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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1962. Department of Poultry Husbandry.


Copyright 1962, the author. Used by permission.


This investigation was conducted: (1) to determine the quantitative iron and copper requirement of starting turkeys, 0-4 weeks of age, (2) to study the effects of copper and/or iron deficiencies on the hemoglobin, the general hematological picture, weight gain and feather development, and (3) to study the need for supplemental iron and copper in practical corn-soybean meal rations.

The data obtained in five experiments conducted to study the copper and iron requirements of Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys, 0-4 weeks of age indicate or suggest the following:

  1. For maximum body weight gain starting poults require from 48 to 58 parts per million (ppm.) of iron and about 4.8 ppm. of copper. At least 58 ppm. of iron was required for maximum hemoglobin (Hb.) formation. A higher level of iron might be required for maximum packed cell volume (p.c.v.) percent. The data relative to copper requirement for Hb. Formation and p.c.v. were not well defined. A level of 4.8 ppm. was adequate in most instances.

  2. A deficiency of iron was evidenced by decreased body weight gain, decreased father pigmentation, poor feathering, and a marked decrease in hemoglobin concentration and percent p.c.v. A deficiency of copper decreased body weight gain and in one instance decreased the percent p.c.v. Feather pigmentation was only slightly decreased by the copper deficiency.

  3. Supplemental copper and/or iron elicited no response when added to the practical corn-soybean meal ration employed. This ration apparently contained adequate copper (11.5 ppm.) and iron (301 ppm.) that was sufficiently available for the starting poult.

Advisor: Thomas W. Sullivan