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South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589


ÇATH, A.U. et al. Performance and egg quality of aged laying hens fed diets supplemented with meat and bone meal or oyster shell meal. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2012, vol.42, n.1, pp.74-82. ISSN 2221-4062.

Meat and bone meal (MBM) and oyster shell meal (OSM) were supplemented to a basal diet (LMS), either alone or in combination, in order to assess the dietary influences of those complementary Ca sources on performance and egg quality of laying hens. Four hundred and thirty-two Brown-Nick hens, at the beginning of their second production period, were divided into four treatment groups with six replicates each. The final body weight of OSM-fed hens was highest, whereas others did not differ significantly. Hens receiving OSM produced more eggs and egg mass along with considerably greater feed intake than those on all the other treatments. Egg weight was not affected by the treatments except for the lower egg weight of the MBM+OSM treatment. Hens fed a diet supplemented with MBM laid at a rate of 1.14%, 3.66% points lower than those on the control and OSM treatments, respectively. Feed efficiency was not influenced by origin of calcium source. Egg shape index and eggshell weight did not differ among treatments. Eggshell thickness and eggshell breaking strength were higher in hens fed with MBM as compared to control and OSM fed birds. Similar to the tendency in shell quality, MBM inclusion in the diet tended to enhance albumen height and Haugh unit. Dietary treatment with OSM resulted in the highest serum Ca and P concentrations. These results indicate that partially replacing limestone with OSM in the laying hen diet provided significant improvements in egg production performance, whereas most of the egg quality traits were enhanced by dietary supplementation with MBM at 4%.

Keywords : Animal by-product; egg shell traits; performance; serum mineral concentration.

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