Feeding Turkey Poults with Starter Feed and Whole Wheat or Maize in Free Choice Feeding System: Its Effects on Their Performances

  • Erener, G. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ondokuz Mayis) ;
  • Ocak, N. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ondokuz Mayis) ;
  • Garipoglu, A.V. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ondokuz Mayis) ;
  • Sahin, A. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mustafa Kemal) ;
  • Ozturk, E. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ondokuz Mayis)
  • Received : 2005.03.10
  • Accepted : 2005.07.05
  • Published : 2006.01.01


This study was carried out to determine the effects of free choice feeding of starter feed and whole cereals on the growth of turkey poults. Two hundred-seventy poults (7-d old) were divided into 3 treatment groups each with 3 replications containing 15 males and 15 females. Control poults (C) were fed only on starter feed (280 g CP and 11.7 MJ ME/kg). Treatments for choice-fed turkey poults were offered a choice of a starter feed and wheat (120 g CP and 12.3 MJ ME/kg) for wheat selecting (WS) or maize (83 g CP and 13.9 MJ ME/kg) for maize selecting (MS) group in separate feeders. Final live weight (2,280.7 g for the C vs. 2,374.3 and 2,324.6 g for the WS and MS), daily gain (39.21 g vs. 40.87 and 39.99 g) and total feed intake (95.2 g vs. 103.2 and 97.9 g) in the WS poults were significantly higher (p<0.05) than those of the C group, but feed conversion ratio was not significantly different between the treatments. The proportional intakes of cereals vs. total feed intake were 11% in both the WS and MS group. The amount of protein intake in the C group (280 g CP/kg diet) was significantly (p<0.05) higher than that in WS and MS groups (263 and 259 g CP/kg diet, respectively) whilst the ME intake in the C group (11.7 MJ/kg diet) was significantly (p<0.05) lower than that in MS group (11.9 MJ/kg diet). Our results showed that turkey poults fed starter feed and whole wheat in a free choice feeding system have a higher efficiency in terms of daily gain, final live weight, and an economic advantage may be obtained from free choice feeding due to a reduced protein intake and feed cost.


Supported by : Ondokuz Mayis University


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