Abstracts Volume 54 (2011) 5, 439-566 Free access

Genetic evaluations of traits recorded in British young horse tests
Isobel D. Stewart, John A. Woolliams and Susan Brotherstone

Arch Tierz 54 (2011), 439-455 | PDF

Tests for young sport horses were recently introduced in Great Britain. This study characterises the young horse data, examines their suitability for genetic analysis and estimates the genetic parameters needed for breeding value prediction. Evaluation data from 2006-2009 were used. This included 1887 evaluations of 1323 horses, which were evaluated for competing in dressage, show jumping, eventing, endurance or as sport ponies. Traits assessed were conformation, correctness of paces, type and temperament, athleticism and veterinary. The distributions of traits were examined and correlations of traits between disciplines, for the effect of the horse, were estimated. These indicated that traits could be assumed to be genetically identical across disciplines. Variance components were estimated for each of the 5 traits, using an animal model, where random effects were the genetic effect of the horse and the permanent environment of the horse. Bivariate analyses were performed between pairs of traits. Mean scores for each trait in each discipline were between 8.02 and 8.24, and standard deviations were between 0.54 and 0.83. Heritabilities ranged between 20.3 % for athleticism and 42.2% for type and temperament. The variance due to the horse’s permanent environment ranged from approximately 25% for correctness of paces and athleticism to 51.6% for veterinary. The genetic correlations between traits were generally high. The young horse tests (»Futurity«) recently introduced in the UK are a valuable data source for genetic evaluations. The most appropriate measure will be to combine young horse data with adult competition data to routinely estimate breeding values.


The influence of condition on the metabolic profile of Czech Fleckvieh cows in the perinatal period
Robert Kupczyński, Maciej Adamski, Daniel Falta, Gustav Chládek and Wojciech Kruszyński

Arch Tierz 54 (2011), 456-467 | PDF

The objective of the study was to determine the influence of Czech Fleckvieh cow‘s condition before parturition on chosen blood biochemical indices in perinatal period and at the beginning of lactation. The study was conducted on 38 multiparous cows 3-14 days prepartum. The cows were selected with respect to body condition score (BCS): BCS>4 points (group I, n=18) and BCS<4 points (group II, n=20). Blood was collected at 3-14 and 1-2 days prepartum and 1-2, 21 days postpartum and analyzed for lipid-carbohydrate, protein parameters and enzymatic activity. Cow‘s condition, milk yield and composition were also estimated. Changes in Czech Fleckvieh cow‘s condition in a transition period do not have any clear influence on milk yield and composition. An excessive BCS before calving leads to its higher decrease at the beginning of lactation and may indirectly point to a higher energy deficiency in the first period of lactation. It is confirmed by glucose concentration in blood serum decrease (P<0.01) in 3rd week of lactation when compared to cows with a proper condition before calving (3.39 vs. 2.45 mmol/l). Overnormative condition before calving also negatively influences the content of triacylglycerols, alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin in blood serum in the first days postpartum. TAG transport from liver to blood is impaired at the beginning of lactation in cows with high condition prepartum. The study demonstrated that in Czech Fleckvieh dairy type cows intensified lipolysis and ketogenesis in perinatal period do not take place pointing to high adaptation possibilities of their metabolism.


Effect of some factors on relationships between milk urea levels and cow fertility
Anna Sawa, Mariusz Bogucki and Sylwia Krężel-Czopek

Arch Tierz 54 (2011), 468-476 | PDF

The effect of some factors on relationships between milk urea levels and fertility of 19028 cows was analysed. The generalized linear model (GLM) of the SAS package (SAS 2004) was used in the statistical calculations. The increase in milk urea concentration was found to increase calving interval (r=0.05, P≤0.01), rest period (r=0.07, P≤0.01), service period (r=0.01, P≤0.01) and the number of services per conception (r=0.02, P≤0.01). Therefore, dairy breeders may find it advantageous to monitor urea concentrations, which could help to improve cow fertility. Herd milk production level, age of cow and lactation period were the factors that had the greatest effect on the relationship between milk urea levels and cow fertility parameters. The relationship between milk urea level and fertility was stronger in cows from herds with >6000 kg milk yield, in first-calf heifers and in cows at 3 months of lactation.


Detection of difficult calvings in dairy cows using neural classifier
Daniel Zaborski and Wilhelm Grzesiak

Arch Tierz 54 (2011), 477-489 | PDF

In this study, the detection of dairy cows with difficult calvings using artificial neural networks (ANN) and classification functions (CF) is presented. The set of 15 classification variables was used. The dependent variable was the class of calving difficulty: difficult or easy. Perceptrons with one (MLP1) and two (MLP2) hidden layers as well as radial basis function (RBF) networks were analyzed. The prepared classifiers were characterized by good quality. The accuracy amounted to 75-92%. Only the RBF network had somewhat worse quality. The level of correct detection by ANN was also high. The sensitivity on a test set was 67-80% at specificity of 61- 81%. In the case of CF, a considerable disproportion between sensitivity (6%) and specificity (99%) was found. The variables with the greatest contribution to the determination of calving difficulty class were calving season, CYP19-PvuII genotype, pregnancy length and, to a lesser degree, other variables. The performed analyses proved the usefulness of ANN for the detection of cows with difficult calvings, whereas the detection by CF was inaccurate.


