’Greenanimo’ – green future through research - S.Y. Georgieva - Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture

Project ‘GREENANIMO’ aims to significantly strengthen the competencies of Trakia University, an institution of excellence in Bulgaria, in agro-ecological herbivores productivity and meat quality, by creating a strong collaborative link with two scientific institutions INRAE, France, and SRUC, Scotland that are international leaders in this field. The target areas and fields of tasks of the project are as follows: ‘Enhancing meat quality’; ‘Increasing feed efficiency’; ‘Improving animal welfare’; ‘Designing sustainable ruminant farming systems’. The challenge for the Bulgarian researchers is to bridge the gap between sciences, business and education-training, which will enable the livestock sector and rural areas to become more sustainable and competitive. By working with the researchers from the internationally-leading partners INRAE and SRUC, knowledge transfer and successful integration into new networks is being achieved. The project clearly addresses all instruments as active measures in the project implementation: scientific exchanges; expert visits and medium and short-term on-site and virtual training; conference attendance, workshops; training courses for students and farmers, etc. Dissemination activities and promotion of newly-developed modules, knowledge, and experiences are oriented to the young and early career researchers and business through a multidimensional interdisciplinary system for scientific and popular media activity, and publications, as well as social demonstration and programmes. Addressing the problems of the primary production from ruminants and the needs for a thematic University centre interacting with the meat quality and productivity systems is a core challenge for the present project. Integration of the project in the University life and educational future is optimized by the students’ activity and post graduate programs and individual courses with a practical training set.

PLS-DA analysis on hand-held spectrometer for on-line prediction of beef marbling in slaughterhouses - M. Kombolo, A. Goi, M. Santinello, N. Rampado, S. Atanassova, J. Liu, P. Faure, L. Thoumy, A. Neveu, D. Andueza, M. De Marchi and J.-F. Hocquette - INRAE, France, University of Padova, Italy,Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture, INRAE, France, fr

Few studies have used near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to assess meat quality traits directly in the chiller. This study aimed to predict marbling scores with a handheld NIR spectrometer operating in the 740-1,070 nm region on intact meat muscles in the chiller in France and Italy. Marbling was assessed according to the 3G (Global Grading Guaranteed) protocol. The scores ranged from 100 to 1,190 with a mean of 330. Five scans were performed at different points of the Longissimus thoracis muscle. Two PLS-DA models were used with or without sex and breed included.The first dataset was made of 677 samples (with sex and breed known), the second dataset was made of all of the 829 samples. The models were developed using an external validation set. Both models gave similar outcomes. The models were first evaluated using a confusion matrix which describes the classification performance. The overall accuracy for both confusion matrices was 61%. The model was also assessed with receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves where AUROC corresponds to the area under a ROC curve and a single value indicates the overall performance of a binary classifier. It ranges from 0.5 to 1 where the lowest value represents a random classifier and the maximum value represents a perfect classifier. AUROC values were higher for the low and high classes (ranging between 0.8 and 0.7). Finally, permutation plots were obtained for each class, using 100 permutations. Values of the permuted R2 (the explained variance) and Q2 (the predictive capability of the model) indicated that only the medium class prediction could be built randomly. In conclusion, results did provide a moderate prediction of the marbling scores which can be useful in the European industry context to predict low and high classes of MSA marbling.

Application of computed tomography and hyperspectral images for enhanced meat quality evaluation - T. Stoyanchev, I. Penchev, S. Georgieva, A. Daskalova and S. Atanassova Trakia University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture,

Meat quality is difficult to determine because it is a combination of microbiological, nutritional, technological, and organoleptic components. Classical methods for measuring meat quality require the destruction of samples. Recently, X-ray computed tomography (CT) and hyperspectral imaging (HSI) have been investigated as tools for non-contact inspection and monitoring of meat and whole carcasses. This study aimed to evaluate the capabilities of CT and HSI to assess the quality of beef cuts. Different steaks (Ribeye steak; Denver steak; Rump steak; Top-sirloin steak) were purchased from the city market in Stara Zagora. The meat samples were analysed by CT tomography Somatom Go (Siemens-Healthcare, Germany) and Hyperspectral camera AVT Goldeye CL-008, (Specim, Spectral Imaging Ltd. Oulu, Finland) in the spectral range 900-1,700 nm. Spectronon software (Resonon Inc. Bozeman, MT, USA} was used for processing hyperspectral images. Fat; protein; dry matter and ash content of meat samples were determined by classical laboratory methods. PLS regression was used for the quantitative determination of the chemical content of meat. The percentage of lean meat and fat was estimated on the base of CT and HSI images. A comparison of the determination accuracy of the two investigated methods was made. Equations for estimation of the chemical composition of meat samples based on spectral information in the near-infrared range provide good accuracy of the determination. In conclusion, results show the capabilities of the CT and HSI for fast and non-destructive estimation of meat quality, which can be useful in the meat industry.

Effect of husbandry factors on marbling deposition - A. Nicolazo De Barmon, I. Legrand, J. Normand and J.J. Bertron - Institut de l’Elevage, France, Institut de l’Elevage, France;

