Section 46
Chapter 45,888

Effect of physical feed restriction during rearing on Large White turkey breeder hens: 3. Body and carcass composition

Crouch, A.N.; Grimes, J.L.; Christensen, V.L.; Krueger, K.K.

Poultry Science 81(12): 1792-1797


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-5791
PMID: 12512568
DOI: 10.1093/ps/81.12.1792
Accession: 045887547

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Large White turkey breeder hens were used to evaluate the effect of three different levels of physical feed restriction on subsequent body and carcass composition. The four feed treatments were 1) ad libitum fed throughout the study (CC), 2) feed restricted from 16 to 24 wk (CR), 3) feed restricted from 3 to 16 wk (RC), and 4) feed restricted from 3 to 24 wk (RR). Feed restriction was implemented so that RC and RR hens achieved a 45% reduction in BW compared to CC hens at 16 wk. From 16 to 24 wk, feed was allotted to RR and CR hens to maintain a slight increase in BW. At the completion of each restriction period, hens were gradually returned to ad libitum feeding. At 30 wk, hens were photostimulated for a 20-wk summer season egg production cycle. Restricted fed hens had increased moisture levels at 16 and 30 wk and decreased fat levels at 16, 30, 39, and 54 wk (P < or = 0.05). Absolute and relative weights of the pectoralis major muscle were greater in hens fed ad libitum through 43 wk (P < or = 0.05). There were no differences in the number of maturing yellow follicles due to treatment. However, restricted fed hens had higher peak egg production during early lay but decreased subsequent and cumulative egg production. Changes in egg production were associated with changes in breast muscle weight. Prolactin levels were greater in hens in-production compared to hens out-of-production; however, there were no differences due to feed treatment. In conclusion, further research on quantitative feed-restriction programs, which result in body weight reductions as described in this study, should address specific physiological and nutritional requirements and not be implemented as general programs.

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