Effects of Source and Level of Trace Minerals on Performance, Mineral Excretion, Intestine and Bone Development, and Immune Response in Commercial Turkeys

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Virginia Tech

To compare the effect of a standard commercial trace mineral dietary program to low levels of organic minerals on turkey performance, mineral excretion, bone strength, and carcass yield, day-old Hybrid poults (n=1,224) were randomly distributed to one of four treatments with 9 replicates. Experimental treatments consisted of: standard inorganic (SI) with a commercial supplementation program (Mn, Zn, Cu, Se), reduced inorganic (RI) with 10% level of SI, and two organic regimens of Bioplex®/Sel-Plex® (at the same level of RI during period 1 and 2 and at 2/3 of RI for period 3, 4, 5, and 6, or at the same level of RI for entire trial). Body weight (BW), body weight gain (BWG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and feed intake (FI) were evaluated and fresh excreta were collected at d 28, 49, 70, 84, 105 and 133. Tibias and femurs were collected at d 49, 84 and 133. Trace mineral concentration in litter and carcass yield were determined at d 133. Overall, there was no significant effect on BW, cumulative BWG, FCR, or FI due to treatments (P < 0.05). The contents of Mn and Zn in excreta and litter were significantly reduced (P < 0.05) in Bioplex®/Sel-Plex® or RI diet compared to SI during the study. Cu excretion was significantly reduced at d 84 and 133. Tibias from the SI treatment had increased bone strength at d 49. Carcass yield at processing was significantly improved (P < 0.05) by feeding Bioplex®/Sel-Plex® treatments compared to the SI diet.

To investigate the effect of organic or inorganic Zn combined with other trace minerals on turkey performance, immune response, and intestinal development, a 2 by 4 factorial design was utilized with coccidia vaccinated and non-vaccinated and 4 dietary treatments varying in level and source of Zn with Mn, Cu, and Se. A total of 2,376 day-old Hybrid turkeys were assigned to one of the combinations with 9 replicates of each. Dietary treatments consisted of: 1) standard inorganic (SI), Zn (150 ppm) with Mn (165 ppm), Cu (10 ppm), and Se (0.2 ppm); 2) reduced inorganic (RI), Zn, Mn, and Cu at 10% of SI, and Se at 0.2ppm; 3) organic 1 (O1), at the same level of RI; 4) organic 2 (O2), Zn (30 ppm) with the same level of Mn, Cu, and Se as O1. Body weight, BWG, FI and FCR were determined weekly. Bursa, thymus, and spleen were weighed, and duodenum and jejunum were collected at d 7, 14, 28, and 42. Peripheral blood was collected for T-lymphocyte populations on d 21, 28, and 42. Cumulative FI was influenced by vaccination (P=0.003). Cumulative BWG and BW were significantly decreased by vaccination except on d 14. Cumulative BWG increased in poults fed RI compared with those fed O2 (P=0.03). Poults fed O2 had significantly decreased BW when compared with RI after d 28. Cumulative FCR was not affected by diet and vaccination. Vaccination increased spleen weight on d 7 and thymus weight on d 42 (P < 0.05). The birds fed O2 had increased thymus weight when compared with those fed SI at d 7 (P < 0.05). The vaccinated poults had higher numbers of CD4+ T-cells than non-vaccinated birds on d 28 and d 42 (P < 0.05), and an interaction between diet and vaccination was observed (P < 0.05). Compared to non-vaccinated poults, CD4+/CD8+ ratio was significantly increased in vaccinated poults on d 42 (P = 0.0475). The villus height in vaccinated birds was significantly increased in the jejunum (P = 0.0012), but diets did not affect intestinal morphology. In summary, using low levels of organic or inorganic trace minerals is adequate to maintain turkey performance and immune response and decreased trace minerals excretion.

excreta, Performance, turkeys, trace minerals, coccidia, immune response