Volume 17(2), 2018

Review Articles

The use of herbs in animal nutrition

Aleksandra Paskudska, Dorota Kołodziejczyk, Stanisław Socha

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Abstract. The withdrawal of antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) from the list of allowed feed additives forced livestock producers to look for legal and safe substitutes. These included probiotics, synbiotics, enzymes and proenzymes, minerals, organic and inorganic acids, as well as phytobiotics, i.e. plant extracts and substances dervied from herbs. Medicinal plants contain a range of biologically active compounds in various combinations, thus they may have a varied effect on the animal body. Here we review the properties of a number of medicinal plants used in the feeding of livestock animals, such as cattle, poultry and swine. The research has confirmed the effectiveness of herbal substances as natural growth promoters and proved they represent an alternative for banned antibiotics. Phytobotics also prove to be a positive factor in relation to both animal health and productivity in terms of quality and quantity, in cattle (milk and beef), pigs (pork yield and reproductive performance) and poultry (egg laying yield in laying hens and broiler chickens). Health improvement is the most pronounced outcome of an application of herbs and herbal feed additives, which has been reflected in blood tests. The interest in phytobiotics as a natural food component will continue to grow, along with consumer awareness and the growing demand for healthy food products. To achieve the desired effects, it is not enough to replace the antibiotics with herbs or to add them to the feed. In the first place, it is a ballanced feed ration, animal welfare and appropriate veterinary prophylaxis that should be taken care of.

Original Research Articles

The work of dogs in AAI – the evaluation of welfare and human–dog communication

Magdalena Rogoza, Agnieszka Boruta

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Abstract. This paper describes the analysis of preserving dog’s welfare and of human-dog communication during Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) in Poland. The analysis has been conducted through a Google Forms questionnaire. The following aspects have been analyzed: dog characteristics, owner/guide characteristics, dog’s work and human-dog communication. The questions posed concerned, among others, the worktime of a dog, the frequency of dog’s work per day and per week, the experience of the guide and guide’s knowledge of calming signals sent by the dog. A statistical analysis was carried out using Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and IBM SPSS Statistics 24. The study involved 64 participants. The results suggest that the subject of dog welfare in AAI is a difficult topic discussed reluctantly by many dog guides. It is necessary to create legal regulations concerning the profession of a kynotherapist, including such aspects as the amount of dog’s worktime considering the division into passive and active activity of the animal; frequency of the dog’s work per day and per week; knowledge of dogs’ behavior (including calming signals, dog’s body language); the age at which the dog commences and terminates its work activity.

Productivity of laying hens in different production systems

Zofia Sokołowicz, Józefa Krawczyk, Magdalena Dykiel

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Abstract. The aim of the study was to evaluate the productivity of laying hens of different origin and breeding type (commercial hybrids, native breeds, Araucana) kept in the barn, free-range and organic systems. Three experiments were conducted with a total of 1200 hens, including native breed Greenleg Partridge (Z-11), Rhode Island Red (R-11) and Sussex (S-66) hens included in the gene pool protection programme in Poland; Araucana hens, kept by amateur breeders or raised organically; and Hy-Line Brown commercial layers, typically kept under intensive systems. It was found that the production system and hen genotype have a significant effect on productivity. The Hy-Line Brown commercial layers achieved the best laying performance in the barn and organic systems, but showed a considerably higher level of mortality compared to the other layers. In the free-range system, R-11 hens had no mortality while showing best laying performance and lowest feed consumption per egg. Raising Araucana hens under organic conditions was not effective because they showed the lowest egg production and the highest feed consumption per egg.

Frequency of consumption of fermented milk drinks and factors influencing consumer choice

Anna Sawa, Joanna Feldheim, Sylwia Krężel-Czopek

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Abstract. The study, performed in January 2017 on a group of 271 consumers, used data obtained from an anonymous internet survey concerning the consumption frequency of different fermented milk drinks and the criteria which determine consumer purchase decisions. Consumption of fermented milk beverages was declared by 83.8% of the respondents regardless of their socio-demographic status (sex, residence, education, social status). The most frequent consumption was recorded for yoghurt (40% of those surveyed, 3-5 times per week), followed by kefir and buttermilk (less than once a week). Respondent purchase choices were most influenced by product quality, in particular flavour (4.48 pts.) shelf life (4.27 pts.), nutritive value (3.82 pts.) and health-promoting value (3.53 pts). Advertising was of marginal importance (1.94 pts.). When creating new types of fermented milk drinks, it is worth focusing on improving their flavour and making them more attractive while paying attention to product shelf life.
This Volume

Acta Sci. Pol. Zootechnica 17(2) 2018