Browsing by Author "Magowan, Elizabeth"
Now showing 1 - 17 of 17
Results Per Page
ItemAn association analysis of sow parity, live-weight and back-fat depth as indicators of sow productivity(Cambridge University Press, 2019-03) Lavery, Anna; Lawlor, P. G.; Magowan, Elizabeth; Miller, H. M.; O’Driscoll, K.; Berry, D. P.Understanding how critical sow live-weight and back-fat depth during gestation are in ensuring optimum sow productivity is important. The objective of this study was to quantify the association between sow parity, live-weight and back-fat depth during gestation with subsequent sow reproductive performance. Records of 1058 sows and 13 827 piglets from 10 trials on two research farms between the years 2005 and 2015 were analysed. Sows ranged from parity 1 to 6 with the number of sows per parity distributed as follows: 232, 277, 180, 131, 132 and 106, respectively. Variables that were analysed included total born (TB), born alive (BA), piglet birth weight (BtWT), pre-weaning mortality (PWM), piglet wean weight (WnWT), number of piglets weaned (Wn), wean to service interval (WSI), piglets born alive in subsequent farrowing and sow lactation feed intake. Calculated variables included the within-litter CV in birth weight (LtV), pre-weaning growth rate per litter (PWG), total litter gain (TLG), lactation efficiency and litter size reared after cross-fostering. Data were analysed using linear mixed models accounting for covariance among records. Third and fourth parity sows had more (P<0.05) TB, BA and heavier BtWT compared with gilts and parity 6 sow contemporaries. Parities 2 and 3 sows weaned more (P<0.05) piglets than older sows. These piglets had heavier (P<0.05) birth weights than those from gilt litters. LtV and PWM were greater (P<0.01) in litters born to parity 5 sows than those born to younger sows. Sow live-weight and back-fat depth at service, days 25 and 50 of gestation were not associated with TB, BA, BtWT, LtV, PWG, WnWT or lactation efficiency (P>0.05). Heavier sow live-weight throughout gestation was associated with an increase in PWM (P<0.01) and reduced Wn and lactation feed intake (P<0.05). Deeper back-fat in late gestation was associated with fewer (P<0.05) BA but heavier (P<0.05) BtWT, whereas deeper back-fat depth throughout gestation was associated with reduced (P<0.01) lactation feed intake. Sow back-fat depth was not associated with LtV, PWG, TLG, WSI or piglets born alive in subsequent farrowing (P>0.05). In conclusion, this study showed that sow parity, live-weight and back-fat depth can be used as indicators of reproductive performance. In addition, this study also provides validation for future development of a benchmarking tool to monitor and improve the productivity of modern sow herd. ItemBridging Gaps in the Agricultural Phosphorus Cycle from an Animal Husbandry Perspective—The Case of Pigs and Poultry(MDPI, 2018-06-01) Oster, Michael; Reyer, Henry; Ball, M. Elizabeth; Fornara, Dario; McKillen, John; Sorensen, Kristina Ulrich; Poulsen, Hanne Damgaard; Andersson, Kim; Ddiba, Daniel; Rosemarin, Arno; Arata, Linda; Sckokai, Paolo; Magowan, Elizabeth; Wimmers, KlausSince phosphorus (P) is an essential element for life, its usage and application across agricultural production systems requires great attention. Monogastric species such as pigs and poultry can significantly contribute to global food security but these animals remain highly dependent on the supply of mineral inorganic P in their feeds. Pig and poultry, which represent 70% of the global meat production, are also major P excretors and thus represent important sources of environmental P inputs. Balancing the P cycle within farming systems is crucial to achieve P sustainable and resilient livestock production. Therefore, the interconnection of animal feed, livestock farming, manure, and soil/aquatic ecosystems requires multidisciplinary approaches to improve P management. With regard to a sustainable agricultural P cycle, this study addresses aspects of feeding strategies and animal physiology (e.g., phase feeding, P conditioning, liquid feeding, phytase supplementation, genetics), soil agroecosystems (e.g., P cycling, P losses, P gains), reuse and recycling (e.g., manure, slaughter waste), measures of farmers’ economic performance (e.g., bio-economic models), and P governance/policy instruments (e.g., P quota, P tax). To reconcile the economic and ecological sustainability of animal husbandry, the strategic objective of future research will be to provide solutions for a sufficient supply of high-quality animal products from resource-efficient and economically competitive agro-systems which are valued by society and preserve soil and aquatic ecosystems. ItemThe effect of creep feed intake and starter diet allowance on piglets’ gut structure and growth performance after weaning(Oxford University Press, 7-09-20) Muns, Ramon; Magowan, ElizabethDiets offered to lactating and weaned piglets are the most expensive diets within pig production; however, the effect of these diets on lifetime pig performance is inconsistent. The objective of the current study was to investigate the impact of creep feed consumption during lactation and different starter diet allowances on piglets' gut structure