Enhancement of Early Development in Turkeys by in Ovo Feeding
Department of Agriculture
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Small Business Information
1040 Swabia Ct., Durham, NC, 27709
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Joseph O` Dowd
AbstractThe first few days after hatch is a critical period for the development and survival of commercial turkey poults. During this period poults make the metabolic and physiological transition from egg nutriture to exogenous feed. Nutritional limitations result from the limited nutrient content of the egg and the limited ability of the hatchling to digest nutrients from an external carbohydrate and protein rich diet. This project will determine the optimal formulation for an in ovo feeding substance to be administered to turkey embryos during late term incubation to enhance the development of their digestive system and facilitate the transition from yolk-based nutrition to external feed. It is hypothesized that in ovo feeding will improve the nutritional status of the hatchling by accelerating enteric development for greater digestive and nutrient absorptive capacity. The concept of in ovo feeding will need to be automated prior to commercialization. In ovo administration of vaccines in broiler chicks has been successfully commercialized by Embrex. The technology has not been optimized or commercialized for turkeys. The purpose of this project is to establish amnion targeting specifications suitable for automation in turkeys and assess the impact of automated in ovo feeding on early performance (day 14) of turkey poults.
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