Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 199-208

Effect of Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare Mill. ) Used as a Feed Additive on The Egg Quality of Laying Hens Under Heat Stress

Gharaghani, HShariatmadari, FTorshizi, M. A

In this study, one hundred and twenty 40-wk-old White Leghorn laying hens were submitted to two different thermal conditions (24° C vs. 34° C) and were fed three levels (0, 10, or and 20 g/kg of diet)of fennel fruits (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) as a feed additive in. This study was carried out according to a factorial design consisting of two temperatures and three fennel levels with five 5 replicates each (n = 2 × 3 × 5). Performance, egg production, egg quality, and oxidative product levels (malondialdehyde, MDA, and carbonyl) in the eggs were measured before and after heat exposure. The results showed that the tested temperatures did not affect egg production (p>0.05), but the production of eggs with broken shell and feed intake were affected by heat stress (p 0.05). The different temperatures also affected egg quality (p 0.05), reducing egg weight (EW), eggshell thickness (EST), eggshell strength (ESS), Haugh units (HU), albumen height (AH), and albumen weight (AW). At the high environmental temperature, MDA and carbonyl egg contents increased (p 0.05), while fennel consumption reduced the values of both parameters. Heat stress had no effect on yolk cholesterol levels (p>0.05), but increased yolk triglyceride levels. Hens that consumed fennel presented lower yolk cholesterol and triglyceride levels (p 0.05). In general, fennel fruit influenced egg yolk cholesterol and triglyceride contents, and because of its antioxidant properties, it may alleviate the adverse effects of heat stress on laying hens.(AU)

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