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München, Germany

Ahrens F.,Chair of Animal Welfare | Platz S.,Chair of Animal Welfare | Link C.,Chair of Animal Welfare | Mahling M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2011

The objective was to investigate the effect of changing the flooring in the alleys of a barn from slatted concrete to slatted rubber mats on hoof disorders and animal hygiene in 44 loose-housed Brown Swiss dairy cows. Cows were examined for disorders of the hind hooves (hemorrhages, white line fissures, ulcers, heel horn erosion, and digital dermatitis) and for skin lesions. The dirtiness of the animals and of the floor was recorded. Climatic (temperature, humidity) and ammonia gas conditions were measured. Evaluations were carried out when the cows were housed on a concrete slatted floor and after 4 and 10 mo on soft flooring (slatted rubber mats, 29-mm thick). The anatomical portion of claw (medial, lateral), number of lactations (parity), and days in milk were included as covariates in the statistical model. Changing the flooring from slatted concrete to slatted rubber mats increased the score for white line fissures [1.0±0.3 (concrete) vs. 2.5±0.4 (10 mo rubber mats)] and influenced air humidity (i.e., the difference in the absolute humidity between the inside and outside of the barn increased from 1.5±0.1 to 1.7±0.2g/m3), whereas the other hoof disorders, skin lesions (score of 8.7±0.3), the dirtiness of the animals (score of 5.9±0.3), and the floor (score of 2.1±0.1), and ammonia gas concentration (2.6±0.3mg/kg) were not affected (overall scores or measures; mean ± SE). Lateral claws were more affected (except for heel horn erosion) than medial claws (estimated effects between 1.3±0.2 and 3.0±0.6). Parity influenced hoof disorders (except for hemorrhages) and skin lesions (estimated effects between -0.6±0.3 and 0.5±0.2). Days in milk influenced hoof disorders, but had no effect on skin lesions and on the dirtiness of the animal. Irrespective of floor type, the slots (2.6±0.1) were dirtier than the slats (1.6±0.1). In conclusion, covering slatted concrete flooring with slatted rubber mats partially impaired hoof health but did not influence skin lesions or the dirtiness of the cows or the floor. Similar results were found for climatic conditions, as ammonia gas concentration was not affected, but absolute humidity increased in the barn when rubber mats were present. © 2011 American Dairy Science Association.

Ozpinar H.,Istanbul Aydin University | Erhard M.,Chair of Animal Welfare | Ahrens F.,Chair of Animal Welfare | Kutay C.,Istanbul University
Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances | Year: 2010

Maintaining gut health is important for the production of high quality and profitable poultry. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of supplemental mannan ohgosaccharide (Bio-MOS®), Vitamin E (VE) and C (VC) on the growth performance and immune response of broilers given a corn based diet over a 6 weeks experimental period. About 1 day old male broilers (n = 300) were randomly distributed to 4 groups (75 birds in each group and 15 birds in each subgroup for repetation 5 times) and reared under similar conditions. Standard husbandry and good management practices were followed that met or exceeded industry guideline. At each feeding, the following treatments were administered: control (no Bio-MOS®, VE and VC), 1.5 g kg-1 Bio-MOS®, 500 μg kg-1 VE and 500 μg kg-1 VC. Body Weights (BW), Feed Intake (FI) and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) were measured on day 1, 21 and 42. Blood samples were taken from vena ulnaris every 7 days and were analyzed on IgG concentration. The results showed that there was no significant difference in BW, FI and FCR among the treatment groups. During the 6 weeks of trial period considering plasma IgG levels significant differences were only found as following: compared to control group it was significantly lower in VE group at week 1 and 2, higher in VC and Bio-MOS® groups at week 2 and lower in Bio-MOS® group at week 6. Additionally, at 4 week lowest (0.90±0.06 mg, n = 15) and at 5 week highest (2.85±0.18 mg, n = 15) plasma IgG level was found after applying the dietary treatment in Bio-Mose group. Consequently, this data suggest that supplementation of Bio-MOS®, VE or VC may not improve either broiler performance or immune response in healthy broilers. © Medwell Journals, 2010.

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