Hybrid Turkeys

Kitchener, Canada

Hybrid Turkeys

Kitchener, Canada
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Kapczynski D.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Gonder E.,Goldsboro Milling Company | Tilley B.,Goldsboro Milling Company | Hernandez A.,Sopraval S.A. | And 4 more authors.
Avian Diseases | Year: 2011

Beginning in April 2009, a novel H1N1 influenza virus caused acute respiratory disease in humans, first in Mexico and then around the world. The resulting pandemic influenza A H1N1 2009 (pH1N1) virus was isolated in swine in Canada in June 2009 and later in breeder turkeys in Chile, Canada, and the United States. The pH1N1 virus consists of gene segments of avian, human, and swine influenza origin and has the potential for infection in poultry following exposure to infected humans or swine. We examined the clinical events following the initial outbreak of pH1N1 in turkeys and determined the relatedness of the hemagglutinin (HA) gene segments from the pH1N1 to two H1N1 avian influenza (AI) isolates used in commercial turkey inactivated vaccines. Overall, infection of turkey breeder hens with pH1N1 resulted in ≥50% reduction of egg production over 34 weeks. Genetic analysis indicated one H1N1 AI vaccine isolate (A/turkey/North Carolina/17026/1988) contained approximately 92% nucleotide sequence similarity to the pH1N1 virus (A/Mexico/4109/2009); whereas, a more recent AI vaccine isolate (A/swine/North Carolina/00573/2005) contained 75.9% similarity. Comparison of amino acids found at antigenic sites of the HA protein indicated conserved epitopes at the Sa site; however, major differences were found at the Ca2 site between pH1N1 and A/turkey/North Carolina/127026/1988. Hemagglutinin-inhibition (HI) tests were conducted with sera produced in vaccinated turkeys in North Carolina to determine if protection would be conferred using U.S. AI vaccine isolates. HI results indicate positive reactivity (HI titer ≥ 5 log2) against the vaccine viruses over the course of study. However, limited cross-reactivity to the 2009 pH1N1 virus was observed, with positive titers in a limited number of birds (6 out of 20) beginning only after a third vaccination. Taken together, these results demonstrate that turkeys treated with these vaccines would likely not be protected against pH1N1 and current vaccines used in breeder turkeys in the United States against circulating H1N1 viruses should be updated to ensure adequate protection against field exposure. © 2011 American Association of Avian Pathologists.

Berhane Y.,Canadian Food Inspection Agency | Ojkic D.,University of Guelph | Neufeld J.,Canadian Food Inspection Agency | Leith M.,Canadian Food Inspection Agency | And 9 more authors.
Avian Diseases | Year: 2010

Suspected human-to-animal transmission of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) virus has been reported in several animal species, including pigs, dogs, cats, ferrets, and turkeys. In this study we describe the genetic characterization of pH1N1 viruses isolated from breeder turkeys that was associated with a progressive drop in egg production. Sequence analysis of all eight gene segments from three viruses isolated from this outbreak demonstrated homology with other human and swine pH1N1 isolates. The susceptibility of turkeys to a human pH1N1 isolate was further evaluated experimentally. The 50% turkey infectious dose (TID50) for the human isolate A/Mexico/InDRE/4487/2009 was determined by inoculating groups of 810-week-old turkeys with serial 10-fold dilutions of virus by oronasal and cloacal routes. We estimated the TID50 to be between 1 × 105 and 1 × 106 TCID50. The pathogenesis of pH1N1 in oronasally or cloacally inoculated juvenile turkeys was also examined. None of the turkeys exhibited clinical signs, and no significant difference in virus shedding or seroconversion was observed between the two inoculation groups. More than 50% of the turkeys in both oronasal and cloacal groups shed virus beginning at 2 days postinoculation (dpi). All birds that actively shed virus seroconverted by 14 dpi. Virus antigen was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry in the cecal tonsils and bursa of Fabricius in two of the birds that were infected by the cloacal route. Virus transmission to naive contact turkeys was at best doubtful. This report provides additional evidence that pH1N1 can cross the species barrier and cause disease outbreaks in domestic turkeys. However, it appears that the reproductive status of the host as well as environmental factors such as concurrent infections, stress, the presence or absence of litter, and stocking density may also contribute to efficient infection and transmission of this agent. © American Association of Avian Pathologists 2010.

Quinton C.D.,Hybrid Turkeys | Wood B.J.,University of Guelph | Miller S.P.,University of Guelph
Poultry Science | Year: 2011

Genetic parameters for production, survival, and structural fitness traits recorded in pedigreed turkey sire and dam parental lines from a nucleus breeding program were estimated with multiple-trait animal models. Survival and conformation traits were scored in binary terms of health, where 0 = died or affected, and 1 = survived or healthy. Walking ability at 20 wk was subjectively scored from 1 (poor) to 6 (excellent). Body weights and egg production displayed moderate heritability (h 2 = 0.18 to 0.35). Early survival (to 3 wk) displayed low heritability (h 2 = 0.02 and 0.04 for the dam and sire lines, respectively). Late survival (3 to 23 wk) and longevity (age at death or cull) had low to moderate heritability (h 2 = 0.12 to 0.14). Walking ability had moderate heritability (h 2 = 0.26, 0.25). Leg structure health displayed low heritability (h 2 = 0.08), as did hip structure, foot, and skin health (h 2 ≤ 0.02). Crop health displayed moderate heritability (h 2 = 0.12). Walking ability, hip and leg structures, footpad, and breast skin health had negative genetic correlations with BW (r G = -0.50 to -0.23). Egg production had moderate positive genetic correlation with late survival (r G = 0.61). Genetic correlations between early and late survival were close to zero (r G = 0.10 and 0.03 for the dam and sire lines, respectively). Walking ability had high positive genetic correlations with late survival, longevity, hip structure, and leg structure in both lines (r G = 0.51 to 0.91). These genetic parameters indicate that unchecked selection for growth could decrease survival, walking ability, and hip, leg, footpad, and skin health in turkeys. However, index selection should be effective at improving fitness, survival, and growth simultaneously in commercial turkey lines. Walking ability should be a good indicator trait for selection to improve overall late survival and hip and leg health in turkeys. © 2011 Poultry Science Association Inc.

