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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); Roberts, Julie R (author); Perez-Maldonado, R A (author); Goodarzi Boroojeni, F (author); Swick, Robert A (author)orcid ; Ruhnke, Isabelle (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2017
DOI: 10.1080/00071668.2017.1403566
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Abstract: 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: Journal Article
Source of Publication: British Poultry Science, 59(2), p. 180-189
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1466-1799
Field of Research (FOR): 070204 Animal Nutrition
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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