Effect of Dietary Aflatoxin from Contaminated corn on Performance of Turkey Poults
Eighty 21-d-old Nicholas turkey poults were fed diets containing different levels of aflatoxin from naturally contaminated corn using Aspergillus flavus. The aim of the study was to investigate growth and feed intake responses in the birds to the dietary aflatoxin levels in order to determine the safe level of the toxin in the diets of turkey poults. The birds were weighed and assigned to 4 treatments of 4 replicates each and 5 poults per replicate in a randomized complete block design with an average initial body weight of 341 g. The diets were T1 = control; T2 = 400ppb aflatoxin; T3 = 800ppb aflatoxin; T4 = 1,200ppb aflatoxin/diet. The poults were fed the experimental diets for 2 weeks at the end of which feed intake and body weight records were taken and statistically analyzed using linear regression. At d 14 there was a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in feed intake (1316, 710, 519 and 306 g) and body weight (1055, 554, 383 and 306 g) for diets T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively. Mortality was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the 400, 800 and 1200 ppb aflatoxin diets compared to the control diet. Results of the study showed that dietary aflatoxin concentration of 400 ppb and above from contaminated corn is deleterious to turkey poults reared from d 21 to 35.
Keywords: dietary aflatoxin, turkey poults, performance