14. COMPARATIVE STUDIES ON THE CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF FEATHER BARBS IN BROILER AND KUTTANAD DUCKS
J. Alphine, K. M. Lucy, S. Maya, K. B. Sumena, V. R. Indu and V. N. Vasudevan
The present study was conducted to evaluate the chemical properties of keratin obtained from duck feather barbs. Feather barbs were collected from a total of 24 birds comprising of broiler Vigova Super-M ducks of six to eight weeks of age and spent Kuttanad ducks above 40 weeks of age. Different properties of feather barbs like protein content and amino acid content were studied according to the standard analytical methods. The percentage contribution of total feathers to the body weight was more in the broiler duck (5.03±0.24 %). Broiler duck feather contained 77.59 per cent and feather of Kuttanad duck contained 73.50 per cent protein. The relative high value of protein content in duck feather can be utilized as a good source of protein in the feed. Feather barbs of broiler and Kuttanad ducks howed similar proportion of amino acids. Serine was found to be the most abundant amino acid followed by glycine and proline. Percentage of hydrophobic amino acids was higher (56%) when compared to the hydrophilic amino acids (42%) in both the groups under study. Presence of amino acid cysteine, which has the ability to form disulfide bonds indicated the tablestructure of keratin. The results indicated the importance of focusing on advanced technology to uplift the use of duck feather fibre as a natural protein source which is at present considered as a poultry industry waste and will help to build a ecofriendly environment.
Keywords: Amino acid, Duck feather fiber, Protein content