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Layer chickens’ dietary fibre comprises a significant part of plant feedstuffs and is chemically defined as the non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). The NSP include various fibre types such as lignin, β-glucans, arabinoxylans, uranic acid, galactose, and mannose. 

Soluble NSP such as arabinoxylans in wheat or mannans in soybean meal will increase the chicken gut viscosity, resulting in detrimental effect on chicken performance and egg production. Therefore, adding xylanase and β-mannnase blend to layer chicken wheat-soy based diets could remove these anti-national factors and reduce the energy cost of immune responses.

Recently, White et al (2021) reported that adding β-mannnanase to the corn-soy based diets for laying hens significantly increased egg production by 6% (88.55% vs 94.94%). In laying chickens feed formulation, adding β-mannanase could save about 100 Kcal/kg apparent metabolizable energy (AME) and 1%-unit crude protein level.

In Germany, VTR conducted a layer chicken trial to investigate the effect of the exogenous xylanase on egg production and apparent N-corrected metabolizable energy (AMEn).  On the base of a standard corn-wheat-soybean meal diets, 100, 150, and 200 grams/Mt xylanase were added to include a total of 4 treatments.   The effect of xylanase on egg production and egg quality was listed in Table 1. It is clearly shown that adding 200 g/MT xylanase increased egg production by 1.8% and significantly reduced dirty and broken eggs. It cam also increase about 150 kcal AMEn.

Table 1. The effect of Xylanase on egg production and egg quality (week 25 to week 32)

On the other hand, the insoluble NSP such as lignocellulos have a positive effect on animal health and productivity. In particular, for free rage layer chickens, feather pecking, and cannibalism are a serious problem and the increased insoluble NSP or fibre has been widely shown to reduce feather pecking and cannibalistic behaviours. This effect is generally attributed to increased time spent eating, thus reducing redirected behaviours. JELUVET®lignucellulose contains 67.7% crude fibre, mainly comprising of cellulose and hemicellulos (62%). Therefore, it is a good source of insoluble NSP to reduce feather pecking for free range layer chickens.

A study compiled by our Redox Animal Nutritionists.
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