and lifetime growth performance. In total, 320 pigs and 80 pigs (Landrace × Large White) were used after weaning in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement to study growth performance and gut structure, respectively. At weaning, piglets that ate creep feed and piglets that were not offered creep feed during lactation were allocated to 2 kg/pig [low level (LL)] or 6 kg/pig [high level (HL)] of starter 1 diet (16.5 MJ DE/kg, 22.5% CP, and 1.7% total Lys) allowance. At weaning and at 1 and 3 wk after weaning, 8 piglets per treatment were sacrificed, and their small intestine morphology was evaluated (villus height and crypt depth). Piglets that ate creep feed had increased feed intake during the first week after weaning (P < 0.05), but no effect of creep feed intake was observed on piglets growth or gut structure during the postweaning period (both P > 0.05). Piglets that were fed HL after weaning had higher ADG and BW from weaning to 16 wk after weaning (both P < 0.05) and had lower feed conversion ratio (FCR) from weaning to 6 wk after weaning (P < 0.05). Piglets fed HL after weaning also had higher villi height and greater crypt depth than LL piglets at 3 wk after weaning (both P < 0.05). Creep feed consumption during lactation increases feed intake early after weaning, suggesting an improved capacity of piglets to cope with weaning, but did not influence their growth performance. Offering piglets 6 kg of starter diet enhances piglets' growth performance during the growing and finishing phase, probably by improving gut structure after weaning. ItemThe Environmental Impact of Lowering Dietary Crude Protein in Finishing Pig Diets—The Effect on Ammonia, Odour and Slurry Production(MDPI, 2022-09-23) Ball, Elizabeth; Smyth, Sam; Beattie, Violet E.; McCracken, Kelvin J.; McCormack, Ursula; Muns, Ramon; Gordon, Fred J.; Bradford, Raymond; Reid, L. Alanna; Magowan, ElizabethExcess nitrogen excretion, ammonia and odour are environmental pollutants associated with pig production. Reducing dietary crude protein (CP) will lower the amount of nitrogen excreted, reducing the potential for ammonia emissions, if diets are adequately formulated to supply amino acids and production performance is maintained. Crude protein content in diets for finishing pigs has been lowered recently, but the quantitative effect of this reduction on ammonia, odour, and slurry output is not well-established. The relationship between ammonia and odour is equivocal, and the effect on slurry production is unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of lowering dietary CP on ammonia emission, odour emission and slurry output of finishing pigs. Thirty entire boar pigs were individually housed in groups of six, from 10 weeks of age (30 3.0 kg) and offered standard diets. At 75 kg ( 1.5 kg) pigs were assigned to one of three treatment diets; (1) 180 g/kg CP, 11.0 g/kg total lysine (High CP), (2) 150 g/kg CP, 11.1 g/kg total lysine (Medium CP), and (3) 130 g/kg CP, 9.0 g/kg total lysine (Low CP). After three weeks on the experimental diets pigs were moved, six each week, to individual calorimetry chambers to measure ammonia and odour emissions. Pigs were offered treatment diets ad libitum. At the end of the recording period, the pigs were removed from the chamber, weighed and feed disappearance recorded to calculate intake. The slurry in each chamber was collected and analysed. The reduction in CP in the diet from 180 g/kg to 150 g/kg resulted in a 22% reduction in ammonia emissions, and from 180 g/kg to 130 g/kg resulted in a 47% reduction (p < 0.001). Slurry output from pigs offered the 130 g/kg CP diet was reduced by 39% (p < 0.001) and dry matter increased by 35% compared to slurry from pigs offered the 180 g/kg CP diet (p < 0.05). Water usage (p = 0.017), slurry output and nitrogen and phosphate in the slurry (p < 0.05, respectively) were found to decrease linearly with decreasing dietary CP content. There was no significant effect of reducing CP on performance or odour emission but hydrogen sulphide emissions decreased linearly (p < 0.010) with decreasing dietary CP. There was a weak positive relationship between odour emission and ammonia (linear: R2 = 0.25, p = 0.005) with odour emission reduced as ammonia emission reduced. Reducing dietary CP in finishing pig diets could reduce ammonia emissions, water usage and slurry and nutrient output from pig production. ItemExtended nursing and/or increased starter diet allowances for low weaning weight pigs(Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies (AAAP), 2019-10-21) Craig, Aimee-Louise; Muns, Ramon; Gordon, Alan; Magowan, ElizabethObjective: To evaluate the use of nurse sows and post-weaning nutrition strategies for low wean weight (WW) pigs on lifetime growth and efficiency. Methods: Animals (n = 270) were assigned to one of five treatments at 28 d. Low WW pigs (<6 kg) were either weaned and offered a special dietary regime recommended for low WW pigs (WEAN) or placed on a nurse sow (NURSE) and weaned at 49 d. Normal WW pigs (9 kg) (NORM) were also weaned at 28 d. After weaning, NORM and NURSE pigs were offered either a ‘high’ (4 kg/pig of starter 1 diet followed by 8 kg/pig of starter 2 diet) or ‘low’ (8 kg/pig of starter 2 diet) starter diet allowance in a 2×2 factorial arrangement. A typical grower diet was then offered, followed by a typical finisher diet until 147 d of age. Results: NORM pigs where heavier throughout their life compared to NURSE pigs (91.4 kg vs 76.2 kg at 147 d; p<0.001). WEAN pigs were heavier at 70 d compared to NURSE pigs (23.9 kg vs 21.0 kg; p<0.001), but there was no significant difference at 147 d between NURSE and WEAN treatments. NURSE pigs had reduced feed intake throughout the finishing period (1.6 kg/d; p<0.001) compared to WEAN (2.0 kg/d) and NORM (1.9 kg/d) pigs. