Poultry Meat: Broilers and Turkeys
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List some of the selection criteria for broilers
- Rapid growth rate
- Good food conversion ratio
- Good skeletal development
- Good conformation
- Correct flesh colouring
- Good liveability
- Resistance to disease
What type of chicken produces fertile eggs which hatch to produce DO broiler chicks?
Broiler breeders or parent stock
Why is feed restricted in broiler breeders?
To control body weight gain and promote fertility
Why is feed restriction a welfare issue?
As it can lead to frustration, hunger, stereotypic behaviour and pecking
List three ways broiler breeders can improve welfare
- Scatter feeding
- Environmental enrichment
- Bulked up feeding
True or false: DO broiler chicks can be reared in cages or on the floor?
False - they can only be reared on the floor
What is the initial air temperature for raising DO broiler chicks?
What is the usual market weight for a broiler?
How long does it take broilers to reach market weight?
Describe the diet fed to broilers
A high protein (23%) starter ration is fed to DO chicks so they grow as much as possible early in life. The protein content is then reduced during the grower and finisher stages.
What is added to the feed to reduce the risk of getting coccidiosis from the litter floor?
Why is the ration in pellet rather than mash form?
Improved feed efficiency
List some problems that can occur with incorrect nutrition
- Fall in growth rate
- Excess abdominal fat
- Excess carcass fat
- Reduction in breast meat yield
- Increased late mortality
Why is litter put down on the floor?
To protect the broilers from damage and provide a warm, dry covering to the concrete floor
What problems can arise from poor litter?
Hock burn, foot pad dermatitis, breast necrosis and blisters. All lead to downgrading at processing plant.
List three welfare issues associated with broilers
- Leg disorders resulting in lameness eg tibial dyschondroplasia/foot pad dermatitis and hock lesions
- Cardiovascular problems - ascites
- Behavioural restriction due to barren environment
What are the 4 main steps involved in the production of turkey meat?
Turkey breeders (fertile egg production) --> hatchery (day old 'poults') --> grower farms --> culled and processed
What is the name for a male/female turkey?
- male = stag or tom
- female = hen
Why are male and female breeding turkeys usually kept apart?
As males have been made large and heavy through selective breeding and cannot naturally mate with females
What are the advantages of AI in turkeys?
Less damage to females, improved fertility and need fewer males per number of females
What are the three types of housing for turkeys?
Controlled environment, pole barn, free range
What is a pole barn?
A barn that is open sided with fixed windows on side walls (more suited to temperate climates)
What is the incubation period of an a) turkey b) chicken egg?
What is a day old turkey called?
When are turkeys usually culled?
14-20 weeks (hen-stag)
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