The left and right antitrochanters of 80 female turkeys of four strains were examined for histopathological changes at sexual maturity. Ten birds of each strain were fed ad libitum and 10 restricted to achieve 0.6 of the bodyweight of the ad libitum fed birds at 24 weeks old when the birds were photostimulated. Bodyweights at sexual maturity (28 to 31 weeks) for the four strains were 5.4, 6.5, 7.6 and 13.2 kg for restricted and 7.5, 9.0, 11.1 and 17.1 kg for ad libitum fed birds. The prevalence and severity of cartilage change increased with mature size and was lower in restricted turkeys then in turkeys fed ad libitum. The results showed that abnormal cartilage changes forming the basis of clinical disease occur in females. The prevalence and severity of lesions were directly related to bodyweight and were not limited to particular genotypes. Lesions were more severe in the centre of the antitrochanter, possibly because of forces exerted by the trochanter. Concentrations of basophilic cells in the hyaline cartilage were associated with the increased prevalence and severity of lesions in large turkeys and may be of significance in the development of osteochondrotic lesions in the antitrochanter.
- Body Weight
- Osteochondritis Dissecans/pathology
- Osteochondritis Dissecans/veterinary
- Poultry Diseases/pathology
- Sexual Maturation
- Turkeys/growth & development