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Reproduction in turkey hens as influenced by pre breeder and breeder protein intake and the environment

Reproduction in turkey hens as influenced by pre breeder and breeder protein intake and the environment

Poultry Science 55(5): 1678-1690

June hatched female turkeys of an egg laying strain were subjected to 2 protein levels, either 15.6 or 18.5% protein, and 2 environmental regimes, either a natural day (E1) or a 6 h day of 5.4 1x (E2) in a 2 .times. 2 factorial design during the prebreeder period of 20-32 wk. Birds of each treatment were randomized into 4 breeder treatments when lit at 32 wk. Breeder performance traits were compared where hens were fed either 35 or 50 g of protein/hen per day on either a 12 h day with 53.8 1x (E4) or a minimum 14 h day with a minimum intensity of 150 1x (E3). Prebreeder treatment significantly influenced body weight at lighting where hens reared on 15.6% protein and a 6 h day were the lightest while those on the 18.5% protein and a natural day were the heaviest. By week 35 these differences had disappeared. Performance traits of age at 1st egg, egg production, hatchability, broodiness, and egg weight were not affected by the nutritional regimes studied during either the prebreeder or breeder phase. Significant environmental influences existed for age at 1st egg, egg production, broodiness, hatchability and body weight. The E2/E4 regime significantly increased the age at 1st egg over the other 3 environmental combinations. Egg production was significantly reduced by the E2/E4 treatment when compared to E1/E4 and E2/E3. Broodiness was adversely affected by both the E4 and the E2/E4 regimes. Hatchability was significantly higher with the E4 environment when compared to E3. In the last weeks of the 26 wk production period, hens on the E3 regime were heavier than those on the E4.

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