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The effects of different Temperature Humidity Index (THI) values in cold, hot and El Niño (EN) climates on superovulation and embryo production were analysed on Holstein Friesian donor cows. There were significant differences in the THI among the three climates. The average temperature in the EN period was 6°C higher than in the summer period of the previous 30 years. The number of corpora lutea (CL) and embryos were log- and back-transformed, Kolmogorov-Smirnoff test was used for normality and Lilliefors test was applied for significance. In the cold season THI was 70.74 ± 1.35 and the average number of CL was 9.84 ± 4.37. In the hot season the THI was 73.99 ± 0.72 and the average number of CL was 9.70 ± 4.49. When the THI, in the EN period, increased up to 79.74 ± 4.01, the superovulation response was significantly (P < 0.01) reduced (average number of CL = 5.22 ± 2.53). The embryo production result showed a similar tendency. In the hot period the average number of embryos obtained was 5.87 ± 2.98. However, in the EN period it decreased to 4.21 ± 2.05. Higher temperature reduced embryo quality. The proportion of live embryos (%) was 59.2 ± 37.4 in the cold and 38.2 ± 38.5 in the EN periods of the year (P < 0.01). However, ovarian sensitiveness showed adaptation to summer environment while the heat stress, which was more severe in the EN period, negatively affected the superovulation response and embryo production.

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Changes of progesterone (P4) profiles and oestrous cycle were investigated up to 70 days in 20 superovulated Holstein-Friesian cows in a dry tropical environment (Brazil). Superovulated cows showed no significant differences in relation to P4 level at the time of embryo recovery (39.0 ± 27.1 nmol/L, P = 0.536), first and second (12.0 ± 6.0 and 10.7 ± 2.2 nmol/L, P = 0.543) cycle. There was a close correlation between serum P4 concentration and the number of corpora lutea (CL; 13.3 ± 9.5) at the recovery (P < 0.0001). After the embryo collection, cows returned to cycle in different ways: (i) group of donors returning to cycle after 2.2 ± 0.8 days, (ii) group with a delay of 11.0 ± 1.9 days; and (iii) animals having a long (28.8 ± 2.2 days) acyclic period, which is significant (P < 0.001). The remaining animals (30%) showed cystic ovarian malformations. P4 level at the time of embryo recovery does not influence the oestrous cycle changes. The results suggest that Holstein-Friesian donor cows may suffer from cystic ovarian degeneration and may have a long acyclic period after superovulatory treatment in a tropical climate.

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The aim of this study was to examine the changes of the daily energy amount of lactose, protein and fat throughout the lactations, and compare them to each other. A total of 309 Israeli Holstein-Friesian cows from one kibbutz were investigated in three lactations, and information was given for a period of five years from 1996 to the end of 2000. The distribution of milk components and milk yield during lactation, and changes of the absolute and relative energy amount in the different milk components were calculated and evaluated. The results showed changes in the energy content of milk and its different components throughout the lactation. Each component (fat, lactose and protein) is dominant in different periods during the lactation. The energy amount from fat reaches a peak first, between days 40 and 50. Lactose has a peak at about day 66 of lactation, and protein reaches the peak last, approximately at day 104 of lactation. It seems that this peak sequence is constant and it is considered to be physiological. It might be suggested that there is a regulation governing the secretion of the different components at different times, and only one component is dominant in a given period. Each component exerts negative and positive influences on the secretion of the other components, which interact with each other and are not fully independent.

