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Volume 13 (2013): Issue 4 (October 2013)
Issue Editors: Magdalena Bielska, Jerzy Pilawski, Katarzyna Skupniewicz

Volume 13 (2013): Issue 3 (July 2013)

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Volume 13 (2013): Issue 1 (January 2013)

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Volume 12 (2012): Issue 1 (January 2012)

Volume 11 (2011): Issue 4 (August 2011)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2300-8733
ISSN
1642-3402
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 12 (2012): Issue 3 (July 2012)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2300-8733
ISSN
1642-3402
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English

Search

15 Articles

Review

Open Access

The Effect of a Protein-Xanthophyll Concentrate from Alfalfa (Phytobiotic) on Animal Production - A Current Review

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 281 - 289

Abstract

The Effect of a Protein-Xanthophyll Concentrate from Alfalfa (Phytobiotic) on Animal Production - A Current Review

One of the supplements that can replace antibiotic growth promoters is a protein xanthophyll extract from the leaves of alfalfa. Green matter of alfalfa contains 17-22% of total protein, rich in non-essential (exogenous) amino acids, saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and organic acids. The crude fibre content in green matter of alfalfa is relatively high (about 23.0-30.0% dry weight). However, protein-xanthophyll extract (EFL) contains about 1-2% of crude fibre. Like the whole plants of alfalfa, the protein-xanthophyll extract contains secondary metabolites such as plant phytoestrogens (isoflavones and coumestrol) and antinutritional components (phytates, L-canavanine and saponins). Protein-xanthophyll concentrate (PX) as a natural feed supplement has a positive effect on animal organisms. When supplemented to animals, this extract enhanced production results, increased feed efficiency, and improved the quality of meat, milk and eggs. Also, PX reduced methane emissions and soil pollution with nitrogen compounds when used in animal nutrition. The aim of this review was to gather the current literature describing the effects of using protein-xanthophyll extract in animal nutrition.

Keywords

  • alfalfa
  • protein xanthophyll concentrate (PX)
  • chemical composition
  • phytobiotic in animal production
Open Access

Effects of Betaine on Energy Utilization in Growing Pigs - A Review

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 291 - 300

Abstract

Effects of Betaine on Energy Utilization in Growing Pigs - A Review

One of the well known biological functions of betaine is that of a methyl donor. Therefore, betaine may partly replace choline and methionine in the diet. Another widely documented role of betaine is to restore and maintain the osmotic balance. As an organic osmotic compound, betaine regulates the water balance, thus exerting a stabilizing influence on tissue metabolism, particularly within the digestive tract. As a donor of methyl groups necessary for various reactions in the body, betaine is indirectly involved in lipid metabolism. Due to its metabolic functions, betaine is also believed to play a significant role in energy metabolism in pigs. Of particular note are the results of experiments in which a positive effect of betaine supplementation was observed as the energy content of the diet was decreased.

Keywords

  • betaine
  • growing pigs
  • energy utilization
Open Access

Aging Process in Chromatin of Animals

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 301 - 309

Abstract

Aging Process in Chromatin of Animals

The aging process is a variable, stochastic and pleiotropic phenomenon which is regulated by different environmental and genetic factors. The age-associated changes, which occur at the molecular and cellular levels and disturb biological homeostasis, may directly or indirectly contribute to aging, causing apoptosis or cellular senescence and consequently leading to the death of the organism. In this context, it is particularly interesting to observe changes in somatic cell chromatin. In the present paper, we summarized the knowledge on the biological aspects of aging with special consideration of age-related changes in chromatin like DNA damage, shortening telomeres or age-related changes in methylation of DNA.

Keywords

  • aging
  • heterochromatin
  • telomeres
  • DNA damage
  • rDNA

Genetics and farm animal breeding

Open Access

Effect of Breed and Age on Histopathological Changes in Pig M. Semimembranosus

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 311 - 321

Abstract

Effect of Breed and Age on Histopathological Changes in Pig <italic>M. Semimembranosus</italic>

The aim of the study was to determine the type and extent of histopathological changes in m. semimembranosus of Polish Landrace (PL), Polish Large White (PLW), Duroc, Pietrain, and Puławska pigs at 60, 90, 120, 150, 180 and 210 days of age. Changes in fibre size (atrophy, hypertrophy - giant fibres), changes in fibre shape (angular fibres), degenerative lesions (necrosis with phagocytosis) and connective tissue hypertrophy were evaluated. The presence of giant fibres was the only histopathological change observed in all age groups of PL, PLW, Duroc and Pietrain pigs, with the percentage of pigs with this type of pathology and the frequency of giant, atrophic and angular fibres increasing significantly with age. In Puławska pigs, giant fibres were only found in the oldest pigs aged 210 days. In these animals, giant fibres as well as atrophic fibres (at 180 and 210 days of age) and angular fibres (at 120, 150, 180 and 210 days of age) occurred in the smallest number of animals and were least extensive. Meanwhile, Pietrain pigs were characterized by a greater number of animals, a significantly greater proportion of giant fibres in all analysed age groups, and a greater proportion of atrophic fibres at 180 and 210 days of age compared to the other pig breeds under analysis. For connective tissue hypertrophy and necrosis with phagocytosis, the changes were not extensive. It is concluded that both the advancing age of the animals and selection of the pigs for increased leanness significantly increases the incidence of histopathological changes in muscle tissue, which may directly translate into pork quality.

