Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Evaluation of methionine sources in protein reduced dets for turkeys in the late finishing period regarding performance, footpad health and liver health


Footpad dermatitis and hepatic lipidosis are health problems in fattening turkeys where a positive influence of higher methionine content in feed is discussed. The effects of the methionine supplements DL-methionine (DLM) and liquid methionine hydroxyl analogue free acid (MHA-FA) under the aspect of low protein diets were investigated in this study based on performance parameters, footpad health, liver health and oxidative stress. In this study, 80 female turkeys (B.U.T. Big 6) of 63 day-old, were randomly assigned to four groups characterising a 2 × 2 factorial design with five replicates each over five weeks. The groups were fed with diets differing in methionine source (DLM vs. MHA-FA, assuming a biological activity of MHA-FA of 65%) and crude protein content (15% vs. 18%) for 35 days. The results showed no significant interactions between the protein content and methionine source. Strong protein reduction significantly impaired water intake, feed intake, weight gain and feed conversation ratio, but improved footpad health. DLM and MHA-FA addition had no significant effect on weight gain, crude fat and protein contents in the liver, but DLM resulted in a significant increase in livers antioxidative capacity compared to MHA-FA. Although the protein reduction resulted in reduced performance, the study showed that MHA-FA can be replaced by DLM in a 100:65 weight ratio without compromising performance but with certain advantages in the antioxidative capacity of the liver.


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