been chosen by the French beef interbranch organization (INTERBEV) as a priority to better answer to consumers expectations. However, husbandry practices that enhance marbling deposition are partially known. The objective of the present study is to identify practices which allow to produce marbled meat from beef breeds females (Limousines and Charolaises). Measurements on carcasses were made in slaughterhouses with the new French marbling grid (from 1: no marbling, to 6: very high marbling). Then, two farm’s groups were separated: a group producing carcasses with low marbling (LM – marbling score 2.2±0.8) and another group with high marbling carcasses (HM – marbling score 3.7±0.9). Interviews of breeders were conducted to collect husbandry practices to try to explain marbling levels. First, they had to define the major genetic type of their livestock between: ‘beefy type’ selected on muscle deposition, ‘livestock type’ chosen for maternal qualities and body size or ‘mixed type’, which is intermediate. ‘Beefy type’ is largely represented in LM group and ‘livestock type’ in HM group. Results indicate two important nutrition periods that may affect marbling: between 5 and 12 months, a period embracing the ‘marbling windows’ already identified for Anglo-Saxon breeds, and during finishing. Differences between the two extreme groups are important during these two periods. Between 5 and 12 months, the HM group distribute concentrate during a longer period (5.1±2.4 months) than LM (2.6±2.0 months). Moreover, HM distribute more concentrate than LM (around 30% of HM breeders give it ad libitum vs 0% for LM). Fattening periods are longer for HM group (5.7±1.4 months) than for LM (2.9±0.9 months).
In addition, energetics levels during fattening are more important in the HM group (+1.3 UFV/d compared to LM group). The efficiency, technical and economical feasibility of the practices identified in this study must be confirmed in experimental farms to make them operational.

Effect of birth type on meat quality in Ile-de-France lambs -E. Achkakanova, I. Penchev and S. Georgieva - Institute of Animal Science – Kostinbrod, Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Animal husbandry – Ruminant animals and animal products technologies, Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Fundamental sciences in animal husbandry,

The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of the factor ‘birth type’ in lambs on the performance of the meat obtained from them. The studied lambs were of the Ile de France breed and were divided into two groups: the first group is Single and the second group Multiple. The lambs were slaughtered at 120 days of age, with 4 lambs from each group slaughtered. Samples were taken at 24 hours post mortem from the following muscles: m. longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL), m. iliopsoas (IP) and m. semimembranous (SM). The research of the samples for the chemical composition and technological qualities of the meat was carried out 48 h post mortem, stored at 4 °C. Regarding the total chemical composition of the meat, no significant difference was observed between the two study groups. There was also no significant difference between the groups in terms of technological qualities (pH value, colour, roasting losses, brittleness). Only a significant difference (P<0.01) was found in the indicator of water-holding capacity between the groups in the studied LTL and IP muscles.

Relationships between lamb feed efficiency, rumen volume and carcass quality measured by CT scanning - N.R. Lambe, A. McLaren, K.A. McLean, J. Gordon and J. Conington - SRUC, SRUC Hill and Mountain Research Centre, United Kingdom;

There is mixed evidence in the literature about the relationships between feed intake or efficiency and body composition of sheep. In cattle there is some evidence that selection for feed efficiency may reduce fatness at a fixed age or weight.These relationships require further investigation before sustainable strategies to breed for improved efficiency and reduce methane can be proposed. Across two years, Texel × Scotch Mule lambs (n=236 in total) from 10 sires were recorded through individual feed intake recording equipment, after weaning, for a total of six weeks (~14-20 weeks old), following a two week adaptation period. Lambs were CT scanned at the end of the feeding trial and a number of carcass quality traits were calculated from the resulting images, as well as reticulo-rumen volume (RRvol; known to be linked to methane emissions). Residual feed intake (RFI) was calculated for each lamb, by adjusting average daily dry matter intake for live weight, average daily liveweight gain and fixed effects (sex, litter size). Residual values for the CT traits were calculated, after adjusting for fixed effects (sex, year, litter size in which the lamb was reared, age of dam) and live weight at CT scanning. Low to moderate negative correlations between residuals imply that reduced RFI is favourably associated with increased carcass muscle weight, eye muscle area and depth. No significant correlations with RFI were observed for fat traits (carcass fat weight or CT-predicted intramuscular fat), spine traits (length or vertebra number), or RRvol. Low to moderate negative correlations were observed between RRvol and most of the carcass traits, suggesting poorer carcass yield and quality (but reduced fatness) in lambs with higher RRvol, whichbhas previously been associated with higher methane emissions. Larger data sets are being amassed to allow genetic relationships among these traits to be further investigated.

Do biomarkers of residual feed intake in beef cattle remain consistent regardless of feeding level? - G. Cantalapiedra-Hijar, K. Nedelkov, P. Crosson and M. McGee - INRAE, France, Trakia University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bulgaria,, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Grange, Dunsany, Ireland

The use of novel blood biomarkers to predict residual feed intake (RFI) has been proposed as a cost-effective technology to identify feed efficient cattle. However, it is unclear whether these biomarkers are linked to RFI because they reflect the metabolic efficiency of the animal or simply co-vary with the inherent differences in feeding level. This study aimed to determine if plasma biomarkers of RFI, identified under ad libitum feeding conditions, remain consistent when animals are feed-restricted on the same grass silage-based diet. Sixty Charolais crossbred young bulls divided into two groups of 30 animals were used in a cross-over design study with two 70-day test periods. Group 1 was fed ad libitum in period 1 (A1) and then restricted during period 2 (R2), while the opposite occurred for Group 2 (R1 and then A2). Animals in R1 and R2 were restricted at a level of 1.45% of their body weight. Blood samples were collected from the 12 most divergent RFI (6 Low-RFI, efficient; 6 High-RFI, inefficient) animals in both groups at the end of the first test period, and again on the same animals after the second test period (n=48). Plasma samples were analysed by LC-tandem mass spectrometry and colorimetric methods for quantifying a total of 74 targeted metabolites. Repeated measurements analysis was conducted with the fixed effects of RFI, feeding level and their interaction and the random effect of animal; RFI was considered as either a categorical (Group 1; Low vs High) or continuous (Group 2) variable. Fourteen plasma metabolites had a moderate-to-high repeatability (0.55≤r≤0.91) across both feeding levels. In Group 1, the plasma concentration of α-aminoacidic acid was lower in Low-RFI compared to High-RFI cattle for both feeding levels (FDR=0.02). In Group 2, 5-aminovaleric acid concentration was positively correlated (r=0.72) with RFI across both feeding levels (FDR=0.01). These two metabolites belong to the lysine degradation pathway. Results suggest that metabolic regulations associated with RFI are not solely driven by differences in feeding levels.

