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The effect of dietary energy level and feed restriction on egg production in laying hens to 30 weeks of age

2022 CPRF,Layers
This study examined the effect of dietary energy level during rearing (DIET) and feed restriction (FR) on body composition and egg production. Two simultaneous trials were conducted using a conventional feeding system (CON) and a precision feeding system (PF). The CON trial had a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments with 2 FR levels (non-restricted (NR) and restricted (R)), and 3 DIET treatments (low, standard, or high dietary metabolizable energy (ME): 2,600, 2,800, or 3,000 kcal/kg). The PF experiment had the same design, with one added DIET treatment (choice), where birds could choose from the three diets. R birds were feed restricted to achieve the lower range of the breeder-recommended target BW trajectory. Lohmann Brown-Lite pullets were randomly assigned to floor pens from 0 to 30 wk. PF birds (n=184) were fed with multi-feeder feeding stations that allocated feed individually. CON birds (n=312) were fed as a group and feed allocations for R birds were adjusted weekly. All birds were photostimulated at 18 wk. Data collection included age at first egg (AFE), body weight at first egg (BWFE), body fat at photostimulation, and egg production to 30 wk. Differences were reported where P < 0.05. There was no effect of DIET on BWFE or AFE. NR birds had a higher BWFE than R birds (1,736 vs 1,605 g). FR did not affect AFE. Body fat was higher in birds fed the High ME diet than Low and Standard (10.2% vs 8.2% and 8.1%), and in NR birds than R (9.4% vs 8.2%). NR birds on Standard and High ME diets had higher total egg production to 30 wk than birds on any other treatments. Future research is warranted to identify metabolic or body composition related signalling molecules that may stimulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.
Tags :
energy level,feed restriction,laying hens
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Presenter

PhD Student

University of Alberta

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