Effect of enzyme addition to diets containing different levels of alfalfa meal on performance and egg quality parameters of laying hens
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of enzyme addition to diets containing different levels of alfalfa meal on performance, egg quality and egg yolk color in laying hens. Twenty-four weeks-old, 144 Lohmann-LSL laying hens were allocated to 8 experimental groups. The experiment, 4 different levels of alfalfa meal (0, 4, 8 and 12 %) and 2 different levels (0 and 1000 mg/kg) enzyme containing 8 different experimental diets were carried out with 6 replications according to 4x2 factorial design.
The results of study indicated that there were no differences in egg production, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, egg weight, egg mass and eggshell breaking strength among the treatment groups (P> 0.05). The eggshell thickness had no significantly affected by the dietary alfalfa meal levels and interaction groups, but eggshell thickness was significantly higher in fed with containing enzyme group than that in the without enzyme group (P< 0.01). In the egg yolk color parameters, the L* value was significantly affected by dietary alfalfa meal levels (P<0.01), and the groups fed with alfalfa meal containing diets at 8 and 12% levels were significantly lower than the others (0 and 4 %). The a* and roche values were significantly and similarly affected by the interactions (P<0.05), and the groups fed with alfalfa meal (with or without enzyme) diets at 8 and 12% levels were significantly lower than the other groups.In conclusion, the study results were observed that the addition of alfalfa and enzyme to laying hens diets did not cause a significant change in performance and egg quality parameters. However, it can be said that the addition of alfalfa meal at least 8% without adding enzyme to the diet causes an increase in egg yolk color.
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