An experiment was conducted using 588 Hy-Line W-36 hens (68 wk of age) to evaluate if laying hens can be successfully molted by ad libitum feeding various levels of 3 sources of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). Treatment 1 consisted of a 47% corn (C):47% soy hulls (SH) molt diet (C:SH) fed for 28 d (positive control). Treatments 2, 3, and 4 were molt diets containing 94% DDGS from the 3 sources fed for 28 d. Treatments 5, 6, and 7 were 32% C: 42% SH: 20% DDGS, from each of the 3 DDGS sources, also fed for 28 d. At the end of the 28-d molt period, all hens were fed a 16% CP corn-soybean meal layer diet. Body weight loss during the molt period was significantly greater (P < 0.05) for hens fed the C:SH diet (26%) than hens fed the diets containing DDGS, and the reduction in BW loss varied among DDGS sources. Feed intake was lower (P < 0.05) for the C:SH control treatment compared with most DDGS treatments. Hens fed the C:SH diet had egg production near 0% during the last 3 wk of the molt period. Hens on the other treatments did not have mean egg production below 17% during the molt period (wk 1 to 4), and the reduction in egg production varied among DDGS sources. Postmolt hen-day egg production (5-41 wk) did not significantly differ among treatments; however, egg mass and egg specific gravity were generally reduced (P < 0.05) for hens fed the 94% DDGS molt diets compared with hens fed the C:SH diet. This study showed that molt and postmolt performance responses varied among DDGS sources; however, none of the molt diets containing 20 to 94% DDGS yielded molt period reductions in BW or egg production similar to a 47% C: 47% SH diet.
- distillers dried grains with solubles
- laying hen
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology