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Open access

Mateusz Rawski and Damian Józefiak

Abstract

African side-neck turtles (Pelomedusa subrufa and Pelusios castaneus) are popular in captivity, in many parts of the world. their natural tendency to accumulate body fat reserves may be a reason for many health issues. for keepers and veterinarians body condition scoring is an important tool in the process of management and care of the animals. therefore the main aim of the study was to formulate a single mathematic formula for allometric equations and simple body condition scoring method which can be used in juvenile, sub-adult and adult specimens of Pelomedusa subrufa and Pelusios castaneus. twelve healthy turtles (7 Pelomedusa subrufa and 5 Pelusios castaneus) – 4 males, 4 females and 4 immature were measured and weighed for 52 weeks (624 measurements). the obtained data were used to formulate equations of estimated body weight and compared to results of measurements of 73 turtles from private keepers. additionally, visual assessments of their body condition were made. The results showed that body weight is significantly (P=0.001) correlated with straight carapace length of turtles. in the assessed population of 73 captive Pelomedusidae kept as pets, no emaciated turtles were recorded, and 10% of them were underweight. In the case of 68% of the animals, body condition was identified as optimal, and in 15% and 7% as overweight and obese, respectively. The population of african side-neck turtles seems to be in quite good body condition. However, a high percentage of overweight and obese animals suggests the need for continuous monitoring of pet turtles for body condition.

Open access

Mateusz Rawski, Christoph Mans, Bartosz Kierończyk, Sylwester Świątkiewicz, Aneta Barc and Damian Józefiak

Abstract

Freshwater turtles are commonly kept in captivity as pets, bred in zoos for conservation programs, and commercially farmed for pet markets and human consumption, but their nutrition can be challenging. However, based on practical experience, two main strategies may be identified: the use of non-calculated raw diets and the use of balanced commercial feeds. Raw diets are based on fresh, frozen and dried components including invertebrates, fish, rodents and plant matter; they imitate the variety of foods that are accessible to turtles in the wild and are considered most useful when turtles are bred for reintroduction into their natural habitat as part of conservation programs. Granulated, pelleted or extruded commercial diets are frequently used for farmed and pet turtles; they contain animal- and plant-based materials supplemented with vitamin and mineral premixes and calculated to reach the nutrient levels assumed to be optimal for most species. Until more species-specific information on the nutritional requirements of freshwater turtles is available, the Chinese softshell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis), a commonly commercially farmed species for human consumption, may be used as a reference for other species in terms of suggested nutrient levels. Based on experimental data, the most important nutrients and their levels that should be included in turtle diets are crude protein (39.0-46.5%), crude fat (8.8%), Ca (5.7%), P (3.0%), methionine (1.03%), and cysteine (0.25%). The diet composition for freshwater turtles should be based on scientific knowledge and practical experience, so this paper aimed to present and discuss the available data on the nutrient requirements of turtles and the characteristics of the feed materials used in their nutrition.

Open access

Bartosz Kierończyk, Mateusz Rawski, Jakub Długosz, Sylwester Świątkiewicz and Damian Józefiak

Abstract

The aim of this review is to present and discuss the anatomy and physiology of crop in different avian species. The avian crop (ingluvies) present in most omnivorous and herbivorous bird species, plays a major role in feed storage and moistening, as well as functional barrier for pathogens through decreasing pH value by microbial fermentation. Moreover, recent data suggest that this gastrointestinal tract segment may play an important role in the regulation of the innate immune system of birds. In some avian species ingluvies secretes “crop milk” which provides high nutrients and energy content for nestlings growth. The crop has a crucial role in enhancing exogenous enzymes efficiency (for instance phytase and microbial amylase, β-glucanase), as well as the activity of bacteriocins. Thus, ingluvies may have a significant impact on bird performance and health status during all stages of rearing. Efficient use of the crop in case of digesta retention time is essential for birds’ growth performance. Thus, a functionality of the crop is dependent on a number of factors, including age, dietary factors, infections as well as flock management. It is important to expand knowledge about the crop functions to use them effectively in poultry production. Furthermore, more scientific data is needed in the scope of immunological function of the crop as well as its microecosystem for a better understanding of the avian immune system and enhancing the health of the birds.

