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  • Impacts of ethnoveterinary medicine integrated with livestock farm technologies on the performance and antimicrobial resistance of indigenous goats in South Africa –A review

    Ethnoveterinary medicine and livestock farm technologies represent a junction of innovation and tradition with the aim to accomplish livestock systems that are resilient, productive, and sustainable to meet 21st century challenges, especially the antimicrobial resistance issue. This article aims to emphasise the impacts of integrating ethnoveterinary medicine with livestock farm technologies on the performance of indigenous goats in South Africa. With the growing concern over antimicrobial resistance in livestock, there is a pressing need for complementary approaches to the health of animals and their productivity. In this review, the aim evaluated whether an integrative approach could offer a sustainable alternative that benefits animal health and productivity while addressing the concerns of antimicrobial resistance. Comparative study designs across multiple indigenous goat farms were used to integrate specific medicinal plants in ethnoveterinary medicine with present-day livestock technologies that are used to monitor the effects on livestock performance indicators and antimicrobial resistance patterns. In the treated populations, the outcomes were indicative of substantial improvements in reproduction and growth rates, and alongside, there has been a notable decrease in the markers of antimicrobial resistance. Therefore, it is proposed that through these discoveries, the integration of these traditional and modern approaches not only improve the performance of indigenous goats but also contribute immensely to the mitigation of risks associated with antimicrobial resistance.

  • An overview of swine production and marketing in Africa - Mini review

     Pigs are the oldest domesticated animals, though their ancestry is still uncertain because of a lack of archaeological and genetic evidence. Pigs serve a vital role in reducing the demand for livestock and livestock products in most parts of the world. Especially in the African continent, pigs serve as mobile cash implying how easily they can be converted into cash to sort pressing family needs. Pig production in Africa is different from advanced systems of production in temperate countries, however, it has similarities with most of the tropical low and middle-income nations. Pig production in Africa requires attention to enable it to contribute effectively to the growing African population. However, it has been orchestrated with a myriad of challenges including market access. This mini-review is designed in a manner to provide an overview of pig production contribution to livelihoods in Africa and associated challenges with possible appropriate solutions.

  • Biotechnological methods for improving reproduction on sheep breeding program using laparoscopic artificial inseminations in Debrecen, Hungary

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of the LAI method in different types of breeds and seasonal variations. Analysing n=536 LAI in 7 years, there were no significant differences observed in the breed in lambing rates. Although the lambing rate of Prolific Merino (F+) was better than any other breed (45.3%). We found significant differences between breeds of Tzigaia, its pregnancy rate was 19.2%. In the case of prolificacy there were significant differences between breeds: Prolific Merino’s (FF) was the highest (2.38) and, Indigenous Tzigaia’s was the lowest (1.4) from all of them. The obtained results showed that summer inseminations were the most effective in concern of pregnancy rate (49.5%). The results are based on use of the types of semen, showed that using frozen semen was most effective than fresh semen in both parameters, however there were no significant differences. Summarising all tested conditions in our study breeds, seasons and type of semen using LAI the total results of pregnancy rate was 40.3% and the prolificacy was 1.78, respectively. Follow up the out-of-season ovarian, progesterone level of n=36 Prolific Merino were examined and insulin, IGF-1, leptin, T3, and T4 hormones as well, to evaluate the energetic status of the flock. Progesterone analysis showed 43% of examined ewes had a cyclical ovarian function in April and a cyclical ones had good reaction for estrus-induction hormonal treatment. Our results showed that valuable information can be obtained about energy supply from the determination of some metabolic hormones as IGF-1, insulin, leptin.

  • Heat-No-Service: Reproductive lifetime performance of gilts inseminated on first versus second observed estrus in commercial piglet producing herds

    Heat No Service (HNS) is an increasing managerial decision made in commercial piglet producing herds. Performance of gilts has been shown to be influenced by initial decisions made on them at their introduction in the breeding herds. Lifetime Reproductive performance comprising of parity total born piglets and lifetime total born piglets of gilts initially bred on first observed estrus (0HNS) was compared with that of gilts bred on second observed estrus (1HNS). Stored data from Porcitec database consisted of 2.072 gilts bred on first observed estrus (0HNS) and 2.453 gilts bred on second observed estrus (1HNS) totaling to 4.525 gilts. Data was statistically analyzed using the GLM procedure of IBM SPSS version 25. The results showed a significance difference (p<0.001) in lifetime total born performance of gilts bred at 0HNS (mean 93.9) and 1HNS (mean 95.7). There was also a significant difference (p<0.001) of total born piglets in parity 1, 5 and 6 in the 2 groups. There was an observed increased parity total born and lifetime total born when first time insemination of gilts was delayed to second estrus. The findings in this study favor the 1HNS breeding with an overall increased lifetime total born. Gilts inseminated at 1HNS produce 1.57 more pigs for lifetime as compared with those inseminated at 0HNS when observation is made up to P6. Producers in piglet producing herds could re examine their decisions for increased productivity by promoting many gilts into 1HNS but still maintaining the balance between breed targets and production schedules to remain competitive and profitable in the current global swine industry.

