SUMMARY
  • During the first week of lay, hens fed Orego-Stim produced larger eggs.
  • Hens fed Orego-Stim produced fewer peewee eggs and more medium eggs than control fed hens.
  • Feeding Orego-Stim can improve profitability in early lay with more saleable eggs.

 

BACKGROUND
  • With restriction on the use of antibiotics during the laying cycle, the production of a robust chick is crucial to ensure optimal health of the adult hen and to maximise lifetime laying performance.
  • Peewee eggs are too small to be saleable as whole eggs, and can be classed as seconds (Arango et al., 2012). Progression to a larger egg size as early as possible is desirable.
  • Natural oregano essential oil has been shown to be beneficial in supporting gut health and subsequent poultry performance (Sugiharto, 2016).
  • Orego-Stim is a high quality, plant based eubiotic, containing 100% natural oregano essential oil.
TRIAL DESIGN

Anpario conducted a trial managed by North Carolina State University, USA using 1,404 Dekalb White chicks from day-old to 71 weeks of lay. The aim of the trial was to determine the effect of Orego-Stim on laying hen performance when Orego-Stim was fed throughout rearing and lay (OS R&L), or from the start of lay, 17 weeks onwards (OS Lay). Birds were assigned to one of three treatments: no additives during rearing or lay (Control); basal diet during rearing, followed by basal diet plus Orego-Stim (300g/t) (OS Lay); or basal diet plus Orego-Stim (300g/t) continuously throughout rearing and lay (OS R&L). Birds were housed in conventional cages with 26 birds per cage during rearing (0.031m2/pullet), and transferred to the laying facility with 12 hens per cage (0.083m2/hen), two cages represented one replicate, with 18 replicates per treatment throughout. Feed consumption, egg production and egg grades were measured weekly. This trial was conducted in a clean facility with high health hens and the housing was salmonella negative.

RESULTS

Figure 1. Distribution of egg grades at 18 weeks of age, the first week of lay. Peewee, Small, and Medium egg grades according to USDA grading.

  • Hens fed Orego-Stim during rearing and lay (R&L), or from the start of lay (OS Lay) produced 2.2% and 1.6% fewer peewee eggs respectively, compared with control fed hens.
  • The proportion of Medium eggs was greatest from hens fed OS Lay (19%) and OS R&L (13%).
  • Orego-Stim is a natural solution to increase the number of saleable eggs from the start of lay, increasing profitability.