Abstract. Growing interest in fancy hen breeding motivates people undertake more research into assessment of their production traits. The purpose of this research is to assess the quality of eggs and results of hatch of three hen breeds: partridge italian, silver brahma, and salmon faverolle. Eggs were assessed in three periods of laying. Hatching was carried out with the use of eggs from the period of production peak. The qualities of eggs changed according to the period of the production. The biggest differences were found in terms of the color and height of yolk, the weight of albumen and yolk and the eggshell thickness. Among the considered breeds of hens were found statistically significant differences for the egg shape index and the albumen and shell weight. Eggs of italian partridge were characterized by the highest statistically significant weight of albumen and index of shape (35.99 g and 75.58%), whereas the smallest were observed for brahms (33.33 g and 72.21%). Fertilization of italian hen eggs was 97.8% and of feverolle 100%. Also a high percentage share of healthy hatched chickens from fertilized and set eggs was observed. In case of brahma breed there were no fertilized eggs found.
Abstract. The aim of this study was to compare the characters of the pectoral girdle morphological elements between the wild and captive, farm-bred forms of the red fox. The study was conducted on the humeri, radii, ulnae, and scapulae collected from 24 wild and 20 farmed red foxes. Each individual was posthumously measured for body weight and natural length, and the bones of the anterior girdle were collected. Images of humeri and their epiphyses were used for measurements. Statistical analysis of the measurements suggests that most metric characters of the shoulder girdle bones are greater in farmed fox. Captive foxes are characterized by a larger body weight and a shorter body as compared to the wild form. There were significant (P ≤ 0.01, P ≤ 0.05) dimorphic differences in the length and breadth of the humeral epiphysis and radial epiphysis. Also, we found a significant (P ≤ 0.01, P ≤ 0.05) effect of origin on the length of the bones.
Abstract. The aim of this study was to determine the season effect on sexual behavior and sperm quality of East-Balkan boars and changes in different periods of the year (April, August and October). During a 7-month study period, 120 ejaculates were collected from 8 mature boars. In each ejaculate the volume of liquid fraction, percentage of spermatozoa motility, spermatozoa concentration and the percentage of spermatozoa aglutinaton were determined. Before each collection the boars sexual behavior, involving courting time and time for ejaculation was estimated. A tendency for more strongly expressed libido and more continued ejaculation into the autumn vs. the summer was observed. The semen of East-Balkan boars do not differ from those of commercial boars, but season have a significant effect on the sperm quality. The ejaculates of the highest volume (228 ml) are produced in the autumn in comparison in the summer (193 ml). The seasonal influence is more strongly exspressed on the spermatozoa concentration where the difference of 33 mln/ml between two seasons is significance (P ≤ 0.05), and especially in spermatozoa agglutination (P ≤ 0.01), where the difference between the summer (27.2%) and the autumn (10.7%) is more than 2.5 times.
Abstract. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of litter size at birth on offspring raising and an attempt to establish the litter size that would be optimal for the nursing process. We analysed litters of 390 one-year-old females of three color types: Black Velvet (or short NAP), Hedlund White, and Silverblue. Each study group comprised 130 mink. Within each group, we analysed the litter size and birth and the number of pups that survived until the age of seven days. Also percentage proportion of various classes of litter sizes is given and survival rate (in percentage) of pups in each litter has been calculated. The analysis reveals that if litter sizes comprise 10-11 pups, most of them will not be properly nursed, and as few as 2 to 6 pups have a chance to survive in many of such large litters; only in Black Velvet femals, the decline in litter size was to 9 pups, on average. An interesting fact also is that females that give birth to a single pup often do not raise it at all. The presented analysis leads to a conclusion that litters of 2 to 9 pups are best in terms of nursing success, with apparent differences resulting from the color type.
Abstract. The experiment was aimed to observe the behavior of ranch American mink females during the breeding season. The study was conducted on a group of 11 females of the color type Pearl, which were admitted to a male each day during the 13-day mating period. Each successful mating was noted, which allowed the capture the length of naturally variable intervals between mating encounters, and the number of copulations throughout the breeding season. In addition, the following reproductive parameters were determined: the length of pregnancy, total litter size at birth, live births per litter, and litter size at weaning. Based on the survey it was found that if mated daily, most females were prone to have a natural 3-5-day break during the breeding season. We found that the sexual activity of the female mink was very high, and that most of the females mated eight or nine times over the entire period.
Abstract. The aim of the study was to compare the milk performance, age of first calving and inter-calving interval in Holstein-Friesian black and whites imported from Sweden with domestic cows of the same breed. We also evaluated the process of birth of tested animals and body weight of newborn calves. Domestic cows were more productive and obtained better PFC (the difference between fat and protein content) and PFR values (protein to fat ratio) in both lactations. In the first lactation, animals from Poland were characterized by better average milk yield and average protein content whereas imported cows produced higher milk yields with higher fat content (P ≤ 0.01). In the second lactation Polish cattle achieved better results in terms of average yield of proteins and fat as well as protein and fat content when compared to Swedish cows (P ≤ 0.01 and P ≤ 0.05, respectively). Heifers imported from Sweden were younger at first calving (P ≤ 0.01) and required longer inter-calving intervals. Regardless of country of origin, births were not problematic, without any complications, and calves were of similar weight.