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Conference abstract - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Low methionine diets is a potential health risk in organic egg production

Elwinger, Klas; Tauson, Ragnar


Low-methionine diets is a potential health risk in organic egg production ELWINGER K. and TAUSON R. Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, SLU, SE 75323 Uppsala, Sweden Three trials were conducted to assess the possibility to supply laying hens with 100 % organically approved diets. Twelve pens were used, each comprising 100 hens in an aviary system and each with access to an out-door area. Each trial included a whole laying period, and diets differing in methionine content (range 2.2 to 3.8 g/kg) were fed to two genotypes in each trial: I LSL, SH (experimental); II Hyline, SH; III LSL, Lohmann Silver(LS). I and II are reported by Elwinger et al. (2008). Data from these trials and a third, not published, trial were recalculated using the GLM procedure in the SAS (2004). Models describing relationships between bird performance traits and the diets methionine (g/kg) content were fitted. Feed intake was also related to the birds feather cover (%). The best fits (all parameters p<0.01) are shown in the table and will be presented in figures in the poster. Trait Model Mean CV, % 1 Feather cover, % m m2 m*G(T) m2*G(T) 66 9.4 2 Feed intake, g/day m m*G(T) 117 4.6 3 Feed intake, g/day f*G(T) G(T) 117 3.5 4 Egg weight, g m m2 G(T) 61 1.4 m=met (g/kg), f=feather cover, G=genotype, T=trial 1. Feather cover ranged from 20-80 % between trials (p<0.001) and there was a significant curve linear effect of methionine (p<0.01), the less methionine the worse feathering, which differed between genotypes within trials (p<0.002). Feather cover peaked at about 3.6 g methionine per kg. 2. Feed intake decreased linearly (p<0.001) and differently (p<0.001) within genotypes in trials. 3. It appeared that differences noticed in 2 were related to feather cover. Thus feed intake increased linearly (p<0.001) as feather cover deteriorated. There was a difference of about 30 g feed per hen and day between a naked and a well feathered hen. 4. Egg weight differed between genotypes within trials (p<0.001) but increased (p<0.001) curve linearly and similarly with a maximum at about 3.5 g methionine per kg. 5. Number of eggs per hen per day (eph) differed between trials (p<0.001) but there was no significant effect related to methionine level. Conclusions. Methionine shortage, which is a potential risk in organic egg production impairs plumage condition and decreases egg weight whereas eph appears unaffected

Published in


17th European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition in Edinburgh in August 2009