Institute for Livestock science ILS

Ettenhausen, Switzerland

Institute for Livestock science ILS

Ettenhausen, Switzerland
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Kast C.,Institute for Livestock science ILS | Roetschi A.,Institute for Food science IFS
Food Microbiology | Year: 2017

Occasionally, melissopalynological analysis reveals the presence of baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in honey sediments. A field experiment reproducing a common spring bee feeding practice, using sugar paste containing baker's yeast, was performed to understand how S. cerevisiae are introduced into honey. Apart from classical microscopy, a real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) system specific for S. cerevisiae was established for quantification of S. cerevisiae in honeys. Results showed that S. cerevisiae cells are stored in the honey of the brood combs and are also transferred into honey in the supers. The concentrations of S. cerevisiae were highest in honey of the brood frames immediately after the feeding and decreased over time to low concentrations at the end of the year. A high content of S. cerevisiae cells were also found in the honey from supers of the spring harvest. Observed S. cerevisiae cells were not able to multiply in a high-sugar environment, such as honey, and their viability decreased rapidly after addition to the honey. The screening of 200 Swiss honeys revealed the presence of S. cerevisiae in 4.5% of the samples, as determined by microscopy and qPCR. Finally, the method described here may indicate an unwanted sucrose addition to honey through bee-feeding. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd


Hillmann E.,ETH Zurich | Hilfiker S.,ETH Zurich | Keil N.M.,Institute for Livestock science ILS
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2014

The strict dominance hierarchy in goats bears the risk of low-ranking goats not getting adequate access to feed, especially for goats in small groups. The aim of our study was to test the effect of restraint in headlocks with and without blinds at the feed barrier on feeding and agonistic behaviour in horned and hornless goats. A total of 54 non-lactating dairy goats kept in 8 groups (4 horned, 4 hornless), was tested with 4 variants of the feed barrier (blinds yes/no, restraint in headlocks yes/no) in a 2. ×. 2-factorial design. Each variant was applied to each group for 5-6 weeks with an animal-to-feeding-place ratio of 1:1. Agonistic interactions and feeding behaviour were observed during the first hour after each of the two daily feed deliveries, and feeding behaviour was recorded additionally from 0:00. h to 5:00. h (night-time feeding). Data were analysed using generalised linear mixed-effects models separately for horned and hornless goats.In horned goats, feeding duration was longer when goats were restrained in headlocks during feeding than when they were unrestrained, and this effect was reinforced with blinds present (restraining×. blinds P= 0.01). Only when restrained, low-ranking goats fed nearly as long as high-ranking goats (restraining×. rank index P<. 0.0001). Horned goats were feeding for a considerable amount of time during the night; the lower the rank the more night-time feeding was observed (P= 0.002). In hornless goats, feeding duration was also longer when goats were restrained compared to being unrestrained, and this effect was largest in low-ranking hornless goats (restraining×. rank index P<. 0.0001). Blinds had no additional effect. Feeding during the night was observed at a low level, and no significant effect of either rank or feed barrier variants was found. Agonistic interactions with physical contact were at a low level in horned goats when they had unrestrained access to feed and when they were restrained with blinds, but agonistic interactions were increased when horned goats were restrained without blinds (restraining×. blinds P= 0.001). In hornless goats, agonistic interactions with contact were reduced only when being restrained with additional blinds present (restraining×. blinds P<. 0.001). Neither variant of the feed barrier nor rank index significantly affected body weight changes, regardless of horn status. In conclusion, restraint enabled all individuals of a herd to feed immediately after feed delivery. But when goats were restrained in the feed barrier, blinds between adjacent feeding places were necessary to prevent agonistic interactions with physical contact. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Westerath H.S.,ETH Zurich | Gygax L.,Institute for Livestock science ILS | Hillmann E.,ETH Zurich
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2014

In studies concerning animal welfare, especially on methods to enhance positive welfare, different stimuli are used to create positive situations or "rewards". A positive judgement by the animals, however, cannot be assumed a priori. The aim of this study was to determine by means of preference tests whether special feed and being brushed are judged as positive by young cattle. Three female and five male calves were given the choice between special feed (concentrate and carrots) and their ordinary feed (corn silage and hay). After this feed test, the animals were allowed to choose between an empty compartment and a compartment with a person who brushed the animal (brushing test). Next, in a negative-contrast test, the animals were given the choice between a person and an empty compartment. However, in one third of the choices for the person, the animals were not brushed but the person left the compartment after the animal's choice. For every trial, the choice and the latency to making a choice were noted. In the brushing test and the negative-contrast test, behaviour and heart rate variables during the stay in the choice compartments were also recorded. Results from the feed preference test showed that six of the eight animals significantly preferred the special feed during the third of the three test sessions, while the remaining two animals tended to prefer this feed (binomial test). When choosing the special feed, all animals fed on the concentrate in all trials but only three animals fed on the carrots. During the brushing test, four animals chose the brushing person more often than expected by chance during at least one session, while the remaining three animals showed a tendency in this preference (binomial test). The behaviours "leaning against the brush" and "stretching the neck while being brushed" were seen in all animals, indicating some kind of perceived pleasure when being brushed. When choosing to be brushed, animals seldom showed turning, exploring, self-grooming, or vocalising. In the empty compartment, however, these behaviours occurred more often, probably indicating signs of frustration. Similarly, the animals showed exploring and self-grooming when in the empty compartment and when not being brushed although the person was chosen in the negative-contrast test. We conclude that special feed, specifically concentrate, and being brushed by a person are rated as positive by calves. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Institute for Livestock science ILS and ETH Zurich
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of dairy science | Year: 2016

