+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
EurekaMag Most Shared ContentMost Shared
EurekaMag PDF Full Text ContentPDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full TextRequest PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on FacebookFollow on Facebook
Follow on TwitterFollow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedInFollow on LinkedIn

+ Translate

Immunological cell and serum metabolite response of 60-week-old commercial laying hens to an alfalfa meal molt diet

Immunological cell and serum metabolite response of 60-week-old commercial laying hens to an alfalfa meal molt diet

Bioresource Technology 99(3): 604-608

The practice of induced molting involves the restriction of light, feed removal and optionally water for 5-14 days. However, there is growing concern regarding feed removal and animal welfare issues. With this in mind, alternative diets have been developed to produce similar molting effects as that of feed deprivation. Alfalfa, which largely consists of insoluble fiber, can be used as a molting diet. In this study, heterophil and lymphocyte counts, serum chemistry, and organ weight parameters were evaluated in hens that were deprived of feed or fed alfalfa during a nine day induced molt. Full-fed hens were used as the control. Blood serum parameters assessed included calcium, magnesium, glucose, total protein, ketone bodies, uric acid, and cholesterol. White blood cells were counted and categorized by cell type. On the ninth day of the trial, the hens were euthanized and the liver, spleen, heart, intestine, pancreas, ovary, oviduct, and kidney were collected and weighed. On day 8 birds molted with alfalfa or by feed deprivation had significantly higher (P<0.05) levels of ketone bodies and cholesterol and lower levels of calcium, and magnesium compared to the full-fed hens while birds molted by feed deprivation exhibited significantly lower levels of uric acid. Birds molted by both methods exhibited significant reductions in ovary, oviduct, liver and pancreas weights and increased spleen weights when compared to the non-molted hens. On days 0, 2, and 6 there were no significant differences (P>0.05) in either heterophil or lymphocyte percentages. However, heterophil percentages were higher in feed withdrawal birds than full-fed birds on day 4 but lymphocyte percentages were higher in full-fed birds compared to feed withdrawal birds. On day 8 of the induced molt lymphocyte percentages were higher from full-fed birds when compared to feed withdrawal birds but no significant differences were detectable for heterophil percentages. Based on reproductive organ weight loss and changes in serum and immunological responses of birds during molt, it appears that alfalfa meal can be an effective molt induction alternative.

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 019180798

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17336056

DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2006.12.036

Related references

Organ weight and serum triglyceride responses of older (80 week) commercial laying hens fed an alfalfa meal molt diet. Bioresource Technology 99(14): 6692-6696, 2008

The behavior of laying hens on an alfalfa crumble molt diet. Poultry Science 85: 171-171, 2006

Laying hen response to molt induction by either pelleted alfalfa or alfalfa meal. Journal of Dairy Science 84(Supplement 1): 468, 2001

Utilizing different ratios of alfalfa and layer ration for molt induction and performance in commercial laying hens. Poultry Science 84(3): 362-369, 2005

Potential of alfalfa as an alternative molt induction diet for laying hens: egg quality and consumer acceptability. Bioresource Technology 96(8): 907-911, 2005

Early postmolt performance of laying hens fed a low-protein corn molt diet supplemented with corn gluten meal, feather meal, methionine, and lysine. Poultry Science 78(8): 1132-1137, 1999

Early postmolt performance of laying hens fed a low-protein corn molt diet supplemented with spent hen meal. Poultry Science 80(3): 353-357, 2001

Effect of various combinations of alfalfa and standard layer diet on susceptibility of laying hens to Salmonella enteritidis during forced molt. Poultry science 85(7): 1123-1128, 2006

Early performance of molted laying hens fed a low-protein corn molt diet supplemented with several levels of feather meal and amino acids. Poultry Science 74(SUPPL 1): 66, 1995

Alfalfa meal as a source of carotenoids in combination with ascorbic acid in the diet of laying hens. Czech Journal of Animal Science 64(1): 17-25, 2019

The effects of a short-term molt method using cassava meal, broken rice, or corn on ovarian regression, bone integrity, and postmolt egg production and quality in older (95 week) laying hens. Poultry Science 92(10): 2798-2807, 2013

Threonine requirement of commercial laying hens fed a corn-soybean meal diet. Poultry Science 81(6): 809-814, 2002

Serum metabolite response of hens submitted to a second molt using soy hulls. Journal of Dairy Science 93: 680-680, 2010

Effects of restricted feeding molt diet on induction of molt and energy intake in laying hens. Journal of Poultry Science 44(4): 366-374, 2007

Performance of commercial laying hens fed various supplemental amino acids in a corn-soybean meal diet. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 2(3): 273-282, 1993