Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Poultry Science


The term “breast blister” was originally used to denote only fluid filled blisters. However according to modern inspection practices the term has been broadened to include other abnormalities of the skin covering the breast area. Article 81.84 of the USDA regulations governing the inspection of poultry for wholesomeness states: “Any organ or part of a carcass which is affected by an inflammatory process shall be condemned.” As illustrated in plate I, the removal of these defects usually involves trimming away enough surrounding breast skin to cause turkeys with breast blisters to be downgraded to Grade B or C. In 1961 a survey conducted by the author of five turkey processing plants located in or adjacent to Kansas revealed that approximately 8.5 percent of the large type tom turkeys processed by these five plants during that year had breast blisters serious enough to cause downgrading to Grade C. The reduced market price paid for downgraded turkeys due to breast blisters results in a serious economic loss to the producer who has high incidence of this condition in his flock. Breast blisters are also costly to the turkey processing firms by virtue of the fact that the extra cutting and trimming required to remove these defects reduces plant capacity. Therefore, five experiments were conducted in an effort to determine the effects that the following conditions had on the incidence and severity of breast blisters in large type male market turkeys: types and conditions of various brooder floor coverings; length of time poults were confined to the brooding quarters; dampness for the range soil; body conformation and live weight; and certain dietary alterations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Turkeys -- Diseases


Includes bibliographical references




South Dakota State University