The objective of the study was to determine the effect of feeding sainfoin (SF; Onobrychis viciifolia) and birdsfoot trefoil (BT; Lotus corniculatus), 2 temperate climate forage legumes that contain condensed tannins (CT), on ruminal fermentation and N turnover in dairy cows. Six ruminally cannulated multiparous dairy cows (milk yield=40kg/d; 36 d in milk) were used in a replicated 33 Latin square design. All animals were fed basal diets containing 20% pelleted SF (223g of CT/kg of dry matter), BT (30.3g of CT/kg of dry matter), or alfalfa (AL) and concentrate to meet their predicted nutrient requirements. Each experimental period consisted of a 21-d adaptation period in a tiestall, followed by a 7-d collection period in metabolic crates, where feces and urine were collected quantitatively. During the 7-d period, milk yield was recorded daily and milk samples were taken at each milking. Blood, ruminal fluid, and papillae were sampled on d 2 and 5. The relative abundance of selected bacterial strains in ruminal fluid and the gene expression of transporter genes in the papillae were determined with quantitative PCR. Total volatile fatty acids and the abundance of the cellulolytic bacteria Prevotella spp. and Ruminococcus flavefaciens decreased with SF compared with AL. The relative gene expression of the monocarboxylate transporter 1 was increased with BT compared with AL and SF. Total yields of milk, milk fat, and milk protein were similar among treatments. The proportion of 18:3n-3 in milk fat was greater and those of 22:5n-3 and 22:6n-3 were lower with SF than with BT. The contents of urea N in blood (2.71, 3.45, and 3.90mmol/L for SF, AL, and BT, respectively), milk (79.8, 100.1, and 110.9mg/kg for SF, AL, and BT, respectively), and urine were lower with SF than with AL and BT, and a trend toward a lower ruminal ammonia content occurred with SF compared with BT. Intake and excretion of N with milk were similar among treatments, but urine N was lower with SF than with AL. The N excretion to N intake relation showed a shift in a part of urine N (17.5, 20.8, and 19.5% for SF, AL, and BT, respectively) to fecal N (45.2, 41.3, and 38.5% for SF, AL, and BT respectively) with SF compared with AL and BT. In conclusion, SF and BT differed in their effects on fermentation and milk fatty acid profile and SF also showed potential to decrease metabolic and environmental loads. The main reason for the different efficiency was likely a higher CT content of SF compared with BT.


Kupper T.,Bern University of Applied Sciences | Bonjour C.,Bonjour Engineering GmbH | Menzi H.,Institute for Livestock science ILS
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2015

The evolution of farm and manure management and their influence on ammonia (NH3) emissions from agriculture in Switzerland between 1990 and 2010 was modeled. In 2010, total agricultural NH3 emissions were 48,290tN. Livestock contributed 90% (43,480tN), with the remaining 10% (4760tN) coming from arable and fodder crops. The emission stages of grazing, housing/exercise yard, manure storage and application produced 3%, 34%, 17% and 46%, respectively, of livestock emissions. Cattle, pigs, poultry, small ruminants, horses and other equids accounted for 78%, 15%, 3%, 2% and 2%, respectively, of the emissions from livestock and manure management. Compared to 1990, total NH3 emissions from agriculture and from livestock decreased by 16% and 14%, respectively. This was mainly due to declining livestock numbers, since the emissions per animal became bigger for most livestock categories between 1990 and 2010. The production volume for milk and meat remained constant or increased slightly. Other factors contributing to the emission mitigation were increased grazing for cattle, the growing importance of low-emission slurry application techniques and a significant reduction in the use of mineral fertilizer. However, production parameters enhancing emissions such as animal-friendly housing systems providing more surface area per animal and total volume of slurry stores increased during this time period. That such developments may counteract emission mitigation illustrates the challenge for regulators to balance the various aims in the striving toward sustainable livestock production. A sensitivity analysis identified parameters related to the excretion of total ammoniacal nitrogen from dairy cows and slurry application as being the most sensitive technical parameters influencing emissions. Further improvements to emission models should therefore focus on these parameters. © 2014 The Authors.


