Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

R. Leitgeb, W. Wetscherek and A. Quinz:

Influence of protein reduction and supplementation with essential amino acids in diets on growing and slaughtering performance of turkeys


In a feeding trial with 60 turkeys phase feeds with normal levels of protein and lysine, methionine and threonine (FG1), phase feeds with lower levels of protein (- 10 % relative), but lysine, methionine and threonine levels as in FGI (FG2) and phase feeds with lower levels of protein (as FG2), but relatively 10 % higher levels of lysine, methionine and threonine (FG3) were used. The following criteria were recorded: growing and slaughtering performance, valuable parts of the carcass, chemical composition of the carcassand the organoleptic quality of breast meat. The trial period was 11 weeks. Each feeding group consisted of 4 boxes with 5 animals each. At the start of the trial the live weight of the turkey chicken was 55g. After 4 weeks of the growing period average live weight of animals of the feeding group FG1, FG2 and FG3 was 0.93, 0.94 and 1.02 kg, after 8 weeks 3.72, 3.72 and 4.01 kg and after 11 weeks 6.94, 6.87 and 7.35 kg, respectively. The feed conversion rate in FG1, FG2 and FG3 for the whole growing period was 2.13, 2.31 and 2.19, respectively. The carcass weight of the animals of FG3 was O.30 kg heavier than in the other two feeding groups. No influence of different protein supplementation was observed on heart and live weight. Weight of gizzard was decreasing from 134 g in FG1 to 126 g in FG2 and 114 gin FG3. The breast meat of FG3 showed the best value for tenderness, juiciness and taste of all feeding groups. The present trial shows, that a lower level of protein can be easily compensated with a higher level of lysine, methionine and threonine in the ration.

Key words:  turkey, lysine, methionine, threonine, growth, slaughtering.