The Effects of Dietary Available Phosphorus Levels and Phytase on Performance of Young and Older Laying Hens

S. D. Boling, M. W. Douglas, M. L. Johnson, X. Wang, C. M. Parsons, K. W. Koelkebeck, R. A. Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the first of two experiments (20 to 70 wk of age), eight treatments consisted of corn-soybean meal diets (0.34% total P, 3.8% Ca, 17% CP, 2,758 kcal ME/kg) containing 0.10,0.15,0.20,0.25, or 0.45% available P (AP), with the three lowest AP diets supplemented with 300 units of phytase/kg of diet. A second experiment evaluated the effect of feeding the 0.10% AP diet with and without phytase on performance and time required for onset of P deficiency in older hens (70 to 76 wk of age). In Experiment 1, the 0.10% AP diet with no supplemental phytase depressed performance by 28 wk of age. No other significant differences in performance were observed among treatments for the entire 20- to 70-wk period except that the 0.15% AP diet with no phytase resulted in body weights and tibia ash that were lower (P < 0.05) than those of hens fed the 0.45% AP diet during the last 30 wk. The mean daily AP intake of hens fed the 0.10% AP, 0.15% AP, 0.45% AP, or 0.10% AP + phytase diets was 94,159,499, or 108 mg, respectively. Excreta P concentration was decreased by approximately 50% in birds consuming 0.10% AP + 300 U/kg phytase compared with those consuming 0.45% AP. In the second experiment, P deficiency signs occurred within 3 wk of consuming the unsupplemented corn-soybean meal diet (0.10% AP) compared with 8 wk in Experiment 1. The results of this study indicate that phytase improves P utilization in corn-soybean meal diets for laying hens and that a corn-soy-bean meal diet containing 0.15% AP (159 mg AP/d) or containing 0.10% AP + 300 units of phytase/kg (108 mg AP/d) supported optimal egg production from 20 to 70 wk of age. Additionally, results suggested that older hens may exhibit P deficiency symptoms sooner than younger hens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalPoultry science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Available phosphorus
  • Layer
  • Phytase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Effects of Dietary Available Phosphorus Levels and Phytase on Performance of Young and Older Laying Hens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this