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Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 5-9


Identification of the active X chromosome using RBA-banding technique

Ewa Słota, Anna Kozubska-Sobocińska, Mariusz Kościelny

Department of Immuno- and Cytogenetics, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice, Poland


Induction of R-bands by BUdR incorporation into DNA synthesizing in the late S phase of the cell cycle and by blocking acridine orange binding helps to identify early and late replicating DNA segments. Inactivation of the X heterosome leads to multiple chromatin modifications, resulting in the delayed time of replication in relation to autosomes and the second X chromosome which continues to be active. Therefore the active X chromosome, capable of earlier replication, binds greater amounts of acridine orange and shows more intensive fluorescence. Fluorescent R-bands were analysed in X heterosomes of cows, sheep and goats. Differences in staining intensity of X chromosomes of the same pair were revealed. It was found that more intensive fluorescence of R-bands does not always concern the longer X chromosome. The effect of the chromatin condensation induced shortening of the inactivated X chromosome was weak, attributable to possible differences in the lengths of pair X heterosomes and the random nature of the inactivation.

Key words: Bovidae , X chromosome, inactivation, RBA-banding technique

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 11-20

Analysis of usefulness of 11 DNA microsatellites for parentage control in Limousin cattle

Andrzej Janik, Tomasz Ząbek, Anna Radko

Department of Immuno- and Cytogenetics, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice, Poland


Polymorphism of DNA mcirosatellite markers was investigated in 133 head of Limousin cattle using the primer kit "Stock Marks for Cattle II" (Applied Biosystems). Automated DNA sizing technology was applied. Alleles at the following 11 microsatellite loci were identified: TGLA227, BM2113, TGLA53, ETH10, SPS115, TGLA126, TGLA122, INRA023, ETH3, ETH225 and BM1824. At locus TGLA122 were detected 5 DNA fragments (165 bp, 171 bp, 173 bp, 179 bp, 181 bp) and at locus BM1824 one fragment (194 bp), the lengths of which were outside the range specified for the primer kit used in the experiment, These fragments probably represent new alleles at loci TGLA122 and BM1824. A high degree of polymorphism was shown for the microsatellite loci, in which a total of 107 alleles were detected. The most highly polymorphic loci were: TGLA122 (17 alleles, PIC=0.821), TGLA53 (13 alleles, PIC=0.804), TGLA227 (12 alleles, PIC=0.844), INRA023 (12 alleles, PIC=0.828), BM2113 (9 alleles, PIC=0.810) and SPS115 (9 alleles, PIC=0.810). The coefficient of heterozygosity was high and ranged from 0.707 (locus TGLA126) to 0.861 (locus TGLA227). The probability of sire exclusion, calculated for the 11 loci, was 0.99997.

Key words: cattle, DNA microsatellites, parentage control

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 21-27

Estimating the relationship between rump conformation score and rump measurements

Piotr Wójcik, Anna Majewska

Department of Cattle and Horse Breeding, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. Kraków, Poland


The studies were carried out in experimental stations of the National Research Institute of Animal Production and involved 421 Black-and-White primiparous heifers derived from test bulls and their contemporaries which came into lactation in 2001. Rump conformation was scored on a scale of 1 to 9 and body measurements were taken until 28 days before calving. Analysis of the measurements of stature and height at withers showed that with increasing Holstein-Friesian inheritance, body size of the animals increased (from 137 to 141 cm for stature and from 135 to 137 cm for height at withers). A narrowing chest was observed to be accompanied by a gradual decrease in the width of hips, thurls and pins. The correlations estimated between with of hips, thurls and pins and rump score demonstrate highly significant correlations between them. The correlations between height measurements and score for position of legs and conformation of feet showed significant relationships between these traits. The correlations obtained between chest width and rump measurements showed that the animals with narrower chests (increased HF inheritance) were also narrower at rump, as confirmed by the body measurements.

