Department of Animal Science, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Sari, Iran.
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of different levels of L-carnitine on productive performance, egg quality and blood parameters in laying hens. Forty-eight Hy-Line W-36 egg Layers were weighed at 90 weeks of age and randomly allocated into 16 cages (three hens per cage). Four dietary treatments were prepared by supplementing L-carnitine (0, 50, 100 and 150 mg/kg of diet) to corn-soybean meal diet and offered ad libitum to hens. After two weeks of acclimatization, the eggs were weighed daily and feed intake as well as egg quality traits were measured biweekly. At the end of the experiment, two hens from each cage were selected to determine blood parameters and two eggs from each replicate were collected for cholesterol analysis. Results showed that L-carnitine supplementation at 100 and 150 mg/kg significantly increased egg production and egg mass, but decreased yolk cholesterol content. Laying hens receiving diet containing 50 mg/kg L-carnitine had significantly higher Hough unit, but lower progesterone than the hens fed control diet (P < 0.05). The results of this study showed that supplementing hens' diet with L-carnitine had beneficial effects on productive performance and decreased yolk cholesterol concentration; so it can be used as an effective supplement in the diet of laying hens.
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