Publications by authors named "Martin R Weisbjerg"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Physical characteristics of forestomach contents from two nondomestic small ruminants, the blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) and the Arabian sand gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa marica).

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 2021 07 29;257:110941. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 260, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Rumen content stratification and the degree of dissociation of particle and fluid retention in the reticulorumen differ between 'moose-type' and 'cattle-type' ruminant species. These differences are not strictly linked to diet, except for a seeming limitation of 'moose-type' ruminants to a browsing niche. Nevertheless, these differences can be plausibly linked to other observed differences in ruminants, such as the intraruminal papillation pattern, or the size of the omasum. However, many of the corresponding measures are still only available for a restricted number of species. Here, we investigated the dry matter (i.e., the inverse of the moisture) concentration in forestomach contents of 10 blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) and 7 Arabian sand gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa marica), and quantified the rumen papillation pattern. The blackbucks had distinct rumen contents stratification, with more moisture in ventral than in dorsal contents (difference 3.6% units, P < 0.001), whereas this difference was much less pronounced in the sand gazelles (0.6% units, P = 0.227). While reticulum contents were particularly moist in both species, omasum contents were particularly dry in sand gazelles, but did not differ in moisture from rumen contents in the blackbuck. This species is an outlier among ruminants due to its extremely small omasum. The intraruminal papillation pattern did not differ between blackbucks and sand gazelles and showed a surface enlargement factor (SEF) in the dorsal rumen of 27-28% of the SEF in the Atrium ruminis. Compared to data on digesta retention in the same species, the findings are in line with the overall concept of a high fluid throughput causing a distinct stratification of rumen contents and intraruminal papillation, and necessitating a large omasum for fluid re-absorption. However, the data also show that individual species may not correspond to all the assumptions of the concept, suggesting taxon-specific differences between species. Reasons for these differences cannot be linked to a dietary grass-browse spectrum, but may lie in evolutionary contingency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2021.110941DOI Listing
July 2021

Key Considerations for the Use of Seaweed to Reduce Enteric Methane Emissions From Cattle.

Front Vet Sci 2020 23;7:597430. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, Washington, DC, United States.

Enteric methane emissions are the single largest source of direct greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in beef and dairy value chains and a substantial contributor to anthropogenic methane emissions globally. In late 2019, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) convened approximately 50 stakeholders representing research and production of seaweeds, animal feeds, dairy cattle, and beef and dairy foods to discuss challenges and opportunities associated with the use of seaweed-based ingredients to reduce enteric methane emissions. This article describes the considerations identified by the workshop participants and suggests next steps for the further development and evaluation of seaweed-based feed ingredients as enteric methane mitigants. Although numerous compounds derived from sources other than seaweed have been identified as having enteric methane mitigation potential, these mitigants are outside the scope of this article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.597430DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7785520PMC
December 2020

Ruminal Fermentation, Growth Rate and Methane Production in Sheep Fed Diets Including White Clover, Soybean Meal or sp.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Jan 2;10(1). Epub 2020 Jan 2.

Estación Experimental del Zaidin (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), Profesor Albareda, 1, 18008 Granada, Spain.

The aim of the present work was to investigate the potential of sp. as an alternative source of protein to soybean meal in diets for sheep. Our experimental treatments included a control diet (CON) based on grass silage and crushed oats and three diets containing protein supplements, clover silage (CLO), soybean meal (SOY) or sp. (POR) to increase dietary crude protein concentrations. We studied its effects on rumen fermentation, growth rate and methane emissions. Ruminal fermentation characteristics, kinetics of gas production and methane production were studied in vitro by using batch cultures inoculated with rumen inoculum from sheep. There were no differences among diets in total volatile fatty acids (VFA) production or in the VFA profile in vitro. Across treatments, we measured no differences in methane production either in vitro or in vivo, and we saw no noticeable antimethanogenic effect of sp. The present in vivo trial with lambs showed no differences in average daily weight gain when fed diets including sp. or soybean meal diets (250 and 254 g/d, respectively). We conclude that sp. has a protein value similar to high-quality protein sources like soybean meal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10010079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023364PMC
January 2020

Technical note: Evaluation of the ororuminal FLORA sampling device for rumen fluid sampling in intact cattle.

