Previous Issue
Volume 4, March
 
 

Ruminants, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 7 articles

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
15 pages, 652 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Sheep and Goat Farming in Arid Regions of Jordan
by Faisal Al-Barakeh, Ashraf Omar Khashroum, Radi A. Tarawneh, Fatima A. Al-Lataifeh, Azzam N. Al-Yacoub, Moammar Dayoub and Khaled Al-Najjar
Ruminants 2024, 4(2), 241-255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4020017 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 440
Abstract
This study examines the sustainability of livestock farming in Jordan’s arid regions, focusing on smallholder Awassi sheep and Baladi goat farming. It assesses breeders, economic factors, herd productivity, and sustainability, evaluating the vitality of these breeds by examining reproductive success through birth and [...] Read more.
This study examines the sustainability of livestock farming in Jordan’s arid regions, focusing on smallholder Awassi sheep and Baladi goat farming. It assesses breeders, economic factors, herd productivity, and sustainability, evaluating the vitality of these breeds by examining reproductive success through birth and survival rates. In 2021–2022, a total of 53 traditional Awassi sheep and Baladi goat farms in Northern Jordan’s Mafraq Governorate were surveyed using a comprehensive questionnaire to gather data on breeders’ information, farm economics, and herd indicators. Dry seasons in arid lands are tough on sheep and goats, with limited fodder and water availability harming their health and reproductive capacity. While wet seasons bring relief, they can also introduce diseases. Special care for these animals throughout the year is crucial to maintain healthy herds in arid regions. Linear models were employed to analyze sample data, with variance and correlation tests used to explore relationships among variables. Additionally, chi-squared analysis was utilized to assess the impact of male replacement plans on these herds. The main outcomes of this study reveal that breeder indicators pose challenges to the sustainability and growth of Awassi sheep and Baladi goat farming. Conversely, economic indicators suggest a blend of financial stability alongside obstacles related to profitability and resource ownership. Breeder age emerges as a significant factor in livestock herd management, influenced by elements such as experience, resource availability, and adherence to traditional practices. Experience notably influences breeders’ decisions regarding male insemination replacements, likely due to acquired skills. Crop cultivation is shown to reduce fodder costs, thereby enhancing profitability for each young animal sold and consequently increasing the breeders’ returns. Winter conditions elevate animal mortality rates due to cold stress, while other animals within herds contribute to increased kid mortality by facilitating disease transmission. Breeder experience significantly impacts lamb survival, underscoring its importance in ensuring proper care. Increasing ewe proportions within herds enhances lamb production and lowers lamb mortality rates. Effective ram management and yearling lamb sales further contribute to herd health and productivity. A higher proportion of goats within a herd positively correlates with the number of young yearlings sold but inversely affects breeding males and overall kid numbers, indicating a delicate balance that influences herd productivity and mortality rates. Sheep (92.5%) and goat herds (90.6%) demonstrate reproductive success, indicative of superior long-term vitality. While sheep excel in birth rates, survival, and sales, they exhibit lower ewe and lambing percentages. Goat farming demonstrates high birth rates, sales, and overall success but requires particular attention to ensuring kid survival, especially during the winter months. Improving the characteristics of the Awassi sheep and Baladi goat flocks is crucial for ensuring sustainability, achievable through proper care practices in dry lands. In conclusion, despite the challenges, there are promising opportunities to enhance sheep and goat farming in Jordan. Effective management, informed by the breeders’ experience and economics, is crucial. Empowering small-scale herders and implementing targeted interventions, like winter mortality solutions and selective breeding, is vital for sustainable growth. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 305 KiB  
Review
Stressors Inherent to Beef Cattle Management in the United States of America and the Resulting Impacts on Production Sustainability: A Review
by Toriann Summer Winton, Molly Christine Nicodemus and Kelsey Margaret Harvey
Ruminants 2024, 4(2), 227-240; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4020016 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Stressors are directly related to major events throughout the beef cattle production cycle. Understanding the impact stressors have on productive outcomes is critical for the efficient implementation of management strategies. Such stressors include environmental extremes, nutritional deprivation, and common management procedures. Environmental extremes [...] Read more.
Stressors are directly related to major events throughout the beef cattle production cycle. Understanding the impact stressors have on productive outcomes is critical for the efficient implementation of management strategies. Such stressors include environmental extremes, nutritional deprivation, and common management procedures. Environmental extremes such as thermal stress can disturb gestating cows’ normal physiological responses, hindering reproductive efficiency. Thermal stress during the breeding season can affect embryo development causing a decrease in conception rates, although adjusting the scheduling of breeding activities can minimize losses. Additionally, suboptimal nutrition may negatively impact reproductive performance if management strategies including modifying seasonal grazing practices are not implemented. As gestation progresses, nutrient requirements increase; thus, without appropriate dietary management, poor calf performance, the loss of the body condition score, and reduced reproductive performance may result. While weaning is a common management procedure, this event is another major stress within the production system. Applying efficient strategies such as creep feeding or two-step weaning to mitigate weaning stress can maximize production efficiency. This review will explore in-depth the stressors associated with production events in the beef cattle industry and give insight into researched management strategies targeting these stressors that will improve the sustainability of the production system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
14 pages, 2319 KiB  
Article
Drinking Behaviour of Beef Cattle Subject to Water Medication in Various Environmental Conditions
by Eliéder Prates Romanzini, Vivienne McCollum, Sarah Mcilveen, Kawane Dias da Silva, William Luiz de Souza, Priscila Arrigucci Bernardes and Diogo Fleury Azevedo Costa
Ruminants 2024, 4(2), 213-226; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4020015 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 848
Abstract
Two experiments were conducted to assess the effects of water medication technology on beef cattle behaviour and performance in tropical conditions. Experiment 1 involved 30 Droughtmaster yearling steers monitored over seven days in a controlled environment. Feed and water consumptions were monitored with [...] Read more.
Two experiments were conducted to assess the effects of water medication technology on beef cattle behaviour and performance in tropical conditions. Experiment 1 involved 30 Droughtmaster yearling steers monitored over seven days in a controlled environment. Feed and water consumptions were monitored with Smart Feed Pro® systems, with three water treatments administered via uDOSE® technology. The results indicated an average water intake of 13.6 L/head/d. Experiment 2 had 120 yearling steers from four genetic groups grazing on an extensive pasture system. Throughout four 24-day periods, forage availability and chemical composition were measured once monthly. Experiment 2 revealed a variation in water intake, ranging from 16.2 L/head/d down to 4.75 L/head/d. Notably, the lower intake coincided with a rainfall event documented during the fourth experimental period. Overall, results from both experiments indicated that water medication did not alter cattle water preference. There was no preference for treated water sources in Experiment 1, while differences in Experiment 2 appeared to be influenced by external factors like weather and prior habits. These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of water medication for beef cattle without disruption of their natural behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 272 KiB  
Article
Combining Embryo Transfer and Artificial Insemination to Achieve Twinning in Beef Cattle, and Effects of Different Twin Calf-Raising Methods on Neonatal Behavior and Growth
by Eduarda M. Bortoluzzi, Kolton W. Aubuchon, Nicole D. Robben, Nicole Stafford, Mikayla J. Goering, Claiborn Bronkhorst, John A. Odde, Clay Breiner, Karol Fike, Lindsey E. Hulbert and Kenneth G. Odde
Ruminants 2024, 4(2), 201-212; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4020014 - 9 Apr 2024
Viewed by 595
Abstract
As the beef industry moves towards efficient animal production to improve sustainability in agriculture, new production and management approaches are emerging. Among the many facets of the beef industry, cow–calf operations have the most opportunity for efficiency improvement, including improvements in fertility. This [...] Read more.
