Effects of dietary 1,4-diaminobutane (putrescine) on eggshell quality and performance of laying hens
Experiments were conducted to evaluate the potential for dietary putrescine to influence eggshell quality and overall laying hen performance. The inclusion of a low level (0.05%) of dietary putrescine resulted in increased eggshell quality in hens laying thin-shelled eggs compared to those fed an unsupplemented diet. No differences were seen between hens laying thin-shelled eggs fed 0.05% putrescine and hens laying thick-shelled eggs fed an unsupplemented diet. These effects were likely due to increased calcium balance or calcium transport. There were interactions between dietary putrescine and calcium. Putrescine accumulated in the intestinal tissue and transferred excess dietary putrescine and metabolites to eggs, however, higher levels proved to be toxic. It was concluded that putrescine supplementation may be beneficial in diets of laying hens.