Growth responses to dietary energy and lysine at high and low ambient temperature in male turkeys

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The effects of ambient temperature (T; 18 vs. 28°C), dietary energy level [E; 90, 100, and 110% of NRC (1994) recommendations], and dietary lysine level [LYS; 105 vs. 120% of NRC (1994) recommendations], and their interactions on feed intake, BW gain, feed:gain ratio, and carcass yields of male turkeys were studied from 29 to 140 d of age. The experiment was designed as a split plot, including T as the main plot and E and LYS as the subplot, with 60 pens containing 10 male turkeys each. Overall, feed intake, BW gain, and feed:gain ratio were significantly lower at high compared with low T. Feed intake decreased linearly as E increased and was more pronounced at low compared with high T. Metabolizable energy intake increased more at high compared with low T as E increased. Turkeys that were fed the highest E gained less weight until 84 d of age than those fed the lowest E. Dietary lysine was not the limiting amino acid because birds showed no response to extra lysine. Feed:gain decreased linearly as E level increased. Until 84 d of age, feed:gain decreased more at low compared with high T as E level increased. Breast meat yields were lower, and thigh, drum, and wing yields were higher at high than at low T. The highest E resulted in lower cold carcass yields, and breast meat yields, and higher thigh and drum yields than the lowest E. Dietary lysine level did not affect carcass yield.The results imply that when dietary lysine levels are adequate, dietary energy may be increased above NRC (1994) to improve feed efficiency, but some of the limiting amino acids after lysine may be increased in high-density diets to optimize breast meat yield. Particularly at high temperature in the period after 16 wk of age, dietary energy contents may be increased to at least 110% of NRC (1994) because turkeys will need more energy to dissipate heat
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)273-282
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • environmental-temperature
  • heat-stress
  • feed-intake
  • metabolizable energy
  • population-density
  • broiler-chickens
  • performance
  • fat

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