From The Hatchery To The Farmmaximizing Early Growth

Early access to feed and water after hatching is important to ensure that young poults have a good start and are able to realize their growth potential. Often, turkeys will hatch over a hatching window of 48 hours or more. It is not uncommon, therefore that a proportion of the poults placed (given access to food and water) on the farm have hatched nearly 48 to 72 hours prior to placement. Early hatching, hatchery services, and transportation to the farm contribute to the challenge of delivering nutrients to the poult soon after exiting the egg. During the first week after hatching, the poult's small intestine increases in weight ninefold and doubles in length.[2] Delayed access to feed greatly affects intestinal morphology and growth of the bird after feeding up to four weeks of age. Part of this delay can be attributed to damage to microvilli and crypt cell structure in the small intestine, which can be adversely affected up to nine days after hatching.

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