Effect of management and probiotic supplementation on growth performance of Muscovy ducks
Keywords:backyard ducks, Cairina moschata, duck farming, FCR, growth performance, management, Muscovy ducks, probiotics
Background: Farming of Muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata) is an important part of the poultry industry in developed countries. However, the lack of research and improvement programs has led to poor productive outcomes in developing regions where this duck breed is important to procure adequate food security. Objective: To evaluate the effect of improved management conditions and the use of commercial probiotics on the growth performance of Muscovy ducks in a semi-intensive system farm in Colombia. Methods: We recorded the weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR) of ducks under three treatments: Backyard management, improved management, and improved management plus probiotic supplementation. Results: The backyard farming system led to poor weight gains (male=2,797 g; female=1,605 g) and less efficient FCR (4.06). Improvement of management conditions led to a better (p<0.05) FCR (3.1) and a greater (p<0.05) weight gain (male=2,888 g; female=1,637 g). The FCR under improved management is comparable to those reported in developed duck farming industries, but the final weight was notably lower than those obtained with selected lines. The use of commercial probiotics led to significant (p<0.05) improvement in weight gain (male=2,930 g; female=1,692 g); however, it also increased the FCR (3.5; p<0.05). Conclusions: The improvement of management conditions enhance the productivity of Muscovy ducks, but further genetic selection processes or use of selected lines is required in developing countries such as Colombia. Further studies are required to assess if probiotic supplementation can lead to improvement in Muscovy ducks farming due to the contrasting effect over the weight gain and FCR.
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