In vivo digestibility of cereal-based diets supplemented with sunflower vs. rapeseed meal

M. Yossifov, L. Kozelov
Abstract. Two experiments were conducted to investigate effects of rapeseed meal (RSM) vs. sunflower meal (SFM) as a protein source at cereal-based isonitrigenous (at 16 % CP), iso-caloric at gross energy 18 kcal/kg and net (FUG=1) energy diets for fattening lambs. Four wethers (Gygay breed) were used to evaluate the diets’ apparent total tract digestibility (dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), crude fibres (CF), nitrogen free extractives (NFE) and ash) and coefficients (Cd) were used to calculate the diets’ feeding value. Two diets were used: conrol diet (CD) with SFM and experimental diet (ED) with RSM. The results indicated that feeding RSM tended to increase Cd OM (p=0.1), Cd CP (p=0.4), Cd EE (p=0.5) and Cd NFE (p=0.1). The differences were significant at Cd DM (p<0.05), Cd CF (p<0.05) and Cd ash (p<0.001). According to the calculation analysis, diet supplementation with RSM benefits total digestible nutrients (TDN), raised energy values (gross energy, digestible energy and net energy) and improved protein feeding values (protein trully digestible in small intestines (PDI) and balance of protein in rumen (BPR)). Therefore, it’s concluded that, substitution of SFM with RSM in cerealbased ruminant diets significantly (p<0.05) increased in vivo diet digestibility, raised (11 %) TDN and improved its energy and protein feeding value.


Biological fertility and milk yield in Bulgarian Dairy Synthetic Population sheep according to breeding line

N. Stancheva, I. Dimitrova, S. Georgieva
Abstract. The aim of the study is to determine the parameters of the biological fertility and milk production of sheep breed Dairy Synthetic Population from herd of the Agricultural Institute, Shumen. The survey covers 851 ewes born in the period 2004 – 2008. Biological fertility of ewes is dependent on the order of lambing, and is the lowest on the 1st (1.24) and the highest on the 3rd lamb (1.52). In animals from line 51 (a cross breed with Chios) it is the highest on 2.5 years old –1.56, on 3.5 years old – 1.67, on 4.5 years old – 1.90, as fertility of the sheep of the leading pure-bred lines is 1.27, 1.42 and 1.49. The average milk yield for standard 120-day milking period of sheep in the flock is the highest in animals from line 51 and on the 1st lactation it is by 23.7% and on the 2nd by 15.07% higher than in pure-bred lines. The value of the heritability (h2) of the studied traits is low to medium.


Blood parameters in yearling sheep fed Paulownia (Paulownia spp.) leaves

I. Varlyakov, V. Radev, T. Slavov, G. Ganchev
Abstract. A physiological experiment was conducted with three yearling sheep, Stara Zagora x Pleven Blackhead crosses, to establish the effect of feeding Paulownia elongatа leaves on some blood parameters. The trial consisted of two periods: control and experimental. During the control period, yearling sheep were fed a ration of 1 kg barley and 1 kg meadow hay, and during the experimental period – dried Paulownia elongatа leaves. Blood samples were collected from v. jugularis externa before feeding and 2.5 hours after feeding during both periods after allowing 10-day adaptation to the respective diet. The studied parameters were erythrocyte counts, leukocyte counts, blood glucose, total protein, albumin and globulins. The intake of Paulownia leaves resulted in statistically significant reduction in erythrocyte (p<0.05) and leukocyte counts (p<0.001). This was most pronounced in the postprandial hours. Paulownia leaves also provoked increased total serum protein concentrations on the account of both higher albumin and globulins. The albumin/globulin ratio was 0.29 regardless of the type of diet or the time of sampling – prior to or after feeding.