Open access

Bartosz Kierończyk, Mateusz Rawski, Damian Józefiak and Sylwester Świątkiewicz

Abstract

Broiler chicken welfare, health and performance are strictly linked with skeleton development. Lameness compromises welfare of broiler chickens and causes considerable economic loss since lame birds have difficulty accessing feed and water, become dehydrated and eventually die. Leg disorders are therefore considered to be one of the main factors associated with in-field mortalities between 21-42 d in broiler rearing at European poultry farms. In chickens and other farm animals, bone development is strictly correlated with dietary content of inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), as well as calcium and phosphorus availability. However, lameness is also associated with many other factors, such as diseases, genetics, species, gender, growth, aging, as well as physical loading, rearing period and management. Therefore, the aim of the current paper is to review selected noninfectious and infectious factors, which contribute to bone quality in poultry.

Open access

Bartosz Kierończyk, Mateusz Rawski, Pola Pawełczyk, Joanna Różyńska, Julia Golusik, Zuzanna Mikołajczak and Damian Józefiak

Abstract

The goal of the present study was to investigate the olfactory attractiveness of air-dried insects used as aromas to dogs. The trial consisted of 35 adult dogs (20 males, 15 females) aged between 12 months and 7 years (mean = 3.6), varied in terms of breed, kept as companion animals. The dogs had free olfactory access to selected unprocessed dried insects, i.e., mealworm (Tenebrio molitor), Turkestan cockroach (Shelfordella lateralis), black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens), and tropical house cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus), as well as commercial dried and pelleted dog feed, which was used as a control treatment. Samples (100 g) were located separately in non transparent closed boxes with 5 perforations in the cover (7 mm each) to improve the intensity of the aromas without direct contact with the tested samples. The box was recorded as chosen when the dog showed interest in it for more than 15 seconds continuously per each attempt (3 attempts per dog). The presented study shows that the selected insect species were chosen as frequently as the control group (P=0.03). However, in terms of preferences by dog gender, Tenebrio molitor was favored more often by males than by females, which preferred Shelfordella lateralis. The current preliminary data suggest that the olfactory features of the selected insect species may be attractive to dogs.

Open access

Damian Józefiak, Agata Józefiak, Bartosz Kierończyk, Mateusz Rawski, Sylwester Świątkiewicz, Jakub Długosz and Ricarda Margarete Engberg

Abstract

The consumption of poultry meat and eggs is expected to increase considerably in the nearest future, which creates the demand for new poultry feed ingredients in order to support sustainable intensive production. Moreover, the constant improvement of the genetic potential of poultry has resulted in an increased nutrient density in poultry feeds, which limits the possibility to include low quality feed ingredients. Therefore, the feed industry needs new sources of highly digestible protein with a desirable amino acid composition to substitute other valuable but limited protein sources of animal origin, such as fishmeal. With estimated 1.5 to 3 million species, the class of insects harbours the largest species variety in the world including species providing a high protein and sulphur amino acids content, which can be successfully exploited as feed for poultry. The aim of this paper is to review the present state of knowledge concerning the use of insect protein in poultry nutrition and the possibilities of mass production of insects for the feed industry. There is no doubt that insects have an enormous potential as a source of nutrients (protein) and active substances (polyunsaturated fatty acids, antimicrobial peptides) for poultry. It can be concluded, based on many experimental results, that meals from insects being members of the orders Diptera (black soldier fly, housefly), Coleoptera (mealworms) and Orthoptera (grasshoppers, locust, crickets and katylids), may be successfully used as feed material in poultry diets. However, legislation barriers in the European Union, as well as relatively high costs and limited quantity of produced insects are restrictions in the large-scale use of insect meals in poultry nutrition.