Practical application of Observer XT software for behaviour and welfare research in sheep and cattle - N.A. Bozakova and M. Halil, Trakia University,

In modern scientific research with animals, it is especially relevant to synchronize and combine various vital signs to obtain a complete picture of their welfare. Observer XT software provides detailed and refined data on animal behaviour, but also provides the ability to visualize physiological data, as well as export and synchronize ethological data with other physiological indicators. The aim of the present study is to review the practical use of Observer XT software for synchronizing and integrating ethological observations in sheep and cattle with different physiological parameters in relation to their welfare. To achieve the goal, we reviewed over 250 official documents, and scientific publications through electronic networks – PubMed, Research Gate, and Elsevier, related to the use of Observer XT software to integrate data from video recordings of various behavioural reactions of cattle, calves, sheep, lambs, and goats with their physiological, hormonal, biochemical, immunological and other indicators related to their welfare. As a result, we summarized and systematized the scientific data from the practical use of Observer XT software to synchronize and integrate indicators from ethological observations in sheep and cattle with other multimodal data. This makes it possible to establish relationships and regularities between the various vital indicators and, as a result, to obtain a more complete picture of animal welfare, as well as to significantly improve the quality of scientific research. Based on established data, the Observer XT software is an optimal method for integrating and synchronizing ethological data in research with different physiological parameters in sheep and cattle in relation to their welfare.

Software tools and technologies used to study animal behaviour-benefits and capabilities of Observer - M. Halil, N. Bozakova and S. Georgieva Trakia university, Animal husbandry

Some behaviours can be used to gain insight into the emotional state and welfare of the animals. It is important to be able to recognize abnormal behaviours, equally important to understand which typical behaviours could be indicative of poor welfare when performed in excess, and which behaviours can indicate positive welfare. Using recording methods to quantitatively assess behaviours related to positive and negative welfare can be a powerful tool for professionals working with farm animals. Welfare assessment methods have evolved significantly in recent decades in terms of both behavioural and physiological indicators. Modern ethological studies require a good knowledge and precise measurements and synchronization of video data of behaviour with the physiological parameters of the studied animals in this scientific field. Nowadays, applications are using that support these processes, such as software for studying animal behaviour – Observer XT. The aim of this research is to investigate the benefits and capabilities of Observer XT in analysing and study of farm animal behaviour, as well as its practical application in teaching students. After numerous observations, trainings and specialized literature searches for the application of this unique software, in the present scientific study, we present that the Observer XT software offers a wide range of possibilities for simultaneous integration and synchronization of video – data from ethological observations, with physiological indicators such as heart rate, abdominal movements, respiratory rate in animals. Due to its flexibility, the application can be successfully used in various fields such as Ethology, Zoology, Veterinary Hygiene and Technology, both for scientific purposes and for training of future specialists.

Animal welfare: from research to practice - I. Veissier, V. Brunet, D. Ledoux and A. De Boyer Des Roches - INRAE, UMR Herbivores INRAE-VetAgro Sup, Centre de Clermont-Ferrand Theix, France, VetAgro Sup, UMR Herbivores INRAE-VetAgro Sup, France;

In the second half of the 20th century, research on animal welfare began. Initially, most research aimed at identifying and reducing suffering; e.g. research helped to define minimum space allowances per animal or to identify the need for social interactions. Then research focused on what would make animals comfortable; e.g. preferences between lying surfaces have been studied. More recently, the concept of positive welfare has been introduced, which goes beyond the mere satisfaction of needs by providing a rich environment and promoting positive emotions (expressed through play behaviour, positive interactions, exploration, etc.). Much is now known about animal welfare, at least in theory. On the basis of this knowledge, legislation has been adapted in many countries, at least in the EU, to guarantee minimum standards of animal welfare, i.e. essentially to avoid poor welfare. Quality standards have also been developed by several production chains, some of which offer a higher level of welfare than the legislation. To bridge the gap between theory and practice, researchers need to work with stakeholders to define best practices that can be applied on farms (or during transport and slaughter) to ensure a high level of animal welfare. These recommendations should not be seen as an addition to farming practices, but as an integral part of those practices. In other words, the latest knowledge on animal behaviour, sensory and cognitive abilities, health, physiology, etc. should be considered when defining husbandry practices that meet the needs of animals and farmers. We believe that good practices should cover animal needs (basic needs, comfort) and best practices should promote positive welfare. We illustrate this approach with the CARE4DAIRY project, which is developing good and best practice guidelines for the dairy cattle sector. The scientific and technical knowledge will be used to define these practices which will be discussed with stakeholders (farmers, farm advisors, policy makers) before final guidelines are produced. The project covers dairy calves, heifers and cows, including cows at the end of their productive lives.

Effects of warm climatic periods on dairy cow behaviour and welfare in a maritime European climate - M.J. Haskell, I. Sullivan, M. March and L. Shewbridge -Carter, SRUC, United Kingdom