As the beef industry moves towards efficient animal production to improve sustainability in agriculture, new production and management approaches are emerging. Among the many facets of the beef industry, cow–calf operations have the most opportunity for efficiency improvement, including improvements in fertility. This project accounts for measures and methods of (1) twinning reproductive technologies and (2) twin calf perinatal care and pre-weaning rearing. The overall objective was to produce twin calves using two reproductive technologies—embryo transfer and artificial insemination. The subobjectives were to determine accuracy of twin pregnancies embryo/fetal losses using ultrasonography, evaluate parturition and dystocia, and determine the effects of different twin-raising methods on neonatal behavior and growth. A fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) protocol was applied to 77 multiparous Angus-cross cows from a commercial beef herd in northcentral South Dakota during the summer of 2019. Cows were assigned to two different treatments groups: only artificially inseminated (AI) or received an embryo transfer following artificial insemination (ET + AI). They were estrous-synchronized, artificially inseminated (AI) with black Angus semen at day 0, and received and embryo transfer (ET) at day 7. Ultrasound examination detected 56% pregnancy risk for both groups, with sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 75%, 100%, and 90.5%, respectively, for bilateral twin detection. Calves were born during spring 2020. Twin calves (n = 34) and singleton calves (n = 11) were assigned to one of three raising methods: (1) twin born and twin raised (TT; n = 16), (2) twin born and single raised (TS; n = 18), and (3) single born and single raised (S; n = 11). Neonatal nursing behavior and birth weights were recorded, and adjusted day 200 and day 280 were calculated measures of vitality and growth. Blood samples were collected at age 24 h for colostrum intake measures (total serum protein, IgG1, and IgM). Twin calves were born 20% (p < 0.05) lighter in body weight than singletons; however, weights did not differ at day 280 between TT and S calves. TS calves had the shortest average latency to stand, but immunoglobulin concentrations did not differ among treatments. At weaning, cows that had birthed and raised twins produced more kilograms of live weight per pregnancy than cows birthing and raising singletons. Using ET + AI proved to increase twinning rate, and growth was maintained when raising both twins with their dam. Full article
9 pages, 773 KiB  
Article
Hot Iron Branding of Beef Cattle: Process Characterization, Implications for Animal Welfare, and Its Efficiency for Cattle Individual Identification
by Jaira de Oliveira, Joseph Kaled Grajales-Cedeño, Mariana Parra Cerezo, Tiago S. Valente and Mateus J. R. Paranhos da Costa
Ruminants 2024, 4(2), 192-200; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4020013 - 9 Apr 2024
Viewed by 656
Abstract
This study aimed to characterize the hot iron branding (HIB) procedure by assessing its implications for animal welfare and its efficiency for cattle identification. The study was carried out in two stages: First, with 37 Nellore calves, by measuring the skin temperatures in [...] Read more.
This study aimed to characterize the hot iron branding (HIB) procedure by assessing its implications for animal welfare and its efficiency for cattle identification. The study was carried out in two stages: First, with 37 Nellore calves, by measuring the skin temperatures in the place of HIB application (ONB) and 10 cm above it (OFFB) immediately after its application and during four consecutive days, the time required for application of each HIB digit and the occurrences of rebranding; second, with two batches of cows (N = 97 and N = 94, respectively, by measuring the time spent to read cattle ID and comparing the efficiency of HIB vs. EET (electronic ear tag) and visual ear tags (VET) vs. EET. Skin temperature was significantly affected by the interaction between the place where the skin temperatures were taken (on and 10 cm above the HIB) and assessment day, with temperatures in ONB on days d0 and d2 being higher than in OFFB (p < 0.05), and 86% of the calves required at least one rebranding. EET reading was faster than HIB and VET (p < 0.001), and fewer errors were made when reading EET than HIB (1/97 vs. 17/97) and VET (2/94 vs. 12/94). We concluded that HIB potentially compromises cattle welfare and has a lower efficiency for cattle identification than EET and VET. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle Production and Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 1668 KiB  
Communication
1H-NMR-Based Plasma Metabolomic Profiling of Crossbred Beef Cattle with Divergent RFI Phenotype
by Godstime Taiwo, Modoluwamu Idowu, Taylor Sidney, Emily Treon, Deborah Ologunagba, Yarahy Leal, Samanthia Johnson, Rhoda Olowe Taiwo, Anjola Adewoye, Ephraim Ezeigbo, Francisca Eichie and Ibukun M. Ogunade
Ruminants 2024, 4(2), 182-191; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4020012 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 377
Abstract
This study focused on exploring the metabolomic profiles of crossbred beef cattle with varying levels of residual feed intake (RFI), a measure of feed efficiency in beef cattle. Sixty-seven crossbred growing beef steers (BW = 277 ± 29.7 kg) were subjected to a [...] Read more.
