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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Stud Farm

Author
item BAKST, MURRAY

Submitted to: Gobbles
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 1994
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The stud farm is an all male (tom) turkey facility which is managed to maximize the reproductive potential of breeder toms. The advantages of a stud farm over a facility which keeps toms and hens under the same roof are numerous and include: tom management is optimized; superior toms are identified and used for semen collections; better control of tom body weight; ratio of toms:hens improves from 1:15 to 1:20 (or higher); semen processing is more efficient and excess semen can be sold; and, hen fertility is higher when semen from a stud farm is used compared to semen from toms on hen farms. Disadvantages of the stud farm include substantial start-up and maintenance costs, need for highly skilled and motivated labor force, and the possibility that a disease outbreak or natural disaster may destroy the stud farm. Nevertheless, as more economic data becomes available, it is becoming apparent that a well-run stud farm is profitable.

Technical Abstract: The stud farm is a management concept put into practice with one major objective, and that is to optimize breeder turkey (tom) management conditions in order to maximize semen production. This paper represents a brief summary of the potential advantages and disadvantages of the stud farm. Major advantages include: farm conditions which optimize tom management including feed restriction for toms; increased selection pressure which allows use of "elite" toms; better semen handling which encompasses dilution, evaluation, and storage; and, improved hen fertility. Disadvantages of the stud farm include substantial start-up costs, need for highly skilled and motivated personnel, and potential disaster situations. It was concluded that the stud farm concept has come of age and is being successfully implemented by both primary and secondary breeders. Through genetic selection and the dilution and storage of semen, the potential for greater monetary returns per tom can be realized.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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