Comparison of the effects of Chinese herbs, probiotics and prebiotics with those of antibiotics in diets on the performance of meat ducks
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College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Yuanmingyuan West Road 2, Beijing, 100094, P.R. China
Publication date: 2007-02-02
Corresponding author
H. Zhou   

College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Yuanmingyuan West Road 2, Beijing, 100094, P.R. China
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2007;16(1):96-103
This study was conducted to compare the effect of some additives on the performance of Pekin meat ducks. Three types of feed additives, Chinese herbs, probiotics and prebiotics, were supplemented separately to meat duck diets and compared with an antibiotic treatment group as well as with a group of non-supplemented birds. For a seven-week feeding trial, a total of 300 meat ducks were allotted to five treatments. The treatments were: non-supplemented, antibiotics, Chinese herbs, probiotics, and prebiotics. At the end of starter phase (weeks 0-2), the ducks on probiotics had the highest body weight (P<0.01), and during the last weeks (weeks 3-7) the ducks in all experimental groups grew faster than the negative controls (P<0.01). The feed conversion ratio (FCR) of the probiotics group was significantly lower than in the other groups during the whole experiment. Mortality was lowest in the Chinese herbs and antibiotics groups (0%). The carcass characteristics study showed that every trait measured in this experiment was similar (P>0.05) in all groups. Overall, it can be inferred that supplementation of Chinese herbs, probiotics, prebiotics did not negatively affect meat duck performance and that these feed additives can replace antibiotics in Pekin meat duck diets.
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