Animal Bytes

Incisive updates on topical themes and current research within the field of UK animal science
  • President’s blog: Positive mood in animal science helping drive food policies

    posted July 9th, 2014

       BSAS President Alistair Carson gives a summary of his first months in office… Siting in the sun on holidays is giving me an opportunity to look back over my first 3 months as BSAS President. First off, the Annual...

  • Rate of transmission: A major determinant of the cost of clinical mastitis

    Rate of transmission: A major determinant of the cost of clinical mastitis

    posted July 4th, 2014

     Reducing the transmission of mastitis from infected cows to uninfected cows will minimise the cost of clinical mastitis on dairy herds. Researchers at the University of Nottingham have investigated the impact of disease transmission on the cost of clinical mastitis....

  • Gait development in growing pigs reared on different floor types

    Gait development in growing pigs reared on different floor types

    posted June 27th, 2014

      Changes in the gait patterns of growing pigs is not affected by the floor surface they are reared on. Researchers at Newcastle University have used a 3D motion capture technique to subjectively measure the movement of pigs. Circular, reflective...

  • Marker in lamb diets could help drive food safety

    Marker in lamb diets could help drive food safety

    posted June 19th, 2014 in ,

    Adding a marker to lamb finishing diets could help improve food safety by helping to detect faeces in carcases. A trial by scientists at the Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), based at Aberystwyth University, found that a...

  • Grazing management of gastro-intestinal parasite susceptible and resistant lambs

    Grazing management of gastro-intestinal parasite susceptible and resistant lambs

    posted June 10th, 2014 in

    Take-home message: Lambs susceptible and resistant to gastrointestinal parasites should be grazed separately to reduce costs and limit anthelmintic resistance developing in the flock. Significant production losses for the sheep industry are caused by gastrointestinal parasitism in grazing lambs. 

Current...

  • Using agricultural co-products in poultry diets to reduce the global warming potential of poultry production

    Using agricultural co-products in poultry diets to reduce the global warming potential of poultry production

    posted March 27th, 2014

    Take-home message: Partially replacing soya in poultry diets with processed animal protein or dried distillers grains with solubles has the potential to reduce the global warming potential of poultry products. Adding agricultural co-products to poultry diets has the potential to...

  • Dynamic stretching improves equine athlete performance

    Dynamic stretching improves equine athlete performance

    posted March 10th, 2014

    Take-home message: Dynamic stretching has the potential to improve performance and support rehabilitation in horses. Scientists from Writtle College, in Essex, found that stretching improves stride length, carpal angle and tarsal range of motion. However, the effects were not sustained...

  • Using EID to reduce anthelmintic resistance in hill sheep farms

    Using EID to reduce anthelmintic resistance in hill sheep farms

    posted February 22nd, 2014

    Take-home message: Targeted selective treatment for lambs is a workable approach to reducing the risk of anthelmintic resistance in hill sheep farming Mandatory electronic identification (EID) of sheep in the European Union is often seen as a burden on farmers,...

  • The effects on reproduction by feeding gilts after mating

    The effects on reproduction by feeding gilts after mating

    posted October 29th, 2013

    Take-home message: Feeding gilts ad lib. post mating has no effect on litter size at birth, but it does increase gilt infertility Ad lib. feeding after insemination does not affect litter size at birth in gilts, according to investigations on...

  • When to shear ewe lambs to ensure performance

    When to shear ewe lambs to ensure performance

    posted October 22nd, 2013

    Take-home message: Shearing ewe lambs in the autumn or winter increases lamb birth and weaning weight. Shearing ewe lambs prior to joining the flock or during the winter increases lamb birth weight and weaning weight, according to a study carried...

  • Breeding for better broiler chicken welfare

    Breeding for better broiler chicken welfare

    posted October 15th, 2013 in

    Take-home message: The conflict between good welfare and productivity can be reduced by ensuring future breeding programmes give more emphasis to welfare in conjunction with production traits, and making use of genetic variation in existing commercial breeds. Commercial broiler breeds...

  • Keep boars cool to help reduce semen abnormalities

    posted October 8th, 2013

    Take Home Message: Keep working boars cool during the summer months Breed, age and month of the year all have a role to play in boar semen abnormalities. Boar semen quality is known to change throughout the year, with the...

  • Discovering horse preference for feed

    posted September 24th, 2013

    Take Home Message: Horses preferred to consume steamed hay, compared to dry or soaked hay, when offered free-choice in a stable environment. Horses will always choose steamed hay, once tasted, over other forms of hay, according to the results of...

  • Optimising gilt performance through insemination

    posted September 3rd, 2013

    Take-home Message: Inseminate gilts on their third observed oestrus to optimise lifetime performance.  Inseminating gilts on their third observed oestrus could be key to optimising lifetime performance. 

A trial carried out by scientists in Northern Ireland found that gilts on...

  • Selenium-enriched fertiliser as a means to increasing milk selenium content

    posted August 27th, 2013 in ,

    Take-home Message: Enriching forage and cereals with selenium by fertilisation increases milk and milk-product selenium content.  Selenium-enriched forages and cereals significantly improved the selenium content of milk and milk products, according to scientists at Belgium’s University of Liege. Selenium (Se)...

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