Global warming is resulting in an overall increase in temperatures and in the frequency of extreme weather events. In dairy cattle, thresholds within the temperature-humidity index (THI) have been used to indicate points at which cattle will likely experience thermal stress (e.g. a THI threshold of 75 predicts thermal stress). However, high-yielding dairy cows that reside in temperate maritime climates may experience some degree of thermal discomfort below this threshold particularly when they are housed. Housing often results in high levels of humidity. The use of technology such as activity monitors and automated intake measures allow us to monitor responses. The aim of this study was to use technological solutions to assess behavioural changes in response to moderate increases in THI levels. Data from dairy cattle on an experimental unit were used. Data on daily lying times, lying bout frequency, step count, feed and water intake were extracted for 10 pairs of warmer (THI<65) and ten matching cooler (THI=43 to 60) periods. Each period was 3 or more days each, and warm and cooler periods were no more than 5 weeks apart to ensure that the data from the same animals were being compared. Results showed that total daily lying time was shorter during warmer periods than cooler periods (P<0.05; means and SEMs (h): warm: 11.4±0.04; cool: 12.0±0.04) with a tendency for cows to have more daily lying bouts in warm periods (P=0.08; (counts): warm: 12.1±0.1; cool: 11.9±0.1). However, there was no effect of THI level on the no. of steps taken by cows (P>0.05 (counts): warm: 858±6; cool: 856±6). Water intake was higher during warm periods (P<0.05: (l) = warm: 79.4±0.6; cool: 71.5±0.5). Milk yield was lower during warm periods than cool periods (P<0.05; (l): warm: 30.3±0.2; cool: 30.7±0.2). This suggests that behaviour and milk yield are adversely affected even in conditions that are not traditionally regarded as exceeding cows’ ability to cope with thermal challenge. Technological solutions aid in detection on cow thermal distress and may be used as a routine monitoring system.

Behavioural and hormonal effects of intensive sheep farming on milking behaviour in a milking parlour - I. Nedeva, T. Slavov, V. Radev, S. Georgieva and I. Varlyakov - Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Fundamental Sciences in Animal Husbandry, Bulgaria;

The aim of the present study was to evaluate how intensive dairy sheep farming influenced their behaviour during milking in a milking parlour. The sheep (n=633) were divided into groups according to milk yield (high- and lowyielding) and stage of lactation (beginning, middle, end). Using video surveillance and data from morning and evening milking of the automated system installed in the milking parlour, an analysis of ethological parameters order of entry in the milking parlour (EMI) and milking parlour side preference (SMI) was made. The calculated EMI and SMI indices served for individual scoring of each animal for evaluation of studied factors. The blood concentrations of thyroid hormones (Т3 and Т4) and cortisol were assayed during three different seasons (summer, autumn, winter). The daily milk yield of studied sheep was 2.451 l, with a peak of 3.967 l in mid-lactation. The sheep built a stable hierarchical order in the group throughout the entire lactation period, manifested with high values of the EMI index: 668.62. The milk yield had no effect on both the order of entry in the parlour and side preference. The established milking parlour side preference (SMI=69.38%) was not accompanied with preference to the milking place, which facilitate the technological process of milking. A statistically significant effect of the season (Р<0.001 in the autumn) on blood cortisol, triiodothyronine and thyroxine concentrations was demonstrated with no relation with milk yields. Regardless of the established seasonal changes in adrenal and thyroid gland hormones, they had no effect on the healthх and welfare of sheep reared in intensive systems, but point out to a more difficult adaptation to this farming system.

Combining cattle and sheep in a grassland-based system: which effects for system multiperformance? - S. Prache, K. Vazeille, B. Sepchat, P. Note, P. Veysset and M. Benoit INRAE, France

The association of beef cattle and sheep shows benefits at the grazing season level, but a comprehensive assessment at system level is lacking. Three grassland-based organic systems were managed for 4 years as separate farmlets, with similar surface area and stocking rate: one mixed system combining beef cattle and sheep (MIX, 60:40 cattle: sheep livestock units (LU)) and two specialised systems, beef cattle (CAT) and sheep (SH). Calving and lambing were adjusted to grass growth to optimise grazing. Calves were pasture-fed from 3 months old until weaning in October, fattened indoors with haylage and slaughtered at 12-15 months. Lambs were pasture-fed from 1 month old until slaughter; if lambs were not ready for slaughter when the ewes mated, they were stall-finished with concentrates. The decision to supplement adult females with concentrate was based on the achievement of a target body condition score (BCS) at key periods. The decision to treat animals with anthelmintics was based on mean faecal egg excretion remaining below a certain threshold. A higher proportion of lambs were pasture-finished in MIX vs SH due to a higher growth rate which led to a lower age at slaughter. Ewe prolificacy and productivity were higher in MIX vs SH. The level of concentrate consumption and number of anthelmintic treatments in sheep were lower in MIX vs SH. Cow productivity, calf performance, carcass characteristics and the level of external inputs used did not differ between MIX and CAT. However, cow BW gain during the grazing season was higher in MIX vs CAT. These outcomes validated our hypothesis that the association of beef cattle and sheep promoted the self-sufficient production of grass-fed meat in sheep. It also promoted better female BCS and BW at key stages of the reproduction cycle and better development of the females used for replacement, which may enhance animal and system resilience. It improved economic and environmental performance and feed-food competition in the sheep enterprise, due to better animal performance and reduced inputs use, but not in the beef cattle enterprise.

Milking temperament and it relation with test day milk yield in Bulgarian Murrah buffaloes - T. Stepancheva, I. Marinov and Z. Gergovska - Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Animal husbandry – Ruminant animals and animal products technologies, Bulgaria;

The aim of the study was to assess temperament during preparation for milking and the milking itself of Bulgarian Murrah buffaloes reared in Bulgaria. The study included 91 buffalo cows that were between 30 and 240 Days in milk (DIM). Cows were housed under the conditions of tie-stall housing system and milked with a milking pipeline. The average milk yield of cows for standard lactation was 2245.37 kg with 7.77% fat and 4.34% protein content in milk. The average score for temperament during attaching the milking cluster was 1.83, and for milking temperament – 1.93. The highest was the percentage of cows that reacted by leg lifting (18.9%), followed by animals that were moving on the stall bed during milking (10%), cows that definitely kick (9.9%), and 13.3% managed to remove the milking cluster during milking. A higher percentage of cows responded by leg lifting and kicking during the milking cluster attaching compared to milking itself, 27.8 and 13.3%, respectively. During milking, 72.2% of the buffaloes stood still or only have stepped from foot to foot (scores 1 and 2), and 14.5% have shown undesirable behaviour (scores 4 and 5). A significant difference between the first and second temperament scores during preparation for milking and during milking was not reported. With the highest LS-means for test day milk yield (TDMY) were cows with the most undesirable behaviour during milking, scores 5 (8.18 kg) followed by those with a score of 4 (7.65 kg). The milk yields of cows with milking temperament scores from 1 to 3 were almost the same and lower than that of aggressive and nervous cows, respectively from 7.21 to 7.37 kg. In cows with scores 1, 2 and 3, the lactation curves were similar in both shape and variation. In all cows, the maximum milk yield was 7.5 to 8.0 kg and was maintained for several months with small variation. The lactation curve in cows with a score 5 had the most fluent shape and the highest maximum milk yield – over 8.5 kg. The lactation curve in cows with a temperament score 4 was with the most undesirable shape – steep reaching the peak and a sharp decrease in milk yield after the peak.