Keywords

  • breed
  • age
  • histopathological changes
  • pigs
Open Access

Effect of Thermal Stress on Reproductive Performance Parameters of Sows with Defined Genotype at the RYR1 locus

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 323 - 333

Abstract

Effect of Thermal Stress on Reproductive Performance Parameters of Sows with Defined Genotype at the <italic>RYR1</italic> locus

The objective of the present research was to determine the influence of ambient air temperature in the farrowing section of a pig facility on chemical composition, colostrum and milk somatic cell counts (SCC), and rearing efficiency of piglets from Polish Landrace (PL) sows with identified genotype at the RYR1 locus. Subjects were 60 PL sows in the second and third reproductive cycle. Polymorphism at the RYR1 locus was analysed using the PCR-RFLP method. The proportion of RYR1 C/C and RYR1 C/T genotypes in each group was 1:1. Three groups of experimental temperatures were established: I - 22°C, II - 25°C, III - 28°C. The present study demonstrated that sows kept in periodic high ambient temperature (25°C, 28°C) showed a relatively long period of farrowing, more aggressive behaviour and overlying. Variability was also found between the groups with respect to litter size and litter weight, chemical composition and SCC of colostrum and milk. The results indicate that elevated ambient temperature during the perinatal period may adversely affect the utility value of sows.

Keywords

  • thermal stress
  • sow
  • RYR1
  • reproductive performance
Open Access

Impact of Sow Milk Protein Polymorphism on Piglet Rearing

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 335 - 347

Abstract

Impact of Sow Milk Protein Polymorphism on Piglet Rearing

The aim of the investigations was to ascertain interrelationships between polymorphic fractions of milk proteins and rearing results of piglets from Złotnicka White sows. The experimental material comprised 20 sows of the native Złotnicka White breed. Pigs of this breed are included in the National Genetic Resources Conservation Programme. Investigations included two successive (2nd and 3rd) lactations of sows during which the following parameters were determined: number and weight of piglets on days 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28; weight gains of individual piglets during the period from day 1 to 7, from day 8 to 14, from day 15 to 21 and from day 22 to 28; as well as mortality for the entire period of rearing, i.e. from day 1 to day 28 of age. A total of 425 piglets born in 40 litters (20 sows x 2 lactations) were investigated. As a result of electrophoretic separations, the following four protein fractions were isolated from sow milk: αs1-casein (CSN1S1), genotypes AA, AB, BB and BC; β-casein (CSN2), genotypes AA, AB and BB; κ-casein (CSN3), genotypes AA, AB and BB; β-lactoglobulin (LGB), genotypes AA and BB. The present study showed that milk from sows of AA CSN1S1 and AA LGB genotypes appeared to be more valuable and nourishing, as indicated by the fact that these sows reared piglets which were characterized by the best production results, i.e. body weight, weight gains and the lowest percentage mortality. The least dynamic results were obtained by piglets originating from litters of sows of the AA-CSN3 genotype.

Keywords

  • sow milk
  • milk protein polymorphism
  • piglet rearing
  • Złotnicka White

The biology, physiology and reproduction of animals

Open Access

Determination of the Absolute Number of Transgene Copies in CMVFUT Transgenic Pigs

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 349 - 356

Abstract

Determination of the Absolute Number of Transgene Copies in CMVFUT Transgenic Pigs

The aim of this research was to determine the number of transgene copies in the DNA of transgenic pigs. The copy number of the transgene was analysed in the transgenic animals with introduced pCMVFUT genetic construct containing a coding sequence of human H transferase under a control of CMV promoter. The copy number of the transgene that had integrated with the genome of the transgenic animals was analysed by qPCR with SYBR Green dye, which enabled nonspecific double-stranded DNA detection. CMVFT-2F and CMVFT-2R primers were used to amplify a 149 bp fragment of DNA. Forward primer had a sequence complementary to a promoter sequence and reverse primer to a coding sequence of H transferase. The copy number of the transgene in the examined samples was established by plotting the CT values obtained on a standard curve, which had been set by the usage of the CT values for the successive standard dilutions with known copy number (1.438-1.431 copies). As a standard we used pCMVFut genetic construct hydrolyzed with Not I restriction enzyme to a linear form. The real-time PCR results helped to establish the range of 3 - 4 as the number of the transgene copies that had integrated to the swine genome.

Keywords

  • animal transgenesis
  • RT-PCR
  • transgene copy number
Open Access

Relationship Between Apoptotic-Like Changes in Stored Boar Semen and DNA Fragmentation in Preimplantation Embryos

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 357 - 366

Abstract

Relationship Between Apoptotic-Like Changes in Stored Boar Semen and DNA Fragmentation in Preimplantation Embryos

The aim of this experiment was to study the relationship between apoptotic-like changes in spermatozoa and DNA fragmentation in embryos obtained after insemination with fresh and stored semen. The ejaculates collected from three boars (five ejaculates from the same boar) were extended in Biosolwens Plus extender and stored for five days at 15-17°C. Semen, both fresh (Day 0) and stored (Day 5) used for insemination was analysed to detect apoptotic-like changes using fluorescence method: an assay to assess early changes in the membrane integrity of the sperm using the YO-PRO-1 fluorophore. After 5.5 days of insemination embryos were flushed out of the uterus and DNA fragmentation using TUNEL was analysed. In the fresh semen an average of 2.7, 3.7 and 6.2% of apoptotic sperm was observed in boar nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively. After five days of storage the percentage of apoptotic sperm significantly increased up to 8.0, 15.7 and 23.2% in each analysed boar. The TUNEL index was 7.1% in the morphologically normal expanded blastocysts obtained after insemination with stored semen, and approximately 1.7% after insemination with fresh semen. A greater number of degenerated embryos and higher incidence of DNA fragmentation in the morphologically normal blastocysts were observed after insemination with stored semen which consists of higher percentage of apoptotic sperm compared to results from insemination with fresh semen.

