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Title: Body weight and range usage affect net energy utilisation in commercial free-range laying hens when evaluated in net energy chambers
Contributor(s): Kolakshyapati, Manisha  (author); Wu, Shu-Biao  (author)orcid ; Sibanda, Terence Z  (author); Ramirez-Cuevas, Santiago (author); Ruhnke, Isabelle  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2020-06
Early Online Version: 2020-01-29
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.aninu.2019.12.003
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Abstract: Within a given free-range flock, some hens prefer to spend the majority of their time in the shed (stayers), while others frequently access the range (rangers). Laying performance has been associated not only with the development of these sub-populations but also with different body weights (BW). The purpose of this study was to determine if range usage, BW or a combination of both is associated with energy metabolism and as such contribute to improved hen performance. Forty-eight Lohmann Brown hens at 74 wk of age were selected from a commercial free-range farm based on their BW and range usage over a 56-week period. Using a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, hens were either classified as heavy (mean ± SEM; 2.01 ± 0.02 kg, n = 24) or light (1.68 ± 0.01 kg, n = 24), and also classified as rangers (accessed the range for 84.1% of available days, 242 ± 3.75 d; n = 24) or stayers (accessed the range for 7.17% of available days; 23.4 ± 6.08 d, n = 24). Stayers had significantly higher metabolizable energy (ME) intake per metabolic BW per d (0.852 vs. 0.798 MJ/kg BW0.75 per d; P = 0.025), higher heat production (0.637 vs. 0.607 MJ/kg BW0.75 per d; P = 0.005), higher heat increment (0.267 vs. 0.237 MJ/kg BW0.75 per d; P = 0.005) and retained more nitrogen (1.59 vs. 1.46 g/hen per d; P = 0.023) compared to the rangers. Light hens had significantly higher metabolic energy intake per metabolic BW (0.854 vs. 0.796 MJ/kg BW0.75 per d; P = 0.018), net energy (NE) intake (0.595 vs. 0.551 MJ/kg BW0.75 per d; P = 0.032), and retained energy (0.225 vs. 0.181 MJ/kg BW0.75 per d; P = 0.032), as well as lower heat production (0.936 vs. 1.003 MJ/hen per d; P = 0.002) compared to heavier hens. An interaction was observed across levels of analysis i.e. between light stayers and light rangers. The light rangers had significantly higher NE intake compared to the light stayers (9.77 vs. 9.27 MJ/kg BW0.75 per d; P = 0.024). In conclusion, light hens were more energy efficient compared to heavy hens. Moreover, light rangers had a more efficient feed utilisation compared to the light stayers.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Animal Nutrition, 6(2), p. 192-197
Publisher: Zhongguo Xumu Shouyi Xuehui, Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine
Place of Publication: China
ISSN: 2405-6383
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070204 Animal Nutrition
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300303 Animal nutrition
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 830309 Poultry
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100411 Poultry
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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