International Journal of Agricultural Science and Research (IJASR) ISSN 2250-0057 Vol.

3 Issue 2, Jun 2013, 101-110 © TJPRC Pvt. Ltd.

EFFECT OF DIETARY SUPPLEMENTATION WITH L-CANITINE ON PRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF LOCAL DUCKS
HAZIM J. AL-DARAJI & ANMAR O. TAHIR Department of Animal Resource, College of Agriculture, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

ABSTRACT
This study was conducted to determine the effect of supplementing the diet with different levels of L-carnitine on productive performance of local ducks. A total of 60 females of local ducks, 30 weeks old were used in this study. Ducks were randomly distributed on four treatment groups with 15 ducks each and each treatment group consisted of three replicates with 5 ducks for each replicate. Treatment groups were as follows: Treatment 1 (T 1): Birds fed diet free of Lcarnitine (control group), Treatment 2 (T 2): Birds fed diet containing 50 mg L-carnitine/kg of diet, Treatment 3 (T 3): Birds fed diet containing 100 mg L-carnitine/kg of diet, and Treatment 4 (T4): Birds fed diet containing 150 mg L-carnitine/kg of diet. Duck were fed on experimental diets during the whole period of experiment which lasted three months. Productive traits included in this study were Hen day egg production, accumulative egg number, egg weight, feed intake, egg mass, and feed conversion ratio. Resulted revealed that adding L-carnitine to the diet (T2, T3, and T4) of ducks resulted in significant improvement as regards mean egg production, accumulative egg number, egg weight, egg mass and feed conversion ratio during most periods of experiment and concerning the overall means of these traits in comparison with control group (T1). While, there was no significant difference between treatment groups (T 1, T2, T3, and T4) with respect to feed intake. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with different levels of L-carnitine (50, 100, and 150 mg / Kg of diet) resulted in significant improvement in productive traits included in this study of local ducks, therefore L-carnitine can be used as efficient additive tool for improve productive performance of female birds.

KEYWORDS: Carnitine, Productive Performance, Local Ducks INTRODUCTION
L-Carnitine (β-hydroxy-γ-trimethylammonium butyrate) is a highly polar natural compound found in microorganisms, plants, and animals (Bremer, 1983). L-carnitine was shown to have beneficial effects on the heart and skeletal muscles and conditions such as disorders of the central nervous system, certain types of male sterility and some disorders in newborns (Borum and Bennett, 1986). It has been established that an adequate supply of L-carnitine is necessary for the maintenance of good health. L-carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane to be metabolized. L-carnitine aids in the release of stored body fat, tryglycerides, into the bloodstream for energy. Tryglycerides are the major source for the production of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles. Access to Lcarnitine is believed to increase energy levels for long-term aerobic activity. L-carnitine is also responsible for muscle contraction, regulation of protein balance and maintenance of a healthy heart. Research also suggests that an adequate supply of L-carnitine could be instrumental in the treatment of diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, kidney and liver disease (Health Psychology Home Page, 2012). There are two main entrances of carnitine into the body, endogenous synthesis, and dietary or exogenous carnitine. Urinary excretion of the carnitine is the only known route in the body to remove carnitine.

