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Choline Requirements of White Pekin Ducks from Hatch to 21 Days of Age

02 January 2015

Poultry Science journal

Researchers in China have established the requirements of young Pekin ducks for the vitamin, choline, for both optimum performance and health.

The choline requirements of White Pekin ducks from hatch to 21 days of age were investigated by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and China Agricultural University.

In a paper in Poultry Science, Xie Ming and co-authors conducted a dose-response experiment with eight dietary choline levels (302, 496, 778, 990, 1,182, 1,414, 1,625 and 1,832mg per kg) with male White Pekin ducks to estimate the choline requirement.

A total of 384 day-old male White Pekin ducks were randomly assigned to the eight dietary treatments, each containing six replicate pens with eight birds per pen. At 21 days of age, weight gain, feed intake and feed/gain from each pen were calculated for feeding period, and two ducks selected randomly from each pen were euthanised and the liver was collected to determine total lipids, triglycerides and phospholipids.

In this study, the researchers observed perosis, poor growth and high liver fat in choline-deficient ducks. The incidence of perosis was zero when dietary choline was 1,182mg per kg.

As dietary choline increased, the weight gain and feed intake increased linearly or quadratically (P<0.05).

However, as dietary choline increased, the total lipid and triglyceride in liver decreased linearly and liver phospholipid increased linearly (P<0.05), and the lipotropic activity of choline may be associated with increasing phospholipid at a high dietary choline level.

According to broken-line regression, the choline requirements for weight gain and feed intake were 810 and 823mg per kg, respectively, concluded Xie and co-authors. However, they added, higher levels od supplementation should be considered to prevent perosis and excess liver lipid deposition completely.


Wen Z.G., J. Tang, S.S. Hou, Y.M. Guo, W. Huang and M. Xie. 2014. Choline requirements of White Pekin ducks from hatch to 21 days of age. Poultry Science. 93(12): 3091-3096. doi: 10.3382/ps.2014-03994

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January 2015

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