Mineral composition of the hair coat of Polish Konik horses raised in nature reserves and barns
Stanek M., Sobotka W.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of environmental and management conditions on the mineral composition of the hair coat of Polish Konik horses at the Research Station for Organic Farming and Conservation Breeding of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Popielno. The hair mineral content was compared in Koniks raised in a barn and a nature reserve. The foals bred in the reserve were divided into two groups based on the area occupied by the herds from which they originated. Hair samples were collected from 53 Koniks born over two consecutive years. Green forage and hair samples were analyzed to determine the concentrations of macroelements (P, K, Mg, Ca and Na) and microelements (Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe). Water quality was evaluated based on its pH and the concentrations of N-NO3, N-NH4, P-PO4, K, Ca, Mg, Na and Cl. The hair coats of foals raised in the reserve had a significantly higher content of K and Na than the hair coats of stabled Koniks. Significant differences in the concentrations of K, Na, P and Ca in the hair coat were also noted between the two groups of horses in the reserve. The hair coats of foals born and raised in a stable had a higher content of Fe, Mn, and Cu. No significant differences in the hair macromineral content were found between the sexes. As regards microminerals, higher concentrations of Fe and Mn were determined in the hair coats of mares. Environmental and management conditions exerted a significant effect on the mineral composition of the hair coat of Polish Konik horses. Differences were observed not only between foals raised in a barn and a nature reserve, but also between Koniks kept in the reserve.
Jaworski Z., Stanek M., Sobotka W. 2017. Mineral composition of the hair coat of Polish Konik horses raised in nature reserves and barns. J. Elem., 22(3): 857-867. DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2016.21.4.1340
horse, Polish Konik, hair, minerals, nature reserves, barn