Antimicrobial drug use and related management practices among Ontario swine producers.
A mail survey of swine producers in Ontario was undertaken during 1991 to describe the types, frequency, and motives for antimicrobial use. Two hundred operations that marketed fewer than 350 hogs per year, and 800 that marketed more than 350 per year were sent questionnaires, 63% of which were completed and returned. Most operations (86%) added antimicrobials to starter (weanling pig) rations, while fewer (29%) added these drugs to finisher pig rations. The most commonly used antimicrobials were tylosin, carbadox, and furazolidone in weanling pigs, and tylosin, lincomycin, and tetracycline in finishers. Water medication of grower-finisher pigs was practised on 25% of farms; 80% of farms had injected at least some grower-finisher pigs with antimicrobials in the 12 mo preceding the survey. Approximately 20% of operations that added antimicrobials to finisher rations did so for growth promotion purposes only, while others used them for disease treatment, prevention, control, or a combination of reasons. Among those not using antimicrobials in finisher rations, 83% did not believe they were necessary and 37% were concerned about the potential for residues in marketed hogs. (+info)
The effect of streptomycin, oxytetracycline, tilmicosin and phenylbutazone on spermatogenesis in bulls.
To determine whether declining semen quality associated with health problems may be due to certain antibiotic or anti-inflammatory treatments, semen was collected 3 times per week for up to 42 d from 6 normal bulls after treatment with oxytetracycline, tilmicosin, dihydrostreptomycin, or phenylbutazone. No adverse effects on semen quality were observed. (+info)
Ovarian follicular responses in dairy cows treated with GnRH and cloprostenol.
Lactating, nonpregnant (with a corpus luteum) Holsteins were given 100 ug GnRH (n = 12) or saline (n = 12) and 500 ug cloprostenol 6 d later. Following luteolysis, ovulation occurred 10.1 +/- 0.2 d (range, 9-12 d) after GnRH and 8.6 +/- 1.0 d (range, 3-12 d) after saline (differences between groups: means, P > 0.05; variability, P < 0.001). Treatment with GnRH and cloprostenol resulted in a relatively synchronous ovulation. (+info)
Evaluation of life-cycle herd efficiency in cow-calf systems of beef production.
A deterministic beef efficiency model (BEM) was used to evaluate life-cycle herd efficiency (LCHE) in cow-calf beef production systems using four breed groups of beef cattle. The breed groups were Beef Synthetic #1 (SY1), Beef Synthetic #2 (SY2), Dairy Synthetic (DS), and purebred Hereford (HE). The LCHE was defined over the lifetime of the herd as the ratio of total output (lean meat equivalent) to total input (feed equivalent). Breed differences in LCHE were predicted with the larger/slower maturing DS being most efficient at each age of herd disposal and reproductive rate. This was mainly because, at any average age at culling, the dams of DS breed group were less mature and so had been carrying relatively lower maintenance loads for shorter periods and positively influencing LCHE. Higher LCHE was predicted with improvement in reproductive performance if there were no associated extra costs. However, this declined markedly if there was a delay in marketing of offspring. As average age at culling increased from 4 to 6 yr, efficiency declined sharply, but it began to recover beyond this age in most breed groups. We concluded that the slower maturing DS breed group may be more efficient on a herd basis in cow-calf systems and that improvements in reproductive rate not associated with extra costs improve life-cycle efficiency. Culling cows soon after their replacements are produced seems efficient. (+info)
Postweaning performance of calves from Angus, Brahman, and reciprocal-cross cows grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue or common bermudagrass.
Data from 403 Polled Hereford-sired calves from Angus, Brahman, and reciprocal-cross cows were used to evaluate the effects of preweaning forage environment on postweaning performance. Calves were spring-born in 1991 to 1994 and managed on either endophyte-infected tall fescue (E+) or common bermudagrass (BG) during the preweaning phase. After weaning, calves were shipped to the Grazinglands Research Laboratory, El Reno, OK and stratified to one of two winter stocker treatments by breed and preweaning forage; stocker treatments were winter wheat pasture (WW) or native range plus supplemental CP (NR). Each stocker treatment was terminated in March, calves grazed cool-season grasses, and calves were then moved to a feedlot phase in June. In the feedlot phase, calves were fed to approximately 10 mm fat over the 12th rib and averaged approximately 115 d on feed. When finished, calves were weighed and shipped to Amarillo, TX for slaughter. Averaged over calf breed group, calves from E+ gained faster during the stocker phase (P<.10), had lighter starting and finished weights on feed (P< .01), lighter carcass weights (P<.01), and smaller longissimus muscle areas (P<.05) than calves from BG. Calves from E+ were similar to calves from BG in feedlot ADG, percentage kidney, heart, and pelvic fat, fat thickness over 12th rib, yield grade, marbling score, and dressing percentage. Maternal heterosis was larger in calves from E+ for starting weight on feed (P<.01), finished weight (P<.10), and carcass weight (P<.16). These data suggest that few carryover effects from tall fescue preweaning environments exist, other than lighter, but acceptable, weights through slaughter. These data further suggest that the tolerance to E+ in calves from reciprocal-cross cows, expressed in weaning weights, moderated postweaning weight differences between E+ and BG compared to similar comparisons in calves from purebred cows. (+info)
The importance of genetic diversity in livestock populations of the future.
