Animal Nutrition and Dairy Science: In Search of Precision Farming and Sustainable Agriculture

A special issue of Veterinary Sciences (ISSN 2306-7381). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases in Veterinary Medicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 6686

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Dairy Research, Institution of Technology of Agricultural Products, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “DIMITRA”, 45221 Ioannina, Greece
Interests: dairy technology; dairy microbiology; probiotics; fermented food technology; fermentation processes and bioprocesses
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, we have witnessed the intense promotion of precision livestock farming (PLF) technologies, which hold the promise of revolutionizing the way we breed dairy cattle and sheep. The terms Industry 4.0 and Agriculture 4.0 are comparable. “Agriculture 4.0” describes both the inside and outside communication of farm operations, which implies the presence of digital information in virtually all farm activities. Agriculture 4.0 facilitates this digital transformation of primary production by handling a massive amount of data via Internet-based interfaces. In fact, Agriculture 4.0 is laying the groundwork for the following stage of agricultural development, which will include automated decision-making systems and operations. A central computer controls machinery connected to the internet as part of smart farming, which uses cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve productivity and the quality of products. These days, there are affordable, effective, and powerful tools available thanks to recent technical advancements. These include devices and services such as cameras, microphones, sensors, wireless networking gear, web access, and cloud storage. These technical tools are meant to aid farmers, who continue to be the most crucial component of effective livestock management, rather than to replace them. Early alarms, which provide the farmer with the option to intervene as soon as the first indicators of compromised welfare or health arise, are the center of PLF.

Cconsequently, articles (review and original papers) dealing with the applications of PLF in dairy (cattle and sheep) farming, including identification and tracking systems, automatic milking systems, estrus detection, illness detection, animal performance, feed monitoring, and animal behavior, are welcome for submission in this Special Issue, as are manuscripts referring to the development of prediction models or statistical tools such as control charts, developed in the context of PLF, which warn farmers of a potential deviation from the usual production profile based on animal and environmental inputs.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Sustainability.

Dr. Marios Mataragas
Dr. Bosnea Loulouda
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • precision livestock farming
  • Industry 4.0
  • sensors
  • animal health and welfare
  • automatic milking systems
  • precision feeding

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 2181 KiB  
Article
SpaceSheep: Satellite Communications for Ovine Smart Grazing
by Pedro Gonçalves and Daniel Corujo
Vet. Sci. 2023, 10(5), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci10050340 - 10 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1550
Abstract
The application of IoT-based methods to support pastoralism allows the smart optimization of livestock operations and improves the efficiency of the activity. The use of autonomous animal control mechanisms frees the shepherd to carry out other tasks. However, human intervention is still needed [...] Read more.
The application of IoT-based methods to support pastoralism allows the smart optimization of livestock operations and improves the efficiency of the activity. The use of autonomous animal control mechanisms frees the shepherd to carry out other tasks. However, human intervention is still needed in cases such as system failure, the bad or unpredicted behavior of the animals, or even in cases of danger, the welfare of the animal. This study documents the enhancement of an alarm generation system, initially developed within the scope of the SheepIT project, to monitor animal behavior and equipment, which warns the human operator of the occurrence of undesirable events that require intervention. Special attention was given to the use of case scenarios in places without Internet access, such as rural areas. Therefore, the system was integrated with a satellite interface, as a way of guaranteeing the timely delivery of the alarm messages. To ensure an acceptable operating cost, the system was further optimized in terms of message encoding, considering the cost of this type of communication. This study assessed the overall performance of the system, evaluated its scalability, and compared the efficiency gains from the optimization, as well as the performance of the satellite link. Full article
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12 pages, 1341 KiB  
Article
Peculiarities in the Amino Acid Composition of Sow Colostrum and Milk, and Their Potential Relevance to Piglet Development
by Renjie Yao, An Cools, Anneleen Matthijs, Peter P. De Deyn, Dominiek Maes and Geert P. J. Janssens
Vet. Sci. 2023, 10(4), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci10040298 - 17 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2022
Abstract
The composition of mother’s milk is considered the ideal diet for neonates. This study investigated how conserved or variable the amino acid profile of sow colostrum and milk is throughout lactation, compared with other studies in sows and other species. Twenty-five sows (parity [...] Read more.
The composition of mother’s milk is considered the ideal diet for neonates. This study investigated how conserved or variable the amino acid profile of sow colostrum and milk is throughout lactation, compared with other studies in sows and other species. Twenty-five sows (parity one to seven) from one farm with gestation lengths of 114 to 116 d were sampled on d 0, 3, and 10 after parturition. The total amino acid profile of the samples was analyzed through ion-exchange chromatography, and the results were displayed as the percentage of total amino acid and compared with literature data. Most of the amino acid concentrations in sow milk decreased significantly (p < 0.05) throughout the lactation period, while the amino acid profile generally showed a conserved pattern, especially from d 3 to d 10, and was rather similar across different studies. Glutamine + glutamate was the most abundant amino acid in milk at all sampling moments, accounting for 14–17% of total amino acids. The proportions of proline, valine, and glycine in sow milk nearly accounted for 11%, 7%, and 6% respectively, and were higher compared to human, cow, and goat milk, while the methionine proportion was less than the other three. Compared to the large variations often reported in macronutrient concentrations, the amino acid profile of sow milk in the present study, as well as in others, seems well conserved across the lactation period. Similarities with characteristic differences were also observed between sow milk and piglet body composition, which might reflect the nutrition requirements of preweaning piglets. This study warrants further research exploring the link between the whole amino acid profile and the particular amino acids for suckling piglets and could facilitate insight for optimizing creep feed. Full article
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15 pages, 6712 KiB  
Article
Effect of Supplementing Vitamin E, Selenium, Copper, Zinc, and Manganese during the Transition Period on Dairy Cow Reproductive Performance and Immune Function
by Yi-Hsuan Chen, Yi-Ming Chen, Po-An Tu, Kuo-Hua Lee, Jih-Yi Chen and Jih-Tay Hsu
Vet. Sci. 2023, 10(3), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci10030225 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2158
Abstract
The transition dairy cows are challenged by various stresses such as decreased dry matter intake, liver dysfunction, increased inflammation, and oxidative stress, particularly in subtropical regions. These might increase the requirement for vitamin E and trace elements. To examine whether supplementation of vitamin [...] Read more.
The transition dairy cows are challenged by various stresses such as decreased dry matter intake, liver dysfunction, increased inflammation, and oxidative stress, particularly in subtropical regions. These might increase the requirement for vitamin E and trace elements. To examine whether supplementation of vitamin E, selenium or copper, zinc, and manganese complex would help transition dairy cows to achieve greater reproduction performance by overcoming the immune function and postpartum disorders in subtropical Taiwan. A total of 24 Holstein Friesian dairy cows were enrolled in this study and divided into three groups (n = 8 cows/group): treatment 1 supplemented with organic selenium and vitamin E (SeE), treatment 2 supplemented with organic copper, zinc, and manganese complex (CZM) and control (CON). The results showed SeE supplementation improved immune function, reproductive performance, and milk yield, but not negative energy balance status. Supplementation of CZM improved milk yield and energy regulation through antioxidative capacity and immune function, but had no influence on reproductive performance. Full article
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