Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 68, No 2 (2003)

Effect of Lower Protein Level in Feed on Production Performance of Zagorje Turkey

Stjepan MUŽIĆ, Zlatko JANJEČIĆ, Darko GRBEŠA, Jasna PINTAR, Marija ĐIKIĆ

Pages: 133-138


Interest for production and marketing of Zagorje turkey in Croatia is rising. Traditional way of breeding Zagorje turkey is manifested through the variety of production and nutritional practices. Typical Croatian customer demands a carcass of Zagorje turkey that has a low weight, ranging between 2.5 . 3.5 kg and is pre-processed in the slaughterhouse. As the data on nutrition, breeding and production of light autochthonous turkey breeds, particularly, among them, Zagorje turkey, are insufficient; there is a need for research on the nutritional and technological aspects of free-range production of Zagorje turkey. In that direction we carried out the research of the effect of different protein level in the diet of turkey chicks up to 8 weeks of age to the final production performance and meat quality of Zagorje turkey slaughtered at the age of six months. Two control (68 ♂ and 68 ♀) and two experimental groups (68 ♂ and 68 ♀) of Zagorje turkeys were housed indoors for the first 8 weeks. After that period each group had access to a fenced pasture of 0.5 ha. Both experimental groups were fed a diet with 25 % less protein than the control groups during the first period of 8 weeks, while after this period all of the groups were fed equally until the end of month 6. At the end of production period, birds of both sexes of the experimental groups had a lower body weight that the control ones, but still within the suitable category for Croatian consumers, while males from the control groups were too heavy (6854 g). Feed conversion ratio (FCR) over the whole experimental period both in the control and experimental groups ranged between 3.47-4.06 kg (concentrates only), without a pattern considering treatment or sex. In the same time, share of different parts of body in the carcass differed between treatments and sexes.


protein level; production performance; free range; Zagorje turkey

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