Mineral absorption and performance of laying hens force molted with dietary aluminum

A. S. Hussein, N. J. Daghir

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The effect of using dietary aluminum (Al), as a molting agent for laying hens, on mineral absorption, eggshell mineral content, and postmolt production performance was investigated. Single Comb White Leghorn hens, 75 weeks of age, were used in this experiment. Ten replicate groups of seven or eight hens, housed two per cage, were randomly assigned to each of the two molting techniques. Hens in the aluminum treatment were fed ad libitum a corn-soybean layer diet (17.5% crude protein (CP), 2.8 Mcal AME/kg, 3.5% calcium (Ca), and 0.5% available phosphorus (P)) containing 0.5% Al as aluminum sulfate. Hens in the other treatment had feed completely removed for 10 days. A resting diet containing 15% CP and 1.0% Ca was provided at 40g/hen per day on day 11 and day 18 for the feed-restricted and Al-treated groups, respectively, and continued until day 28. Egg production stopped completely by day 8 for feed-restricted hens, and by day 18 for Al-treated hens. Body weight (BW) of the feed-restricted birds was reduced by about 27% and was significantly lower than that of the Al-treated birds after 10 days. Both groups of hens lost 25% of their initial BW by the end of the molting period. Egg weight and eggshell thickness of feed-restricted hens was significantly lower than the Al-treated hens during the molting period. Plasma inorganic phosphorus was reduced to 45% and 23% of its initial level at the time hens ceased egg production for aluminum and feed-restricted treatments, respectively. Postmolt egg production, egg weight, Haugh units, and eggshell thickness were not affected by the molting treatments. Eggshell mineral content of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and aluminum were not affected by the dietary regimen during weeks 6, 7 and 8. The results indicated that there were no negative effects on eggshell mineral content and postmolt egg performance due to inducing a molt with dietary aluminum.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-75
    Number of pages13
    JournalEmirates Journal of Food and Agriculture
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003


    • Aluminum
    • Eggshell quality
    • Force-molting
    • Layers
    • Minerals

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Science
    • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Agronomy and Crop Science


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