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J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2012 Oct 4. doi: 10.1111/jpn.12011. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of dietary red pepper on egg yolk colour and histological intestinal morphology in laying hens.

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  • 1Faculty of Agriculture, Kagawa University, Miki-cho, Kagawa-ken, 761-0795, Japan.


To evaluate the effect of three kinds of red pepper supplementation 'Kagawa Hontaka' produced at Shiwaku Islands (KHS), Miki (KHM) and Takanotsume (TKT) on production performance, egg quality and intestinal histology in laying hens. A total of 32 laying hens (39 weeks of age) were randomly allotted to four groups, each comprising eight hens. Birds were fed a basal diet supplemented with red pepper at 0% (control), 0.5% KHS, 0.5% KHM and 0.5% TKT, respectively. Compared with the control group, no significant difference (p > 0.05) in feed consumption, final body weight, hen-day production, egg mass, feed efficiency, shell-breaking strength, shell thickness, shell ratio, albumen ratio, yolk ratio and Haugh units was observed among the experimental groups. Roche yolk colour fan (RYCF) value increased significantly in all experimental groups (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the KHS and KHM groups showed higher RYCF values than the TKT group (p < 0.05). Spectrophotometric measurements of yolk colour, redness (a*) and yellow index (YI) values were higher in the KHS and KHM groups (p < 0.0001). The yellowness (b*) value was lower in the TKT group (p < 0.05). The lightness (L*) value was lower in the KHS and KHM groups (p < 0.05). Villus height, villus area, cell area and cell mitosis in all intestinal segments tended to be higher in all experimental groups. Jejunal cell area and cell mitosis were higher in experimental groups than in the control group (p < 0.05). The cells on the villus tip surface were protuberated in all experimental groups. In conclusion, the KHS, KHM and TKT groups showed hypertrophied intestinal villi and epithelial cell functions. These results indicate that dietary red pepper has stimulating effect on intestinal villi and the structure of epithelial cells, and the 0.5% KHS and KHM groups improved in egg yolk colour.

© 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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