Influence of Vitamin B 12 and Cobalt on growth of broiler chickens and Pekin ducks

The effects of dietary vitamin B12 and cobalt (Co) supplementation on feed intake, growth performance, feed-to-gain ratio and carcass composition were investigated in broiler chickens and Pekin ducks. A total of 768 male chickens for fattening and 384 male Pekin ducks were allocated to 8 dietary treatments (0/10/20/40 g vitamin B12 per kg, 0.65 mg Co, 0.65 mg Co+10 g B12, 0.65 mg Co+20 g B12 and 0.65 mg Co+40 g B12 per kg) and fed for 35 or 49 days. The results showed that the supplementation of all steps of B12 and also Co alone or combined with B12 the daily feed intake significantly (p<0.05) improved in the trial with broiler chickens but the supplementation was without effect on the feed intake of Pekin ducks. The daily weight gain of B12 and Co and B12/Co groups was significantly (p<0.05) higher in broiler chickens in comparison with the control group and not different between all Pekin duck groups. Feed conversion was not different between broiler and duck groups. No effects on the carcass quality of broilers could be seen. Slaughtering of ducks of groups with supplementation of 20 g B12, 0.65 mg Co and Co+B12 showed a significant higher breast meat yield compare to other groups.

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