An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of dietary pantothenic acid levels on growth performance, carcass traits, and pantothenic acid status of male White Pekin ducks from hatch to 21 days of age, and to evaluate the requirement of this B-vitamin for starter ducks. Different levels pantothenic acid (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 20 mg/kg) were supplemented to corn-soy isolate protein basal diet to produce 7 dietary treatments with different analyzed total pantothenic acid levels (4.65, 6.80, 8.39, 9.98, 12.04, 13.70, and 22.50 mg/kg). A total of 448 one-day-old male White Pekin ducks were allotted to 7 dietary treatments with 8 replicate pens of 8 birds per pen. At 21 days of age, body weight, average daily weight gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), gain to feed ratio (G/F), liver pantothenic acid content, as well as percentage yield of breast meat, leg meat, and abdominal fat were examined. The growth depression, exudate on eyelids, dermatosis, poor feathering, and 100 % of mortality were observed in the ducks fed the basal diet without pantothenic acid supplementation, and these adverse effects were ameliorated by pantothenic acid supplementation. The starter ducks on the diet containing 6.80 mg/kg of pantothenic acid had a lower parameter profile of body weight, ADG, ADFI, G/F, breast meat yield, abdominal fat yield, and liver pantothenic acid content compared to the birds fed the diets with higher levels of pantothenic acid (P < 0.05). And these criteria showed a linear or quadratic response to increasing dietary pantothenic acid levels (P < 0.05). The pantothenic acid requirements (based on dietary total pantothenic acid) of starter male White Pekin ducks for body weight, ADG, ADFI, G/F, and liver pantothenic acid content were 8.95, 8.95, 8.59, 9.56, and 10.22 mg/kg based on broken-line regression, while were 10.04, 10.05, 9.18, 11.01, and 11.24 mg/kg based on quadratic broken-line regression, respectively.
- Growth performance
- Pantothenic acid