Keywords

  • boar
  • sperm
  • apoptosis
  • embryos
  • TUNEL

Animal nutrition and feedstuffs

Open Access

Effect of Silage from Maize and Strip-Cropped Sorghum and Maize on Dairy Cow's Yield and Milk Composition

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 367 - 379

Abstract

Effect of Silage from Maize and Strip-Cropped Sorghum and Maize on Dairy Cow's Yield and Milk Composition

In an experiment conducted on 34 mid-lactation dairy cows of the Red-and-White and Black-and-White breed, in a random square design, the effect of maize or sorghum-maize silage present in partly mixed ration (PMR) on milk yield, milk composition and blood serum parameters was investigated. The PMR diet contained maize silage, which compared with PMR diet contained sorghum-maize silage made from strip-cropped plants. Both fodder plants were harvested with a 4-row precision chopper, which cut 2 rows of maize and 2 rows of sorghum, giving mixed maize/sorghum forage. The feeding experiment lasted 84 days and consisted of four sub-periods, each 21 days in length to record milk yield, feed and milk chemical composition, and blood parameters. In addition to PMR diets containing part of ration compound feedingstuffs, the cows received part of compound feedingstuffs given at feed stations to meet their nutritional requirement. The compound feedingstuffs in station were controlled by an electronic system related to actual cow's milk yield. Chemical composition of both silages and milk production efficiency were compared. The average dry matter intake in both groups was 18.80 vs 20.4±1.95 kg/day, but compound feedingstuff intake from station was 3.61 vs 4.56 (P>0.01). Milk yield was 21.8 and 20.5±0.51 kg/day, respectively (P>0.01). The amount of standardized fat and protein content of milk (FPCM) was 21.0 and 20.2 kg/g ±0.48 kg/day (P≥0.01). No significant differences were found in the fat, protein, casein, lactose, urea, total solids and solids not fat percentage of milk or in milk traits (acidity, renneting time, density) among groups (P≥0.01). Feeding cows PMR ration with maize silage significantly elevated total cholesterol (P<0.05), but decreased urea levels in blood plasma (P<0.01). It is concluded that strip cropping of sorghum and maize could be an alternative to maize grown as a pure stand in maize high-risk areas for dairy cows in mid-lactation.

Keywords

  • sorghum
  • maize
  • mixed cropping
  • silage
  • cow's yield
  • milk composition
Open Access

The Effect of Feed Additive Containing Vitamins and Trace Elements on the Elements Profile and Growth of Skin Derivatives in Horses

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 381 - 391

Abstract

The Effect of Feed Additive Containing Vitamins and Trace Elements on the Elements Profile and Growth of Skin Derivatives in Horses

An important role of nutritional supplements in the quality and growth of skin derivatives is not sufficiently explored. The aim of our experiment was to recognize how the application of selected vitamins and an organic source of zinc and copper affects the growth and elemental content of hooves and hairs. Sixteen warm-blooded horses were divided into two groups. Both groups received the same basic feeding ration, which was enriched with a feed additive for the experimental group. The contents of individual elements in hoof and hair samples were established using the atomic absorption spectrometry method. Samples from the experimental group of horses showed a significantly increased amount of zinc (P<0.01), copper and manganese (P<0.05) deposited in the hoof and a significantly decreased (P<0.05) amount of manganese, iron, and calcium deposited in the hair after nine months of monitoring. Differences between initial and final samples of hooves and hair were insignificant in the control group. The growth rate of hair and hoof wall was significantly higher (P<0.01) in horses from the experimental group than from the control one. Horses receiving the feed additive achieved a faster growth of the hoof horn with an adequate quality of hooves in our experiment. The experiment shows that the hair is not a reliable indicator of nutritional status of horses. However, assessing the impact of individual vitamins and trace elements, or the impact of various sources of trace elements on the elements profile and growth rate of skin derivatives of horses should be subject to further observation.

Keywords

  • horse
  • vitamin
  • zinc and copper
  • hoof
  • hair
Open Access

The Effect of Dietary Methionine Levels on the Performance Parameters of Arctic Foxes (Vulpes Lagopus)

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 393 - 401

Abstract

The Effect of Dietary Methionine Levels on the Performance Parameters of Arctic Foxes (<italic>Vulpes Lagopus</italic>)

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of dietary inclusion levels of methionine and cystine on the performance traits and health status of Arctic foxes. The experimental material comprised 60 blue Arctic foxes of the Finnish type. Control group (C) animals were fed diets (CA and CB) with standard concentrations of methionine and cystine. In experimental groups E1 and E2, methionine content was increased by approximately 2 g per 100 g total protein, relative to the recommended intake. Diets for group E1 were supplemented with liquid methionine (E1A and E1B), and diets for group E2 were supplemented with crystalline methionine (E2A and E2B). Diets A were offered during the growing period, and diets B were administered during the furring period. During the growing period, methionine+cystine levels in diets E1 and E2 were 4.19+0.59 g and 4.22+0.53 g per 100 g total protein, respectively. During the furring period, methionine+cystine levels were 4.83+0.68 g in diets E1 and 4.91+0.61 g in diets E2. The body weights of Arctic foxes were determined, their body conformation was evaluated, and the duration of the rearing period was calculated. Blood samples for morphological and biochemical analyses were collected from animals aged 24 weeks, selected randomly from each group. After slaughter, pelt length and fur quality were determined in accordance with the International Trading System. The results of this study indicate that diets for Arctic foxes should be supplemented with methionine. The experimental diets contributed to improving the performance traits of foxes, in particular fur quality, and they had no adverse influence on the health status of animals. It may be concluded that farm-raised Arctic foxes of the Finnish type show an increased demand for methionine.