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) of NURSE (2.20) was lower than NORM and WEAN during the finishing period (2.40 and 2.79, respectively). Conclusion: Extended (up to 49 d) nursing for low WW pigs resulted in improved FCR during the finishing period, but no overall improvement in growth rate compared to low WW pigs weaned at 28 d and offered a specialised starter regime. Normal WW pigs where significantly heavier than low WW pigs throughout the study. ItemFecal Microbiota Transplant From Highly Feed Efficient Donors Affects Cecal Physiology and Microbiota in Low- and High-Feed Efficient Chickens(Frontiers Media, 2019-07-09) Metzler-Zebeli, Barbara U.; Siegerstetter, Sina-Catherine; Magowan, Elizabeth; Lawlor, Peadar G.; O'Connell, Niamh E.; Zebeli, QendrimFecal microbiota transplants (FMT) may be used to improve chicken’s feed efficiency (FE) via modulation of the intestinal microbiota and microbe-host signaling. This study investigated the effect of the administration of FMT from highly feed efficient donors early in life on the jejunal and cecal microbiota, visceral organ size, intestinal morphology, permeability, and expression of genes for nutrient transporters, barrier function and innate immune response in chickens of diverging residual feed intake (RFI; a metric for FE). Chicks (n = 110) were inoculated with the FMT or control transplant (CT) on 1, 6, and 9 days posthatch (dph), from which 56 chickens were selected on 30 dph as the extremes in RFI, resulting in 15 low and 13 high RFI chickens receiving the FMT and 14 low and 14 high RFI chickens receiving the CT. RFI rank and FMT only caused tendencies for alterations in the jejunal microbiota and only one unclassified Lachnospiraceae genus in cecal digesta was indicative of high RFI. By contrast, the FMT caused clear differences in the short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) profile in the crop and cecal microbiota composition compared to the CT, which indicated alterations in amylolytic, pullulanolytic and hemicellulolytic bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Dorea, and Ruminococcus. Moreover, the FMT caused alterations in intestinal development as indicated by the longer duodenum and shallower crypts in the ceca. From the observed RFI-associated variation, energy-saving mechanisms and moderation of the mucosal immune response were indicated by higher jejunal permeability, shorter villi in the ileum, and enhanced cecal expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL10 in low RFI chickens. Relationships obtained from supervised multigroup data integration support that certain bacteria, including Ruminococcocaceae-, Lactobacillus-, and unclassified Clostridiales-phylotypes, and SCFA in jejunal and cecal digesta modulated expression levels of cytokines, tight-junction protein OCLN and nutrient transporters for glucose and SCFA uptake. In conclusion, results suggest that the intestine only Frontiers in Microbiology | www.frontiersin.org 1 July 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 1576 fmicb-10-01576 July 5, 2019 Time: 15:15 # 2 Metzler-Zebeli et al. Fecal Microbiota Transplant and Gut Functions played a moderate role for the RFI-associated variation of the present low and high RFI phenotypes, whereas modulating the early microbial colonization resulted in longlasting changes in bacterial taxonomic and metabolite composition as well as in host intestinal development. ItemFeed Restriction Modifies Intestinal Microbiota-Host Mucosal Networking in Chickens Divergent in Residual Feed Intake(American Society for Microbiology, 2019-01-29) Metzler-Zebeli, Barbara U.; Siegerstetter, Sina-Catherine; Magowan, Elizabeth; Lawlor, Peadar G.; Petri, Renée M.; O´Connell, Niamh E.; Zebeli, QendrimDifferences in chickens’ feed intake may be the underlying factor influencing feed-efficiency (FE)-associated variation in intestinal microbiota and physiology. In chickens eating the same amount of feed, quantitative feed restriction may create similar intestinal conditions and help clarify this cause-and-effect relationship. This study investigated the effect of ad libitum versus restrictive feeding (85% of ad libitum) on ileal and cecal microbiota, concentrations of short-chain fatty acids, visceral organ size, intestinal morphology, permeability, and expression of genes related to nutrient uptake, barrier function, and innate immune response in broiler chickens with divergent residual feed intake (RFI; metric for FE). On day 30 posthatch, 28 low-RFI (good FE) and 29 high-RFI (poor FE) chickens across both feedinglevel groups (n 112) were selected. Supervised multigroup data