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Topics - mikey

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FEED FORMULATION / Feed Ingredient Shortages:
« on: July 08, 2010, 11:20:23 AM »
Chile the worlds largest supplier of fish meal is reporting there might be some supply problems coming in the near future and Canada is reporting there might be some problems coming this fall.The climate is changing and this will have a real effect on all of us who produce food for the masses.The last thing any of us need at this point is higher feed related costs with our productions which we can only end up passing on to our valued customers.

Feed Ingredient Shortages to be Anticipated
CANADA - The Animal Nutrition Association of Canada is advising livestock producers to anticipate shortages of most of the feed ingredients they typically use this winter, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork
Estimates from the Canadian Wheat Board indicate 10 to 12 million acres of cropland across the prairies have been left unseeded because of the abnormally wet spring.

Herb Schultz, the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada's Manitoba operations manager, says livestock producers will have to anticipate shortages of the feed ingredients they normally buy but quality is still an unknown factor.

Herb Schultz-Animal Nutrition Association of Canada
The biggest problem is there's this huge unseeded acreages that are out there this year and it's not only spot areas, it's across the prairies.

Normally the prairies yield can have a complete wipeout in one area but the rest of the country sort of covers you off.

The real concern is what's going to come in in the fall and there you really don't know what your feed stocks are going to be until it's actually combined.

That's a grade issue and we don't know what that is.

The canola is a big issue because the canola meal is a pretty important ingredient in terms of our industry.

The wheat and barley reductions, more the barley reductions, if it's a feed wheat you've got a problem if you don't have enough of that but our options are always more than that.

In Manitoba particularly, the eastern half of the province, we access a lot of feed stock from the US.

Corn, distiller dry grains and solubles, that's our biggest source there.

We access both ways.

In other words if the prairies don't offer us a good supply we go south and in fact right now I think we're probably accessing quite a bit from the south.

The DDGS are really an important source for us.

Mr Schultz says this is one of those situations that producers will need to assess once the fall harvest is underway and the crops start to come in.

SWINE / Piglets Copy Mums Choice of Food:
« on: July 08, 2010, 11:01:09 AM »
Piglets Copy Mum’s Choice of Food
NETHERLANDS - Piglets eat more, and a more varied diet, if their mother is around. They appear to copy the sow when it comes to trying out new foods.

This conclusion was drawn by PhD researcher Marije Oostindjer of the Adaptive Physiology chair group of Wageningen University in an article in last week's Biology Letters. Ms Oostindjer looked for strategies for stimulating the appetites of piglets, many of which do not eat solid food before they are taken from their mothers. After weaning they often do not start eating solid food straightaway, which causes health and welfare problems.

Ms Oostindjer offered the piglets a range of different snacks such as chocolate peanuts and cheese cubes - both popular delicacies with pigs. She found that they would more readily try out these snacks in the presence of their mothers. She also noticed that piglets that grew up in a stimulating environment - with turf of wood shavings in the pen for example - ate more of the snacks.

But the most significant factor was the presence of the mother. Piglets that were in with the sow took an average of 15 seconds to start tucking in to the food, while those with no sow in the pen took twenty minutes. What is more, 90 per cent of the piglets in with the sow ate both chocolate peanuts and cheese cubes, as opposed to 75 per cent of those without their mother. The piglets with their mothers also ate slightly more chocolate peanuts.

The researchers would now like to establish how the sow passes on information about food to her piglets. "Do the pigs learn from seeing what the sow does or by joining in?" "Does the smell of the food and the type of living space play a role?" These are some of the research questions mentioned by Ms Oostindjer. Her research is partially funded by the technology foundation STW. In current pig-farming practice, piglets often cannot imitate their mothers because the sow has a high feeding trough that the piglets cannot reach. And piglets are routinely taken from their mothers at four weeks old.

So does it help if the piglets stay longer with their mothers? "That is not cost-effective for the farmer," answers Ms Oostindjer. "The sooner the piglets are removed, the more litters the sow can have in a year." 'Living at home' for longer is not strictly necessary as piglets are already able to digest solid food when they are still suckling. "Wild pigs go out with their mothers and eat acorns when they are only a week old." Ms Oostindjer's research may lead to a pigpen design that makes it easier for the piglets to learn from their mothers.

POULTRY / Research: Coarse limestone-better eggs
« on: June 18, 2010, 10:58:10 AM »
Research: Coarse limestone – better eggs 17 Jun 2010
Limestone particles need to have a certain size to have effects on laying performance and egg shell strength in laying hens recent research at the Institute of Animal Science in Czech Republic reveiled.
One hundred and twenty ISA Brown hens aged 24–36 weeks and 120 ISA Brown hens aged 56–68 weeks were used to study the influence of limestone particle size and the animal's age on laying performance and egg quality.
Two diets were used:
a diet containing calcium carbonate in fine limestone particles (diet LF with limestone particles <0.5 mm), and
a diet containing calcium carbonate in coarse limestone particles (diet LC with 91% of particles larger than 0.8 mm and smaller than 2.0 mm).
Hen-day egg production was higher and egg weight lower in young hens than in old hens.
  Age 24-36 weeks 56-58 weeks
Limestone size LF (fine) LC (coarse) LF LC
Eggs/day 87% 89.4% 73.5% 79.9%
Egg weight 62g 63g 67g 68g
Shell weight - +2g - +2g
Shell thickness - +4 μm - +8 μm
Shell Ca content - +2mg - +2mg
Albumen height - +0.2mm - +0.3mm
Haugh units - +0.8 - +0.2

No increase in the shell breaking strength was observed.
It can be concluded that LC with a particle size of 0.8–2.0 mm should be considered rather than fine ground limestone when formulating diets for laying hens both in the early and the late phase of production.