Keywords

  • nutrition
  • methionine
  • performance parameters
  • health status

Environment, hygiene and animal production technology

Open Access

The Effect of Aromatized Environmental Enrichment in Pen on Social Relations and Behavioural Profile of Newly Mixed Weaners

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 403 - 412

Abstract

The Effect of Aromatized Environmental Enrichment in Pen on Social Relations and Behavioural Profile of Newly Mixed Weaners

The aim of this study was to determine the influence of the presence of aromatized environmental enrichment elements in pen for weaners in newly created groups on the daily behavioural profile and their social hierarchy (time taken to establish hierarchical relationships, aggression level). The subject of the study were 72 weaners. After weaning piglets coming from two different litters were joined together and later 6 animals were placed in two adjacent pens (1.6 m x 2.2 m). One of the pens was additionally supplied with an aromatized element such as a chew toy enabling weaners to play. The behaviour was recorded for 72 hours after weaning and for 24 hours 14 days after weaning and the creation of the groups. The study was repeated 6 times. The following data was gathered: duration of activity and, specifically, duration of feed intake, duration and frequency of fights, duration and frequency of interest in toy in groups where the toy was present, and finally duration of rest. The presence of an aromatized toy in a pen decreased the level of aggression in weaners in the first days after weaning. Suitable selection of features of an additional object enriching the environment of a pen after animal weaning may significantly contribute to mitigation of fighting and aggression during the establishment of social hierarchy.

Keywords

  • environmental enrichment
  • welfare
  • aggression
  • weaners
Open Access

Quantified Analyses of Aggression Pattern in a Captive Population of Musk Deer (Moschus Sifanicus)

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 413 - 421

Abstract

Quantified Analyses of Aggression Pattern in a Captive Population of Musk Deer (<italic>Moschus Sifanicus</italic>)

Alpine musk deer (Moschus sifanicus) are endangered as a result of habitat degradation and loss and centuries of widespread poaching. Consequently, musk deer farming was introduced as a measure to not only protect musk deer but also to provide a means for sustainable musk supply. An increased understanding of the social structure of captive populations is essential for both successful farming and improved welfare of individuals. This study recorded agonistic interactions between captive individuals at Xinglongshan Musk Deer Farm (XMDF), northwest China. The relationship between aggressive interactions and the individual's age and gender and opponent health was analysed. From our observations we found that stable social hierarchies developed within both captive male and gender-mixed musk deer groups. There was no significant correlation found between only age of individual and their status in the social hierarchy, and it was thus concluded, as social rank was not determined singularly by age, that a combination of other factors, such as experience and origin of the individual, better explain rank orders. Three forms of aggressive behaviour were expressed between males, in which threatening (56.38%±7.28%) was significantly more frequent than attacking (17.86%±5.94%) and displacing behaviours (25.78%±3.66%). There was no attacking behaviour observed in interactions initiated by males towards females, however displacing (70.85%±4.15%) was more common than threatening (29.15%±4.15%). Conflict-initiating male deer demonstrated more attacking and threatening behaviour towards male opponents than to female ones, however the differences were statistically insignificant. These results can be implemented into musk deer farming management practices through 1) rotating individuals within an enclosure on a frequent basis; 2) removing males from female enclosures after successful mating and 3) enclosing males in single sex enclosures. Furthermore, in order to improve musk deer farming and captive musk deer welfare, management systems should be kept relatively consistent in order to assist in establishing the stable social hierarchy patterns in captive populations.

Keywords

  • Alpine musk deer (
  • fight techniques
  • social rank
  • influencing variables
  • welfare

Quality and safety of animal origin products

Open Access

Nutritional Value and Technological Suitability of Milk from Cows of Three Polish Breeds Included in the Genetic Resources Conservation Programme

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 423 - 432

Abstract

Nutritional Value and Technological Suitability of Milk from Cows of Three Polish Breeds Included in the Genetic Resources Conservation Programme

The study included milk obtained from cows of three native cattle breeds, i.e. White-backed (BG), Polish Red (RP) and Polish Black-and-White (ZB) kept under conventional conditions. The reference group consisted of milk from Polish Holstein-Friesian cows (PHF) maintained in the intensive system and milk from Simmental cows (SM) kept under conventional conditions. The following parameters were determined in 976 samples of milk: content of fat, protein, casein, lactose and solids; acidity (pH value); heat stability; rennet coagulation time; content of α-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin, serum albumin, lactoferrin and lysozyme. Additionally, a certain proportion of samples was investigated for fatty acid profile and content of macro- and microelements. Cows of native breeds produced milk of higher nutritional value (higher content of whey proteins and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including CLA) and more suitable for processing as compared to PHF cows. Milk from cows of the Polish Red breed was the most valuable in terms of these parameters, which can be associated with a distinctive phylogenetic origin of this breed. The favourable parameters in regard to the nutritional value and technological suitability of milk obtained from analysed population of cows of 3 breeds included in the programme of genetic resources conservation are therefore an important reason of validity for subsequent implementation of this programme.

Keywords

  • local cattle breeds
  • milk
  • nutritional value
  • technological suitability
Open Access

Backfat Fatty Acid Profile of Crossbred Pigs Fed a Diet Supplemented with Conjugated Linoleic acid or Sunflower Oil

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 433 - 443

Abstract

Backfat Fatty Acid Profile of Crossbred Pigs Fed a Diet Supplemented with Conjugated Linoleic acid or Sunflower Oil

The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of feeding pigs with different levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) or sunflower oil (SFO) on the backfat fatty acid profile. The subjects of research were 60 crossbred gilts divided into 6 groups, which were fed different levels of conjugated linoleic acid or sunflower oil (0.5, 1.0 and 2.0%, respectively). All fatteners were kept and fed under standardized conditions. Animals were slaughtered at 95 kg of body weight. Fatty acid profile was determined in samples of backfat from each animal using gas chromatography. The significance of differences between groups was verified by Duncan's test. In the present study, a beneficial effect of adding CLA was that it reduced saturated fatty acids and increased unsaturated fatty acids in the adipose tissue (backfat) of pigs as compared to fatteners receiving SFO. The amount of monounsaturated fatty acids in the backfat decreased with increasing amounts of CLA or SFO. Modifying the fatty acid profile of pig backfat through addition of CLA or SFO would be beneficial to the health of consumers because relatively large amounts of fat pork, including backfat, are added to the sausages.

