The feeding of ruminants: Principles and practice
E.R. Ørskov. 1987. Marlow, Bucks, Chalcombe Publications. ISBN 0948167098. 90 pp. Price: UK£7.50.
This small book is intended for practical people. It will interest and benefit farmers, herdsmen, advisers and students at colleges and in preliminary university courses. It will help practical readers to do their job better and it will lead to an understanding of current trends in ruminant nutrition. Almost all sections are applicable outside the United Kingdom.
In ten chapters it deals with the new-born, rumen fermentation, energy and protein requirements, preparation, processing and preservation of feed and the nutrition of sheep, beef cattle and dairy cows; there is a useful index.
The author discusses the scientific reasons behind many current practices in ruminant feeding with a minimum of technical terms. The chapters on rumen fermentation and requirements for energy and protein give admirable, brief accounts, clearly drawing on the author's wide experience (as do the practical sections).
The book is enlivened by excellent sketches by Joan Ørskov. The reader would, however, be even more impressed by the rumen's importance if a more accurate indication of the true size and shape of the ruminant stomach had been given.
This book fulfils its objectives and it deserves (especially at the price), to be widely read; in subsequent editions a brief further reading list would be helpful.
The ruminant animal: Digestive physiology and nutrition
Ed. D.C. Church. 1988. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA, Prentice Hall. 564 pp.
This book combines in one volume the series of publications "Digestive physiology and nutrition of ruminants". Volume 1, author Prof. Church, appeared in 1969, followed by others and several reprintings. Specialist authors have made further contributions.
The new version has been completely rewritten in 25 chapters, divided equally between physiology and nutrition; each chapter is written by an authority in the field. The topics closely follow the earlier pattern, but new approaches are followed and the literature is brought up to 1986. A comprehensive coverage is provided of the physiology, microbiology and biochemistry of the ruminant digestive system and of the main aspects of ruminant nutrition, including some disorders.
The first chapter, on the classification and importance of ruminant animals, provides a useful reminder of the variety and universality of the ruminantia. An outstanding chapter on the comparative anatomy of the digestive tract (R.R. Hofmann) should help to ensure that this book proves to be almost as useful a reference for zoologists as for agriculturists.
This excellent publication deserves to be required reading on advanced courses on ruminant nutrition. It will be a valuable reference for-research workers and an ideal means of updating for those who used the earlier versions. It is probably now too advanced for use in introductory courses. The decision to eliminate so many of the earlier references is regrettable, but was clearly inevitable as the field expands.
Practical guidelines for modern dairy farming in tropical and subtropical regions
Practical Training Centre for Dairy Cattle and Grassland Management/Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. 1986. The Hague, the Netherlands, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The series of booklets under this general title is published by the Practical Training Centre for Dairy Cattle and Grassland Management, Oenkerk, in cooperation with the Agricultural Education Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Netherlands.
The four volumes of the series deal with the following topics in dairy farming: Part I Nutrition and fodder production, Reproduction and reproductive performance and herd management; Part II - Milk and milking; Part III - Foot care in cattle; Part IV - Animal health, Calf rearing, Herd administration, Housing.
The series is directed primarily at extension staff working in the tropics and to teachers and instructors of practical training courses. In addition, many farmers, farm managers and dairy farm personnel could benefit from the series, and certainly most of those who are working, or intend to work, in development projects, should find the booklets interesting.
Publishing of the series started some years ago. Each volume is revised from time to time as new, relevant data and experiences become available. Most of the volumes are available only in English. However, Part II (Milk and milking) has also been published in French. Other French editions are expected in the future. In general, the series must be regarded as one of the best publications available for practical guidelines in this field.
The same publishers have also given out practical material in other fields of tropical agriculture. For a complete list of publications, prices and additional information, readers may contact the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Agricultural Education Division, PO Box 20401, 2500 EK, The Hague, the Netherlands.
Egg quality - Current problems and recent advances
R.G. Wells & C.G. Belyavin. 1987. Sevenoaks, Butterworth & Co. 302 pp.
This book results from the 20th Poultry Science Symposium held at Harper Adams Agricultural College, Newport, United Kingdom, from 3 to 6 September 1985.
It presents the latest standards in all aspects of chicken egg quality. The nutritive value of egg is dealt with extensively and the problem of cholesterol in the egg and its influence on blood cholesterol and heart disease in humans is discussed in outstanding articles in Part I of the book.
Practical and laboratory aspects of quality assessment of egg albumen, egg yolk and shell are reported by reputed scientists in Part II. It is remarkable that the egg was the first animal product for which a quality grading scheme was developed in the United Kingdom in 1929. The present egg grading scheme which is operated throughout the EEC countries is still similar to that introduced in 1929.
