Effect of protein sources on performance characteristics of turkeys in the first three weeks of life

Megan L. Ross, Dervan D.S.L. Bryan, Dawn A. Abbott, Henry L. Classen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The effect of nutrition during the early life of turkey poults has a long-lasting impact on bird performance. This study assessed the digestibility of 5 high protein feed ingredients (soybean meal [SBM], corn gluten meal [CGM], canola protein concentrate [CPC], fish meal [FM], and porcine meal [PCM]) in broiler chickens, as well as their use in turkey pre-starter diets fed to 21 d of age. The first experiment (5 × 2 factorial arrangement) determined nitrogen corrected apparent metabolizable energy (AMEn) and apparent ileal amino acid digestibility (AIAAD) of each ingredient in broiler chickens at 5 and 21 d of age, using 6 replications of 30 and 8 chicks, respectively. In the second experiment (completely randomized design), 4 replication pens, containing 23 d-old poults, were randomly assigned to one of 5 dietary treatments. The diets were formulated based on the AMEn and AIAAD values derived in the first experiment, and consisted of a high SBM control diet, and 4 additional diets with either CPC, FM, PCM or CGM replacing 25% of the protein supplied by SBM in the control diet. Statistical analysis was completed using Proc Mixed in SAS 9.3. Planned contrasts were used to compare treatments in the second experiment. Trends were identified at P < 0.10 and significant differences identified at P ≤ 0.05. Bird age did not affect CPC, FM, CGM, and SBM AMEn, but the PCM value at d 5 was higher than that at d 21. Apparent ileal amino acid digestibility increased with age for most amino acids (AA), but the response was AA and protein source dependent. The largest average increase in AIAAD between 5 and 21 d of age was observed for CGM. Inclusion of CPC, FM, PCM, or CGM increased body weight up to 14 d, in comparison to poults fed the SBM diet, but feed efficiency and water consumption were not affected. Terminal ileum digesta moisture values were higher for birds fed SBM when compared to those fed PCM. These results demonstrate that combining SBM with CPC, FM, PCM, or CGM improves poult performance during the first 14 d of life in comparison to feeding SBM alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-406
Number of pages11
JournalAnimal Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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