Keywords

  • conjugated linoleic acid
  • sunflower oil
  • crossbred pigs
  • backfat
15 Articles

Review

Open Access

The Effect of a Protein-Xanthophyll Concentrate from Alfalfa (Phytobiotic) on Animal Production - A Current Review

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 281 - 289

Abstract

The Effect of a Protein-Xanthophyll Concentrate from Alfalfa (Phytobiotic) on Animal Production - A Current Review

One of the supplements that can replace antibiotic growth promoters is a protein xanthophyll extract from the leaves of alfalfa. Green matter of alfalfa contains 17-22% of total protein, rich in non-essential (exogenous) amino acids, saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and organic acids. The crude fibre content in green matter of alfalfa is relatively high (about 23.0-30.0% dry weight). However, protein-xanthophyll extract (EFL) contains about 1-2% of crude fibre. Like the whole plants of alfalfa, the protein-xanthophyll extract contains secondary metabolites such as plant phytoestrogens (isoflavones and coumestrol) and antinutritional components (phytates, L-canavanine and saponins). Protein-xanthophyll concentrate (PX) as a natural feed supplement has a positive effect on animal organisms. When supplemented to animals, this extract enhanced production results, increased feed efficiency, and improved the quality of meat, milk and eggs. Also, PX reduced methane emissions and soil pollution with nitrogen compounds when used in animal nutrition. The aim of this review was to gather the current literature describing the effects of using protein-xanthophyll extract in animal nutrition.

Keywords

  • alfalfa
  • protein xanthophyll concentrate (PX)
  • chemical composition
  • phytobiotic in animal production
Open Access

Effects of Betaine on Energy Utilization in Growing Pigs - A Review

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 291 - 300

Abstract

Effects of Betaine on Energy Utilization in Growing Pigs - A Review

One of the well known biological functions of betaine is that of a methyl donor. Therefore, betaine may partly replace choline and methionine in the diet. Another widely documented role of betaine is to restore and maintain the osmotic balance. As an organic osmotic compound, betaine regulates the water balance, thus exerting a stabilizing influence on tissue metabolism, particularly within the digestive tract. As a donor of methyl groups necessary for various reactions in the body, betaine is indirectly involved in lipid metabolism. Due to its metabolic functions, betaine is also believed to play a significant role in energy metabolism in pigs. Of particular note are the results of experiments in which a positive effect of betaine supplementation was observed as the energy content of the diet was decreased.

Keywords

  • betaine
  • growing pigs
  • energy utilization
Open Access

Aging Process in Chromatin of Animals

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 301 - 309

Abstract

Aging Process in Chromatin of Animals

The aging process is a variable, stochastic and pleiotropic phenomenon which is regulated by different environmental and genetic factors. The age-associated changes, which occur at the molecular and cellular levels and disturb biological homeostasis, may directly or indirectly contribute to aging, causing apoptosis or cellular senescence and consequently leading to the death of the organism. In this context, it is particularly interesting to observe changes in somatic cell chromatin. In the present paper, we summarized the knowledge on the biological aspects of aging with special consideration of age-related changes in chromatin like DNA damage, shortening telomeres or age-related changes in methylation of DNA.

Keywords

  • aging
  • heterochromatin
  • telomeres
  • DNA damage
  • rDNA

Genetics and farm animal breeding

Open Access

Effect of Breed and Age on Histopathological Changes in Pig M. Semimembranosus

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 311 - 321

Abstract

Effect of Breed and Age on Histopathological Changes in Pig <italic>M. Semimembranosus</italic>

The aim of the study was to determine the type and extent of histopathological changes in m. semimembranosus of Polish Landrace (PL), Polish Large White (PLW), Duroc, Pietrain, and Puławska pigs at 60, 90, 120, 150, 180 and 210 days of age. Changes in fibre size (atrophy, hypertrophy - giant fibres), changes in fibre shape (angular fibres), degenerative lesions (necrosis with phagocytosis) and connective tissue hypertrophy were evaluated. The presence of giant fibres was the only histopathological change observed in all age groups of PL, PLW, Duroc and Pietrain pigs, with the percentage of pigs with this type of pathology and the frequency of giant, atrophic and angular fibres increasing significantly with age. In Puławska pigs, giant fibres were only found in the oldest pigs aged 210 days. In these animals, giant fibres as well as atrophic fibres (at 180 and 210 days of age) and angular fibres (at 120, 150, 180 and 210 days of age) occurred in the smallest number of animals and were least extensive. Meanwhile, Pietrain pigs were characterized by a greater number of animals, a significantly greater proportion of giant fibres in all analysed age groups, and a greater proportion of atrophic fibres at 180 and 210 days of age compared to the other pig breeds under analysis. For connective tissue hypertrophy and necrosis with phagocytosis, the changes were not extensive. It is concluded that both the advancing age of the animals and selection of the pigs for increased leanness significantly increases the incidence of histopathological changes in muscle tissue, which may directly translate into pork quality.

Keywords

  • breed
  • age
  • histopathological changes
  • pigs
Open Access

Effect of Thermal Stress on Reproductive Performance Parameters of Sows with Defined Genotype at the RYR1 locus

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 323 - 333

Abstract

Effect of Thermal Stress on Reproductive Performance Parameters of Sows with Defined Genotype at the <italic>RYR1</italic> locus

The objective of the present research was to determine the influence of ambient air temperature in the farrowing section of a pig facility on chemical composition, colostrum and milk somatic cell counts (SCC), and rearing efficiency of piglets from Polish Landrace (PL) sows with identified genotype at the RYR1 locus. Subjects were 60 PL sows in the second and third reproductive cycle. Polymorphism at the RYR1 locus was analysed using the PCR-RFLP method. The proportion of RYR1 C/C and RYR1 C/T genotypes in each group was 1:1. Three groups of experimental temperatures were established: I - 22°C, II - 25°C, III - 28°C. The present study demonstrated that sows kept in periodic high ambient temperature (25°C, 28°C) showed a relatively long period of farrowing, more aggressive behaviour and overlying. Variability was also found between the groups with respect to litter size and litter weight, chemical composition and SCC of colostrum and milk. The results indicate that elevated ambient temperature during the perinatal period may adversely affect the utility value of sows.

