The Effect of Clinoptilolite in Low Calcium Diets on Performance and Eggshell Quality Parameters of Aged Hens

  • Gezen, Serife Sule (Uludag University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Nutrition and Nutritional Diseases) ;
  • Eren, Mustafa (Uludag University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Nutrition and Nutritional Diseases) ;
  • Balci, Faruk (Uludag University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Zootechnics) ;
  • Deniz, Gulay (Uludag University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Nutrition and Nutritional Diseases) ;
  • Biricik, Hakan (Uludag University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Nutrition and Nutritional Diseases) ;
  • Bozan, Birgul (Uludag University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Nutrition and Nutritional Diseases)
  • Received : 2008.12.03
  • Accepted : 2009.04.13
  • Published : 2009.09.01


Ninety six beak-trimmed 72 week-old Lohmann Brown hens were randomly divided into four equal groups. Each group comprised 4 replicates. Isoenergetic and isonitrogenous experimental diets contained low calcium (3.5%); optimum calcium (4.2%); low Ca (3.5% Ca)+1% Clinoptilolite (CLP); low Ca (3.5% Ca)+2% CLP. Data were collected biweekly and the experiment lasted 6 weeks. Egg production, feed consumption, feed conversion ratio, egg weight, tibia Ca, P, ash and eggshell thickness were not affected by addition of CLP to the diets (p>0.05). There were no significant differences in egg shell strength and ash when data were analyzed individually in measurement periods ($74^{th}$, $76^{th}$ and $78^{th}$ weeks). However, according to pooled data ($74^{th}$-$78^{th}$ weeks), eggshell strength was increased (p<0.05) only by 2% CLP supplementation versus low Ca (3.5%) diet, and shell ash was significantly increased by 2% CLP supplementation compared with the other diets. The damaged egg ratio on 1% and 2% CLP diets was significantly decreased between 76-78 weeks'data when compared with the low Ca diet. However; damaged egg ratio on the 2% CLP diet was significantly decreased when pooled data (74-78) were compared with no CLP diets. The differences in marketable egg ratio paralleled damaged egg ratio. The plasma calcium level at the end of experiment was increased on the 2% CLP diet when compared with the low Ca (3.5%) diet (p<0.05). Furthermore, at the end of the experiment a marked decrease of manure moisture was observed on both CLP diets (p<0.01). In conclusion, Clinoptilolite (2%) supplementation to layer diets tends to improve eggshell quality and manure dry matter (1% and 2% CLP) after six weeks.


Supported by : Enli Mining Company Limited


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