Animal Bytes

Incisive updates on topical themes and current research within the field of UK animal science
Posted June 1st, 2015
Take home message: Maize silage in beef cattle diets can reduce finishing period and maintain animal performance providing inclusion rate and stage of maturity are optimal. During beef production...
Posted May 25th, 2015
Take-home message: Day of calving can be predicted by rumination duration when measured by sensor technology.  Background  Calving difficulty can lead to illness or death of cows and calves, so...
Posted May 18th, 2015
Take home message: Rearing environment affects piglet behavioural development which may influence response to stressful events later in life. Throughout the entire pig production cycle, the...
Posted April 16th, 2015
The most common herd health issues in Irish suckler herds are dystocia (calving problems), calf pneumonia and calf diarrhoea. However a two-year study of Irish suckler beef farmers identified a lack...
Posted March 27th, 2015
Take-home message: measuring the radiated temperature of a group of pigs by infrared themography may be a useful tool for early detection of disease. Researchers in Canada have discovered it is...
Posted March 10th, 2015
Take home message: Selecting pigs for reduced residual feed intake improves feed efficiency, and reduces physical activity. Residual feed intake (RFI) is the difference between observed feed...
Posted February 27th, 2015
Take home message: Analysing the complete genetic sequence of Quarter Horses has identified which genes are positively selected for during the breeding of racing line horses compared to cutting line...
Posted February 18th, 2015
Take-home message: Alternative methods to assess body condition in Dairy cows: lessons from Switzerland confirm the accuracy of visual assessments over strict scoring systems. The scientist in this...
Posted February 10th, 2015
Take home message: Mixed upland grazing systems improve livestock production and benefit biodiversity, suggesting a ‘win-win’ solution for farmers and conservationists. The economic and...
Posted February 4th, 2015
Take home message: it is feasible to provide sows housed in partly-slatted farrowing pens with 15 kg chopped straw at farrowing and still maintain good pen hygiene with efficient drainage. The ...

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