Effect of commercial diets on egg quality characteristics
The effect of four commercial feeds in Niger State Nigeria on egg quality characteristics was studied. The feed designated diets 1, 2, 3 and 4 were fed to Rhode Island Red (RIR) hens and their eggs were collected as from 38 weeks of age for 4 weeks. A total of 384 eggs were analysed for both external and internal egg quality traits. Diet 1 was found to be superior in terms of better levels of inclusion of crude protein, ether extract, energy and iodine. Consequently the hens fed diet 1 produced heavier eggs with greater circumference, egg shape index, yolk height and albumen weight than hens on diet 4. Diets 2 and 3 were similar in their effect on the egg quality traits. All the feeds had lower crude protein, energy and micronutrient than the recommended levels for laying hens in the tropical region. The feed millers are advised to look into these deficiency areas in order to improve egg quality and hen productivity and this encourage poultry farmers to remain in business.
Keywords: Egg quality, commercial diets.