Nutrition practice to alleviate the adverse effects of stress on laying performance, metabolic profile and egg quality in peak producing hens: II. The probiotic supplementation

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Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, vol.18, no.12, pp.1752-1760, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.5713/ajas.2005.1752
  • Journal Name: Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1752-1760
  • Keywords: Cage Density, Egg Quality, Laying Performance, Metabolic Profile, Peak-producing Hens, Probiotic
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: No


In this experiment, the effects of cage density (CD) and probiotic supplementation (PS) on laying performance, metabolic profile, and egg quality in peak-producing hens were evaluated. After blocking according to the cage location, Lohman layers (n = 180, 46 wks of age) were allocated randomly to two levels of CD (540 vs. 360 cm2/hen) and three levels of PS (0, 0.15, and 0.30%). Probiotic contained Enterococcus faecium culture (10×10 9 cfu/g). Egg production (EP) and feed consumption (FC) were measured daily; egg weight (EW) was measured bi-weekly; BW was measured before and after the experiment; and blood samples were obtained at the end of the experiment. The data were analyzed using two-way ANOVA. Increasing CD decreased FC (125.0 vs. 120.8 g/d, p0.0001) and FCR (1.93 vs. 1.87, p<0.0001) and did not alter EP, EW, and BW. Increasing level of PS linearly decreased FC (p<0.02) and FCR (p<0.006). Averages were 123.9, 123.2, and 121.6 g/d for FC and 1.91, 1.92, and 1.86 for FCR in hens supplemented with 0, 0.15, and 0.30% probiotic, respectively. Hens placed in high-density cages had greater serum corticosterone concentration than hens placed in normal-density cages (12.8 vs. 11.3 μg/dL, p<0.04); CD did not affect concentrations of other metabolites. Increasing level of PS linearly increased serum glucose, albumin, and creatine concentrations and quadratically increased total protein, globulin, Ca, and P concentrations. Average concentrations (mg/dL) were 260, 297, and 305 for glucose; 6.28, 8.09, and 7.58 for total protein; 1.98, 2.48, and 2.38 for albumin; 4.30, 5.62, and 5.19 for globulin; 0.40, 0.52, and 0.54 for creatine; 16.0, 16.5, and 16.3 for Ca; and 6.27, 8.14, and 7.17 for P in hens supplemented with 0, 0.15, and 0.30% probiotic, respectively. There was no effect of CD on egg quality. Increasing level of PS linearly improved yolk color (YC) and quadratically increased albumen index (AI) and Haugh unit (HU). The mean values were 9.67, 9.75, and 10.58 for YC; 8.94, 6.93, and 8.72% for AI; and 85.6, 74.9, and 82.9 for HU for hens supplemented with 0, 0.15, and 0.30% probiotic, respectively. There was also CD by PS effect on FC, EP, and serum glucose, total protein, albumin, globulin, creatine, Ca and P concentrations. In conclusion, increased CD partially depressed laying performance and caused stress. Probiotic supplementation improved laying performance and metabolic profile. It also partially alleviated the adverse effects of stress resulting from increased caging density.