• Effect of abrupt weaning at housing on leukocyte distribution, functional activity of neutrophils, and acute phase protein response of beef calves

      Lynch, Eilish M; Earley, Bernadette; McGee, Mark; Doyle, Sean (Biomed Central, 2010-07-22)
      Background: Sixteen, spring-born, single suckled, castrated male calves of Limousin × Holstein-Friesian and Simmental × Holstein-Friesian dams respectively, were used to investigate the effect of weaning on total leukocyte and differential counts, neutrophil functional activity, lymphocyte immunophenotypes, and acute phase protein response. Calves grazed with their dams until the end of the grazing season when they were housed in a slatted floor shed. On the day of housing, calves were assigned to a treatment, (i) abruptly weaned (W: n = 8) or (ii) non-weaned (controls) (C: n = 8). Weaned calves were housed in pens without their dams, whereas non-weaned (control) calves were housed with their dams. Blood was collected on day -7, 0 (housing), 2, 7, and 14 to determine total leukocyte and differential counts and concentration of fibrinogen and haptoglobin. Lymphocyte immunophenotypes were characterised using selected surface antigens (CD4+, CD8+, WC1+ (γδ T cells), MHC Class II+ lymphocytes), and the functional activities of neutrophils (surface expression of L-selectin (CD62L), phagocytic and oxidative burst activity) were investigated using flow cytometry. Results: Treatment × sampling time interactions (P < 0.05) were detected for total leukocyte and neutrophil counts, all lymphocyte subsets, mean fluorescence intensity of CD62L+ neutrophils, and percentage neutrophils performing phagocytosis. On d 2, total leukocyte and neutrophil count increased (P < 0.001), and percentage CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes, percentage phagocytic neutrophils, mean fluorescence intensity of CD62L+ neutrophils decreased (P < 0.05) in W compared with baseline (d 0), whereas they were unchanged (P > 0.05) in C. On d 2, percentage WC1+ lymphocytes decreased (P < 0.05), whereas percentage MHC class II+ lymphocytes increased (P < 0.05) in W and C, however the magnitude of change was greater in W than C. There were no treatment × sampling time interactions (P > 0.05) for monocyte, eosinophil, and basophil counts, percentage G1+ neutrophils, or percentage oxidative burst positive neutrophils. Conclusions: Abrupt weaning resulted in increased neutrophil counts and impaired trafficking and phagocytic function. Together with the changes in lymphocyte subsets, the results suggest that there was a greater transitory reduction in immune function at housing in abruptly weaned than non-weaned beef calves.
    • The effect of abrupt weaning of suckler calves on the plasma concentrations of cortisol, catecholamines, leukocyte, acute-phase proteins and in vitro interferon-gamma production

      Hickey, Mary-Clare; Drennan, Michael J; Earley, Bernadette (Teagasc, 2005-12-01)
      The objective of this study was to examine the effect of abrupt weaning (inclusive of social group disruption and maternal separation) on the physiological mediators of stress and measures of immune function. Thirty-eight male and 38 female continental calves were habituated to handling for two weeks prior to bleeding. Calves were blocked on sex, weight and breed of dam and randomly assigned, within block, to either a control (cows remain with calves) or abruptly weaned group (calves removed from cows). Animals were separated into the respective treatment groups at weaning (0 h). Calves were bled at – 168 h, 6 h (males only), 24 h, 48 h and 168 h post weaning. At each sampling time an observer scored the behavioural reaction of calves to sampling. Blood samples were analysed for cortisol, catecholamine concentrations (not sampled at –168 h) and in vitro interferon-gamma production, neutrophil :lymphocyte ratio and acute phase protein concentrations. All continuous data were analysed using a split-plot ANOVA, except that collected at 6 h, which was analysed using a single factor ANOVA model. The effects of weaning, calf sex and time and respective interactions were described. Disruption of the established social groups at 0 h, increased (p<0.001) the plasma cortisol concentration and neutrophil: lymphocyte ratio and reduced the leukocyte concentration (p<0.001) and the in vitro interferon-gamma response to the mitogen concanavalin-A (p<0.001) and keyhole limpet haemocyanin (p<0.001) for weaned and control animals, when compared with –168h. Plasma adrenaline and noradrenaline concentrations were not affected by group disruption. There was no effect of weaning or sex on calf behavioural reaction to handling during blood sampling. Plasma cortisol and adrenaline concentrations were not affected by weaning or sex. Plasma noradrenaline concentration was influenced by weaning x sex (p<0.05) and time x sex (p<0.05). The response increased for male calves with weaning and increased with each sampling time post weaning. For heifers the response was not affected by weaning and plasma concentrations decreased at 168 h post weaning. There was no effect of weaning or sex on leukocyte concentration. The neutrophils : lymphocyte ration increased post weaning (p<0.01) and was affected by sex (p<0.05). Weaning decreased (p<0.05) the in vitro interferon-gamma response to the antigen KLH. There was a time x weaning x sex (p<0.05) interaction for fibrinogen concentration but no effect of treatment on haptoglobin concentration. Abrupt weaning increased plasma cortisol and nor-adrenaline concentrations, which was accompanied by attenuation of in vitro interferon gamma production to novel mitogen and antigen complexes up to 7 days post weaning.
    • The effect of abrupt weaning of suckler calves on the plasma concentrations of cortisol, catecholamines, leukocyte, acute-phase proteins and in vitro interferon-gamma production.

