Author(s): Roland DA Sr, Laurent SM, Orloff HD
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Abstract Sixteen dietary treatments applied to a total of 960 hens were used to determine the influence of zeolite A on shell quality and egg size. In Experiment 1, sodium zeolite A (SZA) was fed at three levels (0, .75, and 1.50\%) in diets containing 4.0 and 2.75\% calcium (Ca) for 8 weeks to old hens. In Experiment 2, the same levels of SZA were fed in diets containing two total sulfur amino acid levels (TSAA, .61 and .51\%) to young hens for 12 weeks. Calcium zeolite A (CZA) was also fed at .68\% in Experiment 1 in the 4.0\% Ca diets and in Experiment 2 in the .51 and .61\% TSAA diets. These diets were adjusted for sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl). SZA (.75\% unadjusted for Na and Cl) was fed to old hens receiving the 2.75\% Ca diet in Experiment 1. All diets were isocaloric and isonitrogenous within diets having the same Ca or TSAA level within an experiment. Response criteria were egg production, feed consumption, egg specific gravity, serum Ca, and body weight. A significant linear response in egg specific gravity occurred within 2 or 3 weeks, when diets supplemented with SZA were fed to old (Experiment 1) and young (Experiment 2) hens. Average Ca intake for control hens (Experiment 1) fed the 2.75 and 4.0\% Ca diets was 2.93 and 4.54 g, respectively. Average Ca intake for control hens (Experiment 2) fed the .51 and .61\% TSAA diet was 4.38 and 4.00 g, respectively. The CAZ (Experiments 1 and 2) and SZA (unadjusted for Na and Cl, Experiment 1) also gave significant increases in egg specific gravity. Zeolite A had little or no influence on egg weight, feed consumption, or egg production in Experiments 1 or 2. When Na and Cl were not adjusted in the SZA treatments (Experiment 1) a significant reduction in production occurred. It was concluded that zeolite A will significantly increase egg specific gravity and we hypothesize that the mechanism responsible for the significant improvement is related to the high ion-exchange capability of zeolite A.
This article was published in Poult Sci
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