Key words: dairy cattle, measurements of pelvis, correlations

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 29-33

Fattening and slaughter value and incidence of PSE meat in crossbred pigs sired by boars of different breeds

Tadeusz Blicharski 1 , Mariusz Pierzchała 1 , Robert Eckert 2

1 Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Polish Academy of sciences in Jastrzębiec, 05-552 Wólka Kosowska, Poland

2 Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. Kraków, Poland


Usefulness of boars of different breeds and their crossbreds for production of fatteners characterized by a high rate of growth, high leanness and low incidence of PSE meat was investigated. The studies were carried out on a large commercial farm, where animals were kept in uniform environmental conditions. The offspring of Hampshire ´ Duroc and Pietrain ´ Duroc boars achieved high daily gains and good leanness, accompanied by low incidence of PSE meat. Pigs sired by Hampshire ´ Pietrain boars wee largely affected by this meat defect. The offspring of Duroc, Pietrain, line 890 or PIC boars was characterized by a slow rate of growth or low leanness.

Key words: pigs, crossbred fatteners, fattening and slaughter value, PSE

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 35-40

Comparison of slaughter value and some quality traits of ram lambs and goat kids

Krystyna Pieniak-Lendzion, Roman Niedziółka, Wiesław Szeliga

Department of Sheep, Goat and Horse Breeding, University of Podlasie

Prusa 14, 08-110 Siedlce, Poland


A two-year study was carried out to compare slaughter value and some meat quality characters of ram lambs of Polish Lowland sheep and goat kids of White Improved breed. Results of the study showed that lambs were significantly heavier (36.64 kg) and had a higher weight of warm carcass (16.67 kg). The meat of goat kids from the second year of experiment showed a significantly higher content of protein (20.21%) and mineral compounds (1.13%), a lower fat content (2.28%) and lower thickness of meat fibre (36.45 m m). The goat kids showed a higher accumulation of Ca, Pb, Zn, Mn, Fe and a lower content of Cd, Cu and Mg.

Key words: lambs, goats, slaughter value, meat quality

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 41-46

In vitro survival of rabbit embryos vitrified in EFS medium with 50, 70 or 100% increased PBS salt concentration

Barbara Gajda, Zdzisław Smorąg

Department of Animal Reproduction, National Research Institute of Animal Production

32-083 Balice n. Kraków, Poland


The effect of 50, 70 or 100% increased concentration of PBS salt used for vitrification of rabbit embryos was investigated. The experiment involved 1-, 2- and 8-16 cell embryos obtained post-slaughter from superovulated donors. The embryos were equilibrated for 2 minutes and vitrified in 0.25 ml straws in EFS medium containing 40% ethylene glycol (E), 18% ficoll (F) and 0.3 M sucrose (S) dissolved in PBS with a 50% (exp. group 1), 70% (exp. group 2) or 100% (exp. group 3) higher concentration of salt. The control group comprised embryos vitrified in EFS medium dissolved in an isotonic PBS medium. The embryos were stored in liquid nitrogen for 1 to several weeks. The embryos were thawed by immersing the straw for several seconds in a water bath at 20 ° C. The removal of the protective agents was single-stage in a 0.5 M sucrose solution. After thawing and removal of the protective agents, the embryos were cultured in vitro in B2 medium at 38 ° C in 5% CO 2 in air. The embryos were assessed based on in vitro development. The development rate of 1- and 2-cell embryos in the experimental groups 1, 2 and 3 was 61.3; 49.0; 29.3 and 80.5; 73.2; 47.3 compared to 57.9 and 71.1% of developing embryos in the control group. Survival of vitrified 8-16 cell embryos in the experimental groups 1, 2 and 3 was 82.8; 89.5 and 80.6% respectively, being lower than in the control group (P £ 0.01 for exp. group 3). A modestly positive effect of the 50% increased PBS salt concentration on survival of vitrified 1- and 2-cell embryos was found, while the 70% increased salt concentration did not affect the survival. The survival of vitrified embryos was shown to decrease considerably when the 100% higher PBS salt concentration was applied.