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Over 90% of the filtered carnitine is reabsorbed in the renal tubules (Feller and Rudman, 1988) and daily urinary carnitine excretion found high with increasing age. Although plant products are low in carnitine, poultry diets are composed mainly of maize and soybean. Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that endogenous L-carnitine synthesis together with its dietary intake should be sufficient for normal functions. Since carnitine can be biosynthesized endogenously from methionine and lysine, these two amino acids are usually the more important limiting amino acids in poultry nutrition. Methionine and lysine are frequently supplemented in the formulated diets. When diets are not supplemented with these two amino acids, the chicken may synthesize an inadequate amount of carnitine. In a study conducted on quail, (Schuhmacher et al., 1993) concluded that carnitine seemed effective for improving body weight gain and feed conversion, mainly in groups with diets marginally deficient in lysine and methionine plus cysteine respectively. Reports on the effects of dietary L-carnitine on egg production and egg quality of laying hens are limited. Leibetseder (1995) has reported that egg hatchability increased from 83 % to 87 % and from 82.4 % to 85.3 % in broiler breeders supplemented by L-carnitine at 50 and 100 mg/kg of diet respectively. Al- Hayani (2012) found that L-carnitine supplementation in diet of guinea fowl could improve with relation to percentages of fertility, hatchability of total eggs, hatchability of fertile eggs and embryonic mortality. To our knowledge there are no published studies about the interaction of dietary carnitine with productive performance of duck. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation with different levels of L-carnitine (50, 100 and 150 mg /Kg of diet) on productive performance of ducks.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
The experiment included 60 female of local ducks, 30 weeks olds with an average weight of 1.75-2.0 Kg. They were reared in a suitable house and randomly distributed in similar cages. Flock separated into 4 groups with one control group and three treatment groups. Each treatment was constituted by 3 replicates of 5 birds per replicate (15 ducks per treatment group). Ducks, used in this study were separately placed in the poultry house facility. The experiment was divided into 2 stages. During the first stage from 1 day until 14 days of the experimental period, the birds were allowed to adapt to new diet and condition. Feed and fresh water were available all the time (commercial diet ad libitum) with drinkers and feeders were kept as clean as possible at all times. Both groups (all birds) were fed a friable complete diet. The diets contained 15.78% crude protein and 2919 kcal metabolizable energy/kg of deit, respectively. Table 1 gives the formula evolved by National Research Council (NRC, 1994) recommendation for ducks. At the second stage four experimental diets were formulated to provide a similar nutrient profile with the exception of using four graded levels of Lcarnitine, namely (0, 50, 100 and 150) mg per kg of diet. Therefore, the arrangement of treatments was: Treatment 1 (T 1): Birds fed diet free of L-carnitine (control group), Treatment 2 (T 2): Birds fed diet containing 50 mg L-carnitine/kg of diet, Treatment 3 (T3): Birds fed diet containing 100 mg L-carnitine/kg of diet, and Treatment 4 (T4): Birds fed diet containing 150 mg L-carnitine/kg of diet. Duck were fed on experimental diets during the whole period of experiment which lasted three months. Productive traits included in this study were Hen day egg production (%), accumulative egg number, egg weight, feed intake, egg mass, and feed conversion ratio. Data were statistically analyzed using the General Linear Model procedure of SAS (2004). Test of significance for the different between means of each classification was done by Duncan's multiple range test (Duncan, 1955). Table 1: Chemical Composition and Calculated Analyses of Experimental Basal Diets Given to Ducks Ingredients Yellow corn Wheat Soya bean meal (44 %) Vit & Min. premix * (%) 39 33.7 13 5

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Table 1:Contd., Limestone 6 Vegetable oil 2 Dicalcium Phosphate 1 NaCl 0.3 Total 100 Calculated Chemical Composition** Crud Protein (%) 15.2 Energy (kcal/kg) 2927,3 Lysine (%) 0.7 Methionine (%) 0.3 cysteine, % 0.25 Calcium (%) 2.7 Available Phosphorus %) 0.3 *Vitamin premix (BROCON – 5 SPECIAL W) eac% Calcium; 3 % Available phosphorus; 2.2 % sodium; 3.5 % methionine; 3.90 % methionine + cysteine; 3.25 % Lysine; 2100 kcal/kg Metabolizable energy;200000 IUVit A; 40000 IU Vit.D3; 500mg Vit.E; 30 mg Vit.K3; 15 mg Vit B1, B2; 150 mg h 1kg of vit .and min. premix (imported from China) contains: 3.25 % Crud protein; 3.5 % Crud fat; 1 % Crud fiber; 6 Vit B 3; 20 mg Vit B6; 300 mg Vit.B12; 10 mg Folic acid; 50 mg Biotin; 800 mg Zinc; 100 mg Copper; 15 mg Iodine ; 1 mg Iron; 2 mg Selenium; 1.2mg Manganese; 6 mg Cobalt; and antioxidant 90 mg. **Calculated Chemical composition analysis adopted by NRC (1994).

