Barbara Stefańska, Agnieszka Poźniak and Włodzimierz Nowak
Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between body condition score (BCS) determined on the dry-off day, calving day, and in the first month of lactation, its changes during the dry period and early lactation, and periparturient indices and fertility in high-producing dairy cows. Material and Methods: The experiment was conducted in two herds: A and B, located in Western Poland. The studies were conducted on 116 and 108 Polish Holstein-Friesian dairy cows respectively, with an average milk yield of >10 000 kg/305-day lactation. The experiment included the dry period (-56 d to the calving day), the calving day, and early lactation (from +1 to +56 d). The experimental factor was BCS (0 to 5-point scale). The BCS was performed by one person on day -56, on parturition day (in the first 12 h after calving) and on day 30 of lactation. Results: A decrease in BCS (≥-0.25) in herd A during the dry period accelerated the planned calving period by 7.3 d. In the group of cows with BCS <3.25 on the dry-off day, the lowest artificial insemination index (1.80), the shortest period of insemination services (25 d), and days open (87 d) were recorded. Moreover, cows with BCS < 3.25 at calving had the shortest days open (91 d). BCS >3.50 in the first month of lactation (30 d) resulted in the extension of uterine involution period (56 d). Improvement of BCS during the dry period shortened the anoestrus (60 d) in herd A and the period of insemination service (60 d) in herd B. However, in this group (IM BCS ≥ 0.25) of cows the day of the highest artificial insemination index (2.50) in herd B was analysed. Conclusion: The body condition on the dry-off day and at calving, as well as its deterioration in the first month of lactation, have a considerable effect on fertility indices in dairy cows, thus confirming the advisability of its regular monitoring during routine operations connected with the management of a dairy cattle herd.
Marek Gehrke, Beata Blaszak, Monika Stachowiak, Izabela Szczerbal, Barbara Stefańska, Jędrzej M. Jaśkowski, Włodzimierz Nowak and Marek Świtoński
A comprehensive description is presented of four novel cases ofamorphus globosus (ag) foetuses originating from multiple pregnancies of Polish Holstein cows.
Material and Methods
Four amorphic foetuses were delivered by three cows. Tissue samples were collected during autopsy, embedded in paraffin, sectioned, and stained with haematoxylin and eosin. Genomic DNA was isolated from tissue samples of abnormal foetuses and from blood leukocytes of their healthy siblings. PCR reactions were used to reveal the presence of Y-linked genes (SRY and AMELY) and an X-linked gene (AMELX).
All foetuses were classified to the groupholoacardius amorphous (anideus). Molecular analysis clearly showed that at 17 microsatellite loci, the studied amorphous foetuses had identical genotypes to the viable co-twins.
Foetuses had monozygotic origin. Histological analysis showed a low level of development of tissues of meso- and ectodermal origin, as well as features of degrading patterns.
Włodzimierz Nowak, Robert Mikuła, Ewa Pruszyńska-Oszmałek, Barbara Stefańska, Paweł Maćkowiak, Małgorzata Kasprowicz-Potocka and Andrzej Frankiewicz
The aim of the study was to investigate experimentally the effects of restricted or ad libitum feeding in the far-off period on performance of dairy cows. Two groups of Polish Holstein-Friesian cows having 19 animals in each group were allotted to two planes of nutrition in the far-off period from -56 to -22 days. The ADLIB group was fed ad libitum (DMI 12.9 kg) while in the RES group the dry matter intake was restricted by 3 kg DM compared to the average dry matter during the last 7 days in the ADLIB group. Average daily energy intake decreased from 8.90 UFL in the ADLIB to 6.83 UFL in the RES group. In the close-up period and after parturition, the cows of both groups were given the same diet. In restrictively fed cows, there was a tendency to a greater decrease in BCS during both the dry period (P=0.09) and lactation (P=0.07). After parturition milk production, fertility indices and blood concentration of IGF-1, insulin and glucose were not significantly affected by the far-off treatment. In the RES group, lower BHBA 3 days before calving and on day 5 of lactation and lower NEFA on day 28 of lactation were recorded. Also in this group higher levels of glucose 3 days before calving, triiodothyronine (T3) on days -30 and 5, and thyroxine (T4) on days -3 and 28 were observed. It is concluded that restricted feeding in the far-off period positively affected blood indicators of lipomobilization during the transition period, but had little effect on performance of lactating cows. In spite of low energy, high-fibre diet offered ad libitum in the faroff period resulted in the energy overfeeding compared to the INRA system recommendation.