Keywords

  • thermal stress
  • sow
  • RYR1
  • reproductive performance
Open Access

Impact of Sow Milk Protein Polymorphism on Piglet Rearing

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 335 - 347

Abstract

Impact of Sow Milk Protein Polymorphism on Piglet Rearing

The aim of the investigations was to ascertain interrelationships between polymorphic fractions of milk proteins and rearing results of piglets from Złotnicka White sows. The experimental material comprised 20 sows of the native Złotnicka White breed. Pigs of this breed are included in the National Genetic Resources Conservation Programme. Investigations included two successive (2nd and 3rd) lactations of sows during which the following parameters were determined: number and weight of piglets on days 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28; weight gains of individual piglets during the period from day 1 to 7, from day 8 to 14, from day 15 to 21 and from day 22 to 28; as well as mortality for the entire period of rearing, i.e. from day 1 to day 28 of age. A total of 425 piglets born in 40 litters (20 sows x 2 lactations) were investigated. As a result of electrophoretic separations, the following four protein fractions were isolated from sow milk: αs1-casein (CSN1S1), genotypes AA, AB, BB and BC; β-casein (CSN2), genotypes AA, AB and BB; κ-casein (CSN3), genotypes AA, AB and BB; β-lactoglobulin (LGB), genotypes AA and BB. The present study showed that milk from sows of AA CSN1S1 and AA LGB genotypes appeared to be more valuable and nourishing, as indicated by the fact that these sows reared piglets which were characterized by the best production results, i.e. body weight, weight gains and the lowest percentage mortality. The least dynamic results were obtained by piglets originating from litters of sows of the AA-CSN3 genotype.

Keywords

  • sow milk
  • milk protein polymorphism
  • piglet rearing
  • Złotnicka White

The biology, physiology and reproduction of animals

Open Access

Determination of the Absolute Number of Transgene Copies in CMVFUT Transgenic Pigs

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 349 - 356

Abstract

Determination of the Absolute Number of Transgene Copies in CMVFUT Transgenic Pigs

The aim of this research was to determine the number of transgene copies in the DNA of transgenic pigs. The copy number of the transgene was analysed in the transgenic animals with introduced pCMVFUT genetic construct containing a coding sequence of human H transferase under a control of CMV promoter. The copy number of the transgene that had integrated with the genome of the transgenic animals was analysed by qPCR with SYBR Green dye, which enabled nonspecific double-stranded DNA detection. CMVFT-2F and CMVFT-2R primers were used to amplify a 149 bp fragment of DNA. Forward primer had a sequence complementary to a promoter sequence and reverse primer to a coding sequence of H transferase. The copy number of the transgene in the examined samples was established by plotting the CT values obtained on a standard curve, which had been set by the usage of the CT values for the successive standard dilutions with known copy number (1.438-1.431 copies). As a standard we used pCMVFut genetic construct hydrolyzed with Not I restriction enzyme to a linear form. The real-time PCR results helped to establish the range of 3 - 4 as the number of the transgene copies that had integrated to the swine genome.

Keywords

  • animal transgenesis
  • RT-PCR
  • transgene copy number
Open Access

Relationship Between Apoptotic-Like Changes in Stored Boar Semen and DNA Fragmentation in Preimplantation Embryos

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 357 - 366

Abstract

Relationship Between Apoptotic-Like Changes in Stored Boar Semen and DNA Fragmentation in Preimplantation Embryos

The aim of this experiment was to study the relationship between apoptotic-like changes in spermatozoa and DNA fragmentation in embryos obtained after insemination with fresh and stored semen. The ejaculates collected from three boars (five ejaculates from the same boar) were extended in Biosolwens Plus extender and stored for five days at 15-17°C. Semen, both fresh (Day 0) and stored (Day 5) used for insemination was analysed to detect apoptotic-like changes using fluorescence method: an assay to assess early changes in the membrane integrity of the sperm using the YO-PRO-1 fluorophore. After 5.5 days of insemination embryos were flushed out of the uterus and DNA fragmentation using TUNEL was analysed. In the fresh semen an average of 2.7, 3.7 and 6.2% of apoptotic sperm was observed in boar nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively. After five days of storage the percentage of apoptotic sperm significantly increased up to 8.0, 15.7 and 23.2% in each analysed boar. The TUNEL index was 7.1% in the morphologically normal expanded blastocysts obtained after insemination with stored semen, and approximately 1.7% after insemination with fresh semen. A greater number of degenerated embryos and higher incidence of DNA fragmentation in the morphologically normal blastocysts were observed after insemination with stored semen which consists of higher percentage of apoptotic sperm compared to results from insemination with fresh semen.

