Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Animals, Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2012), Pages 108-315

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-12
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Carbon Footprints for Food of Animal Origin: What are the Most Preferable Criteria to Measure Animal Yields?
Animals 2012, 2(2), 108-126; doi:10.3390/ani2020108
Received: 21 January 2012 / Revised: 5 March 2012 / Accepted: 13 March 2012 / Published: 27 March 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (123 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are increasing efforts to determine the origin of greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities (including food consumption) and to identify, apply and exploit reduction potentials. Low emissions are generally the result of increased efficiency in resource utilization. Considering climate related [...] Read more.
There are increasing efforts to determine the origin of greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities (including food consumption) and to identify, apply and exploit reduction potentials. Low emissions are generally the result of increased efficiency in resource utilization. Considering climate related factors, the emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and laughing gas are summarized to so-called carbon footprints (CF). The CF for food of animal origin such as milk, eggs, meat and fish depend on a number of influencing factors such as animal species, type of production, feeding of animals, animal performance, system boundaries and outputs of production. Milk and egg yields are more clearly defined animal yields or outcomes of production than food from the carcasses of animals. Possible endpoints of growing/slaughter animals are body weight gain, carcass weight gain (warm or cold), meat, edible fractions or edible protein. The production of edible protein of animal origin may be considered as one of the main objectives of animal husbandry in many countries. On the other hand, the efficiency of various lines of production and the CF per product can also be easily compared on the basis of edible protein. The pros and contras of various outputs of animal production under special consideration of edible protein are discussed in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Livestock Management)
Open AccessArticle Is the Grass Always Greener? Comparing the Environmental Impact of Conventional, Natural and Grass-Fed Beef Production Systems
Animals 2012, 2(2), 127-143; doi:10.3390/ani2020127
Received: 22 January 2012 / Revised: 27 March 2012 / Accepted: 31 March 2012 / Published: 10 April 2012
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (303 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study compared the environmental impact of conventional, natural and grass-fed beef production systems. A deterministic model based on the metabolism and nutrient requirements of the beef population was used to quantify resource inputs and waste outputs per 1.0 × 109 [...] Read more.
This study compared the environmental impact of conventional, natural and grass-fed beef production systems. A deterministic model based on the metabolism and nutrient requirements of the beef population was used to quantify resource inputs and waste outputs per 1.0 × 109 kg of hot carcass weight beef in conventional (CON), natural (NAT) and grass-fed (GFD) production systems. Production systems were modeled using characteristic management practices, population dynamics and production data from U.S. beef production systems. Increased productivity (slaughter weight and growth rate) in the CON system reduced the cattle population size required to produce 1.0 × 109 kg of beef compared to the NAT or GFD system. The CON system required 56.3% of the animals, 24.8% of the water, 55.3% of the land and 71.4% of the fossil fuel energy required to produce 1.0 × 109 kg of beef compared to the GFD system. The carbon footprint per 1.0 × 109 kg of beef was lowest in the CON system (15,989 × 103 t), intermediate in the NAT system (18,772 × 103 t) and highest in the GFD system (26,785 × 103 t). The challenge to the U.S beef industry is to communicate differences in system environmental impacts to facilitate informed dietary choice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Livestock Management)
Open AccessArticle Why Did You Choose This Pet?: Adopters and Pet Selection Preferences in Five Animal Shelters in the United States
Animals 2012, 2(2), 144-159; doi:10.3390/ani2020144
Received: 24 February 2012 / Revised: 26 March 2012 / Accepted: 31 March 2012 / Published: 10 April 2012
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (156 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Responses from an adopter survey (n = 1,491) determined reasons for pet selection, type of information received by the adopter, and the context in which the animal’s behavior was observed. Appearance of the animal, social behavior with adopter, and personality were the [...] Read more.
Responses from an adopter survey (n = 1,491) determined reasons for pet selection, type of information received by the adopter, and the context in which the animal’s behavior was observed. Appearance of the animal, social behavior with adopter, and personality were the top reasons for adoption across species and age groups. Most adopters stated that information about the animal from a staff member or volunteer was more important than information on cage cards, and health and behavior information was particularly important. Adopters found greater importance in interacting with the animal rather than viewing it in its kennel. The results of this study can be used by shelters to create better adoption matches, prioritize shelter resources and staff training, and potentially increase adoptions. Additionally, some simple training techniques are suggested to facilitate adopter-friendly behaviors from sheltered dogs and cats. Full article
Open AccessArticle Supplementation of Ascorbic Acid in Weanling Horses Following Prolonged Transportation
Animals 2012, 2(2), 184-194; doi:10.3390/ani2020184
Received: 6 March 2012 / Revised: 2 April 2012 / Accepted: 6 April 2012 / Published: 16 April 2012
PDF Full-text (84 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Though horses synthesize ascorbic acid in their liver in amounts that meet their needs under normal circumstances, prolonged stress results in low plasma concentrations due to enhanced utilization and renal excretion and can reduce immune function. It was hypothesized that plasma ascorbic acid could be maintained in weanling horses by oral supplementation following prolonged transportation. Weanlings were supplemented with no ascorbic acid (Tx 0: n = 4), 5 grams ascorbic acid twice daily for 5 days (Tx 1: n = 4) or for 10 days (Tx 2: n = 4) following >50 hours of transportation. Supplementation caused slight (P < 0.2) increases in plasma ascorbic acid concentrations. Both supplemented groups had decreased (P < 0.05) plasma concentrations for 1 to 3 weeks following cessation of supplementation, possibly due to increased renal excretion or suppressed hepatic synthesis. Supplementation of ascorbic acid following prolonged stress will increase plasma concentrations, but prolonged supplementation should be avoided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monogastric Animal Nutrition and Metabolism)
Open AccessArticle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Calf- and Yearling-Fed Beef Production Systems, With and Without the Use of Growth Promotants
Animals 2012, 2(2), 195-220; doi:10.3390/ani2020195
Received: 1 February 2012 / Revised: 22 March 2012 / Accepted: 31 March 2012 / Published: 16 April 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A spring calving herd consisting of about 350 beef cows, 14–16 breeding bulls, 60 replacement heifers and 112 steers were used to compare the whole-farm GHG emissions among calf-fed vs. yearling-fed production systems with and without growth implants. Carbon footprint ranged from [...] Read more.
A spring calving herd consisting of about 350 beef cows, 14–16 breeding bulls, 60 replacement heifers and 112 steers were used to compare the whole-farm GHG emissions among calf-fed vs. yearling-fed production systems with and without growth implants. Carbon footprint ranged from 11.63 to 13.22 kg CO2e per kg live weight (19.87–22.52 kg CO2e per kg carcass weight). Enteric CH4 was the largest source of GHG emissions (53–54%), followed by manure N2O (20–22%), cropping N2O (11%), energy use CO2 (9–9.5%), and manure CH4 (4–6%). Beef cow accounted for 77% and 58% of the GHG emissions in the calf-fed and yearling-fed. Feeders accounted for the second highest GHG emissions (15% calf-fed; 35–36% yearling-fed). Implants reduced the carbon footprint by 4.9–5.1% compared with hormone-free. Calf-fed reduced the carbon footprint by 6.3–7.5% compared with yearling-fed. When expressed as kg CO2e per kg carcass weight per year the carbon footprint of calf-fed production was 73.9–76.1% lower than yearling-fed production, and calf-fed implanted was 85% lower than hormone-free yearling-fed. Reducing GHG emissions from beef production may be accomplished by improving the feed efficiency of the cow herd, decreasing the days on low quality feeds, and reducing the age at harvest of youthful cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Livestock Management)
Open AccessArticle Extending the Collection Duration of Breath Samples for Enteric Methane Emission Estimation Using the SF6 Tracer Technique
Animals 2012, 2(2), 275-287; doi:10.3390/ani2020275
Received: 8 May 2012 / Revised: 31 May 2012 / Accepted: 6 June 2012 / Published: 8 June 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The daily sample collection protocol of the sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) tracer technique for the estimation of methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants may not be practical under extensive grazing systems. Here, under controlled conditions, we evaluated extended periods of [...] Read more.
The daily sample collection protocol of the sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) tracer technique for the estimation of methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants may not be practical under extensive grazing systems. Here, under controlled conditions, we evaluated extended periods of sampling as an alternative to daily sample collections. Eight rumen-fistulated cows were housed and fed lucerne silage to achieve common daily feed intakes of 6.4 kg dry matter per cow. Following SF6 permeation tube dosing, eight sampling lines were fitted to the breath collection harness, so that a common gas mix was available to each line. Half of the lines collected samples into PVC yokes using a modified capillary system as commonly used in New Zealand (NZL), and half collected samples into stainless steel cylinders using a ball-bearing flow restrictor as used in Argentina (ARG), all within a 10-day time frame, either daily, across two consecutive 5-day periods or across one 10-day period (in duplicate). The NZL system had greater sampling success (97.3 vs. 79.5%) and yielded more consistent CH4 emission estimates than the ARG system. Emission estimates from NZL daily, NZL 5-day and NZL 10-day samplings were 114, 110 and 111 g d−1, respectively. Extended sample collection protocol may be feasible, but definitive evaluation of this alternative as well as sample collection systems is required under grazing situations before a decision on recommendation can be made. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Livestock Management)
Open AccessArticle Methane Emission and Milk Production of Dairy Cows Grazing Pastures Rich in Legumes or Rich in Grasses in Uruguay
Animals 2012, 2(2), 288-300; doi:10.3390/ani2020288
Received: 9 May 2012 / Revised: 31 May 2012 / Accepted: 6 June 2012 / Published: 8 June 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (88 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding the impact of changing pasture composition on reducing emissions of GHGs in dairy grazing systems is an important issue to mitigate climate change. The aim of this study was to estimate daily CH4 emissions of dairy cows grazing two mixed [...] Read more.