RESULTS
Compared to control group (T1), the values of the percentage of egg production (EP) during most periods of experiments had gradually increased (p<0.01) due to increased level of dietary L-carnitine (Table 2). EP was enhanced with increased dietary L-carnitine. This linear enhancement was continuous up to T 4 group. It was noticed from Table 2 that carnitine treatments (T2,T3 and T4) in the 1st period tended to have higher (EP) than control group, in spite of there were no significant differences between these treatments (T 2 ,T3 and T4). On the other hand, T3 and T4 recorded significantly (p<0.01) higher EP in the 2nd period compared to T1 groups, while there were no significant differences between T3 and T4 and between T3 and T2. In the 3rd period of the experiment T3 and T4 recorded highest values of EP % (p<0.01), followed by T2 group while in the 4th and 5th periods of the experiment T4 and T3 recorded high values of EP (p<0.01) compared to T1 and T2. However, there were no significant differences between T 1, and T2 groups. Whereas, in the 6th period T4 and T3 recorded the best results of EP (p<0.01) compared to T1, in spite of there were no significant differences between T2 and T3 and between T1 and T2 groups as regards this trait. The highest the overall means value of the egg production was in T4 group during these subsequent periods and it was consistent due to increased level of dietary L-carnitine. It's worth mentioning that the overall means value of the egg production increased high significantly (p<0.01) by L-carnitine supplementation to the diet. The overall mean values of this trait were 59.58±4.44, 63.14±2.74, 65.02±2.64 and 68.84±2.74 for T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively as shown in the same table (Table 2). Cumulative egg number determined biweekly. A basal diet (0 mg L-carnitine /kg of diet) was formulated and used for the control group (T1), while three levels of L-carnitine, (50, 100 and 150 mg L-carnitine /kg of diet), were included in the basal diet for treatments T2, T3 and T4, respectively. Results concerning egg production traits in terms of cumulative egg number values are shown in Table 3. The results suggest that basal diet supplemented with 50, 100 and 150 mg Lcarnitine /kg of diet can increase (P < 0.01) the cumulative egg number of ducks than control group (0 mg L-carnitine /kg of diet) during the most periods of experiment and with relation to the overall means of this trait. The highest cumulative egg numbers were observed in both T3 and T4 groups as compared with control group (T 1) during all periods of experiment and concerning the overall mean of this trait. The obtained data revealed that the overall average values of cumulative egg

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number in the treatment groups (T2 ,T3 and T4), fed 50, 100 and 150 mg L-carnitine /kg of diet, respectively as determined fortnightly in this groups over the whole period were 8.84±0.38, 9.10±0.37 and 9.64±0.38, respectively which were higher than those of the overall means of the control group ( T1) fed 0 mg L-Carnitine /kg of diet which was 8.33±0.62 (Table 3). Table 2: Effect of Dietary L-Carnitine on H.D. Egg Production (%) (Mean ± Se) of Females Ducks Periods 1 2 3 4 5 6 Overall Mean Treatment T2 T3 61.26± 02.37a 61.77±01.81a 62.31±03.53b 63.66±02.59ab b 62.48±02.62 64.75±02.75a b 62.71±02.33 66.59±03.29a b 64.37±02.74 66.37±02.69a bc 65.73±02.86 66.97±02.68b 63.14±02.74b 65.02±2.64ab Level of Significance ** ** ** ** ** ** **

T1 57.48±02.08b 57.52±01.95c 59.73±13.29c 58.82±03.07b 60.16±03.64c 63.79±02.58c 59.58±04.44c

T4 65.24± 02.69a 66.37±02.57a 67.12±02.42a 70.27±02.78a 70.41±03.27a 73.64±02.72a 68.84±02.74a

