Evaluation of two feeding programs on productive traits and foot injuries in commercial turkeys

Ronald Santos Ricalde, José Segura Correa, Israel Palma Ávila, Carlos Sandoval Castro, Luis Sarmiento Franco


Introduction: Many factors affect live weight gain and carcass yield in poultry. Among those, feeding program, sex and diseases are the most relevant. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a high protein (HP) and a low protein (LP) feeding programs in male and female turkeys on liveweight, carcass yield and foot injuries.

Method: The high protein (HP) program consisted in diets with a higher content of crude protein than those of the low protein (LP) program, although the metabolizable energy was similar in both programs. Liveweight gain, carcass yield and foot injuries were evaluated. A complete randomized design with factorial arrangement and 128 replicates per treatment were used. The statistical analysis included the effects of the feeding program, sex and the interaction.

Results: The turkeys from the HP program were heavier (P<0.05) than those from the LP program at 15 and 19 weeks of age (10.0 vs 9.1 and 13.1 vs 11.9 kg, respectively). The male turkeys were heavier (P<0.05) than the females at those ages (10.6 vs 8.4; 14.7 vs 10.4 and 17.4 vs 11.8 kg, respectively). Carcass yield was also significantly greater (P<0.05) for males than for females at 19 and 23 weeks of age (78.8 % vs 77.6 % and 78.2 % vs 77.5 %, respectively). Foot injuries grade 2 (>1.5 cm of diameter) were more frequent (P<0.06) in the HP (28.3%) than in the LP (18.1%) program, and in males (P<0.05). Additionally, as turkeys got older, foot injuries grade 2 were more frequents (34.9, 37.8 y 60.2% for turkeys at weeks 15, 19 and 23 of age; P<0.05).

Conclusion: The results indicated that turkeys raised in the HP program were heavier, and that males were heavier and yielded more carcass than females. Frequency and severity of foot injuries were highest in HP program, in males and in older turkeys.


turkeys; carcass yield; foot injuries; feeding program; liveweight

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21640/ns.v9i19.863


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Nova Scientia is a multidisciplinary, electronic publication that publishes biannually in the months of May and November; it is published by the Universidad De La Salle Bajío and aims to distribute unpublished and original papers from the different scientific disciplines written by national and international researchers and academics. It does not publish reviews, bibliographical revisions, or professional applications.

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