Aquaculture / Aquaculture will be the fastest growing food producer
« on: June 18, 2010, 10:37:39 AM »
Aquaculture will be the fastest growing food producer 14
Expert professor judges aquaculture the winning food producer on the last day of the AquaVision conference in Stavanger, Norway.
“The potential for increased production seems larger for aquaculture than other food producing technologies,” concluded Professor Frank Asche at the University of Stavanger, final speaker at the AquaVision conference last week.
Professor Asche reached his conclusion by drawing together results from world-wide market research.
 Aquaculture is inherently sustainable
The Norwegian Professor was co-author of an article on sustainability and global seafood in Science earlier this year.
He expects aquaculture to have a long term growth that will make it the dominant seafood supplier within a decade or two — without damaging the eco systems in which it operates.
“There is nothing inherently unsustainable with aquaculture as long as the producers choose to operate on a sustainable basis,” said Professor Asche.
AquaVision Innovation Award
On the last conference day a revolutionary new method for cleaning the nets of the fish farm pens brought Marine Inspector and Cleaner of Australia the AquaVision Innovation Award.
Marine Inspector and Cleaner’s totally new cleaning device for nets, easily operated by one man, is a longed for invention for fish farmers. Clean nets contribute to better health, fewer parasites and better fish growth.
Due to the speed and ease of operation, nets can be cleaned on a regular basis, resulting in minimal fouling growth, said Dr. Robert Kirschbaum of DSM, which set up the prize.
You can watch a demonstration video here download a borchure here. Download can be slow, depending on internet connnection and computer settings.
Delegates from 26 countries
The winning growth potential presented by Professor Asche and the will to innovate as demonstrated by the Marine Inspector and Cleaner were a fitting conclusion to the eighth AquaVision conference, which had the theme Open your eyes – Oceans of opportunities.
AquaVision has established itself as a major venue, regularly assembling top executives from aquaculture and its stakeholders. 340 delegates from 26 countries attended the 2010 conference.
“Aquaculture is a winning industry,” stated Knut Nesse, Executive Vice-President Nutreco Aquaculture/Skretting Group in his closing remarks.
“There is no doubt about that. Aquaculture is the blue revolution. We are able to supply a growing population with healthy food, but, our industry is also fantastic if you look at value created.”

Goat Industry Performance Report
January-December 2009
As of January 1, 2010, total goat inventory was estimated at 4.20 million head. It was 0.44 percent lower than last year’s headcount. Of the total goat population, around 37 percent were female breeders or does, 9 percent were male breeders or bucks, 33 percent were kids, and 21 percent were classified as castrated male and other goat for fattening.

In 2009, total goat production was estimated at 77.38 thousand metric tons liveweight. This was 0.81 percent lower than last year’s gross output of 78.01 thousand metric tons.

The annual average farmgate price of live goat increased by 16.65 percent or from P75.29 per kilogram in 2008 to P87.83 per kilogram in 2009.

according to Govt. stats,goat numbers are down for 2009.Commercial farms are still very low in numbers,hummm,lets hope these numbers improve for the 2010 head count.

POULTRY / Raising Geese in Backyard for Profit:
« on: May 31, 2010, 10:05:11 AM »
Raising Geese in Backyard for Profit

Unknown to many Filipinos, goose is one of the oldest of man’s feathered friends. Their domestication probably took place in Egypt (where they were considered sacred) about 3,000 years ago; although some research suggests that it may have been even earlier.

The term “goose” (plural: geese) applies to the birds in general, and to a female in particular. The word “gander” is used for a male in particular. Young birds before fledging are called “goslings.” A group of geese on the ground is called a “gaggle”; when geese fly in formation they are called a “wedge” or a “skein.”

In some Asian countries, goose meat is a regular commodity in the market. It is only in the Philippines that the raising of geese for meat has not been exploited commercially as much as chickens or ducks. Geese are raised more as pets and curiosities than for the production of meat and eggs.

What most Filipinos don’t know is that geese are cheap and easy to maintain and they provide animal protein as well as cash income.

In fact, raising geese is more advantageous. Mature geese are independent, larger than other poultry species and thus less vulnerable to predators. When kept in small flocks and allowed to roam the farmyard or field, they are adept scavengers, requiring less attention than any other domestic bird.