Metabolic and enzymatic profile of sheep fed on forage treated with the synthetic pyrethroid Supersect 10 EC

R. Ivanova
Abstract. Most of the small ruminant flocks on the Balkan Peninsula are bred on pasture. Thus the animals are endangered to graze treated alfalfa, without observing quarantine. The instability of the pyrethroid insecticides in rumen alkaline pH of the sheep is the reason for its absorption as early as in the upper part of the digestive tract and hence a better-expressed subtoxicosis appeared. Following the technological instruction given by the producer of the insecticide, the alfalfa field plots were treated with Supersect 10 EC. After seven days quarantine, the alfalfa was mowed, dried and added to the ration of the tested animals. After 20 days feeding of the animals, a decrease in the amount of the total lipids was established, without any changes of the blood glucose and total protein values. As regards the enzymatic profile of sheep fed on alfalfa treated with Supersect 10 EC, a significant increase of the activities of ASAT, LDH, MAO and ChE was reported. Based on the data obtained, we could conclude that when sheep was fed on alfalfa treated with Supersect 10 EC, a strong change in the enzymatic profile was observed. There were not significant changes in hepatocyte according to De Rites but the metabolic strain in the organism was suppressed as compared to that of the control animals

The evolution and current situation of sheep breeding in Romania

I. Răducuţă

Abstract. After the integration of our country within the EU have occurred major changes in many areas of activity and including in the sheep breeding sector. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the evolution and situation of sheep breeding sector in Romania in relation with the sheep livestock, the number and size of sheep exploitations and sheep productions. To achieve these objectives we have studied the official statistical data, we calculated the percentage difference between the reference years and we interpreted data obtained. The results showed that the sheep livestock has increasing with 15.9% in 2010 compared with 2002 and with 10.3% compared with 2006. In present 0.69% from the sheep livestock are reared organically. In terms of number and size of sheep exploitations, the results showed that in the year 2010 there were 271,266 exploitations of sheep of which 63.9% are individual exploitations that have an average number of 4.18 heads sheep per unit and which hold these animals exclusively for self-consumption of family and only 7.5% of total exploitations have more than 100 heads, as average size of sheep farms existing in the EU. However, compared with the existing situation in 2002, the number of exploitations is  2.4 times lower in the year 2010, especially based on decreasing of small exploitations respectively those which are framed in class less than 10 heads. The study shows also that meat production and milk production in particular have increased significantly over the period considered, while the wool production decreased slightly.


Polymorphism of the C3 component of the complement system and its impact on serum lysozyme concentrations and complement activity

Ts. Koynarski, L. Sotirov

Abstract. The aim of the investigation was to determine the influence of the C3 component of the complement system on the levels of blood serum lysozyme and the alternative pathway of complement activity (APCA) in sheep. The experiment was carried out with sheep and rams belonging to nine sheep breeds – Mouton Charollais, Ile de France, Trakia Merino, Dairy crosses, White Maritsa, Patch-faced Maritsa, Karnobat, Pleven Blackhead and Local Stara Zagora. For more accurate results we tested equal number of animals from each breed (48), the total number of samples was 432. The two allelic genes (C3S and C3F) formed nine C3 genotypes–SS, SS1, FF, FS, FS5, FS7, FS10, FF1, and F1F1 with different prevalence between the breeds. It was found out that the C3 genotypes do not impact significantly the levels of serum lysozyme concentrations and APCA, therefore indirect selection after this gene marker will not improve the levels of innate immune response in sheep.


Freezing of day 5 and 6 sheep and goat embryos of Greek breeds

A. Pampukidou, M. Avdi, R. Ivanova, T. Alifakiotis

Abstract. The aim of the present study was to investigate cryopreservation at day-5 and 6 of sheep embryos of Chios breed and goat embryos from indigenous Greek breed by the conventional one- or multi-step methods using glycerol and sucrose. Chios sheep and indigenous goats were super ovulated using FSH-P and embryos collected surgically five or six days after mating. Thirty two day-5 and 46 day-6 sheep embryos were frozen either by the one-step or multi-step method and stored in liquid nitrogen. Thirty five and 42 goat embryos were frozen by one-step or multi-step method, correspondingly. From these stock 48 sheep embryos and 56 goat embryos were thawed and transferred into 24 ewe and 28 goat recipients. None of the ewes that received one-step frozen embryos either of day-5 or day-6 lambed. From the recipients of multi-step sheep embryos 2 lambs /17%/ from day-5 and 6 lambs /50%/ from day-6 embryos were obtained. The goats that received one-step frozen embryos delivered 4 kids (25%) from day-5 and 4 kids (33%) from day-6 embryos and from multi-step goat embryos were obtained 4 kids (33%) from day-5 and 8 kids (50%) from day-6 embryos. It is concluded that day-6 multi-step frozen embryos, either of sheep or goats, produce more viable offspring after transfer in suitable recipients.


