Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 293–299 | Cite as

Effect of nutrient density on production performance, egg quality and humoral immune response of brown laying (Dahlem Red) hens in the tropics

  • Arun Kumar PandaEmail author
  • Savaram Venkata Rama Rao
  • Mantena Venkata Lakshmi Narasimha Raju
  • Matam Niranjan
  • Maddula Ramkoti Reddy
Original Research


A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of various concentrations of metabolizable energy (ME) with graded incremental levels of crude protein (CP) and essential amino acids (lysine and methionine) on production performance, egg quality and humoral immune response of Dahlem Red laying hens. Four experimental diets based on maize–soybean meal-deoiled rice bran were prepared. Diet 1 was fed as a control diet containing 2,600 kcal ME/kg, 15% CP, 0.75% Lys and 0.36% Met, and in the other three diets (D2, D3 and D4), concentrations of the above nutrients were increased by 2.5%, 5.0% and 7.5%, respectively. The levels of Ca (3.5%) and available P (0.32) were constant in all the diets. Each diet was offered ad libitum from 28 to 40 weeks of age to eight replicates containing six birds in each replicate. The egg production, egg weight and egg mass (in grams of egg per hen per day) were not affected by increasing the nutrient density up to 7.5% (2,795 kcal ME/kg diet) compared to the control group (2,600 ME/kg diet). However, feed consumption and feed efficiency (in grams of egg per gram of feed) were influenced by the variation in the nutrient density of diets. As the nutrient density increased by 5% (2,730 ME/kg diet), birds consumed significantly (P < 0.001) less feed. The birds in the 7.5% higher density group produced significantly (P < 0.05) higher egg mass per unit feed consumption compared to the control diet. Increasing nutrient density up to 7.5% had no effect on relative weight of albumen, yolk or shell. The Haugh unit, yolk colour and shell thickness were also not affected due to variation in the nutrient density. The humoral immune response measured at 34 and 40 weeks was progressively improved by increasing the nutrient density up to 5%. Increasing the nutrient density beyond 5% in the diet had no further influence on the humoral immune response. Based on the results of the present study, it can be concluded that Dahlem Red laying hens required 2,795 kcal/kg ME, 16% CP, 0.8% lysine and 0.4% methionine for eliciting optimum performance and immune response during 28 to 40 weeks of age.


Nutrient density Production performance Egg quality Humoral immune response Dahlem Red layers 



Crude protein


Dahlem Red


Essential amino acid




Metabolizable energy




National Research Council


Normal saline solution


Sheep red blood cell


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arun Kumar Panda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Savaram Venkata Rama Rao
    • 1
  • Mantena Venkata Lakshmi Narasimha Raju
    • 1
  • Matam Niranjan
    • 1
  • Maddula Ramkoti Reddy
    • 1
  1. 1.Project Directorate on PoultryHyderabadIndia

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