Effect of dietary electrolyte balance and crude protein content on foot pad dermatitis in commercial turkeys

Teun Veldkamp, Paul Hocking, Leonardo James Vinco

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Factors such as dietary electrolyte balance (EB) and crude protein (CP) content, age, and strain may affect the prevalence of foot pad dermatitis (FPD). The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of decreasing EB (high EB (HEB) vs. low EB (LEB)) and CP (high CP (HP) vs. low CP (LP)) in two turkey strains on growth performance, litter quality and FPD in a 2x2x2 factorial block design. A total of 1920 male poults were housed in 64 pens (3 m wide x 4 m deep) littered with wood shavings at a stocking rate of 30 poults/pen. Diets were formulated isocaloric for 5 phases (0- 28, 2S8- 56, 56-84, 84-112 and 112-134 days of age) and containing per phase 290 vs. 260, 270 vs. 240, 230 vs. 200, 200 vs. 170, 170 vs. 140 g CP/kg, respectively; and EB (240 vs. 130 mEq/kg) in all phases. Free amino acids were supplemented to the diets according to breeder recommendations. LEB diets were formulated by exchange of soya bean meal by maize gluten meal, peas, potato protein, rapeseed meal and sunflower seed meal. Water and feed were provided ad libitum. Body weight, feed intake, litter moisture and FPD scores were recorded at 28, 56, 84, 112 and 134 days of age. Body weight gain was not affected by CP and FCR was significantly higher on LP than on HP diets (2.56 vs. 2.50; P=0.002). FPD score of turkeys fed on LP was lower than on HP until 84 days (P<0.001). LEB resulted in a significantly lower feed intake (420 vs. 435 g/d) and body weight gain (166 vs. 172 g/d) over the period 28 to 124 days and lower body weight (18588 vs. 19405 g) at 134 days of age compared with HEB whereas FCR was not affected. Litter was significantly dryer on LEB than HEB diets (P<0.001). FPD score on LEB was significantly lower than on HEB diets (P< 0.001). FPD was not affected by turkey strain. It is concluded that litter quality can be improved and FPD can be decreased in turkeys fed on diets containing lower CP and EB levels. Keywords: foot pad dermatitis, growth performance, litter quality, protein, turkeys
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2016
EventWPC2016: The XXV World's Poultry Congress - Beijing, China
Duration: 5 Sept 20169 Sept 2016
Conference number: XXV


Abbreviated titleThe Proceedings of XXV World's Poultry Congress 2016 _ Abstracts
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