Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science
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Tamara Fedorova, Eva Baranyiova, Iva Skalova
Abstract: The timely diagnosis of pregnancy is of paramount importance in cattle management and non-invasive diagnostic methods may help to improve the welfare of animals. In the present study, we evaluated the seed germination pregnancy test combined with urinalysis. Urine samples were obtained from 20 non-pregnant Czech Fleckvieh heifers and from 20 artificially inseminated heifers during six phases of pregnancy: 0–50 days, 51–100 days, 101–150 days, 151–200 days, 201-250 days, and over 250 days. The seed germination test was conducted in all animals using mung beans (Vigna radiata) and wheat seeds (Triticum spelta). A total of 143 and 150 urine samples from pregnant and non-pregnant control heifers, respectively, were processed, and 37,218 germinated seeds were evaluated. The number of germinated mung beans and wheat seeds were counted over five consecutive days, and the shoot lengths were measured on day 5. On day 1 of the test, there was a higher number of germinated mung beans in urine samples obtained during the first half of pregnancy. The urine of heifers in the later stages of pregnancy showed a reduced number of germinated mung beans (P < 0.01). A negative influence of pregnancy on shoot length was also only noticeable in mung beans (P < 0.0001). On the other hand, the shortest shoots were measured in wheat seeds kept in the urine of non-pregnant heifers. Urine pH was higher in pregnant heifers than in non-pregnant heifers (P < 0.0001) but germination
of wheat seeds was not significantly (P > 0.05) influenced by any urinalysis parameter, as measured using diagnostic urine strips. Thus the seed germination test evaluating the shoot length of mung beans can represent a cheap and non-invasive method to distinguish pregnant from non-pregnant heifers.
Keywords: heifers; shoot length; Triticum spelta; urine; urine pH; Vigna radiate
Date published: 2017-07-07
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