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Sunday, June 23, 2024

The trail to 100-week layers

New analysis, funded by the Canadian Poultry Analysis Council, seeks to take care of hen well being by way of longer lay cycle.

For laying hens, robust bones and good egg shell high quality each require phosphorus and calcium – two important minerals that journey from the hen’s physique to her eggs over time. Because of this, on the finish of a 70-week lay cycle, a hen’s provide of minerals in bone could also be depleted resulting in weaker bones. Now, Marie-Pierre Létourneau-Montminy in Laval College’s Animal Science Division is main a world multidisciplinary analysis staff on two concurrent initiatives that intention to grasp how calcium and phosphorus journey by way of a hen’s physique at numerous phases of the life cycle, and the way precision mineral feeding may assist meet every day mineral necessities that might enable producers to increase a lay cycle.

“We’re working to foretell every day diet necessities of laying hens in calcium and phosphorus,” says Létourneau-Montminy. “We’ve got a modeling undertaking that, for the primary time, collates all accessible printed information to provide us a greater understanding of the destiny of calcium and phosphorus in  the gastrointestinal tract after which at metabolic ranges. And concurrently, we’re capable of check the mannequin’s predictions in a 100-week analysis trial.”

Limestone particle measurement issues

To simulate the destiny of those minerals, the staff first needed to perceive the extent of labor that had already been finished to trace phosphorus and calcium within the digestive tract of a laying hen. The researchers confronted an surprising hurdle once they realized there was no data regarding the interplay between limestone particle measurement (a supply of calcium) and phytase in laying hens, an enzyme that makes phosphorus from vegetation. Analysis companions in France carried out a trial that offered data to deal with the hole.

“We confirmed giant limestone particles work together much less with phytase, and tremendous particle measurement will scale back the effectivity of the enzymes,” says Létourneau-Montminy. “Bigger limestone particles keep within the gizzard longer, and since eggshells type at night time when the hen eats much less, they’re an accessible supply of calcium. That is significantly vital as  a hen ages, and makes much less environment friendly use of calcium.”

From there, the researchers had been higher capable of predict phosphorus and calcium absorption. On the whole, the hen has to take some calcium from the bone to deposit within the egg’s shell through the night time, and that course of delivers phosphorus, which is then misplaced in manure. With the modelling examine information, the staff was capable of predict every day diet necessities all through a hen’s life cycle – and even optimum time of day.

Measuring bone well being

For the second a part of Létourneau-Montminy’s undertaking, the researchers are placing the mannequin predictions to the check by elevating laying hens to 100 weeks with two completely different dietary phosphorus ranges. The staff is utilizing a bone scanner instrument generally utilized in human medication for osteoporosis prognosis to check the hens’ bones for mineral content material in addition to physique composition in fats and lean. Létourneau-Montminy hopes the undertaking will give a greater understanding of how bone evolves, and the quantity of calcium that transfers to eggs as hens age.

“With age, the birds enter osteoporosis they usually make much less environment friendly use of calcium,” says Létourneau-Montminy. “We additionally are inclined to see a discount of phosphorus.”

The significance of precision phosphorus

Létourneau-Montminy notes with world phosphorus reserves affected by rising costs and shortage, producers face growing strain to be exact with this non-renewable useful resource. When the trial completes in November 2022, she hopes to have a greater understanding of precisely how phosphorus and calcium are used within the hen’s physique over time.

“We all know that with ageing, hens use extra of their bone reserves, so we’re taking a look at completely different methods,” says Létourneau-Montminy. “With this trial we can have vital details about how mineral necessities change, and we can have many information factors to assist us fill in among the information gaps.”

Birds sometimes lay 350 eggs by the tip of their 52-week  cycle. By extending to 70 weeks of lay or 100 weeks of age, the intention is to get to 500 eggs, so long as the information helps the birds are in good bodily form. She notes the staff is gathering details about bone composition, bone marrow density, mineral content material in eggs and bones, in addition to hormone ranges in bloodwork over time.

Each the modeling undertaking and the analysis trial will probably be accomplished by early 2023. Létourneau-Montminy hopes to finish the same trial utilizing the identical design taking a look at vitamin D concentrations in weight loss plan and in layer hens.

This analysis is funded by the Canadian Poultry Analysis Council as a part of the Poultry Science Cluster which is supported by Agriculture and Agri-Meals Canada as a part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. Extra assist was acquired from Egg Farmers of Canada, DSM and Avimix Diet.

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