J Dairy Sci 2020 Jan 14;103(1):447-450. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University, 8830 Foulum, Denmark.

The objectives of this study were to evaluate the actual intraruminal sampling site of the ororuminal FLORA sampling device (Profs Products, Wittibreut, Germany), and to compare pH and volatile fatty acid (VFA) data obtained using FLORA and those obtained using a suction strainer introduced to the ventral ruminal sac via a rumen cannula. Five lactating multiparous Danish Holstein cows fitted with ruminal cannulas were used. All cows were fed the same diet once daily, and the diet was allowed ad libitum. Samples of rumen fluid and recordings were obtained 6 h after feeding at 3 occasions. Rumen fluid samples were taken using 2 devices: (1) the ororuminal FLORA sampling device and (2) a suction strainer inserted through the rumen cannula to the ventral ruminal sac and a 60-mL syringe for suction. Both sampling devices were inserted concomitantly, and samples of rumen fluid were obtained simultaneously with both devices. After sampling rumen fluid, the actual intraruminal placement of the FLORA sampling cup was manually assessed as being in either the cranial sac, the dorsal sac, the medial layer, or the ventral sac. Only VFA proportions, and not pH and VFA concentrations, were similar between rumen fluid samples obtained using FLORA and those obtained directly through the rumen cannula. The observed intraruminal sampling site of the FLORA sampling cup indicates that firm rumen digesta hampers the ability of the FLORA device to reach the ventral sac and impedes filling of the sampling cup and, consequently, increases the risk of saliva contamination of samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-16972DOI Listing
January 2020

Variability and Potential of Seaweeds as Ingredients of Ruminant Diets: An In Vitro Study.

Animals (Basel) 2019 Oct 22;9(10). Epub 2019 Oct 22.

Estación Experimental del Zaidin (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas), Profesor Albareda, 1, 18008 Granada, Spain.

This study was designed to analyze the chemical composition and in vitro rumen fermentation of eight seaweed species (Brown: , , , ; Red: , and sp.; Green: ) collected in Norway during spring and autumn. Moreover, the in vitro ruminal fermentation of seventeen diets composed of 1:1 oat hay:concentrate, without (control diet) or including seaweeds was studied. The ash and N contents were greater ( < 0.001) in seaweeds collected during spring than in autumn, but autumn-seaweeds had greater total extractable polyphenols. Nitrogen in red and green seaweeds was greater than 2.20 and in brown seaweeds, it was lower than 1.92 g/kg DM. Degradability after 24 h of fermentation was greater in spring seaweeds than in autumn, with showing the greatest value and the lowest. Seaweeds differed in their fermentation pattern, and autumn , , and were similar to high-starch feeds. The inclusion of seaweeds in the concentrate of a diet up to 200 g/kg concentrate produced only subtle effects on in vitro ruminal fermentation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9100851DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827098PMC
October 2019

Robustness and sensitivity of a blueprint for on-farm estimation of dairy cow energy balance.

J Dairy Sci 2018 Jul 5;101(7):6002-6018. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

INRA, UMR 0791 Modélisation Systémique Appliquée aux Ruminants, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, 75005 Paris, France.

