Agriculture and Food Systems - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Filling the out of season gaps for lamb and hogget production: Diet and genetic influence on carcass yield, carcass composition and retail value of meat
    Ponnampalam, EN ; Kerr, MG ; Butler, KL ; Cottrell, JJ ; Dunshea, FR ; Jacobs, JL (Elsevier, 2019-02-01)
    This study investigated the use of camelina forage and meal supplementation to a finishing diet on carcass traits, composition and retail value of lamb and hoggets. The metabolisable energy and crude protein concentrations of all 3 diets were 10–11 MJ/kg DM and 14–15% CP. Thirty maternal Composite wether lambs (28–38 kg) and 30 Merino wether hoggets (37–43 kg) were used in a 3 × 2 factorial experiment. Animals were slaughtered after 10 weeks of feeding with carcasses classified as ‘Heavy lamb’ or ‘Heavy hogget’ (>22 kg carcass weight). Carcass traits, composition, meat mineral concentrations and retail colour were measured. Camelina diets increased liveweight (P < 0.02) and carcass weight (P < 0.002) for both sheep types. Carcass weight (P < 0.005) and dressing % (P < 0.01) were lower for Merino hoggets than Composite lambs. Mineral concentration and retail colour stability of fresh meat were unaffected by diet, with 72 h retail colour considered acceptable for consumers.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    A comparison of the anatomical and gastrointestinal functional development between gilt and sow progeny around birth and weaning
    Craig, JR ; Dunshea, FR ; Cottrell, JJ ; Furness, JB ; Wijesiriwardana, UA ; Pluske, J (American Society of Animal Science, 2019-09-01)
    Gilt progeny (GP) often have restricted growth performance and health status in comparison to sow progeny (SP) from birth, with the underlying mechanisms responsible for this yet to be fully understood. The present study aimed to compare differences in growth and development between GP and SP in the first 24 h after birth and in the periweaning period. Two cohorts of pigs including 36 GP and 37 SP were euthanized at 1 of 4 time points: a birth cohort (at birth before suckling, 0 h; and 24 h after birth, 24 h; n = 33) and a weaning cohort (at approximately 29 d of age; “pre-weaning,” PrW; and 24 h after weaning; “post-weaning,” PoW; n = 40). Pigs were individually weighed at 0 h, 24 h, PrW, and PoW up until the point of euthanasia, at which time the weights of selected tissues and organs were recorded and analyzed relative to BW. The length of the small intestine (SI), femur, and body were also measured, and a serum sample was collected and analyzed for IgG concentration. Samples of jejunal and ileal mucosa were collected and analyzed for total protein and specific activity of lactase. Euthanized GP were lighter (P < 0.01) than SP at all time points. At all time points, the ratios of quadriceps weight to femur length, BW to body length, spleen to BW (all P < 0.05), and SI weight to length (P < 0.10) were lower in GP than in SP. There was no difference (P ≥ 0.05) in stomach or heart to BW ratios between GP and SP in either cohort. The brain to liver weight ratio was greater (P = 0.044) in GP than in SP in the birth cohort, and the brain to BW ratio was greater (P < 0.01) in GP in both the birth and weaning cohorts. The liver to BW ratio was similar (P = 0.35) at birth but greater (P = 0.014) in GP around weaning. Total mucosal protein content in the jejunum and ileum was lower (P = 0.007) in GP at 24 h compared with SP, and specific activity of lactase was greater (P = 0.022) in GP in the birth cohort, whereas there were no differences in the weaning cohort (P ≥ 0.10). Gilt progeny had lower (P < 0.001) serum IgG concentration compared with SP at 24 h, but there was no difference (P ≥ 0.10) in the weaning cohort. Collectively, these findings suggest that the early development of GP may be delayed compared with SP and that a number of the anatomical differences between GP and SP that exist after birth are also present at weaning.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Effects of L-citrulline supplementation on heat stress physiology, lactation performance and subsequent reproductive performance of sows in summer
    Liu, F ; de Ruyter, EM ; Athorn, RZ ; Brewster, CJ ; Henman, DJ ; Morrison, RS ; Smits, RJ ; Cottrell, JJ ; Dunshea, FR (WILEY, 2019-01-01)