Introduction of lupins in lamb diets: effects on carcass, meat quality and intramuscular fatty acids - M. Almeida, S. Garcia-Santos, D. Carloto, A. Arantes, J. Lorenzo, J.A. Silva, V. Santos, J. Azevedo, C. Guedes, L. Ferreira and S. Silva, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal, Associate Laboratory for Animal and Veterinary Sciences (AL4AnimalS), Portugal, Veterinary and Animal Research Centre (CECAV), Portugal, Centre for the Research and Technology Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences (CITAB), Portugal, Área de Tecnología de los Alimentos, Facultad de Ciencias de Ourense, Universidad de Vigo, Spain, Centro Tecnológico de la Carne de Galicia, Parque Tecnológico de Galicia, San Cibrán das Viñas, Spain

Over the last decade, the EU has been focused on solving its dependency on imported soybean for livestock feeding, which means Mediterranean legumes species may represent a local solution and possible replacement candidate. The objective of this preliminary study was to evaluate the effects of partial replacement of soybean meal by lupins on portuguese autochtonous Churra da Terra Quente lambs’ diets, on the carcass traits, meat characteristics, and meat fatty acid profile. Two trials were conducted: on trial 1, the soybean meal (control; C) was partially replaced by Lupinus albus or Lupinus luteus (50 g/kg; LA5 and LL5, respectively); on trial 2, lambs were fed four diets with graded levels of Lupinus luteus (0, 100, 150 and 200 g/kg; C, LL10, LL15, LL20, respectively). At the end of the feeding trials, animals were slaughtered to evaluate carcass characteristics and meat composition, including fatty acids. Carcass composition in tissues was not affected (p>0.05) by diet in both trials. Also, no significant (P<0.05) differences were observed in meat quality attributes between diets on trials 1 and 2. Overall, the Longissimus muscle’s fatty acid content was not affected by diet (p>0.05) in both trials. Carcass and meat quality was overall comparable between lambs fed with soybean meal and lupins, indicating the latter as a potential alternative protein source. However, the lack of significant differences could also be attributed to the small sample size. This work was supported by the projects UIDP/ CVT/00772/2020 and LA/P/0059/2020 funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

Lipid composition of dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) raised in extensive and intensive system M. Lamraoui, J. Pestana, M. Costa, C. Alfaia, Y. Khelef, N. Sahraoui, A.M. Almeida and J.A.M. Prates - LBBBS, Université de Bejaia, Algeria, Laboratório Associado para Ciência Animal e Veterinária, AL4AnimalS, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, CIISA, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Lisboa, Portugal, LBEH, University of El Oued, Algeria, LBRA, Université Saad Dahlab, Algeria, LEAF, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Portugal;

Although camel meat is a valuable source of protein for human consumption, it remains relatively understudied. In this study, we investigated the effect of production systems on the fatty acid profile and fat-soluble compounds of Sahraoui dromedary camel meat. We collected meat samples from 12 healthy male camels of similar age from both extensive (EPS, n=6) and intensive (IPS, n=6) production systems for analysis. Meat from camels raised in IPS had higher lipid content (3.1 g/100 g fresh weight) than meat from those raised in EPS (1.2 g/100 g). The primary fatty acid present in camel meat was oleic acid, which accounted for 28.7 and 23.9% of the fatty acid composition in meat from IPS and EPS, respectively. Additionally, meat from EPS had higher percentages of saturated fatty acids (53.7%) compared to meat from IPS (44.7%). Moreover, polyunsaturated fatty acids content was higher in meat from animals raised in EPS (19.2%) compared to those raised in IPS (6.6%). Interestingly, cholesterol levels were higher in the meat from camels raised in EPS (0.7 mg/g) than those from IPS (0.52 mg/g). However, there were no significant differences in α-tocopherol content between the two production systems. Results suggest that the observed differences in fatty acid profile and fat-soluble compounds in camel meat could be attributed to variations in animal feeding, which can ultimately affect the growth and development of the animals. The insights gained from this study are highly relevant to camel producers and consumers, as it provides an understanding of its suitability for human diets and could help in improving feeding strategies.

Effective application of UAVS in modern livestock agriculture - T. Petrova, Z. Petrov and M. Marinov, Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Bulgaria, Rakovski National Defence College, Defence Advanced Research Institute, Sofia, Bulgaria, Georgi Benkovski Air Force Academy, Bulgaria;

This article examines the effectiveness of aerial photography using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in free-ranging livestock. The goal is to analyse the effectiveness of applying algorithms for contrast enhancement and histogram analysis in image processing. The results of the study of three algorithms for contrast enhancement and histogram analysis of digital images are shown. All studied algorithms can also be used on colour images. The results show that it is very important to use appropriate computational image processing methods to achieve the objectives.