“The raising of geese is a profitable sideline on the farm and in the backyard,” wrote F.M. Fronda, author of Poultry Science and Production. “They need little care and give little trouble. They can live and multiply where other kinds of poultry will die. When turned loose in the backyard geese will clean weedy patches and improve the quality of grass in the lawn.”

Geese adapt easily to captivity, and if small quantities of supplementary feed are provided in the evening they will even return home by themselves. Thus, requiring little extra work, these animals supply nutritious meat, huge eggs and rich fat for cooking, as well as soft down and feathers for bedding and clothing, which makes them particularly appropriate for providing farmers with a supplementary income.

“On the farm, as a guard for the home, geese cannot be equaled,” Fronda noted. “The gander is considered an excellent watchdog as he makes a noise whenever something out of the ordinary occurs, and he is soon joined by the rest of the flock.”

In northeastern Thailand, a feasibility study recommended that goose raising be incorporated into the region’s existing farming system in order to utilize farm waste products efficiently, hence providing small-scale farmers with a source of extra income and a much needed animal protein source for the family.

Like ducks, geese produce large edible eggs, weighing 120-170 grams. They can be used in cooking just like chicken’s eggs, though they have proportionally more yolk, and this cooks to a slightly denser consistency. The taste is much the same as that of a chicken egg.

The main demand for goose meat is for festive occasions, and this is likely to continue to be the case. However, restaurants and hotels would no doubt offer goose if they could be assured of supply and quality.

A goose can be roasted as a whole bird, but its size tends to preclude this except for banquets and other festive meals. Just one thing though: Goose meat contains much more fat than turkeys or chickens. At least 500 milligrams of fat may be rendered from an average-sized goose during cooking. One liter is not unusual for larger birds.

But most of the fat is concentrated in the skin, and the meat itself is very lean, rather like duck. Goose fat is often separated and stored for use on its own. It can be used as a substitute for butter, although the flavor can be slightly “gamey.” Potatoes cooked in this fat are highly regarded by some. The fat keeps well in the refrigerator. Goose can also be prepared as confit and the fat used to preserve the meat.

What kind of breed should you raise in the Philippines? In his book, Fronda recommended Toulouse, the heaviest breed of geese, which is most common on the farms in the United States.

“The Toulouse has been imported to the Philippines, and may now be seen in a number of places in the country,” Fronda wrote. “The Philippine geese were probably introduced from China as they bear close resemblance to the White Chinese geese, but owing probably to neglected breeding, they have become a trifle smaller than the White Chinese. They are, however, hardy and can be raised on the farm without difficulty.”

What is difficult, however, is the mating. “Geese are peculiar in that they often refuse to accept the mate given them,” Fronda wrote. “For this reason, they should be mated carefully before being allowed to run at large. Four geese to a gander will produce good results, but only two to a gander are better.

“A medium-sized, alert, active gander and active geese with good width and depth of the body for his mates should be chosen. Young geese are at their best at the second laying year. For this reason, the flock should be started with geese that are about three years old. These birds will be useful as breeders for about ten years.”

Geese need very little in the way of housing, for they may be raised with practically none. Those that are provided with houses especially built for them do not seem to be any better than those left in the open.

“There should, however, be much shade to protect them from heavy rains and storms,” Fronda wrote. “They should be allowed the freedom of an enclosed yard, for they will try to uproot almost any plant which is not fenced in.”

How do you distinguish a gander from a goose? Generally, the gander is larger than the goose, and his cry is shrill compared with the hoarse, coarse cry of the goose. Experienced geese raisers can determine sex by making the sex organ of the male protrude. It requires a little practice to do this, especially with young goslings, but among the mature birds, the forefinger may be inserted into the rectum and the male sexual organ drawn out.

SWINE / Point Of Interest
« on: April 30, 2010, 10:46:27 AM »
According to some in Canada.The pietrain and pietrain crosses of hogs are a total waste of time.I have been told the meat from the pietrain and the crosses is of lower quality than of the other breeds.I have some crossbreeds myself and I can say they are smaller and take longer to grow.I cannot say that I have ever eaten one but I know in N.America this breed in almost unheard of.

Kikos for the Small Farm

By Mary Wilson 

Most dairy goat breeders keep their focus on milk production, but some are branching into the goat meat market with the addition of Kiko meat goats to their small farm stock. At Half Creek Farm we have found they are a good way to increase profits from the farm with little additional input. We raise Kiko meat goats on our farm in the high desert in Washington. Similar to Boer meat goats in muscle type, they are different, however, in their color patterns and they are known for their strong survival instincts.

Kikos were developed in New Zealand from feral stock. They were culled heavily for years to improve on maternal qualities, milk production, parasite resistance, feet and hoof quality, and their ability to gain weight on forage only. These are all the qualities we wanted in our meat goat herd, so Kikos were an easy choice.

