Evaluation of the use of alfalfa diets as an alternative to feed deprivation for the induction of molt in commercial laying chickens

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Title: Evaluation of the use of alfalfa diets as an alternative to feed deprivation for the induction of molt in commercial laying chickens
Author: Landers, Kristin Lynn
Abstract: Induced molting is process used by commercial producers to extend the reproductive life of a laying hen . Typically , producers deprive hens of feed for a period of 7 -14 days while reducing the amount of light exposure to the hens . This allows for regression of the reproductive tract and for a second cycle of egg production to occur . However , induced molting by feed deprivation has been shown to increase the hen's risk of becoming infected with pathogenic bacteria , such as Salmonella . This increased risk could mean an increase in contaminated eggs or egg products , which causes concerns for public health . This combined with increasing pressure on egg producers from animal welfare organizations has prompted the investigation of diets that would provide available energy for the hens , while still inducing a molt that is economically advantageous to producers . Alfalfa , provided in meal or pelleted form , provides only 1 /2 the metabolizable energy and 1 /4 of the calcium required of a laying hen that is reproductively active . Due to the decrease in nutrients , alfalfa was investigated as an alternative to feed deprivation . Studies were conducted to assess egg quality , egg production , consumer acceptance , and hen physiology .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /1066
Date: 2004-11-15

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Evaluation of the use of alfalfa diets as an alternative to feed deprivation for the induction of molt in commercial laying chickens. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /1066 .

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