Excessive negative energy balance (EB) has been associated with decreased reproductive performance and increased risk of lameness and metabolic diseases. On-farm, automated EB estimates for individual cows would enable dairy farmers to detect excessive negative EB early and act to minimize its extent and duration by altering feeding. Previously, we have shown that EB can be estimated from frequent measurements of body weight (BW) and body condition score (BCS) changes, referred to as EB. In this study, we investigated the robustness and sensitivity of the EB method to assess its genericity and on-farm applicability. We used 5 data sets with BW of lactating cows (name of data set in parenthesis): 65 Holstein cows in a French feeding trial (INRA); 6 Holstein cows in a British feeding trial (Friggens); 31 Holstein cows and 17 Jersey cows in a Danish feeding trial (DCRC); 140 Holstein cows in a British feeding trial (Scotland's Rural College, SRUC); and 1,592 Holstein cows on 9 Danish farms with milking robots (automatic milking system). We used the INRA and Friggens data sets to develop a dynamic formula to correct BW for increasing residual gut-fill (RGF) during early lactation. With the DCRC data, we tested the effect of smoothing parameters and weighing frequency on EB. Also, 2 robustness tests were performed using the SRUC data to test the effect of diet change on BW and the automatic milking system data to test the effect of farm on BW variation. Finally, we combined the results into a blueprint describing different ways to calculate EB depending on the purpose and on the availability of BCS. The dynamic RGF adjustment resulted in a lower empty BW during early lactation than that obtained with the previously used constant RGF. The double-exponential smoothing method used to correct for meal-related gut-fill was robust to choice of smoothing parameters. Cows should be weighed at least once every 4 d during early lactation to capture the duration of negative EB. Our EB method proved robust to diet changes. Finally, although cow BW varied significantly between farms, the quantile regression smoothing of BW did not bias the estimation of weight differences between herds. In conclusion, these results validate the applicability of the EB method to estimate EB across a range of farm conditions, and we provided a blueprint that enables the estimation of EB for individual cows on-farm using only frequent BW, in combination with BCS when available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-14290DOI Listing
July 2018

Prediction of enteric methane production, yield, and intensity in dairy cattle using an intercontinental database.

Glob Chang Biol 2018 08 8;24(8):3368-3389. Epub 2018 Mar 8.

School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading, UK.

Enteric methane (CH ) production from cattle contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions. Measurement of enteric CH is complex, expensive, and impractical at large scales; therefore, models are commonly used to predict CH production. However, building robust prediction models requires extensive data from animals under different management systems worldwide. The objectives of this study were to (1) collate a global database of enteric CH production from individual lactating dairy cattle; (2) determine the availability of key variables for predicting enteric CH production (g/day per cow), yield [g/kg dry matter intake (DMI)], and intensity (g/kg energy corrected milk) and their respective relationships; (3) develop intercontinental and regional models and cross-validate their performance; and (4) assess the trade-off between availability of on-farm inputs and CH prediction accuracy. The intercontinental database covered Europe (EU), the United States (US), and Australia (AU). A sequential approach was taken by incrementally adding key variables to develop models with increasing complexity. Methane emissions were predicted by fitting linear mixed models. Within model categories, an intercontinental model with the most available independent variables performed best with root mean square prediction error (RMSPE) as a percentage of mean observed value of 16.6%, 14.7%, and 19.8% for intercontinental, EU, and United States regions, respectively. Less complex models requiring only DMI had predictive ability comparable to complex models. Enteric CH production, yield, and intensity prediction models developed on an intercontinental basis had similar performance across regions, however, intercepts and slopes were different with implications for prediction. Revised CH emission conversion factors for specific regions are required to improve CH production estimates in national inventories. In conclusion, information on DMI is required for good prediction, and other factors such as dietary neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentration, improve the prediction. For enteric CH yield and intensity prediction, information on milk yield and composition is required for better estimation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14094DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6055644PMC
August 2018

Rumen content stratification in the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis).

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 2017 01 1;203:69-76. Epub 2016 Sep 1.

Department of Animal Science, AU Foulum, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, PO Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark.

Ruminants differ in the degree of rumen content stratification, with 'cattle-types' (i.e., the grazing and intermediate feeding ruminants) having stratified content, whereas 'moose-types' (i.e., the browsing ruminants) have unstratified content. The feeding ecology, as well as the digestive morphophysiology of the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), suggest that it is a 'moose-type' ruminant. Correspondingly, the giraffe should have an unstratified rumen content and an even rumen papillation pattern. Digesta samples were collected from along the digestive tract of 27 wild-caught giraffes kept in bomas for up to 2months, and 10 giraffes kept in zoological gardens throughout their lives. Samples were analysed for concentration of dry matter, fibre fractions, volatile fatty acids and NH, as well as mean particle size and pH. There was no difference between the dorsal and ventral rumen region in any of these parameters, indicating homogenous rumen content in the giraffes. In addition to the digesta samples, samples of dorsal rumen, ventral rumen and atrium ruminis mucosa were collected and the papillary surface enlargement factor was determined, as a proxy for content stratification. The even rumen papillation pattern observed also supported the concept of an unstratified rumen content in giraffes. Zoo giraffes had a slightly more uneven papillation pattern than boma giraffes. This finding could not be matched by differences in physical characteristics of the rumen content, probably due to an influence of fasting time ante mortem on these parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2016.08.033DOI Listing
January 2017

Macroscopic digestive tract anatomy of two small antelopes, the blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) and the Arabian sand gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa marica).