Part III of the book deals with the biological basis of egg quality. The process of egg shell formation plays a major role in present researches of egg quality. It is hoped that better understanding of the physiological mechanisms involved in egg shell formation will help to reduce the problems of cracked and misshapen eggs which lead to considerable losses in the egg industry.
The control of egg quality through genetic manipulation, nutrition, induced moulting, diseases, egg handling, etc. is discussed in Part IV of the book.
All the contributions are presented in a scientific pattern and based on extensive literature. The book may be, therefore, suitable for all those who are interested in egg production, handling and marketing.
Publications on animal production
Agricultural Education Department, the Netherlands
Below are listed some publications of instructional material relevant to animal production in the tropics and subtropics issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Netherlands. The publications can be obtained from the Agricultural Education Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, PO Box 20401, 2500 EK, The Hague, the Netherlands. As a general rule, there is a charge of US$2-3.00 per copy plus mailing costs.
· Sheep-and goat husbandry (60 pp.)
· Technologie de la traite (100 pp.)
· Artificial insemination in cattle:Part I (organizational aspects, administration, techniques, reproduction at farm level);
Part II (reproduction, abortion, embryo transfer)
· Apiculture: guide concis d'apiculture avec référence spéciale a l'Afrique du Nord
· Basic-calculations in agriculture and animal production; lower secondary level for use in groups or for self-tuition (80 pp.)
· Farm economics: instruction, exercises with solutions (110 pp.)
· Farm accounting: instruction and exercises (50 pp.)
National agricultural teacher training institute (STOAS)
Wageningen, the Netherlands
Listed below are some titles published by STOAS. This instructional material is available, at a minimal charge, from STOAS, Stadsbrink 427, 6707 AE Wageningen, the Netherlands.
· Sheep and goat husbandry (practical guidelines; English)
· Modern dairy farming in tropical and subtropical regions (farm-oriented guidelines, parts 1-111; English)
· Technologie de la traite (guide pratique; French)
· Artificial insemination in cattle (parts 1 & 2; English) Foot care in cattle (30 pp.; English) Apiculture (100 pp., illustrated; French)
· Chicken farming (background information and instruction; English)
Le bétail trypanotolérant en Afrique occidentale et centrale. Vol. 3 - Bilan d'une décennie
C.G. Hoste, E. Chalon, G. D'Ieteren & J.C.M. Trail. 1988. Etudes FAO: Production et santé animales, 20/3. Rome
Cette étude a été préparée conjointement par la FAO et le Centre international pour l'élevage en Afrique (CIPEA). Elle est la continuation de deux volumes publics en 1980 sous les numéros 20/1 et 20/2.
Cet ouvrage a pour ambition de présenter les principaux résultats obtenus depuis la partition des deux premiers volumes et d'actualiser les données nationales relatives au bétail trypanotolérant.
La première partie est consacrée à une analyse des populations et de leur évolution entre les deux enquêtes et a un bilan des activités de recherche et de développement, Elle fournit les éléments les plus récents sur le potentiel et l'utilisation du bétail trypanotolérant.
La seconde partie présente l'actualisation des 18 études nationales du volume 2 et y ajoute les données relatives a la Guinée équatoriale. Ne sont citées que les nouvelles informations disponibles. Autrement dit, cette partie ne peut se lire indépendamment du volume 2 si l'on souhaite avoir une vision globale et actualisée de la situation de l'élevage du bétail trypanotolérant dans un pays donné.
L'étude aboutit aux conclusions suivantes:
Au cours des huit dernières années, la population bovine trypanotolérante a augmenté à un rythme annuel moyen de 3,2 pour cent, essentiellement dû à une forte croissance des effectifs N'Dama de l'ordre de 4,5 pour cent. Au cours de la même période, il semble que les effectifs de petite ruminants trypanotolérants aient plutôt stagné ou faiblement augmenté. Ce dernier résultat doit toutefois être pris avec prudence, car les statistiques nationales vent peu précises en ce qui concerne ces espèces.
Un autre résultat, également inattendu, est la progression relativement faible du métissage zébu x taurin.
Les gouvernements des 19 pays concernés ont commencé à prendre conscience de la valeur de leur cheptel trypanotolérant. Cela s'est traduit en une concentration des efforts nationaux sur les races pures et les systèmes d'élevage traditionnels et en une collaboration accrue avec les organisations régionales ou internationales. De même, un effort considérable a été entrepris par ces pays pour planifier et coordonner leurs activités de développement de l'élevage trypanotolérant.
