Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R2805



Summary and Implications

An experiment was conducted to evaluate the energy utilization of laying hens fed diets containing two energy concentrations, using a holistic approach includingmeasurement of productive, maintenance and storage energy. The experiment was a 2 x 2 factorial arrangementwith two feeding levels (ad libitum and restricted feeding of 90 g feed/hen-d), and two dietary energy levels (HE-high metabolizable energy or ME content of 2,880 kcal/kg; and LE-low ME content of 2,790 kcal/kg). A total of 60 HyLine W36 first-cycle laying hens were fed treatment dietsfor 12 wk from hen age 27 to 39 wk, with 15 individually housed hens for each of the four treatments. There were no interactions between feeding levels and dietary energy levels throughout the experiment. Feed restriction resulted in significant reductions (P ≤ 0.01) in egg production, body weight, and abdominal fat pad weight, indicating reduced nutrient availability to partition the energy towards production, maintenance, and storage functions, respectively. Reduced energy intake did not change the energy partitioned and utilized towards production (egg production) or maintenance (body weight), but significantly reduced (P = 0.03) the energy stored (reduced fat pad). These results suggest that energy utilization follows the pattern of production and maintenance before storage requirements in Hy-Line W36 laying hens.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University