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Agricultural Journal
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 1  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 160 - 166

Evaluation of Some Methods of Forced-Moulting of Laying Birds and Their Effects on Post-Moult Performance and Quality Characteristics of the Post-Moult Eggs

Offiong, S.A., F.U. Ekpo, O.L.Obasi and O.O. Ojebiyi    

Abstract: Fifty 70 week old brown egg layers were randomly distributed into 5 groups each of 2 replicates of 5 birds each and subjected to some modalities of nutritional deprivation to evaluate the efficacy of such feeding manipulations, to induce moult, and their effect on post moult production and some quality parameters of such eggs. The feeding regimens consisted of feed and water deprivation (FWD), feed deprivation (FD), water deprivation (WD) and feeding zinc in a wheat offal diet. Result revealed that FD treatment before returning the birds to full feeding, was the most effective in inducing moult, followed by the zinc treatment. FWD and WD treatments showed lower degrees of moulting effectiveness, with the WD treatment being the least effective. The moult feeding treatments caused the birds to loose their pretreatment body weights. WD caused the highest body weight loss of 19.35%, followed by zinc and the FD treatments, which caused 16.88 and 15.88% body weight loss respectively. FD treatment caused the highest percentage body weight recovery (BWR) at 1st egg post moult and made the highest body weight gain at 6 weeks, while the zinc group lost body weight at 6 weeks post moult. WD and FWD groups resumed egg production on 17th and 18th days respectively post the moult feeding treatments, while the zinc and FD groups resumed production on the 19th and 21st days respectively. FD group was the first to reach 50% production and had the highest total egg production post moult, while zinc, FWD and WD groups reached 50% production on the 3rd, 4th, and 6th days respectively post moult. Overall, it was concluded that depriving layers of feed, as in this experiment, before returning them to full ad libitum feeding, proved the most effective in inducing moult, increasing egg production post moult, improving egg weight and post moult body weight at 6 weeks compared with the other treatments in the experiment. However, in terms of egg haugh unit value, it was not as good as the birds previously deprived of water before returning them to feed and water ad libitum, as applied in this experiment.

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