Effect of Varying Levels of Aflatoxin, Ochratoxin and Their Combinations on the Performance and Egg Quality Characteristics in Laying Hens

  • Verma, J. (Central Avian Research Institute) ;
  • Johri, T.S. (Central Avian Research Institute) ;
  • Swain, B.K. (Animal Sciences Section, ICAR Research Complex for Goa)
  • Received : 2002.11.18
  • Accepted : 2003.02.28
  • Published : 2003.07.01


A 50 day feeding trial was conducted with White Leghorn (WL) laying hens, 42 weeks old, to determine if feeding of varying levels of aflatoxin (AF), ochratoxin A (OA) or their combinations has any effect on their performance and egg quality parameters. Feeding of $T_4$, $T_7$, $T_8$, $T_9$ and $T_10$ caused significant reduction in feed intake of hens. Hen day egg productions were significantly reduced at all the levels of toxins except 0.5 ppm of AF. Maximum reduction in egg production was noticed at 2 and 4 ppm of AF and OA, respectively. Average body weight and egg weight were not affected by toxin feeding. The feed efficiency in terms of net feed efficiency and feed consumed per dozen egg produced was significantly reduced at higher levels of both the toxins and their combinations. Feed consumption for production of 1 kg egg mass remained uninfluenced due to aflatoxin feeding whereas significant increase in the value of the same was noticed at 4 ppm level of OA and combination of 1 and 2 ppm of AF and 2 and 4 ppm of OA ($T_9$ and $T_10$), respectively. Various levels of OA (1-4 ppm) and all the combination of two toxins ($T_8$, $T_9$ and $T_10$) significantly altered the shape index of eggs in laying hens. The shell thickness was significantly reduced by higher level of AF (2 ppm), OA (2 and 4 ppm) and their combination. Albumen index, Haugh Unit and yolk index remained unchanged due to incorporation of toxins in the diet. It is concluded that AF, OA either singly or in combination at higher levels could depress the performance in terms of egg production and feed efficiency significantly. The egg quality parameters i.e. shape index and shell thickness were also significantly affected.


Supported by : Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Indian Council of Agricultural Research


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