    Lactating sows are susceptible to heat stress (HS). Part of the thermoregulatory response to HS is to increase peripheral blood flow, which is mediated in part by the vasodilator, nitric oxide (NO). Therefore, the aim of this experiment was to determine the effect of supplementation of L-citrulline, a NO precursor, on symptoms of HS, lactation performance and subsequent reproductive performance of sows in summer. A total of 221 summer farrowing mixed parity sows were fed either a control diet or supplemented with 1% L-citrulline upon entry to the farrowing house (6 ± 1.8 days for mean ± standard deviation [SD] before farrowing) until weaning (26 ± 1.5 days). The average daily minimum and maximum temperature in the farrowing house was 21.0 ± 1.88 and 29.2 ± 3.82°C (mean ± SD). Rectal temperature, respiration rate, and plasma and urinary nitrite and nitrate (NOx) of sows were measured on the 19th day post-farrowing. Supplemental L-citrulline in the diet did not affect the number of piglets born alive, feed intake of sows, body weight or backfat thickness of sows at weaning, or litter weight gain. L-citrulline tended to reduce piglet pre-weaning mortality rate from 18.6% to 15.6% (p = 0.058). L-citrulline reduced the respiration rate of sows compared to the control diet at 17:00 hr (Time × Diet, p < 0.001); however, rectal temperature was not affected. L-citrulline tended to increase urinary NOx concentrations (127 vs. 224 µM, p = 0.057) but not plasma NOx concentrations. L-citrulline did not affect farrowing rate or number of piglets born alive in the subsequent parity. In conclusion, L-citrulline supplementation reduced respiration rate of lactating sows and reduced piglet pre-weaning mortality rate in summer. Whether the effects were due to a NO-dependent mechanism requires further validation.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Betaine improves milk yield in grazing dairy cows supplemented with concentrates in summer
    Dunshea, FR ; Oluboyede, K ; DIGIACOMO, K ; Leury, BJ ; Cottrell, JJ (MDPI AG, 2019-02-13)
    Betaine is an organic osmolyte sourced from sugar beet that accumulates in plant cells undergoing osmotic stress. Since the accumulation of betaine lowers the energy requirements of animals and, therefore, metabolic heat production, the aim of this experiment was to investigate if betaine supplementation improved milk yield in grazing dairy cows in summer. One hundred and eighteen Friesian X Holstein cows were paired on days in milk and, within each pair, randomly allocated to a containing treatment of either 0 or 2 g/kg natural betaine in their concentrate ration for approximately 3 weeks during February/March 2015 (summer in Australia). The mean maximum February temperature was 30 °C. Cows were allocated approximately 14 kg dry matter pasture and 7.5 kg of concentrate pellets (fed in the milking shed) per cow per day and were milked through an automatic milking system three times per day. Betaine supplementation increased average daily milk yield by over 6% (22.0 vs. 23.4 kg/day, p < 0.001) with the response increasing as the study progressed as indicated by the interaction (p < 0.001) between betaine and day. Milk fat % (p = 0.87), milk protein % (p = 0.90), and milk somatic cell count (p = 0.81) were unchanged by dietary betaine. However, betaine supplementation increased milk protein yield (677 vs. 719 g/day, p < 0.001) and fat yield (874 vs. 922 g/day, p < 0.001) with responses again being more pronounced as the study progressed. In conclusion, dietary betaine supplementation increased milk and component yield during summer in grazing dairy cows.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Feeding Conjugated Linoleic Acid without a Combination of Medium-Chain Fatty Acids during Late Gestation and Lactation Improves Pre-Weaning Survival Rates of Gilt and Sow Progeny
    Craig, JR ; Dunshea, FR ; Cottrell, JJ ; Ford, EM ; Wijesiriwardana, UA ; Pluske, JR (MDPI AG, 2019-02-01)
    Feeding conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) or medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) to dams has been shown to improve progeny growth and survival, and hence may be particularly advantageous to gilt progeny. Primiparous (n = 129) and multiparous sows (n = 123; parities 3 and 4) were fed one of four diets from day 107 of gestation (107.3 ± 0.1 days) until weaning (day 27.2 ± 0.1 of lactation): (i) control diet; (ii) 0.5% CLA diet; (iii) 0.1% MCFA diet; and (iv) equal parts of (ii) and (iii). Progeny performance data were collected and, from a subset of sows (n = 78) and their piglets (n = 144), a colostrum (day 0), milk (day 21), and piglet serum sample (day 3) were analyzed for immunoglobulin G and several selected metabolites. Liveborn pre-weaning mortality tended to be lowest (p = 0.051) in piglets from sows fed 0.5% CLA. However, sows fed the CLA diet had more (p = 0.005) stillbirths than those on the other diets. There were few effects of diet or the dam parity x diet interaction (p ≥ 0.05) on other parameters. Overall, feeding CLA or MCFA did not improve the performance of primiparous sows, multiparous sows, or their progeny.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Primiparous and Multiparous Sows Have Largely Similar Colostrum and Milk Composition Profiles Throughout Lactation
    Craig, JR ; Dunshea, FR ; Cottrell, JJ ; Wijesiriwardana, UA ; Pluske, JR (MDPI, 2019-02-01)
