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Open access

Manol Karadaev, Ivan Fasulkov, Radina Vasileva and Nasko Vasilev

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to determine the fetal number in goats by using hormonal and ultrasonographic examinations. The experiments were conducted with 106 clinically healthy Bulgarian local goats, 1.5 to 7 years of age, weighing 35-52 kg. Hormonal examinations were performed on 24 goats. Serum progesterone concentrations were measured during a 7 days interval, between 21-63 day of pregnancy, and during a 14 days interval until the 133rd day of pregnancy. Ultrasound examinations were performed on 82 goats with a multi-frequency linear transducer (5.0-12.0 MHz). All animals were studied once during an interval of 7 days transrectally (21-28 day, 29-35 day, 36-42 day) and transabdominally (43-49 day, 50-56 day, 57-63 day), respectively. The accuracy of determining the number of singleton and multiple pregnancies by hormonal analysis were 51%, 58%, 69% and 47%, 52%, 62%, respectively. The accuracy of ultrasonography to determine the number of fetuses is highest in singletons 76.18%, followed by twins 72.56% and the lowest in triplets and more fetuses 21.43%. Highest accuracy, sensitivity and positive predictive diagnosis were established in the period 43-49 day of pregnancy (P<0.05). The obtained results show that the most appropriate period is between 42 and 49 day of pregnancy for determination of the fetal number in Bulgarian local goats using ultrasonography.

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.

Open access

Ju-Young Lee, Sang Hwan Kim and Jong Taek Yoon

Abstract

In this study, we first investigated the effects of 3-methyladenine (3-MA), an autophagy inhibitor, and the inducer – rapamycin (RAPA) on the incidence of programmed cell death (PCD) symptoms during in vitro development of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)-derived embryos. The expression of autophagy inhibitor mTOR protein was decreased in porcine SCNT blastocysts treated with 3MA. The abundance of the autophagy marker LC3 increased in blastocysts following RAPA treatment. Exposure of porcine SCNT-derived embryos to 3-MA suppressed their developmental abilities to reach the blastocyst stage. No significant difference in the expression pattern of PCD-related proteins was found between non-transfected dermal cell and transfected dermal cell groups. Additionally, the pattern of PCD in SCNT-derived blastocysts generated using SC and TSC was not significantly different, and in terms of porcine SCNT-derived embryo development rates and total blastocyst cell numbers, there was no significant difference between non-transfected cells and transfected cells. In conclusion, regulation of autophagy affected the development of porcine SCNT embryos. Regardless of the type of nuclear donor cells (transfected or non-transfected dermal cells) used for SCNT, there was no difference in the developmental potential and quantitative profiles of autophagy/apoptosis biomarkers between porcine transgenic and non-transgenic cloned embryos. These results led us to conclude that PCD is important for the controlling porcine SCNT-derived embryo development, and that transfected dermal cells can be utilized as a source of nuclear donors for the production of transgenic cloned progeny in pigs.

Open access

Tércia Cesária Reis de Souza, Araceli Aguilera Barreyro, Sara Rubio Rubio, Yanier Machado González, Konisgmar Escobar García, José Guadalupe Gómez Soto and Gerardo Mariscal-Landín

Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to test if dehydrated porcine plasma (DPP) and potato protein concentrate (PPC) could be used as an alternative to antibiotics in starter diets for piglets. Experiment one was conducted to test if DPP and PPC in an antibiotic-free diet affected pig performance, and faecal consistency. Eighty-four piglets weaned at 22 days and weighing 6.9 kg were used. Piglets were fed for two weeks with one of four diets: a positive control diet with antibiotics (C+); and three others diets without antibiotics added with DPP, PPC, or DPP and PPC (DPP+PPC) to measure the average daily feed intake (ADFI), average daily gain (ADG), feed efficiency (FE), and incidence and severity of diarrhoea (ID and ISD respectively). In experiment two, twenty-four piglets weaned at 17 days and weighing 5.7 kg, were implanted at 21 days of age with a T-cannula at the terminal ileum to measure the apparent ileal digestibility (AID) and the apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of nutrients. Piglets were fed one of four diets: a positive control diet with antibiotics (C+); a negative control diet without antibiotics (C-), and two diets without antibiotics added with DPP, or PPC. The results of experiment one showed that the DPP diet was the most consumed diet during the first week, and the ADG and FE were similar among treatments. During the second week and the total experimental period the ADFI, ADG, and FE were similar among diets. The ID was lower in the C+ diet than others diets. The ISD was lower in the C+ diet than DPP and DPP+PPC diets; piglets fed PPC diet were similar to piglets fed C+ and DPP and DPP+PPC diets. The results of digestibility showed that crude protein AID was higher in piglets fed C+ and PPC diets than C- and DPP diets. Dry matter ATTD and energy ATTD were higher for piglets fed PPC than others diets. Further, crude protein ATTD of DPP and PPC diets tended to have a similar digestibility to that of C+ diet. The results suggest that PPC is a potential controller of post-weaning diarrhoea.

Open access

Grażyna Polak

Abstract

Two types of Polish local cold-blooded horses - Sztumski and Sokólski, covered by genetic resources conservation programs, were analyzed for founder’s contribution, genetic structure and inbreeding. In both populations, created in the early twentieth century, were used the same stallions, mainly Ardennes, Belgians and Bretons. The aim of the study was to analyze the genetic variability of Sztumski and Sokolski cold-blooded horses, using pedigree information. The reference population contained 2359 horses: 1129 Sztumski and 1230 Sokolski included in conservation programs in 2014. A data set, constituting a total of 12,821 ancestors pedigree. The results showed that in analyzed population the number of founders was 1139 for Sztumski and 1118 for Sokolski horses; effective population size and effective number of founders respectively 688.8; 156.9 and 704.5; 111,4. The mean coefficient of inbreeding was 1.54 for Sztumski and 1.56 for Sokolski horses. In gene pool the most important contribution was of Arden horses – 43.67 % in Sztumski horses and 46.82 % in Sokolski horses, subsequently Belgian horses 18.32 % and 9.3 %. The most important ancestors in both populations were Arden sires: Rolltan 699, Gustaw 2807; German cold-blooded: Elbgang 1504 and Bär.

Open access

Magdalena Franczyk-Żarów, Beata Szymczyk and Renata B. Kostogrys

Abstract

The objective of this study was to produce eggs enriched with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and ameliorate their fatty acid profile using the appropriate combination of dietary CLA with or without vegetable oils (olive oil or rapeseed oil) and vitamin E. In Experiment 1, 25-week-old laying hens were randomly distributed into eight groups of nine. Birds were fed with a standard diet with four different levels of CLA (0.0, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0%) and vegetable oils (olive oil or rapeseed oil, both in the amount of 1.46%). In Experiment 2, hens were randomly distributed into 12 groups of nine. The same four levels of CLA with three doses of vitamin E (0; 150; 300 mg/kg of diet) were applied. In both experiments, eggs were collected twice (at 4 and 8 weeks) for fatty acid profiling using GCMS. The differences between treatment means were considered significant at P<0.05. CLA treatments significantly increased the content of CLA, saturated fatty acids (SFA), and significantly decreased the content of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) in the egg yolk, whereas levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were unaffected. The vegetable oils used did not prevent the negative effects of CLA effectively. Only after eight weeks of experiment 1 SFA levels were significantly lower, but MUFA levels were significantly higher in groups fed with rapeseed oil compared to groups fed with olive oil. In experiment 2, the addition of vitamin E to the hen diet did not have an essential influence on the lipid profile of egg yolks.