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Cruywagen C.W.,Stellenbosch University | Taylor S.,Celtic Sea Minerals | Beya M.M.,Stellenbosch University | Beya M.M.,OSI Group | Calitz T.,Stellenbosch University
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2015

Six ruminally cannulated Holstein cows were used to evaluate the effect of 2 dietary buffers on rumen pH, milk production, milk composition, and rumen fermentation parameters. A high concentrate total mixed ration [35.2% forage dry matter (DM)], formulated to be potentially acidotic, was used to construct 3 dietary treatments in which calcareous marine algae (calcified remains of the sea weed Lithothamnium calcareum) was compared with limestone (control) and sodium bicarbonate plus limestone. One basal diet was formulated and the treatment diets contained either 0.4% of dietary DM as Acid Buf, a calcified marine algae product (AB treatment), or 0.8% of dietary DM as sodium bicarbonate and 0.37% as limestone (BC treatment), or 0.35% of dietary DM as limestone [control (CON) treatment]. Cows were randomly allocated to treatments according to a double 3 × 3 Latin square design, with 3 treatments and 3 periods. The total experimental period was 66 d during which each cow received each treatment for a period of 15 d before the data collection period of 7 d. Rumen fluid was collected to determine volatile fatty acids, lactic acid, and ammonia concentrations. Rumen pH was monitored every 10 min for 2 consecutive days using a portable data logging system fitted with in-dwelling electrodes. Milk samples were analyzed for solid and mineral contents. The effect of treatment on acidity was clearly visible, especially from the period from midday to midnight when rumen pH dropped below 5.5 for a longer period of time (13 h) in the CON treatment than in the BC (8.7 h) and AB (4 h) treatments. Daily milk, 4% fat-corrected milk, and energy-corrected milk yields differed among treatments, with AB being the highest, followed by BC and CON. Both buffers increased milk fat content. Treatment had no effect on milk protein content, but protein yield was increased in the AB treatment. Total rumen volatile fatty acids and acetate concentrations were higher and propionate was lower in the AB treatment than in CON. The molar proportion of acetate was higher in AB than in CON, but that of propionate was lower in both buffer treatments than in CON. The acetate:propionate ratio was increased in the AB and BC treatments compared with CON. Lactic acid concentration was higher in the CON treatment than in the buffer treatments. Treatment had no effect on rumen ammonia concentrations. Results indicated that buffer inclusion in high concentrate diets for lactating dairy cows had a positive effect on milk production and milk composition. Calcareous marine algae, at a level of 90 g/cow per day, had a greater effect on rumen pH, milk production and milk composition, and efficiency of feed conversion into milk than sodium bicarbonate at a level of 180 g/cow per day. © 2015 American Dairy Science Association.


PubMed | Stellenbosch University and Celtic Sea Minerals
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of dairy science | Year: 2015

Six ruminally cannulated Holstein cows were used to evaluate the effect of 2 dietary buffers on rumen pH, milk production, milk composition, and rumen fermentation parameters. A high concentrate total mixed ration [35.2% forage dry matter (DM)], formulated to be potentially acidotic, was used to construct 3 dietary treatments in which calcareous marine algae (calcified remains of the seaweed Lithothamnium calcareum) was compared with limestone (control) and sodium bicarbonate plus limestone. One basal diet was formulated and the treatment diets contained either 0.4% of dietary DM as Acid Buf, a calcified marine algae product (AB treatment), or 0.8% of dietary DM as sodium bicarbonate and 0.37% as limestone (BC treatment), or 0.35% of dietary DM as limestone [control (CON) treatment]. Cows were randomly allocated to treatments according to a double 33 Latin square design, with 3 treatments and 3 periods. The total experimental period was 66 d during which each cow received each treatment for a period of 15 d before the data collection period of 7 d. Rumen fluid was collected to determine volatile fatty acids, lactic acid, and ammonia concentrations. Rumen pH was monitored every 10min for 2 consecutive days using a portable data logging system fitted with in-dwelling electrodes. Milk samples were analyzed for solid and mineral contents. The effect of treatment on acidity was clearly visible, especially from the period from midday to midnight when rumen pH dropped below 5.5 for a longer period of time (13 h) in the CON treatment than in the BC (8.7 h) and AB (4 h) treatments. Daily milk, 4% fat-corrected milk, and energy-corrected milk yields differed among treatments, with AB being the highest, followed by BC and CON. Both buffers increased milk fat content. Treatment had no effect on milk protein content, but protein yield was increased in the AB treatment. Total rumen volatile fatty acids and acetate concentrations were higher and propionate was lower in the AB treatment than in CON. The molar proportion of acetate was higher in AB than in CON, but that of propionate was lower in both buffer treatments than in CON. The acetate:propionate ratio was increased in the AB and BC treatments compared with CON. Lactic acid concentration was higher in the CON treatment than in the buffer treatments. Treatment had no effect on rumen ammonia concentrations. Results indicated that buffer inclusion in high concentrate diets for lactating dairy cows had a positive effect on milk production and milk composition. Calcareous marine algae, at a level of 90 g/cow per day, had a greater effect on rumen pH, milk production and milk composition, and efficiency of feed conversion into milk than sodium bicarbonate at a level of 180 g/cow per day.