      Hickey, Mary-Clare; Drennan, Michael J; Earley, Bernadette (Teagasc, 2005-12-01)
      The objective of this study was to examine the effect of abrupt weaning (inclusive of social group disruption and maternal separation) on the physiological mediators of stress and measures of immune function. Thirty-eight male and 38 female continental calves were habituated to handling for two weeks prior to bleeding. Calves were blocked on sex, weight and breed of dam and randomly assigned, within block, to either a control (cows remain with calves) or abruptly weaned group (calves removed from cows). Animals were separated into the respective treatment groups at weaning (0 h). Calves were bled at – 168 h, 6 h (males only), 24 h, 48 h and 168 h post weaning. At each sampling time an observer scored the behavioural reaction of calves to sampling. Blood samples were analysed for cortisol, catecholamine concentrations (not sampled at –168 h) and in vitro interferon-gamma production, neutrophil :lymphocyte ratio and acute phase protein concentrations. All continuous data were analysed using a split-plot ANOVA, except that collected at 6 h, which was analysed using a single factor ANOVA model. The effects of weaning, calf sex and time and respective interactions were described. Disruption of the established social groups at 0 h, increased (p<0.001) the plasma cortisol concentration and neutrophil: lymphocyte ratio and reduced the leukocyte concentration (p<0.001) and the in vitro interferon-gamma response to the mitogen concanavalin-A (p<0.001) and keyhole limpet haemocyanin (p<0.001) for weaned and control animals, when compared with –168h. Plasma adrenaline and noradrenaline concentrations were not affected by group disruption. There was no effect of weaning or sex on calf behavioural reaction to handling during blood sampling. Plasma cortisol and adrenaline concentrations were not affected by weaning or sex. Plasma noradrenaline concentration was influenced by weaning x sex (p<0.05) and time x sex (p<0.05). The response increased for male calves with weaning and increased with each sampling time post weaning. For heifers the response was not affected by weaning and plasma concentrations decreased at 168 h post weaning. There was no effect of weaning or sex on leukocyte concentration. The neutrophils : lymphocyte ration increased post weaning (p<0.01) and was affected by sex (p<0.05). Weaning decreased (p<0.05) the in vitro interferon-gamma response to the antigen KLH. There was a time x weaning x sex (p<0.05) interaction for fibrinogen concentration but no effect of treatment on haptoglobin concentration. Abrupt weaning increased plasma cortisol and nor-adrenaline concentrations, which was accompanied by attenuation of in vitro interferon gamma production to novel mitogen and antigen complexes up to 7 days post weaning.
    • The effect of cereal type and feeding frequency on intake, rumen fermentation, digestibility, growth and carcass traits of finishing steers offered a grass silage-based diet

      Drennan, Michael J; McGee, Mark; Moloney, Aidan P (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2006)
      The effect of concentrate cereal type (rolled barley-based v. rolled wheat-based) and concentrate feeding frequency (one 6 kg feed v. two 3 kg feeds per day) on intake, rumen fermentation, diet digestibility and performance of finishing steers offered grass silage to appetite was evaluated over four experiments using a total of 154 animals. Not all four feeding treatments were used in each of the four experiments. The duration of the growth measurement period was 152, 112, 111 and 113 days for experiments 1 to 4, respectively, after which all animals were slaughtered. Dietary dry matter (DM) intake and in vivo digestibility, final live weight, kill-out proportion, carcass weight, carcass conformation score, carcass fat score and daily liveweight and estimated carcass gain were not affected (P > 0.05) by cereal type or feeding frequency. Cereal type or feeding frequency had no effect (P > 0.05) on feed conversion efficiency (FCE) expressed as either live-weight or carcass gain per unit DM intake. Neither mean rumen fluid pH or concentrations of ammonia or L-lactate were influenced by cereal type or feeding frequency. The mean molar proportion of propionate was higher and that of butyrate lower (P < 0.05) with wheat than with barley. Estimated carcass weight gain and FCE to carcass were similar for wheat based and barley-based concentrate as a supplement to grass silage offered either as one feed or two equal feeds daily.
    • Effect of concrete slats, three mat types and out-wintering pads on performance and welfare of finishing beef steers