Temporal pattern of feeding and drinking behaviour of gestating sows
Stephan Kruse, Eckhard Stamer, Imke Traulsen and Joachim Krieter

Arch Tierz 54 (2011), 490-503 | PDF

The aim of the present study was to investigate the temporal pattern of feed and water intake behaviour of gestating sows housed in a dynamic group. The dataset included 90 sows (parity 1 to 7). Feed and water intake were recorded by electronic feeding and drinking stations. To describe the feed and water intake behaviour single visits were combined into meals and drinking bouts. A log survivorship function identified the characteristic interval length to differentiate between two bouts. Interval lengths larger than 12 min separated two meals (29 min two drinking bouts). The meal and drinking bout criteria were used to derive the following traits: feeding and drinking duration per day (FD, DD), interval duration within feeding (pauseF) or drinking (pauseW) meal, feeding and drinking meal duration per day (FMD, DMD) and feeding and drinking visits per day (FV, DV). Additionally, an eating rank was calculated according to the order of the sows at the feeding station. The results showed that nulliparous and primiparous sows had higher FD, pauseF, FMD and FV in contrast to biparous and multiparous sows (P<0.05). The DD of primiparous sows was significantly lower than that of older sows. The eating rank increased over time while nulliparous sows increased their rank more slowly than older sows. Low to moderate repeatabilities were found for feed intake traits (0.23 to 0.41); higher repeatabilities for drinking traits (0.45 to 0.55) and eating rank (0.71) indicating high variation between sows, which could be used for the identification of diseases.


Effect of age on the dimensions and shape of spermatozoa of Large White Polish boars
Dorota Banaszewska, Stanisław Kondracki and Anna Wysokińska

Arch Tierz 54 (2011), 504-514 | PDF

Studies were conducted on 190 ejaculates collected from 16 Large White Polish boars, 7-8 months old. In order to examine spermatozoa morphology, an ejaculate sample was taken from boar monthly microscopic slides were prepared. In each preparation morphometric measurements were taken of fifteen randomly selected spermatozoa, using a computer image analysis software (Screen Measurement v. 4.1), to determine basic sperm dimensions and morphology parameters. Moreover, evaluation of frequency of spermatozoa morphological abnormalities was made. It was found that boar age was associated with sperm dimensions and shape. As boars grew older, sperm length, width and head area increased. However, young boars, under 11 months old, had slightly longer spermatozoa than older boars, in terms of both the length of the whole spermatozoon and the length of the flagellum. The spermatozoa’s morphological build indicators show that boars aged 16 months approx possess semen that is characterised by an elongated head. This assertion is based on the proportions between the head’s width and its length. This proportion proved to be smaller when compared to that present in the sperm of boars over the age of 17 months (P≤0.01).


Effects of short period frequent milking on milk yield in two East Friesian crosses: Tahirova and Sonmez sheep
Akin Pala and Sefer Sahina

Arch Tierz 54 (2011), 515-524 | PDF

Though East Friesian sheep are known to have very high milk yield, their various degree crosses may have different levels of milk yield under different conditions due to genotype × environment interaction. The major purpose of this study was to investigate whether increasing milking frequency for a short period (21 days) increases milk yield in two East Friesian crosses, Tahirova and Sonmez sheep. Tahirova is 75% East Friesian and 25% Kivircik, while Sonmez is 75% Tahirova and 25% Sakiz (Chios). Two milking groups were formed and were treated the same in terms of feeding and management. The sheep in the 4× group were milked 4 times a day after weaning for a short period, namely 21 days and then were milked twice a day for the rest of the lactation. The sheep in the 2× group were milked twice a day throughout the whole milking season. Repeated measures analyses indicated that overall differences between the 2× (520.68 g) and 4× (873.03 g) groups were highly significant for milk yield (P<0.01). Parity differences were significant in the treatment group and the 3rd lactation animals responded better to the 4× treatment (P<0.01), but they were non-significantly different than the 2nd lactation animals in the 2× group. Sheep in the 4× group had higher milk fat yield (P=0.02) but the groups were similar in terms of fat percentage (P=0.11). Differences between the breeds were highly significant (P<0.01) also. Tahirova breed, which has a higher percentage of East Friesian had a daily milk yield of 566.66 g, while Sonmez breed with a lower percentage of East Friesian produced a higher daily milk yield of 827.05 g. Results of this study suggests that increasing milking frequency for a short time increases milk yield throughout lactation, especially for older animals, and sheep with too high East Friesian breeding may have lower milk yield than those with lower East Friesian breeding.


Effect of rearing system on pre-weaning growth, rumen development and its influence on post-weaning performance of lambs
Mohammad Ali Norouzian and Reza Valizadeh

Arch Tierz 54 (2011), 525-534 | PDF

Twenty-four 21-day-old Balouchi male lambs were equally divided into two groups. Twelve subjects were artificially reared (AR), twelve others were ewe reared (ER) and used as control. AR in comparison of ER lambs maintained higher concentrations of blood beta- Hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA); however glucose concentration was not affected by rearing system. Unlike the DNA content and cell size, the RNA concentration and ribosomal capacity (Cs) of AR groups were significantly (P<0.05) higher than that of ER lambs. Rearing system did not affect morphologic characteristics of rumen wall except thickness of keratinized layer that was thickest in AR, 20% less than in ER lambs (P<0.05). Stomach weight and capacity in AR animals were significantly (P=0.05) higher than ER lambs. Neither post-weaning growth rate nor feed conversion efficiency were affected (P>0.05) by rearing method. Also there were no differences with respect to slaughter and dissection data between groups in postweaning phase. In conclusion, the results of this study showed that naturally rearing system gave rise to developmental and carcass characteristics similar to those observed in artificial raised lambs.


Changes in biochemical and hematological parameters and metabolic hormones in Tsigai ewes blood in the first third of lactation
Zvonko Antunović, Josip Novoselec, Marcela šperanda, Mensur Vegara, Valentina Pavić, Boro Mioč and Mislav Djidara

Arch Tierz 54 (2011), 535-545 | PDF

The aim of this investigation is to determine changes in concentrations of biochemical and haematological parameters, as well as metabolic hormones in the blood of Tsigai ewes in the first third of lactation. The study included 10 ewes Tsigai breed monitored during three periods of lactation: 20 days, 40 and 60 days of lactation. Ewes were fed feed mixture (300 g/day) and meadow hay ad libitum. A significant decrease of concentrations of Ca and Na was recorded in the blood of sheep at the 40th day of lactation and later an increase at the 60th day of lactation. The opposite trend was determined for concentrations of P-inorganic. Also it was determined a significant decrease in Fe content and an increase in the concentrations of glucose, triglycerides and total protein in the first third of lactation. In the blood of ewes at 40th day of lactation it was found a significant decrease of the activity of AST and LDH in contrast to ewes at 20th day of lactation. Concentrations of T3 and T4 hormones were slightly increasing in the first third of lactation, but the differences were not significant. The blood insulin concentrations were significant increased in the first third of lactation. Haematological blood parameters in lactating ewes did not differ significantly and was within the reference values. Determining the concentration of biochemical and haematological parameters and concentrations of blood thyroid hormones and insulin in the first third of lactation are imposed as a precaution in order to better monitoring of Tsigai ewes during lactation.


Relationship between milk urea, blood plasma urea and body condition score in primiparous browsing goats with different milk yield level
Michele Pazzola, Maria Luisa Dettori, Vincenzo Carcangiu, Sebastiano Luridiana, Maria Consuelo Mura and Giuseppe Massimo Vacca

Arch Tierz 54 (2011), 546-556 | PDF

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships among milk urea, blood plasma urea, milk yield and body condition score (BCS) in primiparous goats fed at pasture. Ninety goats of Sarda breed were used and, on the basis of their yield level, divided in three groups of 30 animals each, low (LY), intermediate (IY) and high milk yield (HY). Daily milk yield, milk protein content, milk urea, plasma total protein and albumin, plasma urea and BCS were measured at monthly intervals from 45 days in milking (45 DIM) to 165 DIM. Milk yield level affected protein concentration of milk and plasma, whereas albumin showed no variation. Plasma and milk urea showed a high correlation (P<0.001) despite of the yield level; plasma urea was always lower than milk urea. BCS decreased on 75 DIM and again after 135 DIM, and it was not affected by the milk yield level. Because milk urea and plasma urea were closely correlated and not influenced by the yield level, the study pointed out that measurement of milk urea could be utilized to evaluate urea metabolism also for browsing goats.


Growth parameters and meat quality of Pekin ducks fed on different level of dried distillers grains with solubles
Ewa Łukaszewicz, Artur Kowalczyk, Marek Adamski and Joanna Kuźniacka

Arch Tierz 54 (2011), 557-566 | PDF

The experiment was carried out on 160 commercial Pekin ducks, strain P55. At the day of hatching birds were sexed, marked individually, weighed and divided randomly into four equal groups (four sup-groups, each). From Day 1 to Day 21 all birds received the same commercial feed, while from 4th to 8th week of rearing were fed in the following feeding groups: control, fed with commercial feed and experimental: with 15%, 25% and 30% inclusion of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS). At 8th week of rearing from every group five males and five females were selected semi-randomly, slaughtered conventionally and slaughter yield, carcass composition and physicochemical meat characteristics were evaluated. Results from this study showed that Pekin ducks can be fed on diets containing up to 25% DDGS without any significant decrease in slaughter yield, muscles contents and breast meat quality. Higher DDGS level (30%) caused significant (P<0.05) decrease in final body weight and slaughter yield of females, however, the percentage of skin with subcutaneous fat and abdominal fat contents were lower (P<0.05).



Arch Tierz Vol 54 (2011)