O'driscoll K.,Celtic Sea Minerals | O'driscoll K.,Teagasc | O'gorman D.M.,Celtic Sea Minerals | Taylor S.,Celtic Sea Minerals | Boyle L.A.,Teagasc
Animal | Year: 2013

Growing pigs can display undesirable behaviours, reflecting or causing poor welfare. Addition of magnesium (Mg) to the diet could reduce these, as Mg supplementation has been associated with improved coping ability in response to stress. This study examined the effect of supplementation with a Mg-rich marine extract-based product (Supplement) on the behaviour, skin and tail lesion scores and salivary cortisol concentrations of growing pigs. At weaning (28 days), 448 piglets were assigned to either Control or Supplement (0.05%) diets in single-sex groups of 14. Four weeks later (c. 17 kg), pigs were blocked according to weight and back test scores. Seven piglets from each pen were mixed with seven from another pen of the same sex and dietary treatment to yield the following groups: control male, Supplement male, control female and Supplement female (n = 4 of each). This marked the start of the 9-week experimental period. Instances of the following behaviours were recorded in each pen for 8 × 2 min periods 1 day/week: aggression (fight, head-knock and bite); harmful (tail-in-mouth, ear-chewing and belly-nosing); and sexual/mounting behaviour. Four focal pigs were selected from each pen, and their behaviour was continuously recorded for 2 × 5 min periods on the same day. Saliva was collected once per week at 1000 h by allowing pigs to chew on a cotton bud for c. 1 min. Salivary cortisol was analysed in duplicate by an enzyme immunoassay. Skin and tail lesions were scored according to severity 1 day/week. There were fewer aggressive incidents in Supplement pens (P < 0.01), and mounting behaviour (performed only by males) was almost three times lower in Supplement than in control pens (P < 0.01). However, there was no effect of Supplement on the incidence of each of the harmful behaviours. Behaviour of the focal pigs showed no treatment effect on the duration or incidence of aggressive behaviour. However, Supplement pigs spent less time performing harmful behaviours compared with control pigs (P < 0.001). Supplement had no effect on the occurrence or severity of tail-biting outbreaks or on tail lesion scores. However, Supplement females had lower skin lesion scores, in particular in the ears and shoulders (P < 0.01). Finally, Supplement pigs had lower salivary cortisol concentrations (P < 0.01). Mounting is a major welfare concern in uncastrated pigs, and therefore this represents an important welfare benefit of Supplement. Reduced salivary cortisol, in conjunction with reduced skin lesion scores in supplemented females, suggests that addition of a Mg-rich marine extract improved pig welfare in this system. Copyright © The Animal Consortium 2012.


O'Driscoll K.,Celtic Sea Minerals | Teixeira D.L.,Teagasc | O'Gorman D.,Celtic Sea Minerals | Taylor S.,Celtic Sea Minerals | Boyle L.A.,Teagasc
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2013

