|Id||Title||Authors▲||Abstract||Picture||Thematic fields||Recommender||Reviewers||Submission date|
14 Dec 2022
Feed efficiency of lactating Holstein cows was not as repeatable across diets as within diet over subsequent lactation stagesAmelie Fischer, Philippe Gasnier, philippe faverdin https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.10.430560
A focus on feed efficiency reproducibility and repeatability of dairy cows fed different diets over the lactation stage.Recommended by Alberto Atzori based on reviews by Ioannis Kaimakamis, Angela Schwarm and 2 anonymous reviewers
The topic of feed efficiency is under discussion in the scientific community and several studies pointed out that lactation stage has to be accounted for when estimates of feed efficiency are carried out, especially for genetic ranking of animals and their performances, as highlighted by Li et al. (2017). Other researchers applied a latin square design to test dietary effects across lactation (Ipharraguerre et al. 2002) but this approach cannot be followed out of experimental conditions and particularly does not allow, nowadays, to valorize precision livestock farm data to get phenotypic information from individual animals at farm level.
The current manuscript by Fischer, et al. (2022a) describes an experimental trial in which cows were first fed a high starch diet-low fibre then switched over to a low starch diet-high fibre and individually monitored over time. Data were analyzed with the objective to investigate effects within diets and across diets. Since all cows went through the same sequence at the same time it was not possible to completely separate the confounding effect of lactation stage and diet as stated by the authors. However, this manuscript adds methodological discussions and opens research questions especially to the matter of repeatability and reproducibility of feed efficiency of individual animals over the lactation stage. These variables are fundamental to evaluate nutritional traits and phenotypic performances of dairy cows at farm level, as highlighted by a paper of the same first author (Fischer, et al. 2022b) dealing to reproducibility and repeatability with a similar approach. My opinion is that this manuscript gives the opportunity to enlarge the scientific discussions on the calculation of repeatability and reproducibility of feed efficiency of individual animals over time. In particular, as in this study, specific mathematical approaches need to be carried out with the final goal to analyze and valorize precision livestock farm data for cow phenotyping and to propose new methods of feed efficiency evaluations. It also needs complete databases carried out under experimental conditions. In fact it has to be considered that this manuscript makes available to the scientific community all the data and the R code developed for data analysis giving the opportunity to replicate the calculations and propose new advancements in the feed efficiency evaluations of dairy cows.
Fischer A, Gasnier P, Faverdin P (2022a) Feed efficiency of lactating Holstein cows was not as repeatable across diets as within diet over subsequent lactation stages. bioRxiv, 2021.02.10.430560, ver. 3 peer-reviewed and recommended by Peer Community in Animal Science. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.10.430560
Fischer A, Dai X, Kalscheur KF (2022b) Feed efficiency of lactating Holstein cows is repeatable within diet but less reproducible when changing dietary starch and forage concentrations. animal, 16, 100599. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.ANIMAL.2022.100599
Ipharraguerre IR, Ipharraguerre RR, Clark JH (2002) Performance of Lactating Dairy Cows Fed Varying Amounts of Soyhulls as a Replacement for Corn Grain. Journal of Dairy Science, 85, 2905–2912. https://doi.org/10.3168/JDS.S0022-0302(02)74378-6
Li B, Berglund B, Fikse WF, Lassen J, Lidauer MH, Mäntysaari P, Løvendahl P (2017) Neglect of lactation stage leads to naive assessment of residual feed intake in dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 100, 9076–9084. https://doi.org/10.3168/JDS.2017-12775
|Feed efficiency of lactating Holstein cows was not as repeatable across diets as within diet over subsequent lactation stages||Amelie Fischer, Philippe Gasnier, philippe faverdin||<p> Background: Improving feed efficiency has become a common target for dairy farmers to<br>meet the requirement of producing more milk with fewer resources. To improve feed<br>efficiency, a prerequisite is to ensure that the cows identified...||Cattle production, Ruminant nutrition||Alberto Atzori||Anonymous, Ioannis Kaimakamis, Giuseppe Conte, Angela Schwarm||2021-02-11 08:43:59||View|
09 Apr 2022
The impact of housing conditions on porcine mesenchymal stromal/stem cell populations differ between adipose tissue and skeletal muscleAudrey Quéméner, Frédéric Dessauge, Marie-Hélène Perruchot, Nathalie Le Floc’h, Isabelle Louveau https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.06.08.447546
Housing conditions affect cell populations in adipose and muscle tissues of pigsRecommended by Hervé Acloque based on reviews by 2 anonymous reviewers
The adaptability of livestock to changing environments is based in particular on their genetic characteristics but also on the farming conditions to which they are subjected. However, this last point is poorly documented and little is known about its contribution to environmental challenges. The study by Quéméner and colleagues  addresses this question by assessing the effect of two hygiene conditions (good vs poor) on the distribution of cell populations present in adipose and muscle tissues of pigs divergently selected for feed efficiency .