Effects of dietary beet pulp on rumen fermentation, beef quality, and intramuscular adiposity - M. Baik, S.H. Lee and S.Y. Kim ,Seoul National University, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Gwanak-ro , Gwanak-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea, Korea, South

Beet pulp is a byproduct of sugar beet processing and contains abundant neutral detergent fibre and pectin, which are readily fermentable in the rumen. We investigated the effects of partial replacement of corn flake in the diet with beet pulp on growth performance, ruminal volatile fatty acid profiles, lipogenic gene expression, adipocyte cellularity, and carcass traits in Hanwoo (Korean cattle) steers. The eighteen steers (body weight, 636±10.9 kg; age, 25.9±0.25 months) were equally divided into the corn flake (CF) and beet pulp (BP) groups. Approximately 89% of dry matter of the requirement was offered as a concentrate portion, and the remaining 11% was offered as tall fescue hay. The 78 and 72% of concentrate portion was provided by the pelleted basal concentrate to CF and BP groups, and the remaining 22 and 28% were supplemented with corn flake or beet pulp, respectively. Dietary crude protein and energy levels of two groups were similar. The experiment was conducted for 25 weeks, including a 5-week adaptation period. Average daily gain and feed efficiency were not affected (P≥0.79) by beet pulp feeding. The proportion of ruminal acetate was higher (P<0.001) in the BP group than in the CF group, whereas proportion of ruminal propionate was lower (P<0.001) in the BP group. The beef yield grade (P=0.10), quality grade (P=0.10), and beef price per kg (P<0.001) were tended to be higher or higher in the BP group than in the CF group. Intramuscular adipocyte size of longissimus thoracis (LT), which was determined by image analysis of histological section of the LT, was larger (P<0.001) in the BP group than in the CF group. Fatty acid synthase mRNA levels determined by qPCR were higher (P=0.03) in the BP group than in the CF group. The Increased lipogenic gene expression may, in part, contribute to the increased adipocyte size of the LT by beet pulp feeding. In conclusion, beet pulp could be used.

The identification of high-quality Perilla frutescens Tan lamb meat by multi-metabolomics analyses - Y. Yu, B.Y. Zhang, X.Z. Jiang, Y.M. Cui, H.L. Luo and B. Wang, China Agricultural University, State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Technology, Beijing, China,

Consumers are paying increasing attention to eating healthily, thus, food enriched with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) is admired worldwide. Perilla frutescens seeds and P. frutescens oil are widely used in the food market and livestock due to their abundance of α-linolenic acid. This study aimed to investigate effects of dietary P. frutescens seed supplementation on animal growth, meat quality, muscle fatty acid profiles, and volatile, lipophilic, and hydrophilic metabolome of Tan-lambs. Forty-five Tan-lambs (approximately 6 months old) were randomly divided into three group with HC (a high-grain based control diet), LC (a low-grain based control die) and PFS (a low-grain based control diet with supplemented 3% P. frutescens seed). Longissimus dorsi was collected for this study. Both HC and PFS showed a significantly increased growth performance compared to the LC. The PFS modified the 24h meat colour than LC. Compared to the HC and LC, the PFS increased n-3 PUFA content, resulting in the upregulated ratio of PUFA to saturated fatty acid. The ratio of n-6 PUFA to n-3 PUFA was significantly different among the three groups, with the highest value in the HC and lowest value in the PFS. Untargeted high-resolution LC-MS and untargeted GCMS metabolomics were further used to analyse muscle volatile, lipophilic, and hydrophilic metabolome in the PFS and LC. In total, 68 differential metabolites and 7 volatile compounds were screened between PFS and LC based on LC-MS and GC-MS, respectively. Among them, 18 lipid molecules, 23 hydrophilic molecules and 4 volatiles were significantly increased. Most of the differential metabolites were mainly enriched in the pathways related to antioxidant function and branched-chain amino acid synthesis. Together, this study demonstrated that dietary P. frutescens seed supplementation improved the meat colour and fatty acids profiles, and increased the antioxidant capacity of Tanlambs, indicating the P. frutescens seed can be used to enhance lamb meat quality with enriched contents of healthy and flavour compounds for populations.

Effect of feeding garlic-citrus supplement on carcass characteristics and fatty acid profile of beef - M.E. Eckhardt, T. Brand, S.A. Salami, B.M. Tas, J.F. Legako, T.E. Lawrence and L.W. Lucherk - West Texas A&M University, Canyon, USA, Mootral GmbH, Germany, Mootral Ltd, Roseheyworth Business Park North, Abertillery, United Kingdom, Texas Tech University, USA

Several studies have shown that feeding garlic- and citrus-extract-based supplement (GCE; Mootral Ruminant) reduces enteric methane emissions in ruminants. However, there is limited information on the impact of feeding this supplement on beef quality. This study evaluated the carcass characteristics, proximate composition, and fatty acid (FA%) profile of beef from cattle supplemented with GCE. Twenty feedlot cattle were randomly assigned to 4 groups (5 cattle/group). Two groups were fed for 9 months (control vs GCE) and the other two groups were fed for 12 months (control vs GCE). All animals were fed a typical feedlot diet while the GCE-fed cattle were supplemented with 27 g of GCE/head/day and top-dressed on the ration. At the end of each feeding duration, all animals were slaughtered, and carcasses were evaluated according to the USDA beef grading measures. Strip loin steaks and ground beef patties were prepared at 14- and 15-days post-mortem, respectively. Data were statistically analysed using SAS and treatment effects were considered significant when P<0.05. Marbling score, backfat, hot carcass weight and dressing percentage were similar between the control and GCE groups. Cattle fed for 9 months had higher backfat compared to those fed for 12 months. Relative to the control, the ribeye area was lower in cattle fed GCE for 9 months but did not differ after 12 months of feeding GCE. Proximate analysis of beef steaks and patties showed that fat, moisture, protein, and collagen were similar between the control and GCE diets. In general, feeding GCE and duration of feeding did not exhibit substantial changes in FA% of beef steaks and patties. Dietary GCE decreased C20:2 in steaks and increased C15:0 and C17:1 in patties. Compared to 9-month feeding, the 12-month steaks had higher C18:2 n-6, C20:4 n-6 and total polyunsaturated FA whereas only higher C18:2 n-6 was observed in 12-month patties. Overall, these results indicate that feeding GCE had minimal or no effect on carcass characteristics and FA profile of beef regardless of the feeding duration.

