Quantitative feed restriction of Pekin breeder ducks during the rearing period and its effect on subsequent productivity

Author: M.D. Olver
Year: 1984
Issue: 3
Volume: 14
Page: 136 - 141

Six male and 24 female Pekin ducks per pen were randomly allocated to 12 pens to test the effects of quantitative feed restriction during the rearing period on subsequent reproductive performance. The feed treatments during the rearing periods were ad lib.; 80% of ad lib.; 60% of ad lib.; and 40% of ad lib. with three replicates of each treatment. During the laying period a duck breeding diet was fed ad lib. to all groups. As the degree of quantitative feed restriction during the rearing period increased: (i) Body mass at 22 weeks of age decreased, these differences becoming negligible at 62 weeks of age; (ii) feed intake to 22 weeks of age was lowered, the reduction in intake being proportional to the degree of restriction; (iii) the number of days to sexual maturity was delayed, resulting in an increase in average egg mass; (iv) the percentage fertility and hatchability of eggs set increased; (v) the mortality during the laying period decreased; (vi) significant differences were found between treatments with regard to carcass moisture and carcass fat. There were also significant differences between treatments in respect of the adjusted and unadjusted viscera masses giving some idea of the physiological phenomena that accompany feed restriction; and (vii) the economic advantage of restriction increased.


Keywords: body mass, Breeder ducks, carcass characteristics, quantitive feed restriction, Reproduction
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