T1: Control, T2: 50 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T3: 100 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T4: 150 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit. Means having different superscript at the same row are significantly different. ** (P<0.01). Periods: calculated fortnightly. As seen in Table 4, it was confirmed that average egg weight of ducks receiving the diet supplemented with Lcarnitine (50, 100 and 150 mg L-carnitine /kg of diet) was very significantly higher (P < 0.01) as compared with control ducks (0 mg L-carnitine /kg of diet) over the whole laying periods. All L-carnitine treatments (T2, T3 and T4) were significantly (P < 0.01) superior to T 1 group in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th periods and with respect to the overall means of this trait, in spite of there were no significant difference in average egg weight between either T 1 and T2 or T3 and T4 during the 2nd period of experiment. However, T4 group recorded the best results as compared with other experimental groups (T1, T2 and T3) during all periods of experiment and with relation to total average of egg weight. The overall means values of average egg weight were 53.73±3.25, 56.73±2.66, 59.96±2.29 and 63.13±2.7g for T 1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively (Table 4). The effects of dietary supplementation with different levels of L- carnitine (50, 100 and 150 mg L- carnitine /kg of diet) on egg mass in 1–6 periods of experiment are shown in Table 5. Dietary L-carnitine high significantly (p<0.01) influenced egg mass during all periods of experiment. The egg mass was significantly higher in ducks fed with 150 mg Lcarnitine /kg of diet than diets with 0 mg L- carnitine /kg of diet at all periods examined. Egg mass value in T 2 group did not differ significantly from the egg mass Table 3: Effect of Dietary L-Carnitine on Cumulativ Egg Number (Mean ± Se) of Females Ducks Periods 1 2 3 4 5 6 Overall Mean Treatment T2 T3 8.58±0.33b 8.65±0.25b 8.72±0.49b 8.91±0.36ab 8.75±0.37bc 9.07±0.39ab 8.78±0.33c 9.32±0.46b 9.01±0.38b 9.29±0.38b 9.20±0.40b 9.38±0.38b 8.84±0.38bc 9.10±0.37b Level of Significance ** ** ** ** ** ** **

T1 8.05±0.29c 8.05±0.27c 8.36±1.86c 8.23±0.43d 8.42±0.51c 8.93±0.36c 8.33±0.62c

T4 9.13±0.38a 9.29±0.36a 9.40±0.34a 9.84±0.39a 9.86±0.46a 10.31±0.38a 09.64±0.38a

T1: Control, T2: 50 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T3: 100 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T4: 150 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit. Means having different superscript at the same row are significantly different.

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** (P<0.01). Periods: calculated fortnightly. Table 4: Effect of Dietary L-Carnitine on Egg Weight (G) (Mean ± SE) of Ducks Treatment Level of Significance T1 T2 T3 T4 1 49.9 ±1.30d 52.0 ± 0.45c 55.0 ±2.57b 58.1 ±3.14a ** 2 51.2 ±4.48b 53.1 ±2.42b 56.2 ±1.40a 58.1 ±1.22a ** 3 52.5 ±3.10d 55.4 ± 3.30c 58.8 ± 3.52b 61.5 ±1.54a ** 4 53.9 ± 3.50d 56.6 ± 1.10c 59.9 ±2.35b 63.4 ±2.52a ** 5 54.4 ±2.66d 59.0 ±1.71c 62.7 ±1.04b 65.7 ±3.64a ** 6 60.5 ±4.48d 64.3 ± 3.47c 67.2 ±0.58b 72.0 ±1.80a ** d c b a Overall Mean 53.73±3.25 56.73±2.21 59.96±1.91 63.13±2.31 ** T1: Control, T2: 50 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T3: 100 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T4: 150 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit. Periods Means having different superscript at the same row are significantly different. ** (P<0.01). Periods: calculated fortnightly.

value of control T3 group and the same thing between T3 and T4 groups in the 1st pried of experiment and, between T3 and T4 groups in the 2nd period of experiment. Simultaneously egg mass values of T 3 group were not different significantly (p<0.05) from the value of T4 group in the 4th period of experiment, and the values of this trail were also not significantly different between T2 and T3 and between T3 and T4, in the 6th period of experiment. Results are presented in Table 5 also indicated that overall means of egg mass in females of ducks fed L-carnitine (0, 50, 100 and 150 mg Lcarnitine /kg of diet) supplementation were 449.20±28.86, 502.35±34.54, 546.77±28.88 and 610.34±37.58, respectively. Table 5: Effect of Dietary L-Carnitine on Eggs Mass (G) (Mean ± SE) of Ducks Treatment Level of Significance T1 T2 T3 T4 1 401.56±15.09c 445.97±22.15b 475.63±22.14ab 530.66±49.05a ** 2 412.30±14.13b 463.21±36.21b 500.88±13.15a 539.85±39.44a ** 3 439.02±20.19d 484.59±47.11c 533.02±30.20b 577.90±18.18a ** 4 443.86±25.21c 496.91±23.30b 558.42±25.16a 623.72±49.20a ** 5 458.18±53.34b 531.70±33.27b 582.60±39.39a 647.63±34.29a ** 6 540.30±45.17c 591.70±45.19b 630.05±43.22ab 742.29±35.30a ** Overall Mean 449.20±28.86c 502.35±34.54b 546.77±28.88ab 610.34±37.58a ** T1: Control, T2: 50 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T3: 100 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T4: 150 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit. Means having different superscript at the same row are significantly different. ** (P<0.01). Periods: calculated fortnightly. Periods

The results presented in Table 6 showed that feed intake was not significantly affected by dietary supplementation of L-carnitine Treatments (50, 100 and 150 mg L-carnitine /kg of diet) compared with control group (0 mg L-Carnitine /kg of diet). The overall means values of feed consumption were 1767.87±33.62, 1663.67±49.06, 1595.23±21.26 and 1533.75±21.26 g for Treatments T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively. In the first, fourth and sixth period, supplemental L-carnitine had no significant (P>0.05) effect on the mean feed conversion ratio (Table 7). However, in the fifth period, adding L-carnitine to the diet of ducks (50, 100 and 150 mg Lcarnitine /kg of diet) significantly (p<0.05) improved feed conversion ratio in comparison with control group (0 mg L-

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carnitine /kg of diet). However, there was no statistical difference among carnitine groups as regards this trait (Table 7). Furthermore, in the second and third period, there were high signifi cant (P≤0.01) differences between the control group and treatment groups (T2, T3 and T4). T2, T3 and T4 recorded the best results respecting feed conversion ration as compared to T1 during these two periods of experiment. In this study concerning overall means of sixth periods of experiment from the same table, it was observed that ducks fed with rations containing L-carnitine (T2, T3 and T4) had better feed conversion ratio (p<0.01) compared to the T1 group (L-carnitine – unsupplemented). The overall means values for this trait were 3.97±0.13, 3.34±0.10, 2.94±0.09 and 2.55±0.16 for treatments T 1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively. Table 6: Effect of Dietary L-Carnitine on Feed Intake (g/bird) (Mean ± SE) of Ducks Treatment Level of Significance T1 T2 T3 T4 1 1722.00±29.12 1638.00±36.96 1568.00±16.10 1530.62±40.60 NS 2 1782.62±09.38 1652.00±56.56 1591.38±04.62 1558.62±36.40 NS 3 1796.62±23.38 1684.62±51.94 1582.00±21.28 1526.00±49.14 NS 4 1736.00±28.00 1694.00±21.28 1633.38±04.62 1544.62±37.38 NS 5 1759.38±30.52 1661.38±40.60 1600.62±41.44 1502.62±32.62 NS 6 1810.62±52.50 1652.00±44.94 1596.00±21.28 1540.00±24.22 NS Overall Mean 1767.87±33.62 1663.67±49.06 1595.23±21.26 1533.75±21.26 NS T1: Control, T2: 50 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T3: 100 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T4: 150 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit. Means h aving different superscript at the same row are significantly different. ** (P<0.01). Periods: calculated fortnightly. Periods Table 7: Effect of Dietary L-Carnitine on Feed Conversion Ratio (G Feed/G Egg) (Mean ± SE) of Ducks Treatment Level of Significance T1 T2 T3 T4 1 4.29±0.12 3.67±0.13 3.30±0.05 2.88±0.16 N.S 2 4.32±0.05a 3.57±0.08b 3.18±0.02b 2.89±0.06b ** 3 4.09±0.13a 3.48±0.18ab 2.97±0.08ab 2.64±0.13b ** 4 3.91±0.15 3.41±0.04 2.93±0.02 2.48±0.40 N.S 5 3.84±0.16a 3.12±0.08b 2.75±0.32b 2.32±0.12b * 6 3.35±0.17 2.79±0.08 2.53±0.03 2.07±0.08 N.S Overall Mean 3.97±0.13a 3.34±0.10b 2.94±0.09b 2.55±0.16b ** T1: Control, T2: 50 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T3: 100 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit, T4: 150 mg L-carnitine /kg of deit. Means having different superscript at the same row are significantly different. ** (P<0.01). Periods: calculated fortnightly. Periods

DISCUSSIONS
The significant improvement in each of rate of egg production (Table 2) cumulative egg number (Table 3), egg weight (Table 4), egg mass (Table 5) and feed conversion (Table 7) may be due to the high activity of growth hormon (GH) and thyroxine (T4), as stated by Buyse et al. (2001) that the addition of carnitine to broiler diets have led to an increase in the concentrations of growth hormone and thyroxine hormone in blood plasma. Moreover, Hassan et al. (2011) noted high conestration of thyroxine hormone in the blood plasma of laying hens when adding carnitine to the diets. These two hormones have indirect constructivist effects in building the gonads and its maintenance (Muhiddin et al., 1990). Or the rise in egg production for three treatments of carnitine compared with the control group may be due to the high concentration of FSH and LH hormones as they known to increase the concentrations of estrogen and progesterone hormones, as they work together of both hormones on the growth and maturity of ovarian small follicles, and to make the

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process of ovulation and then increased the secretion of estrogen and progesterone hormones (Sturkie, 2000), and this is what came of this study (Fig. 41 and 42), as observed high significant increase in the concentrations of these hormones, by use of carnitine in diets of ducks. As well as the great importance role of estrogen in the growth, develop and integration of functions of the oviduct is well known (Al – Daraji, 2007 a,b). It was previously found that carnitine is a generator of many amino acids (Benvenga et al., 2001; Rathod et al., 2006), that it is working to provide high levels of amino acids in the body and high protein concentration in the blood, and ultimately lead to an increase in the proportion egg production because egg production requires high levels of amino acids and protein (Liu et al., 2004). This findings of this study Noting the high concentration of protein in the blood serum (Table 42) as a result of the use of supplemental dietary L-carnitine. Al- Biar (2010) and Al-Khazraji (2009) were recorded positive relationship between the concentration of protein in the blood serum and egg production rate. The improvement in productive performance of dukcs treated with carnintine may be also due to the increase in concentration of progesterone in the blood serum (Figure 42), due to the LH hormone, which works to increase the concentration of progesterone in the blood by stimulation its production from granulosa cells (Chiang et al., 1997). Progesterone works in synergy with LH in raising the number of eggs produced during a certain period (Li et al., 1994). Effects of estrogen is not limited in the ratio of egg production only, but the effects are clear in the rate of egg weight as well, the same hormone working on the growth and differentiation of the epithelium oviduct, and increase the number of tubular gland cells in magnum and also been shown to play a role in formations and secretion of layers of albumin (the egg white) (Sturkie, 2000) and this may be the reason for the significantly improvement in the average of egg weight of carnitine treatments compared with the control group (Table 22). However estrogen was found to promote lipogenesis by stimulating lipoprotein precursor’s synthesis in the liver and then deposited into oviduct (Walzem, 1996; Walzem et al., 1999; Natural – Hormones Understanding., 2012 a, b). The significant improvement in averages of egg production rates (Table 2) and average of egg weight (Table 4) in carnitine treatments, may explain the significant improvement in the means of egg mass (Table 5) because the egg mass is calculated by multiplied the percentage of egg production by the average of egg weight. It follows that the significant improvement in feed conversion rate (Table 7), which is highly dependent on the rate of egg mass when the differences in the rate of feed consumption were not significant (Table 6). Richter et al. (1998) had mentioned that the use of carnitine in the diet at the concentrations of 50 and 100 mg / kg resulted in an increase in the percentage of egg production, and the use of carnitine at the concentrations of 20 and 30 ppm, led to similar results in increasing the rate of egg production of breeder hens (Baumgartner, 2003). Furthermore, Hassan et al. (2011) has pointed out that the addition carnitine at the concentrations of 100 and 200 mg / kg of diet resulted in a significant increase in the rate of egg production and egg weight and egg mass in laying hens. According to the results of current study, adding carnitine to the diet resulted in significant improvement as regards productive traits of duck, therefore carnitine can be used as effective additive nutrient for improve productive performance of birds.

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