BackgroundAdvances in genetics have produced layer hens with greater production performance based on minimal feed input. Specifically, the combined effects of increased egg mass production (number and size), reduced body weight and lower maintenance requirements have brought about significant improvement in feed utilization efficiency in modern layers. The diets have also evolved such that composition, ingredient choices and processing have been refined to improve intake and efficiency. The implications of these strategies are diets with low fiber and overall structure with potentially negative consequences on the development and function of the gut. Poultry requires a certain amount of diet structure for proper gut development and functionality. This project is based on the hypothesis that introduction of diet structure (by using insoluble fiber) in pullet rearing will be more beneficial to laying hen productivity.
Funding$401,910 (CPRC $40,000, NSERC $208,455, EFC $63,739, LRIC & EFO $67,216, Wallenstein Feed & Supply Ltd $22,500 ($15,000 in-kind))
Status report coming soon.