Dohme-Meier F.,Institute for Livestock science ILS | Kaufmann L.D.,Institute for Livestock science ILS | Gors S.,Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | Junghans P.,Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | And 4 more authors.
Livestock Science | Year: 2014

An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of grazing versus zero-grazing on energy expenditure (EE), feeding behaviour and physical activity in dairy cows at different stages of lactation. Fourteen Holstein cows were subjected to two treatments in a repeated crossover design with three experimental series (S1, S2, and S3) reflecting increased days in milk (DIM). At the beginning of each series, cows were on average at 38, 94 and 171 (standard deviation (SD) 10.8) DIM, respectively. Each series consisted of two periods containing a 7-d adaptation and a 7-d collection period each. Cows either grazed on pasture for 16-18.5h per day or were kept in a freestall barn and had ad libitum access to herbage harvested from the same paddock. Herbage intake was estimated using the double alkane technique. On each day of the collection period, EE of one cow in the barn and of one cow on pasture was determined for 6h by using the 13C bicarbonate dilution technique, with blood sample collection done either manually in the barn or using an automatic sampling system on pasture. Furthermore, during each collection period physical activity and feeding behaviour of cows were recorded over 3d using pedometers and behaviour recorders. Milk yield decreased with increasing DIM (P<0.001) but was similar with both treatments. Herbage intake was lower (P<0.01) for grazing cows (16.8kgdry matter (DM)/d) compared to zero-grazing cows (18.9kgDM/d). The lowest (P<0.001) intake was observed in S1 and similar intakes were observed in S2 and S3. Within the 6-h measurement period, grazing cows expended 19% more (P<0.001) energy (319 versus 269kJ/kg metabolic body size (BW0.75)) than zero-grazing cows and differences in EE did not change with increasing DIM. Grazing cows spent proportionally more (P<0.001) time walking and less time standing (P<0.001) and lying (P<0.05) than zero-grazing cows. The proportion of time spent eating was greater (P<0.001) and that of time spent ruminating was lower (P<0.05) for grazing cows compared to zero-grazing cows. In conclusion, lower feed intake along with the unchanged milk production indicates that grazing cows mobilized body reserves to cover additional energy requirements which were at least partly caused by more physical activity. However, changes in cows' behaviour between the considered time points during lactation were too small so that differences in EE remained similar between treatments with increasing DIM. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Bucciarelli S.,Lund University | Mahmoudi N.,Lund University | Mahmoudi N.,University of Fribourg | Casal-Dujat L.,Lund University | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters | Year: 2016

Investigating proteins with techniques such as NMR or neutron scattering frequently requires the partial or complete substitution of D2O for H2O as a solvent, often tacitly assuming that such a solvent substitution does not significantly alter the properties of the protein. Here, we report a systematic investigation of the solvent isotope effect on the phase diagram of the lens protein γB-crystallin in aqueous solution as a model system exhibiting liquid-liquid phase separation. We demonstrate that the observed strong variation of the critical temperature Tc can be described by the extended law of corresponding states for all H2O/D2O ratios, where scaling of the temperature by Tc or the reduced second virial coefficient accurately reproduces the binodal, spinodal, and osmotic compressibility. These findings highlight the impact of H2O/D2O substitution on γB-crystallin properties and warrant further investigations into the universality of this phenomenon and its underlying mechanisms. © 2016 American Chemical Society.


PubMed | University of Bonn, Institute for Livestock science ILS and University of Bern
Type: | Journal: Animal : an international journal of animal bioscience | Year: 2016

As ruminants are able to digest fibre efficiently and assuming that competition for feed v. food use would intensify in the future, cereals and other field crops should primarily be destined to cover the dietary needs of humans and monogastric animals such as poultry and pigs. Farming systems with a reduced or absent concentrate supplementation, as postulated by organic agriculture associations, require adapted dairy cows. The aim of this experiment was to examine the impact of concentrate supplementation on milk production, grazing and rumination behaviour, feed intake, physical activity and blood traits with two Holstein-Friesian cow strains and to conclude the consequences for sustainable and organic farming. The experiment was a cross-over study and took place on an organic farm in Switzerland. In all, 12 Swiss Holstein-Friesian (HCH) cows and 12 New Zealand Holstein-Friesian (HNZ) cows, which were paired according to lactation number, days in milk and age for primiparous cows, were used. All cows grazed full time and were supplemented either with 6 kg/day of a commercial, organic cereal-grain mix or received no supplement. After an adaptation period of 21 days, a measurement period of 7 days followed, where milk yield and composition, pasture dry matter intake estimated with the n-alkane double-indicator technique, physical activity based on pedometer measurements, grazing behaviour recorded by automatic jaw movement recorder and blood samples were investigated. Non-supplemented cows had a lower milk yield and supplemented HCH cows produced more milk than supplemented HNZ cows. Grazing time and physical activity were greater for non-supplemented cows. Supplementation had no effect on rumination behaviour, but HNZ cows spent longer ruminating compared with HCH cows. Pasture dry matter intake decreased with the concentrate supplementation. Results of blood analysis did not indicate a strong negative energy balance for either non-supplemented or supplemented cows. Minor differences between cow strains in this short-term study indicated that both cow strains are equally suited for an organic pasture-based production system with no concentrate supplementation. Many factors such as milk yield potential, animal welfare and health, efficiency, grazing behaviour and social aspects influence the decision to supplement grazing dairy cows with concentrates.


