Effects of different housing systems on growth performance and carcass yield of two breeds of turkey
In the last few decades, a rapid increase in poultry production is experienced due largely to improvements in the management systems. This study thereby investigated the effects of different housing systems on growth performance and carcass yield of exotic and locally-adapted breeds of turkey. A total of 192 unsexed day-old poults (96 each of British United and locally-adapted Turkeys) were purchased and brooded for three weeks. Each breed was then allocated randomly into two treatments of deep litter and wooden cage with 48 poults each which were further subdivided into four replicates of twelve poults each using a 2 x 2 factorial experimental layout in a Completely Randomized Design. The growth performance was significantly (p<0.05) influenced by the breeds with exotic breed having higher final weight (6,305.00 g/b), weight gain (60.67 g/b/d) and feed intake (238.57 g/b/d) compared with the final weight (3,541 g/b), weight gain (34.08 g/b/d) and feed intake (138.55 g/b/d) of the locally-adapted turkey breed. Also, significantly (p<0.05) higher final weight and weight gain were recorded for the exotic turkey reared on wooden cage at the starter phase. The results on carcass yield showed a significantly (p<0.05) higher plucked weight (5,216.67 g/b) in the exotic breed. A better (p<0.05) cost-benefit ratio of 3.29 was obtained in the locally-adapted turkey. The study concluded that growth performance indices were better in the exotic than the locally-adapted turkeys. However, with respect to the cost-benefit ratio, the rearing of the locally-adapted turkey in either of the housing system is recommended.
Keywords: locally-adapted turkey, exotic turkey, growth performance, wooden cage, deep litter