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Organic Trace Minerals Lead to Thicker Eggshells

19 April 2013, at 7:59am

GLOBAL - Feeding breeders with part or all of the trace mineral supplement in organic (chelated) form resulted in eggs with thicker and heaver shells, with some reduction in embryo mortality.

Research in Brazil shows that Cobb 500 breeder hens fed diets supplemented with zinc, manganese and copper from amino acid-complexed sources laid eggs with thicker and heavier eggshells than those with a standard trace mineral supplement including the same minerals from inorganic sources.

The objective of this study, published in the current issue of Journal of Applied Poultry Research, was to investigate the effects of maternal dietary zinc, manganese and copper sources on egg production, eggshell quality, hatchability and hatched chick grading.

A. Favero from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil is the first author on the paper, with co-authors from the same university and from the University of Maryland and Zinpro Corporation in the US.

Inorganic sources of zinc, manganese and copper (IZMC) as zinc sulphate monohydrate (35 per cent zinc), manganese sulphate monohydrate (31 per cent manganese) and copper sulphate pentahydrate (25 per cent zinc) or organic sources of zinc, manganese and copper as amino acid-mineral complexes (OZMC) were used.

The three experimental treatments consisted of diets supplemented with:

  1. 100, 100 and 10mg per kg of zinc, manganese and copper, respectively, from IZMC (control)
  2. 60, 60 and 3mg per kg of zinc, manganese and copper, respectively, from IZMC plus 40, 40 and 7mg per kg of zinc, manganese and copper, respectively, from OZMC (ISO) and
  3. a diet with 100, 100 and 10mg per kg of zinc, manganese and copper, respectively, from IZMC as in the control plus 40, 40 and 7ppm of supplemental zinc, manganese and copper from OZMC (on top).

Treatments were fed from 22 to 68 weeks of age. Each treatment had 10 replications of 20 females and two males.

Compared with the control diet, feeding the ISO diet increased eggshell weight and thickness (P<0.05) and decreased early embryo mortality (P<0.01).

Feeding the on-top diet resulted in thicker and heavier eggshells (P<0.05) than the control diet.

An improvement in eggshell quality was observed in breeder hens consuming the OZMC-supplemented ISO diet or the on-top diet with IZMC.

Reference

Favero A., S.L. Vieira, C.R. Angel, F. Bess, H.S. Cemin and T.L. Ward. 2013. Reproductive performance of Cobb 500 breeder hens fed diets supplemented with zinc, manganese, and copper from inorganic and amino acid-complexed sources. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 22(1):80-91. doi: 10.3382/japr.2012-00607

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.
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