Evaluation of limit feeding varying levels of distillers dried grains with solubles in non-feed-withdrawal molt programs for laying hens

L. Mejia, E. T. Meyer, D. L. Studer, P. L. Utterback, C. W. Utterback, C. M. Parsons, and K. W. Koelkebeck
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana 61801

An experiment was conducted with 672 Hy-Line W-36 Single Comb White Leghorn hens (69 wk of age) to evaluate the effects of feeding varying levels of corn distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) with corn, wheat middlings, and soybean hulls on long-term laying hen postmolt performance. The control molt treatment consisted of a 47% corn:47% soybean hulls (C:SH) diet fed ad libitum for 28 d. Hens fed the other 7 treatments were limit fed 65 g/ hen per day for 16 d, and then fed 55 g/hen per day for 12 d. Hens on treatments 2 and 3 were fed 49% C:35% wheat middlings (WM) or SH:10% DDGS diets (C:WM:10DDGS, C:SH:10DDGS). Hens on treatments 4 and 5 were fed 49% C:25% WM or SH:20% DDGS diets (C:WM:20DDGS, C:SH:20DDGS). Those on treatments 6 and 7 were fed 47% C:47% DDGS (C:DDGS) or 47% WM:47% DDGS (WM:DDGS) diets. Those on treatment 8 were fed a 94% DDGS diet. At 28 d, all hens were fed a corn-soybean meal layer diet (16% CP) and production performance was measured for 36 wk. None of the hens fed the molt diets went completely out of production, and only the C:SH and C:SH:10DDGS molt diets decreased hen-day egg production to below 5% by wk 4 of the molt period. Postmolt egg production was lowest (P < 0.05) for the C:WM:20DDGS treatment. No differences (P > 0.05) in egg weights were detected among treatments throughout the postmolt period. In addition, no consistent differences were observed among treatments for egg mass throughout the postmolt period. Overall results of this study indicated that limit feeding diets containing DDGS at levels of 65 or 55 g/hen per day during the molt period did not cause hens to totally cease egg production.