The Efficacy of Nipple Drinkers and a Direct-Fed Microbial on the Performance of Large White Commercial Turkeys.

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Title: The Efficacy of Nipple Drinkers and a Direct-Fed Microbial on the Performance of Large White Commercial Turkeys.
Author: Russell, Summer MacKenzie
Advisors: Dr. Jesse L. Grimes, Committee Chair
Dr. Vern Christensen, Committee Member
Dr. Wes Watson, Committee Member
Dr. Carm R. Parkhurst, Committee Member
Abstract: Concern over the use of dietary antibiotics has encouraged the poultry industry to find alternatives. PrimaLac® (Star Labs, Clarksdale, MO) is a direct-fed microbial (DFM) that contains viable bacterial cultures Lactobacillus/Streptococcus sp. In the turkey industry, the use of nipple drinkers is being examined to enhance growing conditions. The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of nipple drinkers and DFM on turkey performance. A 2 by 6 factorial design was used (6 drinker types & 2 feed treatments): 1) control Plasson Minibell (T₁), 2) Plasson Easy Start (T₂), 3) Lubing Traditional (T₃), 4) Lubing Easy Line (T₄), 5) ValCo Turkey Drinker (T₅), and 6) Ziggity, Big-Z Activator (T₆). In trial one, T₁ and T₃ drinkers were changed to T₁ at 6 weeks, T₆ changed at 7 weeks, and T₂ changed at 8 weeks. T₅ and T₄ drinkers remained in use until market. In trial two — experiment 2, all drinkers remained in use until market except T₃, changed to T₁ at 6 weeks. T₆ was also changed to T₁ at 14 weeks due to severe water restriction. Typical turkey diets were formulated with and without PrimaLac®. In trial 1, BUTA (Lewisburg, WV) Large White male poults (18/pen) were placed in 48 pens (8 pens/treatment) on day of hatch and were reared to 20 weeks. Feed consumption (by pen) and body weight (BW) were determined at 3, 5-8, 10, 12, 15 and 20 weeks. In trial 2 — experiment 1, 1440 hen poults of (30/pen) 2 strains, A & B, were reared to 3 weeks. Partitions were used to increase brooding density and were removed for the grow-out period. In trial 2 — experiment 2; similar methods were used. 1440 Large White Hybrid Converter® (Kitchener ON, Canada) were reared to 18 weeks. Feed consumption, by pen, and BW were measured at 1, 3, 5-6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 weeks. Feed conversion (FC) was calculated at each measurement for each trial. Data were analyzed in each trial using the General Linear Model procedure of SAS, Inc., using the LS Means procedure to separate treatment means (p≤0.05). There were no feed by drinker type interactions in any trial. In trial 1, 6 week BW of the birds on T₂ and T₆ was less than those on T₁. Differences in BW due to drinker type remained through 10 weeks. Twelve week BW of T₂, T₄, and T₆ birds were no longer different from the control. By 15 weeks, BW of birds reared on T₃ remained less than the birds reared on T₁ with body weight for T₅ intermediate. There were no differences in FC among drinker types until 20 weeks. FC was improved for birds fed DFM for the duration of the trial, and BW was greater for these birds through 12 weeks. In trial 2 — experiment 1, there was mortality by both strain and drinker type with most mortality seen in strain A and T₄. In trial 2 — experiment 2, BW of birds reared on T₁ and T₅ was higher than birds on T₂ and T₆ with T₄ being intermediate at 6 weeks. T₃ yielded lower BW at 6 weeks than did all other drinker types. By 16 weeks, there were no longer differences in BW by drinker type. BW was higher for birds fed DFM and cumulative FC was improved through 8 weeks. The results of these trials show that some nipple drinker systems are effective through the brooding period for turkeys with some systems being capable of carrying birds through to market age. The direct-fed microbial used herein is a viable alternative candidate to dietary antibiotics for rearing turkeys.
Date: 2006-09-07
Degree: MS
Discipline: Poultry Science

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