Four hundred and eighty 54-week old Nick-Brown hens were assigned to four dietary treatments. Each treatment consisted of four replications of 10 cages (three hens per cage). The experimental diets were: 4.5 g available phosphorus (aP)/kg without phytase (control); 4.5 g aP/kg with phytase; 3.0 g aP/kg without phytase; 3.0 g aP/kg with phytase. Commercial microbial phytase, Natuphos, was added at 300 phytase unit (FTU) /kg diet. Diets were isonitrogenous (16.5% crude protein) and isoenergetic (11.5 MJ, ME/kg). Criteria evaluated included egg production, feed consumption, feed conversion, proportion of cracked/broken eggs, egg weight, eggshell weight, eggshell strength, eggshell thickness and body weight. Phytase supplementation to the control diet (4.5 g aP/kg) and the low 3.0 g aP/kg diet significantly increased hen-day egg production from 75.49 to 77.96% and from 64.59 to 76.54%, respectively. Average daily feed consumption was significantly different between treatments: Phytase supplementation to the control and the 3.0 g aP/kg diets increased daily feed consumption significantly from 101.31 to 103.43 g/day and from 95.24 to 101.69 g/day, respectively. There were no significant differences between the treatments in eggshell weight, eggshell thickness, eggshell strength and cracked/broken eggs. Phytase supplementation to the control (4.5 g aP/kg) and the 3.0 g aP/kg diets increased egg weight significantly from 62.66 to 64.32 g. and from 62.49 to 63.98 g, respectively. The beneficial effects of phytase supplementation to laying hen diets were clearly evident under the high ambient temperatures pertaining to this study. Hens consuming the 3.0 g aP/kg diet with phytase performed as well as hens fed the diet containing 4.5 g aP/kg without phytase.
Effect of phytase supplementation of diets with different levels of phosphorus on performance and egg quality of laying hens in
Author: M. Cabuk, M. Bozkurt, F. Kirkpinar and H. Ozkul
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