Belgian Blue

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The dual purpose Belgian Blue

The dual purpose Belgian Blue

Since 1960, the economic context (surplus of milk and lack of meat) was favourable to meat production. Moreover, improvement of caesarean technique allowed breeding double muscled calves. These calves cost twice more than ordinary one, and they were particularly adapted to baby-beef technique. The bigger obtained pieces of meat were tender and low-fat, which was very profitable to butcher, and more healthy for consumers. The majority of breeders evolved then to the meat purpose. In 1970, provincial Herd-Books were merged into a single national Herd- Book. Therefore, there were no longer racial zones. The Medium and High Belgium breed was renamed Belgian Blue Beef in 1973. In 1974, the Herd-Book was divided into 2 branches, extreme meat purpose (BBB) and dual purpose (dpBB). The dpBB branch had its own breeding goal: size, milk, regular and easy calvings. But the dpBB was considered less interesting than the specialized breeds.
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Effect Of Imbalance Between Energy And Nitrogen Supplies On Microbial Protein Synthesis And Nitrogen Metabolism In Growing Double-Muscled Belgian Blue Bulls

Effect Of Imbalance Between Energy And Nitrogen Supplies On Microbial Protein Synthesis And Nitrogen Metabolism In Growing Double-Muscled Belgian Blue Bulls

Energy-nitrogen synchronization in the rumen 1819 ing the supply of N and energy-yielding substrates to ruminal microbes suggest that achieving an instanta- neous synchrony is not that crucial to diet formulation (Sauvant and van Milgen, 1995) and that ruminants and their microbes have developed mechanisms to over- come the effects of a lack of synchrony (Dawson, 1999). The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of various periods of imbalance between N and energy supply for the ruminal microbes on double- muscled Belgian Blue (dm-BB) digestion and N metab- olism. This was done by giving the same feed ingredi- ents according to three different feeding patterns.
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Case report : A suspicion of cortico-cerebral necrosis in a Belgian Blue herd after ingestion of moulded silage

Case report : A suspicion of cortico-cerebral necrosis in a Belgian Blue herd after ingestion of moulded silage

Case Report : A suspicion of cortico-cerebral necrosis in a Belgian Blue herd after ingestion of moulded silage Case report Until August 2002, the dual purpose BB herd was kept on the pasture and supplemented with corn silage. Two weeks after the beginning of the progressive introduction of beet pulp silage into the usual corn silage ration, most of the animals showed diminished appetite, ptyalism and decreased milk production. All 35 cows were reluctant to consume the beet pulp silage, but continued to eat grass silage voluntarily (when bringing in for milking). Seven of them showed anorexia and nervous symptoms, like head pressing and blindness. Four animals died within 1 week after onset of neurological symptoms. No necropsy has been performed, since legislation does not allow post-mortem examination of the central nervous system in the field.
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Comparative responses to sodium selenite and Sel-Plex® organic selenium supplements in Belgian Blue cows and calves

Comparative responses to sodium selenite and Sel-Plex® organic selenium supplements in Belgian Blue cows and calves

1 ?; 2 Alltech Inc., Dunboyne, Co. Meath, Ireland; 3 Swiss College of Agriculture, Zollikofen, Switzerland Introduction The most common problems in bovine medicine are multi-factorial in nature. Beef cattle herds typically experience post-natal maladjustment syndrome, neonatal diarrhoea, respiratory problems, dermatological problems (mange), myopathies (skeletal and cardiac muscles, congenital myopathy of the tongue) and fertility problems. Such problems are increasingly treated by prevention, which proves more economical and better preserves health. Vitamin and trace element deficiencies are frequently identified as causative together with other biological and environmental factors. These deficiencies develop due to increasing nutrient demand with higher production (genetic selection) and decreasing supply due to impoverishment of soils and forages, monocultured cropping systems and the reluctance of farmers to invest in fertilizers, concentrates and food supplements. The hypermuscular Belgian Blue (BB) breed of cattle is particularly sensitive to trace element deficiencies, especially to selenium. Additionally, this breed is often maintained under conditions that increase the likelihood of deficiencies (depleted soils and forages).
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Effect of imbalance between energy and nitrogen supplies on microbial protein synthesis in growing double-muscled Belgian Blue bulls.

