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Turkey Science and Production Conference 2024: Techna presents its latest study on turkey processing Logo Feedia

  • Scientific publications

February 13, 2024

The Turkey Science and Production Conference took place from 6 to 8 March 2024 in Cheshire (UK). The event provides an opportunity for players in the European turkey industry to learn about and communicate on scientific advances and current trends in turkey production. Techna, a partner of the event, underlines its commitment and support for the sharing of knowledge and innovation within the industry. On this occasion, Emmanuel Amprou, head of Feedia's poultry department, presented the results of their latest study on : The effect of slaughter age and bodyweight on turkey processing yields

Turkey Times Chester 2024
Emmanuel Amprou

Analysis of the impact of age and weight on turkey meat yield

Optimising production cost is a major challenge to remain competitive in turkey production, particularly given the current increase of heavy production. Utilisation of the whole carcass is a challenge to guarantee competitiveness but focus is often on the high value breast and the thigh, with little recent data available on the other meat parts.
The aim of the project is to portion turkeys slaughtered at different ages to determine the weight of different meat parts and study the effect of slaughter age and bodyweight on turkey meat yield.


Methodology and Main Results

The study involved rearing and observing 162 male turkeys of the Aviagen Premium strain, distributed in 18 pens and fed identically. Turkeys were slaughtered at three different ages: 106, 113 and 120 days, enabling the researchers to measure precisely the impact of slaughter age on the weight of the different parts of the carcass after evisceration and manual deboning.
The results show that slaughter age has a significant impact on the total weight of the carcass as well as on the weight of breast meat yield and thighs, essential components for the turkey meat market. An increase in slaughter age leads to an increase in the weight of these parts.   This is not the case with wings, whose weight stagnates from 113 days onwards, due in particular to the fact that the weight of blanquette is lowest at 120 days.

Turkey Carcass yield

Implications and Practical Applications

These findings are of great importance to the poultry industry, providing concrete data to guide decisions on optimal slaughter age. The economic simulation carried out on the basis of these results also highlights the importance of considering the cost of feed in relation to the weight gain of high-value cuts, highlighting a critical cost-benefit calculation for maximising profitability without compromising quality.
The study reveals that achieving a target weight earlier in the turkey life cycle not only improves breast meat, but also reduces feed costs per tonne of live weight and per tonne of breast meat ...

Turkey feed cost per ton of live weight

Techna's research represents a significant advance in the understanding of turkey production dynamics, providing valuable data for the industry. This trial gives references for weight and yield of meat parts in turkey, including usually less interesting parts such as the neck. The slaughter of turkeys at three different ages allows us to establish meat deposition parameters and found that reaching a given weight as early as possible optimises associated breast meat yield.

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