6. Calcium and phosphorus requirements in laying hens
Calcium and phosphorus requirements are critical from the start of laying until after the laying peak due to the high calcium and phosphorus demands. They are also critical after week 40 of laying, because of the depletion of skeletal calcium storage and the poor calcium absorption in the gut.
Marginal calcium and phosphorus levels will reduce egg production and specific gravity. Therefore, adequate supplementation of these minerals is essential to assure a proper egg quality, and it is also important toÂ assure an optimal calcium and phosphorus absorption.
Mineral absorption promoter pronutrients improve calcium absorption, so that the animals absorb enough calcium for good eggshell quality (to reduce broken eggs) and for the bones (to avoid cage fatigue syndrome).
In a study conducted in Japan, the effects of pronutrients that act as mineral absorption promoters on egg quality were evaluated.
30-week-old Boris (Hy-Line brown) layers were used in the trial.
- Control: standard diet without any mineral absorption promoter.
- Pronutrients: standard diet supplemented with mineral absorption promoter pronutrients.
Egg weight in the control group increased by 6.9% from the beginning until week 8, while the increase in pronutrients group wasÂ 12.8%.
Eggshell weight in the control group increased by 13.75% from the beginning until week 8, while the increase in pronutrients group wasÂ 18.9%.
The inclusion of mineral absorption promoter pronutrients in feed has a positive effect on the egg quality (egg and eggshell weights).
Mineral absorption promoters (pronutrients) are marketed under the commercial name Alquernat Magacal, by Biovet S.A.