integration and relevance network analyses showed that especially Lactobacillus (negative) in ileal digesta, Turicibacter (positive) in cecal digesta, and Enterobacteriaceae (positive) in both intestinal segments depended on chicken’s feed intake, whereas the level of Anaerotruncus in cecal digesta was most discriminative for high RFI. Moreover, shallower crypts and fewer goblet cells in ceca indicated host-related energy-saving mechanisms with low RFI, whereas greater tissue resistance suggested a stronger jejunal barrier function in low-RFI chickens. Values corresponding to feed intake level RFI interactions indicated larger pancreas and lower levels of ileal and cecal short-chain fatty acids in restrictively fed high-RFI chickens than in the other 3 groups, suggesting host physiological adaptations to support greater energy and nutrient needs of high-RFI chickens compensating for the restricted feeding. IMPORTANCE The impact of the FE-associated differences in feed intake on intestinal bacterial and host physiological parameters has so far not been clarified. Understanding the underlying principles is essential for the development of cost-effective strategies to improve FE in chicken production. Under conditions of quantitative feed restriction, low- and high-RFI chickens ate the same amount of feed. Therefore, this research helps in distinguishing intestinal bacterial taxa and functions that were highly reliant on feed intake from those that were associated with physiological adaptations to RFI-associated differences in host nutritional needs and intestinal nutrient availability. This work provides a background for further research to assess manipulation of the intestinal microbiota, host physiology, and FE in chickens by dietary intervention. ItemFeed Restriction Modulates the Fecal Microbiota Composition, Nutrient Retention, and Feed Efficiency in Chickens Divergent in Residual Feed Intake(Frontiers Media, 2018-11-19) Siegerstetter, Sina-Catherine; Petri, Renée M.; Magowan, Elizabeth; Lawlor, Peadar G.; Zebeli, Qendrim; O’Connell, Niamh E.; Metzler-Zebel, Barbara U.There is a great interest to understand the impact of the gut microbiota on host’s nutrient use and FE in chicken production. Both chicken’s feed intake and gut bacterial microbiota differ between high and low-feed efficient chickens. To evaluate the impact of the feed intake level on the feed efficiency (FE)-associated variation in the chicken intestinal microbiota, differently feed efficient chickens need to eat the same amount of feed, which can be achieved by feeding chickens restrictively. Therefore, we investigated the effect of restrictive vs. ad libitum feeding on the fecal microbiome at 16 and 29 days posthatch (dph), FE and nutrient retention in chickens of low and high residual feed intake (RFI; metric for FE). Restrictively fed chickens were provided the same amount of feed which corresponded to 85% of the ad libitum fed group from 9 dph. FE was determined for the period between 9 and 30 dph and feces for nutrient retention were collected on 31 to 32 dph. From the 112 chickens (n = 56 fed ad libitum, and n = 56 fed restrictively), 14 low RFI and 15 high RFI ad libitum fed chickens, and 14 low RFI (n = 7 per sex) and 14 high RFI restrictively fed chickens were selected as the extremes in RFI and were retrospectively chosen for data analysis. Bray-Curtis dissimilarity matrices showed significant separation between time points, and feeding level groups at 29 dph for the fecal bacterial communities. Relevance networking indicated positive associations between Acinetobacter and feed intake at 16 dph, whereas at 29 dph Escherichia/Shigella and Turicibacter positively and Lactobacillus negatively correlated to chicken’s feed intake. Enterobacteriaceae was indicative for low RFI at 16 dph, whereas Acinetobacter was linked to high RFI across time points. However, restrictive feeding-associated changes in the fecal microbiota were not similar in low and high RFI chickens, whichmay have been related to the higher nutrient retention and thus lower fecal nutrient availability in restrictively fed high RFI chickens. Thismay also explain the decreased RFI value in restrictively fed high RFI chickens indicating improved FE, with a stronger effect in females. ItemFeed Restriction Reveals Distinct Serum Metabolome Profiles in Chickens Divergent in Feed Efficiency Traits(MDPI, 2019-02-25) Metzler-Zebeli, Barbara U.; Siegerstetter, Sina-Catherine; Magowan, Elizabeth; Lawlor, Peadar G.; O'Connell, Niamh E.; Zebeli, QendrimRestrictive feeding influences systemic metabolism of nutrients; however, this impact has not been evaluated in chickens of diverging feed efficiency. This study investigated the effect of ad libitum versus restrictive feeding (85% of ad libitum) on the serum metabolome and white blood cell composition in chickens of diverging residual feed intake (RFI; metric for feed efficiency). Blood samples were collected between days 33 and 37 post-hatch. While serum glucose was similar, serum uric acid and cholesterol were indicative of the nutritional status and chicken’s RFI, respectively. Feed restriction and RFI rank caused distinct serum metabolome profiles, whereby restrictive feeding also increased