Welcome to Website of Institute of Animal Science!

Institute of Animal Science (IAS) Prague – Uhříněves is a public research institution founded by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic.

Since its foundation in 1951, the Institute has been a centre of research into biological and bio-technological basis of animal science.

IAS carries out basic and applied research focusing on innovation and the practical use of knowledge in animal science. Eight research departments perform research in the fields of animal genetics and breeding, bio-technology and reproduction, nutrition, quality of products, animal ethology and welfare, breeding technology, herd management and production economy.

In addition to basic and applied research, IAS carries out other expert activities. One of the most significant is the implementation of the National Programme for Conservation and Utilization of Farm Animal Genetic Resources. In 2016, the IAS was appointed as the National Centre for Genetic Resources to coordinate and implement the National Programme, along with many stakeholders. The Institute has also provided for the activity of the Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition and was entrusted by the Ministry of Agriculture to represent the Czech Republic in the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP). IAS provides professional training on classification of swine and cattle carcasses according to SEUROP, under a contract with the Ministry of Agriculture.

 

Workshop VOTRIS

Scientists from National Research Institute of Animal Production (NRIAP) in Poland, Agro Management Tools of Wageningen University and Research Centre (AMT-WUR) in the Netherlands, Lithuanian University of Health Science (LUHS) in Lithuania and Agricultural Institute Stara Zagora in Bulgaria visited the Institute of Animal Science in Prague from 10 to 12 April 2018 withinČíst dále

Negative effect of phytase superdosing in laying hens

Hisex hens, aged 24 weeks, were divided into 6 groups. Each group consisted of 4 cages with 10 hens per cage with dimensions and equipment meeting the EU directives. This 2 × 3 factorial experiment included two levels of calcium (Ca; 35 or 42 g/kg) and 3 different additions of 6-phytase OptiPhos® (Ph; 0, 300, and 1500 phytase units (FTU)/kg) to the diet. The content of nonphytate phosphorus (NPP) in all diets was the same (1.8 g/kg). The experiment lasted 12 weeks. A significant interaction of Ph × Ca (P = 0.029) was observed in hen-day egg production. A diet with 35 g/kg Ca and the highest dose of Ph (1500 FTU/kg) resulted in a lower hen-day egg production (84.1%) than did the other treatments (91.5–88.6%). Phytase superdosing negatively influenced egg mass production (P = 0.001) and the feed conversion ratio (P = 0.018). Neither Ph nor Ca influenced eggshell ash content. Both additions of Ph into mixed feed decreased Haugh units (P < 0.001). A higher content of Ca in the diet increased shell thickness (P = 0.024) and shell breaking strength (P = 0.039), while Ph addition increased shell percentage (P = 0.004) and shell breaking strength (P = 0.009). The results of this experiment demonstrate the unsuitability of Ph superdosing in mixed feed for laying hens.

Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition                                                                                                                       

The Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition was established in 2002 as an advisory body of the food safety coordination group. Its main task is to prepare scientific studies, offer expert views, and prepare proposals for measures ensuring safety throughout the entire chain of food and feed production.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Application of precision farming in the whole process, from the production of silages to the feeding of cattle

Design new and improve existing systems and technologies for the production of quality forage by extending the precision farming features in the field of crop production to their harvest, storage and use in cattle nutrition. Develop software for the evaluation of forage quality using the fast and inexpensive NIRs spectrometric method. Update NIRs calibration equations according to chemical analysis results. Set up devices to respond appropriately to dryness, nutrition, and fodder processing level, and indicate the need for intervention, or automatically change eg the dose of silage preparation or the length of TMR mixing in the feed wagon. The targets will be met by 2022.

Improvement of national-wide genomic evaluation of dairy cattle by including cows with domestic production records into genotyped reference population

Improvement of reliability of national-wide evaluation of dairy cattle by increasing of reference population with SNP genotyping of cows with domestic production. Connected are economic optimization of sampling sources of DNA in herds for chips and NGS technologies, modification and imputation of data from chips to the unified format, allowing comparison of individuals and interface of parentage verification and tests of status of genes connected with health and production (today tested separately by STR technologies). Further population studies on SNP and verification of differences on DNA levels between domestic cow and imported sires populations (groups for BLUP). The final goal is the algorithm of prediction of genomic enhanced breeding value (GEBV) exploiting all genotyped animals.

Toward a tool for farmers to evaluate welfare states of pigs: measuring vocal indicators of emotions

Recently, the importance of the impact of mental health on animal welfare has become evident, and animal welfare is now assessed through both physical and mental health. However, tools to scientifically and easily measure the affective lives of animals are still lacking. One promising tool to assess animal emotions is through vocalisations. Our project proposes to develop a robust system for identifying emotions in fattening pigs (from birth to slaughter), using vocalisations, which could be used to obtain welfare outcome indicators on-farm. This will be done by gathering European groups experts on vocal indicators of mental states in pigs (FR, DE, CH, NO, CZ). The project includes three main tasks. The first task aims at identifying vocal indicators of emotions in pigs. This will be done with a meta-analysis on existing and new data recorded within the project. Indeed, the groups already own a large number of audio data recorded in situations associated with different emotions, ranging from stressful husbandry procedures (e.g. castration and handling) to positive situations (e.g. social reunion and post-nursing interactions). Because the recordings vary in terms of pig breed, sex, age and recording technics, we will also carry out more recordings in standardised conditions, in order to obtain a baseline for the recognition system, and in missing situations (positive states and slaughter). The second task aims at developing a recognition tool able to identify emotions using vocalisations. It will consist in testing different classification methods/models, in order to choose the more appropriate to develop a system that could reliably identify pig emotions. Then, the recognition software will be built. The third and last task will consist in testing and validating the system. To this aim, the teams will test it in various situations at their own research stations and onfarm (from birth to slaughter). The final outcome of this project will be an accurate non-invasive system for identifying pig instantaneous emotional states. This system could thus be used on-farm, and serve as a tool to professionals for controlling the welfare threats of pigs (e.g. piglets? crushing, fighting or hunger). They could use it to monitor and improve pig welfare by minimising stress and encouraging positive emotions. To achieve this goal, the management task will include training for farmers in the different countries (in addition to scientific and technical communication).

PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES

SERVICES AND APPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICAL USE

EXPERT REPORTS

Preparation of analyses, studies and research on individual demand

CONTRACT RESEARCH

Contract research following the partners’ assignment

SEUROP

Training courses for cattle and pig carcass classifiers.

ECONOMIC ANALYSES

ECOWEIGHT, FarmProfit, Forecasting the Structure of Dairy Cattle Herd, Forecasting the structure of dairy cattle herd

CONSULTANCY

Active consultancy for the breeders of dairy cattle, beef cattle, goats and sheep, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses and cervids.

EXPERT SEMINARS

Invited lectures for breeders, students and agricultural business staff on specific topics