Effect of diet and population density on male turkeys under various environmental conditions. 1. Turkey growth and health performance.

Sally Noll, M E Elhalawani, P. E. Waibel, Patrick T Redig, Kevin A Janni

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38 Scopus citations


The performance of 1,312 male market turkeys (Large White, Nicholas strain) from 0 to 20 wk of age fed diets varying in feed form and energy level was measured under two stocking densities (.21 or .46 m2 per bird) and four lighting and temperature programs. The four diets were 1) corn and soybean meal with 1% supplemental fat, mash (CSM); 2) as 1, pelleted (CSP); 3) as Diet 1 but with 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8% supplemental fat during 0 to 4, 4 to 8, 8 to 12, 12 to 16, and 16 to 20 wk of age, respectively (CSF); and 4) as Diet 1 but with barely included at 0, 20, 35, 50, and 65% during the respective 4-wk age periods (CSB). The four light and temperature programs were 1) Environment A with intermittent light [4 [2 h light (L):4 h dark (D)]] in combination with cycling temperature at 7 and 21 C during light and dark photoperiod, respectively; Environment B with intermittent light, 21 C; Environment C with continuous light (18L:6D) and cycling temperature of 7 to 21 C; and Environment D with intermittent light, 7 C. Lighting and temperature programs started at 1 and 4 wk of age, respectively. Body weights at 20 wk of age decreased (P less than .05) with increasing temperature (13.86 versus 12.26 kg for Environments D and B, respectively) with cycling temperature intermediate (13.51 kg for Environment A). Intermittent light (P less than .05) improved BW and feed conversion by 3.4 and 2.0%, respectively, compared with continuous light. Rearing males at .21 m2 per bird versus .46 m2 per bird decreased weight (P less than .05) by 5.5%. Twenty-week BW of males fed the CSP (13.52 kg) and CSF (13.58 kg) diets were greater (P less than .05) than those fed CSM (12.90 kg) and CSB (12.69 kg) diets. Significant (P less than .05) interactions between diet, environment, and density were not detected for most performance characteristics. Environmental measurements indicated higher dust and ammonia levels in the warm environment (B). Isolates of aspergillus and incidence of airsacculitis at time of processing were greatest in Environment B.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-934
Number of pages12
JournalPoultry science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1991


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