Effects of dietary energy concentration, nonstarch polysaccharide concentration, and particle sizes of nonstarch polysaccharides on digesta mean retention time and gut development in laying hens

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1. From an experiment with 504 laying hens (ISA Brown strain, 18–40 weeks of age), 90 40-week old hens were used for determining digesta mean retention time (MRT) and gut weight development. This experiment comprised 6 dietary treatments according to a 2¿×¿3 factorial design. Factors were dietary apparent metabolisable energy (AME) concentration (11·8 vs 10·6¿MJ/kg), insoluble nonstarch polysaccharides (NSP) concentration (65 vs 134¿g/kg), and fine vs coarse particle sizes of added NSP. Titanium recovery in different gut segments was used as an indicator of MRT. 2. Increasing NSP concentration prolonged MRT in the crop (68 vs 34¿min) and total foregut (91 vs 57¿min) compared with control NSP. Reducing energy concentration prolonged MRT in the colon (26 vs 7¿min), and total hind gut (30 vs 9¿min), compared with control energy. Overall MRT was not affected by dietary treatments. 3. Increasing NSP concentration increased relative weights of the empty proventriculus-gizzard and its contents by 30% (25·2 vs 19·4¿g/kg) and 18% (15·4 vs 13·0¿g/kg), respectively, compared with control NSP diets. 4. MRT in the foregut was prolonged as daily insoluble NSP intake increased, and this was more pronounced in hens given coarsely ground NSP, compared with finely ground. A prolonged MRT in the foregut seemed to indicate a higher level of satiety, which may contribute to a lower feather pecking pressure in laying hens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-741
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011



  • feather-pecking
  • japanese quail
  • nutrient digestibility
  • titanium-dioxide
  • wood shavings
  • performance
  • fiber
  • behavior
  • whole
  • dilution

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