      Earley, Bernadette; McNamara, John D; Jerrams, Stephen J; O’Riordan, Edward G. (Springer Nature, 2017-05-30)
      Background The objective was to investigate the effect of placing mats on concrete slatted floors on performance, behaviour, hoof condition, dirt scores, physiological and immunological variables of beef steers, and to compare responses with animals on out-wintering pads. Continental crossbred beef steers [n = 360; mean (±SD) initial live weight 539 kg (42.2)] were blocked by breed and live weight and randomly assigned to one of five treatments; (1) Concrete slats alone, (2) Mat 1 (Natural Rubber structure) (Durapak Rubber Products), (3) Mat 2 (Natural rubber structure) (EasyFix), (4) Mat 3 (modified ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam structure) and (5) Out-wintering pads (OWP’s). Results Animals on the OWPs had a greater (P < 0.05) live weight gain (P < 0.05) compared with the slat and Mat 2 treatments: results for Mat 1 and Mat 3 were the same (P > 0.05) as the other treatments. Animals on the OWPs had reduced lying percentage time compared with all the other treatments. Dry matter (DM) intake was greater for animals on the OWPs compared with all the other treatments. Carcass weight, kill out proportion, carcass fat score, carcass composition score, FCR and physiological responses were similar (P > 0.05) among treatments. No incidence of laminitis was observed among treatments. The number of hoof lesions was greater on all mat types (P < 0.05) compared with concrete slats and OWP treatments. Dirt scores were greater (P < 0.05) for animals on OWPs when measured on days 42, 84, 105, 126 and 150 compared with animals on slats. Conclusions Under the conditions adopted for the present study, there was no evidence to suggest that animals housed on bare concrete slats were disadvantaged in respect of animal welfare compared with animals housed on other floor types. It is concluded that the welfare of steers was not adversely affected by slats compared with different mat types or OWPs.
    • Effect of dietary restriction and subsequent re-alimentation on the transcriptional profile of bovine ruminal epithelium

      Keogh, Kate; Waters, Sinead M.; Cormican, Paul; Kelly, Alan K.; O'Shea, Emma; Kenny, David A. (PLOS, 2017-05-17)
      Compensatory growth (CG) is utilised worldwide in beef production systems as a management approach to reduce feed costs. However the underlying biology regulating the expression of CG remains to be fully elucidated. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of dietary restriction and subsequent re-alimentation induced CG on the global gene expression profile of ruminal epithelial papillae. Holstein Friesian bulls (n = 60) were assigned to one of two groups: restricted feed allowance (RES; n = 30) for 125 days (Period 1) followed by ad libitum access to feed for 55 days (Period 2) or (ii) ad libitum access to feed throughout (ADLIB; n = 30). At the end of each period, 15 animals from each treatment were slaughtered and rumen papillae harvested. mRNA was isolated from all papillae samples collected. cDNA libraries were then prepared and sequenced. Resultant reads were subsequently analysed bioinformatically and differentially expressed genes (DEGs) are defined as having a Benjamini-Hochberg P value of <0.05. During re-alimentation in Period 2, RES animals displayed CG, growing at 1.8 times the rate of their ADLIB contemporary animals in Period 2 (P < 0.001). At the end of Period 1, 64 DEGs were identified between RES and ADLIB, with only one DEG identified at the end of Period 2. When analysed within RES treatment (RES, Period 2 v Period 1), 411 DEGs were evident. Genes identified as differentially expressed in response to both dietary restriction and subsequent CG included those involved in processes such as cellular interactions and transport, protein folding and gene expression, as well as immune response. This study provides an insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying the expression of CG in rumen papillae of cattle; however the results suggest that the role of the ruminal epithelium in supporting overall animal CG may have declined by day 55 of re-alimentation.
    • Effect of Dietary Restriction and Subsequent Re-Alimentation on the Transcriptional Profile of Bovine Skeletal Muscle

      Keogh, Kate; Kenny, David A.; Cormican, Paul; McCabe, Matthew S.; Kelly, Alan; Waters, Sinead M. (PLOS, 2016-02-12)
      Compensatory growth (CG), an accelerated growth phenomenon which occurs following a period of dietary restriction is exploited worldwide in animal production systems as a method to lower feed costs. However the molecular mechanisms regulated CG expression remain to be elucidated fully. This study aimed to uncover the underlying biology regulating CG in cattle, through an examination of skeletal muscle transcriptional profiles utilising next generation mRNA sequencing technology. Twenty Holstein Friesian bulls were fed either a restricted diet for 125 days, with a target growth rate of 0.6 kg/day (Period 1), following which they were allowed feed ad libitum for a further 55 days (Period 2) or fed ad libitum for the entirety of the trial. M. longissimus dorsi biopsies were harvested from all bulls on days 120 and 15 of periods 1 and 2 respectively and RNAseq analysis was performed. During realimentation in Period 2, previously restricted animals displayed CG, growing at 1.8 times the rate of the ad libitum control animals. Compensating animals were also more feed efficient during re-alimentation and compensated for 48% of their previous dietary restriction. 1,430 and 940 genes were identified as significantly differentially expressed (Benjamini Hochberg adjusted P < 0.1) in periods 1 and 2 respectively. Additionally, 2,237 genes were differentially expressed in animals undergoing CG relative to dietary restriction. Dietary restriction in Period 1 was associated with altered expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism and energy production. CG expression in Period 2 occurred in association with greater expression of genes involved in cellular function and organisation. This study highlights some of the molecular mechanisms regulating CG in cattle. Differentially expressed genes identified are potential candidate genes for the identification of biomarkers for CG and feed efficiency, which may be incorporated into future breeding programmes
    • Effect of dietary restriction and subsequent re-alimentation on the transcriptional profile of hepatic tissue in cattle

