Twenty-four pairs of adult mallards were fed a diet containing 0 or 150 ppm of the PCB Aroclor 1242 for 12 weeks during which egg laying was induced. Laying started in both groups an average of 33 days after PCB treatment began. All hens were allowed to lay a 20-egg clutch; 15 eggs from each clutch were artificially incubated. Eleven hens from each group completed the clutch. There was no difference between the two groups in the time taken to lay the clutch, nor was there a difference in fertility, embryo mortality, or hatching success. Eggshell thickness decreased 8.9% with PCB ingestion; eggs from hens fed PCB contained an average of 105 ppm PCB wet wt. No difference in survival or weight gain to 3 weeks of age was observed between young mallards from eggs laid by PCB-treated hens and control hens.
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Aroclor 1242 and reproductive success of adult mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)