Interrelationship between environmental temperature and dietary nonphytate phosphorus in laying hens

M. E. Persia, P. L. Utterback, P. E. Biggs, K. W. Koelkebeck, C. M. Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Four experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of phosphorus nutrition on laying hens exposed to heat stress (HS). Hens were fed their respective diet for at least 3 wk prior to initiation of each experiment to allow the hens fed low-P diets to become P deficient. In most experiments, hens housed in non-HS conditions were pair-fed to the HS hens to maintain equal feed intake. In experiments 1 and 2, two levels of nonphytate P (NPP; deficient at 0.10 or 0.16% vs. control at 0.45%) and two temperatures (constant thermoneutral at 21°C or cyclic HS up to 35°C) were evaluated. Low NPP significantly reduced feed intake and hen-day egg production, but the cyclic heat treatment had no effect on hen performance. Experiment 3 was similar to experiments 1 and 2 except that constant HS was implemented. Both constant HS and low dietary NPP reduced feed intake and egg production, and there was no significant interaction between HS and dietary NPP level. In experiment 4, hens were fed 0.10 or 0.45% NPP diets and exposed to a more severe HS (38°C) for 8 h. Hens fed the deficient NPP level showed a 16% incidence of severe heat distress (unable to stand, unresponsive). Our results generally indicated that there was no interaction between dietary NPP level and HS in laying hens. However, subjecting hens that had been fed a P-deficient diet to an acute HS of 38°C did increase the incidence of severe heat distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1763-1768
Number of pages6
JournalPoultry science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003


  • Egg production
  • Heat stress
  • Laying hen
  • Mortality
  • Nonphytate phosphorus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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