Kikos come in a variety of colors although they tend toward white. This makes them less identifiable than Boers, and while the country is covered with Boer shows, Kiko's are a production-based breed—no Kiko shows. Instead, Kikos are assessed on their production qualities. How many kids did they have; how many did they raise to weaning; what was the weaning weight? These are all factors we watch in our herd. Kids are weighed at birth and at 30, 60 and 90 days to give us maternal data. Then we weigh again at 120 and 150 days to see how the kids are growing after weaning when they're on their own. We kid mostly twins but each year we end up with a triplet or so. I like to keep an eye on the girls during kidding. In our area, being out on range kidding can be dangerous. Predators are, if nothing else, opportunists. I rarely intervene in kidding. The goats know what they're doing better than I do. Kiko kids range from five to eight pounds, making births much easier on mom and kids. The kids are up and nursing in under an hour. I do catch them shortly after birth to put iodine on navels, weigh them, and get in a couple pets, then off to mom.

At Half Creek Farm we check for parasites several times a year. Parasite resistance is a culling criteria in Kikos. Routine worming throughout the goat world has caused some significant parasite resistance to commonly used wormers. Goat producers have altered the way they use wormers in recent years but a lot of the damage is already done. Kikos are parasite resistant, allowing us to bypass routine worming. Now we assess each animal twice a year and document if they needed worming. If we have to worm them several times a year we cull them.

We check hooves several times a year and trim as needed. We rarely have a doe we have to do more than twice. I don't cull much for bad feet, as I really haven't seen bad feet in Kikos.

Maternal instinct is a trait we cull heavily for. We want does to wean their weight in kids. I want consistent twins, no birth problems, attentive moms, and vigorous kids right from the start. We're trying for 50 pounds at 90 days herd-wide, and we're getting closer to that goal all the time. We had one set of triplets last year that weighed 42-50 pounds each at 90 days. This is an indication of the milk production of the doe. This mom was able to provide enough nutrition to keep good growth in the three kids through weaning. The next weights show us how the kids do on pasture when they're on their own. If they continue putting on weight, on forage, we're happy.

Kikos don't need grain to gain weight; our animals are fed forage. We do use a little grain to help tame them. I think it's important in smaller operations like ours to keep the goats fairly comfortable around us. We have to vaccinate, trim hooves, check for parasites, etc., and with only Dave, Wookie (the dog) and I, we're not interested in a wrestling match.

Kiko goats are assessed on their production qualities. Twins are common at Half Creek Farm, with an occasional triplet birth.

At an elevation of 3,500 feet we experience severe winters and predator pressure. Our property is very rugged and the forage is weeds, scrub oak, willow, and an assortment of brush. There is only Dave and I to tend the farm so labor has to be kept to a minimum. We choose our animals carefully to blend with our time, skill and stamina. Those are all in short supply at our house! Although the goats are permitted free range during the day, they return home every night where they have shelter if they want it. Snow doesn't bother them, but rain, well, goats dissolve if any water touches their skin (or so they think).

We have a farm dog that helps us when we're working with the goats. Wookie is a Bouvier des Flandres and has had herding lessons to help us work together. She's not a guard dog for the goats and doesn't go out with them when they graze. She is the farm dog, and responsible for the whole place. Her warning barks to the local coyotes are a big part of keeping them away from the area. Since we got Wookie, we've not lost a single animal.

Meat goats are a great addition to a small farm. They're easy to raise if you choose the right breed, which of course I think is the Kiko. Goats are personable, saleable and much easier to handle than cattle. They need about a fifth of the land that a cow needs and enjoy a much lower quality pasture. Often goats and cattle are grazed together with the cows eating grass and the goats eating weeds, brush, wild rose, blackberries and every other invasive pest you can think of—and loving it.

Half Creek farm recently partnered with friends who own Gateway Farm in nearby Centerville, Washington, to market USDA goat meat directly to consumers.

This is a new venture for us and looks like it may be a good choice. We've gone to the farmers market in The Dalles, Oregon, twice and both times did well and really enjoyed talking with customers and telling them about chevon (goat meat). We've made up flyers to give a quick little explanation of how to cook with chevon, and our local group even made up a cookbook called Kidding Around in the Kitchen to provide tasty recipes. I think people are becoming more interested in the qualities of locally grown products and are willing to try something different. In this country, chevon is still considered "something different," in spite of its being a huge part of the rest of the world's meat intake.


Small ruminant (sheep and goat) / Super Food Groups
« on: February 19, 2010, 03:11:15 PM »
While working with our local DA in 2009 we have been feeding all of our livestock a solutation of malunggay.Malunggay can help your breeding buck(s) with higher semen counts and maybe will help with more twins.We have been feeding our goats with this malunggay health tonic for 6 months now with no side effects at all.The live bacteria seems to help keep their stomachs in top form and the snail shells is calcium.Acts as a general health tonic.

3 or more kg. of chopped malunggay
1 kg. molasses
1  litre of clean water
handful of clean snail shells (calcium)
place in a jar for 14 days
drain and add 3-4 spoonfuls to each litre of drinking water

Mulberry does not grow in our area and the locals all thought it would never grow.Our local DA thought about this and decided it would be worth a try and gave up some mulberry cuttings to try and I am happy to say it grows well and we are now taking our own cuttings for replanting.
For dairy goats we are looking at a super food group along with their regular feeds.
malunggay,mulberry.indigo and stylo as the main ingredients for lactating goats to help increase milk production.Time will tell if this food group will have any benefits.