The working hypothesis is that degraded housing conditions would be at the origin of an hyper stimulation of the immune system that can influence the homeostasis of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle and consequently modulate the cellular content of these tissues. Cellular compositions are thus interesting intermediate phenotypes for quantifying complex traits. The study uses pigs divergently selected for residual feed intake (RFI+ and RFI-) to assess whether there is a genetic effect associated with the observed phenotypes.
The study characterized different stromal cell populations based on the expression of surface markers: CD45 to separate hematopoietic lineages and markers associated with the stem properties of mesenchymal cells: CD56, CD34, CD38 and CD140a. The authors observed that certain subpopulations are differentially enriched according to the hygiene condition (good vs poor) in adipose and skeletal tissue (CD45-CD56-) sometimes with an associated (genetic) lineage effect. This pioneering study validates a number of tools for characterizing cell subpopulations present in porcine adipose and muscle tissue. It confirms that housing conditions can have an effect on intermediate phenotypes such as intra-tissue cell populations. This pioneering work will pave the way to better understand the effects of livestock systems on tissue biology and animal phenotypes and to characterize the nature and function of progenitor cells present in muscle and adipose tissue.
 Quéméner A, Dessauge F, Perruchot MH, Le Floc’h N, Louveau I. 2022. The impact of housing conditions on porcine mesenchymal stromal/stem cell populations differ between adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. bioRxiv 2021.06.08.447546, ver. 3 peer-reviewed and recommended by Peer Community in Animal Science. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.06.08.447546
 Gilbert H, Bidanel J-P, Gruand J, Caritez J-C, Billon Y, Guillouet P, Lagant H, Noblet J, Sellier P. 2007. Genetic parameters for residual feed intake in growing pigs, with emphasis on genetic relationships with carcass and meat quality traits. Journal of Animal Science 85:3182–3188. https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2006-590.
|The impact of housing conditions on porcine mesenchymal stromal/stem cell populations differ between adipose tissue and skeletal muscle||Audrey Quéméner, Frédéric Dessauge, Marie-Hélène Perruchot, Nathalie Le Floc’h, Isabelle Louveau||<p><strong>Background.</strong> In pigs, the ratio between lean mass and fat mass in the carcass determines production efficiency and is strongly influenced by the number and size of cells in tissues. During growth, the increase in the number of c...||Monogastrics, Physiology, Veterinary science||Hervé Acloque||2021-06-08 17:34:54||View|
02 Sep 2021
A modelling framework for the prediction of the herd-level probability of infection from longitudinal dataAurélien Madouasse, Mathilde Mercat, Annika van Roon, David Graham, Maria Guelbenzu, Inge Santman Berends, Gerdien van Schaik, Mirjam Nielen, Jenny Frössling, Estelle Ågren, Roger Humphry, Jude Eze, George Gunn, Madeleine Henry, Jörn Gethmann, Simon J. More, Nils Toft, Christine Fourichon https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.10.197426
Modelling freedom from disease - how do we compare between countries?Recommended by Rowland Raymond Kao based on reviews by Arata Hidano and 1 anonymous reviewer
In this paper, Madouasse et al. (2021) present a generalisable Bayesian method for calculating the probability that a herd is free from disease, based on its prior disease status, and using data (herd status over time over a sufficient number of herds to inform the model) and reasonable prior estimates of the sensitivity and specificity of tests being used to determine animal infection status. Where available, the modelling approach can also include relevant additional risk factors.
