.01) skatole and higher (P < 0.001) indole concentrations in the digesta from the terminal colon than barley-based diets. skatole concentrations in the adipose tissue did not differ (P > 0.05) between the experimental treatments. Pigs offered the barley-based diets had lower (P < 0.001) indole concentrations in the adipose tissue compared with those fed the oat-based diet. In conclusion, barley-based diets were more efficient than oat-based diets in limiting concentrations of indole in the adipose tissue.
Improving immune status in neonates is crucial to health and production. Gut active carbohydrates (GAC) have been associated with increasing immunoglobin levels and immonucompetence development in mammals. The objective of the following studies was to evaluate whether GAC (mannan-oligosaccharides) applied orally to progeny immediately following parturition, improved blood plasma immunoglobulin (Ig) type G concentrations in piglets and calves. Three trials were conducted comparing control groups with those receiving GAC orally. The first two trials used piglets that were monitored for blood IgG at 2 days of age and for changes in body weight (BW), and the third trial monitored calf IgG from birth to 21 days of age. Piglets in the experimental group received 0.75 g GAC in 10 ml saline at birth and 24 h of age. The calf trial compared the control group against calves that received 22.5 g GAC mixed into 4.5 l of colostrum (to give 5 g/l) in the first 24 h after parturition. Blood serum samples were taken at 2 days post partum in piglets, and at several time points from 6 h to 21 days of age in calves, and were analysed for IgG levels by radial immunodiffusion. In the first piglet trial, significantly higher levels (32%) of IgG were observed for piglets fed GAC (P < 0.001), and in the second, IgG concentration was elevated by 23% (P < 0.01) and BW increased by 9% (P = 0.023) with GAC supplementation. Significant improvements for calves were recorded at all time points in those fed GAC (P < 0.05), with an increase in serum IgG observed after the first day, which was maintained throughout the sampling period, resulting in a difference of 39% at the end of the trial (21 d). These findings form a basis for further studies, which are required to investigate possible modes of action involved in enhancing blood immunoglobulin concentrations in young animals, and the longer-term effects this may have on the development of the immune response.
The objective of the study was to compare growth performance, carcass characteristics, meat quality and fatty acid composition of the adipose tissue of group-penned barrows, immunocastrated boars and entire males. Furthermore, the effect of housing of entire males on the aforementioned parameters was evaluated. At 55.2 days of age, 52 Swiss Large White pigs were blocked by litter and assigned by BW to four experimental groups: barrows (C), immunocastrated boars (IC), entire males (EMG) reared in group pens and entire males (EMP) reared in individual pens. In experiment 1, the effects of the method of castration were investigated (experimental groups C, IC and EMG). In experiment 2, the effects of housing on entire male pigs were evaluated (experimental groups EMG and EMP). All pigs had ad libitum access to standard diets from weaning to 107 kg BW. The two vaccinations (Improvac®) were applied to the IC pigs at an average BW of 22.6 and 73.0 kg. In experiment 1, average daily gain (ADG) did not (P > 0.05) differ among the experimental groups. However, EMG consumed less feed and had a better feed-conversion ratio than C (P < 0.001 for each). For IC, intermediate values were observed, which differed (P < 0.001) from EMG and C. Lean meat percentage decreased (P < 0.05) from EMG to IC, and from IC to C. The androstenone and skatole levels were higher (P < 0.05) in the adipose tissue of EMG than IC and C. Shear force values were higher (P < 0.01) in the longissimus muscle of C and EMG, compared to IC. The concentration of saturated fatty acid in the adipose tissue increased (P < 0.001) from EMG to IC, and from IC to C pigs, and that of polyunsaturated fatty acid decreased (P < 0.001). In experiment 2, ADG did not (P > 0.05) differ between EMP and EMG. However, EMP pigs consumed more feed than EMG pigs and had a poorer feed efficiency (P < 0.01 for each). In conclusion, EMG pigs had a better feed efficiency than IC pigs and their carcasses were leaner, but the risk of boar tainted pork was elevated. Group-housing negatively affected average daily feed intake but not ADG of entire males. At the moment, immunocastration offers a good approach to avoid castration and minimize the risk of boar taint.