Any milking animal needs 2 important things to produce milk well,protein and calcium.True a poorly bred animal will not milk well no matter how good your feed group is.This I know from experience,all things being equal.

indigo- was first reported by Alaminos Goat Farm so credit to them for this information but I knew about indigo from my school days training as a designer which the natural colour blue hue comes come.
mulberry- was given to us from down in the south of the Philippines
malunggay- I have seen used in the Philippines by mothers breast feeding their babies,this was a natural choice for us and lots of information about the benefits of this plant has been published.
stylo-has been given to us by the regional DA from Dumaguete City Region 7 but is a plant that must be planted all the time because once matured and harvested it is finished.
we are also looking into another plant but at this point we know very little about the benefits of it and will report about it later.
ipil-ipil- due to its mimosine content we feed very little of if to all our livestocks.

AGRI-NEWS / Performance Of Philippine Agriculture
« on: December 07, 2009, 11:24:18 AM »



Agriculture posted a 1.50 percent growth during the first nine months of 2009. The combined gains in livestock, poultry and fisheries production contributed to the sector’s growth. Meanwhile, production of some high value commercial crops dropped, thus the negative growth rate noted in the crops subsector. The gross value of agricultural output amounted to P849.3 billion at current prices or 1.62 percent higher than last year’s level.
The crops subsector registered a 0.15 percent drop in output this year. In the case of palay and corn, some production gains were noted. Production of palay grew by 2.90 percent while that of corn inched up by 0.76 percent. The other gainers were coconut, tomato, banana, peanut, cassava and tobacco. Their corresponding production growth rates ranged from 2.24 percent to 12.25 percent. The subsector’s share in total agricultural output went down to 46.92 percent. Gross value of crop production was P450.0 billion at current prices. This was 1.77 percent lower than last year’s record.

The livestock subsector almost recovered from the 2008 slump as it grew by 1.95 percent this year. This was mainly due to hog production which posted a 2.22 percent increase this year. The subsector accounted for 12.36 percent of total agricultural output. At current prices, the subsector grossed P138.4 billion, which corresponded to a 4.89 percent increase during the period.

The poultry subsector registered a 3.46 percent output gain this year. Production of chicken and chicken eggs decreased by 3.21 percent and 6.33 percent, respectively. The subsector’s share in total agricultural output was 14.09 percent. The gross receipts of the subsector amounted to P100.3 billion pesos at current prices, up by 11.38 percent this year.
The fisheries subsector which shared 26.63 percent in total agricultural production, grew by 3.28 percent. Production in aquaculture expanded by 4.50 percent while that of commercial fisheries went up by 3.75 percent. Municipal fisheries managed to post a 0.21 percent output increment in 2009. The subsector grossed P160.6 billion at current prices or 3.18 percent more than the previous year’s level.
On the average, farmgate prices increased at a slower rate of 0.12 percent during the January to September 2009 period. The poultry subsector recorded the biggest price hike of 7.65 percent. In the livestock subsector, there was a 2.88 percent gain in prices. Meanwhile, average prices in the crops and fisheries subsector indicated decreases of 1.62 percent and 0.09 percent, respectively

Small ruminant (sheep and goat) / The Anglo Nubian in the Philippines
« on: November 17, 2009, 12:51:25 PM »
From what I can see what happened with most of the anglos imported into the Philippines is frankly this.
people ran off to Australia buying anglos that they did not fully understand and did not do their homework fully.For an anglo to be a good dairy goat with a long lactation period comes from farms that can support records to prove such and are registered by a dairy authority.Dairy anglos are different from your average anglo in terms of body lenght and height,they have long cannon bones in their legs and have long necks.Look for does with not a high rump as high rumps may lead to kidding problems later in life.Be careful of parrots mouth as this is a fault and will be passed on to the offspring(s).Dairy anglos are bred for dairy unlike they relatives that seem to do better for the meat trade.As a dual purpose goat the anglo seems better suited for meat over dairy.It takes many many many years of selective breeding with the right genetics to produce dairy anglos with long lactions periods.

Even if you bought such an anglo and imported such a goat there is no insurance that goat will produce as well as where it came from especially into a totally different environment,takes time for any goat to adjust and adapt to its new environment.Once it has adapted then selective breeding over many many many years before one will realize the fruits of all your hard work.

The anglo has an important role in dairy Philippines but will take many dedicated people who are willing to spend time with the breed to breed this goat into something super.It will happen, but will take sometime before we will see top of the line anglos enter the commercial dairy numbers.The anglo has a future but needs selective breeding to bring this breed into commercial production.There are a few dedicated people willing to work with this breed to take it into the next phase of development.

anglo nubian means- still has english bloodline ties,most commonwealth countries still call them anglo nubians

nubian means-no longer with english ties,the USA can no longer refer to them as anglos but only nubians

once you breed an American nubian with an anglo nubian the offspring becomes nubian no longer anglo nubian.

