Effects of increasing supplementation of magnesium in diets on productive performance and eggshell quality of aged laying hens.Biol Trace Elem Res. 2013 Jan; 151(1):38-42.BT
Magnesium (Mg) concentrations in diets have been associated with performance and eggshell quality of laying hens, but the results have been inconclusive. In this experiment, the effects of increasing concentrations of dietary Mg on productive performance and eggshell quality of aged laying hens were evaluated. A total of 640 Hy-Line Brown laying hens of 72 weeks of age were randomly allotted to one of four dietary treatments with four replicates per treatment. A commercial-type basal diet containing 1.6 g/kg Mg was prepared, and three additional diets were prepared to contain 2.3, 2.6, or 3.0 g/kg Mg in diets by adding 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 g of MgO to the basal diet. The diets were fed to hens ad libitum for 5 weeks. Results indicated that Mg concentrations in eggshells were increased (linear, P < 0.01) with increasing concentrations of Mg in diets. Increasing concentrations of Mg in diets decreased (linear and quadratic, P < 0.01) broken and shell-less egg production, but improved (linear, P < 0.05) eggshell strength. Feed intake was decreased (linear, P < 0.05) with the concentrations of Mg in diets, but hen-day egg production, egg weight, feed conversion ratio, and Haugh unit were not affected by increasing concentrations of Mg in diets. Hunter L* and a* values of eggshell were decreased (linear, P < 0.05) as the concentrations of Mg in diets increased. In conclusion, feeding aged laying hens with diets containing increasing concentrations of Mg up to 3.0 g/kg improves eggshell strength, but has no detrimental effects on laying performance.