Ocepek - Researcher - Mysen, Norway

Marko Ocepek

Mysen, Norway




I have gained skills and knowledge in area of pig production and their welfare with 9 years of teaching and researching on this topic…

Work History

Research fallow

Norway university of Live Sciences

From September 2012

The primary goal of present research is to found out maternal trait for "good mother" that can be easy implement into breeding goal for Norsvin landrace breed.


Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Maribor

August 2005 - September 2012

Becide research work, as an assistant I have to perform 250 hours of teaching per year. Courses; Pig production, Ethology, Animal housing facilities, Organic animal production, Alternative pig production systems, Animal breeding II and Technologies of processing animal products.
I have helped several undergraduate students with their thesis in areas like pig production and environment, sow behaviour at farrowing...


Simmental milk and meat production in Slovenia

The aim was to establish whether there are differences in the
longevity and production characteristics within the studied breeds of cows of
different origin. Holstein cows of Slovenian (461) and foreign (356) origin and
Simmental cows of Slovenian (261) and foreign (43) origin were studied. Only
culled animals that previously had between 1 and 9 lactations were included.
The analyzed properties consisted of characteristics related to the longevity and
lifetime productivity. Compared with Slovenian cows, imported Holstein cows
had a significantly longer calving interval (1210±31 days, 1337±39 days,
P=0.008), a longer dry period (172±6 days, 192±7 days, P=0.022), and a
significantly lower daily milk yield (23.0±0.2 kg, 22.0±0.3 kg, P=0.002).
Significant differences between Simmental cows of Slovenian and foreign origin
were observed in functional productivity (1317±52 days, 1808±186 days,
P=0.006), longevity (2175±53 days, 2701±145 days, P=0.004), and duration of
lifetime lactation (990±38 days, 1265±137 days, P=0.037).

Alternative in pig breeding - organic production

The objective was to evaluate performance from birth until
slaughter, as well as final carcass and meat quality, of pigs raised either
conventionally (n=32) or respecting organic standards (n=35) using
commercially available organic feed mixtures. Lower (22%) feed intake from
weaning until week 11 was noted for organic pigs. As a consequence, organic
pigs had lower growth rate persisting until week 22. In the last phase (weeks 22
to 26) when food intake was limited, growth rate declined in conventional, and
increased in organic, pigs. All pigs were slaughtered at the usual commercial
age (26 weeks). Due to the slower growth, organic pigs had lower carcass
weight, dressing %, smaller longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle, and lighter hams,
while no differences were observed in fat tissue measurements and carcass
leanness (the exception being the area of fat over LD). Analysis for the same
slaughter weight indicated that organic pigs would have fatter carcasses as
conventional pigs if slaughtered at the same weight. With regard to meat
quality, a higher ultimate pH and intramuscular fat content were observed for
organic pigs. The results of the present study indicate possible problems (lower
feed intake, growth retardation) associated with the use of commercially
available organic diets for piglets. On the other hand such diets can increase
intramuscular fat content, which is interesting in terms of improved meat quality.

Organic agriculture and food quality

The objective was to analyze the level of ammonia
emission from organic and conventional pig facilities under optimal, comparable
conditions. Measurements were carried out during three periods (lactation,
growth, and fattening). The performance characteristics of daily gain, feed
consumption and feed conversion were evaluated for each period. In addition,
excretory behaviour was evaluated in the growing and fattening periods.
Microclimatic conditions and ammonia concentration were observed using a
monitoring system. During lactation, a significantly lower ammonia emission
was detected in farrowing facilities of the organic pigs. In the growing period,
the ammonia emission was approximately 70 % less from the organic pig
facilities. Differences (P ≤ 0.001) between the conventional and organic rearing
systems remained during fattening. These differences in ammonia emission
may be partially explained as a consequence of lower feed intake and growth
rate of organic pigs. Behaviour analysis of urination and defecation showed a
significantly higher frequency on slatted and solid indoor floors (P ≤ 0.001) by
conventional than by organic pigs. Consequently, fouled indoor areas were 2.5-
fold higher in conventional groups of pigs.

Causes of piglet mortality - the impact of maternal behavour and their genetic component


Qualifications & Certifications

PhD in Ethology in progress

Norway university of Live Sciences

Master in Animal Science

University Of Maribor, Faculty of agriculture and Life Sciences

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