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Anim Sci J. 2012 Jun;83(6):474-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2011.00976.x. Epub 2011 Nov 21.

Effects of diets supplemented with zinc and manganese on performance and related parameters in laying hens.

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College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A & F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.


Iron is often found to be of excessive concentrations in laying hens' diets, which may cause antagonistic interactions with other minerals. This study was conducted to investigate how to supplement Zn and Mn in the diets without Fe supplementation. In experiment 1, 420 18-week Lohmann Brown layers were fed a basal diet or a basal diet supplemented with 30-0, 65-30 and 100-60 mg/kg of Zn and Mn, respectively. In experiment 2, 360 40-week Lohmann Brown layers were fed a basal diet or a basal diet supplemented with 15-0, 35-0 and 55-15 mg/kg of Mn and Zn, respectively. Minerals were supplemented in the form of sulfate. Egg production was improved by supplementing 30 mg/kg Zn or 65 mg/kg Zn in combination with 30 mg/kg Mn in experiment one. In experiment two, a significant reduction of egg performance occurred with 35 mg/kg Mn supplementation. Mn and/or Zn supplementation increased eggshell thickness in experiment one, and decreased yolk cholesterol in both experiments. Mn and/or Zn supplementation increased Zn and Mn excretion in both experiments. Serum growth hormone (GH), thyroxine (T(4) ), and insulin levels, or alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity were not affected by treatments; serum estrogen (E(2) ) and triiodothyronine (T(3) ) were different but there was no consistency by dietary treatments. This study demonstrates that 30 mg/kg supplemental Zn is necessary to obtain maximal egg production, and there seems to be no need to supply Mn in this type of diet.

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