Comparative studies on some parameters of innate resistance and metabolic profile of sheep and their offspring depending on the ration

B. Bivolarski, Е. Vachkova, S. Laleva, P. Slavova, I. Ivanov

Abstract: Comparative studies were carried out to evaluate the non-specific resistance and some metabolic profile parameters in Mouton Charollais sheep (n=16) and their offspring (n=10) depending on diet type. It was found out that the compound feed type had various effects on studied parameters. Blood lipids and T increased statistically significantly (p<0.05) in sheep. In offspring, considerable changes were observed in blood urea, APCA (p<0.05), body weight and 3 daily weight gain (p<0.01). There were no significant changes in the other parameters tested (lysozyme, total protein, γ-GT and T ).


Study of milk composition in sheep of Pleven black head breed

D. Panayotov, T. Iliev, N. Naydenova, D. Pamukova, M. Simeonov

Abstract. The aim of the study was to investigate somatic cell count and milk composition from Pleven Black head breed of sheep. A total of 96 ewes on first lactation were used belonging to the flock of the village of Komarevo, Pleven district. The studied animals – daughters of six rams from 2 lines, were fed year round in a barn (November-March) and pasture period (April-October). A total of 384 individual milk samples were taken at four selection controls. The milk composition – fat, protein, casei, lactose, solids-non-fat and dry matter was established by Milko-Skan 104 (A/S Foss Elektric, Denmark). The total number of the somatic cells was established by an Ekoscope SCC automated system (Bulteh 2000, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria). The results of this investigation showed that the studied animals had very good milk quality indices. The milk of line 522 animals had significantly higher dry matter, solids-non-fat, fat, protein, casein and lactose content in comparison to those of line 32. For all studied milk indicators the daughters of ram No.33 in line 32 showed the highest average values whereas those of ram No.321 belonging to the same line had the lowest. The average somatic cell count of the milk in the studied animals was very low – 66 254 cells/ml. Minimum variation was established in respect to average SCC values of the milk in both lines but very large between the individual rams.


Complement activity in Bulgarian local sheep related to season and breed

The studies were performed in 2008 on 308 sheep at the age of 2-4 years. Sheep from the following breeds were used: Karakachan, Tsigay, Replyan, Panagyurishte, Copper-red Shoumen, Karnobat, Pleven Blackhead, White Maritsa, Patch-faced Maritsa, Stara Zagora and Romanov. During the spring and summer, 6 sheep from each breed were used and during the summer – 20. The activity of the alternative pathway of complement activation was assayed by the method of Sotirov (1991). During the spring, the highest blood complement concentrations were determined in Panagyurishte (215,24 ± 5,22), White Maritsa (206,87 ± 13,12) and Copper-red Shoumen breeds (201,15 ± 8,88), and the lowest in Romanov (160,23 ± 7,44) and Pleven Blackhead breed – 164,09 ± 12,86 (р < 0,01). The highest summer complement levels were measured in Panagyurishte breed (218,801 ± 3,285 СН50), аnd the lowest – in Tsigay breed (167,144 ± 5,233 СН50) (р < 0,01). During the autumn, Karakachan breed were with the highest complement concentrations (205,79 ± 13,28), whereas Pleven Blackhead – with the lowest – 169,04 ± 10,10 (р < 0,01). Totally for all sheep studied, the average APCA concentrations were 190,87 ± 5,87 during the spring, 190,028 ± 8,284 СН50 during the summer and 191,24 ± 8,47 during the winter.

Complement activity in Bulgarian local sheep related to season and breed

L. Sotirov, V. Semerdjiev, Ts. Maslev, M. Iliev, G. Gerchev, I. Yankov, Ts. Koinarski, Ts.Hristova