Authors: MUHAMMAD IRFAN, SHAHID MEHMOOD, ATHAR MAHMUD, AFTAB AHMAD ANJUM
Abstract: A study was conducted to evaluate the impact of varying dietary inoculated compost levels on production performance, egg quality traits, and immune response of white laying hens (LSL) during the peak production phase (28 to 40 weeks). For this purpose, a total of 270 birds were randomly distributed into 5 dietary groups with 6 replicates each in techno battery cages having 9 birds per replicate following completely randomized design. Experimental diets were comprised of an increasing level of inoculated compost (0, 3, 6, 9, and 12%) and each diet was balanced (iso-caloric and iso-nitrogenous). The control group birds fed a commercial diet exhibited better egg production, egg weight, feed efficiency, and livability. Egg quality traits including shape index, shell strength, yolk index, and immune response against Newcastle disease virus did not differ significantly, although significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher Haugh unit and lighter yolk color was observed in the control group. A decreasing trend in egg sensory attributes has recorded an increase in the compost inclusion level in the diet. Furthermore, a marked decrease (p ≤ 0.05) was observed in eggs per dozen cost with higher compost inclusion level. It was concluded that compost can be utilized in layer feed up to 6% without any adverse effects on production performance, egg quality characteristics, and immune response of laying hens even at peak production.
Keywords: Compost, laying hen, production performance, morphometric traits, organoleptic properties, immune response
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