Comparison of Different Moulting Methods and Evaluation of the Effects of Post-moult Diets Supplemented with Humate and Carnitine on Performance, Egg Quality and Profitability of Laying Hens

Researchers in Turkey have found a satisfactory method of moulting laying hens by feeding alfalfa (lucerne) or barley rather than withdrawing feed from the birds.
calendar icon 22 November 2013
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In a paper in the current issue of Journal of Applied Poultry Research, S. Sariözkan from Erciyes University in Turkey and co-authors there and at Ankara University describe their study, which aimed to compare the applicability of the non-feed removal method with the feed withdrawal method by using alfalfa meal (lucerne meal) and barley in moulting.

They also compared the effects of humate (2g per kg), carnitine (0.1g per kg) and humate (2g per kg) + carnitine (0.1g per kg) supplementation to the diets during post-moult period along with the different molting methods on production performance, egg quality and profitability in laying hens.

In the study, 192 Bovans white laying hens, 75 weeks old, were used.

The lowest bodyweight loss (21.08 per cent) for the first 10 days was found in the barley + feed (B+F) method. The earliest onset of egg production was observed in B+F method, which was followed by alfalfa meal + feed (A+F) and feed withdrawal + barley + feed (FW+B+F) groups.

In the post-moult period, heavier eggs were obtained from the B+F and A+F method groups.

Egg specific gravity was found to be higher in the groups moulted by the A+F and B+F methods. Feed efficiency, egg shell thickness and Haugh unit were unchanged in the A+F and B+F methods compared with the FW+B+F method.

In the post-moult period, supplementation of humate to diet increased the egg weight, while egg shell thickness and Haugh unit were increased by carnitine supplementation.

Sariözkan and co-authors concluded that the use of moulting methods without fasting (A+F and B+F) could be an alternative to conventional methods without causing any economic losses.


Sariözkan S., B.K. Güçlü, K. Kara and S. Gürcan. 2013. Comparison of different molting methods and evaluation of the effects of postmolt diets supplemented with humate and carnitine on performance, egg quality, and profitability of laying hens. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 22(4):689-699. doi: 10.3382/japr.2012-00612

Further Reading

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November 2013

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