Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 43, Number 1, January-February 2003
Page(s) 105 - 115
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 43 (2003) 105-115
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2003009

The effects of overfeeding on myofibre characteristics and metabolical traits of the breast muscle in Muscovy ducks (Caïrina moschata)

Jerri Zanussoa, Hervé Rémignona, Gerard Guyb, Hélène Mansea and René Babiléa

a  ENSAT-INP, av. de l'Agrobiopole, BP 107, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
b  Station de Recherches sur les Palmipèdes à Foie Gras, INRA, 40280 Artiguères, France

(Received 17 March 2002; accepted 20 December 2002)

The aim of this experiment was to study the consequences of precise feeding on the myofibre characteristics and metabolic traits of the breast muscle (Pectoralis major, Pm) of Muscovy ducks. Twenty-four samples of breast muscle, without skin or subcutaneous fat, from two groups of ducks, control and overfed respectively, were collected at 14 weeks of age. We assayed different chemical (water content, crude proteins, total lipid ashes, total and thermosoluble collagen), biochemical (activities of the CS, LDH and $\beta$-HAD enzymes), histological (muscle fibre typing and intramuscular adipocyte measurements) and technological (drip and cooking losses, texture) determinations. At the force-feeding period, the overfed ducks weighed 6366 g and the control ducks 4606 g of body weight. In the PM muscle, some modifications of the biochemichal parameters and enzyme activities were observed but neither the shear force nor the histological characteristics of the breast muscle were affected by the fattening treatment. The overfed birds had an increased total lipids content (correlated to an increase in the intramuscular area occupied by the adipocyte) and a different fatty acid profile as the result of a higher energy feed intake. The lipids of the Pm muscle of the overfed ducks contained more C16:0, C16:1n-7 and C18:1n-9, but less C18:0, C18:2n-6 and C20:4n-6 than the control birds. These results show that in response to high energy feeding, the muscle is able to respond quickly on a metabolic basis (by increasing the activities of the oxydative enzymes) without changing its typology or morphology. Additionally, fattening was correlated to a degradation in the technological qualities of the breast muscle, especially an increase in the cooking losses.

Key words: muscovy duck / force feeding / Pectoralis major / muscle typing / fatty acid

Correspondence and reprints: Hervé Rémignon

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003