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Poult Sci. 2015 Aug;94(8):1894-901. doi: 10.3382/ps/pev155. Epub 2015 Jun 18.

Effects of tryptophan supplementation on growth performance, antioxidative activity, and meat quality of ducks under high stocking density.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.
College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.
Animal Department, Beijing Aquarium, Beijing 100044, China.
College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China


High stocking density (STD) could affect duck welfare and production. The objective of our study was to investigate whether dietary tryptophan (TRP) supplementation could alleviate the detrimental effects of high STD on ducks. White Pekin ducks at 4 to 6 wk of age were raised at 11 birds/m(2) and fed diets containing 0.18, 0.48, 0.78, or 1.08% TRP for 21 d. Growth performance, concentrations of TRP and metabolites in the blood and hypothalamus, antioxidative activities in serum and tissue, meat quality, serum uric acid, and urea nitrogen were measured. Weight gain and feed efficiency were significantly improved by TRP supplementation at ≥ 0.48 and ≥ 0.78% (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). Serum TRP, hypothalamic TRP, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindoleacitic acid (5-HIAA), and 5-HIAA/5-HT were also increased significantly (P < 0.01). These increases plateaued at 0.48% TRP, and no further improvement was obtained by adding more TRP to the diet. Dietary TRP supplementation significantly increased levels of total antioxidant capacity, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and catalase (CAT) in serum; GSH-Px in liver; and GSH-Px and CAT in breast muscle (P < 0.05). Malondialdehyde levels in breast muscle decreased (P < 0.001). Drip loss of breast muscle and pH decline at 45 min postmortem were reduced by TRP supplementation (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). Meat color was similar among different treatments (P > 0.05). Breast muscle shear force was increased significantly when dietary TRP level increased to 1.08% (P < 0.01). For ducks raised at 11 birds/m², dietary TRP supplementation could alleviate stress and improve growth performance, antioxidative activity, and meat quality.


5-hydroxytryptamine; antioxidative activity; duck; stocking density; tryptophan

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