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Efficacy of free-choice feeding of ground wheat or whole grain wheat and protein concentrate to turkeys
Dariusz Mikulski 1 , Jan Jankowski 1, **, Teresa Majewska 1 , Zenon Zduńczyk 2
1University of Warmia and Mazury, Department of Poultry Science, Oczapowskiego 5, 10-718 Olsztyn, Poland 2Institute of Animal Reproduction and Feed Research of Polish Academy of Sciences, Tuwima 10, 10-747 Olsztyn, Poland
The aim of this study was to determine body weight gains, feed intake and feed consumption
patterns in turkeys, when offered a choice of various feed ingredients (protein-fat-mineral-vitamin
concentrate pellets, ground-pelleted wheat and whole grain wheat).
The experiment started on
264 male Hybrid Converter turkeys aged 4 weeks, divided into four experimental groups with six
replicates per treatment and 11 birds per replicate. Group I birds were fed a complete pelleted diet
formulated to meet the nutrient requirements of turkeys at 5-8 and 9-12 weeks of age. Turkeys in
the other three groups had free access (FCF) to protein concentrate pellets (supplemented with fat,
minerals and vitamins), ground-pelleted wheat (group II), ground-pelleted wheat and whole grain
wheat (group III), and whole grain wheat (group IV).
Throughout the experiment, average feed intake in the FCF groups accounted for 91.8 -93.0% of
feed intake in group I. In the control group receiving the complete feed the intake of the components
making up the protein concentrate used in the diets of groups II-IV was calculated as 43.2% of total
feed intake, whereas the intake of protein concentrate in groups II, II and IV constituted 48.4, 46.2
and 65.6% of total feed intake, respectively. In comparison with group I, daily total protein intake
was 6.7 and 5.4% lower in groups II and III, and 26.8% higher in group IV in the first feeding
period; the differences between groups were less pronounced in the second feeding period. After 4
and 8 weeks of feeding, body weights (BW) of turkeys in the FCF groups were significantly lower
than in group I (P=0.001 in both periods). In both feeding periods, total protein intake per kg weight
gain in the experimental groups could be arranged in the following order: IV>III>II>I (P=0.001).
FCF had no significant effect on excreta dry matter (DM) content and footpad dermatitis (FPD)
incidence in 12-week-old turkeys.
FCF resulted in poorer growth performance of turkeys due to inadequate total protein intake,
which was too low when the birds were given a free choice between protein concentrate and ground-
pelleted wheat, and too high when protein concentrate and whole grain wheat were fed in the free
choice system. Considerable disproportions in the consumption of protein concentrate and wheat, in
particular whole grain wheat, suggest that turkeys aged 5-8 weeks either need a longer time to fully
adapt to FCF or are not able to adapt to FCF at all.
free-choice feeding / growth performance / turkeys / whole wheat grain
Date Deposited : 24 Mar 2016 10:46
Official URL: http://www.ighz.edu.pl/files/objects/7556/66/str_165-176.pdf
Last Modified : 24 Mar 2016 10:46
Volume 33, Number 2, March 2015
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