Niacin Deficiency in Waterfowl

Summary Information
Diseases / List of Micronutrient (Vitamin / Mineral) Diseases / Disease summary
Alternative Names Nicotinic acid Deficiency
Disease Agents Deficiency of the B vitamin niacin (nicotinic acid). Niacin is the vitamin component of two important coenzymes involved in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. These coenzymes are involved in the anaerobic and aerobic oxydation of glucose, the synthesis and catabolism of glycerol, the synthesis and oxydation of fatty acids and the oxidation of acetyl coenzyme A via the Krebs cycle. (B32.2.w23).
Infectious Agent(s) --
Non-infectious Agent(s)
Physical Agent(s) --
General Description
  • Bowed legs (100% incidence in niacin-deficient juveniles) and enlarged hock joints main signs, but slipped tendon rare; also retarded growth.
  • May also see anorexia, poor feather development, scaly dermatitis of feet and skin and black discolouration of tongue and oral mucosa.

(B10.15.w15, B13.46.w1, B16.19.w1, B32.2.23, B35.13.w5).

Further Information
  • Relatively high requirement for niacin in ducklings; ducks are less efficient than chickens at synthesising niacin from tryptophan, probably due to relatively high picolinic carboxylase activity (B13.46.w1, B32.2.23).
  • Treatment: 100mg niacin daily parenterally, plus increase niacin in diet.
  • Prevention: Ensure sufficient niacin in diet. May need supplementation. Brewer's yeast is a good source of niacin. 70mg/kg diet recommended for starting and for growing/finishing Pekin ducks, 50mg/kg for breeding ducks.
  • Diagnosis from clinical signs (bowed legs) is confirmed by the response to supplementation

(B13.46.w1, B35.13.w5).

Techniques linked to this disease
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Host taxa groups /species
Disease has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in the following WATERFOWL Species: Pekin ducks.
Disease has been reported in free-ranging populations of the following WATERFOWL Species: --

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