By bringing all these factors together, it allows for most countries to use the same analytical approach on their data, with differences across datasets expressed in terms of the uncertainty around the central estimates.
Having a single methodology that generates both a central estimate of disease freedom, and uncertainty thus provides the opportunity (given typically available data) to compare the probability of freedom across different systems. This is relevant in terms of the context of trade (since international trade of livestock in many cases depends on disease freedom). It is also important when evaluating, for example, transnational burdens of disease - and with different regulations in place in different countries, this is invaluable and can be used, for example, to assess risks of zoonotic infection including for zoonotic infection emergence. In the BVD example provided, the point is made that, since regular testing would probably pick up infection rapidly, the addition of risk factors is most valuable where testing is infrequent. This emphasizes the advantages of direct incorporation of risk factors into a single modelling framework.
From a technical point of view, the analysis compares two different packages for the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) implementation necesary to run the model. They show that, while there are some slight systematic differences, the estimates provided by the two methods are similar to each other; as one method is approximate but substantially more stable and generally much more computationally efficient, this is an important outcome. Both implementations are freely available and with relevant additional software made similarly available by the authors. This is extremely welcome and should encourage its general adoption across different countries.
No single model can of course account for everything. In particular, the reliance on past data means that there is an implicit assumption common to all purely statistical methods that the underlying risks have not changed. Thus projections to altered circumstances (changing underlying risk factors or systematic changes in testing or test performance) cannot so easily be incorporated, since these factors are complicated by the dynamics of infection that lie outside the modelling approach. Of course the well known quote from George Box that "all models are wrong" applies here - the generality of approach, statistical robustness and open source philosophy adopted make this model very useful indeed.
Madouasse A, Mercat M, van Roon A, Graham D, Guelbenzu M, Santman Berends I, van Schaik G, Nielen M, Frössling J, Ågren E, Humphry RW, Eze J, Gunn GJ, Henry MK, Gethmann J, More SJ, Toft N, Fourichon C (2021) A modelling framework for the prediction of the herd-level probability of infection from longitudinal data. bioRxiv, 2020.07.10.197426, ver. 6 peer-reviewed and recommended by PCI Animal Science. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.10.197426
|A modelling framework for the prediction of the herd-level probability of infection from longitudinal data||Aurélien Madouasse, Mathilde Mercat, Annika van Roon, David Graham, Maria Guelbenzu, Inge Santman Berends, Gerdien van Schaik, Mirjam Nielen, Jenny Frössling, Estelle Ågren, Roger Humphry, Jude Eze, George Gunn, Madeleine Henry, Jörn Gethmann, Sim...||<p>The collective control programmes (CPs) that exist for many infectious diseases of farm animals rely on the application of diagnostic testing at regular time intervals for the identification of infected animals or herds. The diversity of these ...||TEST, Veterinary epidemiology||Rowland Raymond Kao||2020-07-23 08:13:18||View|
24 Mar 2023
The use of pigs vocalisation structure to assess the quality of human-pig relationshipAvelyne S Villain, Carole Guérin, Céline Tallet https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.03.15.484457
Qualitative aspects of grunts vary with pigs' mental statesRecommended by Isabelle Veissier based on reviews by Matteo Chincarini and 1 anonymous reviewer
Villain et al., (2023) investigated the structure of vocalisations in piglets in relation to human-animal-relationship. They first established a positive relationship by habituating piglets to be positively handled at weaning or later on after weaning. They then compared the reactions of piglets previously positively handled at weaning to that of non-handled piglets during tests in presence of a human (interacting or not), and also before and after the conditioning period when all piglets received positive contacts. They showed that the duration and frequency of grunts emitted in the presence of the human depends on previous contacts. More specifically, grunts are shorter and higher pitched in pigs that have been positively handled, in line with a positive human-animal relationship which is also observed through proximity of the piglets with the human. The authors concluded that the structure of pig vocalisation can reflect the quality of their relationship with humans.