Key words: rabbit, vitrification, embryo, PBS salt concentration, EFS, survival

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 47-54

Effect of winter weight gains on pasture grass intake capacity of saddle breed foals aged 12-18 months

Bartłomiej Kaproń, Bozena Nowakowicz-Dębek

Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Department of Animal Hygiene and Environment, Agricultural University in Lublin, ul. Akademicka 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland


A digestibility trial was carried out with 24 Anglo-Arab and Selle Fran ç ais foals divided into two groups. During the winter part of the experiment, thanks to the application of various rations, two statistically significant levels of daily weight gains were obtained in the groups (417 and 710 g/day, respectively). Levels of feed intake on the pasture and daily weight gains were determined with special reference to compensatory growth. The recorded levels of intake were lower than those obtained in previous studies of this type, indicating that feeding concentrated feeds of low bulk density is related to the poor development of the digestive tract capacity of horses. With the absence of bulky feeds, yearling foals fed concentrated feeds in winter require to stay about 4-5 weeks at pasture such that their intake of organic matter can reach 90 g/kg P 0.75 /day, which is considered a standard value for their age.

Key words: daily gains, pasture, digestibility, compensatory growth

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 55-66

Effect of salt licks and mineral mixtures with iodine on cows' yield, iodine content of milk, milk nutrients and blood constituents

Franciszek Brzóska, Mariusz Pietras, Barbara Brzóska

Department of Feed Science, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. Kraków, Poland


An experiment with 16 Red-and-White cows, in a 4 ´ 4 Latin square design, investigated the effects of the method of supplementing iodine in salt licks containing 100 or 300 mg I/kg, in a mineral mixture containing 300 mg I/kg and a salt lick, and in a mineral mixture with elevated iodine content on milk yield, milk nutrients, iodine intake from feeds, iodine content of milk, and levels of thyroid hormones, glucose, urea, triglycerides, as well as total, HDL and LDL cholesterol in blood serum. The concentrate contained no iodine. Iodine intake in groups I to IV was: 8.10; 20.13; 26.10 and 43.75 mg I/day. Body weight of cows averaged 621±52 kg before and 618±57 kg after the trial. Dry matter intake averaged 9.69±1.44 for silages, 2.61±0.12 for brewers' grain, and 6.14±1.08 kg DM/day for concentrates. No significant effect of the type of feed additives on the intake of silage and concentrate dry matter was found. There were no differences in the intake of silage, feed mixture and total dry matter. Milk yield of cows averaged 24.53±4.53 kg/day with no differences between the groups. Fat, protein and lactose contents of milk averaged 4.14±0.03; 3.29±0.03; 5.01±0.03% and did not differ between the groups. Daily yields of fat, protein and lactose were 1015±23; 851±19; 1228±33 g and did not differ between the groups either. There were no significant differences between physical characteristics of milk such as acidity, renneting time and density. Average values of these traits were 6.70±0.06 ° SH; 111±8 sec. and 1.0297±0.0001 g/cm 3 , respectively. The iodine content of milk varied significantly (P=0.01) among the groups at 43.70; 102.94; 134.75 and 181.18 ľg/1000 ml. Iodine found in milk was 10.2% to 13.3% of dietary iodine. Serum iodine averaged 4.57±0.14 mg/100 ml and was significantly higher in group IV (P=0.05). No significant differences were found in the content of thyroid hormones in the serum, including triiodothyronine (T 3 ) and thyroxine (T 4 ), the content of which averaged 0.63±0.01 and 31.12±1.50 ng/1 ml, respectively. In order to increase the iodine content of milk of cows receiving no concentrates, it is necessary to supplement them with mineral mixtures and salt licks containing 300 mg I/kg.

Key words: cows, salt licks, iodine, thyroid hormone, milk constituents

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 67-79

Effect of selenium in daily ration on cows' yield and selenium concentration in milk and blood

Witold Wiewióra 1 , Franciszek Brzóska 2 , Barbara Brzóska 2

1 Experimental Station of the National Research Institute of Animal Production, Grodziec Sląski, 43-386 Swiętoszówka, Poland

