Morphological characteristics and egg production of forced-moult layers under different moult induction techniques
AbstractA study was conducted to investigate the morphological characteristics and egg production of forcedmoult layers. Different feeding patterns designated T1, T2 and T3 representing ad libitum supply of feed and water, no feed but water given ad libitum and no feed or water, respectively, were used to induce moult. T1 served as the control. One hundred and twenty 84-week old layers in their 64 weeks in lay were randomly assigned to each treatment, which was replicated 4 times with 30 hens per replicate.
Forced-moult treatments were imposed for 10 days, after which the moulting hens were fed moult diet for 50 days and returned to the same feed as the control. The results of the study revealed that morphological characteristics following moult induction included loss of feathers, dullness of the
eyeballs, shriveling and paleness of the comb, wattle and ear lobes. Also the moulting birds emaciated with T2 and T3 losing 18.18 and 25.97%, respectively, of their initial body weights by day 7 of moult induction. The forced-moult groups T2 and T3 stopped egg production by 6 days of moult induction and resumed egg production by day 25. T2 and T3 attained a peak egg production of 71% by the second month following resumption of lay. On the other hand, in the T1 egg production progressively decreased with age.