      Keogh, Kate; Kenny, David A; Cormican, Paul; Kelly, Alan K; Waters, Sinead M. (Biomed Central, 2016-03-17)
      Background Compensatory growth (CG) is an accelerated growth phenomenon observed in animals upon re-alimentation following a period of dietary restriction. It is typically utilised in livestock systems to reduce feed costs during periods of reduced feed availability. The biochemical mechanisms controlling this phenomenon, however, are yet to be elucidated. This study aimed to uncover the molecular mechanisms regulating the hepatic expression of CG in cattle, utilising RNAseq. RNAseq was performed on hepatic tissue of bulls following 125 days of dietary restriction (RES) and again following 55 days of subsequent re-alimentation during which the animals exhibited significant CG. The data were compared with those of control animals offered the same diet on an ad libitum basis throughout (ADLIB). Elucidation of the molecular control of CG may yield critical information on genes and pathways which could be targeted as putative molecular biomarkers for the selection of animals with improved CG potential. Results Following a period of differential feeding, body-weight and liver weight were 161 and 4 kg higher, respectively, for ADLIB compared with RES animals. At this time RNAseq analysis of liver tissue revealed 1352 significantly differentially expressed genes (DEG) between the two treatments. DEGs indicated down-regulation of processes including nutrient transport, cell division and proliferation in RES. In addition, protein synthesis genes were up-regulated in RES following a period of restricted feeding. The subsequent 55 days of ad libitum feeding for both groups resulted in the body-weight difference reduced to 84 kg, with no difference in liver weight between treatment groups. At the end of 55 days of unrestricted feeding, 49 genes were differentially expressed between animals undergoing CG and their continuously fed counterparts. In particular, hepatic expression of cell proliferation and growth genes were greater in animals undergoing CG. Conclusions Greater expression of cell cycle and cell proliferation genes during CG was associated with a 100 % recovery of liver weight during re-alimentation. Additionally, an apparent up-regulation in capacity for cellular protein synthesis during restricted feeding may contribute to and sustain CG during re-alimentation. DEGs identified are potential candidate genes for the identification of biomarkers for CG, which may be incorporated into future breeding programmes.
    • The effect of dry period duration and dietary energy density on milk production, bioenergetic status and postpartum ovarian function in Holstein-Friesian dairy cows

      de Feu, M.A.; Evans, A.C.O.; Lonergan, P.; Butler, Stephen T. (American Dairy Science Association and Elsevier Inc., 2009-12)
      Following parturition, it is typical for dairy cows to enter a period of negative energy balance (NEB) and body condition loss to support mammary milk synthesis, and this is associated with compromised reproductive performance. Alternative management strategies during the prepartum (dry) and early post partum periods may ameliorate this. Forty mature Holstein-Friesian cows were assigned to one of two dry period treatments (standard 8 week dry period (SDP) or no planned dry period (NDP)) and one of two dietary energy density treatments (standard TMR (STMR) or high quality TMR (HTMR)). Milk yield during weeks 1 to 12 postpartum was reduced (P = 0.01) in cows assigned to the NDP treatment. Energy balance (P < 0.001) and body condition score (P = 0.07) during weeks 1 to 4 postpartum were increased in cows assigned to the NDP treatment compared to the cows assigned to the SDP, and BCS increased (P<0.001) from weeks 5 to 12 postpartum in the NDP cows compared to the SDP cows. During the first 12 weeks postpartum, cows assigned to the HTMR had greater (P = 0.02) milk yields and reduced (P < 0.001) milk fat concentration compared to the cows assigned the STMR diet. BCS was greater (P = 0.01) from weeks 5 to 12 postpartum in HTMR cows compared to STMR cows. During the period from weeks -3 to +3 relative to parturition, circulating concentrations of insulin (P = 0.001), glucose (P < 0.001) and IGF-I (P = 0.004) were greater in cows on the NDP treatment compared to cows on the SDP treatment. Cows assigned to the HTMR had greater circulating insulin (P = 0.04) and glucose (P = 0.001) concentrations compared to the STMR cows from weeks -3 to +3 relative to parturition. The first postpartum ovulation occurred earlier for cows on the NDP treatment compared to cows on the SDP treatment (16.9 vs. 24.8 days postpartum; P = 0.02). Cows assigned to the STMR tended to have a higher conception rate to first service (P = 0.07) compared to cows assigned to the HTMR. Energy balance and metabolic status can be improved by either eliminating the dry period or by feeding a higher energy diet, but effects on the reproductive axis appear to be different.
    • Effect of early calf-hood nutrition on the transcriptomic profile of subcutaneous adipose tissue in Holstein-Friesian bulls