  • Optimal age of breeding gilts and its impact on lifetime performance

    Age at first breeding and lifetime reproductive performance was analyzed on 17,558 F1 Landrace x Yorkshire gilts from 9 piglet producing herds of Midwest, United States entered in herds between 1st Jan 2014 and 31st July 2016. At the time of data collection Dec 2018, 15% of the sows were still active in the herds hence excluded from the analysis. Individual gilt data included date of birth, age in days at first mating, piglet total born by parity, lifetime piglet total born and reason for culling. Quality data checks were done before analysis to eliminate all outlier values together with sows that had no entry information for any listed category. The total database of the sows was classified into 6 classes according to age at the first mating in days 170-190(n=754), 191-211(n=4683), 212-232(n=7123), 233-253(n=3385), 254-274(n=1002) and 275-369 (n=611). Piglet total born obtained from each sow during the lifetime production was significantly (P < 0.05) greater for gilts bred between 233-253 days of age at first mating. Gilts that were bred at <233 days appeared to have a higher risk of removal by farrowing productivity as compared to the other groups. However, the results show that the risk of being culled due to health problems and conformation issues increases as the age at first mating is delayed. Overall reproductive failure appears to be the most economical culling reason across all age groups. There is a need to evaluate the best management decisions for gilt initiation in a herd to maximize her lifetime performance. The results indicate that gilts mated for the first time at the right age, 233–253 days, are more productive, both in lifetime total born and have a minimal risk of culling due to farrowing productivity.

  • Awareness and adoption of a nurse sow management system among small-scale pig farmers in Nakuru County, Kenya

    This study aimed to assess the level of awareness and adoption of nurse sow management strategies among small-scale pig farmers in Nakuru County, Kenya. The research included a survey of pig farmers who visited the Nakuru Agricultural Show in July 2023. A total of 139 farmers were interviewed within 5 days of the show. The corresponding author interviewed the respondents in a face-to-face engagement, where questions on nurse sow management were initially drafted in English and translated into Kiswahili, i.e. the second language in Kenya. The obtained results indicated that farmers came from two main regions of the county: the northern part (54.7%, 76/139) and the southern part (45.3%, 63/139). Levels of awareness and adoption were insignificant between the two groups (χ2, p<0.05). A major obstacle to the adoption of this strategy was identified as feed challenge at 77.7%; (108/139) and market issue at 59.7%; (83/139). This study identified important aspects and limitations that should be considered when developing sustainable productivity development strategies for Kenyan pig farmers. To assist the sustainable growth of small-scale pig production, the authors suggest government measures that shield farmers against exploitation of feed and marketing components, as well as advocating for effective breeding to increase live born.

  • Sow removal patterns in commercial breed-wean herds of Midwest, USA

    An observational retrospective study was done to provide up-to-date information on recent sow removal patterns from 9 breed-wean herds of Midwest USA. The study comprised of sow’s removal reasons and removal types of F1 Landrace x Yorkshire gilts entered in the herds between 1st Jan 2014 and 31st July 2016. Data was extracted from existing database on Dec 2018 and 15% of the sows were still active in the herds hence not included in the study. Descriptive statistics showed that out of the 20,009 removed sows, planned removals comprised of farrowing productivity (FP) 3,523 (17.6%) and old age (OA) 1,785 (8.9%) while unplanned removals consisted of reproductive failure (RF) 7,786 (38.9%), health problems (HP) 2,629 (13.1%), locomotion problems (LP) 1,473 (7.4%) and conformation issues (CI) 1,350 (6.8%).‘Did not conceive’ and “No heat” were observed as the main contributing factors accounting for 37.6% and 32.9% respectively for gilts & sows removed by RF.13.5% of the gilts (Parity 0) were removed from the herds before attaining their first litter of which 64.1% of their removals was due to RF. Removal type consisted of slaughter (S) 85.0%, found dead on the farm (DoF) 10.8% and euthanized (E) 4.2%. The research findings depict an upward trend of sow RF removals in the US swine herds posing a serious concern for US swine producers. Characterization and quantification of sow removals gives a revelation on the deeper intrigues about the vulnerability of the various parity in respect to common causes of RF. This helps swine producers to decisively improve on gilt replacement selection, reproductive efficiency, health and nutrition management all aimed at increasing overall swine productivity and efficiency in management. Swine farmers in the US can now focus their efforts towards curbing unnecessary RF removal within parity specifics.

  • The status of conservation and management of indigenous sheep breeds in South Africa - A review

    Indigenous sheep breeds in South Africa play an important role in local food security and they are adapted to local conditions. Their genetic and cultural values have to be recognised for national importance. The conservation of these breeds is very critical as most of them are already classified as endangered. The South African government has the initiative to attempt the conservation of these animals; however, it comes with several challenges. In addition to funding, breed conservation demands farmers to understand and recognise the role of such breeds in society. This is especially crucial in the rural communal lands where breeds are kept. Farmers that raise indigenous breeds should be taught the necessity of maintaining the purity of these breeds. Indigenous sheep breeds in South Africa are not favored by the commercial farmers and thus they are more vulnerable. This review outlines the nature of sheep farming and the conservation status of four indigenous sheep breeds in South Africa. The effort and challenges that are met in current conservation arrangements are discussed. Moreover, we emphasise on the conservation techniques that are employed in South Africa.