The authors also showed that not only the response to humans is modified by positive contacts but also the general mood of piglets, with piglets positively handled at weaning emitting shorter grunts than non-handled piglets, whatever the context.
Another interesting finding is the temporality of behaviour of pigs habituated to positive contacts: during the first tests, they stay close to the human, probably being reassured by the proximity of the human. Then, when tests are repeated, they explore more the test room, using the human as an exploratory basis as already reported in the literature.
The hypotheses of the study are clear. The methods are reported in details so that the work is reproducible. The interpretation of results is sound. The manuscript is clearly written.
This paper brings new and original knowledge in the field of animals’ emotional responses and human-animal relationship: on the structure of grunts in relation to positive affects (positive emotion, positive mood) and on the temporality of the responses to human presence.
I recommend this manuscript for its originality and quality.
Villain, A.S., Guérin, C., Tallet, C., 2023. The use of pigs vocalisation structure to assess the quality of human-pig relationship. bioRxiv 2022.03.15.484457, ver. 5 peer-reviewed and recommended by Peer Community in Animal Science. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.03.15.484457
|The use of pigs vocalisation structure to assess the quality of human-pig relationship||Avelyne S Villain, Carole Guérin, Céline Tallet||<p>Studying human-animal interactions in domestic species and how they affect the establishment of a positive Human-Animal Relationship (HAR) may help us improve animal welfare and better understand the evolution of interspecific interactions asso...||Animal behaviour , Animal cognition, Animal welfare||Isabelle Veissier||2022-03-23 09:34:45||View|
06 Sep 2019
Lactation curve model with explicit representation of perturbations as a phenotyping tool for dairy livestock precision farming.Ben Abdelkrim Ahmed, Puillet Laurence, Gomes Pierre, Martin Olivier https://doi.org/10.1101/661249
Developing smart fitting algorithms to identify random perturbations in time-series dataRecommended by Luis Tedeschi based on reviews by Alberto Atzori, Jennifer Spencer and 1 anonymous reviewer
The ability to adequately characterize the lactation curve of livestock is important not only to ensure proper nutrition of the lactating animal but, among many other benefits, it can assist in diagnosing the incidence of diseases, predicting the quantity of milk production, and comparing animals within the herd for managerial strategies such as culling. Eventually, such smart fitting algorithms can lead to improved genetic selection of more productive animals after genetic-unrelated noises are removed from the data, systematically.
 Johansson, I. (1961). Genetic Aspects of Dairy Cattle Breeding. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, IL.
 Nelder, J. A. (1966). Inverse polynomials, a useful group of multi-factor response functions. Biometrics. 22 (1):128-141. doi: 10.2307/2528220
|Lactation curve model with explicit representation of perturbations as a phenotyping tool for dairy livestock precision farming.||Ben Abdelkrim Ahmed, Puillet Laurence, Gomes Pierre, Martin Olivier||<p>Background Understanding the effects of environment on livestock provides valuable information on how farm animals express their production potential, and on their welfare. Ruminants are often confronted with perturbations that affect their per...||Lactation biology , Mathematical modelling, Precision livestock farming||Luis Tedeschi||2019-06-07 09:38:26||View|
05 Jul 2022
Impact of pre-breeding feeding practices on rabbit mammary gland development at mid-pregnancy.Cathy Hue-Beauvais, Karine Bebin, Raphael Robert, Delphine Gardan-Salmon, Mickael Maupin, Nicolas Brun, Etienne Aujean, Florence Jaffrezic, Steve Simon, Madia Charlier, Fabienne Le Provost https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.17.476562
Managing the feeding of rabbits to improve metabolic efficiencyRecommended by Giuseppe Conte based on reviews by Marion Boutinaud, Davi Savietto and 1 anonymous reviewer
A correct execution of feeding plan for growing rabbit decreases the possibility of post-weaning digestive disorders, thus enhancing the feed efficiency in the animals. However, a limitation of feed daily quantity is required between 10 weeks of age and the first artificial insemination. This limitation causes energy deficiency with a consequent reduction in fertility. Beauvais et al. (2022) studied the impact of feed restriction strategies in female rabbits. Four feed restriction strategies were applied in two distinct periods (post-weaning and puberty) and evaluated by different physiological parameters (growth rate, metabolic profiles, reproductive parameters and mammary gland development). In the first part of the paper, the authors evaluated the association between weight slopes and feeding strategies in the late post-weaning and peripartum period in the four groups. As revealed by the authors, a significant difference was observed during the late post-weaning period, which remained significant between the pubertal and fattening phases. Probably these differences are related to the restriction feeding pattern. The results indicated that restrictive feeding changes in the first step of post-weaning period is associated with a significant difference in body weight. This difference occurs from the third week of diet, highlighting the high sensitivity of growing rabbit to nutrition during the post-weaning period.
