The effect of dietary nutrient density on litter quality in turkey production.

Study to compare the effect of different dietary crude protein levels on water intake and litter quality of turkeys.

Year of Publication2011

The three most important aspects of litter quality are the moisture content, stickiness and nitrogen or ammonia (NH3) content in the litter. Research has shown that the litter quality in the pens of turkeys fed feed with a relatively low dietary crude protein (CP) concentration but an adequate dietary apparent metabolisable energy (AME) concentration and amino acid profile was better than the litter of birds fed the same AME concentrations but higher dietary CP concentrations. However, it was not clear whether the deterioration of the litter quality was due to the CP concentration or to the changes in the CP to AME ratio. Some reports suggest that achieving a higher AME to CP ratio by using a lower CP concentration might encourage birds to increase feed intake to meet their amino acid requirements, which may also increase water intake (WI) and have an impact on the litter quality. Therefore the aim of this study was to compare the effect on WI and litter quality of different dietary CP levels (formulated to give a constant CP to AME ratio in all diets).

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