Effect of protein and methionine levels in molt diets on postmolt performance of laying hens.

K. W. Koelkebeck, C. M. Parsons, R. W. Leeper, J. Moshtaghian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of feeding molt diets varying in protein content and supplemental Met on postmolt layer performance. Laying hens (70, 65, or 96 wk of age) were induced to molt by fasting (feed only) until 26 to 28% body weight loss occurred. Six molt diets consisting of 16, 13, or 10% CP with or without .15% supplemental Met were then fed until egg production reached approximately 10%, at which time all hens received a 16% CP layer diet for 30 wk in Experiments 1 and 2 and for 4 wk in Experiment 3. In Experiment 1 (summer), hens regained body weight more rapidly, returned to production faster, and had larger egg weights (Weeks 1 to 4) when fed the 16 or 13% CP molt diets than when fed the 10% CP molt diet. Long-term egg production, egg yield (grams of egg per hen per day) (Weeks 1 to 30), and feed efficiency (Weeks 1 to 8) were greater for hens fed the 16 or 13% CP molt diets compared with those fed the 10% CP molt diet. The Met supplementation had no effect on postmolt performance. In Experiment 2 (winter), the only significant treatment effect was that Met supplementation increased egg weight (Weeks 1 to 30). Molt diet treatments had no consistent effect on egg specific gravity during the last 4 wk of the postmolt production period in Experiments 1 or 2. The effects of the dietary treatments on early postmolt performance in Experiment 3 (early fall) were similar to those observed in Experiment 1. The present study indicated that protein content, but not Met supplementation, in molt diets influenced postmolt performance of hens during the summer and early fall experiments, but not in the winter experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2063-2073
Number of pages11
JournalPoultry science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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