the blood lymphocyte proportion. Most importantly, 10 amino acids were associated with RFI rank in birds, whereas restrictive feeding affected almost all detected lysophosphatidylcholines, with 3 being higher and 6 being lower in restrictively compared to ad libitum fed chickens. As indicated by relevance networking, isoleucine, lysine, valine, histidine, and ornithine were the most discriminant for high RFI, whereas 3 biogenic amines (carnosine, putrescine, and spermidine) and 3 diacyl-glycerophospholipids (38:4, 38:5, and 40:5) positively correlated with feed intake and body weight gain, respectively. Only for taurine, feed intake mostly explained the RFI-associated variation, whereas for most metabolites, other host physiological factors played a greater role for the RFI-associated differences, and was potentially related to insulin-signaling, phospholipase A2, and arachidonic acid metabolism. Alterations in the hepatic synthesis of long-chain fatty acids and the need for precursors for gluconeogenesis due to varying energy demand may explain the marked differences in serum metabolite profiles in ad libitum and restrictively fed birds. ItemFinishing pigs that are divergent in feed efficiency show small differences in intestinal functionality and structure(Public Library of Science, 2017-04-05) Metzler-Zebeli, Barbara U.; Lawlor, Peadar G.; Magowan, Elizabeth; McCormack, Ursula M.; Curiao, Tania; Hoffman, Manfred; Ertl, Reinhard; Aschenbach, Jorg R.; Zebeli, QendrimControversial information is available regarding the feed efficiency-related variation in intestinal size, structure and functionality in pigs. The present objective was therefore to investigate the differences in visceral organ size, intestinal morphology, mucosal enzyme activity, intestinal integrity and related gene expression in low and high RFI pigs which were reared at three different geographical locations (Austria, AT; Northern Ireland, NI; Republic of Ireland, ROI) using similar protocols. Pigs (n = 369) were ranked for their RFI between days 42 and 91 postweaning and low and high RFI pigs (n = 16 from AT, n = 24 from NI, and n = 60 from ROI) were selected. Pigs were sacrificed and sampled on ~day 110 of life. In general, RFI-related variation in intestinal size, structure and function was small. Some energy saving mechanisms and enhanced digestive and absorptive capacity were indicated in low versus high RFI pigs by shorter crypts, higher duodenal lactase and maltase activity and greater mucosal permeability (P < 0.05), but differences were mainly seen in pigs from AT and to a lesser degree in pigs from ROI. Additionally, low RFI pigs from AT had more goblet cells in duodenum but fewer in jejunum compared to high RFI pigs (P < 0.05). Together with the lower expression of TLR4 and TNFA in low versus high RFI pigs from AT and ROI (P < 0.05), these results might indicate differences in the innate immune response between low and high RFI pigs. Results demonstrated that the variation in the size of visceral organs and intestinal structure and functionality was greater between geographic location (local environmental factors) than between RFI ranks of pigs. In conclusion, present results support previous findings that the intestinal size, structure and functionality do not significantly contribute to variation in RFI of pigs. ItemImpact of feeding low and average birthweight pigs on a weight basis post-weaning on growth performance and body composition(Elsevier, 2020-08-29) Hawe, Samuel James; Scollan, Nigel; Gordon, Alan Wesley; Muns Vila, Ramon; Magowan, ElizabethThis study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of employing a targeted nutritional regime until slaughter to maintain performance in animals recording high weaning weights. Low birthweight (Low BW; <1 kg) and average birthweight (Av BW; 1.3kg-1.7 kg) pigs were reared on sows exhibiting a high lactation feed intake and, as a result, weaning weights were 7.9 kg and 8.9 kg respectively. Pens containing either Low BW or Av BW animals were then offered either a ‘standard’ (STAND) or ‘feed-to-weight’ (FTW) regime from weaning until slaughter. The STAND regime was reflective of commercial production, where diet transitions were implemented after pre-determined feed levels or time intervals had been reached. In contrast, diet transitions in the FTW regime were carried out when target pen average weights of 12 kg, 18 kg, 22 kg, 45 kg and 75 kg respectively were met. Animal growth, feeding performance and body composition were monitored from weaning until slaughter. As expected, Av BW pigs were heavier than Low BW animals throughout (P<0.001), recording a superior average daily gain (ADG) (P<0.01) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) (P<0.001) at each stage of growth. This resulted in Av BW animals recording a greater carcass weight (P<0.001) and kill-out percentage (P<0.01). DEXA scan analysis showed Low BW animals to exhibit a greater percentage fat (P<0.001) and lower percentage lean (P<0.01) content at week 4 and 10 of age, however birthweight had no effect on these parameters at week 21 (P>0.05). Feeding regime did not affect age or weight at diet transition for Av BW animals for most transitions (P>0.05). However Low