Publications by authors named "Francis O Lively"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A Review of Beef Production Systems for the Sustainable Use of Surplus Male Dairy-Origin Calves Within the UK.

Front Vet Sci 2021 27;8:635497. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom.

The UK dairy herd is predominantly of the Holstein-Friesian (HF) breed, with a major emphasis placed on milk yield. Subsequently, following years of continued single-trait selection, the beef production potential of dairy bred calves has declined. Thus, male HF calves are commonly seen as a by-product of the dairy industry. Limited markets, perceived low economic value and high rearing costs mean that these surplus calves are often euthanised shortly after birth or exported to the EU for further production. Welfare concerns have been raised regarding both euthanasia and long distance transportation of these calves. Furthermore, total UK beef consumption increased by 8.5% from 2009 to 2019. Thus, in light of this growing demand, beef from the dairy herd could be better utilized within the UK. Therefore, the potential for these calves to be used in a sustainable, cost-effective beef production system with high welfare standards within the UK requires investigation. Thus, the aim of this review was to evaluate both steer and bull beef production systems, examining the impact on performance, health, welfare, and economic potential to enable a sustainable farming practice, while meeting UK market requirements. The principal conclusions from this review indicate that there is the potential for these calves to be used in UK based production systems and meet market requirements. Of the steer production systems, a 24 month system appears to achieve a balance between input costs, growth from pasture and carcass output, albeit the literature is undecided on the optimum system. The situation is similar for bull beef production systems, high input systems do achieve the greatest gain in the shortest period of time, however, these systems are not sustainable in volatile markets with fluctuating concentrate prices. Thus, again the inclusion of a grazing period, may increase the resilience of these systems. Furthermore, production systems incorporating a period at pasture are seen to have animal welfare benefits. The main welfare concern for surplus dairy bred calves is often poor colostrum management at birth. While in steer systems, consideration needs to be given to welfare regarding castration, with the negative impacts being minimized by completing this procedure soon after birth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.635497DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8110715PMC
April 2021

The Effect of Beef Production System on the Health, Performance, Carcass Characteristics, and Meat Quality of Holstein Bulls.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Oct 19;10(10). Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Large Park, Hillsborough, Co Down BT 26 6DR, Northern Ireland, UK.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of production system on the health, performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality of autumn born (AB) and spring born (SB) Holstein bulls. The study involved a total of 224 Holstein bulls and was conducted over two years (2017/18, 2018/19). The four production system treatments differed during the grower period and consisted of: (i) grazed with no concentrate supplementation (G), (ii) grazed with 2 kg concentrate supplementation per day (G2), (iii) grazed with ad libitum access to concentrates (GA) and (iv) housed with ad libitum access to concentrates and grass silage (HA). All bulls were finished on ad libitum concentrates and grass silage and were slaughtered at a mean age of 15.5 months. Total grower dry matter intake (DMI) ( < 0.001) and total finishing DMI ( < 0.001) differed between production systems for both AB and SB bulls, with that of GA bulls being the greatest in both cases. Average daily gain (ADG) during the grower period was greatest ( < 0.001) for the HA production system in the AB bulls and the GA and HA production systems for the SB bulls. However, during the finishing period, G bulls had the greatest ( < 0.001) ADG of the AB bulls, while that of the SB bulls was from the G2 production system ( < 0.001). For both AB and SB, bulls on the GA and HA production systems produced heavier cold carcass weights than the G and G2 bulls ( < 0.001). There was no significant difference ( > 0.05) in health, carcass conformation, fat classification, or meat quality between production systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10101922DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7589087PMC
October 2020

The effect of calf jackets on the health, performance, and skin temperature of dairy origin beef calves.

Transl Anim Sci 2020 Jan 7;4(1):316-323. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Hillsborough, United Kingdom.

Variations and extremities in climatic conditions can result in cold stress for dairy calves during the preweaning period. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of calf jackets on the health, performance, and skin temperature of dairy-origin beef calves. This study took place in a designated calf rearing unit, spanned for a duration of 1 yr, and consisted of five batches of calves. Calves (30.9 ± 1.68 d of age; 55.9 ± 0.20 kg live weight) were assigned to one of four treatment groups on arrival at the rearing unit. Treatments consisted of control (no jacket), arrival (jacket for 2 wk postarrival), weight (jacket for a minimum of 2 wk and until 65 kg live weight), and wean (jacket until 5 d postweaning). Ambient conditions differed significantly ( < 0.001) during each of the five batches; batch 4 was the coldest with a mean ambient temperature of 6.16 °C. Significant differences were observed between the five batches for day 50 weight ( < 0.01) and disease incidence ( < 0.05). However, treatment had no significant effect on calf health or performance ( > 0.05) during any of the five batches. Skin temperature was significantly greater ( < 0.001) for calves wearing a jacket. Furthermore, there was a significant ( < 0.001) relationship between ambient temperature-humidity index and skin temperature for calves with and without a calf jacket. Therefore, although calf jackets had no benefit in terms of health or performance, they did act as a barrier to environmental conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tas/txz172DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7200583PMC
January 2020

The Effect of Behaviour and Diet on the Rumen Temperature of Holstein Bulls.

Animals (Basel) 2019 Nov 19;9(11). Epub 2019 Nov 19.

School of Biological Sciences, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK.

Rumen temperature boluses are becoming increasingly used as a means of monitoring core body temperature for the detection of ill health. However, the effect of behavior on rumen temperature is largely unknown. This research investigates the impact of behaviour and diet on the rumen temperature of Holstein bulls, both at grass, and in a housed environment. Rumen temperature was recorded at five-minute intervals using a bolus. Direct observations were conducted on young bulls in two studies (i) at grass ( = 30) and (ii) while housed ( = 32). In addition, activity monitors were attached to bulls at grass ( = 24). Within each study, diet differed by the level of concentrate supplementation. There was no effect of diet on rumen temperature. Significant differences in rumen temperature were observed between behaviour groups for bulls at grass < 0.001) and housed ( < 0.001). Furthermore, drinking resulted in the lowest rumen temperature (grass 35.97 °C; housed 36.70 °C). Therefore, rumen temperature is affected by behavior; however, the temperatures recorded were not outside the normal temperature range for healthy cattle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9111000DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6912663PMC
November 2019
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