Background: The red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) is one of the most vulnerable bird species in the
world. Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi and considered naturally unavoidable
contaminants in animal feed. Our recent survey indicated that the mycotoxins had the potential to contaminate redcrowned
crane’s regular diets in China.
Objective: This experiment was conducted to investigate the protective effects of mycotoxin binder montmorillonite
(Mont) on growth performance, serum biochemistry and oxidative stress parameters of the red-crowned crane.
Methods: 16 red-crowned cranes were divided into four groups and fed one of the following diets; a selected diet,
regular diet, or the selected diet or regular diet with 0.5% montmorillonite added to the diets. The cranes' parameters
of performance, hematology, serum biochemistry and serum oxidative stress were measured.
Results: Consuming regular diets decreased the average daily feed intake (ADFI), levels of haemoglobin (Hb),
platelet count (PLT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and catalase (CAT), but
increased the activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), creatine kinase (CK)
and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). The supplementation of 0.5% Mont provided protection for the red-crowned crane
in terms of feed intake, serum biochemistry and oxidative stress. Moreover, Mont supplementation had no adverse
effect on the health of red-crowned crane.
Conclusions: Taken together, these findings suggested that the addition of dietary Mont is effective in improving the
health of red-crowned crane.