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Effects of Dietary Fiber and Reduced Crude Protein on Nitrogen Balance and Egg Production in Laying Hens


S. A. Roberts,* H. Xin,† B. J. Kerr,‡ J. R. Russell,* and K. Bregendahl*

*Department of Animal Science, and †Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames
50011; and ‡Swine Odor and Manure Management Research Unit, Agriculture Research Service, USDA, Ames, IA 50011




Ammonia emission is a major concern for the poultry industry and can be lowered by dietary inclusion of fibrous ingredients and by lowering the dietary CP content. The objectives of this research were to determine the effects of dietary fiber and reduced-CP diets, which may lower NH3 emission, on egg production and N balance in laying hens. A total of 256 Hy-Line W-36 hens were fed diets with 2 contents of CP (normal and reduced) and 4 fiber treatments in a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement from 23 to 58 wk of age. The fiber treatments included a corn and soybean meal-based control diet and diets formulated with either 10.0% corn dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), 7.3% wheat middlings (WM), or 4.8% soybean hulls (SH) added to contribute equal amounts of neutral detergent fiber. The CP contents of the reduced-CP diets were approximately 1 percentage unit lower than that of the normal-CP diets. All diets were formulated on a digestible amino acid basis to be isoenergetic. There were no effects (P > 0.05) of including corn DDGS, WM, or SH in the diet on egg production, egg weight, egg mass, yolk color, feed consumption, feed utilization, or BW gain. Although the corn DDGS and WM diets resulted in an increase (P < 0.001) in N consumption, N excretion was not affected (P > 0.10) compared with hens fed the control diet. The reduced-CP diets did not affect egg weight, feed consumption, or BW gain (P > 0.05); however, egg production, egg mass, feed utilization, N consumption, and N excretion were lower than that from the hens fed the normal-CP diets (P < 0.05). The results of this study show that the diets containing 10% corn DDGS, 7% WM, or 5% SH did not affect egg production or N excretion. However, the 1% lower CP diets caused a lower egg production and lower N excretion.

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