2022 journal article

Influence of dietary dacitic tuff breccia on laying hen performance and egg quality parameters and bone structure at 85 weeks of age after a non-anorexic molt program at 73 to 77 weeks


By: R. Malheiros n, V. Moraes n, K. Anderson n, F. Castro & J. Ferrel

author keywords: poultry; nutrition; calcium; tibiotarsus; AMEn; leghorn; egg production
MeSH headings : Animal Feed / analysis; Animals; Chickens; Diet / veterinary; Dietary Supplements; Egg Shell / chemistry; Female; Ovum
Source: Web Of Science
Added: March 28, 2022

The objective of the study was to assess the efficacy of AZOMITE (AZM), a dacitic tuff breccia, in laying hens through egg quality and production parameters. A total of ninety six 73-wk-old Hy-Line W-36 commercial laying hens were randomly assigned to 2 dietary treatments, a control diet and the same diet containing 0.25% AZM, with 24 replicates of 2 hens/replication. From 73 to 77 wk, hens went through nonanorexic molt, and, from 77 to 85 wk, the hens were evaluated for egg production, eggshell quality, and bone health. At wk 85, tibiotarsi were collected for ash and mineral composition, ileal contents were collected for calcium, phosphorus, apparent metabolizable energy corrected for N (AMEn), and apparent nitrogen retention (ANR) evaluation. AZM-fed hens tended to have higher body weight (P = 0.07) from 82 to 83 and 84 to 85 wk, and higher hen day egg production than control (90.54 vs. 79.51%, P = 0.005) from 84 to 85 wk. In general, no differences were reported in feed intake, eggshell color, egg weight, albumen height, Haugh units, or eggshell thickness (P > 0.05). However, shell strength and elasticity were improved (P < 0.02) and yolk color was decreased (P = 0.03) in AZM-fed hens than control. Moreover, the digestibility of Ca, AMEn, and ANR was increased with 0.25% AZM compared to control (P < 0.01). Tibiotarsi P and Ca percentage were lower in AZM-fed birds than control (P < 0.01), without affecting bone strength and mineral density (P > 0.36). Therefore, the use of 0.25% AZM showed a potential in improving egg production and eggshell strength, while maintaining bone quality in post-molt laying hens.