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Title: Pasture, multi-enzymes, benzoic acid and essential oils positively influence performance, intestinal organ weight and egg quality in free-range laying hens
Contributor(s): Iqbal, Zafar (author); Ruhnke, Isabelle (supervisor)orcid ; Swick, Robert (supervisor)orcid 
Publication Date: 2018-05-02
Handle Link:
Related Publications: 2017. Pasture, multi-enzymes, benzoic acid and essential oils positively influence performance, intestinal organ weight and egg quality in free-range laying hens. DOI:10.1080/00071668.2017.1403566. Iqbal, Zafar; Roberts, Julie R; Perez-Maldonado, R A; Goodarzi Boroojeni, F; Swick, Robert A; Ruhnke, Isabelle. Submitter: Balnaves, Edmund. Identifier: hdl:1959.11/22815
Field of Research (FOR): 070204 Animal Nutrition
Field of Research (FoR) 2020: 300303 Animal nutrition
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280101 Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences
Abstract/Context: 1. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of range type, multi-enzyme applications, and a combination of benzoic acid (BA) and essential oils (EO) on the productive performance, organ weight and egg quality of free-range laying hens. 2. Three hundred laying hens were evaluated for the short-term (6 weeks) and long-term (12 weeks) effects of range type (G = no pasture, P = pasture) and feed additives (T1 = control; T2 = betaglucanase/pectinase/protease; T3 = BA/EO). Body weight, feed intake (FI), feed conversion ratio (FCR), egg production (EP), digestive organ weight, and egg quality (EQ) were evaluated. Data were analysed using SPSS 2.2 in a 2×2×3 factorial arrangement. 3. Hens that ranged on pasture were significantly heavier (2043 g vs. 1996 g; p < 0.001), laid heavier eggs (61.9 g vs. 60.3 g; p < 0.001) and produced darker yolk colour (4.3 vs. 7.0; p < 0.001) compared to hens ranged on gravel. Hens fed T2 were significantly heavier (2050 g) compared to hens fed T1 (2005 g) or T3 (2008 g). Organ weights (gizzard, liver and pancreas) were significantly heavier in hens ranged on pasture (16.8 g/kg BW, 22.3 g/kg BW and 1.89 g/kg BW, respectively) compared to hens ranged on gravel (14.2 g/kg BW, 21.7 g/kg BW and 1.83 g/kg BW, respectively). Over time, body weight (1970–2070 g; p < 0.001) and egg weight (59.5–62.8 g; p < 0.001) increased, FI (123–120 g; p = 0.024) was reduced and FCR (2.36–2.10; p = 0.002) improved. 4. In conclusion, hens housed on pasture and fed multi-enzyme supplemented diets had significantly heavier body weight and produced heavier eggs with darker yolk colour. Pasture intake and enzyme supplementation increased digestive organ weight significantly.
Publication Type: Dataset
Keywords: FCR
Additive effect
feed intake
Location: Laureldale Farm, University of New England
Armidale, AU (Australia/Sydney)
Location Coordinates: north=-30.50828; east=151.67123; projection=WGS84
Format: 1 Excel .xlsx file.
Access rights: Mediated
Open Access Embargo: 2019-05-02
HERDC Category Description: X Dataset
Project: Grass impaction in free-range laying hens
Dataset Managed By: School of Environmental & Rural Science
Rights Holder: University of New England
Rights Statement: Contact the Data Custodian to request access.
Dataset Stored at: Univeristy of New England
Primary Contact Details: Isabelle Ruhnke -
Dataset Custodian Details: Isabelle Ruhnke -
Appears in Collections:Dataset
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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