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Illinois Livestock Trail by UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION


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Illinois Livestock Trail

Poultry > Feeding & Nutrition

QUESTION
I lost my email response from you concerning non-feedwithdrawal methods for molting laying hens. A couple of us are going to try this with our hens, but are confused about formulating a molt diet. The confusion is concerning calcium levels in the molt diet. Your research paper states that you fed 4% limestone in your corn and wheat midds diets for a total calcium level of around 1.6%.

So if I have corn, wheat midds plus a vitamin/mineral mix to feed, should I be adding some source of calcium to this? The hens normally have oystershell available free choice. Should this be left out or taken away during the molt?

I guess the biggest confusion we are having is what to do with calcium levels during the molt diet?

thanks!


ANSWER

If you have oyster shell available free choice, then not necessary to worry about calcium. Enough Ca would be available from diet. You also need to shorten the daylength to 10 hour of total light per day for 3 weeks of 4 week molt period. Then, increase to 12 hour/day then up to 14 to 15 later.

ken Koelkebeck Extension Specialist, Poultry







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