A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of feeding up to 35% DDGS with a proprietary premix (enzyme and antioxidant) on the productive performance and egg quality of brown laying hens from 41 to 76 wks of age. Hy-Line Brown hens (288) were randomly allocated to five treatment groups (12 birds per pen).
Treatments consisted of feeding the following diets: 1) a corn-soybean positive control, 2) 25% DDGS with reduction of 0.1% Ca & P, 3) Diet 2 plus premix, 4) 35% DDGS with reduction of 0.1% Ca & P, and 5) Diet 4 plus premix. Diets used from 16 to 40 wks of age were formulated to meet or exceed NRC recommendations except for available P and total Ca in the DDGS diets. In the second phase of production, crude protein was reduced from 18 to 16%. Egg quality was analyzed by randomly selecting 6 eggs from each replicate group every 4 wk. No significant differences in mortality, egg weight, egg shell percent, or egg shell breaking strength were noted during the second phase of production. Yolk weight was decreased at 48 wks of age by the DDGS diets (P=0.006). Yolk color values were significantly improved by the DDGS treatments. Hens fed DDGS diets had darker yolks compared with the control from 44 to 56 wks of age (P<0.05), but did not differ after 60 wks of age. Yolk redness and yellowness values were improved (P<0.026) throughout the study by DDGS. The 25% DDGS treatments had a further increase in yolk red and yellow pigmentation compared with the 35% DDGS and control treatments.
Overall, no differences in body weight and feed intake were observed. From 7376 wks of age feed intake was increased with the inclusion of DDGS (P<0.001). Additionally, reduced body weight was observed at 76 wks of age with the inclusion of DDGS (P=0.013) and was partially alleviated with the premix. Hen-day egg production from 41 through 75 wks of age tended to be lower (P=0.064) with addition of the premix compared with the control. In conclusion, feeding up to 35% DDGS did not negatively impact egg quality but resulted in reduced body weight and feed intake towards the end of production.
Presented at 2014 Southern Poultry Scientific Symposium.