Maintaining leg and bone structure in commercial poultry

Principal Investigator

Doug Korver, University of Alberta

Year the work was done


Overall objective

  • To determine the effects of dietary HyD on male turkey production, physiology and immune function.


  • This study showed that inclusion of HyD in turkey feed, particularly early in life, has beneficial effects on meat yield and early innate immune function.
  • The inclusion of HyD also limited the reduction of plasma 25-OH D3, that occurred from 1 to 3 weeks of age, and also supported a greater plasma 25-OH-D3 from 1 to 6 weeks of age, over the turkeys fed D3 only.
  • However, there was no effect of dietary treatment on bone mineral density at 9, 19 and 22 weeks of age. Ongoing bone sample analysis using quantitative computed tomography may shed more light on this topic. Data analyses of feed and meat composition are ongoing.


  • HyD is commonly used throughout the turkey industry. A better understanding of the physiological effects of HyD, especially as they relate to dose and timing, will help turkey producers evaluate their feeding programs.

This research applies to


This research was supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, AFC and DSM.