Acta Vet. Brno 2020, 89: 141-150

Productive traits, selenium status and blood metabolic status in fattening lambs affected by selenium biofortified corn

Zvonko Antunović1, Željka Klir1, Marcela Šperanda1, Zdenko Lončarić1, Boro Mioč2, Nina Čebulj Kadunc3, Danijela Samac1, Josip Novoselec1

1J. J. Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Sciences Osijek, Osijek, Croatia
2University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Animal Science and Technology, Zagreb, Croatia
3University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received November 7, 2019
Accepted April 30, 2020

The widespread selenium (Se) deficiency in soil and in feedstuffs from such soil, needs to be prevented by various methods. Recently, biofortification of Se has been carried out by soil fertilization and foliar application of crops. The aim of this study was evaluate the productive traits, Se status and blood metabolic profile in fattening lambs affected by Se biofortified corn. The research was conducted with 20 Merinolandschaf lambs of the average age of 70 days, during 30 days of fattening. The feed mixture of the control group contained corn (0.014 mg Se/kg dry matter, DM); in the experimental group (Se-BC), corn was biofortified (0.278 mg Se/kg DM). The feed mixture, hay and water were offered to lambs ad libitum. Blood was collected from the jugular vein on days 0 and 30 of experiment. Haematological indices were determined in whole blood, whereas concentrations of biochemical indices, enzyme activities, and concentrations of metabolic hormones were determined in serum. After the slaughter, samples of musculus semimembranosus, liver, kidney, lungs, spleen, peritoneum and heart tissues were taken. No significant differences were obtained in productive traits when feeding lambs with Se-BC. Higher concentrations of Se in lungs and liver (control: 0.26 and 0.75 mg/kg, respectively; Se-BC: 0.33 and 0.92 mg/kg, respectively) was determined in Se-BC compared to control. Higher activity of glutathione peroxidase enzyme in serum, higher erythrocyte count, higher content of haemoglobin and haematocrit in whole blood of Se-BC lambs were determined. The results of the study indicate the posibility of using Se-BC in lambs’ diets.


The study was carried out within the research team Innovative breeding and technological processes in animal production (No. 1126) at Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Sciences Osijek.


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