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Effects of dietary L-carnitine on the performance and egg quality of laying hens from 65–73 weeks of age

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

Mahmoud H. Rabie
Research Institute for Animal Breeding & Nutrition, Herceghalom, H-2053, Hungary
MiháLy SziláGyi
Research Institute for Animal Breeding & Nutrition, Herceghalom, H-2053, Hungary
Tibor Gippert
Institute for Small Animal Research, Gödöllö, Hungary
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The effects of L-carnitine supplementation (50–500 mg/kg diet) of a practical layer diet, based on maize, soyabean and wheat, on the performance of laying hens and some indices of egg quality were studied for 8 weeks, using 65-week-old hens kept in cages. Albumen quality (albumen height and Haugh (1937) unit score) was improved, while yolk index and yolk colour score were not affected by dietary L-carnitine. The percentage of egg-white increased and that of egg yolk decreased in response to dietary supplementation of L-carnitine. Dietary L-carnitine did not influence laying performance (egg production rate, mean egg weight, daily feed intake, daily egg mass and feed conversion) or external egg quality measured by egg weight, egg-shape index or by eggshell quality, either measured directly as shell breaking strength or indirectly as shell weight, shell thickness or shell weight per unit surface area. Based on the results of the present study, L-carnitine had a beneficial effect on albumen quality and could modify the components of the edible part of the egg, during the late laying period.

Animal Nutrition
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 1997



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