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Animal Products
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2001;14(6): 850-854.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2001.850    Published online June 1, 2001.
Effect of Cool Drinking Water on Production and Shell Quality of Laying Hens in Summer
P. C. Glatz
Abstract
Feed intake, egg weight, rate of lay and shell quality characteristics were measured in an Australian tinted egg laying strain from 31-42 weeks of age, housed at 30째C and provided drinking water at 5, 10, 17 and 30째C. In a second experiment a European brown egg laying strain (59-66 weeks of age) housed at 30째C were provided drinking water at 5, 10, 15 and 30째C. Brown egg layers given cool drinking water (5, 10 and 15째C) consumed more (p<0.05) feed and produced significantly (p<0.05) thicker and heavier shells than hens given drinking water at ambient temperature (30째C). However the tinted egg layers given chilled drinking water only consumed more (p<0.05) feed and produced thicker (p<0.05) and heavier (p<0.05) shells when consuming drinking water at 5째C. As the tinted egg layers acclimatised to the environmental temperature there was a decline in the influence of cool drinking water on feed intake and shell quality. For brown egg layers, however, cool drinking water resulted in an improvement (p<0.05) in feed intake and shell quality over the entire period birds were provided cool water. These studies suggest that there is potential for using cool drinking water to improve feed intake and shell quality of hens housed under hot conditions. The combination of high ambient temperature and high drinking water temperature, a common occurrence in Australian layer sheds, should be avoided.
Keywords: Laying Hens; Cool Drinking Water; Shell Quality; Feed Intake


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