The effects of various dietary levels of phytase and available phosphorus on performance of laying hens

S. D. Boling, M. W. Douglas, R. B. Shirley, C. M. Parsons, K. W. Koelkebeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Data previously obtained from our laboratory indicated that addition of 300 U of phytase/kg diet supported optimal long-term performance of laying hens (20 to 70 wk) fed a corn-soybean meal (SBM) diet containing 0.10% available phosphorus (AP). Our primary objective was to determine if a phytase level lower than 300 units/kg is adequate for a commercial strain of Single Comb White Leghorn laying hens (n = 504) fed a corn-SBM diet containing no supplemental P (0.10% AP). Dietary treatments consisted of the corn-SBM basal diet (0.10% AP, 3.8% Ca, and 17% CP) supplemented with 0, 100, 200, 250, or 300 U of phytase/kg, 0.05% inorganic P (0.15% AP), and a positive control diet containing 0.45% AP. Each of the seven dietary treatments was fed to six replicate groups of 12 hens from 20 to 60 wk of age. No significant differences in performance were observed among treatments during the first 8 wk of the experiment. By 28 wk of age, the 0.10% AP diet, with no supplemental phytase or P, resulted in significantly lower (P < 0.05) egg production and body weight compared with all other dietary treatments. Feed consumption, feed efficiency, and egg yield were subsequently depressed by 32 wk of age in hens fed the 0.10% AP diet. No other significant differences among treatments were observed for performance averaged over the entire 40-wk experimental period. The mean daily AP intake of hens fed the 0.15% AP, 0.45% AP, and 0.10% AP + phytase diets was 155, 474, and 103 mg, respectively. The results of this study indicate that phytase improves the utilization of P in corn-SBM diets for laying hens and that corn-SBM diets containing 0.10% AP + 100 units of phytase/kg diet or 0.15% AP supported egg production performance that was not significantly different (P > 0.05) from that of hens fed a corn-SBM diet containing 0.45% AP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-538
Number of pages4
JournalPoultry science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000


  • Available phosphorus
  • Laying hens
  • Phytase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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