Effect of dietary lipid saturation on the production performance of layers
This study investigated the effects of dietary lipid saturation on production parameters of laying hens during the peak-of-lay period. Five isoenergetic (12.6 MJ AME/kg DM) and isonitrogenous (170 g CP/kg DM) diets were formulated, using a control diet (50 : 50 blend of fish- and linseed oil), fish oil (poly-unsaturated n-3), sunflower oil (poly-unsaturated n-6), high oleic acid sunflower oil (mono-unsaturated n-9 ) and tallow (saturated) at a 30 g/kg inclusion level. Two hundred individually caged HyLine Silver-Brown hens (20 weeks of age) were randomly allocated to the five dietary treatments (n = 40 replicates/treatment). Hens received their respective experimental diets until 40 weeks of age. During weeks 24, 28, 32, 36 and 40 all eggs produced, were recorded, individually weighed and the daily feed intake of birds determined. Data for the respective collection weeks were pooled for calculation of production parameters during peak-of-lay. Dietary lipid saturation level had no effect on daily feed intake of hens, hen-day egg production, egg output and live weight of hens during the peak-of-lay period. The mono-unsaturated n-9 diet (high oleic acid sunflower oil) had the lowest feed efficiency (0.47), while that of the control-, polyunsaturated n-6 (sunflower oil) and the saturated (tallow) treatments were the highest (0.49). Results of the current study suggest that although dietary lipid saturation level had no effect on most of the production performances, it might influence the efficiency of feed utilization.
Keywords: Cracked eggs, egg output, feed efficiency, α-linolenic-, linoleic-, oleic-, docosahexanoic acid