This study focused on exploring the metabolomic profiles of crossbred beef cattle with varying levels of residual feed intake (RFI), a measure of feed efficiency in beef cattle. Sixty-seven crossbred growing beef steers (BW = 277 ± 29.7 kg) were subjected to a high-forage total mixed ration for 64 days to determine their RFI phenotypes. At the end of the 64d feeding trial, beef steers were divided into two groups based on their RFI values: low (or negative)-RFI beef steers (n = 28; RFI = −1.08 ± 0.88 kg/d) and high (or positive)-RFI beef steers (n = 39; RFI = 1.21 ± 0.92 kg/d). Blood samples were collected, and plasma samples were analyzed using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy, resulting in the identification of 50 metabolites. The study found a distinct metabolomic signature associated with RFI status. Eight metabolites, including amino acids (tyrosine, glycine, valine, leucine, and methionine) and other compounds (dimethyl sulfone, 3-hydroxy isovaleric acid, citric acid, creatine, and L-carnitine), showed differential abundance between low- and high-RFI groups. Specifically, tyrosine, glycine, and dimethyl sulfone exhibited significant specificity and sensitivity, which produced a discriminatory model with an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.7, making them potential markers for RFI. A logistic regression model incorporating these biomarkers effectively distinguished between high- and low-RFI steers, with a threshold cutoff point of 0.48, highlighting a distinctive metabolite profile associated with efficient nutrient utilization in low-RFI cattle. The logistic regression model, incorporating these biomarkers, holds promise for accurately categorizing RFI values, providing insights into the metabolic basis of feed efficiency in beef cattle. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 1060 KiB  
Review
Competing Endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) and Application of Their Regulatory Networks in Complex Traits and Diseases of Ruminants
by Farzad Ghafouri, Vahid Dehghanian Reyhan, Mostafa Sadeghi, Seyed Reza Miraei-Ashtiani, John P. Kastelic, Herman W. Barkema and Masoud Shirali
Ruminants 2024, 4(2), 165-181; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4020011 - 1 Apr 2024
Viewed by 689
Abstract
This manuscript summarizes information on the diverse range of RNA molecules and their role as competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs). Moreover, it provides an overview of ceRNA regulatory networks and their applications in ruminant biology. Knowledge of co-expression networks has increased with microarrays, RNA-seq, [...] Read more.
This manuscript summarizes information on the diverse range of RNA molecules and their role as competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs). Moreover, it provides an overview of ceRNA regulatory networks and their applications in ruminant biology. Knowledge of co-expression networks has increased with microarrays, RNA-seq, and scRNA-seq characterizing molecular mediators across various biological scales, using sequences from numerous blood and tissue samples. By synthesizing existing knowledge, this study summarizes interactions between coding and non-coding RNAs through microRNA response elements (MREs), elucidating large-scale regulatory networks throughout the transcriptome that influence the expression and activities of various ceRNAs. Identification of non-coding RNAs with important regulatory functions will revolutionize understanding of RNA biology, shifting from an mRNA-centric model to a complex network of RNA crosstalk. The ceRNA networks offer a more comprehensive and arguably more realistic perspective compared to protein–protein interaction (PPI) networks and weighted gene co-expression networks (WGCN). These ceRNA regulatory networks can describe potential molecular regulatory mechanisms related to functional and economically important traits in ruminants, plus contribute to disease and pathology research, by elucidating pathogenesis and potential drug effects in disease and cancer models. Furthermore, they can provide insights into farm animal biology, e.g., reproductive traits in goats and sheep, regulation of fat metabolism in beef cattle, heat stress responses, and lactation regulation in dairy cattle, fertility and muscle characteristics in buffalo, and resistance to high-salt and water-deprivation conditions in camels. In conclusion, ceRNA and associated regulatory networks should promote a new understanding of molecular mechanisms and identify candidate genes and metabolic-signaling pathways in ruminants. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Back to TopTop