In the second part of the paper, the authors evaluated the expression of genes involved in the lipid metabolism. During the mid-pregnancy, was revealed a significant higher expression of lipogenic genes, which may be considered as useful markers for the mammary epithelial development in less restrictive strategies during early life period.
The results proposed by Beauvais et al. (2022) enlighten the important role played by the feeding conditions of young female rabbits in the early life rearing. In particular, this activity provides specific recommendations for optimizing lactation and thus preventing neonatal mortality of the offspring. Moreover, the authors provide indications about the effect of feeding strategies on the mammary development and gene expression with absolute consequences on the development of offspring. Mammary lipid metabolism affects the milk profile and therefore the growth performance of the young animals.
Hue-Beauvais C, Bebin K, Robert R, Gardan-Salmon D, Maupin M, Brun N, Aujean E, Jaffrezic F, Simon S, Charlier M, Le Provost F (2022). Impact of pre-breeding feeding practices on rabbit mammary gland development at mid-pregnancy. biorXiv, 2022.01.17.476562, ver. 3 peer-reviewed and recommended by Peer Community in Animal Science. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.17.476562
|Impact of pre-breeding feeding practices on rabbit mammary gland development at mid-pregnancy.||Cathy Hue-Beauvais, Karine Bebin, Raphael Robert, Delphine Gardan-Salmon, Mickael Maupin, Nicolas Brun, Etienne Aujean, Florence Jaffrezic, Steve Simon, Madia Charlier, Fabienne Le Provost||<p>Optimizing rabbit does preparation during early life to improve reproductive potential is a major challenge for breeders. Does selected for reproduction have specific nutritional needs, which may not be supplied with the common practice of feed...||Animal nutrition modelling||Giuseppe Conte||2022-01-19 14:44:30||View|
15 Dec 2020
Accuracy of predicting chemical body composition of growing pigs using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometryClaudia Kasper, Patrick Schlegel, Isabel Ruiz-Ascacibar, Peter Stoll, Giuseppe Bee https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.15.286153
Accurate predictions of chemical composition of pigs for a wide range of body weights: no longer a myth!Recommended by Florence Gondret based on reviews by Mathieu Monziols and 1 anonymous reviewer
Assessing body or carcass composition in growing pigs is essential to refine nutritional models, select for specific traits and evaluate pork products. The gold standard methods are dissection and chemical measurements, which are time-consuming and invasive ways to obtain the data. Different teams have tested dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), especially for determining total and regional body composition of fat, soft lean tissues and bone minerals [1-3]. The DEXA measurements are quick, non-invasive, precise, and operator independent. However, the instruments from different manufacturers are unique in implementation so that it is difficult to obtain and share generalized equations. In addition, the validity and accuracy of the measures when applied to pigs having very different composition have been scarcely addressed.
