Authors: SANG IN LEE, HYUN SOO KIM, INHO KIM
Abstract: A total of 144 Hy-Line brown laying hens were used in a 10-week trial to evaluate the effects of a microencapsulated organic acid blend with medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) on egg production, weight, quality, fecal microflora, and nutrient digestibility in the hens. The hens were divided into four groups and different dietary treatments were given to each group. The control group received no microencapsulated organic acid blend with MCFAs. The second group received 0.05%, the third group received 0.01%, and the fourth group received 0.2% of a microencapsulated organic acid blend with MCFAs. Laying hens fed on a microencapsulated organic acid blend with MCFAs showed an increase in the egg production rate (linear, P > 0.001), in the Haugh units (linear, P = 0.010), and in eggshell strength (linear, P = 0.012; quadratic, P = 0.005). Also, the same hens had higher calcium concentrations in the blood at 35 weeks (linear, P = 0.042). The dietary supplementation of a microencapsulated organic acid blend with MCFAs increased the Lactobacillus fecal content and decreased the E.coli fecal content in the hens. In conclusion, the microencapsulated organic acid blend with MCFAs had positive effects on egg production, egg strength, Haugh units, calcium concentration, and fecal Lactobacillus and E. Coli contents in laying hens. Thus, we suggest that the microencapsulated organic acid blend with MCFAs could be used as an alternative to antibiotics in laying hens.
Keywords: Alternative to antibiotics, laying hens, medium chain fatty acids, organic
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