Des progrès significatifs ont également été réalisés dans le domaine de la recherche sur le bétail trypanotolérant et sur la trypanotolérance.
Les résultats ont été sans doute plus probants dans la connaissance de la productivité des espèces trypanotolérantes que dans celle des mécanismes de la trypanotolérance. Toutefois, il ne faut pas négliger les acquis de la recherche plus fondamentale , notamment les perspectives ouvertes par les résultats des travaux sur la génétique de la trypanotolérance.
Dans le domaine du développement de l'élevage par l'utilisation des races trypanotolérantes, on a surtout assisté à un travail de fond avec l'élaboration de stratégies nationales de développement de l'élevage. Les bailleurs de fonds potentiels et les agences d'exécution ont, le plus souvent, été associés à l'élaboration de ces stratégies. La FAO, par son Programme de lutte contre la trypanosomiase animale africaine et de mise en valeur des zones en cause, a obtenu des résultats très significatifs, notamment dans les domaines de la formation, de la formulation de projets et de la coordination.
Un certain nombre de projets de multiplication et de développement du bétail trypanotolérant ont été arrêtés au cours de la période étudiée; par contre, quelques nouveaux projets ont été financés. On peut donc raisonnablement espérer un développement harmonieux et rapide de l'élevage du bétail trypanotolérant au cours de la prochaine décennie.
Trypanotolerant cattle and livestock development in West and Central Africa. I: The international supply and demand for breeding stock; II: Trypanotolerant cattle in the national livestock economies
A.P.M. Shaw & C.H. Hostel 1987. FAO Animal Production and Health Paper 67/167/2, Rome.
This study was carried out by the FAO regional project GCP/RAF/190/ITA entitled "Improvement, multiplication and conservation of trypanotolerant livestock in West Africa".
It arises from information collected by three consultants in 19 countries (Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Congo, Zaire and Equatorial Guinea). Volume I provides a general summary of the data from the country studies, focusing on an evaluation of the future supply and demand for trypanotolerant breeding stock based on the economic background to trypanotolerant cattle production and on past experiences in breeding trypanotolerant breeding stock. Volume II presents individual country studies, assessing the role of typanotolerant cattle in their livestock economies and detailing their past experiences and future prospects for trading in trypanotolerant breeding stock.
Report of the Fourth Session of the Commission on African Animal Trypanosomiasis
FAO. 1987. Rome. 18 pp.
The Commission on African Animal Trypanosomiasis was established by the FAO Conference in 1979 to advise on policies to be adopted in the planning and execution of the Programme for the Control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis and Related Development. There are currently 39 members of which 31 are African countries affected by trypanosomiasis. The Commission met in Rome (1980), in Banjul, the Gambia (1982) and in Nairobi, Kenya (1984).
The Fourth Session of the Commission was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 3 to 7 November 1986. It was attended by representatives of 17 member countries and WHO, and observers from five regional organizations and two international research laboratories.
The agenda included the review of the recommendations of the Third Session, the activity report for 1984-86 and programmes for 1987-88.
The Commission adopted ten recommendations on the management of the programme, training, dissemination of information, regionalization of research activities, and promotion of the use of trypanotolerant livestock. The Commission also repeated the recommendations of the previous session on updating tsetse distribution maps and on chemo-resistance.
The report of the Commission is available in English and French from the Distribution and Sales Section, GIP, FAO, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.
Goat production in the humid tropics
Eds O.B. Smith & H.G. Bosman. 1988. Proceedings, International Workshop on Goat Production in the Humid Tropics. Wageningen, the Netherlands, Pudoc.
In the humid tropics of West Africa, the goat, particularly the West African Dwarf breed, is the principal provider of animal protein to the vast majority of the population.
Over the last six years a team of veterinarians, nutritionists, reproductive physiologists, agronomists, economists and extension specialists has been engaged in research to improve the traditional husbandry methods and production of the goat in West Africa.
To discuss and disseminate their research findings, an International Workshop on Goat Production in the Humid Tropics took place in Ife, Nigeria in 1987. This publication will be a useful compendium to the many participants of the workshop and will undoubtedly find, in addition, a much wider readership of the papers presented there.
Studies covered management systems, nutritive values of specific grass species and feeds, reproduction and health problems, housing, and prospects for a large-scale commercial production of the dwarf goat.
Ex situ cryoconservation of genomes and genes of endangered cattle breeds by means of modern biotechnological methods
1989. FAO Animal Production and Health Paper No. 76. Rome. 123 pp.
This paper was prepared for FAO by Drs G. Brem, B. Brenig, M. Muller and K. Springmann of the Department of Molecular Animal Breeding of the University of Munich.
