Animal Science

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Measuring Latency to Feed of Broilers After Exposure to an Environmental Enrichment Device

2019-01-01 , Barkley, Marydith , Animal Science

Leg lameness is a prevalent welfare concern in broiler chickens, and biologically-relevant environmental enrichment designed to increase physical activity and decrease leg disorders is lacking. Therefore, a novel enrichment device was developed with the objective to motivate broilers to voluntarily move, thus improving leg health, production outcomes, and overall animal well-being. Research completed thus far has shown that the enrichment device was successful in improving performance. The work described here aims to validate that the change in these performance outcomes, particularly feed intake, was due to the enrichment itself, and to study if the device directly led to the birds to the feeder. Results show that in the first 9 days, 71% of birds went to the feeder during 4-min enrichment periods or within 5 mins following enrichment. Over weeks 1-6, 61% of birds went to the feeder during or within 5 mins after the enrichment periods. These data indicate that the environmental enrichment was successful in leading birds to the feeder and improving performance.

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Chute behavior of cattle handled using low-stress handling techniques

2019-01-01 , Lierman, Shay , Animal Science

Bovine Respiratory Disease is a multifactorial syndrome, which negatively impacts performance and welfare among cattle. BRD is associated with viral and bacterial pathogens; but other causal factors include management techniques and environmental stresses. Low stress handling methods use the natural behavior and innate responses of cattle to minimize negative consequences potentially associated with handler interactions. Acclimation methods familiarize cattle with their environment and, therefore, decrease stress. It was hypothesized that cattle that were acclimated and handled with LSCH techniques would vocalize less and display calmer behavior in a squeeze chute compared to cattle that had not been acclimated and had been handled conventionally. Cattle were assigned to one of two treatments by pen, five control pens and five LSCH pens. Video was recorded, then scored using an ethogram for frequency of vocalizations, chute behavior, exit behavior and whether a calf fell upon exiting. There was no observed difference in vocalization frequencies between control and LSCH (2.04±0.27 and 2.63±-0.47, respectively; p=0.37), nor observed difference in chute scores (p=0.10), exit scores (p=0.39), and probability of falling upon exit (p=0.25). Our results demonstrated no observed effect of acclimation or LSCH on chute behaviors on Day 3 after arrival at the feedlot.

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The impact of supplemental zinc concentrations and either ractopamine hydrochloride or dietary energy content on blood metabolite measures

2019-01-01 , Wise, Payton , Animal Science

The impact of supplemental zinc concentrations and either ractopamine hydrochloride or dietary energy content on blood metabolite measures P. E. Wise, R. N. Carmichael and S. L. Hansen This study researched whether increased dietary zinc supports growth within the beta-agonist cascade (Exp. 2) or by ulterior mechanisms (Exp. 1—dietary energy content). Angus-type steers received one of three Zn supplementations (ZNTRT). ZNTRT included CON (0 mg Zn/kg DM supplemental zinc), ZS (120 mg Zn/kg DM as ZnSO4), and ZA (60 mg Zn/kg DM as ZnSO4 + 60 mg Zn/kg DM as Zn-AA complex). In Exp. 1, half received LOW diets (~1.6 kg/d ADG fed for initial 60 d to all steers) and half HI diets (~2 kg/d ADG). In Exp. 2, half received a beta-agonist—RAC (300 mg ractopamine HCl·steer ·-1d ·-1) and half did not—NON (0 mg ractopamine HCl·steer ·-1d ·-1 ). Blood was sampled throughout the trial periods (four days for Exp. 1 and five days for Exp. 2) and analyzed for blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations. Overall, NEFA concentration was unaffected by ZNTRT but was affected by energy in Exp. 1 (P = 0.02). BUN concentration increased in Exp. 2 during pre-RH and RH periods when fed ZA diets (P < 0.01, P = 0.09, respectively). BUN concentration in Exp. 2 decreased with supplementation of RAC (P = 0.01).