The Effect of Different Dietary Levels and Sources of Methionine on the Growth Performance of Turkeys, Carcass and Meat Quality

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The aim of this study was to determine the effect of different dietary levels and sources of methionine (Met) on the growth performance of turkeys, carcass and meat quality. A total of 816 Hybrid Converter turkeys in 6 groups and 8 replications were fed wheat-soybean meal-based diets supplemented with three sources of Met: DL-isomer, L-isomer and DL-hydroxy analog (DLM, LM and MHA, respectively). In four 4-week periods (from 1 to 16 weeks of age), the Met content of turkey diets corresponded to the level recommended by NRC (1994) or was increased by approximately 50% to match the intake recommended by some breeding companies. Increased dietary Met content resulted in a higher final body weight (BW) of turkeys (P=0.002) and a lower feed conversion ratio (FCR) (P=0.049), but had no effect on carcass dressing percentage and most parameters of carcass quality. The higher dietary Met level contributed to a decrease in meat pH, a lower contribution of redness and a smaller muscle fiber diameter (P=0.028, P=0.040 and P=0.004, respectively). The higher dietary Met level had no influence on the redox status of meat, but it reduced the incidence of lymphoid cell infiltration between muscle fibers threefold (P=0.003). Throughout the experiment, no significant differences were noted in the growth performance parameters of turkeys, irrespective of Met source. MHA contributed to higher abdominal fat content, lower dry matter (DM) content and lower catalase (CAT) activity in breast meat, compared with DLM and LM. Increased dietary Met content, approximately 50% higher than that recommended by NRC (1994), regardless of Met source, led to higher final BW of turkeys, but had no effect on carcass dressing percentage and most parameters of carcass quality.

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Annals of Animal Science

The Journal of National Research Institute of Animal Production

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