Captive mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were fed wheat containing 5.8 ppm deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) from an outbreak of Fusarium graminearium head-blight that occurred on grain crops in Manitoba, Canada, during 1993. There was no evidence of taste aversion to this grain during a 10-day palatability trial. No significant differences were detected in serum protein, calcium, glucose, creatine kinase, aspartate aminotransferase or uric acid levels, blood packed cell volume, or body or organ weight, between ducks fed contaminated wheat and those fed uncontaminated wheat during a 14-day feeding trial. No gross or microscopic lesions were detected in birds fed contaminated wheat for 14 days. Based on these results, ducks will consume grain containing moderate levels of DON and short-term exposure to this grain will not result in obvious adverse effects.
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Vol. 32 • No. 1