Tu X.,Iowa State University | Du S.,Zhejiang University | Tang L.,Iowa State University | Xin H.,Iowa State University | And 2 more authors.
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture | Year: 2011

Feed conversion is an important production trait in turkey breeding; the measurement of an individual bird's feed efficiency is important in identifying the most genetically superior individual. The development of a real-time automated feed intake and body weight monitoring system is described in this paper. The system integrated multiple feed and body weight weighing stations consisting of electronic scales, radio frequency identification (RFID) devices and data communication modules. A distributed and client-server-based system architecture with multi-threading software design was developed. This system architecture allowed for a real-time data acquisition capability when a large number of stations were required. A structured query language (SQL) database management system was developed to record and manage the dynamic feed intake and body weight gain data of individual birds. The developed system also offers a powerful research tool for studying poultry feeding behavior under group housing conditions. © 2010.

Wood B.J.,Hybrid Turkeys | Wood B.J.,University of Guelph | Wilson S.J.,University of Sydney
World's Poultry Science Journal | Year: 2013

Mycoplasma are a successful group of pathogens because of their ability to enter and colonise a host, whilst, at the same time, evading the bird's immune response. Mycoplasma iowae (MI) is no exception and, while mostly being a pathogen of turkeys, it can be found in other domestic poultry. It has the added ability of being able to induce a transient immune suppression situation, and this may result in a low to undetectable humoral immune response, giving it the capacity to conceal itself from the immune system. This makes MI both difficult to diagnose and control. The organism has a range of strain dependent pathogenicities and when it is pathogenic, it is primarily found in the embryo and growing poult. This leads to a range of clinical presentations such as decreased hatchability (due to higher than expected embryonic mortality) and stunting and leg abnormalities in the growing poult. As a consequence of the significant variation in pathogenicity of field strain isolates, the isolation of a non-pathogenic MI may conceal the true origin of possible embryo and poult health issues. Control of pathogenic MI at the commercial level is primarily through sourcing pathogenic MI free stock and the maintenance of appropriate biosecurity levels. Copyright © World's Poultry Science Association 2013.

Dalton H.A.,University of Guelph | Wood B.J.,Hybrid Turkeys | Wood B.J.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Torrey S.,University of Guelph | Torrey S.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
World's Poultry Science Journal | Year: 2013

Injurious pecking is a serious concern for commercial turkey production and welfare. The behaviour is thought to represent re-directed ground foraging, but the development and causes are poorly understood with little supporting literature. In the initial development of the behaviour, early lighting regimes and social facilitation may play contributing roles. Other factors such as the availability of foraging material, diet composition, stocking densities, and group dynamics may also affect levels of injurious pecking. Given that commercial turkeys are group-housed, alternative breeding techniques, like group selection based on social effects, might successfully reduce moralities from pecking without detracting selection pressure from economic traits. However, to better suit their behavioural needs, any genetic attempts to adapt turkeys to perform less injurious pecking should be done in combination with environmental and dietary improvements. Copyright © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 2013.

Case L.A.,University of Guelph | Wood B.J.,Hybrid Turkeys | Miller S.P.,University of Guelph
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2012

Ultrasound measurements of muscle depth were analyzed to determine if these traits could be used to increase the rate of genetic gain in breast meat yield (BMY). Two measurements of breast depth, one taken horizontally across both breast lobes and one parallel to the keel, were captured using ultrasound. Heritabilities of muscle depth traits ranged from 0.35 to 0.70. These values were greater than heritabilities of conformation scores, which ranged from 0.25 to 0.47 within sex and line. The ultrasound traits also showed strong genetic correlations to BMY, ranging from 0.43 to 0.75, indicating that selection, using ultrasound depth as a correlated information source, could result in improved BMY. Including each ultrasound trait in a linear regression model predicting BMY increased the proportion of variation explained by the models by 0.08 to 0.17, relative to using conformation score as the only in vivo estimate. Based on results from a sim-ulated turkey breeding program with selection pressure only on BMY, the ultrasound measures could increase the accuracy of a selection index for BMY by 0.02 to 0.16. As a result, ultrasound technology has the poten-tial to improve the rate of genetic gain in BMY in a breeding program. © 2012 American Society of Animal Science.

Willems O.W.,University of Guelph | Buddiger N.J.H.,Hybrid Turkeys | Wood B.J.,Hybrid Turkeys
British Poultry Science | Year: 2014

Abstract: 1. Genetic parameters for production and feed efficiency traits in the Orlopp line of turkeys were estimated to determine breeding goals and future potential of the line in a long-term genetic improvement programme.2. Body weight, egg production and fertility traits were recorded and feed conversion ratio (FCR) was assessed from 16–20 weeks of age.3. Moderate heritabilities were found for feed intake and body weight gain (0.25 to 0.31). Average FCR was 3.14, with heritability of 0.10. Body weight, breast conformation score and egg production traits showed moderate heritabilities (0.22 to 0.52), while both fertility and hatch of fertile eggs were low (0.04 and 0.09, respectively).4. Genetic correlations between breast confirmation score, 10- and 18-week body weights were moderate, 0.50 and 0.45, respectively. Average egg weight also showed moderate genetic correlations with 10- and 18-week body weights (0.59 and 0.42). © 2014, © 2014 British Poultry Science Ltd.

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