Main microclimatic indicators in a milking parlor for dairy cows D. Dimov1, T. Penev, I. Marinov, J. Mitev, T. Miteva and M. Stoynov - Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Ecology and Zoohygiene, Bulgaria, Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Animal husbandry – Ruminant animals and animal products technologies, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

The study was conducted in the milking parlour of a cattle farm with a capacity of 400 cows of the Holstein-Friesian breed. The milking installation was a double 8 ‘Herringbone’ type without windows, and the roof was constructed of glass. The reporting of temperature, air humidity and temperature-humidity index (THI) was performed three times during each milking (at the start, in the middle and at the end of milking) with measurements repeated during the morning, midday and evening milking. The highest mean and maximum daytime air temperature values were recorded in summer and spring. Although the average values for the spring season were lower than those for summer (by about 4 °C), the maximum values reached were equally high – 31.4 °C. In terms of relative air humidity, the highest mean values were reported for the winter season – 82.39%. For the other seasons, the relative humidity values were on average high and close in value – from 62.51 to 67.46%. At THI, the highest mean daily and maximum values were reported in the summer months – 73.41 and 80, respectively.

Estimation of rib composition and intramuscular fat from DXA or smartphone imaging in crossbred bull - C. Xavier, B. Meunier, I. Morel, Q. Delahaye, Y. Le Cozler, M. Bonnet and S. Lerch, INRAE-Institut Agro, France, Ruminant Nutrition and Emissions, Agroscope, Switzerland, INRAE, Université Clermont Auvergne, Vetagro Sup, UMRH, France

Aim was to compare dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or smartphone-derived picture for estimating the 11th beef rib tissue composition and intramuscular fat content (IMF). Forty-nine beef-on-dairy crossbred bulls (♀ Swiss Brown × ♂ Angus, Limousin or Simmental) were slaughtered at 519.6±8.5 kg body weight. Left 11th rib was DXA scanned (iLunar, GE Med. Syst., ‘Right Arm’ mode) and DXA total mass, lean and fat proportions were recorded. An openaccess computer image analysis method based on smartphone pictures of both faces of the rib was used to estimate the total rib area, from which bone, muscle (longissimus and others) and adipose tissue (subcutaneous, inter- and longissimus intra-muscular) proportions were recorded. As gold standard measures, rib was dissected, and longissimus IMF determined by Soxhlet after acid-hydrolysis. Estimative equations of rib composition from DXA or smartphone data were set-up by linear regressions (R 4.2.2). Rib contained 42.6±3.3% longissimus and 63.5±3.3% total muscles, 12.6±1.8% intermuscular and 18.9±3.0% total adipose tissues, and longissimus 1.6±0.5% IMF. Rib longissimus and total muscle proportions were precisely estimated by DXA [root mean square error (RMSE) 1.7 and 1.3%, R2=0.72 and 0.85], as well as intermuscular and total adipose tissues (RMSE=1.0 and 0.9%, R2=0.69 and 0.90, respectively). Precision was similar for smartphone cranial ribs cross-section estimations (RMSE=1.1, 1.4, 1.0 and 1.1%, R2=0.88, 0.82, 0.64 and 0.86, for longissimus, total muscles, intermuscular and total adipose tissues). Longissimus IMF was estimated less precisely, but still satisfactorily by either DXA or smartphone (RMSE=0.28%, R2=0.58 for both). For smartphone, precision was comparable when based on caudal or the average of both faces. At the exception of intermuscular adipose tissue, crossbreed effect was included (P<0.05) in DXA and smartphone models. A single rib DXA scan or cross-section picture seem promising methods to estimate rib composition in a simple, quick, precise, and non-destructive way.

Perception of beef by the Algerian consumer - M. Sadoud and J.F. Hocquette, H. Benbouali , Chlef University, Faculty of Science, Algeria, INRAE, Theix, France

Meat consumption is often the symbolic marker of prosperity of a society and/or of specific socio-economic groups. While meat consumption has decreased in the North of the Mediterranean, it has increased in North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria) from 23.5 to 39 kg/year/person during the last decade. The development of cattle breeding has always been a priority for Algeria to meet the needs of its population in animal proteins, particularly in the north where meat is mostly consumed. The cattle population of Algeria is around 2 million heads. The beef self-sufficiency rate is 55%, the rest coming from imports. This communication aims to analyse the perception of beef by Algerian consumers according to their socio-demographic profiles. The survey took place in 2018, with 300 consumers from four different age groups. The questionnaire was sent to heads of households, who are mainly responsible for purchasing meat. This survey made it possible to draw up an inventory of consumer preferences in order to know their perceptions of beef. The surveys comprised 24 questions targeting regular consumers of beef. Different factors were studied: household size, family situation, level of education, income, type of the most purchased meat, frequency of purchase, cut, colour, smell, taste and juiciness of the meat, consumption preferences, cooking time, diet, cuts purchased and consumed. Many factors, such as psychological factors and sensory factors, influence consumer behaviour towards beef. First, the majority of consumers go to the butcher for meat purchases. About 60% of them choose beef due to its perceived high nutritional value due to its richness in proteins. Most of them think it is of satisfactory quality. Second, consumers put importance on specific attributes, namely colour, taste and price, and a lower interest in fat content. In addition, this analysis of meat perception by consumers in the Algerian region shows very different behaviours towards beef. In conclusion, beef is well consumed in Algeria despite a great variability mainly due to different socio-demographic and economic conditions of the population in the studied region resulting in specific consumption patterns.