In Europe there is increasing concern about the common practice of surgical castration of piglets without anaesthesia. One possible alternative to completely avoid castration is entire male pig production. Thus, the objective of the study was to compare the growth performance, carcass characteristics, organ weights, meat quality traits, fat score and boar taint compounds in the adipose tissue of group-penned entire male pigs and castrates. Furthermore, the effect of raw potato starch (RPS) fed for 7 days prior to slaughter was determined. Pigs (n = 36) were blocked by BW into 12 blocks (3 littermates/block) and assigned to three experimental groups: surgical castrates (C); entire males (EM); and entire males offered RPS (30 g RPS/100 g diet) for 7 days prior to slaughter (EM+). Pigs had ad libitum access to the feed from 22 to 107 kg, individual feed intake was recorded daily and BW once a week. Entire males grew slower (EM: 771, EM+: 776 v. C: 830 g/day; P < 0.01), consumed less feed (EM: 1.87, EM+: 1.89 v. C: 2.23 kg/day; P < 0.01) and were more efficient (feed conversion ratio: EM: 2.42, EM+: 2.44 v. C: 2.69 kg/kg; P < 0.01) than C. Compared to C, carcass dressing percentage was lower (EM: 79.4, EM+: 79.4 v. C: 81.6%; P < 0.01) and percentage of valuable cuts was higher (EM: 57.3, EM+: 56.5 v. 52.6%; P < 0.01) in entire males. The hearts (EM: 426, EM+: 425 v. C: 378 g), kidneys (EM: 387, EM+: 378 v. C: 311 g), bulbourethral (EM: 200, EM+: 195 v. C: 7 g) and salivary glands (EM: 99, EM+: 94 v. C: 42 g) were heavier (P < 0.001) in entire males than in C. Meat quality traits did not (P > 0.05) differ among experimental groups but the adipose tissue was more unsaturated in entire males than in C as indicated by the higher fat scores (EM: 69.1, EM+: 67.2 v. C: 63.6; P < 0.01). Feeding RPS reduced (P = 0.04) the skatole tissue concentrations (expressed in μg/g lipid) in EM+ (0.22) compared to EM (0.85), whereas androstenone and indole levels were not (P ⩾ 0.60) affected (EM: 1.7 and 0.10, EM+: 2.0 and 0.09, respectively). Although the current results confirmed the high efficiency of entire males compared to castrates, the observed high androstenone levels represent a major challenge to implement entire males production.
The induction of general anaesthesia is associated with the greatest cardiovascular changes in elderly patients. Induction can be performed either intravenously or with gaseous induction. Sevoflurane has advantages over propofol for induction of anaesthesia in the elderly, since the lower reduction in mean arterial pressure with sevoflurane is both statistically and clinically significant. This prospective randomized controlled trial investigated the cardiovascular benefits of co-induction of anaesthesia with 0.75 mg kg−1 propofol and 8% sevoflurane, when compared with 8% sevoflurane alone in patients requiring surgery for fractured neck of femur.
In total, 38 patients aged 75 or over were allocated into the two groups, receiving either 0.75 mg kg−1 of propofol followed by 8% sevoflurane or 8% sevoflurane alone. Vital signs were recorded until successful insertion of a laryngeal mask. Induction times, induction events and patient satisfaction scores were also recorded.
Results showed that there were no differences in the cardiovascular parameters between the two groups. Induction times were faster in the propofol and sevoflurane group (62 vs. 81 s; P = 0.028). The postoperative questionnaire showed that the majority of patients in both groups were satisfied with the induction process.
We concluded that 0.75 mg kg−1 of propofol followed by sevoflurane induction is an acceptable alternative to sevoflurane induction. It is associated with similar haemodynamic variables, faster induction times and is very well tolerated.
Feed grains available in Britain contain low concentrations of natural selenium. As the grains in most cases do not cover the requirements of the animals, selenium supplementation of diets is a standard practice in feed manufacturing. Selenium supply to the breeder hens impacts the selenium content of the egg, the developing embryo and therefore the antioxidant status of the chick at hatch (Surai, 2000). The aim of this study was to determine the effect of selenium from Sel-Plex® (Alltech Inc.) on the transfer of selenium into the egg of broiler breeder hens under commercial conditions.
Waveguide prism-coupling methods were used to measure the ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices of AlxGa1-xN films grown on sapphire substrates by HVPE and MOCVD. Several discrete wavelengths ranging from 442 nm to 1064 nm were used and the results were fit to one-term Sellmeier equations. The maximum standard uncertainty in the refractive index measurements was ± 0.005 and the maximum standard uncertainty in the self-consistent calculation for film thickness was ± 15 nm. Analysis of normal-incidence spectroscopic transmittance and reflectance measurements, correlated with the prism-coupling results, was used to determine the ordinary refractive index as a continuous function of wavelength from the band gap wavelength of each sample (between 252 nm and 364 nm) to 2500 nm. The Al compositions of the samples were determined using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis (EDS). HVPE grown samples had compositions x = 0.279, 0.363, 0.593, and 0.657. MOCVD samples had x = 0.00, 0.419, 0.507, 0.618, 0.660, and 0.666. The maximum standard uncertainty in the absolute EDS-determined value for x was ± 0.02.
The crystallography and electronic properties of the Ln2-xSr1+xMn2O7 manganese oxides adopting the n = 2 Ruddlesden-Popper (RP) structure are discussed, focusing on the structural phase diagrams and electronic properties in the vicinity of the Mn +3.5 oxidation state and in particular the ease of synthesis of single phases of these materials.
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