The present manuscript shows that carcass analysis by DEXA can be used to predict empty body chemical composition, and it provides accuracy values for the content in single nutrients (protein, lipids, Ca, P). The body weight range used to generate differences in body composition is very large (20 to 100 kg), which is important when studying pigs along growth. Moreover, regression equations within weight classes (20, 60 and 100 kg) show no important biases, with the exception for body fat especially at the earliest growth stages. Limitations of the technique are the needs of anesthesia when applied to living pigs, and of standardizing the positions of body, carcass and cuts when applied to living or dissected pigs. Another originality of the manuscript is the comparison of the obtained calibrations with previously published prediction models, showing that the differences do not preclude the possibility to use a single model when built from a meta-analysis of the different data. Taken together, this work offers good perspectives to refine nutritional models by inputs from rapidly analyzed body chemical composition and to monitor body and carcass composition in several pigs for genetics applications.
 Mitchell AD., Scholz AM., Pursel VG., and Evock-Clover CM. (1998). Composition analysis of pork carcasses by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Journal of Animal Science. 76(8), 2104-14. https://doi.org/10.2527/1998.7682104x
 Marcoux M., Bernier JF., and Pomar C. (2003). Estimation of Canadian and European lean yields and composition of pig carcasses by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Meat Science. 63(3), 359-65. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0309-1740(02)00094-3
 Kipper M., Marcoux M., Andretta I., and Pomar C. (2018). Repeatability and reproducibility of measurements obtained by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry on pig carcasses. Journal of Animal Science, 96(5), 2027-2037. https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skx046 "
|Accuracy of predicting chemical body composition of growing pigs using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry||Claudia Kasper, Patrick Schlegel, Isabel Ruiz-Ascacibar, Peter Stoll, Giuseppe Bee||<p>Studies in animal science assessing nutrient and energy efficiency or determining nutrient requirements necessitate gathering exact measurements of body composition or body nutrient contents. Wet chemical analysis methods or standardized dissec...||Agricultural sustainability, Animal nutrition modelling, Monogastrics, Physiology, Pig nutrition||Florence Gondret||2020-09-17 10:44:58||View|
31 Jan 2020
OneARK: Strengthening the links between animal production science and animal ecologyDelphine Destoumieux-Garzón, Pascal Bonnet, Céline Teplitsky, François Criscuolo, Pierre-Yves Henry, David Mazurais, Patrick Prunet, Gilles Salvat, Philippe Usseglio-Polatera, Etienne Verrier and Nicolas Friggens https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3632731
When scientific communities intertwineRecommended by Pauline Ezanno based on reviews by Rowland Raymond Kao, Arata Hidano and 1 anonymous reviewer
Scientific research can be seen by some as a competitive territory: competition of opinions, concepts, publications, competition for funding. Fortunately, it is above all a territory of sharing and cross-fertilization of ideas. It is gradually becoming a territory of productive interdisciplinary collaborations, despite persistent resistance to making borders more permeable . At the crossroads of worlds, many challenges must be met for communities to understand each other, to be able to communicate with one another, and to benefit mutually from scientific interactions .
Delphine Destoumieux-Garzon and co-authors  propose to stimulate a single Animal Research Kinship (OneARK) to promote the crossing of the scientific communities in animal production and animal ecology. These two communities share many concepts and methods, which, while they are based on marked specificities (natural versus artificial systems), also and above all have common points that need to be explored more closely. Seven concepts of shared interest to improve the resilience and sustainability of animal population systems were explored by the authors: selection, system viability, system management, animal adaptability, inter-individual diversity in systems, agroecology, and animal monitoring.
This foundation stone paves the way for a finer integration between these two communities, which are close and yet distant, and which are slowly getting to know, understand, and recognize each other.
