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Inclusion of Dust Bathing Materials Affects Nutrient Digestion and Gut Physiology of Layers

Effect of access to wood shavings and processed paper in the litter bath of modified cages on
performance, gizzard activity, plumage condition, and peck damages was studied for layers fed a wheat-based diet. Egg production was similar for all treatments, but birds with access to paper showed higher feed consumption than the control birds and birds with access to wood shavings. This resulted in a corresponding difference (P < 0.05) in feed utilization. A significantly higher AMEn was observed for birds with access to wood shavings than in the control. Consumption of wood shavings and paper from the litter bath was 4 and 11 g/hen per day, respectively. Weights of empty gizzard and gizzard contents were considerably higher for birds with access to wood shavings. The median particle size in the duodenum decreased with access to wood shavings. In contrast, birds with access to paper showed a higher mean particle size in the duodenum.

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17 August 2010


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