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Br Poult Sci. 2001 Dec;42(5):650-7.

Force-feeding procedure and physiological indicators of stress in male mule ducks.

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  • 1INRA, Station de Recherches Avicoles, Centre de Tours, Nouzilly, France. Daniel.Guemene@tours.inra.fr

Abstract

1. The effects of the force-feeding procedure and its different components on various physiological indicators of acute and chronic stress were investigated in male mule ducks before and during a 12-d cramming period. 2. The highest concentration of corticosterone were measured after injection of ACTH agonist, during the pre-experimental period when the ducks were still housed in collective floor pens and at the time of transfer. 3. During the cramming period, corticosterone measured before and after force-feeding did not differ significantly though there was a non-significant trend towards an increase in certain cases. 4. The different components of force-feeding, including manipulation, intubation, force-feeding with a standard or a large amount of food had no significant effect upon corticosterone concentrations. 5. There was no indication from ACTH agonist challenge either of a change in adrenal sensitivity or a change in its responsiveness. 6. The heterocyte-lymphocyte ratio measured before and at the end of the cramming period did not differ significantly. 7. In conclusion, we observed no significant indication that force-feeding is perceived as an acute or chronic stress by male mule ducks, in our experimental conditions. Nevertheless, it remains to be shown that their adrenocorticotropic axis is responsive to acute stressors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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