    It is important to understand the biological factors influencing the poorer lifetime performance of gilt progeny in comparison to sow progeny and determine whether this may be partially due to differences in lactation performance between primiparous and multiparous sows. It was hypothesized that primiparous sows would have lower levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) in colostrum and milk compared to multiparous sows, and lower levels of other energetic components. Differences in colostrum and milk composition between ten primiparous and ten multiparous sows (parities 3 and 4) from a commercial herd were examined throughout lactation (day 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, and 21). Overall, there were no (p ≥ 0.05) parity differences in total IgG, fat, protein, lactose, and net energy (NE) concentrations. Primiparous sows had higher lactose levels at day 2 (parity by timepoint interaction; p = 0.036) and lower NE at day 3 (p = 0.091), and multiparous sows had higher lactose levels at days 14 and 21. Results suggest that shortcomings of gilt progeny are unlikely due to insufficient nutrient levels in colostrum and milk, and more likely to reduced colostrum and milk intake and their capacity to digest and absorb each component.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Dietary Inclusion of 1,3-Butanediol Increases Dam Circulating Ketones and Increases Progeny Birth Weight
    Wijesiriwardana, U ; Pluske, JR ; Craig, JR ; Cottrell, J ; Dunshea, FR (MDPI AG, 2019-07-24)
    1,3-Butanediol (BD) is a ketogenic substance that can improve piglet growth and survival and potentially increase performance in gilt progeny when provided as a dietary supplement during late gestation. Gilts (n = 77; parity 1) and sows (n = 74; parities 2 and 3) were fed either a standard commercial gestation diet or a diet supplemented with 4% BD from day 90 of gestation until farrowing. Dams fed with diets supplemented with BD had higher plasma beta-hydroxybutyrate (p = 0.01) and lower non-esterified fatty acid concentrations (p < 0.001). The percentage of progeny that were light-for-age (<1.1 kg) at birth was decreased by BD (18.2 vs. 13.5%, p < 0.006), particularly in gilts (24.0 vs. 18.3%, p < 0.034). Individual birth weights and litter weights birth weights tended to be increased by the BD diet (p = 0.085 and 0.078; respectively) although these effects were not maintained to weaning. Pre-weaning mortality was greater in gilt than in sow progeny and was not altered by dietary BD. Feeding BD in late gestation can improve birth weight, but further work is needed to see if these effects are carried through subsequent stages of growth, particularly in gilt progeny.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Growth Performance and Characterization of Meat Quality of Broiler Chickens Supplemented with Betaine and Antioxidants under Cyclic Heat Stress
    Shakeri, M ; Cottrell, JJ ; Wilkinson, S ; Le, HH ; Suleria, HAR ; Warner, RD ; Dunshea, FR (MDPI, 2019-09-01)
    Heat stress (HS) causes oxidative stress, which compromises broiler performance and meat quality. The aim of this study was to determine whether dietary antioxidants could be used as an amelioration strategy. Seventy-two day-old-male Ross-308 chicks were exposed to either thermoneutral or cyclical heat stress conditions. Diets were either control commercial diet (CON), CON plus betaine (BET), or with a combination of betaine, selenized yeast, and vitamin E (BET + AOX). Heat stress increased the rectal temperature (p < 0.001), respiration rate (p < 0.001), decreased blood pCO2 (p = 0.002), and increased blood pH (p = 0.02), which indicated the HS broilers had respiratory alkalosis. Final body weight was decreased by HS (p < 0.001), whereas it was improved with BET (p = 0.05). Heat stress reduced cooking loss (p = 0.007) and no effect on drip loss, while BET decreased the drip loss (p = 0.01). Heat stress reduced the myofibril fragmentation index (p < 0.001) and increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (p < 0.001), while these were improved with the combination of BET + AOX (p = 0.003). In conclusion, BET overall improved growth rates and product quality in this small university study, whereas some additional benefits were provided by AOX on product quality in both TN and HS broilers.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Effect of a polyphenol-rich plant matrix on colonic digestion and plasma antioxidant capacity in a porcine model
    Gu, C ; Howell, K ; Padayachee, A ; Comino, T ; Chhan, R ; Zhang, P ; Ng, K ; Cottrell, JJ ; Dunshea, FR (Elsevier, 2019-06-01)
    Altering cellular structure by reducing the particle size and applying heat may enhance the release of polyphenols from the plant cell matrix. The released polyphenols could ameliorate the impacts of a high-fat diet. Using a pig model in a 2 × 2 cross-over trial, we tested the effects of processing on the bioaccessibility of polyphenols in the diet, using low- and high-fat diets supplemented with raw and diced or cooked and pureed black carrots. Raw diced black carrots resulted in higher average particle size in the digesta of all gastrointestinal compartments and higher total and major short chain fatty acids in the descending colon. Supplementing the diet with raw and diced carrots also increased the colonic bacterial counts but with limited effects on gut microbiome diversity. The presence of carrots did not mitigate the negative impacts of decreased plasma antioxidant capacity and high atherogenic index induced by a high-fat diet.