Effect of imbalance between energy and nitrogen supplies on microbial protein synthesis in growing double-muscled Belgian Blue bulls.

Gembloux Agricultural University, Passage des Déportés 2, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium, Email: valkeners.d@fsagx.ac.be Introduction Balancing the supply of nitrogen and energy-yielding substrates to rumen micro-organisms was proposed as a mechanism to maximise the capture of rumen degradable nitrogen (RDN) and to optimise microbial growth rate and efficiency. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of various time periods of imbalance between nitrogen and energy supplies for the rumen micro-organisms on the microbial protein synthesis (SPM) in growing double-muscled Belgian Blue bulls. This was realised by giving the same feedstuffs according to different meal patterns, which is one of the most robust test of the ‘synchrony’ hypothesis (Dewhurst et al., 2000).
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Performances of Adaptive MultiBLUP, Bayesian regressions, and weighted-GBLUP approaches for genomic predictions in Belgian Blue beef cattle.

Performances of Adaptive MultiBLUP, Bayesian regressions, and weighted-GBLUP approaches for genomic predictions in Belgian Blue beef cattle.

Compared to other studies (e.g., [ 6 , 11 , 23 ]), the appli- cation of Bayesian methods (or other SNP weighting strategies) resulted in relatively modest gains. One pos- sible reason would be that the traits were highly poly- genic (very few variants explaining more than 5% of the genetic variance and none capturing 10%). In addition, some large-effect variants might be poorly captured with our medium density marker panel and more records would be required to increase the power to identify them (or more accurate phenotypes such as daughter yield deviations from proven bulls). However, it has been previously observed that SNP selection increases reliabil- ity with small data sets but less so with large ones [ 43 ]. When the amount of information is small, only a frac- tion of all chromosome segments can be well estimated, and indirect selection of segments with larger effects by SNP selection is useful [ 44 ]. When all chromosome seg- ments can be estimated well, preselection of segments is less useful. The data size in this study was relatively large whereas the number of independent chromosome segments was probably limited (the data came from a single breed with a low effective population size). Conse- quently, the impact of SNP selection was small. The im- pact will be even smaller in the future, when the amount of information in Belgian Blue cattle increases. In that situation, SNP effects would be estimated more accur- ately and large SNP effects would be less regressed to- wards the mean in GBLUP, making weighting less necessary. Conversely, the ssGBLUP approach resulted in higher gains in reliabilities indicating that optimal in- clusion of ungenotyped animals was more important than optimal SNP weighting in our current setting. Nevertheless, individual SNP weighting strategies can also be incorporated in the ssGBLUP [ 13 , 15 , 16 , 38 ]. Here, we observed that such a strategy could further im- prove reliability of ssGBLUP. An alternative strategy could be to apply the model presented by Fernando et al. [ 45 ] that combines genotyped and ungenotyped in- dividuals in a Bayesian setting.
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Combined use of quantitative and molecular data in genetic evaluations for milk production of dual-purpose Belgian Blue Cows

Combined use of quantitative and molecular data in genetic evaluations for milk production of dual-purpose Belgian Blue Cows

Origins and evolution of the Ddual-Purpose Belgian Blue Breed (DP-BBB) During the latter part of the 19th century local Belgian, mostly black and white, dairy cattle were crossed with Shorthorns. The emerging local breed was later called the Belgian Blue Breed because of the blue roan color that is present with all whites and black and whites. These color patterns seems to be inherited from and be a variation in black of the typical Shorthorn colors except that breeders avoided all blacks. In the breed the Shorthorn red and roan still regularly reappear but those animals cannot be registered. At the beginning of the 20 th century crossbreeding had stopped and until the 1950s selection was also strongly focused on milk. Milk recording results from this period indicate that these cattle were producing milk at a similar level than did black and whites. The breeding objective was a dual- purpose breed, rectangular, with good format and musculature and good milking yield (4000 kg at 3.5% fat). Between 1950 and 1970 gradually meat production became more important and starting with the males and then the females, preference was given to muscular development. The results of this selection were increased muscle development (shoulder, withers, back, loins, rump) and a tendency to change general morphology, e.g., inclined hindquarters. Two directions of selection appeared. Most breeders pushed for extreme muscling without any consideration for milk production, others kept the initial objective of a dual-purpose animal, still increasing emphasis on meat. In 1974 a decision was made to create two separated lines, Meat Belgian Blue Breed (M-BBB) and Dual-Purpose Belgian Blues
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A simple method to approximate gene content in large pedigree populations: application to the myostatin gene in dual-purpose Belgian Blue cattle

