Research: Utilisation of QPM in the diet of White Leghorn layers
Three experiments were conducted in India to determine the apparent metabolisable energy, digestible amino acid values and utilisation of quality protein maize (QPM) vis-à-vis normal maize (NM) in White Leghorn layers.
The nitrogen corrected apparent metabolisable energy of QPM was comparable with NM. The apparent digestibility of lysine and threonine was higher in QPM compared to NM. However, no difference could be noticed in the digestibility of other amino acids between the two maize varieties.
Dietary replacement of NM with QPM or lysine supplementation to NM based diet increased egg production and improved feed efficiency in laying hens. However, egg weight, daily feed consumption, body weight gain and mortality was not influenced due to treatments employed in the study.
None of the egg quality parameters were affected by replacement of NM with QPM in diet except Haugh unit and yolk colour. The Haugh unit and yolk colour index was higher in the QPM diet compared to NM.
The humoral immune response measured as antibody titre in response to sheep red blood cell (SRBC) inoculation was higher in the QPM based diet at both 36 and 44 weeks of age.
However, no difference could be observed between QPM and NM + lysine supplemented group. These results suggested that feeding value of QPM was superior to NM in White Leghorn layers.