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Optimal Nutrition Management Can Improve Turkey Poults in the Starter Phase and Beyond

5 minute read

Poult quality is critical, and the starter phase is a common concern for many turkey growers. During this time, poults are putting on a lot of weight, facing environmental stressors and encountering immune challenges that could impact their health and wellbeing. If these issues become significant during this phase, the issues could persist throughout their lifetime and even cause mortality before they reach market weight.

To ensure your turkeys can handle these challenges and make it to the processing facility in good health, you need to make sure they get off to a good start nutritionally. An optimal balance of performance trace minerals in the starter phase can help in the following ways:

  • Helps manage inflammation and ensures there are nutrients available to strengthen the First Line of Defense™: The Epithelial Barrier. This will keep harmful pathogens out of their system, stimulate immunomodulation, improve food safety and prevent bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis (BCO) in the bones.
  • Provides nutrients that are essential for leg health so birds are better equipped to handle the weight they will be putting on without experiencing lameness.
  • Improves overall health at a young age, which may increase carcass yield and meat quality and positively impact feed conversion ratio (FCR) and your overall return on investment (ROI).

Start Poults Off Right With Generational Nutrition

While properly managing the starter phase in turkeys is important, it can actually start before they are born via Generational Nutrition. Providing performance trace minerals to breeder hens will enable them to pass those nutrients along to their progeny through the egg, enabling them to hatch with a better health status and setting them up for success from the very beginning.

Research studies on turkey performance are not very common, but twowere completed in 2020. These studies sought to discover the impact Zinpro Performance Minerals® had on providing a good start for turkeys when fed to breeder hens and in the starter phase. Let’s look at the results.

Improved Bodyweight and Feed Conversion Ratio

In both studies, poults experienced higher bodyweight gains and, therefore, a lower FCR when fed Zinpro Performance Minerals compared to birds fed inorganic sources of zinc, manganese and copper alone. Poults born from breeders fed Zinpro Performance Minerals had a improvement in FCR of up to 3%, while birds fed Zinpro Performance Minerals in the starter phase had an FCR improvement of up to 4.6%.

This means that Zinpro Performance Minerals can contribute to producing more meat with the same amount of feed or even less, resulting in lower costs, higher profits and better sustainability, as we will save on water consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Improved Leg Health

Both studies also revealed an improvement in bone integrity and leg health in birds fed Zinpro Performance Minerals. For poults fed Zinpro Performance Minerals during the starter phase, we saw a tibia ash improvement of up to 4.5% at 50 days of age.

In the second study, poults born from breeders fed performance trace minerals and then fed Zinpro Performance Minerals during the starter phase saw a reduction in the length of the growth cartilage proliferative zone in their legs at 112 days of age. This results in stronger legs with a reduced chance of lameness and breakage.

A Boost in ROI

By contributing to increased bodyweight, reduced FCR and stronger bones in turkey poults, Zinpro Performance Minerals can provide a healthy ROI when fed to breeders or to poults during the starter phase. The ROI of feeding them to breeders was as high as 2.9:1, while the ROI of feeding them to poults during the starter phase was as high as 5:1.

A healthy ROI means more profits for your turkey production operation.

Make Lifetime Improvements With Zinpro Performance Minerals

Getting turkeys off to a good start by providing performance trace minerals to breeder hens and to poults in the starter phase can lead to lifelong improvements in:

  • Bodyweight
  • Feed conversion ratio
  • Leg health
  • Better uniformity
  • Lower pathology risks
  • Return on investment for your operation

Making these adjustments in the starter phase can reduce mortality and improve the health and wellbeing of turkeys for their lifetime. For more details on how Zinpro Performance Minerals improved FCR, leg bone integrity and ROI, download the research brief to explore the full details of both studies. Then let’s connect to talk more about how Zinpro Performance Minerals can improve your turkey production operation.