Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 4
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4 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1953
leagues in many related fields of study. The results of this coordinated
type of endeavor may be illustrated by the following examples
selected from various fields of agricultural research as they apply to
animal health, and by several that are in the conference or planning
Hormonal Balance and Animal Health
Maximum inherited growth in a healthy animal is attained only
when there is a proper balance between the food nutrients he receives
and his endocrine secretions. Since an animal's environment is never
free of pathogenic organisms, certain immunity factors or perhaps
antibiotics are essential. The Michigan station has found that either
a marked excess or deficiency of a particular hormone in the animal
body may increase the need for certain dietary factors. For example,
the administration of large doses of cortisone, diethylstilbestrol,
or iodinated casein to young rats was shown to aggravate pre-existent
deficiencies of vitamin B12, thiamine, or pyridoxine. This was evidenced
by decreases in body growth, survival rate, and in earlier
manifestation of other typical deficiency symptoms. Supplementation
of the deficient diets with 5 to 10 times the normal requirements
for these vitamins or with small amounts of antibiotics largely counteracted
the deleterious effects of hormone overdosage, and was accompanied
by increased food intake and greater efficiency in converting
food into body weight gains.
Many other examples might be cited, but the Michigan scientists
stress the fact that this information was obtained by experimentation
with laboratory animals and is of a preliminary nature. Results to
date indicate that many of the conflicting reports on methods of combating
diseases of farm animals can be explained and a vast amount
of valuable new information can be gained by combining the efforts of
the physiologist, the biochemist, and the animal husbandman.
Diseases of Cattle
Knowledge of factors involved in reproductive disorders of cattle is
limited, but their causes are numerous and complex. Dairy scientists
at the Washington station have been making detailed observations
on the reproductive history of 10,000 gestations of a large Holstein
herd. In an analysis of breeding records to determine the effect of
some 46 reproductive disorders on breeding efficiency, it was found
that infections of the reproductive tract and ovarian dysfunctions
nearly doubled the services required per conception and increased the
calving interval approximately 150 days. Expressing cysts and
corpora lutea by hand resulted in an increase in the rate of twins,
abortions, and retained placenta. Cows having any unusual parturition
should be given an adequate period for recovery before they are
rebred, according to the findings of the scientists at the Washington
station and other stations.
New York (Cornell) station considers that management and disease
are equally to blame for reproductive troubles. The management
faults include: Failure to recognize heat periods, breeding cows too
soon after they freshen, and failure to maintain adequate records.
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/6/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.