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The impact of various calcium sources offered to Arabic hens during their early-laying stage on calcium consumption and egg production

Syafwan Syafwan, Agus Budiansyah, Ucop Haroen, Kristoper Simanungkalit, Lusia Agustina Br. Sembiring, Intan Lestari Aritonang.


Objective: The research was conducted to calculate feed, calcium (Ca) intake, Ca requirements, and egg production for Arabic hens during the early egg-laying period.
Materials and Methods: A total of 135 30-week-old Silver female Arabic pullets were randomly allocated to one of three treatments with five replicate cages with a semi-scavenging system of nine pullets per cage in a completely randomized design and allowed to choose Ca from limestone and oyster shells. As a control (T1), pullets were only given a complete feed with Ca and phosphorus percentages according to Hy-line International in 2018. Other treatment feeds were control feed without limestone fed with a combination of limestone (T2) or oyster shell (T3) separately.
Results: The treatments had no effect (p > 0.05) on feed, grit and Ca intake (gm/bird/week), egg weight (gm), egg mass, egg production (%), and feed efficiency, but had an effect (p < 0.05) on Ca concentration (%). Ca concentration was the same at T1 and T3, and both were higher than at T2.
Conclusion: The female Arabic chickens could fulfill Ca requirements by selecting from different sources of Ca. Limestone is better than the oyster shell as a source of Ca. The Ca requirement for Arabic hens in the early laying period based on the Ca concentration of the feed intake is sufficient at around 3.64% since producing the same number of egg production and heavier egg weight compared to a higher Ca level.

Key words: Calcium, Arabic hens, choice feeding, egg performance

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