Long-term effects of dietary calcium and phosphorus level, and feed form during rearing on egg production, eggshell quality, and bone traits in brown laying hens from 30 to 89 wk of age

M.A. Dijkslag*, R.P. Kwakkel, E. Martin-Chaves, C. Alfonso-Carrillo, A. Navarro-Villa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effects of feeding strategies during rearing (0–16 wk) of brown laying hens on mid and end laying performance (30–89 wk) were studied. The rearing feeding strategies followed a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement with feed form; mash with inclusion of 3% finely ground wheat straw (MWS), crumbles with inclusion of 3% finely ground wheat straw (CWS), and crumbles with inclusion of 3% unground oat hulls as fiber sources (COH) at 2 dietary Ca and P levels (high or low Ca–P). Feed conversion ratio improved with COH and MWS compared with CWS from 30 to 59 wk. Rate of lay and egg mass production showed a feed form × Ca–P interaction from 60 to 89 wk. Low Ca–P led to a higher egg production, but only when COH and MWS were fed. BW at 89 wk was higher with CWS compared to COH and MWS. BW uniformity was better with COH compared to MWS at 51 wk and both CWS and MWS at 67 wk. Tibia characteristics were not clearly affected by treatment, although there was a feed form × Ca–P interaction on compression at 89 wk, where compression was lower with MWS and low vs. high Ca–P. Low Ca–P during rearing led to higher eggshell thickness, compared to high Ca–P at 45 wk of age, but breaking strength was lower with low vs. high Ca–P at 75 wk. Although eggshell quality was affected by Ca–P and there were some interactions with feed form at some ages, the effect was not consistent. There was no clear relationship between eggshell quality and tibia characteristics. It was concluded that feeding low Ca–P in combination with COH and MWS during the rearing period positively affects egg production during late lay. Also, dietary Ca–P levels, compared to commercial practice, can be lowered during rearing, as this will not affect eggshell quality and bone mineralization at later ages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102618
JournalPoultry Science
Volume102
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Keywords

  • calcium
  • egg production
  • egg-type pullet
  • feed form
  • phosphorus

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