A simple method to approximate gene content in large pedigree populations: application to the myostatin gene in dual-purpose Belgian Blue cattle

1 Animal Science Unit, Gembloux Agricultural University, B-5030 Gembloux, Belgium; 2 National Fund for Scientific Research, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium; 3 Department of Research and Development, Walloon Breeding Association, B-5590 Ciney, Belgium (Received 13 July 2006; Accepted 2 November 2006) Gene content is the number of copies of a particular allele in a genotype of an animal. Gene content can be used to study additive gene action of candidate gene. Usually genotype data are available only for a part of population and for the rest gene contents have to be calculated based on typed relatives. Methods to calculate expected gene content for animals on large complex pedigrees are relatively complex. In this paper we proposed a practical method to calculate gene content using a linear regression. The method does not estimate genotype probabilities but these can be approximated from gene content assuming Hardy-Weinberg proportions. The approach was compared with other methods on multiple simulated data sets for real bovine pedigrees of 1 082 and 907 903 animals. Different allelic frequencies (0.4 and 0.2) and proportions of the missing genotypes (90, 70, and 50%) were considered in simulation. The simulation showed that the proposed method has similar capability to predict gene content as the iterative peeling method, however it requires less time and can be more practical for large pedigrees. The method was also applied to real data on the bovine myostatin locus on a large dual-purpose Belgian Blue pedigree of 235 133 animals. It was demonstrated that the proposed method can be easily adapted for particular pedigrees.
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Different periods of feed restriction before compensatory growth in Belgian Blue bulls: II. Plasma metabolites and hormones

Different periods of feed restriction before compensatory growth in Belgian Blue bulls: II. Plasma metabolites and hormones

Table 1. Mean concentration of α -amino nitrogen, urea nitrogen, non esterified fatty acids and creatinine during fattening (CG) or during low growth periods (LGP) lasting for 4, 8, or 14 mo (G2, G3, G4) before a fattening period (RGP) in Belgian Blue double muscled bulls. Group

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Different periods of feed restriction before compensatory growth in Belgian Blue bulls: I. Animal performance, nitrogen balance, meat characteristics and fat composition

Different periods of feed restriction before compensatory growth in Belgian Blue bulls: I. Animal performance, nitrogen balance, meat characteristics and fat composition

Table 7. Fatty acid composition (mol/100 mol) of subcutaneous, intermuscular and intramuscular fat in Belgian Blue double muscled bulls, slaughtered after fattening (CG) or after low growth periods (LGP) lasting for 4, 8, or 14 mo (G2, G3, G4) followed by a fattening period (RGP).

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Effect of duration and temperature of previous vacuum-packed storage on the microbiological quality of Belgian Blue meat packed in high-oxygen atmosphere

Effect of duration and temperature of previous vacuum-packed storage on the microbiological quality of Belgian Blue meat packed in high-oxygen atmosphere

Pedro H. Imazaki, Assia Tahiri, Georges Daube and Antoine Clinquart University of Liège, Department of Food Science, Sart Tilman B43b, Liège, Belgium, 4000 TOPIC: Global food safety, B-1. Consumer safety The aim of this experiment was to study the effect of duration and temperature of previous vacuum-packed (VP) storage on the microbiological quality of Belgian Blue (BB) beef packed in high-oxygen atmosphere. VP striploins from bulls (B) and cows (C) were stored at − 1 °C and +4 °C for up to 80 days. These meats were subsequently repackaged under modified atmosphere (MA) – 70 % O 2 /30 % CO 2 – at
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Effect of duration and temperature of previous vacuum-packed storage on the oxidative stability of Belgian Blue meat packed in high-oxygen atmosphere

Effect of duration and temperature of previous vacuum-packed storage on the oxidative stability of Belgian Blue meat packed in high-oxygen atmosphere

