Effects of dietary clinoptilolite and calcium levels on the performance and egg quality of commercial layers

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Berto, Dirlei Antonio [UNESP]
Garcia, Edivaldo Antonio [UNESP]
Pelícia, K.
Vercese, F. [UNESP]
Molino, A. B. [UNESP]
da Silveira, A. F. [UNESP]
Vieira Filho, J. A. [UNESP]
Murakami, E. S F [UNESP]
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Among the different feed additives studied in poultry production, clinoptilolite, an aluminosilicate capable of adsorbing harmful substances and of improving live performance and egg and meat quality, was evaluated. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the influence of dietary clinoptilolite and calcium levels on the performance and egg quality of layers. In total, 576 layers were distributed according to a completely randomized experimental design in a 3 x 4 factorial arrangement (three calcium levels - 2.5, 3.1, or 3.7% and four clinoptilolite levels - 0.0, 0.15, 0.25, or 0.50%), with 12 treatments of six replicates of eight birds each. The experiment included four 28-d cycles. The experimental diets were based on corn and soybean meal. Results were submitted to analysis of variance and means were compared by the test of Tukey at 5% significance level using SISVAR statistical package. There was a significant interaction between the evaluated factors for egg production and feed conversion ratio per dozen eggs and egg mass. The lowest calcium level resulted in worse performance and eggshell quality. Clinoptilolite levels affected albumen and yolk content. It was concluded that up to 0.50% inclusion of clinoptilolite in layer diets does not benefit layer performance or eggshell quality. Although the inclusion of only 2.5% calcium in layer diets is not recommended, it is possible to add 3.1% because it promoted similar results as the recommended level of 3.7%.
Ammonia adsorption, Calcium metabolism, Zeolites
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Revista Brasileira de Ciencia Avicola, v. 15, n. 3, p. 263-268, 2013.