Sunflower meal in commercial layer diets formulated on total and digestible amino acids basis
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An experiment was conduced to evaluate the inclusion of sunflower meal (SBM) in commercial layer diets formulated on total or digestible amino acids basis. One hundred forty-four 41-week-old Lohmann LSL layers were distributed in a completely randomized experimental design in a 2 x 4 factorial arrangement with three replications of six birds each. Treatments consisted of a combination of four SBM inclusion levels SBM(0%, 4%, 8%, and 12%) and feed formulation according two amino acid recommendations (total or digestible). The experimental period was divided into five periods of fourteen days. Performance parameters (egg production, feed intake, feed conversion, egg mass) were evaluated for each period. In the last two days of each period, three eggs per replication were collected to evaluate egg quality (Haugh units, specific gravity, egg weight, eggshell thickness, and eggshell percentage). Hens fed on total amino acid recommendation presented the highest values for egg weight. Diets formulated on digestible amino acids basis showed an improvement in eggshell percentage and egg specific gravity. SBM addition in commercial layer diets did not influence performance; however, increasing SBM dietary levels SBM improved eggshell quality.
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