Effect of intramammary infection on milk protein profile measured at the quarter level in dairy cows - V. Bisutti, D. Giannuzzi, A. Vanzin, A. Toscano, M. Gianesella, S. Pegolo and A. Cecchinato, University of Padova, DAFNAE, Italy, University of Padova, MAPS, Italy

Subclinical mastitis is an impactful disease affecting, other than animal health and welfare, also milk productivity, composition, and technological traits. This work evaluated the impact of subclinical intramammary infection (sIMI) induced by four pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus uberis and Prototheca spp.) on the detailed milk protein profile of Holstein cows from three Italian dairy farms. After an initial bacteriological screening (T0) performed on all animals (n=450) to detect cows with sIMI, only the positive ones (n=78) were followed up at a quarter level after two (T1) and six weeks (T2) from T0. In total, 529 quarter milk samples were collected, on which a validated RP-HPLC method was used to identify and quantify 4 caseins (CN; к-, α-s1, α-s2, and β-CN), and 3 whey proteins (β-LG, α-LA, and lactoferrin). Traits were analysed using a hierarchical linear mixed model including as fixed effects: cows’ DIM, parity, herd, somatic cell count (SCC) in classes, bacteriological status (BACT, negative and positive), and the interaction SCC×BACT. As random effect, we used the individual cow/replicate nested within herd, DIM, and parity, that is the error line on which the latter effects were tested. At T1, sIMI decreased β-CN (-6%, P<0.01) but increased к-CN (+5%, P<0.05) and αs2-CN (+6%, P<0.01) content, while at T2 we observed an increase of lactoferrin (+7%, P<0.05), an antimicrobial peptide, in positive animals. Somatic cell count affected most protein fractions, especially at T2. Increases in SCC were associated with a reduction in β-CN (P<0.001) and with increases in к- and αs2-CN (P<0.001 and P<0.05, respectively). At T2, the interaction SCC×BACT was associated with αs1-CN (P<0.05), with the highest proportion of αs1-CN found in positive samples with SCC≥50,000 and <200,000 cells/ ml, while the lowest in positive animals with SCC>400,000 cells/ml. This study added new insights on the alteration driven by sIMI of the milk protein profile, at quarter level. Acknowledgments: This study was part of the LATSAN project funded by MIPAAF.

Antioxidant and anti-hypertensive properties of acid whey from Greek yoghurt - E. Dalaka, A. Vaggeli, G.C. Stefos, I. Palamidi, A. Savvidou, I. Politis and G. Theodorou, Agricultural University of Athens, Animal Science, Athens, Greece

Greek yogurt has gained immense popularity due to its high nutritional value. However, acid whey (AW) is produced in enormous volumes and its disposal has a negative environmental impact. Fermentation releases antioxidant (AO) and anti-hypertensive (AH) compounds, supporting that AW can be upcycled to develop value-added products. The aim of this study was to evaluate in vitro AO and AH activity of AW derived from yogurts before and after a simulated in vitro digestion model. AO activity was measured by ORAC, FRAP, ABTS and reducing power assays for AW, digested AW and the <3 kDa fraction. In vitro digestion improves the AO activity as assessed by all assays. Within each fraction, animal origin (cow, sheep, goat), season (winter-summer), region and straining method were studied. Regarding animal origin statistical differences were observed in ORAC and FRAP assays. Season influenced the AO properties of samples as assessed by the ORAC method. Regarding region statistical differences were noted in ABTS and FRAP assays. Finally, samples from different straining methods exhibited statistically different AO properties as assessed by ABTS and reducing power assays. AH properties of AW samples and post-digestion fractions of <10 kDa and <3 kDa were evaluated by measuring their ability to inhibit the angiotensin converting-enzyme using the same factors as above. In vitro digestion improves the AH activity of samples. No differences were observed between samples of different animal origin and samples of different region. On the other hand, season and straining method affected the AH activity of samples. This research is co-financed by Greece and the European Union through the Operational Programme ‘Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning’ in the context of the project ‘Strengthening Human Resources Research Potential via Doctorate Research’ (MIS-5000432), implemented by the State Scholarships Foundation (ΙΚΥ). This research is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE (project code: Τ2EDK-00783).

Участия в Конференции



Application of new scientific strategy for enhanced beef and sheep meat quality evaluation 

Prof. Todor Stoyanchev, Prof. Stefka Atanassova,Trakia University; Faculty of veterinary medicine; Faculty of Agriculture

Научна конференция с международно участие „100 години висше аграрно образование в България“



Opportunities for sheep welfare improving by silimarin additives – review

Prof. Nadya Bozakova and Prof. Veselin Ivanov, Trakia University; Faculty of veterinary medicine

Научна конференция с международно участие „100 години висше аграрно образование в България“



Productive and biochemical parameters in lambs under the influence of the immunomodulator immunobeta®

Nadya Bozakova, Miroslav Simeonov, Todor Stoyanchev, Veselin Ivanov, Trakia University, Faculty of veterinary medicine; Agricultural Institute, Stara Zagora; Trakia University, Faculty of Medicine

Трета международна научна конференция „Ветеринарната медицина в полза на хората“



Swot analysis for supporting development of the grazing livestock meat production sector in Bulgaria trough the Greenanimo project activities

Panayotova M., Krastanov J., Varlyakov I., Stoyanchev T., Marinov I., Trakia University; Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Veterinary medicine, Agricultural institute, Stara Zagora

Научна конференция с международно участие „100 години висше аграрно образование в България“









SWOT analysis for supporting development of the grazing livestock meat production sector in Bulgaria through the GREENANIMO project activities

Milena Panayotova, Jivko Krastanov, Ivan Varlyakov, Todor Stoyanchev and Ivajlo Marinov, Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture,  Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; Agricultural Institute.




Study on carcass characteristics in Boer goat kids

Dimitar Panayotov, Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture.



Study on chemical composition, fatty acid composition and technological quality of meat in Boer goat kids

Dimitar Panayotov, Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture.