ISSN 1644-0714 e-ISSN 2300-6145


Volume 11(2), 2012

Original Research Articles

The welfare of gilts in different housing systems 

Anna Augustyńska–Prejsnar, Małgorzata Ormian

Abstract. The aim of this study was to assess the welfare of gilts managed in different housing systems. The material consisted of a total of 160 gilts, weighing between 40 to 100 kg. The study was conducted in 15 pig breeding farms producing gilts in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship, Poland. The gilts were housed in facilities with access to open air (5 piggeries) and without a run (10 pig farms). The welfare of gilts was assessed using behavioral, physiological, health, and production performance criteria. The overall evaluation of welfare was based on designated control points. Summing up the results, we found a higher level of welfare in gilts kept with an access to outside runs. Behavioral responses of gilts managed without an outdoor run involved a higher rate of cases of unusual behavior and more frequent states of anxiety. The serum concentration of haptoglobin in gilts was varied in the studied conditions of living. The lowest average content of Hp was recorded in gilts kept in buildings with outside runs.Ahigher rate of animals suffered a disease and injuries in the facilities without an access to outdoor runs. Under these housing conditions, frequent problems with the legs (leg lameness and deformation) was an issue. An analysis of critical control points indicates that the welfare of pigs remained at a high level.

Effect of extended lactations on milk and reproductive performance of cows 

Małgorzata Jankowska, Wojciech Neja, Sylwia Krężel–Czopek

Abstract. The study involved 132 Polish Black–and–White Holstein–Friesian cows, kept in a public sector farm located in the Kujawsko–Pomorskie province. The yield of the analysed cows averaged 12,800 kg milk. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of lactation length in high–yielding cows on milk yield, milk composition and indicators of fertility. The results show that in high–yielding herds, cows often have lactations beyond the traditional 305 days. In the analysed herd, 89.4% lactations were extended.With extended lactations, milk production increased from 9,278 kg for a 305–day lactation to 16,497 kg for lactations >420 days. With extended lactations, milk yields during the extended lactation period and % yield in relation to 305–day lactation gradually increased, with statistically significant differences between the groups. The cows that completed their standard 305–day or shorter lactations were characterized by optimum indicators of fertility, which decreased with extended lactations. The longest lactations were found in third and fourth lactation cows, and the shortest in older cows beyond the fourth lactation. First calvers were characterized by poorer indicators of fertility compared to older cows.

Correlations between milk yield in primiparous PHF cows and selected lifetime performance and fertility indicators as well as reasons for culling 

Ewa Januś, Danuta Borkowska

Abstract. The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between milk yield in primiparous cows and their subsequent productivity, length of productive life, and reasons for culling. The analysis included 386 Black–and–White Polish Holstein–Friesian cows (PHF–HO) culled from the dairy herd during a 9–year period on one farm. Cows which had high milk yield in their first lactation were also found to be more productive in subsequent lactations. However, high milk yield in the first lactation may be associated with significantly shorter lifespan and productive life, as well as lower lifetime milk yield. The length of intercalving periods was not significantly associated with first lactation productivity. As milk yield increased, a lower proportion of cows culled for sterility and other reproductive disorders was observed, while a higher percentage of cows were eliminated for udder diseases.

Analysis of the insemination effectiveness of dairy cattle with the semen from specialized bulls breeds in the cross breeding system 

Paweł Plewa, Rafał Plewa, Grzegorz Pogorzelski, Tomasz Przysucha, Agnieszka Wierzbicka

Abstract. The materials of the study were the results of insemination effectiveness of dairy cattle with the semen from 12 specialized bulls breeds: Belgian Blue, Charolais, Limousine, Simentaler. Inseminations where conducted on Mazowieckie,Warmińsko–Mazurskie and Podlaskie Voivodships of Poland. Data gathered in database involved the breed, genotype of the bull’s father and, the inseminator. The influence of three factors on insemination effectiveness was analyzed. Within the Project “The optimisation of beef production in Poland in accordance with a fork–to–farm strategy” 1678 dairy cattles were inseminated out of which 442 were inseminated effectively. Insemination was performed by 24 inseminators. No significant dependence of bull’s breed, bull’s father genotype or inseminator on effectiveness of conducted inseminations was observed. However the influence of the inseminator’s sex on effectiveness of inseminations where observed. Basing on conduced analysis, it was found that there is a need for further detailed studies on other factors which might affect the effectiveness of artificial insemination. The factors that may have an impact on reproductive rate are: individual inseminator’s characteristics (education, experience, inseminator’s behavioral traits, including scrupulousness and reliability), as well as inseminated of cross calves (age, the last successful insemination, etc.).

Impact of probiotics on numbers, ability to hemolysis and on changes in drug–resistance of selected Escherichia coli isolates recovered from faeces of dairy cattle 

Marek Selwet, Mariola Galbas, Filip Porzucek

Abstract. The investigations were conducted on 60 Holstein–Friesian dairy cows (at age 3 year and weight 590 kg) kept in tie–stall barn. The animals were divided into 3 groups of 20 heads each. The control group (K) was fed diets without probiotics, group (EM) – was fed diet with the addition of EM probiotic (dose of 150 ml × t–1 TMR) and group (T) – was fed diet with the addition of ToyoCerin probiotic (dose of 0.2 kg × t–1 TMR). Strains of Escherichia coli were isolated from faeces with the aim to determine their numbers, capability for hemolysis and assessment of their drug–resistance. The isolates were identified as E. coli on the basis of their biochemical properties API 20E (BioMérieux) and the PCR method. When analysing the capability of Escherichia coli for hemolysis, the highest number of haemolytic strains was determined in the faeces of animals fed diets with the addition of the EM probiotic. The examined isolates were characterised by different degrees of resistance to the antibiotics used in experiments. The smallest (P<0.05) number of resistant isolates was determined in group T.