Comparative impact of feeding high fiber diets to modern Lohmann Select Leghorn- Lite and Shaver Heritage White Leghorn hens
The research outlined in this thesis investigated comparative impact of feeding ground (GOH) or unground (UGOH) oat hulls to modern Lohmann Select Leghorn- Lite (LSL-L) and heritage Shaver Heritage White Leghorn (SHWL) on egg production and gastrointestinal physiology. Most responses were independent of breed or diet. The LSL-L hens showed superior egg production to SHWL hens. Feeding oat hulls increased gizzard weight, however, LSL-L gizzard showed a greater response. Yet, oat hulls resulted in poor eggshell quality and energy digestibility linked to lower concentration of nutrients in oat hull diets. Furthermore, GOH fed birds had a lower digestive capacity relative to UGOH suggesting further processing of insoluble fiber may be detrimental. Overall, the data indicated that the modern hen is adaptable to ingestion of structural material rich in insoluble fiber, however, the results need to be confirmed at placement to the end of lay.