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Riboflavin for laying hens fed organic winter diets: effects of different supplementation rates on health, performance and egg quality

Leiber, Florian; Holinger, Mirjam; Amsler, Zivile; Maeschli, Ariane; Maurer, Veronika; Früh, Barbara; Lambertz, Christian and Ayrle, Hannah (2021) Riboflavin for laying hens fed organic winter diets: effects of different supplementation rates on health, performance and egg quality. Biological Agriculture & Horticulture, online, pp. 1-17.

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Document available online at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01448765.2021.1955005


Summary

For reasons of aspired naturalness and cost reduction, vitamin additions should be kept low in organic livestock systems. To define safe lower threshold levels of riboflavin supplementation in organic poultry feeding, 135 hybrid layers were allocated to three dietary treatments supplemented with either 4.5 (R4.5), 3.0 (R3.0) or 1.5 mg (R1.5) GMO-free riboflavin added per kg feed. This resulted in total measured concentration averages of 5.0, 4.5, and 3.1 mg kg−1 feed for R4.5, R3.0 and R1.5, respectively. For 18 weeks, each treatment was replicated in three groups of 15 hens. Feed consumption, laying performance, egg quality, riboflavin concentration in the yolk, and clinical health scores were assessed. Two hens per group (six per treatment) were slaughtered in weeks 11 and 18, respectively, for measurement of pancreas, spleen, liver and heart weights, and determination of liver riboflavin. No treatment effects on feed consumption, body weight, laying performance, egg weights, eggshell strength and yolk colour or plumage and keel bone integrity were observed. No symptoms of lameness or footpad damage were found. The riboflavin concentration in egg yolks in R1.5 was lower than in other treatments. Liver riboflavin concentration increased between week 11 and 18 in all treatments, but it was also lower in R1.5. Based on these results, the addition of 3 mg riboflavin kg−1 feed appeared to be sufficient with respect to the health and performance of laying hens. Supplementation with only 1.5 mg kg−1 resulted in some metabolic signs of deficiency. These results apply only to organic winter diets.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Egg quality, layer performance, laying hen health, nutrient recommendation, organic feed, vitamin B2, RELACS, Abacus, FiBL2505406
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
vitamin B2 -> riboflavin
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_6593
English
laying hens -> layer chickens
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_12109
English
animal nutrition
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_27925
English
animal health
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_431
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Poultry
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > RELACS
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal health
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal nutrition
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Poultry
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:773424
DOI:DOI: 10.1080/01448765.2021.1955005
Related Links:https://relacs-project.eu/, https://www.fibl.org/en/themes/projectdatabase/projectitem/project/1463
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:42416
Deposited On:21 Sep 2021 12:22
Last Modified:21 Sep 2021 12:22
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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