Pedro H. Imazaki, Assia Tahiri, Jacqueline Thimister, Marie-Louise Scippo and Antoine Clinquart Department of Food Science, University of Liège, Sart Tilman B43b, Liège, Belgium, 4000 . Abstract – The aim of this experiment was to study the effect of duration and temperature of previous vacuum-packed (VP) storage on the oxidative stability of Belgian Blue meat packed in high-oxygen atmosphere. VP striploins from bulls and cows were stored at −1 °C and +4 °C for up to 80 days and analyzed. These same meat samples were also repackaged under modified atmosphere (MA) – 70 % O 2 /30 % CO 2 – at different times, stored 2 d at
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Balancing selection of a frame-shift mutation in the MRC2 gene accounts for the outbreak of the Crooked Tail Syndrome in Belgian Blue Cattle.

Balancing selection of a frame-shift mutation in the MRC2 gene accounts for the outbreak of the Crooked Tail Syndrome in Belgian Blue Cattle.

We herein describe the positional identification of a 2-bp deletion in the open reading frame of the MRC2 receptor causing the recessive Crooked Tail Syndrome in cattle. The resulting frame-shift reveals a premature stop codon that causes nonsense-mediated decay of the mutant messenger RNA, and the virtual absence of functional Endo180 protein in affected animals. Cases exhibit skeletal anomalies thought to result from impaired extracellular matrix remodeling during ossification, and as of yet unexplained muscular symptoms. We demonstrate that carrier status is very significantly associated with desired characteristics in the general population, including enhanced muscular development, and that the resulting heterozygote advantage caused a selective sweep which explains the unexpectedly high frequency (25%) of carriers in the Belgian Blue Cattle Breed.
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Effect of aging time, aging technique (dry- vs. wet-aging) and packaging on tenderness, pigment and lipid stability of Belgian blue beef

Effect of aging time, aging technique (dry- vs. wet-aging) and packaging on tenderness, pigment and lipid stability of Belgian blue beef

Effect of aging time, aging technique (dry- vs. wet-aging) and packaging on tenderness, pigment and lipid stability of Belgian blue beef Imazaki P.H., Teixeira Gonçalves A., Krantz M., Thimister J. and Clinquart A. Laboratory of Food Technology, FARAH, ULg

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Determination Of The Methionine Requirement Of Growing Double-Muscled Belgian Blue Bulls With A Three-Step Method

Determination Of The Methionine Requirement Of Growing Double-Muscled Belgian Blue Bulls With A Three-Step Method

ABSTRACT: The three-step technique was used to determine the requirements of total amino acids (TAA) and the first-limiting amino acid (AA) in growing dou- ble-muscled Belgian Blue bulls (BBb). In Exp. 1, three double-muscled BBb weighing initially 306 ± 28 kg re- ceived a basal diet consisting of 30% meadow hay and 70% concentrate that was poor in digestible protein but had adequate NE because of continuous infusion of dextrose into the duodenum. The intestinal apparent digestibility of essential AA (EAA) was defined ac- cording to their duodenal and ileal flows. It averaged 72% but varied between 60% for Met and 79% for Arg. In Exp. 2, five double-muscled BBb (334 ± 22 kg) re- ceived the same diet supplemented with duodenal infu- sions of dextrose and four doses of Na-caseinate (28, 56, 84, and 112% of intestinal digestible dietary AA) in
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Bacterial Intestinal Flora Associated with Enterotoxaemia in Belgian Blue Calves

Bacterial Intestinal Flora Associated with Enterotoxaemia in Belgian Blue Calves

Liège, Liège B4000, Belgium b. Laboratoire Provincial de Lutte contre les Maladies du Bétail, Ciney B5590, Belgium Abstract The enterotoxaemia syndrome in Belgian Blue calves is characterised by a high case fatality rate, sudden death, lesions of haemorrhagic enteritis of the small intestine and, quite often an absence of other clinical signs but its cause has not been yet identified. As a first step in this identification, the aerobic and anaerobic intestinal flora of a population of 78 calves, originating from farms located in southern Belgium and that died in circumstances defined as "calf enterotoxaemia" (study population) and of 64 calves that died in other circumstances (control population) were studied qualitatively and quantitatively. The colonies were identified after subcultures with appropriate API sugar sets. Anaerobically Clostridium perfringens was isolated in higher numbers (mean values of 10 7 -10 7.5 colony forming units (CFU) versus 10 4 -10 5 CFU per ml of intestinal content) and from more animals
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Definition of a modern breeding goal in Belgian Blue cattle

