Turkey Production Improvements

Technology No. z00173-z02041

Increase Turkey Egg Laying and Growth Rate

Two methods for the enhancement of turkey performance are presented: one technology works to increase the turkey growth rate and muscle mass of hens by using a passive immunization method to block myostatin’s inhibitory effects on skeletal muscle development. The other technology utilizes the effects the eyes seem to have on the gonads in order to provide poultry with the optimal combination of light wavelengths to induce the most stimulatory effects. 

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This license includes technologies Z00173 and Z02041.

Enhancing Turkey Reproduction

Turkeys are unique in that their eyes seem to play a role in their reproductive cycle. The eyes appear to have an inhibitory effect on the gonads and respond to different wavelengths and intensity of light. These inhibitory effects seem to be the most sensitive to the green-yellow part of the spectrum (520-575 nm) and are most stimulated by the opposite portion of the spectrum, the red (630 nm) wavelength.

This technology utilizes the effects of light wavelength on the eyes in order to enhance the reproductive efficiency of poultry. Reproductive performance is enhanced by controlling the type of light to which poultry is exposed; preferably increasing red bands while minimizing green-yellow bands for multiple, predetermined lengths of time.

Increasing Turkey Growth Rate

Myostatin (GDF-8) is a member of the growth factor family, which plays an important role in regulating development and growth. Myostatin is expressed in the skeletal muscles and seems to act as a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. This technology works to reduce the inhibitory effects of myostatin on skeletal muscle development in order to stimulate growth rates in turkey hens. The turkeys are given an active immunization against myostatin which causes them to produce antibodies that will be transferred to poults through the eggs and induce a passive immunization response in the offspring.

The advantage of this technology is that there is no need for drug administration to animals directly or use of a transgenic animal to interfere with myostatin’s inhibitory effects on skeletal muscle growth. This technology also provides a safer method to increase turkey growth rate of muscle mass with fewer side effects and without an increase in fat content.

Researchers: Mohamed E. El Halawani, PhD Professor, Department of Animal Science
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