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J Anim Sci. 2018 Feb 15;96(1):225-235. doi: 10.1093/jas/skx007.

Dietary tea polyphenol supplementation improved egg production performance, albumen quality, and magnum morphology of Hy-Line Brown hens during the late laying period.

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Key Laboratory of Feed Biotechnology of Ministry of Agriculture & National Engineering Research Center of Biological Feed, Feed Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, P.R. China.


The aim of this study was to investigate how dietary supplementation of tea polyphenols (TP) and tea catechins (TC) affect laying performance, albumen quality, ovomucin composition, and magnum morphology of laying hens in the late phase of production. Two hundred seventy Hy-Line Brown laying hens (64 wk old) were assigned to a basal diet (the control), the basal diet supplemented with 200 mg/kg tea polyphenols (TP200) or 200 mg/kg tea catechins (TC200). Each treatment had 6 replicates with 15 hens each. The feeding trial lasted 10 wks. Over the course of the trial, dietary supplementation with TP200 significantly increased the egg production (EP) and improved the feed conversion ratio (FCR) in wk 6 to 10 and wk 1 to 10 (P < 0.05). The albumen height and the Haugh unit (HU) of hens fed TP200 were higher than those of hens fed the control diet at wks 8 and 10 (P < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences in the albumen height and the HU between the TP200 and TC200 groups (P > 0.05). The SDS-PAGE analysis indicated that bands of the ovomucin fractions in the TP200 group had the highest intensity compared with those of the control and TC200 groups. Compared with the control, there was a significant increase in protein sulfhydryl (SH) content of the albumen in the TP200 group at the end of experiment, while a significant decrease in protein carbonyl content and protein surface hydrophobicity (P < 0.05). There were also obvious increase in the height and width of the primary folds, epithelial cell height, and cilia height of the simple columnar epithelium in the TP200 group compared with the control and TC200 groups (P < 0.05). In conclusion, dietary supplementation with 200 mg/kg TP can improve performance, albumen quality, and magnum morphology of aged hens. In addition, TP rather than TC could improve the health status of the magnum for aged layers.

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