Effect of Propolis as Additive on Some Behavioural Patterns, Performance and Blood Parameters in Muscovy Broiler Ducks
Keywords:Propolis; behavior; performance; blood parameters; Muscovy broiler ducks
Forty Muscovy ducklings of one day old were used in this study. They were brooded together for 3 weeks and then were randomly divided into two groups, 20 ducklings per each. Each group was housed in a well ventilated, previously cleaned, disinfected and well bedded with saw dust 3 x 3 m pen. Birds were maintained at 33 °C using gas heater and the temperature was gradually reduced by 3 °C / week until 21 °C was reached and then continued to the end of the experiment. Continuous lighting program with 23 hours light to one hour dark was maintained by the natural day light and a 60 watt bulb that placed centrally in each pen at 2 meters height above the heads of birds. Birds were daily fed ad-libitum on a commercial duck broiler starter ration up to 3 weeks of age and on a duck broiler grower finisher ration till 12 weeks old. The first group was fed on these diets without any supplements and used as a control group, however, the second one was fed the finisher rations provided and thoroughly mixed with ethanol extracted propolis at a rate of 2 gm / Kg of diet. Water was freely available allover the experiment. Behaviour, performance and blood parameters of the experimented birds were carried out. Obtained results indicated that use of propolis as a natural feed additive reflected on ducks with a reduction in stress behaviour, increased growth performance, increased immune response and resistance and improved welfare through improving the physical health state.
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