      English, Anne-Marie; Waters, Sinead M.; Cormican, Paul; Byrne, Colin J; Fair, Seán; Kenny, David A; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; Irish Research Council; 11/S/116; GOIPG/2013/1391 (Biomed Central, 2018-04-24)
      Background Adipose tissue is a major endocrine organ and is thought to play a central role in the metabolic control of reproductive function in cattle. Plane of nutrition during early life has been shown to influence the timing of puberty in both male and female cattle, though the exact biological mechanisms involved are currently unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of early calf-hood nutrition on the transcriptomic profile of subcutaneous adipose tissue in Holstein-Friesian bulls to identify possible downstream effects on reproductive physiology. Results Holstein-Friesian bull calves with a mean (±S.D.) age and bodyweight of 19 (±8.2) days and 47.5 (±5.3) kg, respectively, were assigned to either a high (n = 10) or low (n = 10) plane of nutrition. Calves were fed in order to achieve an overall growth rate of 1.08 and 0.57 kg/day for the high and low plane of nutrition treatments, respectively. At 126 days of age, the bulls were euthanized, subcutaneous adipose tissue samples were harvested and RNAseq analysis was performed. There were 674 genes differentially expressed in adipose tissue of calves on the low compared with the high plane of nutrition (P < 0.05; FDR < 0.05; fold change > 2.0). High plane of nutrition positively altered the expression of genes across an array of putative biological processes but the most dominant cellular processes affected were cellular energy production and branched chain amino acid degradation. A high plane of nutrition caused upregulation of genes such as leptin (LEP) and adiponectin (ADIPOQ), which are known to directly affect reproductive function. Conclusions These results provide an insight into the effect of augmenting the plane of nutrition of Holstein-Friesian bull calves in the prepubertal period on the transcriptome of adipose tissue.
    • Effect of exposure to Neospora caninum, Salmonella, and Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo on the economic performance of Irish dairy herds

      O'Doherty, Eugene; Sayers, Riona; O'Grady, L.; Shalloo, Laurence (Elsevier, 2015-02-20)
      The objective of the current study was to quantify the effects of exposure to Salmonella, Neospora caninum, and Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo (L. hardjo) on dairy farm profitability and to simulate the effect of vaccination for Salmonella and L. hardjo on dairy farm profitability. The production effects associated with exposure to each of these pathogens in study herds were defined under 3 categories: (1) milk production effects, (2) reproduction effects (including culling), and (3) mortality effects. The production effects associated with exposure to Salmonella, N. caninum, and L. hardjo were incorporated into the Moorepark Dairy Systems Model. In the analysis, herds negative for exposure to Salmonella, N. caninum, and L. hardjo were assumed baseline herds, with all results presented relative to this base. In simulations examining the effect of vaccination for Salmonella and L. hardjo on farm profitability, vaccinated herds (vaccination costs included) were considered as baseline herds and results were presented relative to this base. Total annual profits in unvaccinated herds were reduced by €77.31, €94.71, and €112.11 per cow at milk prices of €0.24, €0.29, and €0.34/L, respectively, as a result of exposure to Salmonella. In the current study, herds positive for exposure to Salmonella recorded a 316-kg reduction in milk yield, whereas no association was detected between exposure to N. caninum or L. hardjo and milk production. Exposure to both N. caninum and L. hardjo was associated with compromised reproductive performance. Herds positive for exposure to N. caninum and Salmonella had greater rates of adult cow mortality and calf mortality, respectively. Vaccination for both Salmonella and L. hardjo was associated with improved performance in study herds. Exposure to N. caninum resulted in a reduction in annual farm profits of €11.55, €12, and €12.44 per cow at each milk price, whereas exposure to L. hardjo resulted in a reduction in annual farm profits of €13.83, €13.78, and €13.72 per cow at each milk price. Herds that tested positive for exposure to Salmonella and L. hardjo were compared with herds vaccinated for the respective pathogens. Herds vaccinated for Salmonella generated €67.09, €84.48, and €101.89 per cow more profit at each milk price compared with herds positive for exposure. Similarly, herds vaccinated for L. hardjo generated €9.74, €9.69, and €9.63 per cow more profit compared with unvaccinated exposed herds. However, herds that tested negative for exposure to Salmonella and L. hardjo generated additional profits of €10.22 and €4.09 per cow, respectively, compared with vaccinated baseline herds.
    • Effect of exposure to Neospora caninum, Salmonella, and Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo on the economic performance of Irish dairy herds

      O'Doherty, E.; Sayers, Riona; O'Grady, L.; Shalloo, Laurence (Elsevier Inc and American Dairy Science Association, 2015-02-20)
      The objective of the current study was to quantify the effects of exposure to Salmonella, Neospora caninum, and Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo (L. hardjo) on dairy farm profitability and to simulate the effect of vaccination for Salmonella and L. hardjo on dairy farm profitability. The production effects associated with exposure to each of these pathogens in study herds were defined under 3 categories: (1) milk production effects, (2) reproduction effects (including culling), and (3) mortality effects. The production effects associated with exposure to Salmonella, N. caninum, and L. hardjo were incorporated into the Moorepark Dairy Systems Model. In the analysis, herds negative for exposure to Salmonella, N. caninum, and L. hardjo were assumed baseline herds, with all results presented relative to this base. In simulations examining the effect of vaccination for Salmonella and L. hardjo on farm profitability, vaccinated herds (vaccination costs included) were considered as baseline herds and results were presented relative to this base. Total annual profits in unvaccinated herds were reduced by €77.31, €94.71, and €112.11 per cow at milk prices of €0.24, €0.29, and €0.34/L, respectively, as a result of exposure to Salmonella. In the current study, herds positive for exposure to Salmonella recorded a 316-kg reduction in milk yield, whereas no association was detected between exposure to N. caninum or L. hardjo and milk production. Exposure to both N. caninum and L. hardjo was associated with compromised reproductive performance. Herds positive for exposure to N. caninum and Salmonella had greater rates of adult cow mortality and calf mortality, respectively. Vaccination for both Salmonella and L. hardjo was associated with improved performance in study herds. Exposure to N. caninum resulted in a reduction in annual farm profits of €11.55, €12, and €12.44 per cow at each milk price, whereas exposure to L. hardjo resulted in a reduction in annual farm profits of €13.83, €13.78, and €13.72 per cow at each milk price. Herds that tested positive for exposure to Salmonella and L. hardjo were compared with herds vaccinated for the respective pathogens. Herds vaccinated for Salmonella generated €67.09, €84.48, and €101.89 per cow more profit at each milk price compared with herds positive for exposure. Similarly, herds vaccinated for L. hardjo generated €9.74, €9.69, and €9.63 per cow more profit compared with unvaccinated exposed herds. However, herds that tested negative for exposure to Salmonella and L. hardjo generated additional profits of €10.22 and €4.09 per cow, respectively, compared with vaccinated baseline herds.
    • Effect of feed on cholesterol concentration and oxidation products development of longissimus dorsi muscle from Iberian pigs

      Rey, A.I.; Lopez-Borte, C.J.; Buckley, J.D. (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2004)
      The effect of dietary free-range feeding or supplementation with copper and/or vitamin E in confinement on total cholesterol, neutral and polar lipids and cholesterol oxidation of the longissimus dorsi muscle from Iberian pigs was studied. Free-range fed pigs had higher (P=0.001) contents of γ-tocopherol and lower concentrations of α-tocopherol in the muscle than pigs fed diets supplemented with 100 mg/kg vitamin E. The total cholesterol content of the muscle was not significantly affected by the diets. However, the cholesterol:phospholipid ratio was higher (P<0.05), and consequently the membrane fluidity was lower, in the free-range fed pigs than in the pigs fed in confinement with either copper-supplemented (P<0.05) or vitamin E-supplemented (P<0.01) diets. The proportion of saturated fatty acids in phospholipids was greater (P<0.05) in the free-range fed group, which suggests metabolic regulation to maintain membrane structure. Free-range feeding produced higher levels of free fatty acids (P<0.01), lysophosphatidylcholine (P<0.05) and phosphatidylserine (P<0.01) and lower cholesterol esters (P<0.01) and sphingomyelin (P<0.05) in the muscle than the other groups. The ratios of phosphatidylethanolamine:phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin: phosphatidylcholine, which are indicators of membrane fluidity, were not significantly affected in any group. Dietary α-tocopheryl acetate supplementation produced lower β-epoxide (P<0.01), 7β-OH (P<0.05), and total cholesterol oxides (P<0.01) in cooked muscle after refrigerated display than in the other groups. These results indicate that supplementation with dietary α-tocopheryl acetate is more effective in reducing cholesterol oxidation than free-range feeding in cooked muscle from Iberian pigs. In evaluating oxidation, the composition of the muscle and meat treatment have to be considered as well as membrane fluidity.
    • Effect of feeding colostrum at different volumes and subsequent number of transition milk feeds on the serum immunoglobulin G concentration and health status of dairy calves

      Conneely, Muireann; Berry, Donagh P.; Murphy, J. P.; Lorenz, I.; Doherty, M. L.; Kennedy, Emer (Elsevier for American Dairy Science Association, 2014-09)
      Transfer of sufficient IgG to the newborn calf via colostrum is vital to provide it with adequate immunological protection and resistance to disease. The objectives of the present study were to compare serum IgG concentration and health parameters of calves (1) fed different volumes of colostrum [7, 8.5, or 10% of body weight (BW)] within 2 h of birth and (2) given 0, 2, or 4 subsequent feedings of transition milk (i.e., milkings 2 to 6 postcalving). Ninety-nine dairy calves were fed 7, 8.5, or 10% of BW in colostrum within 2 h of birth and given 0, 2, or 4 subsequent feedings of transition milk. The concentration of IgG in the serum of calves was measured at 24, 48, 72, and 642 h of age by an ELISA. The apparent efficiency of absorption for IgG was determined. Health scores were assigned to calves twice per week and all episodes of disease were recorded. The effect of experimental treatment on calf serum IgG concentration differed by the age of the calf. Calves fed 8.5% of BW in colostrum had a greater mean serum IgG concentration than calves fed 7 or 10% of BW at 24, 48, and 72 h of age. At 642 h of age, serum IgG concentrations of calves fed 8.5% of BW (24.2 g/L) and calves fed 10% of BW (21.6 g/L) did not differ, although the serum IgG concentration of calves fed 8.5% of BW was still greater than that of calves fed 7% of BW (20.7 g/L). No difference in serum IgG concentration existed between calves fed 7% of BW and those fed 10% of BW at any age. No significant effect of number of subsequent feedings of transition milk on calf serum IgG concentration was detected. The apparent efficiency of absorption of calves fed 8.5% of BW in colostrum (38%) was greater than calves fed 7% of BW in colostrum (26%) and tended to be greater than in calves fed 10% of BW (29%). Calves fed further feedings of transition milk after the initial feeding of colostrum had a lower odds (0.62; 95% confidence interval: 0.41 to 0.93) of being assigned a worse eye/ear score (i.e., a more copious ocular discharge or pronounced ear droop) and a lower odds (0.5; 95% confidence interval: 0.32 to 0.79) of being assigned a worse nasal score (i.e., a more copious and purulent nasal discharge) during the study period relative to calves that received no further feedings of transition milk. In conclusion, calves fed 8.5% of BW in colostrum within 2 h of birth achieved a greater concentration of IgG in serum in the first 3 d of life than calves fed either 7 or 10% of BW. Feeding calves transition milk subsequently reduced their odds of being assigned a worse eye/ear and nasal score.
    • Effect of floor type on the performance, physiological and behavioural responses of finishing beef steers

