Diet manipulation and post-moulting responses in caged· commercial laying hens

  • A.A. Odunsi
  • G.O. Farinu
  • V.A. Togun
Keywords: Force moulting, diet, layers, egg production


Two hundred and fifty caged commercial laying hens were induced to moult through a 15-day feed and water withdrawal programme. Immediate and subsequent effects on egg production and follicular developments were monitored. Results showed that moulted hens attained over 60% egg production after 6 weeks of feeding with increasing egg weight. Post-moulting egg quality values were similar but globulin wen: significantly increased (P<0.05). Changes in liver and oviduct weights were significant (P<0.05) while gizzard, heart, lung and kidney showed no significant (P>0.05) effects. Fasting produced atretic follicles even though follicular number was not appreciably influenced Follicles were larger with a yellow-yolky appearance during Laying than at the fasting period Mortality of 2.4% was recorded throughout the experimental period. Moulting is a feasible strategy for maintaining egg production in aged, low-producing commercial layers.

Keywords: Force moulting, diet, layers, egg production

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eISSN: 0331-2062