This investigation sought to determine if reduced CP, amino acid (AA) balanced laying hen diets could maintain egg production and quality while reducing feed costs or increasing farm revenue under commercial-scale conditions. A total of 50,760 Lohmann LSL Lite laying hens were divided into 3 groups that were each fed least-cost formulated corn-soybean meal-based diets from 18 to 51 wk of age. Diets contained low, intermediate, or high (control) levels of CP and were supplemented with limiting AA. Monthly replicated data collection included feed nutrient and particle size analyses, hen BW, egg quality analyses, and manure nutrient and NH3 flux measurements for each dietary treatment. Weekly nonreplicated data collection by the producer included egg production and grade-out data and feed cost and egg income reports. Hen BW, egg weight, and egg quality (replicated data) did not differ significantly by level of dietary CP (P > 0.05). Egg production (nonreplicated data) was similar across all diets. Manure nutrients and NH3 flux also did not differ by dietary treatment. Overall, the low and intermediate CP diets were less costly and resulted in greater revenue compared with the high CP (control) diet. Therefore, implementing reduced CP, AA-balanced diets for commercial-scale laying hen flocks would be economically beneficial without sacrificing hen performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology