Performance of Laying Hens Provided Water from Two Sources
The effect of drinking water source (well vs. city water) on laying hen performance was evaluated using 48 commercial layers (64 wk of age) housed in an environmentally controlled facility at a density of two birds per cage (12" x 18"). After a 10-day adjustment period, four replicate groups (six hens each) were provided water from a commercial egg production farm (drilled well) and the other four groups were provided city water for 4 wk of egg production. The results indicated that water quality differed between the two water sources. A water analysis revealed that the farm water had sodium and chloride concentrations of 190 and 210 ppm, respectively, compared to sodium and chloride concentrations of 29 and 80 ppm, respectively, for the city water. Average water consumption for the 4-wk experiment was significantly lower for hens consuming well water. Hen-day egg production and egg yield was also lower for hens consuming the well water. Egg weight, feed consumption, feed efficiency, egg specific gravity, and manure moisture were not affected by water source. These results indicate that the quality of drinking water may affect layer performance.
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23 August 2010
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