SWINE / Meat Tenderness and Muscle Development:
« on: November 16, 2009, 12:37:43 PM »
Meat Tenderness and Muscle Development
Several studies have shown that some events in muscle development and postnatal growth are related to meat quality traits, according to Niels Oksbjerg, M. Therkildsen and P.M. Nissenn from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, in a paper presented to the ICoMST 2009 conference in Copenhagen this year. By Senior Editor, Chris Harris.

The rate of muscle growth is deeply linked to performance traits, such as daily gain, feed conversion rate and meat content of the carcase and for this reason selection for increased performance traits may influence some meat quality traits.

However, the report says that the relationship between events determining muscle growth and meat quality may also give rise to developing new concepts for production of meat with high meat quality.

Muscle growth can be divided into prenatal and postnatal events, the report authors say.

Prenatal muscle development occurs in various steps including specification of mesodermal cells to myoblasts, myoblast proliferation, alignment of myoblast and their fusion to primitive myofibres.

"Muscle fibre formation (myogenesis) takes place during foetal development. Highly specialised muscle fibres develop from mesodermal cells, which are specified to become myoblasts. These myoblasts proliferate several times before they align and fuse to become premature myofibres. By innervation these myotubes differentiate to mature muscle fibres. Two populations of fibres develop at different times," the report shows.

At birth, the muscle fibre number (MFN) is constant but apart from the muscle fibre number and fibre type distribution, postnatal muscle growth is also related to protein accretion of the fibres as a function of the rates of protein synthesis and protein degradations – or protein turnover. Satellite cell proliferation supports protein turnover.

This means that selection for performance of meat animals may cause correlated changes in various steps in moygenesis and/or in postnatal muscle growth.

However, the report says that changes in some steps may deteriorate meat quality traits, while others have no effect or may even improve meat quality.

In this way, increasing the muscle fibre number may increase lightness and lower redness because an increased muscle fibre number results in lower cross-sectional area of muscle.

Also, several studies suggest that the rate of muscle protein degradation in vivo is related to tenderisation probably because µM-dependent Calpain is limiting the rate of protein degradation in vivo as well as during tenderisation.

"This finding suggests that, during selection, periodical measurements of the Calpain system are needed but this finding may also be used to develop new concepts for high quality meat," the study says.

It shows that if it is possible to increase the rate of protein degradation just before slaughter, this may result in meat with a greater tenderness. A feeding strategy involving compensatory growth could meet this requirement.

For decades, it has been recognised that compensatory growth (or catch-up growth) following re-alimentation may occur after a period of feed restriction in most farm animals, and the phenomenon has been reported to take place in pigs in both conventional production systems and in organic pig production.

According to other findings in cattle, both the rate of protein synthesis and degradation are elevated. Consequently, compensatory growth response may be a mean to increase tenderness of meat.

"The protein turnover, however, develops dynamically through compensatory growth, and rises from a low value initially after onset of ad libitum feeding to a high value," the report says.

"However, the rate of protein synthesis increases at a faster rate than the rate of degradation, but is at a level higher than control animals 42 to 45 days after the beginning of the realimentation period."

The report shows that from a series of studies both castrated male pigs and female pigs exhibit compensatory growth, while tenderness is only improved in female pigs.

This result may be related to the effect of compensatory growth on intramuscular fat, which was unaltered in meat from female pigs but reduced in meat from castrated male pigs, the study says.

Intra-muscular fat (IMF) is positively related to tenderness and the beneficial effect of compensatory growth on tenderness may then be abolished by a reduction in IMF in castrated male pigs.

It is generally accepted that intra-muscular fat (IMF) has a positive effect on the sensory quality of fresh meat and up to three per cent IMF may be beneficial for the tenderness.

The report adds that while higher intramuscular far is desirable, existing means to increase IMF are costly and no shortcut is available at the moment.

In conclusion, some steps in muscle development and postnatal growth are related to meat quality, traits which should be taking into consideration following selection for increased performance but may also be used to develop new concepts for meat products with high quality, such as the compensatory growth response.

The report adds that more research is needed to clarify whether compensatory growth can be combined with factors in the production process that cause deterioration in tenderness.

Small ruminant (sheep and goat) / Boer Influence on the Meat Goat Industry
« on: November 15, 2009, 11:27:37 AM »
Boer Influence on the Meat Goat Industry -

Fad or Future?

Florida Goat Production Conference

June 14, 1997


Dr. Rick Machen*

April 9, 1993 - Boer goats are being released from a New Zealand quarantine station. After consuming their airline tickets, some have boarded a jet bound for the United States of America...and the meat goat industry hasn't been the same since! Never before in the history of domestic meat goat production has an event created so much excitement and enthusiasm. People which, heretofore would have never been associated with goats, now consider meatgoats a viable enterprise. Longtime goat breeders are excited about this new genetic material and its potential to radically change the meatgoat industry. Who are these new kids on the block, where did they originate and what role(s) can they play in the U.S. meatgoat production industry?

The Boer Goat

Boer goats were developed in South Africa and can be classified into five different types: Ordinary, Long-haired, Polled, Indigenous and Improved or Ennobled. The first four types are of little or no interest to American goat breeders. South African breeders organized the Improved Boer Goat registry in July, 1959 and have concentrated on improving this goat which is of great interest to U.S. producers.