 Ledford, H. (2015). How to solve the world’s biggest problems. Nature, 525, 308–311. doi: 10.1038/525308a
|OneARK: Strengthening the links between animal production science and animal ecology||Delphine Destoumieux-Garzón, Pascal Bonnet, Céline Teplitsky, François Criscuolo, Pierre-Yves Henry, David Mazurais, Patrick Prunet, Gilles Salvat, Philippe Usseglio-Polatera, Etienne Verrier and Nicolas Friggens||<p>1. Wild and farmed animals are key elements of natural and managed ecosystems that deliver functions such as pollination, pest control and nutrient cycling within the broader roles they play in contributing to biodiversity and to every category...||Agricultural sustainability, Animal genetics, Animal welfare, Ecology, Precision livestock farming, Veterinary epidemiology||Pauline Ezanno||2019-07-05 15:33:21||View|
10 Aug 2022
Decreasing the level of hemicelluloses in sow's lactation diet affects the milk composition and post-weaning performance of low birthweight piglets.Francesco Palumbo, Giuseppe Bee, Paolo Trevisi, Marion Girard https://doi.org/10.31220/agriRxiv.2022.00116
Varying the hemicellulose content in the diet of lactating sows highlights the importance of early-life interventions for improving health and performance of small piglets during the post-weaning periodRecommended by Florence Gondret based on reviews by Hélène Quesnel and Myriam Grundy
One of the key questions in pig industry nowadays is how health and performance of piglets can be improved by sow nutrition and milk composition. The levels of dietary fibers in sow’s gestation diet have positive effects observed on the litters. However, the composition of dietary fibers and the organization of polysaccharides within the cell wall in the different plants determine their physicochemical properties and, thereby, their behaviour in the gut of the sows and the subsequent physiological response of the animals. Hemicelluloses are polysaccharides constituents of the cell walls of plants, which are fermented in the gut to produce volatile fatty acids (VFA). These VFA can serve as energy source for milk synthesis and can thereby influence the development of suckling piglets. Palumbo and colleagues (1) proposed an original experimental design to compare diets with similar fiber contents but different hemicellulose levels, thanks to varying the sources of fibers used in the dietary formulations. Effects were studied on performance and health of lactating sows and their piglets during suckling period and until post-weaning. The dietary treatments had no effect on the total number of piglets weaned and, consequently, on litter weight at weaning. Milk yield was not influenced by the dietary treatments, but milk composition (lactose content, copper and threonine proportions) was affected by the level of hemicellulose in the maternal diets. With a decreasing hemicellulose level in sow diet, milk lactose content linearly decreased, whereas the copper and threonine contents linearly increased. There was no effect on piglet performance during the lactation period. During the second week of post-weaning, a quadratic increase in the incidence of diarrhoea and the number of days with diarrhoea for suckling piglets was observed with decreasing hemicellulose level in diet. Interestingly, the observed effects were partly different for piglets born with a low body weight. Indeed, there was a linear decrease in the incidence of diarrhoea and days with diarrhoea with decreased hemicellulose level in the maternal diet for those piglets, together with increased growth performance from birth to two weeks post-weaning. The authors postulated that the improved growth performance and the lower incidence of diarrhoea observed in small piglets during post-weaning period may be related to the increased abundance of threonine and copper and increased concentration of total VFA in milk of sows fed a diet with reduced hemicellulose levels. This study confirms the importance of early-life interventions to improve the post-weaning development and health of this sub-population of piglets.
(1) Palumbo F, Bee G, Trevisi P, and Girard M. (2022). Decreasing the level of hemicelluloses in sow's lactation diet affects the milk composition and post-weaning performance of low birthweight piglets. agriRxiv 2022.00116, ver 4 (R3), peer-reviewed and recommended by PCI Animal Science. https://doi.org/10.31220/agriRxiv.2022.00116
|Decreasing the level of hemicelluloses in sow's lactation diet affects the milk composition and post-weaning performance of low birthweight piglets.||Francesco Palumbo, Giuseppe Bee, Paolo Trevisi, Marion Girard||<p>Hemicelluloses (HC) are polysaccharides constituents of the cell walls of plants. They are fermented in the gut to produce volatile fatty acids (VFA). The present study investigated the effects of decreasing HC level in sow's lactation diet on ...||Pig nutrition||Florence Gondret||2022-01-21 12:00:22||View|
07 Feb 2022
Resilience: reference measures based on longer-term consequences are needed to unlock the potential of precision livestock farming technologies for quantifying this traitFriggens, N. C., Adriaens, I., Boré, R., Cozzi, G., Jurquet, J., Kamphuis, C., Leiber, F., Lora, I., Sakowski, T., Statham, J. and De Haas, Y. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5215797
Measuring resilience in farm animals: theoretical considerations and application to dairy cowsRecommended by Aurélien Madouasse based on reviews by Ian Colditz and 2 anonymous reviewers
Farm animals differ in their ability to respond to the many environmental challenges they face. Such challenges include infectious diseases, metabolic diseases resulting from inadequate coverage of dietary needs, as well as the diverse consequences of climate change. Various concepts exist to characterise the responses of animals to different types of challenges. This article by Friggens et al. (2022) focuses on resilience, providing a conceptual definition and proposing a method to quantify resilience in dairy cows.
