The effect of different ratios of fine and coarse limestone particles on eggshell quality of aged laying hens in a split feeding system

Anikó Molnár, Evelyne Delezie, Ine Kempen, Luc Maertens, Johan Zoons

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    Abstract

    Recently, there has been an increasing interest to further extend the production period of laying hens in order to improve egg production sustainability. However, one of the major obstacles the sector has to face is the deterioration of egg quality in aged flocks. The aim of our study was to investigate whether eggshell quality of aged hens (73-83 wks) can be improved by providing different ratios of fine- (FL) and coarse limestone (CL) in different feed distribution systems. Conventional (C) and split (S) feed distribution systems were tested and 3 diets, differing in fine and coarse limestone particle ratios: 50FL:50CL, 30FL:70CL and 0FL:100CL. Production and egg quality traits were monitored throughout the experiment. Laying rate (P = 0.035) was
    affected by an interaction of limestone particle size and feed distribution system: when birds were fed 0FL:100CL in the S system, laying rate was lower than that in the C, 0FL:100CL group. Egg weight, egg mass, feed intake and feed conversion ratio were not affected significantly by the treatments. Broken eggs % was affected by limestone particle size and feed distribution (P = 0.045): when fed 30FL:70CL in the C system, birds produced more broken eggs than those in the S system, receiving the same limestone particle ratios. Feeding 0FL:100CL
    in the C system resulted in less broken eggs than the same ratio in the S system. When 50FL:50CL was fed in the C system, broken eggs % was half than that in the S system. This result highlights that not only limestone particle size but the time of calcium supplementation are also important in layer nutrition. Aging of hens affected shell quality of hens differently in the two feeding systems. Relative shell weight, shell thickness and shell index declined throughout the experiment in both systems, but in the S system slightly more rapidly. At 81 and
    83 wks of age hens in the S system produced eggs with thinner shell (P = 0.039) than hens in the C system. Supplying different ratios of FL and CL to aged laying hens resulted in different performance depending on the feed distribution systems. To conclude, split distribution system did not result in improved eggshell quality of aged laying hens.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 11-May-2015
    EventXVI European Symposium on the Quality of Eggs and Egg products - Nantes, France
    Duration: 11-May-201514-May-2015

    Conference

    ConferenceXVI European Symposium on the Quality of Eggs and Egg products
    CountryFrance
    CityNantes
    Period11/05/1514/05/15

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of different ratios of fine and coarse limestone particles on eggshell quality of aged laying hens in a split feeding system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this