Definition of a modern breeding goal in Belgian Blue cattle

Abstract Objective of this study was to define and derive a modern breeding goal for Belgian Blue cattle. This breed is well known for its hyper-muscularity and current selection is based on this trait. Also considered in the current recording schemes are several other traits with early growth, up to one year of age and linear type traits being the most important. But the correct economic weightings of these traits and eventual other more functional, but not necessarily yet recorded traits, as calving ease, fertility and legs and feet, are still unclear. Therefore profit functions and bio-economical models were defined based on biological and economic data from the field. They were used to derive economic weights for already recorded and some new traits covering especially functional traits. An overall breeding goal was defined differentiating between different macro-economic and herd- specific situations and between breeding goal traits not necessarily recorded or difficult to record, and traits in the information vector.
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Age-based partitioning of individual genomic inbreeding levels in Belgian Blue cattle.

Age-based partitioning of individual genomic inbreeding levels in Belgian Blue cattle.

and Tom Druet 1 Abstract Background: Inbreeding coefficients can be estimated either from pedigree data or from genomic data, and with genomic data, they are either global or local (when the linkage map is used). Recently, we developed a new hid‑ den Markov model (HMM) that estimates probabilities of homozygosity‑by‑descent (HBD) at each marker position and automatically partitions autozygosity in multiple age‑related classes (based on the length of HBD segments). Our objectives were to: (1) characterize inbreeding with our model in an intensively selected population such as the Belgian Blue Beef (BBB) cattle breed; (2) compare the properties of the model at different marker densities; and (3) compare our model with other methods.
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PLANTIGRADY DUE TO A LOCALIZED MYOPATHY IN TWO NEWBORN BELGIAN BLUE CALVES

PLANTIGRADY DUE TO A LOCALIZED MYOPATHY IN TWO NEWBORN BELGIAN BLUE CALVES

The first case is a seven-day-old Belgian blue male calf weighing 58.00kg. He was born by C-section without abnormalities. He was referred because he was not able to stand up since he was 2 days old. He had previously been treated with non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and vitamins without success. The initial clinical examination revealed weakness, hyperthermia and tachypnea. The calf was not able to stand-up on his own and was not bearing weight on his right hind limb which was swollen, hot and painful from the hip to the claws. Deep pain sensation of the right hind limb was present but motor function was completely absent. Hematological analysis highlighted a severe neutrophilia and the blood biochemistry revealed a severe increased of the creatinine phosphokinase enzymes (CPK). Radiographies of the right hind limb revealed a heterogeneous soft tissue swelling with radioluminescent spots caudally to the tibia without bone abnormalities. Ultrasonography of the right thigh showed a hyperechoic spots (gas) in gastrocnemius and long digit extensor muscles, without evidence of fluid collection and an enlarged right popliteal lymph node. A muscular biopsy of the gastrocnemius muscle was performed under general anesthesia. Histopathological examination identified a very severe acute and chronic necrotic myositis. Bacterial culture identified a multiresistant Staphylococcus pseudointermedius sensitive to flofenicol and tetracycline. Despite the poor prognosis, the breeder decided to try a treatment using tetracycline and NSAIDs. After two months, the calf is still alive with a good condition. Lameness of the right hind limb is still present. The growth is slightly delayed, compared to other calves of the same age.
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Controlled field study comparing organic and inorganic trace elements supplementation in hypermuscled Belgian Blue Breed: clinical aspects

Controlled field study comparing organic and inorganic trace elements supplementation in hypermuscled Belgian Blue Breed: clinical aspects

Selenium (Se), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and Iodine (I) deficiencies are frequently observed in cattle in Europe. The Belgian Blue (BB) breed is particularly prone to these deficiencies because of its higher dietary requirements. The aim of this study was to validate the alleged greater efficacy of organic minerals to prevent deficiencies in BB farms.

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