Effect of feeding inulin oligosaccharides on cecum bacteria, egg quality and egg production in laying hens
Inulin is reported to improve the egg quality and production of laying hens. In the present study, we investigated the dietary effects of microcapsulated inulin oligosaccharide (INO) which is manufactured from Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) on the cecum bacteria, egg quality and production of laying hens. 400 laying hens were randomly allocated to one of the following four treatment groups for 10 weeks: T1 (control without INO or inulin), T2 (200 mg INO/kg diet), T3 (250 mg INO/kg diet) and T4 (300 mg INO/kg diet). Egg production, Haugh unit, egg shell thickness and breaking strength were significantly higher in the T3 and T4 groups than in the T1 and T2 groups (P<0.05). The level of egg cholesterol was highest in the T1 group and decreased in the INO addition groups from 5.68 to 8.46% (P<0.05). When compared with the T1, triglycerides in the blood and total cholesterol decreased significantly in the T2, T3 and T4 groups by 11.75 to 13.45% and 9.41 to 9.85%, respectively (P<0.05). The growth of cecum Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus was stimulated in the T2, T3 and T4 when groups compared with the T1 group, while the growth of Escheria coli and Salmonella was clearly inhibited (P<0.05). The results of this study demonstrate that the addition of microcapsulated inulin oligosaccharide (250 mg/kg) into a laying hen’s diet can promote the multiplication of beneficial cecum bacteria and simultaneously improve egg production and quality.
Key words: Jerusalem artichoke, inulin oligosaccharides, egg quality, cecum bacteria.