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Industry perspective: Role of amino acids in turkey nutrition – past, present and future

Mitchell, R.

Less information is available on the requirements of essential amino acids relative to Lysine during the various stages of growth in turkeys as compared to layers and broilers. Research in turkeys has shown that lower crude protein diets have potential to deliver equivalent performance when supplemented with adequate amounts of synthetic amino acids. The inclusion of synthetic threonine in turkey diets in the last decade has allowed a modest reduction in crude protein. The recent commercialization of synthetic Arginine, Valine and Isoleucine has made it practical for nutritionists to significantly reduce crude protein in turkey feed formulations. Due to the cost of supplementation relative to intact protein and the scarce amount of research, the incentive to adopt lower protein diets has been lacking. Changes in the regulatory environment in some states around renewable diesel have driven a surge in prices of supplement fat during 2021-2022. The increase in supplemental fat cost has hit the turkey industry disproportionally relative to other species due to high energy requirement of turkeys. This change in economic environment has provided new incentive to turkey producers to adopt higher use of synthetic amino acids to lower the dependence on supplemental fat to meet energy requirements.