The first part of the paper provides a definition of resilience and highlights its differences and relations with the related concepts of robustness, and, to a lesser extent, resistance and tolerance. In essence, resilience is the ability of an animal to bounce back quickly after a challenge of limited duration. On the other hand, robustness is the ability of an animal to cope with conditions that are overall unfavourable. From these conceptual and intuitive definitions, there are several difficulties precluding the design of concrete methods to measure resilience. First, there is some degree of overlap between the concepts of resilience, robustness, resistance and tolerance. Secondly, resilience is a multidimensional concept whereby resilience to a given perturbation does not imply resilience to other types of perturbation, e.g. resilience to a challenge by a specific pathogen does not imply resilience to a nutritional challenge. A further difficulty in the measure of resilience is the fact that different animals may be exposed to challenges that are different in nature and in number. The authors argue that although resilience cannot be measured directly (it should be seen as a latent construct), it is possible to quantify it indirectly through its consequences.
In the second part of the paper, the authors propose a method to quantify resilience of individual dairy cows. The method is based on the premise that resilient animals should be kept longer in their herd than non-resilient animals. The main criterion in the evaluation is therefore the ability of cows to re-calve. Each cow that is calving receives a certain number of points, to which, in each lactation, bonus points are added for higher milk production and penalty points are removed for each insemination after the first one, for each disease event and for each day of calving interval above some herd specific value. Therefore, cows have a resilience score in each lactation. They also have a lifetime resilience score obtained by summing the scores for all the lactations, that gets bigger as the cow has more calves, and that also takes the age at first calving into account. In a previous study, Adriaens et al. (2020) showed that higher resilience scores were associated with fewer drops in milk yield and more stable activity dynamics.
Starting from theoretical considerations on the notion of resilience, this paper describes a concrete method to quantify animal-level resilience on farm. Such quantification will be useful for breeding and culling decisions. Finally, the general framework to design resilience measures that is presented will be useful to researchers working on the quantification of farm animal resilience using new methods and data sources.
Adriaens I, Friggens NC, Ouweltjes W, Scott H, Aernouts B and Statham J 2020. Productive life span and resilience rank can be predicted from on-farm first-parity sensor time series but not using a common equation, across farms. Journal of Dairy Science 103, 7155-7171.https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-17826
Friggens, N.C. , Adriaens, I., Boré, R., Cozzi, G., Jurquet, J., Kamphuis, C., Leiber, F., Lora, I., Sakowski, T., Statham, J., De Haas, Y. (2022). Resilience: reference measures based on longer-term consequences are needed to unlock the potential of precision livestock farming technologies for quantifying this trait. Zenodo, 5215797, ver. 5 peer-reviewed and recommended by Peer community in Animal Science. https://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5215797
|Resilience: reference measures based on longer-term consequences are needed to unlock the potential of precision livestock farming technologies for quantifying this trait||Friggens, N. C., Adriaens, I., Boré, R., Cozzi, G., Jurquet, J., Kamphuis, C., Leiber, F., Lora, I., Sakowski, T., Statham, J. and De Haas, Y.||<p style="text-align: justify;">Climate change, with its increasing frequency of environmental disturbances puts pressures on the livestock sector. To deal with these pressures, more complex traits such as resilience must be considered in our mana...||Precision livestock farming||Aurélien Madouasse||2021-08-20 15:34:13||View|
Luis O. Tedeschi