Pigs in intensive production systems typically experience multiple acute stressors which can have a negative impact on their welfare. This study investigated whether a magnesium (Mg) rich marine extract (SUPPLEMENT) could reduce the negative effects of mixing and an out-of-feed event on pig welfare. At weaning (28. d) 448 piglets were assigned to either control or SUPPLEMENT (0.5% of the diet) diets in single sex groups of 14. Four weeks later (day 56, c. 17. kg) pigs were blocked according to weight and back-test scores. Seven piglets from each pen were mixed with 7 from another of the same sex and dietary treatment to yield the following groups: control male, SUPPLEMENT male, control female and SUPPLEMENT female (n= 4 of each). At mixing, behaviour was recorded on video for 3. h and the frequency and duration of aggressive behaviours, as well as the number of pigs involved in each bout of aggression was recorded. Additionally, the proportion of pigs standing or lying was recorded at 10. min intervals. At 112. d feed was removed for 21. h. After re-introduction of the feed, pens were observed continuously for 8 × 2. min periods and aggressive behaviour was recorded. Skin lesions of 4 focal pigs/pen were scored on the day before and after mixing and the out-of-feed event. Saliva samples were collected on day 56 and day 113 (1. h before and 1, 3 and 8. h after mixing/feed delivery post deprivation) and at 10:00. h on day 55, day 57, day 58, day 112 and day 114 by allowing the 4 focal pigs to chew on a cotton bud for 1. min. Cortisol was analysed by ELISA. At mixing, aggressive interactions between males lasted longer than between females (34:27 vs. 16:55. mm:ss, s.e. 03:38; P< 0.01) and more control than SUPPLEMENT pigs were involved in each bout of aggression (2.13 ± 0.39 vs. 2.08 ± 0.34; P< 0.05). There were no treatment effects on the frequency of aggressive behaviours (P> 0.05). There was no effect of diet or sex on skin lesion scores, but SUPPLEMENT females had lower cortisol concentrations than control females (1.51 ± 0.12 vs. 1.91 ± 0.13. ng/ml; P< 0.05). During the out-of-feed event, neither sex nor diet affected salivary cortisol levels, but males were more aggressive than females (0.182 vs. 0.122 aggressive interactions/pig/min; s.e. 0.019; P< 0.05), and control pigs had higher skin lesion scores than SUPPLEMENT pigs (13.2 ± 1.1 vs. 10.0 ± 1.0; P< 0.05). These findings suggest that the Mg supplement used in this study had some beneficial effects on pig welfare. © 2013.


PubMed | Celtic Sea Minerals
Type: Clinical Trial | Journal: Animal : an international journal of animal bioscience | Year: 2013

Growing pigs can display undesirable behaviours, reflecting or causing poor welfare. Addition of magnesium (Mg) to the diet could reduce these, as Mg supplementation has been associated with improved coping ability in response to stress. This study examined the effect of supplementation with a Mg-rich marine extract-based product (Supplement) on the behaviour, skin and tail lesion scores and salivary cortisol concentrations of growing pigs. At weaning (28 days), 448 piglets were assigned to either Control or Supplement (0.05%) diets in single-sex groups of 14. Four weeks later (c. 17 kg), pigs were blocked according to weight and back test scores. Seven piglets from each pen were mixed with seven from another pen of the same sex and dietary treatment to yield the following groups: control male, Supplement male, control female and Supplement female (n = 4 of each). This marked the start of the 9-week experimental period. Instances of the following behaviours were recorded in each pen for 8 2 min periods 1 day/week: aggression (fight, head-knock and bite); harmful (tail-in-mouth, ear-chewing and belly-nosing); and sexual/mounting behaviour. Four focal pigs were selected from each pen, and their behaviour was continuously recorded for 2 5 min periods on the same day. Saliva was collected once per week at 1000 h by allowing pigs to chew on a cotton bud for c. 1 min. Salivary cortisol was analysed in duplicate by an enzyme immunoassay. Skin and tail lesions were scored according to severity 1 day/week. There were fewer aggressive incidents in Supplement pens (P < 0.01), and mounting behaviour (performed only by males) was almost three times lower in Supplement than in control pens (P < 0.01). However, there was no effect of Supplement on the incidence of each of the harmful behaviours. Behaviour of the focal pigs showed no treatment effect on the duration or incidence of aggressive behaviour. However, Supplement pigs spent less time performing harmful behaviours compared with control pigs (P < 0.001). Supplement had no effect on the occurrence or severity of tail-biting outbreaks or on tail lesion scores. However, Supplement females had lower skin lesion scores, in particular in the ears and shoulders (P < 0.01). Finally, Supplement pigs had lower salivary cortisol concentrations (P < 0.01). Mounting is a major welfare concern in uncastrated pigs, and therefore this represents an important welfare benefit of Supplement. Reduced salivary cortisol, in conjunction with reduced skin lesion scores in supplemented females, suggests that addition of a Mg-rich marine extract improved pig welfare in this system.

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