Eggshell quality remains a key aspect of successful egg production for any layer operation. Broken and cracked eggs represent a significant loss to both the industry and to individual producers. As hens age, these losses grow more significant. With recent egg supply shortages and rising consumer prices, it is important for producers to optimize production. The most effective way to achieve the highest production possible is by boosting flock performance through optimal nutrition.
Zinc, copper and manganese are vital to realize optimal performance, particularly in layers, as these trace minerals have specific roles in metabolic activities directly related to eggshell formation. In a recent study, Novus International, Inc. investigated the impact of long-term use of MINTREX® chelated trace minerals compared to inorganic trace minerals on layer performance, eggshell quality, tibia breaking strength and immune response. Laying hens were allocated to six treatments with supplemental zinc, copper and manganese.
Results indicated hens fed either no supplemental trace minerals or lower levels of supplemental inorganic trace minerals had lower shell thickness when compared to high levels of sulfates. Further, analysis showed an improvement in shell breaking strength, shell thickness, tibia breaking strength and improved immune response in hens fed MINTREX® chelated trace minerals, when compared to inorganic trace minerals.
The full research study was published in The Journal of Applied Poultry Research (JAPR), and is available for download. The JAPR publishes original research reports, field reports, and reviews on breeding, hatching, health and disease, layer management, meat bird processing and products, meat bird management, microbiology, food safety, nutrition, environment, sanitation, welfare and economics.
For more information on MINTREX chelated trace minerals, visit www.novusint.com.