How Flaxseed Cake in Diet Affects Chicken Egg Quality and Nutrition

Jim Crocker
18th January, 2024

How Flaxseed Cake in Diet Affects Chicken Egg Quality and Nutrition

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

New research from King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia has investigated the potential of flaxseed cake (FSC) as an alternative feed for egg-laying hens. FSC is a by-product of extracting oil from flaxseeds and is notably rich in n-3 α-linolenic acid, which is beneficial to health. The study aimed to understand the impacts of including FSC in the diets of hens on their egg production, egg quality, and certain nutritional elements in their bodies and the eggs they produce. The research was conducted on a population of Hisex White hens from the ages of 48 to 58 weeks. The hens were split into three groups, each provided with a diet incorporating different proportions of FSC: no FSC (0%), a moderate amount of FSC (5%), or a higher amount of FSC (10%). The primary goal was to discover whether FSC could negatively affect the hens' ability to lay eggs and the quality of those eggs, or pose any health risks to the hens themselves. One of the key findings was that the inclusion of FSC in the diet, up to a level of 10%, did not harm the hens' rate of laying eggs, the mass of eggs produced, or how efficiently the feed was utilized. FSC was shown to be a valuable source of protein and energy. It contributed important nutrients including macro-elements like calcium and phosphorus and micro-elements such as selenium, zinc, and iron. The study noted that arginine, an essential amino acid vital for bodily functions in both animals and humans, was the most abundant amino acid present in FSC. The quality of the eggs, in terms of standard industry measures and sensory attributes—like taste and texture—remained the same irrespective of the presence of FSC in the diet. There were no significant effects on the hens' serum total protein levels, an indicator of overall protein health in the blood. Additionally, kidney function, ascertained by measuring creatinine and uric acid levels as well as the ratio of uric acid to creatinine, was unaffected by FSC. Moreover, varying the amounts of FSC in the diet did not alter the chemical make-up of the eggs. Essential trace elements within the hens' blood serum and their eggs, including selenium, zinc, and iron, also remained consistent across different FSC levels, suggesting that the hens' nutrient intake was well-balanced thanks to the nutrient profile of FSC. In conclusion, the study demonstrates that flaxseed cake can be considered a sustainable and nutritious feed alternative for egg-laying hens. Feeding hens with a diet comprising of up to 10% FSC seems to have no detrimental effects on their productivity or the quality of their eggs. The research supports FSC as a practical feedstuff, able to provide energy, protein, amino acids, and important macro- and micro-nutrients without compromising the health of the hens or the nutritional value of the eggs produced.



Main Study

1) Dietary flaxseed cake influences on performance, quality, and sensory attributes of eggs, serum, and egg trace minerals of laying hens.

Published 18th January, 2024

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