Understanding the impact of changing pasture composition on reducing emissions of GHGs in dairy grazing systems is an important issue to mitigate climate change. The aim of this study was to estimate daily CH4 emissions of dairy cows grazing two mixed pastures with contrasting composition of grasses and legumes: L pasture with 60% legumes on Dry Matter (DM) basis and G pasture with 75% grasses on DM basis. Milk production and CH4 emissions were compared over two periods of two weeks during spring using eight lactating Holstein cows in a 2 × 2 Latin square design. Herbage organic matter intake (HOMI) was estimated by chromic oxide dilution and herbage organic matter digestibility (OMD) was estimated by faecal index. Methane emission was estimated by using the sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) tracer technique adapted to collect breath samples over 5-day periods. OMD (0.71) and HOMI (15.7 kg OM) were not affected by pasture composition. Milk production (20.3 kg/d), milk fat yield (742 g/d) and milk protein yield (667 g/d) were similar for both pastures. This may be explained by the high herbage allowance (30 kg DM above 5 cm/cow) which allowed the cows to graze selectively, in particular in grass sward. Similarly, methane emission expressed as absolute value (368 g/d or 516 L/d) or expressed as methane yield (6.6% of Gross Energy Intake (GEI)) was not affected by treatments. In conclusion, at high herbage allowance, the quality of the diet selected by grazing cows did not differ between pastures rich in legumes or rich in grasses, and therefore there was no effect on milk or methane production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Livestock Management)
Open AccessArticle Frequency of Lost Dogs and Cats in the United States and the Methods Used to Locate Them
Animals 2012, 2(2), 301-315; doi:10.3390/ani2020301
Received: 25 April 2012 / Revised: 8 June 2012 / Accepted: 11 June 2012 / Published: 13 June 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (111 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A cross-sectional national random digit dial telephone interview was conducted between September and November 2010. There were 1,015 households that had owned a dog or cat within the past five years. Of these 817 households owned dogs and 506 owned cats. Fourteen [...] Read more.
A cross-sectional national random digit dial telephone interview was conducted between September and November 2010. There were 1,015 households that had owned a dog or cat within the past five years. Of these 817 households owned dogs and 506 owned cats. Fourteen percent of dogs (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 11–16%) and 15% (95% CI: 12–18%) of cats were lost in the past five years. No owner demographic variables were associated with losing a pet. Ninety three percent (95% CI: 86–97%) of dogs and 75% (95% CI: 64–85%) of cats were recovered. For dogs, searching the neighborhood and returning on their own were the most common methods of finding the dog; 14% were found through an identification tag. For cats, returning on their own was most common. Dogs were more likely than cats to be lost more than once. Cats were less likely than dogs to have any type of identification. Knowledge of the successful methods of finding dogs and cats can provide invaluable help for owners of lost pets. Since 25% of lost cats were not found, other methods of reuniting cats and their owners are needed. Collars and ID tags or humane trapping could be valuable approaches. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Methods for Measuring and Estimating Methane Emission from Ruminants
Animals 2012, 2(2), 160-183; doi:10.3390/ani2020160
Received: 9 February 2012 / Revised: 8 March 2012 / Accepted: 2 April 2012 / Published: 13 April 2012
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (574 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper is a brief introduction to the different methods used to quantify the enteric methane emission from ruminants. A thorough knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of these methods is very important in order to plan experiments, understand and interpret experimental [...] Read more.
This paper is a brief introduction to the different methods used to quantify the enteric methane emission from ruminants. A thorough knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of these methods is very important in order to plan experiments, understand and interpret experimental results, and compare them with other studies. The aim of the paper is to describe the principles, advantages and disadvantages of different methods used to quantify the enteric methane emission from ruminants. The best-known methods: Chambers/respiration chambers, SF6 technique and in vitro gas production technique and the newer CO2 methods are described. Model estimations, which are used to calculate national budget and single cow enteric emission from intake and diet composition, are also discussed. Other methods under development such as the micrometeorological technique, combined feeder and CH4 analyzer and proxy methods are briefly mentioned. Methods of choice for estimating enteric methane emission depend on aim, equipment, knowledge, time and money available, but interpretation of results obtained with a given method can be improved if knowledge about the disadvantages and advantages are used in the planning of experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Livestock Management)
Open AccessReview Nutritional Influences on Skatole Formation and Skatole Metabolism in the Pig
Animals 2012, 2(2), 221-242; doi:10.3390/ani2020221
Received: 29 February 2012 / Revised: 16 April 2012 / Accepted: 26 April 2012 / Published: 2 May 2012
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (387 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Skatole is a tryptophan (TRP) metabolite with fecal odor. Together with the testicular steroid androstenone it is regarded as a main determinant of boar taint, even if elevated concentrations of skatole occur occasionally in gilts and barrows. Skatole concentrations in adipose tissue [...] Read more.
