Efficacy of feed additives to reduce the effect of naturally occurring mycotoxins fed to turkey hen poults reared to 6 weeks of age
Corn with naturally occurring aflatoxin (AF), wheat with naturally occurring doxynivalenol (DON), and barley with naturally occurring zearalenone (ZEA) were used to make rations for feeding turkey hen poults to 6 weeks of age. Control rations with equal amounts of corn, wheat, and barley were also fed. The control rations did contain some DON while both sets of rations contained ZEA. Within each grain source, there were 4 treatments: the control ration plus 3 rations each with a different feed additive which were evaluated for the potential to lessen potential mycotoxin effects on bird performance and physiology. The additives were Biomin BioFix (2 lb/ton), Kemin Kallsil (4 lb/ton), and Nutriad UNIKE (3 lb/ton). The mycotoxin rations reduced poult body weight (2.31 vs. 2.08 ± 0.02 kg) and increased (worsened) poult feed conversion (1.47 vs. 1.51 ± 0.01) at 6 wk. Feeding the poults the mycotoxin feed also resulted in organ and physiological changes typical of feeding dietary aflatoxin although a combined effect of AF, DON, and ZEA which cannot be dismissed. The feed additives resulted in improved feed conversion to 6 wk in both grain treatment groups. The observed physiological effect of feeding the additives was to reduce relative gizzard weight for both groups and to lessen the increase in relative kidney weight for the birds fed the mycotoxin feed. In conclusion, the feed additives used in this study did alleviate the effect of dietary mycotoxins to some degree, especially with respect to feed conversion. Further studies of longer duration are warranted.