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Title: Performance, egg quality and liver lipid reserves of free-range laying hens naturally infected with Ascaridia galli
Contributor(s): Sharma, Nisha (author); Hunt, Peter (author); Hine, Brad C (author); Sharma, Nishchal Kumar (author); Chung, Agnes (author); Swick, Robert A (author)orcid ; Ruhnke, Isabelle (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2018
DOI: 10.3382/ps/pey068
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Abstract: A study was conducted to determine the performance, egg quality, and liver lipid reserves of laying hens exposed to ranges contaminated with Ascaridia galli. Sixteen-week-old Lohmann Brown laying hens (n = 200) were divided into 4 treatments with 5 replicates containing 10 hens per pen. Hens of treatment 1 [negative control (NC)] ranged on a decontaminated area, and hens of treatments 2 (low infection) and 3 (medium infection) ranged on areas previously contaminated by hens artificially infected with 250 and 1,000 embryonated A. galli eggs, respectively. The hens of treatment 4 [positive control (PC)] ranged on areas previously contaminated by hens artificially infected with 2,500 embryonated A. galli eggs, and in addition these hens were orally inoculated with 1,000 embryonated eggs. Results indicated that hens of the medium infection group had a higher number of intestinal A. galli worms and A. galli eggs in the coprodeum excreta (43.9 ± 4.0 and 3,437 ± 459 eggs/g) compared to hens of the low infection group (23.8 ± 4.0 and 1,820 ± 450 eggs/g) (P < 0.01) and similar worm counts to PC hens (34.4 ± 4.0 and 2,918 ± 474) (P > 0.05). Egg production, egg mass, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were not affected by A. galli infection (P > 0.05). Egg quality parameters (egg weight, shell reflectivity, shell weight, shell thickness, shell percentage, shell breaking strength, deformation, albumen height, Haugh unit, and yolk score) were not affected by A. galli infection (P > 0.05). Highly infected hens had lower liver lipid content (2.72 ± 0.51 g) compared to uninfected hens (4.46 ± 0.58 g, P < 0.01). The results indicate that exposure to ranges contaminated with A. galli resulted in infection of the ranging hens, but this did not affect egg production or egg quality. Infection with A. galli lowered the liver lipid reserves of the host significantly, suggesting infected hens use more energy reserves for maintenance and production.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Poultry Science, 97(6), p. 1914-1921
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1525-3171
Field of Research (FOR): 070299 Animal Production not elsewhere classified
070203 Animal Management
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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