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Natural feed supplement boosts egg production

by 5m Editor
23 February 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Significant increases in egg production have been achieved by a regional poultry company using a new feed supplement in the diet of layers.

Natural feed supplement boosts egg production - UK - Significant increases in egg production have been achieved by a regional poultry company using a new feed supplement in the diet of layers.

Since adding a natural product - made from fermented soya meal and extracts from plants and herbs - to the diet of birds in a trial, output increased by five eggs per bird.

The company had been experiencing inexplicable fluctuations in post-peak production, losing 4-5 per cent of output one week, with birds returning to normal the next. Post-mortem examinations and blood tests revealed no clues, so it was thought that it could be a gut-related problem.

A decision was made to try Digeston-3000 which contains a variety of bacteria that have a beneficial effect on the bacterial flora of the gut, aiding digestion and supporting the immune system. The Austrian-made supplement was supplied by Suffolk-based PVA (UK) Ltd of Woolpit, near Bury St Edmunds.

A trial was set up to compare the performance of 18,000 layers from a multi-aged site whose feed was supplemented with 500g per tonne of Digeston-3000 with 24,000 birds on un-supplemented feed as a control on the same site. Both flocks came from the same rearing unit and were housed in identical buildings.

"Between 16 and 40 weeks, the Digeston-3000 supplemented birds were consistently heavier, at 80-100 g, and the evenness of the flock was consistently better by 10-15 per cent. No increase in feed intake was noticed. The most significant factor was the laying percentage - an average increase of five eggs per bird up to 40 weeks of age," commented PVA director, Graham Baker.

Since the trial the poultry company has switched 60 per cent of its total flock to the supplemented feed, with peak lay percentage being recorded at up to 95.6 per cent.

PVA recommends that the diet of layers should be supplemented with 1 kg of Digeston-3000 per tonne during the last four weeks of the rearing period, to establish a robust bacterial flora. This should then be reduced to 0.5 kg during the laying period up to 40 weeks old. The cost of inclusion at this stage is about £2.75 per tonne.

For further information contact:
Mr Graham Baker: 01359 240984 (PVA [UK] Ltd)
Martin Looker: 01473 823842 (BHR Communications)

Source: Issued by BHR Communications on behalf of PVA [UK] Ltd - 20th February 2004

5m Editor