Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

F. Piffrader, R. Leitgeb and Ch. Westermeier:

Influence of supplemental L-arginine on growth and carcass performance of turkeys


In a feeding trial with Large White turkeys the effect of L-arginine supplementation on growth, feed conversion, carcass composition and sensoric caracteristics of breast meat was investigated.

To each of the 3 treatment groups were assigned 4 pens of 5 poults each. Phase feed 1 with 27 % protein were fed from 1st to 28th day, phase feed 2 with 26 % protein from 29th to 56th day and phase feed 3 with 21 % protein from 57th to 78th day of age. Tree additions of L-arginine (0 % (FG1), 0.2 % (FG2) and 0.4 % (FG3)) were evaluated.

The phase feed 1, 2 and 3 of FG1 was formulated to provide 1.73, 1.48 and 1.24 % arginine. To the phase feeds of feeding group FG1 were added 0.2 % L-arginine for FG2 and 0.4 % L-arginine for FG3. At the start of the growing period the LW of the poults was 58 g and ad the end of growing period (day 78) 7.58 (FG1), 7.35 (FG2) and 7.06 kg (FG3). Increasing level of L-arginine decreased weight gain. Feed consumption per kg LW-gain was for FG1, FG2 and FG3 2.15, 2.28 and 2.19 kg and the carcass dressing (carcass weight without giblets as a percentage of body weight prior slaughter) 86.1, 86.5 and 87.0 %, respectively.

The highest L-arginine level showed a lower juiciness but did not affect tenderness and taste of breast meat. The results of this study suggest, under normal feeding conditions up to 11 weeks L-arginine additions have no affect on growth performance, but improofs breast meat proportion.

Key words:  turkey, L-arginine, growth, slaughtering, carcass.