Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

R. Leitgeb, H. Lew, R. Khidr, J. Böhm, W. Zollitsch and E. Wagner:

Influence of fusarium toxins on growth and carcass characteristics of turkeys


In a feeding trial with 60 turkeys in 4 feeding groups the effects of mycotoxin contaminated maize on growing performance and carcass traits, chemical composition of eviscerated carcass, organoleptic traits and biochemical parameters of blood were investigated. Four diets with different levels of mycotoxin contamination were tried. In feeding group 1 uncontaminated maize was used, in feeding group 2, 3 and 4; 1/3, 2/3 and 3/3 of uncontaminated maize were substituted by mycotoxin contaminated maize. The percentage of maize in starter feed, grower diet I and II was 36.8, 48.9 and 59.3 %, respectively. The contaminated maize contained 4.94 mg moniliformin, 3.24 mg beauvericin, 2.02 mg deoxynivalenol, and 0.35 mg fumonisines BI per kg. At the end of the growing period (77 days) live weight of the turkeys of group 1,2,3 and 4 was 6.71,6.26,6.33 and 6.27 kg and feed conversion rate was 2.07,2.16,2.23 and 2.19, respectively. The dressing percentages of eviscerated carcass and roast carcass, the weight of heart, liver, Bursa fabricii, spleen and the valuable parts of carcass showed no significant differences between the feeding groups. The DM content of eviscerated carcass was significantly (P= O.l 0) decreasing from 31.5 to 31.1, 30.9 and 30.1 % for feeding group 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. The organoleptic traits (tenderness, juiciness and taste) of breast meat and the biochemical parameters of blood were not at all influenced by the contaminated feed. The experiment shows, that maize contaminated with fusarium toxins had negative effects on growing performance only in the first 8 weeks of age, but not further on.

Key words:  turkey, mycotoxin, growth, carcass, blood.