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The main objective of this study is to investigate the impact of elevating temperature and CO2 air concentration on the nutritive value of Dactylis glomerata L. growing in permanent grassland managed under cutting. Changes in nutritive value is mainly supported by plant related measurements like development state determination, leaf to stem proportion, and their synchrony in relation to maturity & response to the simulated biotic stress condition. These relevant information are useful to understand changes in plant morphology, phenology and forage quality, as a result of a changing climate. Predicting the response of the forage crop to stress conditions will help to adjust management practices, determine the optimum harvest date at the proper stage of maturity to achieve highest nutritive value, which will be positively reflected on the animal’s performance. This will end up with a profitable, environmentally friendly grassland-based dairy production system.

The ideal amount of fiber in the diet of pigs is still controversially discussed in literature, including its influence on animal performance, gut health and animal welfare. Especially for piglets the content of fiber in the diet are receiving large attention. Fibers are long chain carbohydrates which are undigested by the enzymes of pigs and remains in the digesta for longer compared to other feed components. During transition along the digestion system, the physico-chemical characteristics of fibre may influence the availability of nutrients and energy in diets for piglets. The physico-chemical characteristics of fibre are however poorly described in literature. The project aims to measure buffering capacity, water holding capacity and cation exchange capacity for a range of feeds commonly used in piglet diets. In vitro trials are performed to show the variation in physico-chemical characteristics in different feeds. After screening, with the support of the österreichischen Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG), a certain number of sources are selected for a feeding trial with piglets to identify relationships between physico-chemical characteristics and the digestibility of nutrients, as well as animal performance.

The sustainable and efficient utilization of resources and therefore the extensive use of industrial byproducts gain notably in importance. Aside from being a mere nutrient source, byproducts of winery (grape pomace, grape seeds, grape seed expeller, grape seed extracts) are interesting due to the high concentration of polyphenols as functional ingredient. Depending on the degree of polymerization, polyphenols in the organisms either act as antioxidants or as components interacting negatively with nutrient digestion, mostly proteins. A prooxidative environment, as is the case in conventional broiler feed due to high fat inclusion levels, results in increasing amounts of reactive oxygen species. This can have an impact on the organism and subsequently on the zootechnical performance, the gut functionality as well as the quality of the food of animal origin. In the present study, the applicability of grape byproducts in broiler diet shall be determined in vitro. Consecutively, in a feeding trial the impact of increasing concentrations of a selected grape byproduct on zootechnical performance, oxidative and morphological traits in the intestine as well as the quality of breast meat samples of 384 broiler chicks will be determined. The optimal concentration of a selected grape byproduct in the diet would improve the antioxidative properties of lower digestive tract and meat, without impairing performance of broiler chicks. Furthermore, the predictability of the results of in vitro methods on the in vivo results shall be determined.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations