Diet self selection by laying hens of feeds separated by texture
Summers, J.D.; Leeson, S.
Nutrition Reports International 23(3): 525-530
Laying hens were simultaneously offered 2 diets providing concentrated sources of energy and protein or Ca. These split-diets were fed in a double feed trough arrangement or differentiated by texture within a normal trough. In the latter treatment a mash energy-protein diet was mixed with a pelleted Ca diet (80:20, wt:wt). The above diets, along with a conventional control diet, were offered ad lib to 10 replicate groups of 4 individual and consecutively caged birds from 20-68 wk of age. Diet had no significant (P > 0.05) effect on egg production, egg weight, egg shell deformation, feed intake or body weight gain. Birds fed split-diets generally consumed less Ca than did control birds although this effect was significant (P < 0.05) only during periods 1 and 3. Failure to elicit a reduction in feed intake with the split-diets, as was reported previously, is possibly related to age of bird when diets are introduced. The pattern of nutrient intake was similar in both split-diet systems indicating the birds' ability to cope with nutrient and texture differentiation within a 2 diet feeding system.