Intestine fullness influences feeding behaviour and crop filling in the domestic turkey

Physiology & Behavior
S Jackson, G E Duke


Image-intensification radiology showed that artificial introduction of food slurry into the intestines of 6-12 wk-old turkey hens significantly increased the proportion of boli entering the crop during an evening meal, hence decreasing the proportion of boli travelling directly to the gizzard. Since bolus movement is directed by esophageal motility, esophageal motility may be partially mediated by stretch or chemoreceptors in the distal duodenum. Increased crop filling during afternoon meals lends support to the widely held belief that the crop increases gut storage capacity and helps "tide birds over" the nightly fast. Artificial filling of the distal duodenum paradoxically increased food intake in birds observed by radiology while eating a single meal (morning and evening), and in birds observed by eye over a 3 h period in the morning. This phenomenon is similar to that previously reported for rabbits and domestic chicken. Conversely, duodenal filing reduced food intake over a full day (11 h), more than compensating for the introduced food. Rapid filling of the small intestine (within 25 min. of the start of the meal) suggests a modification of the function of the domestic turkey duodenum to serve as a "mixing chamber," possi...Continue Reading


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