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The effects of dietary levels of manganese (Mn) in inorganic (MnO) and organic (Mn fumarate) forms were evaluated on cockerel chicks. A basal corn-soybean diet with 23 mg/kg Mn was supplemented with levels of 0, 30, 60 and 240 ppm Mn from both Mn sources. Each treatment was replicated in five pens of 10 chicks. The chicks were fed diets ad libitum from 14 to 49 days of age, after which five birds per treatment were sacrificed for pathomorphological examinations and analysis. The treatments did not exert significant effects on the body weight (BW), the feed/gain (F/G) ratio or the mortality rate. According to the necropsy findings, no growth retardation or emaciation occurred in either of the groups and the differences in the average absolute and relative organ weights were not significant (P ? 0.05). Tissue analysis indicated that the tibia showed the greatest response to Mn, followed by the liver and kidney. Accumulation in the tibia was higher (P < 0.05) with supplements of 30, 60 and 240 mg/kg from both Mn sources (3.71, 3.78, 4.44, and 3.68, 4.00, 4.36 mg/kg DM, MnO and Mn fumarate, respectively) compared to the control group (3.21 mg/kg). Accumulation in the liver increased significantly (P < 0.05) only with supplements of 60 and 240 ppm independently of the Mn source (12.7, 14.2, and 14.0, 14.9 mg/kg, respectively) compared to the control (9.8 mg/kg). Similarly, kidney tissue Mn was higher (P < 0.05) only with supplements of 60 and 240 ppm (12.8, 12.8, and 13.1, 12.5 mg/kg, respectively) compared to the control (10.2 mg/kg). At the same level of supplementation of the two Mn sources there were no significant differences (P ? 0.05) between the Mn concentrations of organs and tissues. Droppings sensitively reflected the intake, whereas blood plasma and feathers showed only the extreme Mn loading.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Kinga Fodor, S. Gy. Fekete, L. Zöldág, A. Bersényi, A. Gáspárdy, Emese Andrásofszky, Margit Kulcsár, and F. Eszes

Twenty-six 6-week old female New Zealand White rabbits were divided into two groups: ad libitum (AL) and 70% restricted (RS) feeding. At the beginning of the experiment the liveweights were practically the same: 0.99 ± 0.08 vs. 1.01 ± 0.08 kg in group AL and RS, respectively. At 18 weeks of age the body weight of Group RS rabbits was 84.7% (3.14 ± 0.24 kg) of the group AL (3.71 ± 0.31 kg). The apparent digestibility of crude protein was significantly (p < 0.001) higher in Group RS than in Group AL (76.5 ± 1.4 vs. 73.0 ± 2.7%). The daily water consumption was significantly (p < 0.05) higher (3.5 ml/g DM intake) in Group RS as compared to Group AL (1.9 ml/g DM). Since the average body weight in Group RS at 18 weeks was the same as that of Group AL at 14 weeks of age (3.14 kg), the comparison of the live body measures and indices was based on these ages. Animals fed ad libitum or restricted show no differences at the defined age in most live body measurements except in heart girth and rump width, which were significantly (p < 0.05) shorter in Group AL than in Group RS (29.3 ± 0.8, 5.7 ± 0.5 and 30.7 ± 1.0, 6.2 ± 0.3 cm, respectively). Body capacity was significantly (p < 0.05) smaller in Group AL, as the head capacity-body capacity proportion was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in Group AL than in Group RS (1653.1 ± 134.5, 22.0 ± 2.5 and 1913.7 ± 168.7, 17.7 ± 1.9, respectively). Due to restricted feeding the growth of the head proved to be less intensive than that of the body at the same body weight. The body in these does tended to be wider. Since the head in comparison to length or capacity of the body was smaller in does fed 70% of ad libitum, it could be concluded that the development of body parts of restricted-fed does was unequal (allometric growth). The effect of feed restriction reflected in lower dry matter and fat, and a higher ash and protein content both in total body and in dry matter composition of rabbits at 18 weeks of age. Restricted feeding delayed sexual maturity (69 vs. 92% of rabbits) with later starting ovarian activity, weaker ovarian responsiveness, and a smaller number of tertiary follicles on the ovarian surface.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Kinga Fodor, L. Zöldág, S. Gy. Fekete, A. Bersényi, A. Gáspárdy, Emese Andrásofszky, Margit Kulcsár, F. Eszes, and M. Shani

