Dietary riboflavin and the production of clubbed down in chick embryos Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/k3569783w

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  • Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of riboflavin and pantothenic acid deficiency on the production of clubbed down embryos in Single Combed White Leghorn (SCWL) and Rhode Island Red (RIR) hens. In experiment 1, sixteen SCWL and eight RIR hens were assigned to one of four diets calculated to contain 1.57, 2.39, 4.04, and 4.90 mg of total riboflavin per kg of feed using a completely randomized block design. The hens were 44 weeks of age at the onset of the experiment and were maintained on these diets for 18 weeks. They were artificially inseminated weekly using semen from SCWL males, and records of egg production, fertility, hatchability, and clubbed down production were maintained. Embryos from these matings were examined macroscopically at 16 days of incubation for down abnormalities. The feather tracts of abnormal embryos were examined macroscopically and selected abnormal down plumules were subjected to scanning electron microscopy. Dietary levels of riboflavin significantly (P < .05) affected clubbed down production. Clubbed down was observed on embryos from all four diets. The diet containing 4.04 mg total riboflavin/kg produced significantly more embryos with clubbed down than the other three diets. The hen type did not influence the frequency of clubbed down, although there were some differences among hens within treatment groups. Scanning electron microscopy of embryos demonstrating down abnormalities revealed some feather follicles resembling the twisting of a french knot. Another variation in clubbed down was plumules having a wheat-shaped appearance. Feed samples were analyzed for concentrations of riboflavin, amino acids, and mycotoxins. The riboflavin concentrations were determined to be 1.81, 2.25, 2.66, and 3.23 mg/kg, respectively, using fluorometric analysis and 2.50, 3.69, 4.39, and 5.86 mg/kg, respectively, using microbiological analysis. Levels of amino acids were within acceptable levels with the exception of methionine and cystine, both of which were found to be deficient, even though the feed had been supplemented with methionine. Analysis of the feed revealed no detectable amounts of Aflatoxins B & G, Ochratoxin, Vomitoxin, Zearalenol, or Zearalenone. In experiment 2, twenty-four 48-week-old SCWL hens were assigned to one of four diets calculated to contain 5.02, 6.39, 7.77, and 11.5 mg total pantothenic acid per kg of feed using a completely randomized block design and were maintained on these diets for 11 weeks. The hens were artificially inseminated weekly and similar production records to those in experiment 1 were maintained. Varying the level of pantothenic acid in the feed had no effect (P >.05) on hatchability or clubbed down production; however, those hens receiving 11.5 mg total pantothenic acid had a lower mean fertility (P< .05). From these studies it has been determined that riboflavin and pantothenic acid deficiencies are not the primary cause of clubbed down in the chick embryo. The observance of clubbed down in the control and treatment birds indicates that the cause is not related to deficiencies in these vitamins.
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