Abstract. Animal-assisted therapy involves many species of domesticated animals (e.g. dog, cat, horse) as well as more exotic species (e.g. dolphin) or small mammals (e.g. guinea pig) and is used for improvement in physical and mental functioning of both, children and adults. The aim of this review is to characterize the types of animal-assisted therapy based on the use of various animal species: the dog, the cat, the horse, the donkey, the alpaca, and the bottlenose dolphin. This review also provides some information about the usefulness of other animal species and categories such as small mammals (“pocket pets”), birds, fish, and farm animals. Contact with the animal might promote the development of personality, education, and rehabilitation and improves the quality of life of pet owners. The animal might be also a great motivator for undertaking new activities. A properly selected and trained dog, horse, or alpaca is a great support in therapist work and helps to establish an appropriate human-animal relationship.
Abstract. Hatching results depend on the biological value of the eggs and on factors affecting the development of the embryo during incubation, as well as the conditions in which the eggs are kept between being laid and being placed in the incubator. Numerous studies conducted in Poland and other countries indicate that the suitability of eggs for hatching and their biological value are determined by genetic factors (mainly the origin of the birds) as well as environmental factors. Hatching eggs are primarily subject to assessment of external characteristics. The most important characteristics determining whether eggs are suitable for incubation are their weight, shape, structure and eggshell condition, as proper structure is a fundamental condition of satisfactory hatching results. Egg weight is highly dependent on genetic factors, as evidenced by the high heritability coefficients of this trait. Assessment of the hatching eggs weight is important because the weight of the hatchling is positively correlated with the egg weight. Works clearly confirm the effect of genotype on the physicochemical features of eggs, including the weight of the egg, yolk and eggshell. The eggshell plays an extremely important role in eggs used for reproduction. Eggshell quality traits are determined by both genotype and non-genetic factors, including the layer hen age and the diet, particularly the amount, form and availability of calcium. An important factor affecting the hatching process and quality of chicks is egg storage.
Abstract. Cereals are the main source of carbohydrates in the human diet, providing the major source of energy and contributing significantly to protein intake. Cereals make up the bigger part of crop production. The chemical composition of cereals depends on agrotechnical factors that affect the quality of grain. Naked oat has the highest protein content. The analysis of crude fat in the grain revealed that the highest values were identified for naked oat and the lowest – in the triticale. The study showed the differences in the profile of amino acids of grain of wheat, triticale, barley and oats. The content and composition of dietary fiber are factors determining the quality of cereal and cereal products. The content of different fiber fractions is also varying in each other cereals. Cereal grain is a source of numerous mineral compounds, determined cumulatively as crude ash. Consumption of whole grain cereal products is associated with higher diet quality and nutrient-dense foods.
Abstract. Increasing societal wealth, consumer awareness, demand for safe, healthy food, has resulted in an increased interest in organic food products. As a result, some farm owners may decide to convert to organic production. This paper aims to analyse data characterizing organic farms in the business of organic table egg production in the area of Mazowieckie Voivodeship, Poland, and the adjustments that had to be made to obtain a certificate. For that purpose surveys were handed out to organic farm owners in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship and 9 organic farms were selected for characterization. The first questionnaire contained 45 questions regarding general characteristics of the respondent - the farm owner, the adaptations made to obtain an organic production certificate, distribution and advertisement of products. The second questionnaire contained 10 questions focusing only on poultry production. Surveyed farms were mostly run by men with age above 40 years old, with secondary education. Each surveyed farm practiced mixed organic production, producing organic table eggs along with crops, diary and meat production. Most common farm animals, kept along with poultry, was cattle, with some farms keeping pigs, goats or rabbits. The most popular poultry breed was Green-legged Partridge chickens. In most cases, the respondents choose poultry production due to the popularity amongst consumers, and ease of infrastructure adaptation. Respondents sold their organic products directly at the farm, were consumers could also purchase eggs, meat, vegetables and milk. Product advertisement relied heavily on direct consumer contact and referrals. Internet advertising was also gaining popularity.
Abstract. The study aimed to investigate changes in semen parameters of insemination boars of selected breeds with reference to seasonal changes in the properties of ejaculates in the European boar (Sus scrofa L.). The material for the study covered 88000 ejaculates obtained from boars of the following breeds: Polish Large White, Polish Landrace, Duroc, Hampshire, Pietrain, Duroc×Pietrain, Pietrain×Duroc. The results of the research indicate that seasonal changes in the quality of the produced ejaculates, similar to those occurring in the males of the wild boar, still occur in insemination boars. The observed changes concern above all the volume of the ejaculates, the total number and concentration of spermatozoa. Seasonal variation in the quality of the produced ejaculates is fixed and has not decreased in the recent years despite the conducted breeding activities, selection and the limitation of the influence of environmental factors.
Abstract. The aim of the study was to analyse the structure of the population and inbreeding trend taking into account the sex, breeding system. The highest number of kennels, that was, 40 were registered in the Lesser Poland voivodeship – in the region of Podhale, which corresponded to 33.06%. For a 4-generation population, the inbreeding rate was 6.52% for male dogs and 6.79% for female dogs. The highest inbreeding rate was found in a nCH and PL groups consisting of both male and female dogs. The inbreeding rate was significantly higher in 2005–2014, amounting to 6.94% for male dogs and 8.22% for female dogs in comparison to the period 1994–2004 when it was 5.87% and 4.88%, respectively. An increasing ancestor loss coefficient (AVK) was found, which may result in an increased number of inbred animals. In particular, it referred to female dogs in the nCH, PL, and Z group, whereas a significant increase of AVK was observed in the group of male dogs from foreign kennels. Studies had shown that there was no risk of inbred depression yet; however, the gene pool of the Tatra Shepherd dog breed had become noticeably restricted.
Abstract. The study aimed at developing an optimal mink (Neovison vison) mating system by examining the effectiveness of multiple paternity, which was achieved by mating a female to two males of contrastingly different color lines over an interval of time within the same estrus. The hypothesis tested was that embryos generated from the first mating survived and developed despite subsequent matings. The experiment was carried out in two consecutive breeding seasons on a mink farm. We used pure genetic lines of the coat-color varieties. In order to find the most effective system of mating, we counted the offspring sired by each male. Mating to two males of different coat colors on two, time-separated dates produced litters consisting of two distinctly marked groups of kits, easily recognizable as to which kit had been sired by which male. This suggests that blastocysts generated from the first mating do survive until parturition and, what is more, develop normally. Despite prior mating to another male, kits derived from the subsequent mating were more numerous in the litter.
Abstract. The aim of this study was to isolate microorganisms with bioremediation potential from soil contaminated with heavy metal compounds, and to analyze the tolerance of these microorganisms to various heavy metal concentrations. In total, 7 bacterial strains were isolated and cultivated. The sensitivity of microorganisms to heavy metals proved to be dependent on the type of medium. The use of liquid media during the 8-hour and 24-hour toxicity tests resulted in reduced tolerance of isolates to the concentrations of selective factors used, relative to culture on solid substrates. In addition, optical density increases in the bacterial cultures have been observed at the highest concentrations of some heavy metals. Briefly, during the 48-hours test 3 strains showed increased optical density values in the presence of 1 mM copper sulfate and 2 strains displayed this ability also in the presence of 1 mM cadmium sulfate and lead nitrate.