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Poult Sci. 1999 Nov;78(11):1542-51.

Laying hen productivity as affected by energy, supplemental fat, and linoleic acid concentration of the diet.

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  • 1Departamento de Producción Animal, E.T.S.I. Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.


A trial using 720 Isabrown hens was conducted to determine the influence of energy (AMEn), supplemental fat (SFAT), and linolenic acid (LIN) concentration of the diet on performance and weight of eggs and egg components throughout the laying cycle (22 to 65 wk of age). There were six treatments whose calculated AMEn, SFAT, and LIN content were, respectively: 1) 2,810 kcal/kg, 0%, 1.15%; 2) 2,810 kcal/kg, 4%, 1.15%; 3) 2,810 kcal/kg, 4%, 1.65%; 4) 2,680 kcal/kg, 0%, 1.15%; 5) 2,680 kcal/kg, 4%, 1.15%; and 6) 2,680 kcal/kg, 4%, and 1.65%. All diets were formulated to have the same crude protein, lysine, TSAA, calcium, and nonphytin phosphorus levels per kilocalorie of AMEn. The data were analyzed with SFAT constant (4%) and AMEn, and LIN variables (Diets 2, 3, 5, and 6) and with LIN constant (1.15%) and AMEn and SFAT variables (Diets 1, 2, 4, and 5). When LIN was maintained at a constant of 1.15%, an increase in the AMEn of the diets from 2,680 to 2,810 kcal/kg decreased feed intake by 4% (P < 0.001). Increasing AMEn also improved feed conversion per dozen eggs and per kilogram of eggs by 4.9 and 4.7% (P < 0.05), respectively, and increased BW gain by 55.7% (P < 0.05). Egg production rate, egg weight, egg mass output, and energy intake were not modified by treatments. An increase in SFAT within both energy levels from 0 to 4% improved all of the traits studied except feed conversion. Supplemental fat increased both yolk and albumen weight, but the effect was more pronounced on the latter. When SFAT was maintained constant at 4%, an increase in AMEn of the diets decreased feed intake and improved feed conversion per dozen and per kilogram of eggs by 5.7, 5.5, and 5.2%, respectively (P < 0.001). An increase in LIN content from 1.15 to 1.65% did not modify any of the parameters studied. The results indicate that SFAT consistently improves productivity of hens and egg weight and that the LIN requirement for maximal productivity is 1.15% or less. The beneficial effects of adding SFAT to diets containing more than 1.15% LIN are due to the fat itself rather than to an increase in LIN or AMEn of the diet.

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