Anat Histol Embryol 2016 Oct 30;45(5):392-8. Epub 2015 Oct 30.

Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 260, CH-8057, Zurich, Switzerland.

The digestive tract anatomy of 14 blackbucks (Antilope cervicapra) and seven Arabian sand gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa marica) was quantified by dimensions, area and weight. Data from the two small-sized antilopinae were evaluated against a larger comparative data set from other ruminants classified as having either a 'cattle-type' or 'moose-type' digestive system. The digestive anatomy of the blackbuck resembled that of 'cattle-type' ruminants, which corresponds to their feeding ecology and previous studies of solute and particle retention time; however, a surprising exception was the remarkably small omasum in this species, which makes the blackbuck stand out from the general rule of a relatively large omasum in grazing ruminants. Sand gazelles had morphological features that corresponded more to the 'moose type' or an intermediate position, although previous studies of solute and particle retention time had led to the expectation of a more 'cattle-type' anatomy. The results show that outliers to general morphological trends exist, that findings on physiology and anatomy do not always match completely and that differences in the digestive morphology among ruminant species are more difficult to demonstrate at the lower end of the body mass range.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ahe.12214DOI Listing
October 2016

A new algorithm to characterize biodegradability of biomass during anaerobic digestion: influence of lignin concentration on methane production potential.

Bioresour Technol 2011 Oct 20;102(20):9395-402. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, Institute of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Technology, Niels Bohrs Allé 1, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.

We examined the influence of fibrous fractions of biomass on biochemical methane potential (BMP) with the objective of developing an economical and easy-to-use statistical model to predict BMP, and hence the biodegradability of organic material (BD) for biogas production. The model was developed either for energy crops (grass, maize, and straw) or for animal manures, or as a combined model for these two biomass groups. It was found that lignin concentration in volatile solids (VS) was the strongest predictor of BMP for all the biomass samples. The square of the sample correlation coefficient (R(2)) from the BMP versus lignin was 0.908 (p<0.0001), 0.763 (p<0.001) and 0.883 (p<0.001) for animal manure, energy crops and the combined model, respectively. Validation of the combined model was carried out using 65 datasets from the literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2011.07.026DOI Listing
October 2011

A comparison of different legume seeds as protein supplement to optimise the use of low quality forages by ruminants.

Arch Anim Nutr 2009 Feb;63(1):39-55

Estación Experimental del Zaidin, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Granada, Spain.

The potential of different legume seeds species, including recently new developed varieties (Vicia faba: a commercial variety and varieties Alameda, Palacio and Baraka; Lupinus angustifolius; Pisum sativum and Cicer arietinum: varieties Fardon and Zegri) as protein supplements to low quality forages was evaluated. First, the chemical composition, in vitro digestibility, in situ degradability and in vitro/in situ intestinal digestibility of legume seeds were determined. The chemical composition was rather similar within genus. Vicia faba beans contained more condensed tannins (35.8-56.4 g/kg DM) and less ether extract (12.8-9.5 g/kg DM) than the other legumes. The rumen degradability and intestinal digestibility of the undegraded protein in the rumen was very similar among the seeds, with exception of lupins, having a much higher degradation rate than the rest. Second, the fermentation characteristics of diets, which were based on two low quality forages (olive leaves and barley straw) and feed blocks without or with supplementation of legume seeds or soybean meal, were investigated by using single-flow continuous culture fermenters. In this trial, the fermentation parameters (ammonia, pH and volatile fatty acids), the microbial protein synthesis and the degradation of olive leaves and barley straw promoted by the different diets were studied. Compared to soybean meal, beans and peas showed similar suitability as protein supplements for sustaining in vitro fermentation of low-quality forages. However, our results suggest a significant interaction between the type of legume used as supplement and the type of forage used, which need to be further studied in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17450390802611479DOI Listing
February 2009
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