      Earley, Bernadette; McDonnell, Barry; O'Riordan, Edward G. (Biomed Central, 2015-10-31)
      Background:The study objective was to investigate the effect of bare concrete slats (Control), two types of mats [(Easyfix mats (mat 1) and Irish Custom Extruder mats (mat 2)] fitted on top of concrete slats, and wood-chip to simulate deep bedding (wood-chip placed on top of a plastic membrane overlying the concrete slats) on performance, physiological and behavioral responses of finishing beef steers. One-hundred and forty-four finishing steers (503 kg; standard deviation 51.8 kg) were randomly assigned according to their breed (124 Continental cross and 20 Holstein–Friesian) and body weight to one of four treatments for 148 days. All steers were subjected to the same weighing, blood sampling (jugular venipuncture), dirt and hoof scoring pre study (day 0) and on days 23, 45, 65, 86, 107, 128 and 148 of the study. Cameras were fitted over each pen for 72 h recording over five periods and subsequent 10 min sampling scans were analysed. Results: Live weight gain and carcass characteristics were similar among treatments. The number of lesions on the hooves of the animals was greater (P < 0.05) on mats 1 and 2 and wood-chip treatments compared with the animals on the slats. Dirt scores were similar for the mat and slat treatments while the wood-chip treatment had greater dirt scores. Animals housed on either slats or wood-chip had similar lying times. The percent of animals lying was greater for animals housed on mat 1 and mat 2 compared with those housed on concrete slats and wood chips. Physiological variables showed no significant difference among treatments. Conclusions: In this exploratory study, the performance or welfare of steers was not adversely affected by slats, differing mat types or wood-chip as underfoot material.
    • Effect of genetic group and feed system on locomotion score, clinical lameness and hoof disorders of pasture-based Holstein–Friesian cows

      Olmos, G.; Boyle, Laura; Horan, Brendan; Berry, Donagh P.; O'Connor, P.; Mee, John F; Hanlon, A. (Cambridge University Press, 2009-01)
      The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of the genetic group of the Holstein–Friesian (HF) and pasture-based feeding system (3 × 2 factorial arrangement) on locomotion score (six gait aspects scored from one to five), clinical lameness and hoof disorders within a seasonal calving milk production system. The three genetic groups compared had an average Economic Breeding Index (EBI) value of 40, 70 and 80: representing the Irish national average genetic merit (LOW-NA), high EBI genetic merit of North American ancestry (HIGH-NA) and high EBI genetic merit of New Zealand ancestry (HIGH-NZ), respectively. Two feed systems were compared: a high grass allowance, low-concentrate system typical of spring-calving herds in Ireland (control) and a high-concentrate system. Data from 126 cows collected across a complete lactation period were analysed using generalised estimating equations and survival analysis. Genetic group of HF had a significant effect on locomotion score, clinical lameness and hoof disorders. Higher EBI cows (HIGH-NA and HIGH-NZ) had lower hazard of poor locomotion score in some gait aspects (e.g. spine curvature) and lower odds of clinical lameness in the first 200 days post-calving (Odds ratios 0.08 and 0.24, respectively, relative to the LOW-NA) and some hoof disorders (e.g. traumatic lesions) compared with LOW-NA cows. The high-concentrate feed system showed a higher incidence and severity of digital dermatitis (P < 0.01). Thus, high EBI cows have better locomotion, fewer cases of clinical lameness and less-severe hoof disorders (i.e. digital dermatitis, white line disease and traumatic lesions) than low EBI cows. These findings have important implications for cow welfare and productivity.
    • Effect of genotype on duodenal expression of nutrient transporter genes in dairy cows