An experiment was carried out with young male New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits to establish live body weight changes, body measurements, body composition and sexual maturity as a function of feeding intensity. Animals in Group 1 ('AL', n = 10) were fed ad libitum, while those in Group 2 ('RS', n = 10) received restricted feeding corresponding to 70% of the ad libitum level. The starting liveweights were practically the same (0.907 ± 0.146 and 0.911 ± 0.147 kg in Group AL and Group RS, respectively). The feeding trial lasted from 6 to 22 weeks of age. The average body weight was significantly higher in Group AL from 7 to 22 weeks of age. At 22 weeks of age the body weight of RS rabbits was 85.64% of the weight of AL animals (3.22 ± 0.52 kg and 3.76 ± 0.33 kg, respectively). Average body weights of RS males at 8, 9, 11, 19 and 21 weeks of age were similar to those of ad libitum fed (AL) animals at 7, 8, 10, 15 and 16 weeks of age, respectively. The growth of bucks fed restricted tended to be allometric. The most significant difference was found at 16 and 18 weeks of age, while the lowest difference occurred at 6, 12, 15 and 19 weeks of age. It can be stated that low-intensity feeding up to slaughtering weight causes backwardness in rear cannon length and this backwardness remains also after the 15th week, which is well over the optimal slaughtering age. Based on the present data, the 70% restricted feeding cannot be recommended either for the future breeding bucks or for broiler males reared for slaughter. To determine the major chemical components of the body, rabbits were euthanised. Original dry matter and crude fat content of the body significantly (P < 0.05) decreased under restricted feeding (41.42%; 32.48% and 16.73%; 7.35%) while the percentage of protein within the dry matter increased (49.6%; 65.0%) and fat decreased (40.17%; 22.1%) significantly. Libido unambiguously decreases as a consequence of feed deprivation. The most conspicuous difference was found in the level of blood testosterone. Although a few RS bucks produced semen but only much later than the rabbits fed ad libitum. On the other hand, there was no difference in the motility of spermatozoa and ejaculate volume in comparison with AL animals. There was no relationship between the body fat content and the reproductive status of bucks in the present trial.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Margit Kulcsár, Gabriella Dankó, Carole Delavaud, C. Mircu, Anna J. Nikolic, A. Gáspárdy, H. Cernescu, Y. Chilliard, S. Cseh, P. Rudas, and Gy. Huszenicza

Ketosis was diagnosed in a flock of Merino ewes that conceived from synchronised oestrus in the early autumn period. On day 140 of pregnancy the ewes were sampled for determination of βOH-butyrate (BHB), AST, glucose, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), total cholesterol (TCH), insulin, T4, T3, cortisol, IGF-1 and leptin. The results were evaluated according to the number of fetuses born some days later and the presence of hyperketonaemia (BHB: ≥ 1.60 mmol/l). In May, about 3 months after lambing, cyclic ovarian function was induced (Cronolone + eCG), and the ewes were inseminated artificially (AI) 48 h after the removal of gestagen-containing sponge. At the time of AI and 10 days later blood samples were collected again to check the plasma levels of the same constituents as previously (in samples taken at AI), and to monitor the ovarian response by assaying progesterone (in both samples). On day 140 of gestation significantly lower BHB levels were detected in dams with single (n = 41) than in those with twin (n = 57) pregnancies. Hyperketonaemia was found only in ewes bearing twins (n = 27). These animals had higher NEFA and cortisol, and lower TCH, insulin, IGF-1, leptin and T3 levels than their normoketonaemic twin-bearing flock-mates, and those with single pregnancy. The blood glucose concentrations varied within a wide range, and the means of groups did not exhibit any significant differences. The formerly hyperketonaemic individuals were characterised by lower leptin level 3 months after lambing, and they showed a poorer response to the cycle-induction procedure than the others. The non-responders had lower IGF-1 and leptin levels than those ovulated after this treatment. It was concluded that the subclinical form of ovine ketosis is characterised by complex endocrine alterations, reflecting an obvious form of negative energy balance. If attempts to induce cyclic ovarian function outside the breeding season are made soon after lambing, the ovarian response and fertility of these ewes may also be depressed.

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