Force feeding as a Stress Factor on Muscovy Ducks
Keywords:Force feeding; Behavior; Performance; Blood hormones; Muscovy ducks
The experiment was done to determine the effects of force feeding on drinking, panting behaviors, feed consumption, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, live body weight, slaughter weight, carcass weight and dressing percentage, serum corticosterone, triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine (T4) of Muscovy ducks. Two groups were used; the first one was the control group, which fed on basal diet only and the second group was force fed by grabbing the neck, and a metal or plastic tube 8 to 12 inches long was inserted down the esophagus. Ducklings were forced to ingest a greater amount of food than what they would eat voluntarily. The previous parameters were recorded daily or weekly during the experiment or after slaughtering. Blood samples for separation of serum were collected after slaughtering. The results explained that, there was an insignificant increase in drinking behavior. However, there was a significant increase in feed consumption, live body weight, feed conversion, weight gain, dressing percentage, panting behavior, liver weight and serum corticosterone level while there was a significant decrease in T3 and T4 level. It could be concluded that, force feeding at the end of the fattening period of ducks had adverse effect on some duck behaviors and some blood parameters but led to improvement in performance parameters and carcass characters.
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