      Waters, Sinead M.; Keogh, Kate; Buckley, Frank; Kenny, David A (Biomed Central, 2013-12-09)
      Background Studies have shown clear differences between dairy breeds in their feed intake and production efficiencies. The duodenum is critical in the coordination of digestion and absorption of nutrients. This study examined gene transcript abundance of important classes of nutrient transporters in the duodenum of non lactating dairy cows of different feed efficiency potential, namely Holstein-Friesian (HF), Jersey (JE) and their F1 hybrid. Duodenal epithelial tissue was collected at slaughter and stored at -80°C. Total RNA was extracted from tissue and reverse transcribed to generate cDNA. Gene expression of the following transporters, namely nucleoside; amino acid; sugar; mineral; and lipid transporters was measured using quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Data were statistically analysed using mixed models ANOVA in SAS. Orthogonal contrasts were used to test for potential heterotic effects and spearman correlation coefficients calculated to determine potential associations amongst gene expression values and production efficiency variables. Results While there were no direct effects of genotype on expression values for any of the genes examined, there was evidence for a heterotic effect (P < 0.05) on ABCG8, in the form of increased expression in the F1 genotype compared to either of the two parent breeds. Additionally, a tendency for increased expression of the amino acid transporters, SLC3A1 (P = 0.072), SLC3A2 (P = 0.081) and SLC6A14 (P = 0.072) was also evident in the F1 genotype. A negative (P < 0.05) association was identified between the expression of the glucose transporter gene SLC5A1 and total lactational milk solids yield, corrected for body weight. Positive correlations (P < 0.05) were also observed between the expression values of genes involved in common transporter roles. Conclusion This study suggests that differences in the expression of sterol and amino acid transporters in the duodenum could contribute towards the documented differences in feed efficiency between HF, JE and their F1 hybrid. Furthermore, positive associations between the expression of genes involved in common transporter roles suggest that these may be co-regulated. The study identifies potential candidates for investigation of genetic variants regulating nutrient transport and absorption in the duodenum in dairy cows, which may be incorporated into future breeding programmes.
    • Effect of grass dry matter intake and fat supplementation on progesterone metabolism in lactating dairy cows

      Hutchinson, Ian A.; Dewhurst, Richard J.; Evans, A.C.O.; Lonergan, P.; Butler, Stephen T. (Elsevier Science B.V., 2012-09-01)
      Progesterone (P4) metabolism in dairy cattle can be manipulated by alterations in dry matter intake and diet composition. Our objectives were to determine the effects of grazing allowance and fat supplementation on P4 metabolism in lactating dairy cows. Forty mid- to late-lactation Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were used in a completely randomized block design, with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Cows were assigned to receive 1 of 2 pasture allowances (ad libitum allowance [AL], 9.5 kg dry matter per day, or restricted allowance [R] 7 kg dry matter per day) and 1 of 2 fat supplementation treatments (750 g per day saturated fat [F] or no fat supplement [NF]). All cows received an additional 4 kg per day of concentrate. Grass dry matter intake (GDMI) was measured 5 wk after the initiation of dietary treatment. Cows were treated with prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) to eliminate the endogenous source of P4, and two intravaginal progesterone-releasing devices (CIDR) were inserted into each cow for a period of 8 days. Regular blood samples were taken before and after the removal of the intravaginal progesterone-releasing devices, and analyzed for P4 concentrations. The half-life (t½) and metabolic clearance rate (MCR) of P4 was calculated for each cow. There was no effect of GDMI or fat supplementation on the t½ or MCR of P4. There was a tendency for an interaction between GDMI and fat supplementation on the t½ of P4; cows on the restricted-F diet tended to have a longer P4 t½ than cows on the ad libitum-F diet. It was concluded that greater alterations in GDMI than achieved in the current study are required to change P4 metabolism. A combination of fat supplementation and restricted feeding slows P4 clearance, which may have beneficial implications for fertility.
    • The effect of Holstein-Friesian genotype and feeding system on selected performance parameters of dairy cows on grass-based systems of milk production in Ireland

      Dillon, Pat; O’Connor, Paula M.; McCarthy, S.; Shalloo, Laurence; Linnane, M.; Berry, Donagh P.; Buckley, James F.; Mee, John F; Horan, Brendan (Teagasc, 2006-01-01)
      The overall objective of this project was to assess, the effect of strain of Holstein-Friesian dairy cow, pasture-based feed system (FS) and their interaction on animal performance in terms of milk productivity and lactation profile, body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS), feed intake and energy balance (EB), reproductive performance and overall economic profitability.
    • The effect of Holstein-Friesian genotype and feeding system on selected performance parameters of dairy cows on grass-based systems of milk production in Ireland.

      Dillon, Pat; O'Connor, P.; McCarthy, S.; Shalloo, Laurence; Linnane, M.; Berry, Donagh P.; Buckley, Frank; Mee, John F; Horan, Brendan (Teagasc, 2006-01-01)
      The overall objective of this project was to assess, the effect of strain of Holstein-Friesian dairy cow, pasture-based feed system (FS) and their interaction on animal performance in terms of milk productivity and lactation profile, body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS), feed intake and energy balance (EB), reproductive performance and overall economic profitability.