Acta Vet. Brno 2015, 84: 153-158

Structure of the digestive system of ducks depending on sex and genetic background

Rafał Wasilewski1, Dariusz Kokoszyński1, Anna Mieczkowska1, Zenon Bernacki1, Alina Górska2

1UTP University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Animal Breeding and Biology, Department of Poultry Breeding and Animal Products Evaluation, Bydgoszcz, Poland
2Institut of Bioengineering and Animal Breeding, University of Natural Science and Humanities, Siedlce, Poland

Received July 8, 2014
Accepted January 14, 2015

The aim of the study was to determine the effect of genotype and sex on body weight, body dimensions, intestinal length and diameter, percentage of intestinal segments, and weight and percentage of the main internal organs of ducks. The study was performed with 80 Pekin ducks, which were kept throughout rearing (1–49 days of age) in a confinement building and fed commercial waterfowl feed ad libitum. After 7 weeks of rearing, 40 ducks (10 drakes and 10 ducks of hybrid line SM3 Heavy and 10 drakes and 10 ducks of hybrid line AF51) were selected for slaughter. Birds were measured for body length and trunk length. During evisceration, the digestive tract and other internal organs were separated. At 7 weeks of age, SM3 Heavy broilers were heavier and had longer body length and trunk length compared to AF51 ducks. Significant differences were found for body weight in females and for body length in males. The AF 51 females were characterized by significantly greater intestinal length to body length and intestinal length to trunk length ratios, whereas AF51 males showed a greater (P ≤ 0.05) body length to trunk length ratio compared to SM3 Heavy birds. Genetic background of the ducks had no significant effect on the length of intestine and its segments, the diameter of different intestinal segments, and the weight and proportion of the gizzard, liver, heart and spleen. The same pattern was observed for the sex of birds except for gizzard weight, which was significantly greater in SM3 Heavy males than females.


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