Research Article
Supplemental Dietary Methionine Affects the Pelt Quality and Nutrient Metabolism of Raccoon Dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides)

H. Liu, G. Li, W. Zhong, D. Li, F. Liu and W. Sun

Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 2012, 7(1), 61-67.


Essential amino acids, particularly those containing the element sulfur, are required by small canids to produce a high quality pelt. The experiments were designed to estimate the effect of a diet supplemented with the sulfur-containing amino acid methionine on the nutrient metabolism and pelt quality of raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides). Seventy-five male raccoon dogs with similar body weights were randomly assigned to five dietary groups of 15 each during the winter fur growth period. The diet for the control group contained 24% protein while the diets for groups 1 to 4 contained 20% protein plus 0.15, 0.35, 0.55 and 0.75 g methionine per 100 g dry matter, respectively, for a 60-day period. As a result, the body weights in group 4 were clearly reduced compared to the other groups (p<0.05). Dry matter intake in the control group was significantly higher than for groups 1 and 2 (p<0.05), but was similar to groups 3 and 4. Although, serum methionine level was similar among all groups, group 2 showed significantly higher total protein in serum (p<0.05) than the control group; while serum urea nitrogen in group 2 was lower than that of groups 3 or 4 (p<0.05). The pelt length in the control group and in group 2 was significantly longer than the other groups. The density of guard hair and fiber in the controls and groups 1 and 2 was remarkably higher compared with that in groups 3 and 4 (p<0.05). These results suggest that a certain amount of supplemental methionine may reduce the total protein requirement in the diet without affecting the pelt quality of raccoon dogs.

ASCI-ID: 13-399

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