BW animals offered the FTW regime were significantly older and heavier than those offered the STAND regime at each transition (P<0.05). The FTW regime increased animal ADG and ADFI compared to STAND pigs from weeks 4 to 10 of age (P<0.05), whilst providing a greater average daily intake of energy and lysine from week 4 to 10 (P<0.05) and week 10 to 17 (P<0.05). This facilitated a greater liveweight in FTW animals from 7 weeks of age through to slaughter (P<0.05). Feeding regime had no effect on kill-out percentage or back-fat depth (P>0.05). Furthermore, DEXA scan results showed total or percentage lean and fat did not differ for FTW or STAND pigs at 10 or 21 weeks of age (P>0.05). In conclusion, feeding Low BW animals on a ‘feed to weight’ basis improved nutrient intake and animal liveweight, likely due to a greater time allowance for digestive development between diet transitions. As such, this approach should be considered for commercial adoption. ItemImpact of sow lactation feed intake on the growth and suckling behavior of low and average birthweight pigs to 10 weeks of age(Oxford University Press, 2020-05-09) Hawe, Samuel J.; Scollan, Nigel; Gordon, Alan Wesley; Magowan, ElizabethImproved genetics in commercial pig production have resulted in larger litter sizes. However this has increased the prevalence of compromised pigs exhibiting inferior birthweights, weaning weights, and lifetime performance. This study aimed to determine the effects of increased sow lactation feed intake on growth of low and average birthweight piglets until 10 wk of age. Low (Low BW; <1 kg) and average (Av BW; 1.3–1.7 kg) birthweight animals were reared in uniformly weighted litters comprising 14 piglets on a foster mother offered either a low (Low FA; max 7.5 kg/d) or high (High FA; max 11 kg/d) feed allowance over a 28- ± 1-d lactation. Piglet performance was monitored from birth until 10 wk of age. Sows offered a High FA consumed 42.4 kg more feed on average than those offered Low FA, resulting in a greater derived milk yield (P < 0.05). Animals of Av BW remained heavier than Low BW pigs throughout the trial (P < 0.05). Piglets reared by High FA sows were heavier at weeks 3, 4, 5, and 7 (P < 0.05) but not week 10 (P > 0.05). Growth rate of piglets relative to their birthweight was significantly greater for Low BW piglets than those of Av BW during lactation (P < 0.001). Piglets reared by sows offered a High FA expressed greater relative growth preweaning (P < 0.05); however, postweaning relative growth for piglets reared on sows offered a Low FA was greater (P < 0.05) suggesting compensatory growth. Neither birthweight nor sow feed allowance significantly affected preweaning mortality (P > 0.05). However, Low BW animals on sows with a High FA recorded half the preweaning mortality of Low BW pigs on sows with a Low FA. During week 1 of lactation, Av BW litters recorded a greater total suckling duration compared to Low BW litters (P < 0.05) but there was no difference in suckling frequency (P > 0.05). During week 3 of lactation, High FA litters displayed a significantly lower suckling frequency (P < 0.05) yet a greater total suckling duration (P < 0.001). Average daily gain was greater for Av BW pigs during weeks 4–7 (P < 0.001) but no difference was recorded between weeks 7 and 10 (P > 0.05). Average daily feed intake was greater for Av BW pigs throughout the nursery period (P < 0.05) but feed–conversion ratio did not differ compared to Low BW pens (P>0.05). In conclusion, offering sows a High FA increased weaning weight of all animals; however, birthweight was the major determinant of postweaning performance. ItemThe In Vitro and In Vivo Effect of Carvacrol in Preventing Campylobacter Infection, Colonization and in Improving Productivity of Chicken Broilers(Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 2017-06-01) Kelly, Carmel A.; Gundogdu, Ozan; Pircalabioru, Gratiela; Cean, Ada; Scates, Pamela J.; Linton, W. Mark R.; Pinkerton, Laurette; Magowan, Elizabeth; Staf, Lavinia; Simiz, Eliza; Pet, Ioan; Stewart, Sharon; Stabler, Richard; Wren, Brendan; Dorrell, Nick; Corcionivoschi, NicolaeThe current trend in reducing the antibiotic usage in animal production imposes urgency in the identification of novel biocides. The essential oil carvacrol, for example, changes the morphology of the cell and acts against a variety of targets within the bacterial membranes and cytoplasm, and our in vitro results show that it reduces adhesion and invasion of chicken intestinal primary cells and also biofilm formation. A trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of carvacrol at four concentrations (0, 120, 200, and 300 mg/kg of diet) on the performance of Lactobacillus spp., Escherichia coli, Campylobacter spp., and broilers. Each of the four diets was fed to three replicates/trial of 50 chicks each from day 0 to 35. Our results show that carvacrol linearly decreased feed intake, feed conversion rates and increased body weight at all levels of supplementation. Plate count analysis showed that Campylobacter spp. was only detected at 35 days in the treatment groups compared with the control group where the colonization occurred at 21 days. The absence of Campylobacter spp. at 21 days in