Influence of Overfeeding on Productive Performance Traits, Foie Gras Production, Blood Parameters, Internal Organs, Carcass Traits, and Mortality Rate in Two Breeds of Ducks
A total of 60 male mule ducks and 60 male Muscovy ducks were allotted into three groups (n = 20) to estimate the effects of overfeeding (two and four meals) versus ad libitum feeding on productive performance traits, foie gras production, internal organs, and blood parameters.
The results show that force-feeding four meals significantly increased (P < 0.01) body weight, weight gain, and gain percentage compared to force-feeding two meals. Both force-feeding regimes (two or four meals) induced significantly higher body weight, weight gain, gain percentage, and absolute carcass weight than ad libitum feeding; however, carcass percentage was significantly higher in ad libitum feeding. Mule ducks had significantly higher weight gain and weight gain percentages than Muscovy ducks.
Feed consumption per kilogram of foie gras and per kilogram weight gain was lower for the four-meal than for the two-meal forced feeding regime. Force-feeding four meals induced significantly higher liver weight and percentage (488.96 ± 25.78g, 7.82 ± 0.40%) than force-feeding two meals (381.98 ± 13.60g, 6.42 ± 0.21%). Moreover, feed conversion was significantly higher under forced feeding than under ad libitum feeding (77.65 ± 3.41g, 1.72 ± 0.05%; P < 0.01).
Forced feeding (two or four meals) increased all organ weights (intestine, proventriculus, heart, spleen, and pancreas) over ad libitum feeding weights, except for the gizzard; however intestinal and abdominal fat values were higher for four-meal forced feeding than for two-meal forced feeding.
Overfeeding did not change blood parameters significantly compared to ad libitum feeding; however, four-meal forced feeding improved the quality of foie gras since it significantly increased the percentage of grade A foie gras (62.5%) at the expense of grades B (33.33%) and C (4.17%) compared with the two-meal forced feeding.
The mortality percentage among Muscovy ducks during the forced feeding period was 22.5%, compared to 0% in mule ducks. Liver weight was highly significantly correlated with life weight after overfeeding and certain blood plasma traits.
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