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Kappeli S.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | Frohlich E.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | Gebhardt-Henrich S.G.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | Pfulg A.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | Stoffel M.H.,University of Bern
Archiv fur Geflugelkunde | Year: 2011

We investigated the effects of different dietary vitamin D regimen on selected blood parameters in laying hens. Supplementation with vitamin D 3 only was compared with a combination of vitamin D 3 and its metabolite 25-hydroxy- cholecalciferol (25(OH)D 3). Blood concentrations of total calcium, phosphate and 25(OH)D 3 were determined. Four thousand one-day-old LSL chicks were split in two treatment groups and distributed to eight pens. The control group was given a commercial animal diet containing 2800 IU synthetic vitamin D 3 in the starter feed and 2000 IU synthetic vitamin D 3 in the pullet feed. The experimental group was fed the same commercial diet in which half the synthetic vitamin D 3 content had been substituted with 25(OH)D 3 (Hy•D®). At 18 weeks of age, pullets were transferred to the layer house. At the ages of 11, 18 and 34 weeks, between 120 and 160 blood samples were collected from both the control and the experimental groups, respectively. The experimental group had higher levels of 25(OH)D 3 than the control group at all three ages. Serum calcium levels did not differ between the treatment groups at any age. With the onset of laying, calcium levels rose significantly. Whereas blood serum concentration at 18 weeks was 3 mmol/L in both treatment groups, it increased to 8.32 mmol/L in the control group and to 8.66 mmol/L in the experimental group at week 34. At weeks 11 and 34, phosphate was significantly lower in the experimental group. In conclusion, HyD® significantly affected serum phosphate and 25(OH)D 3 levels. No effects of (25(OH)D 3 supplementation on performance, shell quality and fractures of keelbones were found. © Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart. Source


Kappeli S.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | Gebhardt-Henrich S.G.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | Frohlich E.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | Pfulg A.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | And 2 more authors.
Poultry Science | Year: 2011

Several studies have shown a high prevalence of keel bone deformities in commercial laying hens. The aim of this project was to assess the effects of perch material, a vitamin D feed additive (25-hydroxyvitamin D 3; HyD, DSM Nutritional Products, Basel, Switzerland), and genetics on keel bone pathology. The study consisted of 2 experiments. In the first experiment, 4,000 Lohmann Selected Leghorn hens were raised in aviary systems until 18 wk of age. Two factors were investigated: perch material (plastic or rubber-coated metal) and feed (with and without HyD). Afterward, the hens were moved to a layer house with 8 pens with 2 aviary systems. Daily feed consumption, egg production, mortality, and feather condition were evaluated. Every 6 wk, the keel bones of 10 randomly selected birds per pen were palpated and scored. In the second experiment, 2,000 Lohmann Brown (LB) hens and 2,000 Lohmann Brown parent stock (LBPS) hens were raised in a manner identical to the first experiment. During the laying period, the hens were kept in 24 identical floor pens but equipped with different perch material (plastic or rubber-coated metal). The same variables were investigated as in the first experiment. No keel bone deformities were found during the rearing period in either experiment. During the laying period, deformities gradually appeared and reached a prevalence of 35% in the first experiment and 43.8% in the second experiment at the age of 65 and 62 wk, respectively. In the first experiment, neither HyD nor the aviary system had any significant effect on the prevalence of keel bone deformities. In the second experiment, LBPS had significantly fewer moderate and severe deformities than LB, and rubber-coated metal perches were associated with a higher prevalence of keel bone deformities compared with plastic perches. The LBPS laid more but smaller eggs than the LB. Again, HyD did not affect the prevalence of keel bone deformities. However, the significant effect of breed affiliation strongly indicates a sizeable genetic component that may provide a basis for targeted selection. © 2011 Poultry Science Association Inc. Source


Kappeli S.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | Gebhardt-Henrich S.G.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | Frohlich E.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | Pfulg A.,Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits | Stoffel M.H.,University of Bern
British Poultry Science | Year: 2011

1. The goal of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of keel bone deformities of laying hens in Switzerland. The keel bones of 100 end-of-lay hens from each of 39 flocks (3900 in total) were palpated.2. On average, 25·4% of the hens had moderately or severely deformed keel bones and the overall prevalence including slight deformities was 55%.3. Variation between flocks was considerable. Thus, the prevalence of moderately or severely deformed keel bones ranged from 6 to 48%, and the overall prevalence including slight deformities ranged from 20 to 83%.4. Aviary housing was associated with a higher prevalence of total, and severe or moderate deformations, compared with floor pens.5. There were no significant differences in the number of deformities between the different plumage colours, hybrids or perch materials. © 2011 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

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