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Open access

Marcin Sońta, Anna Rekiel and Martyna Batorska

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the possibility of using duckweed in sustainable livestock production and aquaculture. Duckweed is a small plant which grows in water and exploited in biotechnology, dietetics, phytotherapy, and ecotoxicology. It is also used for biological wastewater treatment, and for biogas and ethanol production. This study provides the characteristics of duckweed and presents results indicating its applicability in livestock feeding. Duckweed is a rich source of proteins and amino acids, and contains many macro- and micronutrients as well as vitamins and carotenoids. Unfortunately, it accumulate considerable amounts of toxic metals and compounds from the aquatic environment, which may limit its use as a feed ingredient. Fresh or dried duckweed is willingly consumed by animals (poultry – laying hens, broiler chickens, ducks; cows, sheep, goats, swine, fish) and is a valuable protein source to them. It has been scientifically demonstrated that its use in moderate amounts or as a partial replacement of other protein feed materials, including soybean meal, has a beneficial effect on the productivity, fattening, and slaughter performance of livestock and poultry as well as on the quality of their meat and eggs. Research addressing duckweed use as a feed ingredient should focus on developing various growth media technologies, including the use of slurry digestate, to obtain high biomass yields. Another research direction should be to determine risks in the production chain (collection, processing), which limit its use in monogastric and ruminant diets.

Open access

Jan Jankowski, Krzysztof Kozłowski, Katarzyna Ognik, Zenon Zduńczyk, Kamil Otowski, Ewa Sawosz and Jerzy Juśkiewicz

Abstract

This study performed on turkeys aged 1 to 98 days aimed to investigate whether different dietary inclusion levels (20, 10, 2 mg kg-1) of copper nanoparticles (Cu-NP) as a substitute for copper sulphate (Cu-SUL) affect redox and immunological status of turkeys’ tissues. No significant differences in the final body weights of turkeys were found across the dietary treatments. A comparison of the physiological effects of Cu-NP and Cu-SUL revealed equivocal metabolic responses including decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the liver, increased SOD and catalase activities in breast muscles, decreased total glutathione concentrations in breast muscles, and decreased plasma IgY concentrations. An analysis of the antioxidant and immune status parameters in the blood, liver and breast meat of turkeys indicates that 10 mg/kg is the optimal inclusion level of additional Cu. Both two-fold higher and five-fold lower Cu supplementation levels have a negative influence on selected parameters of the antioxidant and immune status of birds. Lower supplementation levels of Cu-NP (2 and 10 mg/kg) exert similar physiological effects to Cu-SUL, whereas higher addition of Cu-NP (20 mg/kg) may negatively affect selected redox parameters and stimulate the synthesis of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6. The results of the present study indicate that further research is needed to establish the actual dietary requirements for Cu in turkeys and the efficacy of nanoparticles as a new additional Cu source in turkey nutrition.

Open access

Sylwia Nisztuk-Pacek, Brygida Ślaska, Ludmiła Grzybowska-Szatkowska and Marek Babicz

Abstract

The aim of the study was to describe the mechanism of mitochondrial DNA inheritance in a group of farmed raccoon dogs. The study involved 354 individuals. Whole peripheral blood was the research material. DNA was isolated and PCR was performed for two fragments of mitochondrial genes: COX1 (cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene) and COX2 (cytochrome oxidase subunit 2 gene). The PCR products were sequenced and subjected to bioinformatics analyses. Three mitochondrial haplotypes were identified in the COX1 gene fragment and two in the COX2 gene fragment. The analysis of mtDNA inheritance in the paternal line confirmed the three cases of paternal mtDNA inheritance, i.e. the so-called “paternal leakage” in the analysed population. In two families, all offspring inherited paternal mitochondrial DNA, whereas in one family one descendant inherited paternal mtDNA and another one inherited maternal mtDNA. The lineage data indicated that one female which inherited maternal mitochondrial DNA transferred it onto the next generation. To sum up, the results of the study for the first time demonstrated the phenomenon of “paternal leakage” in farmed raccoon dogs, which facilitated description of mitochondrial DNA inheritance in the paternal line.

Open access

Mohamed Soliman El-Kholy, Zenat Abd El-Gawad Ibrahim, Mohamed Mamdoh El-Mekkawy and Mahmoud Alagawany

Abstract

A total of 450 fertile Japanese quail eggs were used to determine the impacts of in ovo administration of water-soluble vitamins (C, B6 and B12) on the growth performance, carcass traits, hematological and biochemical blood parameters as well as the immune response of Japanese quails. On the 7th day of incubation, the eggs were allocated to five groups: un-injected, 0.1 ml/egg saline, 1 mg/egg vitamin C, 150 µg/egg vitamin B6 and 20 µg/egg vitamin B12. The percentage of early embryonic mortality was increased (P≤0.001) in all treated groups versus the control group. Chicks that hatched from eggs injected with 1 mg/egg vitamin C exhibited a significantly greater (P≤0.05) live body weight (LBW) than those only control and saline group. During 0-2 weeks of age, the chicks hatched from eggs injected with vitamins displayed better feed conversion than the positive or negative controls. In ovo injection of vitamins had no significant effect on all carcass traits. In ovo injection with vitamins C, B6 and B12 increased plasma total protein and its fractions compared with the control. Plasma levels of total lipids and cholesterol were decreased in chicks hatched from eggs injected with 1 mg/egg vitamin C, 150 µg/egg vitamin B6 or 20 µg/egg vitamin B12 compared with those hatched from control eggs. Plasma T3 and T4 were increased in chicks hatched from eggs injected with vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. The relative weights of the bursa of Fabricius and thymus were significantly (P=0.002 or 0.003) increased in the birds hatched from eggs injected with vitamins compared with those in the control or saline group. Thus, inovo injection of vitamins C, B6 and B12 improve and as well as the blood profile and immune response of Japanese quail.

Open access

Nina Volkmann, Nicole Kemper and Anke Römer

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to investigate possible long-term effects of calf and heifer feeding intensity on first-lactation milk yield and lifetime efficiency (milk per day of life). Detailed records from a total number of 2,252 female German Holstein calves from one commercial farm were obtained from birth to culling. Data regarding all information about calf’s birth, rearing time until first insemination, first calving, first-lactation yield and lifetime performance were collected over a 12-year period. This large data volume was merged, handled, checked for plausibility, classified and evaluated. Analyses revealed that body weight at an age of six months was significantly influenced by the average daily gain in the first two weeks of life (P<0.0001) and by the duration of treatment for respiratory diseases (P=0.0080). Moreover, first lactation yield was affected by average daily gain in the whole first year of life (P=0.0013), and particularly in the period of month nine to twelve (P=0.00187). Lifetime efficiency was significantly influenced by body weight at first insemination (P=0.0051), average milk yield (P<0.0001) and reason for culling (P<0.0001). The results of this long-term study confirm that growth is important in general, but as shown by the negative correlation between average daily gain from month nine to twelve and the first lactation milk yield, nutrient-intake (energy and protein) should be adapted to enable a controlled growth especially at certain periods of life. After six months of age, daily gain has to be controlled to avoid fat accumulation for a healthy and effective start of lactation. In addition, this analysis revealed that after passing first lactation, particularly health and fertility are the keys for a long efficient lifetime of dairy cows.