Keywords

  • boar
  • sperm
  • apoptosis
  • embryos
  • TUNEL

Animal nutrition and feedstuffs

Open Access

Effect of Silage from Maize and Strip-Cropped Sorghum and Maize on Dairy Cow's Yield and Milk Composition

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 367 - 379

Abstract

Effect of Silage from Maize and Strip-Cropped Sorghum and Maize on Dairy Cow's Yield and Milk Composition

In an experiment conducted on 34 mid-lactation dairy cows of the Red-and-White and Black-and-White breed, in a random square design, the effect of maize or sorghum-maize silage present in partly mixed ration (PMR) on milk yield, milk composition and blood serum parameters was investigated. The PMR diet contained maize silage, which compared with PMR diet contained sorghum-maize silage made from strip-cropped plants. Both fodder plants were harvested with a 4-row precision chopper, which cut 2 rows of maize and 2 rows of sorghum, giving mixed maize/sorghum forage. The feeding experiment lasted 84 days and consisted of four sub-periods, each 21 days in length to record milk yield, feed and milk chemical composition, and blood parameters. In addition to PMR diets containing part of ration compound feedingstuffs, the cows received part of compound feedingstuffs given at feed stations to meet their nutritional requirement. The compound feedingstuffs in station were controlled by an electronic system related to actual cow's milk yield. Chemical composition of both silages and milk production efficiency were compared. The average dry matter intake in both groups was 18.80 vs 20.4±1.95 kg/day, but compound feedingstuff intake from station was 3.61 vs 4.56 (P>0.01). Milk yield was 21.8 and 20.5±0.51 kg/day, respectively (P>0.01). The amount of standardized fat and protein content of milk (FPCM) was 21.0 and 20.2 kg/g ±0.48 kg/day (P≥0.01). No significant differences were found in the fat, protein, casein, lactose, urea, total solids and solids not fat percentage of milk or in milk traits (acidity, renneting time, density) among groups (P≥0.01). Feeding cows PMR ration with maize silage significantly elevated total cholesterol (P<0.05), but decreased urea levels in blood plasma (P<0.01). It is concluded that strip cropping of sorghum and maize could be an alternative to maize grown as a pure stand in maize high-risk areas for dairy cows in mid-lactation.

Keywords

  • sorghum
  • maize
  • mixed cropping
  • silage
  • cow's yield
  • milk composition
Open Access

The Effect of Feed Additive Containing Vitamins and Trace Elements on the Elements Profile and Growth of Skin Derivatives in Horses

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 381 - 391

Abstract

The Effect of Feed Additive Containing Vitamins and Trace Elements on the Elements Profile and Growth of Skin Derivatives in Horses

An important role of nutritional supplements in the quality and growth of skin derivatives is not sufficiently explored. The aim of our experiment was to recognize how the application of selected vitamins and an organic source of zinc and copper affects the growth and elemental content of hooves and hairs. Sixteen warm-blooded horses were divided into two groups. Both groups received the same basic feeding ration, which was enriched with a feed additive for the experimental group. The contents of individual elements in hoof and hair samples were established using the atomic absorption spectrometry method. Samples from the experimental group of horses showed a significantly increased amount of zinc (P<0.01), copper and manganese (P<0.05) deposited in the hoof and a significantly decreased (P<0.05) amount of manganese, iron, and calcium deposited in the hair after nine months of monitoring. Differences between initial and final samples of hooves and hair were insignificant in the control group. The growth rate of hair and hoof wall was significantly higher (P<0.01) in horses from the experimental group than from the control one. Horses receiving the feed additive achieved a faster growth of the hoof horn with an adequate quality of hooves in our experiment. The experiment shows that the hair is not a reliable indicator of nutritional status of horses. However, assessing the impact of individual vitamins and trace elements, or the impact of various sources of trace elements on the elements profile and growth rate of skin derivatives of horses should be subject to further observation.

Keywords

  • horse
  • vitamin
  • zinc and copper
  • hoof
  • hair
Open Access

The Effect of Dietary Methionine Levels on the Performance Parameters of Arctic Foxes (Vulpes Lagopus)

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 393 - 401

Abstract

The Effect of Dietary Methionine Levels on the Performance Parameters of Arctic Foxes (<italic>Vulpes Lagopus</italic>)

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of dietary inclusion levels of methionine and cystine on the performance traits and health status of Arctic foxes. The experimental material comprised 60 blue Arctic foxes of the Finnish type. Control group (C) animals were fed diets (CA and CB) with standard concentrations of methionine and cystine. In experimental groups E1 and E2, methionine content was increased by approximately 2 g per 100 g total protein, relative to the recommended intake. Diets for group E1 were supplemented with liquid methionine (E1A and E1B), and diets for group E2 were supplemented with crystalline methionine (E2A and E2B). Diets A were offered during the growing period, and diets B were administered during the furring period. During the growing period, methionine+cystine levels in diets E1 and E2 were 4.19+0.59 g and 4.22+0.53 g per 100 g total protein, respectively. During the furring period, methionine+cystine levels were 4.83+0.68 g in diets E1 and 4.91+0.61 g in diets E2. The body weights of Arctic foxes were determined, their body conformation was evaluated, and the duration of the rearing period was calculated. Blood samples for morphological and biochemical analyses were collected from animals aged 24 weeks, selected randomly from each group. After slaughter, pelt length and fur quality were determined in accordance with the International Trading System. The results of this study indicate that diets for Arctic foxes should be supplemented with methionine. The experimental diets contributed to improving the performance traits of foxes, in particular fur quality, and they had no adverse influence on the health status of animals. It may be concluded that farm-raised Arctic foxes of the Finnish type show an increased demand for methionine.

Keywords

  • nutrition
  • methionine
  • performance parameters
  • health status

Environment, hygiene and animal production technology

Open Access

The Effect of Aromatized Environmental Enrichment in Pen on Social Relations and Behavioural Profile of Newly Mixed Weaners

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 403 - 412

Abstract

The Effect of Aromatized Environmental Enrichment in Pen on Social Relations and Behavioural Profile of Newly Mixed Weaners

The aim of this study was to determine the influence of the presence of aromatized environmental enrichment elements in pen for weaners in newly created groups on the daily behavioural profile and their social hierarchy (time taken to establish hierarchical relationships, aggression level). The subject of the study were 72 weaners. After weaning piglets coming from two different litters were joined together and later 6 animals were placed in two adjacent pens (1.6 m x 2.2 m). One of the pens was additionally supplied with an aromatized element such as a chew toy enabling weaners to play. The behaviour was recorded for 72 hours after weaning and for 24 hours 14 days after weaning and the creation of the groups. The study was repeated 6 times. The following data was gathered: duration of activity and, specifically, duration of feed intake, duration and frequency of fights, duration and frequency of interest in toy in groups where the toy was present, and finally duration of rest. The presence of an aromatized toy in a pen decreased the level of aggression in weaners in the first days after weaning. Suitable selection of features of an additional object enriching the environment of a pen after animal weaning may significantly contribute to mitigation of fighting and aggression during the establishment of social hierarchy.

