Productivity, Performance and Health of Dairy Ruminants

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Farm Animal Production".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 May 2024 | Viewed by 2480

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Nutrition and Animal Husbandry, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Komenského 73, 041 81 Košice, Slovakia
Interests: animal production; dairy cows; ewes; goats; dairy farming; milking; mastitis; hygiene of the environment
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Guest Editor
Department of Food Hygiene Technology and Safety, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Komenského 73, 041 81 Košice, Slovakia
Interests: milk quality; dairy products; antimicrobial resistance; hygiene; HACCP; food chain

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Guest Editor
Department of the Environment, Veterinary Legislation and Economy, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Komenského 73, 04181 Košice, Slovakia
Interests: hygiene; biofilm; disinfectant; microbiological control; contamination; sanitation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The consumption of dairy products is strongly dependent on the breeding of ruminants for market milk production. To this end, farmers aim to create optimal conditions for the preservation of animal health and fulfilment of their production potential. The productivity of dairy animals varies greatly and is influenced by the health, nutrition and management of different production systems, which employ varying milking technologies and practices. The challenge this poses to the dairy industry is expected to surpass any it has experienced before, as the demand for increased production runs concurrently with the need to maintain optimal animal health and welfare. Never before has there been so great a need for productive, sustainable dairy farming. At the root of meeting this challenge are healthy dairy cows, ewes, does and buffaloes. Healthy animals are best positioned to supply a cost-effective source of safe and nutritious dairy products for consumers and the export market. Keeping animals healthy with a satisfactory milk yield is therefore at the heart of every progressive dairy farmers’ business policy.

The scope of this Special Issue covers a wide range of topics related to the breeding of dairy cows, sheep, goats and buffaloes and includes the following:

  • The use and comparison of different production and milking systems;
  • The evaluation of performance and production indicators for individual breeding categories;
  • The evaluation of diversity breeds and their exterior properties for milk yield, performance and productivity;
  • Nutrition;
  • Alternative feeds and their effect on health, milk yield and quality;
  • Production diseases of dairy ruminants;
  • Genetic factors in mammary health and occurrence of mastitis;
  • External effects influencing the dairy production of cows, sheep, goats and buffaloes under field conditions;
  • Introduction and comparison of different tests for the detection of mastitis;
  • Antibiotic-free approaches to maintaining mammary health.

We invite submissions on the abovementioned research fields to this Special Issue. The effect of somatic cells count and economic evaluations on quantity and quality of dairy products may be considered. Moreover, studies dealing with the antimicrobial susceptibility of udder pathogens transmitted through the food chain are also of interest, as are comprehensive review articles.

Dr. František Zigo
Dr. Jana Výrostková
Dr. Mária Vargová
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • dairy farming
  • cows
  • sheep
  • goats
  • milk yield
  • mastitis
  • acidosis
  • mammary health