Madsen J.G.,Institute for Livestock science ILS | Bee G.,Institute for Livestock science ILS
Animal | Year: 2014

The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the compensatory growth feeding strategy could be a suitable solution for overcoming the negative effects on growth, carcass composition and meat quality of low birth weight pigs. Forty-two Swiss Large White barrows from 21 litters were selected at weaning and categorized into either being light (L; >0.8 and <1.3 kg) or heavy (H; >1.7 kg) birth weight pigs. From 27.8 kg BW, pigs were assigned within birth weight group to one of three feeding groups: AA: ad libitum access to the grower and finisher diet, RR: restricted access to the grower and finisher diet or RA: restricted access to the grower diet and ad libitum access to the finisher diet. At slaughter, the longissimus (LM) and semitendinosus (STM) muscles were removed from the right side of the carcass. Weight, girth and length of the STM and the LM area were determined after muscle excision. Carcass characteristics and meat quality traits were assessed. Using mATPase histochemistry, myofibre size and myofibre type distribution were determined in the LM and STM. Because of longer days on feed, total feed intake was greater (P<0.01) and feed efficiency was lower (P<0.01) in L than H barrows. Regardless of the birth weight group, AA and RA barrows grew faster (P<0.05) than RR barrows. During the compensatory growth period, RA barrows grew faster (P<0.05) than AA or RR barrows. Growth efficiency did not differ between RA and RR barrows but was greater (P<0.05) compared with AA barrows. Carcasses of L barrows were fatter as indicated by the lower (P≤0.05) lean meat and greater (P0.02) omental and subcutaneous fat percentage. Lean meat percentage was lower (P0.05) in AA and RA than RR barrows. These differences caused by ad libitum feed access tended to be greater (feeding regime × birth weight group interaction; P<0.08) in L than H barrows. In L barrows, slow oxidative, fast oxidative glycolytic and overall average myofibre size of the LM and the fast glycolytic myofibres and overall average myofibre size of the dark portion of the STM were larger (P0.03) than in H barrows. The study revealed that the compensatory growth feeding strategy was inadequate in overcoming the disadvantages of low birth weight. © The Animal Consortium 2014.


Schori F.,Institute for Livestock science ILS | Munger A.,Institute for Livestock science ILS
Organic Agriculture | Year: 2014

Better efficiency of herbage utilisation by dairy cows even under organic condition needs more attention. Therefore, Holstein-Friesian dairy cows of New Zealand (HNZ) and Swiss origin (HCH) were compared in a pasture-based, seasonal calving system on an organic farm. During the 3-year investigation intake on pasture, feed conversion efficiency, grazing behaviour and physical activity of cows were compared. The HNZ were lighter (521 vs. 608 kg, P < 0.001) and showed a higher body condition score (2.9 vs. 2.6, P < 0.001) compared to HCH. Furthermore, the HNZ produced less energy-corrected milk (18.2 vs. 21.3 kg/day/cow, P < 0.001) and had a lower total intake than HCH (14.6 vs. 16.7 kg dry matter (DM)/day/cow, P < 0.001). No differences occurred between strains concerning herbage intake (13.0 vs. 12.8 kg DM/100 kg body weight (BW)0.75/day, P = 0.50) and total intake (13.4 vs. 13.6 kg DM/100 kg BW0.75/day, P = 0.52) relative to the metabolic body weight as well as for the short-term feed conversion efficiency (1.29 vs. 1.34 kg/kg, P = 0.22). Cows of both strains grazed equally long (571 vs. 582 min/day, P = 0.25). The HNZ ruminated longer (507 vs. 474 min day−1, P < 0.001) than HCH. No differences were found between strains regarding the number of rumination boli (577 vs. 556/day, P = 0.34) and of mastications per rumination bolus (60 vs. 59, P = 0.66). Further, no differences occurred concerning physical activity. Pertaining to grazing around dung patches, no differences were observed between strains. Striking differences in grazing behaviour were not observed, except prolonged rumination per day for HNZ, but this had no apparent effect on the feed conversion efficiency. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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