- Volume 2 Issue 2
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COMPARATIVE STUDIES ON THE UTILIZATION OF CALCIUM BETWEEN LAYING TSAIYA DUCK AND LEGHORN HEN
Studies were conducted to compare the utilization of dietary calcium between brown laying Tsaiya duck and Leghorn hen. Birds were fed corn-soybean diets containing 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0% calcium, respectively, with five birds per treatment. The metabolizability of calcium was determined by the indicator method. Experiments were conducted three times each at the age of 27, 31 and 36 weeks. Results appeared that duck eggs were heavier with better shell quality in comparison with hen eggs. Ducks fed 1% calcium diet resulted in severely depressed egg production (19%), but not for hens which still had 56% egg production. The metabolizability of calcium for hens was significantly higher than that for ducks (P<0.05) when both were fed diets containing 1 or 2% calcium. As the dietary calcium level was increased to 3 to 5%, there was no significant difference in calcium metabolizability between ducks and hens. When the dietary calcium was between 2 to 5%, the ducks retained more calcium than did the hens. Plasma calcium content for both hens and ducks fed 1% calcium diet was about the same. When the amount of the dietary calcium was increased to 2-5%, the plasma calcium level of ducks was approximately 7-10 mg/dl higher than that of hens. The calcium content in the egg shell of duck was significantly higher than that of hens, too. As the dietary calcium level was increased, there was a decreased magnesium content in the eggshell of hens, but not for ducks. The magnesium level in the eggshell was higher in hens than that in ducks. It is concluded that ducks could retain significantly more calcium and maintain higher plasma calcium level which might be the reason for larger eggs with better shell quality by ducks.