Trade sanctions and the fear of such diseases as hoof and mouth, scrapie and heartwater have prohibited importation of goats directly from South Africa. Goats were taken from South Africa to Zimbabwe and subsequently placed in quarantine in New Zealand in the mid-1980's. Many of the goats in the U.S. have come from the New Zealand quarantine. A small group of South African origin has been imported into Texas. A protocol is now in place to bring embryos from South Africa into Canada, place them in reciepient females and then bring the recipient females into the U.S. Relative to the diversity of our domestic goats, the Boer genetic base currently in the U.S. is narrow yet rapidly broadening.

Once confined to South Africa, Boer goats are now also found in Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

Boer goats range in color from solid red to almost completely white. The most preferred and widely recognized color pattern is a white body with dark cherry red neck and head with a blaze face. The ears are long and pendulous. Both sexes are horned. Horn size and mass exhibited by the males are much less than traditionally found on Angora or Spanish goats.

South African breeders have emphasized muscling and structural correctness in their selection programs. As a result, the Boer goat is a thicker, meatier animal than our domestic goats. Frame size is moderate; not as large as many of the dairy breeds (i.e. Nubian, Saanen). Mature bucks can weigh in excess of 300 pounds while the largest does will exceed 200 pounds. Birth weights range from 6-15 pounds and preweaning average daily gain can exceed 0.5 pounds. Does are recognized for excellent udder conformation.

Boer Contributions

It should be mentioned here that all goats (Angora, Spanish, cashmere and the dairy breeds) qualify as meat goats. The Boer goat can contribute several pieces to the development of an improved meatgoat. Possible contributions include:

Muscle/Body mass - This may be the single most significant contribution. As previously mentioned, the Boer is moderate in frame size but heavier muscled, wider through the chest, deeper sided and more correct on its feet and legs compared to most domestic goats. An increase in muscling will be reflected in higher dressing percentages, higher lean to bone ratios and a more attractive product in the meat case. Improvements in muscling and carcass conformation could result in additional fabrication and retail marketing strategies for goat meat.

Growth rate can also be increased with Boer genetics. Data collected on Boer-sired kids born in early 1994 include preweaning growth rates in excess of 0.5 pound per day and 100 day weaning weights as high as 80 pounds. This potential for rapid growth will be an important consideration in an accelerated kidding program.

Milking/Mothering Ability - Does are recognized for their excellent udder conformation. The females have strong mothering instincts and, when provided adequate nutrition, easily produce enough milk to raise twins or triplets.

Browsers - Results of South African research indicates that Boers preferred a diet that consisted of 85% browse and 15% grass. Apparently, they will function well as a biological method of brush management.

Long breeding season - Estrus activity appears to be much the same as Spanish goats or the dairy breeds; a broader window of opportunity than offered by the Angora female. If an accelerated kidding program (three crops in two years) is desirable, this attribute will certainly prove beneficial.

Prolific - Data from South Africa and New Zealand indicates that, provided adequate nutrition, Boer females are capable of weaning 180-200% kid crops. Males and females can be sexually competent at 6 and 8 months of age, respectively.

Good temperament - Boer goats appear to be very comfortable with human interaction. This could be due to their management in South Africa but also appears to have a genetic component. Embryo transfer kids born in this country to Angora or Spanish recipient dams are very docile and often seek out human attention. If goat production occurs under more intensive conditions, this temperament will prove advantageous.

Feeding and Management

Little scientific information is available concerning the nutrient requirements or digestive physiology of the Boer goat. However, several observations warrant inclusion in this discussion.

Boer goats like to eat and they are good at it. Unlike most Spanish and Angora goats, Boers seem to be much less "picky" in their eating habits. Halfblood kids also seem to exhibit similar eating behavior. If these habits are real and heritable, the Boer could make a feedlot phase in goat production more feasible. Previous feedlot efforts have been largely unsuccessful because of unsettled dispositions and poor feed consumption. The feedlot phase mentioned here is aimed at growth and weight gain more than fattening. Including a feedlot option in goat production could assist in managing the seasonality of goat marketings.

Judging by their appearance, Boer goats appear to have greater rumen capacity (gut fill) than other domestic goats. The increased spring of rib, greater depth of body and a paunch protruding on both sides of the abdomen point toward greater digestive tract capacity. Under range conditions, greater rumen capacity allows for consumption of larger quantities of poor quality roughages. Greater forage consumption relates to improved performance. South African data comparing Boer goats to sheep indicates they selected a lower quality diet (higher in crude fiber).

Bloat and acidosis have never presented a real problem for goat feeders because domestic goats seem to have effective intake regulation mechanisms. However, cases of acidosis have been observed in Texas Boer goats offered an excessive amount of feed. Higher crude fiber contents (>16%) should be considered when feeding goats in confinement, especially under self-fed conditions. Several feed mills have also elevated the coccidiostat levels in goat feeds to combat a potential coccidiosis problem.