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 4632 KiB  
Article
Effect of Algae Supplementation on the Gene Expression of Liver Lipid Metabolism in Dairy Goat Bucks
by Mengke Ni, Zhen Zhang, Xinran Luo, Min Tian, Yifan Zhu, Meiwen Song, Huan Lei, Zhi Chen and Cong Li
Agriculture 2024, 14(5), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture14050685 - 27 Apr 2024
Viewed by 551
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate how diets supplemented with DHA-rich algae affect the expression of liver lipid synthesis genes in dairy goat bucks. The results revealed that when supplemented with DHA-rich algae, liver weight and serum HDL-C were significantly increased (p < [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate how diets supplemented with DHA-rich algae affect the expression of liver lipid synthesis genes in dairy goat bucks. The results revealed that when supplemented with DHA-rich algae, liver weight and serum HDL-C were significantly increased (p < 0.05), as well as serum LDL-C was significantly decreased (p < 0.05). Transcriptome sequencing indicated that algae supplementation alters liver gene expression. The differentially expressed genes were predominantly enriched in fatty acid metabolism and the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids. The expression of fatty acid desaturation and transcription factors (SCD, FADS1, INSIG1), de novo synthesis fatty acids (FASN), fatty acid transport (LDLR), and cholesterol and steroid synthesis (HMGCR, HMGCS1, SQLE) genes were significantly increased (p < 0.05), and fatty acid oxidation (ALDH3B1) genes were significantly decreased (p < 0.05). In conclusion, this research provided preliminary evidence that supplementation with algae in dietary supplements altered the expression of the liver lipid synthesis genes in the Saanen dairy goat bucks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Productivity, Performance and Health of Dairy Ruminants)
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10 pages, 598 KiB  
Article
Efficacy of Intravaginal Lactic Acid Bacteria, Cell-Free Supernatant, or Enrofloxacin on Vaginitis and Fertility in Ewes Synchronized with Progesterone-Based Protocol
by Baris Guner, Aslihan Ayalp Erkan, Buse Ozturk, Tevhide Elif Guner, Ihsan Kisadere, Serpil Kahya Demirbilek, Abdulkadir Keskin and Zigo František
Agriculture 2024, 14(4), 604; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture14040604 - 11 Apr 2024
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Abstract
An intravaginal sponge impregnated with progesterone is commonly used for estrus induction and synchronization in ewes. Although using an intravaginal sponge containing progesterone positively affects the synchronization rate, varying degrees of vaginitis occur during its application. This study aimed to investigate the impacts [...] Read more.
An intravaginal sponge impregnated with progesterone is commonly used for estrus induction and synchronization in ewes. Although using an intravaginal sponge containing progesterone positively affects the synchronization rate, varying degrees of vaginitis occur during its application. This study aimed to investigate the impacts of various intravaginal treatment options on the vaginitis severity and pregnancy rate in Merino ewes synchronized with intravaginal sponges impregnated with progesterone. During the breeding period, 589 ewes, aged 2–6, received intravaginal sponges for 14 days. The control group (CON) received no treatment, whereas vaginal sponges absorbed with enrofloxacin (ENR), Lactobacillus plantarum (LAC), or Lactobacillus plantarum supernatant (CFS) were applied in the treatment groups. All groups received 500 IU of equine chorionic gonadotropin intramuscularly. The ENR group showed lower scores in vaginal discharge and sponge odor compared with the CON, LAC, and CFS groups. Although estrus responses did not differ between groups, the pregnancy rate tended to be higher in the ENR group. In conclusion, intravaginal ENR application, but not LAC or CFS, reduced vaginitis severity and tended to increase pregnancy rates in ewes synchronized with intravaginal sponges impregnated with progesterone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Productivity, Performance and Health of Dairy Ruminants)
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16 pages, 2534 KiB  
Article
Resistant S. aureus Isolates Capable of Producing Biofilm from the Milk of Dairy Cows with Subclinical Mastitis in Slovakia
by Ján Király, Vanda Hajdučková, Gabriela Gregová, Tatiana Szabóová and Emil Pilipčinec
Agriculture 2024, 14(4), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture14040571 - 3 Apr 2024
Viewed by 687
Abstract
Staphylococcus spp. is the most common cause of mastitis, with a significantly low cure rate. Bacterial characteristics like adhesion and biofilm formation, as well as extracellular factors, can affect the pathogenesis of staphylococcal mastitis. The study’s objectives were to confirm S. aureus, [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus spp. is the most common cause of mastitis, with a significantly low cure rate. Bacterial characteristics like adhesion and biofilm formation, as well as extracellular factors, can affect the pathogenesis of staphylococcal mastitis. The study’s objectives were to confirm S. aureus, assess their antibiotic resistance, identify methicillin resistance genes, verify biofilm formation, and detect biofilm-associated genes from bovine mastitis samples using multiplex PCR (mPCR). From 215 milk samples, six were confirmed as S. aureus. Most isolates were sensitive to all measured antibiotics. One isolate was identified as an inducible form of MLSB resistance (macrolides, lincosamides, and streptogramin B resistance), while the other two isolates were resistant to penicillins and carboxypenicillins. In S. aureus cultures used for methicillin resistance genotypic analysis by PCR, the mecA and mecC genes were not found. Biofilm formation phenotypes were determined in four strains. An mPCR analysis revealed that all strains of S. aureus carried icaABCD, agrA, srtA, fnbA, clfA, and clfB genes. Only in one isolate was the fnbB gene detected; the bap gene was not detected in any of the isolates. This emphasizes the importance of using appropriate treatment and continuous monitoring of S. aureus to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant strains in dairy cow farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Productivity, Performance and Health of Dairy Ruminants)
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