Beef cattle play an important role in food production worldwide by making use of resources from which humans can derive little nutritional value to provide a nutrient-rich foodstuff containing protein, minerals and vitamins. However, greenhouse gases and ammonia that are produced by the cattle industry are associated with climate change. Producing nutritious beef that meets consumer demands with minimal environmental impacts requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders in the beef industry.
The major issues facing the turkey industry worldwide are (i) emerging and classic diseases, in response to a lack of effective strategies for treatment and prevention, and (ii) cannibalism resulting from antisocial/injurious-pecking behaviour. Genetic studies could explain the variance within, and association between, health, immunity and behavioural traits to help manage these issues. The objective of this project is to improve health and behaviour through the identification of genetic variants associated with immunity and antisocial/injurious-pecking behaviour responses.
According to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada produced 1.2 billion kilograms of chicken with chicken products worth $2.5 billion. Domestic consumption of chicken in 2016 was 32.5 kilograms per person. Canada exported over 5.3 million chicks worth over $13.4 million, mainly to the United States. That same year, 134.1 million kilograms of chicken meat and edible bi-products, worth $453.1 million, was exported to 60 countries, with the largest importers being the United States and Philippines.
Foie gras is a commercial food product made from duck livers containing elevated amounts of fat. The traditional production practice involves the force-feeding of corn-based diets to the animals. Foie gras is currently produced globally at around 26 000 ton/year; however, given the growing animal welfare concerns, demand has started to dwindle, and its production has been banned in several countries. We propose to evaluate dietary changes with potential to increase voluntary feed intake and liver fat accumulation.
In vitro embryo production and embryo transfer (IVP/ET) is a technique that has been developed in cattle for genetic selection to enable rapid improvement in commercially important traits. Technological advances have resulted in a significant increase in the commercial use of IVP/ET in recent years, and have made this one of the fastest growing sectors in the dairy industries. However, pregnancy rates following the transfer of IVP embryos are lower than that of in vivo produced embryos.
In 2012, the estimated value of forage in Canada was $5.1 Billion. Forages are the foundation for the beef and dairy sectors which have a combined economic activity of $50 Billion. However we have recently seen a loss of nearly 2.2 Million acres of pasture land across Canada, which means productivity from our remaining forage lands must improve for the future competitiveness of the beef industry. This project contains 4 research activities on alternative forages and improved technologies that will increase the productivity and quality of the forage industry in Saskatchewan and Canada.
Dogs can be infected with several species of tapeworms, but show no obvious symptoms. Tapeworms are generally diagnosed by detection of microscopic eggs produced by the parasites that are passed in the dog's stool. However, this technique is not ideal, as eggs are not always passed in stool, different tapeworms produce visually similar eggs, and this requires an experienced diagnostician. Therefore, false negatives are common. There is increasing interest in techniques to directly detect DNA of parasites in stool of dogs. Aquila Diagnostics Systems Inc.
In western Canada, increased nutrient demand associated with decreased temperatures and increased fetal growth may lead to nutrient deficiencies in pregnant cattle. Compromised maternal nutrition can impact fetal muscle development, body weight gain, hot carcass weight, back fat and marbling. Vaccination strategy may also impact carcass outcomes of the offspring. Carcass evaluation is necessary to determine if these reactions persist until slaughter.
Feed restriction in gestating sows is required to prevent excessive body weight gain and the associated negative consequences on lactation, locomotion, farrowing, and feed intake during lactation. Aggression and stereotypies associated with restricted feeding become a welfare and production concern when the sows are housed in groups.
The B vitamin requirements of cattle were traditionally satisfied via rumen microbial synthesis. However, the B vitamin demands of the modern high producing dairy cow now exceed the synthesis rate by rumen microbes, leading to sub-optimal milk production and efficiency. An increased understanding of dietary factors driving ruminal synthesis and use of B vitamins will help identify when supplementation will benefit the cow. Although B vitamin kinetics in the dairy cow have not previously been modelled, data on concentrations and flows are available from extant sources.