Goat meat is particularly appealing to the diet-health conscious population because of its high lean to fat ratio. Boer goats appear to be "easy keepers"; capacity for subcutaneous and abdominal fat deposition appears to be greater than Spanish or Angora goats. While abdominal fat deposition represents efficient energy storage by the range animal, large quantities of internal fat adversely effect the dressing percentage of slaughter animals. In addition, excessive body condition can be detrimental to the reproductive performance of the doe.

Fad or Future?

Fad is defined by Webster as "a custom, amusement, or the like, followed for a time with exaggerated zeal; a craze". Boer goats are the latest craze and the exaggerated zeal associated with them has been reflected by market prices. Numerous individuals have brought in excess of $50,000 at public auctions. The craze and zeal which became apparent with the first New Zealand auction in January of 1993 continue today. The question on the mind of every interested party is, "How long will the craze continue?"

No doubt, price has kept many commercial goat producers out of the market. However, prices have softened significantly and are currently more compatible with commercial meat goat producers' cash flow. As ac\vailability continues to increase, prices for the premier breeding stock should stabilize in the $2000-3000 per head range.

Performance and carcass information on crossbred and percentage Boer goats indicates that, in fact, the Boer does have the genetic predisposition to increase growth rate and feed efficiency. Carcass merit is enhanced in Boer-sired offspring. Similar information on the purebreds will follow when collection of such becomes economically feasible. As value of the purebreds comes more in line with meatgoat prices, the influence of the Boer on the Meat Goat industry will expand rapidly.

Improved carcass characteristics, greater growth potential, improved appetite, enhanced mothering abilities, docility, long breeding seasons, biological brush management - all are pieces of the puzzle entitled Meatgoat Production and Management.

According to the definition, Boer goats are a fad. However, they appear to be a fad with a future.

The boer will do for the Philippines meat goat industry what it has done in so many other countries,improve the native goats with better genetics therefore improving the goat meat industry as a whole.With the lowering of the base prices for breeding bucks, more boer genetic material will now enter the marketplace to help create the next phase of the industry,fattening.
The future looks bright.

I am giving this information out as a public service with no personal gain to myself or business.

A SNUBIAN is a cross between a Saanen buck and a Anglo Nubian doe.One breeds the sannen buck to as many anglo does as possible.
those kids are raised until breeding age.One breeds half brother to half sisters,never breed full brothers to full sisters,only half to half.(line Breeding)
you will now know which does are your superior does,once in milk mode and which does and half brother to continue breeding to create this line of does and these does are the ones you want to continue building your herd with.At this point you can breed these does back to the orginal purebred saanen and breed F2s or use any breed because the goat has to become pregnant to go into milking mode.
Selective line breeding or in-breeding that will build up your milking herd of goats.

This is how we breed the Snubian in North America since the crossbreeds at the F1 level for the milk industry.

Hope this makes sense to anyone interested in breeding a decent milk goat.Remember one can only take line breeding so far before it becomes useless and your stocks will suffer.

Line Breeding or in-breeding will do to things for your goats 1-produce really good goats or
                                                                                2-produce really poor goats
its one or the other for in-breeding no inbetween,good or bad only.

The Snubin has been breed in N.America and Europe since the 1980s.

AGRI-NEWS / Attention to Detail in Animal Welfare
« on: November 04, 2009, 11:39:27 AM »
WWFE REPORT: Attention to Detail in Animal Welfare
US - Maintaining good animal welfare regimes on the farm and in the slaughterhouse requires constant vigilance, Chris Harris at the Worldwide Food Expo in Chicago.

The message of vigilance and attention to detail was one of the key messages from animal welfare expert Temple Grandin a keynote speaker in the conference Super Session on Thursday.

Prof Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, was speaking candidly about her autism and the way it had affected and influenced her approach to welfare issues.

She said that one of the key issues was the way that the autistic person thinks compared to other people.

She said that as an autistic person considers things in pictures and in specific detail rather than thinking socially, she was able to see problems and effects in meat plants that others could not.

She said that often the solution to animal welfare issues in meat processing plants was not down to large expenditure, but to ironing out details.

Prof Grandin added that her ability to see things in pictures was similar to the way animals see things, and hence there was an empathy with animal issues.

She said that small issues, such as chains hanging down, bad lighting and workers catching the animal's eye can all be distractions that affect the welfare of the animal as it is going down a chute to the stunning area in a meat plant.

By paying attention to simple details such as these, the welfare of the animal can be improved.

Prof Grandin said that the worst time for animal welfare in the US was during the 1970s and 1980s but when she wrote her guidelines for McDonald's in 1999, the industry approach to welfare issues changed.

She said that the numerical scoring system for meat plants based on a system similar to HACCP, produced for the American Meat Institute, had helped then industry improve its approach to welfare issues and improve the way it handled animals.

"But it takes constant vigilance and we need well trained auditors," she said.

Prof Grandin said the industry in the US had made vast improvements, but it needs to communicate the improvements and the handling methods to the public at large.

And she added that the communication needs to be done by the individual companies and not left to eh associations and organisations.

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