Re: Forum: What is Egg Shell Quality and How to Preserve it?
Thank you for your comments… please allow me to also reply.
First, please do not make me say what I did not say. You write “it is also very clear from Mr. Cortyl his comment that the major effect of butyrate is not linked to the cation (whether sodium or calcium), but from the anion (villi and mucosa integrity).” I never wrote this. I mentioned about the effect of sodium butyrate indeed, and it seems we all agree it brings important benefits at the gut level.
On the contrary, you appear to strongly believe that the cation is of outmost importance. If I understand correctly your comments, the debate should be: sodium or calcium as cation? Since you mention about “a specially coated calcium butyrate salt” I did a quick search on the internet and found that the product you describe contains 11% calcium and is recommended at 0.5 kg per MT of feed. That means the organic calcium in feed will be 55 grams per MT or 0.0055%. When a layer diet has around 3.5 to 4% calcium, I am wondering how this amount of organic calcium can make a difference?
As for the significantly wetter litter, or the higher number of dirty eggs that should be found when using sodium butyrate, I do not agree. We have good feedback from layer or broiler farms using sodium butyrate based additives, and one of their comments is that litter is drier or eggs cleaner than when they did not use the product. As you certainly know, in today’s layer farms, prevalence of dirty eggs is affected mainly by the incidence of cracked eggs (besides the availability of enough nest boxes and the frequency of egg collection), because eggs with weak shells tend to crack easily, causing newly laid eggs to be dirty. So, in my opinion, if we observe cleaner eggs it is not due to the cation itself, but rather due to the better gut health and improved nutrient absorption, leading to stronger shell, as discussed before.
I personally don’t have experience of results obtained with calcium butyrate, so I would be quite interested to get the references of the papers you mention, especially those where you observed significant less dirty eggs and dryer litter moisture when comparing calcium butyrate with sodium butyrate.
My apologies to the rest of the readers for spending a bit of time on those details, but I feel this is important.
Thank you and best regards.