Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Pinch Of Iodine In Mom's Feed Helps Young Turkeys Survive, Thrive

Date:
November 25, 1999
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
For millions of Americans, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner wouldn't seem right without turkey on the menu. Research by North Carolina State University scientists is helping make sure we always have a plentiful supply. A team of NC State researchers led by Dr. Vern Christensen, professor of poultry science, has found that adding a tiny amount of iodine to a female turkey's feed can boost the number of eggs that hatch successfully, and also promote healthier, faster growing young birds.

For millions of Americans, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner wouldn't seem right without turkey on the menu. Research by North Carolina State University scientists is helping make sure we always have a plentiful supply. A team of NC State researchers led by Dr. Vern Christensen, professor of poultry science, has found that adding a tiny amount of iodine to a female turkey's feed can boost the number of eggs that hatch successfully, and also promote healthier, faster growing young birds.

Related Articles


"This is natural growth, not synthetically induced or genetically engineered," Christensen says. "Iodine is a naturally occurring component of thyroid hormones. We've found that it plays a key role in helping organ systems mature faster than they would have normally, so a young poult's state of maturity at hatching is more advanced."

Christensen's team produced a 4.2 percent increase in hatching rates -- a tenfold improvement over old standards -- by adding just four parts per million of iodine to breeder hens' feed. The iodine-enriched diet also resulted in a 50 percent improvement in post-hatching survival rates and significantly faster growth after that, especially from the sixth day on.

In recent years, geneticists working to speed the growth of turkeys have focused their attention on devising ways to boost the growth of muscle mass, often to the detriment of the embryos' other developing organ systems. "When a turkey is genetically selected for increased muscle mass development, there's often a trade-off, because it gives up growth in other vital organ systems, like the heart or lungs," Christensen says. This means that although the embryo has the muscles to break through the shell, its life-sustaining organs are less mature than they should be, making it more likely to die or grow more slowly.

Feeding the breeder hen an iodine-enriched feed can help balance this inequity, he says.

The cost to producers of feeding breeder hens an iodine-enriched diet is negligible, just a few cents per ton of feed. Yet the financial payoff can be substantial, Christensen says. Based on USDA national production figures of between 300 million and 360 million young poults a year, growers could save $17 million a year in reduced mortalities. And that doesn't account for any increased profits they would see from reducing turnaround time -- the number of days it takes to raise turkeys to market size.

Christensen and his colleagues have published their findings in two peer-reviewed papers this year in the journal Poultry Science. He has been studying the role of thyroid hormones such as iodine in turkey health for more than 20 years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "A Pinch Of Iodine In Mom's Feed Helps Young Turkeys Survive, Thrive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991125090137.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (1999, November 25). A Pinch Of Iodine In Mom's Feed Helps Young Turkeys Survive, Thrive. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991125090137.htm
North Carolina State University. "A Pinch Of Iodine In Mom's Feed Helps Young Turkeys Survive, Thrive." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991125090137.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins