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Free Content Nutritional factors that affect leg problems in broilers and turkeys

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Skeletal disorders in meat poultry are a very complex problem that can be influenced by many different factors including nutrition. Several nutritional modifications and feed management factors that are presented in this review, if understood and applied by field nutritionists and feed mill managers, could help solve some of the field cases of leg problems. Along with good feed quality and the proper dietary nutrient levels that are typically accepted by the poultry industry, attention should be made to make certain that zinc, selenium, copper, pyridoxine, biotin, and vitamin D are supplied by highly bioavailable sources. Moreover, appropriate levels of Ca, P, Na, and Cl and a good balance between Ω3 : Ω6 fatty acids, according to the stage of development, are also important. One should also assess the effects of high methionine-low pyridoxine diets on bone development and resistance to fractures in broilers and turkeys under commercial conditions. Additionally, strategies to avoid enteritis, fat and oil rancidity, mycotoxins, and cadmium contamination should be in place at feedmills and farms in order to reduce such skeletal disorders in poultry.
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Keywords: bone development; broilers; leg problems; nutrition; turkeys

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Poultry Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC., 27695-7608, USA

Publication date: 30 May 2006

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