2 Department of Feed Science, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. Kraków, Poland


The effects of dietary selenium level on cows' yield, milk composition and characteristics, and selenium concentration in milk and blood were investigated on 32 analogous Red-and-White cows assigned to four groups of 8 animals each. The 126-day experiment comprised two 42-day periods separated by a 42-day period with no selenium supplementation. The dietary ration contained about 70% pasture forage, 7% fresh brewer's grains, 19% concentrate and 0.2% mineral mixture with or without different amounts of selenium. Dietary selenium concentration averaged 0.102 (control group I); 0.141; 0.221 and 0.296 mg/kg dry matter (experimental groups II-IV, respectively). Total selenium intake from bulky feeds, concentrate and mineral mixture was 1.842 (I); 2.500 (II); 3.864 (III) and 5.340 mg/d (IV). No significant effect of dietary selenium on cows' yield, fat and protein content of milk, milk acidity and density, and cows' body weight was found. Yields in the spring and summer periods averaged 23.05±0.64 kg/d and 17.20±0.71 kg/d for milk, 3.99±0.03 and 4.12±0.04% for fat, 3.41±0.03 and 3.69±0.05% for protein, respectively. Milk acidity was 6.78±0.12 and 6.86±0.12 ° SH and milk density 1.0293±0.0001 and 1.0296±0.0001 g/cm 3 . An increase in the concentration of dietary selenium and Se intake by the cows increased selenium content of milk in both periods, including significantly in the autumn (P=0.05). Selenium content of milk was 3.16 (control I); 4.20 (II); 3.91 (III) and 5.07 (IV) ľg/1000 ml in the spring and 4.17; 6.04; 6.04 and 7.04 ľg/1000 ml respectively in the autumn. The increase in milk selenium in the experimental groups in relation to the control group was, in relative terms, +38% (II); +35.7% (III) and +65.1% (IV). Selenium secreted in milk in relation to selenium intake from the ration ranged from 2.02 to 4.35%. Giving the cows increasing amounts of selenium decreased selenium in milk in relation to selenium intake, the differences being significant (spring) and highly significant (autumn). The concentration of selenium in blood ranged from 13.67 to 45.43 ľg/100 ml. Greater selenium rations corresponded with higher blood selenium concentrations, with significant differences between the groups (P=0.05). Blood selenium level was higher in the autumn than in the spring period. No significant influence of different dietary concentrations of selenium and selenium intake on serum levels of glucose, total protein, urea, triglycerides, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and zinc was found.

Key words: selenium, dairy cows, milk, blood, yield, milk nutrients

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 81-87

Endosperm of milk thistle ( Sylibum marianum L.) in fattening pig nutrition

Andrzej Frankiewicz 1 , Andrzej Potkański 1 , Marian Urbaniak 1 , Wiesława Mroczyk 2 , Małgorzata Kasprowicz 1

1 Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Management, Agricultural University, Wołyńska 33, 60-637 Poznań

2 Department of Chemistry, Agricultural University, Wojska Polskiego 75, 60-624 Poznań, Poland

39 fattening pigs at an initial weight of about 39 kg were assigned to three groups of 13 animals each and fed ad libitum with complete feeds PT-1 (to 70 kg of body weight) and PT-2 (from 70 kg to the end of fattening). Animals from group 1 (control) were given standard feeds. Pigs from group 2 received feeds with 12% (PT-1) and 16% (PT-2) of milk thistle endosperm, while the feeds given to group 3 contained 16 and 25% endosperm respectively. No differences were found between the groups in weight gains and feed conversion. There was a significant increase (P<0.05) in the PUFA content of longissimus dorsi muscle and backfat of pigs given the feeds highest in milk thistle endosperm (group 3).

Key words: endosperm of milk thistle, chemical composition, fattening pigs, production effects

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 89-100

Effect of different antioxidants in diets supplemented with rapeseed oil on composition and susceptibility to oxidation of yolk lipids and performance of laying hens

Sylwester Swiątkiewicz, Jerzy Koreleski, Anna Iwanowska

Department of Animal Nutrition, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. Kraków, Poland


Laying hens from 24 to 57 weeks of age were investigated for the effects of natural (a-tocopherol, ascorbic acid) or synthetic antioxidants (BHA, BHT and EQ preparation) supplemented to a 2% rapeseed oil diet on fatty acid profile of yolk lipids, oxidative status (TBA number) of egg yolks after different storage periods, and hen performance. In each of the 5 experimental groups, 9 laying hens were kept individually in cages. In the control group (I) hens were fed a diet with a standard level of nutrients, which contained 3% non-stabilized blended fat and a vitamin-mineral premix without vitamin E and antioxidant. In groups II-V, the diet was supplemented with 2% rapeseed oil (in place of blended fat) and antioxidants: a-tocopherol acetate (50 mg/kg) in group III, ascorbic acid (50 mg/kg) in group IV and a feed additive containing 45 mg butylhydroxytoulene (BHT), 5 mg butylhydroxyanisol (BHA) and 25 mg ethoxyquin (EQ) per 1 kg diet in group V. The most beneficial effect on fatty acid profile of yolk lipids was observed when synthetic antioxidant was used (higher level of C 18:3 , C 22:6 and total n-3 acids). Linolenic and total n-3 acids were also higher when vitamin C was used. Vitamin E supplement left the composition of yolk lipids unchanged. Each of the antioxidants used made it possible to lower TBA number in egg yolks stored for 15 days (P=0.01). After 42 days of storage, only the synthetic antioxidant had a beneficial effect on TBA number. The experimental antioxidants exerted no influence on egg cholesterol. Eggs from hens fed a-tocopherol-enriched (50 mg/kg) diet were characterized by the highest content of vitamin E. When ascorbic acid or synthetic antioxidant was used, lower egg production and poorer feed conversion were observed. Vitamin E had no effect on the production parameters.

Key words : laying hens, rapeseed oil, antioxidants, PUFA, oxidation

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 101-108

Effect of vitamin A level in fat-added feed mixtures for broiler chickens on oxidative stability of meat lipids

Marek Pieszka

Department of Feed Science, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. Kraków, Poland


The effects of retinol acetate addition (from 50% to 150% dose recommended by poultry standards) in fat-added feed mixtures for broiler chickens on lipid oxidation of stored meat and vitamin A and E status was evaluated in this study. In a feeding trial with 640 Ross broilers, the diets were supplemented with 4% of rapeseed oil and 6750 to 18750 IU of vitamin A per kg of feed. Feed mixtures with added rapeseed oil for broiler chickens caused the increase of unsaturated fatty acids (68% of acid sum) in chickens' meat. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in breast muscles of chickens given increasing doses of retinol acetate was found to decrease (P=0.05). The retinol acetate addition caused the growing tendency of docosahexaenoic acid from 1.58% of acid sum in the control group to 1.77% in the experimental group, which received the highest level of vitamin A (P=0.05). As the intake of retinol acetate increased, the level of vitamin A increased significantly (P=0.05) in breast muscles from 0.098 ľg/g in the control group to 0.155 ľg/g in the group of chickens given the highest supplement of vitamin A. A higher supply of dietary retinol acetate caused a significant reduction in vitamin E content of breast muscles from 8.13 ľg/g in the control group to 6.25 ľg/g in group IV receiving the highest doses of vitamin A (P=0.05). After a 120-day storage of the meat at �19°C, the content of TBARS was found to increase significantly from 0.346 to 0.453 mg kg -1 in breast meat of chickens fed the higher doses of retinol acetate. It is concluded that increased doses of retinol acetate in chicken diets elevate vitamin A level in breast muscles; however, they can also increase TBARS content in cold-stored meat.

Key words: chickens, vitamin A, vitamin E, fatty acids, TBARS

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 109-114

The effect of potentially hypo- and hypercholesterolemic diets on serum lipids profile in rats

Piotr Hanczakowski, Beata Szymczyk

Department of Animal Nutrition, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. Kraków, Poland


On the basis of previously obtained results two experimental diets were prepared. The first, potentially hypocholesterolemic contained casein, rice starch and pectin, the second, potentially hypercholesterolemic contained soybean protein isolate, wheat starch and cellulose. Both diets contained linseed oil, sucrose and mineral and vitamin mixtures. Diets were fed ad libitum to male rats weighing about 90 g. After 60 days of experimental period rats were bled and total cholesterol (TC), its HDL-C fraction and triacylglycerols (TAG) contents were determined. The LDL-C fraction was calculated as the difference between TC and HDL-C. No statistically significant differences in TC and HDL-C content between both groups were found though TC level in the first group was slightly lower (58.5 and 63.0 mg dl -1 , respectively) and that of HDL-C higher (40.0 and 34.5 mg dl -1 , respectively). The largest difference between the effects of both diets was found in the case of LDL-C fraction (19.1 and 27.8 mg dl -1 ) and this differences was statistically highly significant.

Key words: rats, hypo- and hypercholesterolemic feed, serum lipids

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 115-126

Mineral nutrients in Polish feedingstuffs

Part 1. Fodder plants

Franciszek Brzóska 1 , Witold Brzeziński 2 , Barbara Brzóska 1

1 Department of Feed Science, National Research Institute of Animal Production, Aleksandrowice, 32-083 Balice, Poland

2 Research Institute for Cultivar Testing, 63-022 Słupia Wielka, Poland


The experiment involved 21 samples of meadow fescue, 38 samples of orchard-grass, 16 samples of red clover, 16 samples of white clover and 24 samples of maize for silage from 1996 and 1997. The samples were collected at 47-62 locations according to the plant species, type and class of soil differing in pH, rainfall and altitude above sea-level. The calcium content averaged 4.02±0.24 in grasses and 13.26±0.33 g/kg d.m. in clovers. The calcium content of maize was similar to that in grasses. Calcium in clovers was significantly higher than in grasses or maize (P=0.01). The phosphorus content averaged 3.24±0.10 in grasses and 3.10±0.22 g/kg d.m. in clovers. The phosphorus content of maize and red clover was significantly lower than in the other plants. The average sodium content was 0.39±0.02 in grasses and 0.51±0.03 g/kg d.m. in clovers. The sodium content of maize was 0.30±0.02 g/kg d.m. The sodium content tended to vary widely depending on the year of sampling (P=0.01). The potassium content averaged 31.24±1.01 for grasses and 29.32±1.41 g/kg d.m. for clovers. The magnesium content in the fodder plants averaged 1.51±0.05 and ranged from 0.68 to 2.96 g/kg d.m. The magnesium content averaged 1.31±0.06 in grasses and 2.15±0.08 g/kg d.m. in clovers. It was the lowest in maize at 1.10±0.06 g/kg d.m. on average (P=0.01). Zinc averaged 31.75±1.88 in grasses and 37.81±2.61 mg/kg d.m. in clovers. Zinc level in maize was similar to that in clovers. The selenium content of grasses averaged 32.61±1.72 and that of clovers 61.54±2.39 µg/kg d.m. (P=0.01). The selenium content of maize was 46.04±1.80 µg/kg d.m. The year of cultivation had a significant effect on the contents of sodium, potassium and selenium, significantly differentiating their levels in plants. A higher content of minerals was found in plants originated from cohesive soils (such as alluvial) and brown soils, a lower content in fodder plants derived from muck, rendzina and podzolic soils.

Key words: feedstuff minerals, fodder plants, cultivation year, type of soil

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 127-136

Biological and economic evaluation of milk replacers for calves

Ryszard Skrzypek1, Stanisław Osięgłowski2, Dariusz Hofmański3, Małgorzata Grzymisławska3, Sebastian Grzymisławski3

1 Department of Cattle Breeding, A. Cieszkowski Agricultural University, ul. Wołyńska 33, 60-637 Poznań, Poland

2 Experimental Station Pawłowice, National Research Institute of Animal Production,

64-122 Pawłowice, Poland

3 Agra-cooperative 2000 Ltd., ul. Broniewskiego 3, 64-030 Smigiel, Poland


The experiment was conducted on 61 Black-and-White calves (33 heifers and 28 bulls) in the period from 6 to 56 days after birth. At the age of 6 days, calves were randomly assigned to one of three feeding groups: M (control group), whole milk throughout the period of experiment; MMR, whole milk up to day 28 of life, milk replacer B in the period from 29 to 56 days; and MR, milk replacer A up to the age of 28 days, milk replacer B from 29 to 56 days of life. Up to the age of 42 days, the amount of liquid food was limited to 8 L/day. From day 43 of life, the amount of liquid food was gradually lowered at a rate of 0.5 L/day. Apart from milk or milk replacer, calves were also offered concentrate, grass hay, and water that were fed ad libitum . Compared with calves of the M group, calves of MMR and MR groups grew slower (0.72, 0.55, and 0.40 kg/day, respectively) and more frequently contracted the diarrhoea (28.6, 50.0, and 65.0%, respectively). For the former variable, all between-group differences were significant (P £ 0.01), whereas for the latter a significant difference was between M and MR groups (P £ 0.05). In the period of experiment, total food costs per calf were as follows: M group, 293.00 PLN; MMR group, 209.72 PLN; and MR group, 149.80 PLN (P £ 0.01). However, there were no significant between-group differences in the cost of food per 1 kg of body weight gain. Thus, although milk replacers decreased the cost of calf rearing, lower growth rate and higher diarrhoea incidence that were observed in the treatment groups suggest that use of milk replacers in calf feeding may produce poorer economic results than feeding with whole milk, when lifetime effects of these feeds are considered.

Key words: calves, milk replacers, growth rate, health, economics

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 137-144

Group housing of sows with piglets in the late rearing period

Ewa Matuszewska, Jacek Walczak, Wojciech Krawczyk

Department of Technology and Ecology of Animal Production, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice, Poland


The purpose of the study was to determine the possibility of making more efficient use of farrowing house by shortening the time spent there by sow with litters. The experiment was carried out with 92 sows of line 990 in nine replications. The animals were kept under two systems: in a group pen with a stocking density of 5 to 7 sows (group D) and in tie-in pens (group K). All the sows farrowed in conventional farrowing pens. Sows from group K were kept in the same pens until weaning. Sows from group D were moved to a group pen about 14 days after farrowing. A boar was kept near the sows in a pen with perforated partition. The number of weaned piglets, the weight of litters and piglet mortality during rearing did not differ significantly between groups D and K. Average number of days before the onset of oestrus was significantly longer than in the control sows (P=0.01), possibly suggesting that ovulation, which delayed post-weaning oestrus, could have already occurred in some sows during lactation. The estradiol level in the sows was low �16.35 pg/ml in group D and 16.68 pg/ml in group K on day 22 of lactation and 12.67 and 15.35 pg/ml respectively on day 34 of lactation. Ethological studies indicate shorter lying time and greater physical activity of the sows in group D. The occurrence of multisuckling among piglets was infrequent and it did not affect piglet weight gains. Piglets from the group pen showed longer resting and shorter suckling times per 24 hours than those in the control group.

Key words: group housing, nursing sows, farrowing pens, suckling piglets, boar

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 145-163

Effect of swimming deprivation on adrenocortical and behavioural responses in farmed mink (Mustela vison)

Hannu T. Korhonen 1 , Lauri Jauhiainen 2 and Paavo Niemelä 1

1 Animal Production Research, Fur Animals, MTT Agrifood Research Finland, FIN-69100 Kannus, Finland

2 Data and Information Services, Agricultural Research Centre, FIN-31600 Jokioinen, Finland


The aim of this study was to investigate adrenocortical and behavioural responses in farm-bred mink ( Mustela vison ) denied access to swimming water. Two groups, Dep-2 and Dep-4, were deprived for 2 and 4 weeks, respectively. Each group consisted of 12 standard yearling male mink weighing 2.5 kg on average. The pre-deprivation period lasted for 7 weeks (May 22-July 9), during which the animals' swimming frequency was estimated by measuring the weekly water loss from 25-litre swimming pools. The actual test period lasted for 6 weeks (July 10-Aug 18), in each of which representative 24 h urine samples were collected for analysis of cortisol-creatinine and corticosterone-creatinine ratios. Behaviour was monitored by three consecutive 24 h video recordings in each study week. The results showed that water loss from the pools correlated significantly with swimming frequency (r=0.67, P<0.001), head dipping (r=0.35, P=0.07) and time spent on the swimming jetty (r=0.61, P<0.005). Deprived access to swimming water was found to elevate both the cortisol-creatinine and the corticosterone-creatinine ratios in each group. The adrenocortical stress response was highest during the second week of deprivation. Swimming deprivation significantly (p<0.05) reduced the time spent inside the nestbox but increased (p<0.05) both locomotor activity and stationary behaviour. The amount of biting/scratching the cage tended to increase as a result of deprivation. The incidence of stereotypic behaviour showed only minor changes in respect of swimming deprivation. Swimming motivation was found to be low in general. The time spent swimming was from 0.1 to 0.9 min/24 h (estimated LSM). The corresponding values for head dipping ranged from 4.1 to 10.4 min/24 h. The time spent on the swimming jetty (18-27 min/24 h) was found to be associated with swimming behaviour. No rebound response in behaviours such as swimming, head dipping or staying on the jetty occurred after deprivation ceased. It would seem that swimming is not a very essential need for farm-bred mink. Nevertheless, some frustration may occur after access to swimming water is blocked. Further studies will be needed to provide insight into the function and welfare implications of swimming pools for farmed mink.

