Effects of Sophy β-glucan on growth performance, carcass traits, meat composition, and immunological responses of Peking ducks

Poult Sci. 2011 Apr;90(4):737-45. doi: 10.3382/ps.2010-01008.


The response of Peking ducks to supplements of Sophy β-glucan was studied. A total of 160 healthy 1-d-old mixed-sex ducklings were randomly allocated to 3 groups: Sophy β-glucan (n = 80), bacitracin zinc (n = 40), and control (n = 40), which received the same antibiotics-deficient diet supplemented with 1% β-glucan, 5% bacitracin zinc, or nothing, respectively. During 2 mo of the study, growth performance, carcass composition, and meat quality of Peking ducks were evaluated. Additionally, a separate immunological study was conducted with a total of 105 healthy male Peking ducks in 7 groups (n = 15) and immunized with different doses of β-glucan (0, 0.5, 2.5, 12.5, and 62.5 μg/duck) and BSA (200 μg/duck). Blood was taken for detection of anti-BSA-IgG antibody and peripheral blood mononuclear cells proliferation assays. Groups subjected to different dietary treatments showed almost no differences in growth performance and slaughter traits except breast muscle percentage and intestinal length. These 2 indicators were significantly higher in the bacitracin zinc group than in the control and β-glucan groups (P < 0.05). Similarly, chemical compositions, fatty acids, and amino acids of breast muscle were not significantly influenced by the diet. Ducks immunized with Sophy β-glucan did not have enhanced level of anti-BSA-IgG antibodies but had significant peripheral blood mononuclear cells proliferation compared with unchallenged ducks (P < 0.01). With an increase in the glucan concentration, the proliferative responses approximately linearly increased. These findings indicate that 1% Sophy glucan did not improve duck growth performance, carcass composition, and meat quality significantly under the conditions of the present experiment and mainly had regulatory or enhancing properties on poultry nonspecific cellular immunity.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Ducks / growth & development*
  • Ducks / immunology
  • Ducks / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Male
  • Meat
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / growth & development
  • Muscle, Skeletal / immunology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • beta-Glucans / administration & dosage*
  • beta-Glucans / immunology


  • Amino Acids
  • Fatty Acids
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • beta-Glucans