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Asian Journal of Poultry Science
Year: 2016  |  Volume: 10  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 86 - 95

Phenotypic Variations of Growth and Reproductive Performances Among Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo)

A.M.J.B. Adikari, W.A.D. Nayananjalie, J. Xu and E.J. Smith    

Abstract: This study was carried out with the aim of comparing the phenotypic variations of growth and reproductive performances among seven heritage varieties of turkeys with hybrid turkeys. Differences among turkey varieties for Body Weight (BW), Average Daily Gain (ADG) and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) were significant (p≤0.05) with Narragansett being the heaviest and Royal Palm showed the lowest BW and ADG. The mean ADG gradually increased up to 159 days of age and then decreased thereafter in heritage turkeys. Consistently better FCR for males and females reported in Blue Slate and White Holland, respectively. Narragansett was characterized by the highest semen volume and sperm count, while Bourbon Red had the lowest. White Holland had the highest sperm concentration and viability, while Bourbon Red had the lowest. Age at first egg (AFE) was also different among turkey varieties. Heritage turkeys are generally characterized by late sexual maturity. Among heritage varieties, Midget White reported the least AFE and highest egg productions than others. As expected, hybrid turkeys were superior to heritage birds in performance for most of the traits evaluated in the study. In conclusion, the differences observed in growth and reproductive performances within heritage turkeys could be useful for future breeding programs to improve the existing production and reproductive performances of turkeys.

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