Enzyme Complex Helps Hens Retain More Nutrients

US - Research at University of Nebraska reveals that the specification of a layer ration can be reduced if an enzyme complex is included in the diet.
calendar icon 21 March 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

Overall, no negative effects were reported by scientists who lowered the energy, calcium and phosphorus levels in a layer diet that included an enzyme complex.

Significant effects on nutrient retention were observed, reported Hahn-Didde and Purdum at Lincoln. Diets containing the enzyme complex had higher retention values for calcium, phosphorus and crude protein for both production phases and also had higher retention for Apparent Metabolisable Energy (AME) in the first phase.

Those are the conclusions drawn by the authors in their paper published in the current issue of Journal of Applied Poultry Research.

They examined the effects of an enzyme complex containing xylanase, amylase and protease in moderate- and low-energy diets with dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) for laying hens.

A total of 192 hens were fed one of four dietary treatments across phase 1 and 2 of the production cycle.

Dietary treatments were arranged in a 2×2 factorial design, factors consisted of moderate Metabolisable Energy (ME; 2,900kcal per kg in phase 1; 2,880kcal per kg in phase 2) or low ME (2,860kcal per kg in phase 1; 2,800kcal per kg in phase 2) and enzyme complex inclusion (0 or 0.0375 per cent).

All diets contained 15 per cent DDGS and phytase included at 300 phytase units per kilogram and were formulated to contain 0.30 per cent available phosphorus and a 10 per cent reduction in calcium.

Significant energy by time interactions were noted for egg production and feed intake at the conclusion of phase 1, showing diets containing low energy to be higher performing during a heat stress period.


Hahn-Didde D. and S.E. Purdum. 2014. The effects of an enzyme complex in moderate and low nutrient-dense diets with dried distillers grains with solubles in laying hens. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 23(1):23-33. doi: 10.3382/japr.2013-00764

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