Early postmolt performance of laying hens fed a low-protein corn molt diet supplemented with spent hen meal

K. W. Koelkebeck, C. M. Parsons, M. W. Douglas, R. W. Leeper, S. Jin, X. Wang, Y. Zhang, S. Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We used a total of 504 commercial Single Comb White Leghorn hens (69 and 65 wk of age) in each of two experiments, and hens were induced to molt by feed withdrawal only. Feed withdrawal lasted for 12 and 11 d, and hens lost 26 and 25% body weight in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively. All hens were then weighed, and seven replicate groups of 12 hens each were assigned to molt diet treatments. In Experiment 1, diets consisted of a corn basal diet (7.9% CP) or corn basal diet supplemented with 7.5 or 10% spent hen meal (SHM) each from two different sources. In Experiment 2, the corn basal diet or this diet supplemented with 5 or 10% SHM alone or 5% SHM plus Met, Lys, and Trp was evaluated. A molt diet of 16% CP corn-soybean meal was used as a positive control in both experiments. Molt diets were fed for 15 d in both experiments, at which time all hens were fed a 167% CP layer diet. Performance was measured for 8 wk following the beginning of feeding the layer diet. Feeding the low-protein corn molt diet supplemented with 5 to 10% SHM improved early postmolt egg production performance and body weight gain compared with hens fed the corn basal diet alone. The 7.5 and 10% SHM diets yielded early postmolt performance that was not significantly different (P > 0.05) from that of hens fed the high-protein (16% CP) diet. Supplementing the 5% SHM diet with amino acids generally did not significantly improve performance. The present study thus indicates that improved early postmolt performance may be achieved by supplementation of a low-protein corn molt diet with 5 to 10% SHM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-357
Number of pages5
JournalPoultry science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2001


  • Amino acid
  • Laying hen
  • Molting
  • Postmolt performance
  • Spent hen meal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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