Short Communication: Comparative effect of snail shell, limestone and oyster shell as sources of dietary calcium on performance and egg quality characteristics of laying
egg production, internal and external qualities of eggs of hens. The 6-week feeding trial consisted of fifty-four 35-week old Isa brown layers allotted to three dietary treatments with three replicate of six birds per replicate and two birds per cell using a completely randomized design (CRD). Birds in treatment I, II and III had diet containing oyster shell, limestone and snail shell as the major source of calcium respectively. The birds had ad libitum access to feed and water. Calcium source did not significantly (p>0.05) affect the albumen weight, albumen height and yolk weight There was also no significant (p>0.05) difference among the three diets with respect to feed intake, feed conversion ratio, hen-day production, egg weight, egg height, egg width, shell weight, shell thickness. The Haugh unit of the diets containing oyster shell, limestone and snail shell were significantly (p<0.05) different with mean values 77.9, 82.8 and 87.7, respectively. The use of oyster shell, lime stone or snail shell as a major source of calcium did not influenced the overall internal external qualities of the egg produced.
Key words: Laying hens, oyster shell, limestone, snail shell, egg quality