Željko Pavičić, Mario Ostović, Sven Menčik, Anamaria Ekert Kabalin, Marija Vučemilo, Kristina Matković, Boris Antunović, Rajko Pavešić and Vlatko Ilieski
In the present study, postural behaviour was compared between gilts kept in service unit with different types of flooring during all seasons. The study included four 28-day production cycles and 10 gilts per cycle, equally divided into a control and an experimental group. Control gilts were housed in gestation stalls with slatted concrete floor, whereas in the experimental group the floor was covered with an adjusted rubber mat. Postural behaviour of gilts was observed 4 times per cycle for 4 hours. Study results showed that during cooler seasons, gilts in concrete stalls spent more time standing and lying sternally, whereas gilts in matted stalls were mostly lying, predominantly laterally (P<0.001 all). There were no significant between group differences according to the time the gilts spent sitting or the frequency of changing posture in any season observed. Nevertheless, experimental animals spent significantly less time changing standing to both lying positions during all seasons (P<0.01 all). In conclusion, rubber mats may improve lying comfort in gilts; however, when using rubber mats, the house thermal conditions should be taken in consideration.
Mario Ostović, Sven Menčik, Ivica Ravić, Slavko Žužul, Željko Pavičić, Kristina Matković, Boris Antunović, Danijela Horvatek Tomić and Anamaria Ekert Kabalin
Good air quality in poultry houses is crucial for animal health and productivity. In these houses, air is generally contaminated with noxious gases and microorganisms, the concentrations of which depend on numerous factors including microclimate. In this case study, the relation between microclimate and air concentrations of noxious gases and microorganisms was investigated in extensively reared turkey house. The study was carried out at a family household in Dalmatia hinterland, Croatia, with 50.3±3.1 turkeys kept in the house during the study period. Air temperature, relative humidity, airflow rate, concentrations of ammonia, carbon dioxide, bacteria and fungi in indoor air were measured three times per month from September to December, in the morning, prior to releasing turkeys out for grazing. Air temperature ranged from 9.73 to 26.98 °C, relative humidity from 63.29% to 75.08%, and airflow rate from 0.11 to 0.17 m/s. Lowest ammonia and carbon dioxide concentrations were measured in September (2.17 ppm and 550 ppm, respectively) and highest in December (4.50 ppm and 900 ppm, respectively). Bacterial and fungal counts were lowest in December (2.51×105 CFU/m3 and 3.27×103 CFU/m3 air, respectively) and highest in September (6.85×105 CFU/m3 and 1.06x105 CFU/m3 air, respectively). Air temperature and relative humidity showed negative correlation with concentrations of noxious gases and positive correlation with air microorganisms (P<0.05 all).