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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 543 - 546

The Effects of Dietary Electrolyte Balance on the Performance and Eggshell Quality in the Early Laying Period

A. Nobakht, M. Shivazad, M. Chamany and A.R. Safameher    

Abstract: This study was designed to evaluate the effects of dietary electrolyte balance (DEB = Na+ + K+-Cl-) on the performance and eggshell quality of layers in their early laying period. Two hundred fifty six Hy-Line strain laying hens, 24 to 34 weeks of age, were randomly assigned to 4 dietary treatments. The DEB levels were 0, 120, 240 and 360 mEq kg-1 and were obtained by addition of NaCl, NaHCO3, KHCO3 and NH4Cl as needed. Egg production, feed intake, egg mass and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) were not significantly affected by any of the treatments, whereas eggshell quality was significantly affected (p<0.05). The shell specific gravity, shell weight, shell thickness, shell ash and shell weight/surface area were increased with increasing DEB from 120 to 360 mEq kg-1 relative to the control diet. It was concluded that high rate DEB (360 mEq kg-1) can improve eggshell quality in the early laying period.

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