In addition to chickens, poultry species including guinea fowl as well as muscovy ducks have become popular as a source of protein for human consumption. Guinea fowl are less vulnerable to a variety of poultry diseases as compared to chickens. Moreover, they are also linked with comparatively lower production costs and it possesses meat having high protein and low fat content1.
On the other hand, duck meat is considered as a significant protein source as it has some of the attributes that are similar to red meat. Furthermore, ducks can also adapt to different environments as well2.
Poultry diets are often mixed with fat in the form of animal fat or vegetable oils, as this fat is a source of metabolizable energy, which is crucial to amplify the growth performance and productivity of birds3.
However, it is reported that in humans, rats, hamsters as well as chickens, amplified utilization of fat can cause an increased flux of free fatty acids to the liver, which eventually leads the development of hepatic steatosis4. In addition, use of high fat diet (HFD) has also been associated with the development of obesity, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance5.
Accordingly, the effects of increased dietary fat consumption in guinea fowl and muscovy ducks are still unknown. Therefore, scientists conducted a new research to study the impacts of a fatty acid rich diet on glucose tolerance, the liver of guinea fowl, serum metabolic health parameters as well as muscovy ducks6.
For this purpose, 24 guinea fowl and twenty four muscovy ducks were selected and categorized into 2 groups per species and fed either a standard or high-fat diet; enriched with 20% palm oil as well as 2% lard up to 8 weeks6.
This research revealed that feeding a HFD to guinea fowl and muscovy duck did not show major affect on glucose tolerance parameters the liver lipid content, despite the resulting hypercholesterolemia. Therefore, this diet is safe to use during production of these alternative poultry species
Conclusively, the mechanisms involved in the metabolism of various lipid types and subsequent handling of the lipid metabolites in these bird species should be studied in detail to establish the physiological mechanisms behind the resistance of these alternative poultry species to the metabolic effects of a HFD.
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