Skatole is a tryptophan (TRP) metabolite with fecal odor. Together with the testicular steroid androstenone it is regarded as a main determinant of boar taint, even if elevated concentrations of skatole occur occasionally in gilts and barrows. Skatole concentrations in adipose tissue result from a complex process, which includes the availability of TRP and the presence of specialized bacteria in the gut in need of TRP for energy production, as well as absorption, transport and accumulation of skatole in adipose tissue. Several steps of this process are influenced by diet and specific feed compounds. In the present paper the current knowledge about physiological mechanisms of skatole dynamics is summarized. Additionally mechanisms are discussed, by which effective feeding strategies and feed additives exert their influence in the prevention of high skatole concentrations in adipose pig tissue. It was concluded that the most effective measures are those which influence several steps of skatole formation. Despite the numerous studies carried out in the field of skatole physiology, interesting aspects still need clarification, such as the effect of adipose tissue turnover. Reliable control of skatole accretion in fat of boars is one of the main prerequisites for pork production with entire males. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monogastric Animal Nutrition and Metabolism)
Open AccessReview A Potential Role for Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines in the Development of Insulin Resistance in Horses
Animals 2012, 2(2), 243-260; doi:10.3390/ani2020243
Received: 1 March 2012 / Revised: 16 April 2012 / Accepted: 26 April 2012 / Published: 2 May 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding the mechanisms involved in the development of insulin resistance in horses should enable development of effective treatment and prevention strategies. Current knowledge of these mechanisms is based upon research in obese humans and rodents, in which there is evidence that the [...] Read more.
Understanding the mechanisms involved in the development of insulin resistance in horses should enable development of effective treatment and prevention strategies. Current knowledge of these mechanisms is based upon research in obese humans and rodents, in which there is evidence that the increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by adipose tissue negatively influences insulin signaling in insulin-responsive tissues. In horses, plasma concentrations of the cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-α, have been positively correlated with body fatness and insulin resistance, leading to the hypothesis that inflammation may reduce insulin sensitivity in horses. However, little evidence has documented a tissue site of production and a direct link between inflammation and induction of insulin resistance has not been established. Several mechanisms are reviewed in this article, including the potential for macrophage infiltration, hyperinsulinemia, hypoxia, and lipopolysaccharide to increase pro-inflammatory cytokine production by adipose tissue of obese horses. Clearly defining the role of cytokines in reduced insulin sensitivity of horses will be a very important step in determining how obesity and insulin resistance are related. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monogastric Animal Nutrition and Metabolism)
Open AccessReview Mannan Oligosaccharides in Nursery Pig Nutrition and Their Potential Mode of Action
Animals 2012, 2(2), 261-274; doi:10.3390/ani2020261
Received: 1 March 2012 / Revised: 1 May 2012 / Accepted: 10 May 2012 / Published: 23 May 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (95 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mannan oligosaccharides (MOSs) are often referred to as one of the potential alternatives for antimicrobial growth promoters. The aim of the paper is to provide a review of mannan oligosaccharide products in relation to their growth promoting effect and mode of action [...] Read more.
Mannan oligosaccharides (MOSs) are often referred to as one of the potential alternatives for antimicrobial growth promoters. The aim of the paper is to provide a review of mannan oligosaccharide products in relation to their growth promoting effect and mode of action based on the latest publications. We discuss the dietary impact of MOSs on (1) microbial changes, (2) morphological changes of gut tissue and digestibility of nutrients, and (3) immune response of pigs after weaning. Dietary MOSs maintain the intestinal integrity and the digestive and absorptive function of the gut in the post-weaning period. Recent results suggest that MOS enhances the disease resistance in swine by promoting antigen presentation facilitating thereby the shift from an innate to an adaptive immune response. Accordingly, dietary MOS supplementation has a potential growth promoting effect in pigs kept in a poor hygienic environment, while the positive effect of MOS is not observed in healthy pig herds with high hygienic standards that are able to maintain a high growth rate after weaning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monogastric Animal Nutrition and Metabolism)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Animals Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
animals@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Animals
Back to Top