Keywords

  • environmental enrichment
  • welfare
  • aggression
  • weaners
Open Access

Quantified Analyses of Aggression Pattern in a Captive Population of Musk Deer (Moschus Sifanicus)

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 413 - 421

Abstract

Quantified Analyses of Aggression Pattern in a Captive Population of Musk Deer (<italic>Moschus Sifanicus</italic>)

Alpine musk deer (Moschus sifanicus) are endangered as a result of habitat degradation and loss and centuries of widespread poaching. Consequently, musk deer farming was introduced as a measure to not only protect musk deer but also to provide a means for sustainable musk supply. An increased understanding of the social structure of captive populations is essential for both successful farming and improved welfare of individuals. This study recorded agonistic interactions between captive individuals at Xinglongshan Musk Deer Farm (XMDF), northwest China. The relationship between aggressive interactions and the individual's age and gender and opponent health was analysed. From our observations we found that stable social hierarchies developed within both captive male and gender-mixed musk deer groups. There was no significant correlation found between only age of individual and their status in the social hierarchy, and it was thus concluded, as social rank was not determined singularly by age, that a combination of other factors, such as experience and origin of the individual, better explain rank orders. Three forms of aggressive behaviour were expressed between males, in which threatening (56.38%±7.28%) was significantly more frequent than attacking (17.86%±5.94%) and displacing behaviours (25.78%±3.66%). There was no attacking behaviour observed in interactions initiated by males towards females, however displacing (70.85%±4.15%) was more common than threatening (29.15%±4.15%). Conflict-initiating male deer demonstrated more attacking and threatening behaviour towards male opponents than to female ones, however the differences were statistically insignificant. These results can be implemented into musk deer farming management practices through 1) rotating individuals within an enclosure on a frequent basis; 2) removing males from female enclosures after successful mating and 3) enclosing males in single sex enclosures. Furthermore, in order to improve musk deer farming and captive musk deer welfare, management systems should be kept relatively consistent in order to assist in establishing the stable social hierarchy patterns in captive populations.

Keywords

  • Alpine musk deer (
  • fight techniques
  • social rank
  • influencing variables
  • welfare

Quality and safety of animal origin products

Open Access

Nutritional Value and Technological Suitability of Milk from Cows of Three Polish Breeds Included in the Genetic Resources Conservation Programme

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 423 - 432

Abstract

Nutritional Value and Technological Suitability of Milk from Cows of Three Polish Breeds Included in the Genetic Resources Conservation Programme

The study included milk obtained from cows of three native cattle breeds, i.e. White-backed (BG), Polish Red (RP) and Polish Black-and-White (ZB) kept under conventional conditions. The reference group consisted of milk from Polish Holstein-Friesian cows (PHF) maintained in the intensive system and milk from Simmental cows (SM) kept under conventional conditions. The following parameters were determined in 976 samples of milk: content of fat, protein, casein, lactose and solids; acidity (pH value); heat stability; rennet coagulation time; content of α-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin, serum albumin, lactoferrin and lysozyme. Additionally, a certain proportion of samples was investigated for fatty acid profile and content of macro- and microelements. Cows of native breeds produced milk of higher nutritional value (higher content of whey proteins and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including CLA) and more suitable for processing as compared to PHF cows. Milk from cows of the Polish Red breed was the most valuable in terms of these parameters, which can be associated with a distinctive phylogenetic origin of this breed. The favourable parameters in regard to the nutritional value and technological suitability of milk obtained from analysed population of cows of 3 breeds included in the programme of genetic resources conservation are therefore an important reason of validity for subsequent implementation of this programme.

Keywords

  • local cattle breeds
  • milk
  • nutritional value
  • technological suitability
Open Access

Backfat Fatty Acid Profile of Crossbred Pigs Fed a Diet Supplemented with Conjugated Linoleic acid or Sunflower Oil

Published Online: 24 Jul 2012
Page range: 433 - 443

Abstract

Backfat Fatty Acid Profile of Crossbred Pigs Fed a Diet Supplemented with Conjugated Linoleic acid or Sunflower Oil

The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of feeding pigs with different levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) or sunflower oil (SFO) on the backfat fatty acid profile. The subjects of research were 60 crossbred gilts divided into 6 groups, which were fed different levels of conjugated linoleic acid or sunflower oil (0.5, 1.0 and 2.0%, respectively). All fatteners were kept and fed under standardized conditions. Animals were slaughtered at 95 kg of body weight. Fatty acid profile was determined in samples of backfat from each animal using gas chromatography. The significance of differences between groups was verified by Duncan's test. In the present study, a beneficial effect of adding CLA was that it reduced saturated fatty acids and increased unsaturated fatty acids in the adipose tissue (backfat) of pigs as compared to fatteners receiving SFO. The amount of monounsaturated fatty acids in the backfat decreased with increasing amounts of CLA or SFO. Modifying the fatty acid profile of pig backfat through addition of CLA or SFO would be beneficial to the health of consumers because relatively large amounts of fat pork, including backfat, are added to the sausages.

Keywords

  • conjugated linoleic acid
  • sunflower oil
  • crossbred pigs
  • backfat

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