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Wichman A.,University of Helsinki | Norring M.,University of Helsinki | Voutila L.,MTT Animal Production Research | Valros A.,University of Helsinki | And 2 more authors.
British Poultry Science | Year: 2012

1. Poultry are usually transported in crates which provide the birds with very limited space. Slaughter transport of male turkeys is often carried out using crates that are 40 cm or less in height where it is not possible for them to stand up. There is little information on how this physical restriction over many hours affects the birds.2. The aim of the study was to compare the welfare of male turkeys transported in crates 40 cm and 55 cm in height. Observations on the birds' behaviour during lairage, carcass damage and meat quality were carried out after four commercial slaughter transport journeys.3. Birds in 40 cm crates panted more and lay down more than birds in 55 cm crates during lairage. A large percentage of the carcasses had some damage. Significantly more birds from the 55 cm crates had scratches on their backs than birds from the 40 cm crates. There was no significant difference in meat quality between birds transported in the two crate heights.4. Both positive and negative effects of increased crate height were established and there is no evidence from this study that merely increasing crate height improves turkey welfare. Other solutions should therefore be sought in order to improve the welfare of birds during transport. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Virkajarvi P.,MTT Animal Production Research | Saarijarvi K.,MTT Animal Production Research | Rinne M.,MTT Animal Production Research | Saastamoinen M.,MTT Animal Production Research
EAAP Scientific Series | Year: 2012

Forage is the primary feed of the horse; it normally comprises more than 50% of the horse's diet on DM basis and it may supply 100% of the ration of many horse categories. Grasses are well adapted to frequent defoliation and to the presence of large herbivores, and consequently they cover, globally, large areas of natural and seminatural vegetation, and are also widely used in intensive forage production. As the Graminae is one of the largest plant families - over 600 genera - there is a large variation in the physiological mechanisms by which grasses react to environmental variables and management factors. In addition, humans utilize grass yield in several ways, i.e. as grazed grass, silage, haylage or hay. Consequently, crop physiology behind the grass yield is vast. In this paper we first describe on outline of plant physiology of grasses and main differences between C3 and C4 grasses as well as difference between forage legumes and grasses. Secondly, we focus on plant physiology of grasses that is of most relevance in the context of equine nutrition. We present an outline of key processes affecting the digestibility of grasses, since digestibility is the most important single feature of forage affecting the nutritive value. In addition, we cover fructan metabolism in grasses and its consequences in producing pasture, silage, haylage and hay. We also present a summary of effects of nitrogen on the production and nutritive value of grasses. We conclude that knowledge of plant physiology provides tools to understand the changes in forage quality and quantity. Based on this knowledge we have tools to choose the most proper management options in order to produce high quality forage for different types of horses.

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