The authors have covered in some detail the low-temperature preservation of genomes and genes for use as a means of preserving the genetic material which could be used to prevent the disappearance of endangered breeds of cattle. In two further chapters, they consider both the genetic aspects involved and the practical application of embryo banks.
They point out that cryoconservation as a tool has in fact, so far, through facilitating the export of certain exotic cattle breeds utilizing these newer methods, contributed to the threat to indigenous breeds. It would seem that by the end of the century, the world cattle population of some 250 million head will consist mainly of about only 20 different breeds and thus the existence of the present 500 different breeds is held to be very seriously threatened. They are thus proposing that the same tool can be used to help save these endangered breeds for future generations for their cultural importance as well as for vital genetic diversity, which includes hardiness and disease-resistance (which exotic breeds frequently do not have to enable them to survive).
Cryoconservation is the tool available now, but reactivation of this material to use artificial insemination, embryo transfer and embryo manipulation is not a high-yielding procedure since, as the authors point out, model calculations show that a population size of at least 1 000 animals is required to ensure that reactivation of embryos from the embryo bank provides 25 calves fit for further breeding. Thus they stress that now is the time to prepare a comprehensive inventory of the endangered breeds.
In the longer term, it might be possible to preserve key DNA sectors of genes in a dry state. However, much work still remains to be done in this field and, meanwhile, cryoconservation remains the method of choice.
Biotechnology for livestock production and health
FAO. 1989. London and New York, Plenum Press. 452 pp. Price: US$68.00.
This publication of the Proceedings of the FAO Expert Consultation on Biotechnology for Livestock Production and Health, held at FAO headquarters, Rome, in October 1986, provides full versions of the papers presented as well as summaries of the discussions. It is an FAO copublication with Plenum Press Inc.
The aim of the Consultation was to identify and thus select areas for FAO to support. The promise of biotechnology in animal production and health is most attractive and can be realized. The key for developing countries is to be able to draw on the new technologies to assist them in their development. The papers provide a useful start and much will depend on the degree to which they commit themselves and to which they cooperate. The book and the Consultation have provided a stimulus for the use of biotechnology in the development process. The process has clearly been aided by subsequent regional consultations and field projects, as well as FAO's support through seed money for research projects. The recommendations came under the headings of animal breeding, genetics and reproduction, animal nutrition, growth and lactation, and animal health. The 35 chapters covering these fields are written by some of the leading experts in their fields who presented key themes at the Consultation. They were joined by well-known specialists from developing countries assessing the status and way forward for their regions. The Consultation has, without doubt, stimulated further efforts in the use of biotechnology for development. For example, following Prof. Y. Yilma's critique of the current thermo-labile rinderpest vaccine at the Consultation, he has genetically engineered a promising thermostable vaccine using a vaccinia virus vector. This vaccine is now being field-tested and, if proved at this level, could solve the precarious cold chain in current and future rinderpest campaigns.
It is a pity that food products from livestock were not also discussed. One can foresee the day when ELISA or DNA probe test kits will form the basis of export certificates required by major industrialized importing countries for these products. It would appear to be a relatively simple step from the current progesterone kits to the production of a kit for hormone residue detection in beef. Contaminants such as aflatoxin could also be covered by such a kit.
Perhaps a second Consultation, which is obviously needed in view of the rapid progress in biotechnology, will make amends by dealing with developments in the food product field.
Biotechnology applicable to animal production and health in Asia
Kasetsart University/FAO. 1989. Bangkok, Thailand. 252 pp.
This publication gives the Proceedings of the Regional Workshop on Biotechnology in Animal Production and Health, held in Bangkok, Thailand from 17 to 21 October 1988. The workshop follows the pattern of the global expert consultations held in Rome in October 1986 and in Havana, Cuba, in September 1988.
A short report of the Bangkok workshop appeared earlier in 1989. In this full report, the papers are grouped in three main sections: an overall review; nutrition and feed resource development; breeding, genetics and reproduction, and vaccine production and disease diagnosis. Country reports were presented for China, India, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand. An FAO network of collaborating centres was proposed involving 13 institutes in these eight countries and Japan.
It is clear from the country reports that there is a substantial number of growth points in the field of modern biotechnology development including recontaminant DNA work. It is also indicated that quite a number of governments in the region have given a degree of priority to this biotechnology and have allocated limited funds. It is hoped that future gatherings of this kind will include processing of animal products as part of the scheme.