Farm animal genetic diversity is required to meet current production needs in various environments, to allow sustained genetic improvement, and to facilitate rapid adaptation to changing breeding objectives. Production efficiency in pastoral species is closely tied to the use of diverse genetic types, but greater genetic uniformity has evolved in intensively raised species. In poultry, breeding decisions are directed by a few multinational companies and involve intense selection, the use of distinct production lines, and very large populations. In dairy cattle, the Holstein breed dominates production. Intensive sire selection is leading to relatively rapid inbreeding rates and raises questions about long-term effects of genetic drift. Key questions in management of farm animal genetic diversity involve the distribution of potentially useful quantitative trait locus alleles among global livestock breeds. Experiments with tomato, maize, and mice suggest that favorable alleles can exist in otherwise lowly productive stocks; this cryptic variation may potentially contribute to future selection response. Genetic improvement under relatively intense unidirectional selection may involve both increases in the frequency of favorable additive alleles as well as the progressive breakdown of homeostatic regulatory mechanisms established under the stabilizing selection that is characteristic of natural populations. Recombination among closely linked regulatory loci and new, potentially favorable mutations are possible sources of long-term genetic variation. A greater understanding of the potential that these alternative mechanisms have for supporting long-term genetic improvement and of genetic relationships among global livestock populations are priorities for managing farm animal genetic diversity. (+info)
The effect of age and teat order on alpha1-acid glycoprotein, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, cortisol, and average daily gain in commercial growing pigs.
The objectives of the study were to evaluate age and teat order on a performance trait, average daily gain, and on physiological stress indicators, alpha1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (N:L), and cortisol in commercial growing pigs from weaning to market age. Pigs (n = 129) from five commercial California farms were weighed and blood-sampled at 28-d intervals from 28 to 168 d of age. Laboratory assays were performed from blood samples to quantify cortisol, AGP, and N:L. Age and facility effects (P<.001), but not teat order effects (P>.05), were found for all three physiological traits and ADG. Pigs that routinely suckled from teats 1, 4, or 6 (numbered from anterior to posterior on the upper teat bank) had similar (P>.05) ADG and BW throughout the production cycle. No correlation (P> .05) was found between cortisol, AGP, and N:L. The use of these physiological and production traits as stress and health indices of growing pigs in commercial facilities has limitations in comparing data between facilities or different ages of pigs. (+info)
Structural changes in intramuscular connective tissue during the fattening of Japanese black cattle: effect of marbling on beef tenderization.
We investigated changes in structures and mechanical properties of the intramuscular connective tissue during the fattening of Japanese Black steers, using the cell maceration method for scanning electron microscopy. During the early fattening period, from 9 to 20 mo of age, collagen fibrils of the endomysium in longissimus muscle associated more closely with each other, and collagen fibers in the perimysium increased in thickness and their wavy pattern became more regular. These changes were closely related to the increase in mechanical strength of the intramuscular connective tissue and resulted in a toughening of the beef during the period. The shear force value of longissimus muscle decreased after 20 mo of age, concomitantly with the rapid increase in the crude fat content. Scanning electron micrographs of the longissimus muscle dissected from 32-mo-old steers clearly showed that the adipose tissues were formed between muscle fiber bundles, that the honeycomb structure of endomysia was partially broken, and that the perimysium separated into thinner collagen fibers. In semitendinosus muscle, in which the crude fat content was lower (P<.05) than that in longissimus muscle, the structure of the intramuscular connective tissue remained rigid at 32 mo of age. The shear force value of the muscle increased even in the late fattening period, from 20 to 32 mo of age. Thus, the development of adipose tissues in longissimus muscle appears to disorganize the structure of the intramuscular connective tissue and contributes to tenderization of highly marbled beef from Japanese Black cattle during the late fattening period. (+info)