Genomics: What’s a SNP?

Genomics — it’s one of the most cutting-edge fields in science at the moment. In just the past few years, important species genomes have been unraveled, or sequenced. Wheat, reindeer and barley are just some of the most recent ones.

Beyond sequencing the genomes of new species, scientists also unravel the genomes of individual animals […]

Diapers for chickens: Yes, it’s a thing

They don’t exactly look like diapers, at least not the kind human babies wear. These diapers are more like overalls, and come in fun prints and colors, like with crouching cartoon froggies and stripes.

These diapers are for chickens, and as the backyard chicken movement grows, so too does the market for these poultry Pampers. […]

Mastitis control in summer

Hot, sunny periods can be a testing time for the dairy cow and the herdsman.

Dairy farmers have to deal with irritation in the parlor, prolonged milking times because of the irritation, and most importantly, contamination of the udder leading to mastitis.

Many cases of summer mastitis are not classified as environmental or contagious; they […]

Farmers: Relying on nature for pest control ain’t gonna cut it after all, science says

When it comes to pest control on the farm there will always be pros and cons in the surrounding environment — ones that either lessen the burden caused by nearby rodents and bugs, or ones that simply make things more difficult. Certain types of birds might eat pesky insects, for example.

However, common misconceptions about […]

Genomic testing reveals most common shelter dog breeds

You walk into the room and hear a chorus of barks, yips and yowls. At once, a dozen dogs rush to their kennel doors, happily — or aggressively — greeting you. Offhand, you can identify a few different breeds here at the animal shelter — a black lab here, a pit bull there. But what […]

When mycotoxins contaminate feed: What is oxidative stress?

When mycotoxins contaminate animal feed, the effects on livestock can be serious. Some mycotoxins, like aflatoxin, are carcinogenic. Others can impact the immune system or the blood, damage organs, cause miscarriages and provoke severe vomiting, among many other effects.

Some of these effects are linked to oxidative stress, which happens when unstable atoms damage living […]

Mosquitos and the dangers they pose

Nearly a million people and countless animals are killed by mosquito-borne illnesses every year. And so, on August 20, we participate in National Mosquito Day to raise awareness of how these diseases impact us, and how we can reduce risks.

Here are some of the biggest diseases:

West Nile Virus. Awareness of West Nile Virus […]

Why do horses snort?

Overall, horses are pretty vocal animals. They neigh, they whinny, they nicker and they snort. Equine experts have spent a long time figuring out what these social animals are trying to convey when they vocalize, but one sound has been a little hard to translate: the snort.

Humans snort when they have stuffy noses, or […]

Florida horse and unborn colt lost to equine botulism

When it comes to equine botulism, most people associate the disease with northeastern and Appalachian U.S. states. However, the toxin-producing bacteria that causes equine botulism, Clostridium botulinum, can be found anywhere.

Ashley Godwin was living in Florida when she lost her seven-year-old Thoroughbred mare, and her unborn colt, to equine botulism on Christmas Eve. She […]

Trace minerals may help aflatoxin-exposed cows

Aflatoxin, a naturally occurring toxin created by mold growth on crops, is one of the most troublesome mycotoxins in the world. Its presence above safe levels in human food and animal feed is harmful to the health of those who consume it, and may be responsible for staggeringly high liver cancer rates in many African […]