the treatment groups was associated with a significant increase in the relative abundance of Lactobacillus spp. Also, carvacrol was demonstrated to have a significant effect on E. coli numbers in the cecum of the treatment groups, at all supplementation levels. In conclusion, this study shows for the first time that at different concentrations, carvacrol can delay Campylobacter spp., colonization of chicken broilers, by inducing changes in gut microflora, and it demonstrates promise as an alternative to the use of antibiotics. ItemIntestinal microbiota profiles associated with low and high residual feed intake in chickens across two geographical locations(Public Library of Science, 2017-11-15) Siegerstetter, Sina-Catherine; Schmitz-Esser, Stephan; Magowan, Elizabeth; Wetzels, Stefanie Urimare; Zebeli, Qendrim; Lawlor, Peadar G.; O'Connell, Niamh E.; Metzler-Zebeli, Barbara U.Intestinal microbe-host interactions can affect the feed efficiency (FE) of chickens. As inconsistent findings for FE-associated bacterial taxa were reported across studies, the present objective was to identify whether bacterial profiles and predicted metabolic functions that were associated with residual feed intake (RFI) and performance traits in female and male chickens were consistent across two different geographical locations. At six weeks of life, the microbiota in ileal, cecal and fecal samples of low (n = 34) and high (n = 35) RFI chickens were investigated by sequencing the V3-5 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Location-associated differences in α-diversity and relative abundances of several phyla and genera were detected. RFI-associated bacterial abundances were found at the phylum and genus level, but differed among the three intestinal sites and between males and females. Correlation analysis confirmed that, of the taxonomically classifiable bacteria, Lactobacillus (5% relative abundance) and two Lactobacillus crispatus-OTUs in feces were indicative for high RFI in females (P < 0.05). In males, Ruminococcus in cecal digesta (3.1% relative abundance) and Dorea in feces (<0.1% relative abundance) were best indicative for low RFI, whereas Acinetobacter in feces (<1.5% relative abundance) related to high RFI (P < 0.05). Predicted metabolic functions in feces of males confirmed compositional relationships as functions related to amino acid, fatty acid and vitamin metabolism correlated with low RFI, whereas an increasing abundance of bacterial signaling and interaction (i.e. cellular antigens) genes correlated with high RFI (P < 0.05). In conclusion, RFI-associated bacterial profiles could be identified across different geographical locations. Results indicated that consortia of low-abundance taxa in the ileum, ceca and feces may play a role for FE in chickens, whereby only bacterial FE-associations found in ileal and cecal digesta may serve as useful targets for dietary strategies. ItemPorcine Feed Efficiency-Associated Intestinal Microbiota and Physiological Traits: Finding Consistent Cross-Locational Biomarkers for Residual Feed Intake(American Society for Microbiology, 2019-06-18) McCormack, Ursula M.; Curião, Tânia; Metzler-Zebeli, Barbara U.; Magowan, Elizabeth; Berry, Donagh P.; Reyer, Henry; Prieto, Maria L.; Buzoianu, Stefan G.; Harrison, Michael; Rebeiz, Natalie; Crispie, Fiona; Cotter, Paul D.; O’Sullivan, Orla; Gardiner, Gillian E.; Lawlor, Peadar G.Optimal feed efficiency (FE) in pigs is important for economic and environmental reasons. Previous research identified FE-associated bacterial taxa within the intestinal microbiota of growing pigs. This study investigated whether FE-associated bacteria and selected FE-associated physiological traits were consistent across geographic locations (Republic of Ireland [ROI) [two batches of pigs, ROI1 and ROI2], Northern Ireland [NI], and Austria [AT]), where differences in genetic, dietary, and management factors were minimized. Pigs (n = 369) were ranked, within litter, on divergence in residual feed intake (RFI), and 100 extremes were selected (50 with high RFI and 50 with low RFI) across geographic locations for intestinal microbiota analysis using 165 rRNA amplicon sequencing and examination of FE-associated physiological parameters. Microbial diversity varied by geographic location and intestinal sampling site but not by RFI rank, except in ROI2, where more-feed-efficient pigs had greater ileal and cecal diversity. Although none of the 188 RFI-associated taxonomic differences found were common to all locations/batches, Lentisphaerae, Ruminococcaceae, RF16, Mucispirillum, Methanobrevibacter, and two uncultured genera were more abundant within the fecal or cecal microbiota of low-RFI pigs in two geographic locations and/or in both ROI batches. These are major contributors to carbohydrate metabolism, which was reflected in functional predictions. Fecal volatile fatty acids and salivary cortisol were the only physiological parameters that differed between RFI ranks. Despite controlling genetics, diet specification, dietary phases, and management practices in each rearing environment, the rearing environment, encompassing maternal influence, herd health status, as well as other factors, appears to impact intestinal microbiota