The effect of various levels of yellow grease in pre-starter rations on performance of turkey poults
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Nutritional intervention in the early growing poult can be a valuable strategy to decrease the stress experienced during the transition from endogenous yolk sac lipid reserves to an exogenous feed source. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the performance effects of a high addition rate of yellow grease (YG) in pre-starter rations fed to tom turkeys. The 140-day long experiment was a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement, where poults were fed treatment diets consisting of a control (least cost addition of YG), 6% YG or 8% YG to 10 or 14 DOA. Each treatment consisted of 8 replicates containing 12 birds per pen in a randomized complete block design with location as the blocking factor. Diets were composed of a commercial type corn-soy-DDGS-meat meal base and were adjusted to maintain a consistent ME:AA ratio, as the three dietary treatments were not isocaloric. Birds were weighed and diets were changed at 10 or 14 days, and at 21 days; thereafter, these processes were repeated every 21 days until market age. At completion, birds were processed and carcass composition was evaluated. The resulting performance data, which included livability, BW, FI, feed to gain and adjusted feed to gain, yielded no significant treatment effects. Carcass composition showed a significant increase in fat pad weight in dietary treatments, where 8% YG was higher than both 6% YG and control (P=0.01). Fat pad weight also significantly increased in toms fed for 14 days compared to 10 days (P=0.028). No significant treatment interactions were observed in fat pad weight.