The carcass of the hen is mainly developed during the first 5-6 weeks of age. A loss of body weight in this period will reduce the longevity of the layer hen.
Incorrect use of pre-lay feed might induce damage to the medullary bone, affecting the capability of the layer hen to utilize Ca from the bone.
At the start of lay a lack of feed intake will force the layer hen to exert metabolic effort that will compromise the longevity of the hen.
60–70 % of Ca in the eggshell derives from the diet and 30–40 % from the bones, specially the medullary bone. The availability of Ca during eggshell formation will improve eggshell quality. The midnight snack and particle size and solubility of the Ca sources are strategies to improve eggshell quality.
Excess or deficiencies will trigger eggshell challenges.
Trace minerals are part of the inner eggshell and in eggshell formation through the enzymes. Use could be justified when, as the egg size increases, the eggshell becomes thinner.
|Fatty liver, liver necrosis and bile duct hyperplasia
|Multifocal hepatic necrosis; hepatocellular hyperplasia
|Aﬂatoxin + T2
|Pale enlarged liver
|Mash CFU log/gr
|Pellet/crumble CFU log/gr
|Anaerobic sulfite reducers at 46 °C
Methionine is the first limiting amino acid in egg weight. However if we want to control the egg size, we need to do it with the whole amino acid profile so the Ideal Protein Ratio isn’t broken.
There is a minimum requirement of linoleic acid so the egg yolk size isn’t a limitation in the egg size. Need to be careful when raw materials with low linoleic acid are used.
Adding fats, vegetable or animal fats, in the diet increases the egg size. It improves the feed efficiency and reduces the dustiness of the feed
Birds with high body weight (above the standard) at week 5 will produce bigger eggs. It isn’t recommended to have birds below the standard at week 5 (no more than 3 %) to control egg weight in production, performance will be compromised.
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