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Schedule and management of food transitions in geese for the production of "foie gras"

INRA Prod Anim 25(5) 419-430

J. ARROYO¹, ², ³, ⁴, L. FORTUN-LAMOTHE ², ¹, ³, J.-P. DUBOIS⁴, F. LAVIGNE⁴, A. AUVERGNE¹, ², ³,

1 Université de Toulouse INPT ENSAT, UMR Tissus Animaux, Nutrition, Digestion, Ecosystème et Métabolisme, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France

2 INRA, UMR1289 Tissus Animaux Nutrition Digestion Ecosystème et Métabolisme, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France

3 Université de Toulouse INPT ENVT, UMR1289 Tissus Animaux Nutrition Digestion Ecosystème et Métabolisme, F-31076 Toulouse, France

4 ASSELDOR, Station d'Expérimentation Appliquée et de Démonstration sur l'oie, La Tour de Glane, F-24420 Coulaures, France


The feeding schedule of geese for the production of “foie gras” requires many changes of ingestion rhythms and the nature of food. The aim of this review was, after presenting the anatomy, nutritional requirements, growth and dietary behavior of the animals, to identify the causes and possible solutions needed for the overfeeding period. Indeed, in order to prepare the geese to receive a large amount of food in a short period (overfeeding period), the geese are subjected throughout their life to different feed changes and access time to feeders in order to increase their intake capacity. At each transition phase, reductions in consumption are frequently observed, which leads to a heterogeneity between batches and to reduced animal performance. The management of these transitions has to confront the behavioral and digestive adaptation capacities of the animals when they are faced with changes in sensory and physico-chemical characteristics of food: color, texture, particle size, water retention, nutrient composition, nature of starch (amylopectin / amylose). The management of these transitions consists in finding a compromise between the food preferences of animals and their preparation for the overfeeding period for “foie gras” production.

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