Key words: farm-bred mink, welfare, swimming motivation, behavioural needs, stress response

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 165-183

Traits of Graylag, White Kołuda and Slovakian goose crossbreds relative to direction of crossing

Adam Mazanowski 1 , Krystian Dziadek 2

1 Department of Waterfowl Breeding, Dworzyska, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 62-035 Kórnik, Poland

2 Poultry Research Branch in Zakrzewo, National Research Institute of Animal Production, Poznańska 11, 62-069 Palędzie, Poland


Triple crossbreds of Graylag (Gr), White Kołuda (WK) and Slovakian (Sl) geese were the parents. Ganders and geese in groups were similar but differed in the direction of crossing between the groups. Parent geese were assessed for reproductive traits, physical traits of eggs and body weight during and after production, and their offspring for meat traits, feather colour, and selected correlations between body measurements and carcass tissue components. The direction of crossing applied when creating parent ganders and geese was found to affect their reproduction traits and the meat traits of their offspring. Sl'WKGr crosses (Slovakian, White Kołuda, Graylag) were characterized by high egg production, high values of meat traits in the offspring, including body weights after oat fattening, low feed and oat intake per 1 kg body weight, white colour of feathers but poorer muscling and highest fatness. GrWK'Sl crossbreds obtained from reciprocal crossing were characterized by a high percentage of gosling hatchability from fertilized eggs, good muscling and low carcass fatness. Sternum keel length is useful for estimating the weight and percentage of breast and leg muscles, and skin with subcutaneous fat in carcasses of geese crossed with wild Graylags. Length of trunk with neck, length of trunk and chest circumference are good measurements for estimating the muscles and carcass fatness in geese. Changes in physical traits of eggs were found. From peak to end of laying, egg weight decreased significantly, protein percentage in egg increased, and eggshell proportion decreased. Yolk and albumen density increased, while the area, deformation and thickness of eggshell decreased.

Key words: goose, crossbred, reproductive traits, meat traits

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 185-190

Protein price and production costs vs. biological value of protein in different plant and animal products

Stanisława Okularczyk

Department of Animal Production Economics and Organization, National Research

Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice, Poland


Costs of producing digestible protein found in different products of plant and animal origin were investigated. The amino acid content of these products was compared and retail prices of digestible protein found in these products were analysed. The retail prices were found to bear little relationship with the biological value of these products. The most expensive digestible protein was found in beef tenderloin and "Lisiecka" sausage, and the cheapest in soybean, meat of broiler chickens and mutton.

Key words: digestible protein, costs, price, biological value

Ann. Anim. Sci., Vol. 3, No. 1 (2003) 191-196

Profitability of producing animal-origin raw materials depending on their qualitative traits

Stanisława Okularczyk, Maria Mokrzycka

Department of Animal Production Economics and Organization, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice, Poland


Percentage of farm produce sold and direct income were investigated in live turkey, broiler chicken and live ostrich production with regard to their quality. Significantly higher revenue and direct incomes were found for the sales of higher quality grades of live poultry compared to lower quality grades. The difference in the income from the production of 1 kg of grade I and II meat ranged from 0.30 to 0.51 zloty for live turkeys and from 0.18 to 0.27 zloty for broiler chickens. The unique Polish production of live ostriches is 19 to 36 times more profitable than the fattening of broiler chickens. The direct income from 1 kg of ostrich ranges from 71 to 75 zloty for grade E and from 19 to 26 zloty for grade II. In a situation where poultry production costs are hard to minimize, the profitability of poultry production can be raised by improving carcass quality.

Key words: animal materials, quality, profitability, direct surplus

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