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Laudadio V.,Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production | Ceci E.,University of Bari | Lastella N.M.B.,Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production | Introna M.,Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production | Tufarelli V.,Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production
Poultry Science | Year: 2014

This study was designed to determine the effects on laying performance and egg quality resulting from partial substitution of soybean meal (SBM) with low-fiber alfalfa (LFA; Medicago sativa L.) meal in the diet of early-phase laying hens. ISA Brown layers, 18 wk of age, were randomly allocated to 2 dietary treatments and fed for 10 wk. The hens were fed 2 wheat middling- based diets: a control diet, which contained SBM (15% of diet), and a test diet containing LFA (15% of diet) as the main protein source. Low-fiber alfalfa meal was obtained by a combination of sieving and airclassification processes. Feed intake was recorded daily, and egg production was calculated on a hen-day basis; eggs from each group were weekly collected to evaluate egg components and quality. The partial substitution of SBM with LFA had no adverse effect on growth performance of early-phase laying hens. Egg production and none of the egg-quality traits examined were influenced by dietary treatment, except for yolk color (P < 0.001) and yolk percentage (P < 0.05) as well as yolk cholesterol and β-carotene contents (P < 0.001), which were improved in hens fed the LFA diet. Including LFA increased serum β-carotene and reduced serum cholesterol concentrations (P < 0.001). Our results suggest that partially replacing conventional SBM as protein source with low-fiber alfalfa meal in the laying-hen diet can positively influence yolk quality without adversely affecting productive traits. © 2014 Poultry Science Association Inc. Source


Laudadio V.,Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production | Ceci E.,University of Bari | Lastella N.M.B.,Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production | Tufarelli V.,Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production
Poultry Science | Year: 2014

The present study was designed to determine the effect on laying performance and egg quality resulting from total substitution of soybean meal (SBM) with low-fiber sunflower meal (SFM; Helianthus annus L.) meal in diet of hens. ISA Brown layers, 28 wk of age, were randomly allocated to 2 dietary treatments and fed for 10 wk. The hens were kept in a free-range environment and fed 2 wheat middling-based diets consisting of a control diet, which contained SBM (153 g/ kg of diet), and a test diet containing low-fiber SFM (160 g/kg of diet) as the main protein source. Each dietary treatment was replicated 4 times. Low-fiber SFM was obtained by a combination of sieving and air classification processes. Feed consumption was recorded daily and egg production was calculated on a hen-day basis; eggs from each group were collected weekly to evaluate egg components and quality. The total substitution of SBM with low-fiber SFM had no adverse effect on growth performance of laying hens. Egg production and none of egg quality traits examined were influenced by dietary treatment, except for yolk color (P < 0.05) and percentage of large-size eggs (P < 0.05) that were improved in hens fed the low-fiber SFM diet. Including low-fiber SFM decreased serum and egg yolk total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations (P < 0.001), and increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level. our results suggest that the replacement of conventional soybean with low-fiber sunflower meal may be a valid alternative in diets for laying hens to improve egg quality and to develop lowcholesterol eggs. © 2014 Poultry Science Association Inc. Source

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