Skip to main content
Log in

Effects of dietary probiotic inclusion on performance, eggshell quality, cecal microflora composition, and tibia traits of laying hens in the late phase of production

  • Regular Articles
  • Published:
Tropical Animal Health and Production Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Ninety-six White laying hens (64 weeks old) were used to investigate the effect of dietary inclusion of Bacillus subtilis on performance and eggshell quality. Hens were randomly distributed into three treatment groups and fed basal diet (control), basal diet plus 0.5 g/kg B. subtilis (Probiotic-0.5), or basal diet plus 1 g/kg B. subtilis (Probiotic-1) for 10 weeks. Probiotic-1 group exhibited the maximum (P < 0.05) increase in egg production, egg weight, egg mass, eggshell weight, and eggshell thickness, compared with Probiotic-0.5 and the control groups. During the last week of the study, eggshell densities were 94.9, 88.7, and 65.6 mg/cm2 in Probiotic-1, Probiotic-0.5, and the control group, respectively. The average unmarketable eggs were 1.3 %, 2.2 %, and 6.4 % in Probiotic-1, Probiotic-0.5, and the control group, respectively. Tibia weight, density, and ash content increased significantly. The average time required by B. subtilis to establish a significant effect was 3 weeks for Probiotic-1and 6 weeks for Probiotic-5. B. subtilis improved gut microflora balance, which has the potential to improve gut health and absorption efficiency. It should be possible to improve egg performance and eggshell quality of aged laying hens by dietary inclusion of B. subtilis, which will be of importance for farmers.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Abdelqader, A., Wollny, C.B.A. and Gauly, M., 2007. Characterization of local chicken production systems and their potential under different levels of management practice in Jordan, Tropical Animal Health and Production, 39, 155–164.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Al-Batshan, H.A., Scheideler, S.E., Black, B.L., Garlich, J.D. and Anderson, K.E., 1994. Duodenal calcium uptake, femur ash, and eggshell quality decline with age and increase following molt, Poultry Science, 73, 1590–1596.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bar, A., Razaphkovsky, V. and Vax, E., 2002. Re-evaluation of calcium and phosphorus requirements in aged laying hens, British Poultry Science, 43, 261–169.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Brink, E.J., Beynen, A.C., Dekker, P.R., van Beresteijn E.C. and van der Meer, R., 1992. Interaction of calcium and phosphate decreases ileal magnesium solubility and apparent magnesium absorption in rats, Journal of Nutrition, 122, 580–586.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Burel, C. and Valat, C., 2009. The effect of the feed on the host-microflora interactions in poultry: an overview, in: Aland, A., Madec, F., (Eds.), Sustainable animal production. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, The Netherlands, pp. 365–385.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carter, T.C., 1975. The hen’s egg: estimation of shell superficial area and egg volume, using measurements of fresh egg weight and shell length and breadth alone or in combination, British Poultry Science, 16, 541–543.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gaggìa, F., Mattarelli, P. and Biavati, B., 2010. Probiotics and prebiotics in animal feeding for safe food production, International Journal of Food Microbiology, 141, S15–S28.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Garcia, V., Catala-Gregori, P., Hernandez, F., Megias, M.D. and Madrid, J., 2007. Effect of formic acid and plant extracts on growth, nutrient digestibility, intestine mucosa morphology, and meat yield of broilers, Journal of Applied Poultry Research, 16, 555–562.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Knap, I., Kehlet, A.B., Bennedsen, M., Mathis, G.F.C., Hofacre, L., Lumpkins, B.S., Jensen, M.M., Raun, M. and Lay, A., 2011. Bacillus subtilis (DSM17299) significantly reduces Salmonella in broilers, Poultry Science, 90, 1690–1694.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Knarreborg, A., Brockmann, E., Hoybye, K., Knap, I., Lund, B., Milora, N. and Leser, T.D., 2008. Bacillus subtilis (DSM17299) modulates the ileal microbial communities and improves growth performance in broilers, International Journal of Prebiotic and Probiotic, 3, 83–88.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mikulski, D., Jankowski, J., Naczmanski, J., Mikulska, M. and Demey, V., 2012. Effects of dietary probiotic (Pediococcus acidilactici) supplementation on performance, nutrient digestibility, egg traits, egg yolk cholesterol, and fatty acid profile in laying hens, Poultry Science, 91, 2691–2700.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mutus, R., Kocabağli, N., Alp, M., Acar, N., Eren, M. and Gezen, S.S., 2006. The effect of dietary probiotic supplementation on tibial bone characteristics and strength in broilers, Poultry Science, 85, 1621–1625.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • NRC (National Research Council), 1994. Nutrient requirements of poultry. 9th rev. ed. Natl. Acad. Press, Washington, DC.

  • Nys Y (2001) Recent development in layer nutrition for optimising shell quality. In: proceedings of 13th European symposium of poultry nutrition, Blankenberg, Belgium, 45–52

  • Panda, A.K., Rama Rao, S.S., Raju, M.V.L.N. and Sharma, S.S., 2008. Effect of probiotic Lactobacillus sporogenes feeding on egg production and quality, yolk cholesterol and humoral immune response of white leghorn layer breeders, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 88, 43–47.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • SAS Institute, Inc. (2010) SAS OnlineDoc® Version 9.1.3, Cary, NC, USA

  • Scholz-Ahrens, K.E., Ade, P., Marten, B., Weber, P., Timm, W., Asil, Y., Gluer C.-C. and Schrezenmeir, J., 2007. Prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics affect mineral absorption, bone mineral content, and bone structure, Journal of Nutrition, 137, 838S–846S.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Skřivan, M., Marounek, M., Bubancova, I. and Podsedniček, M., 2010. Influence of limestone particle size on performance and egg quality in laying hens aged 24–36 weeks and 56–68 weeks, Animal Feed Science and Technology, 158, 110–114.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Świątkiewicz, S., Koreleski, J. and Arczewska, A., 2010. Laying performance and eggshell quality in laying hens fed diets supplemented with prebiotics and organic acids. Czech Journal of Animal Science, 55, 294–306.

    Google Scholar 

  • Teo, A.Y. and Tan, H.M., 2007. Evaluation of the performance and intestinal gut microflora of broiler fed on corn-soy diets supplemented with Bacillus subtilis PB6 (CloSTAT), Journal of Applied Poultry Research, 16, 296–303.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Van den Heuvel, E.G., Muys, T., van Dokkum, W. and Schaafsma, G., 1999. Oligofructose stimulates calcium absorption in adolescents, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69, 544–548.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


This research was funded by the Institute of Agricultural Research, University of Jordan, under promotion of research scheme.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anas Abdelqader.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Abdelqader, A., Irshaid, R. & Al-Fataftah, AR. Effects of dietary probiotic inclusion on performance, eggshell quality, cecal microflora composition, and tibia traits of laying hens in the late phase of production. Trop Anim Health Prod 45, 1017–1024 (2013).

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: