Effects of feeding deoxynivalenol (DON vomitoxin) contaminated wheat to growing chicks

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LF Kubena; SP Swanson; RB Harvey; OJ Fletcher; LD Rowe; TD Phillips

Type of Document:
Scholarly Article


Poultry Science

Date of Publication:

Place of Publication:
Not Available


Abstract: The effects of feeding deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin)-contaminated wheat diets containing 0, 9, or 18 mg DON/kg were determined in male Leghorn chicks from 1 to 35 days of age. These data show that body weights and the efficiency of feed utilization were not adversely affected by the inclusion of the contaminated wheat in the diet. The absolute and relative liver weights were significantly lower for the chicks receiving the diets containing DON-contaminated wheat; however, the absolute and relative gizzard weights were increased. There were no significant differences in the absolute or relative weights of the kidney, heart, proventriculus, testes, spleen, or bursa. There was a significant decrease in hemoglobin at 28 and 35 days of age and a decrease in hematocrit at 28 and 35 days of age at the high DON level. Other hematological parameters tended to follow a similar pattern with slight changes occurring early or at the high DON level.

Samples of liver, heart, kidney, breast, and thigh obtained from chicks fed the low and high levels of DON-contaminated diets and the control diet were analyzed for DON Content. None of these samples were found to contain detectable quantities of DON, demonstrating that DON from the diet was not transferred to the organs and tissues analyzed. There is a need to determine if metabolites are present in organs and tissues using radioactively labeled DON.

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