Barbara Stefańska, Włodzimierz Nowak, Ewa Pruszyńska-Oszmałek, Robert Mikuła, Daniel Stanisławski, Małgorzata Kasprowicz-Potocka, Andrzej Frankiewicz and Paweł Maćkowiak
The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of BCS (Body Condition Score) on the calving day and its decrease during early lactation on the biochemical blood indices and reproductive performance. One hundred and thirty-one Polish Holstein-Friesian cows were divided into three groups according to the North-American body condition score on the calving day (AC≤3.5 point BCS; MID 3.51-3.75 point BCS; FAT>3.75 point BCS) and according to the decrease in BCS during early lactation (HG >0.49 point BCS; WEL 0.49-0.25 point BCS, L<0.25 point BCS). In current study, significant interaction between change of BCS during early lactation and time of blood sampling on BHBA concentration was observed. In the AC group (≤3.5 BCS), the highest concentrations of glucose on 3 and 5 d of lactation compared to the MID and FAT groups and of insulin on 28 d and also IGF-I on 5 and 28 d of lactation compared to the FAT group were recorded. In the FAT group, the highest concentration of NEFA on 3 and 5 d compared to the AC group and of BHBA on 28 d of lactation compared to the MID group was recorded. The body condition score on the parturition day affected the reproductive performance; in the FAT group (>3.75 BCS) the lowest conception rate of the first insemination, insemination index and thereby the longest days open were observed. The highest decreases in BCS (HG >0.49 points) resulted in increased concentrations of NEFA on 3 d and of BHBA on 3 and 5 d. Moreover, in the HG group, the lowest concentration of T3 on 3, 5 and 28 d as compared to the WEL group was recorded. We concluded that the BCS (>3.5 points) on the calving day had a significantly negative effect on the metabolic status of dairy cows in the postpartum period estimated by the concentration of biochemical blood indices characterising carbohydrates (IGF-I, insulin) and lipid (NEFA, BHBA) metabolism and also the reproductive performance such as the conception rate of the first insemination, insemination index, days open. We suggested that the blood serum concentrations of IGF-I and NEFA were the most sensitive biochemical markers of the metabolic status of dairy cows in our study.
Piotr Nowak, Małgorzata Kasprowicz-Potocka, Anita Zaworska, Włodzimierz Nowak, Barbara Stefańska, Anna Sip, Włodzimierz Grajek, Katarzyna Grajek and Andrzej Frankiewicz
The aim of the research was to determine the affectivity of 4 different eubiotic preparations on the growth performance of pigs, microbial status, the integrity of intestinal mucosa, and some blood parameters. The experiment was conducted for 28 days on 48 male piglets allocated to six dietary treatments. Group 1 was offered a diet without eubiotic; 2 – a diet with acids mixture; 3 – phytobiotic, medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) and yeast; 4 – probiotic, MCFA, and yeast; 5 – phytobiotic, probiotic, acids mixture, and sodium butyrate; 6 – phytobiotic, probiotic, MCFA, and sodium butyrate. The average daily weight gains and feed intake were recorded. Blood samples, digesta samples, and ileal tissue samples were collected for studies. There was no significant difference in gain, feed intake, or FCR among the treatments as well as in the ileal and caecal pH value, microbial content, and total SCFA content in caecal digesta. Ammonia content in ileal digesta was significantly higher in comparison with other groups and in caecal digesta was significantly higher in group 6 in comparison with groups 1 and 2. Villi height was significantly higher (P<0.05) in groups 2, 3 and 6 compared to the control. Villi height to crypt depth ratio was significantly higher (P<0.05) in groups 5 and 2, but the most promising effects seem to be from combinations 3 and 4. In comparison with control: in groups 2, 3 and 5 higher ALT, glucose and triglyceride; in groups 3, 4 and 5 higher total protein and cholesterol; in group 4 higher albumin and in group 6 higher BUN, were found. Generally, used eubiotic preparations affected gut morphology and some blood parameters but did not affect microbiota, pig growth or feed utilization.