more than FE. IMPORTANCE Interest in the role of intestinal microbiota in determining FE in pigs has increased in recent years. However, it is not known if the same FE-associated bacteria are found across different rearing environments. In this study, geographic location and intestinal sampling site had a greater influence on the pig gut microbiome than FE. This presents challenges when aiming to identify consistent reliable microbial biomarkers for FE. Nonetheless, seven FE-associated microbial taxa were common across two geographic locations and/or two batches within one location, and these indicated a potentially "healthier' and metabolically more capable microbiota in more-feed-efficient pigs. These taxa could potentially be employed as biomarkers for FE, although bacterial consortia, rather than individual taxa, may be more likely to predict FE. They may also merit consideration for use as probiotics or could be targeted by dietary means as a strategy for improving FE in pigs in the future. ItemStrategies towards Improved Feed Efficiency in Pigs Comprise Molecular Shifts in Hepatic Lipid and Carbohydrate Metabolism(MDPI, 2017-08-01) Reyer, Henry; Oster, Michael; Magowan, Elizabeth; Dannenberger, Dirk; Ponsuksili, Siriluck; Wimmers, KlausDue to the central role of liver tissue in partitioning and metabolizing of nutrients, molecular liver-specific alterations are of considerable interest to characterize an efficient conversion and usage of feed in livestock. To deduce tissue-specific and systemic effects on nutrient metabolism and feed efficiency (FE) twenty-four animals with extreme phenotypes regarding residual feed intake (RFI) were analyzed. Transcriptome and fatty acid profiles of liver tissue were complemented with measurements on blood parameters and thyroid hormone levels. Based on 803 differentially-abundant probe sets between low- and high-FE animals, canonical pathways like integrin signaling and lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, were shown to be affected. Molecular alterations of lipid metabolism show a pattern of a reduced hepatic usage of fatty acids in high-FE animals. Complementary analyses at the systemic level exclusively pointed to increased circulating triglycerides which were, however, accompanied by considerably lower concentrations of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the liver of high-FE pigs. These results are in accordance with altered muscle-to-fat ratios usually ascribed to FE animals. It is concluded that strategies to improve FE might favor a metabolic shift from energy storage towards energy utilization and mobilization. ItemWhat is the current significance of low birthweight pigs on commercial farms in Northern Ireland in terms of impaired growth and mortality?(Oxford University Press, 2020-09-08) Hawe, S.J.; Scollan, N.; Gordon, Alan Wesley; Magowan, ElizabethThere is little modern data addressing the differential lifetime growth of commercially reared low and average birthweight pigs born into large litters (>14 piglets). As such, the main aim of this study was to quantify the lifetime growth and mortality rate of low and average birthweight pigs on commercial farms in Northern Ireland. It was also aimed to analyse the level, stage and cause of mortality within each birthweight category. A total of 328 low birthweight (LOW BW; <1kg) and 292 average birthweight (AV BW; 1.3kg-1.7kg) pigs were individually identified across four commercial farms and one research farm. Animal growth and mortality was monitored on an individual basis from birth until slaughter age. Av BW pigs were heavier than Low BW pigs throughout the trial (P<0.001), with a weight advantage of 1.16kg at weaning increasing to over 9kg at slaughter age. Av BW pigs recorded a superior ADG to Low BW pigs throughout the trial (P<0.05), with the greatest difference recorded immediately post-weaning between weeks 4 to 8 and weeks 8 to 12 when a 77g/day and 85g/day difference was recorded respectively. Av BW pigs which were cross-fostered were significantly lighter than those remaining with their birth mother at weaning (0.9kg), week 8 (1.7kg) and week 12 (3.1kg) (P<0.05 respectively). Variance of weight was significantly greater for the Av BW pig population than the Low BW pig population at week 4 (P<0.001) and 8 (P<0.05). Pre-weaning mortality of Low BW pigs was over three times greater than that of Av BW pigs (21% vs 6%; P<0.001), with Low BW deaths occurring earlier (9.2 days vs 15.4 days; P<0.001) and at a lighter weight (1.2kg vs 2.4kg; P<0.001) than Av BW pigs. There was a clear association between birthweight and cause of pre-weaning death (P<0.05), with starvation (49%) and overlying (28%) accounting for the majority of Low BW mortalities. Birthweight had no effect on rate, age or weight of post-weaning mortalities (P>0.05). The alimentary tract (27%) and respiratory tract (27%) were the most commonly implicated body systems following post-mortem examination of post-weaning deaths. In conclusion, this study quantified the inferior weight, growth rate and mortality of Low BW pigs, identifying the lactation and immediate post-weaning periods as having greatest potential in reducing this birthweight associated growth differential.