Effect of XVETs Metavolin Herbal on the performance of laying hens
Type of trial: Field trial
Location of trial: Philippines
Trial period: six weeks in autumn 2020 (from 26th week of life onwards)
Experimented animals: Layers (Lohmann breed)
Aim of the Trial: Assess the effect of XVET`s Metavolin Herbal® on Pre-Peak and Peak Performance of laying hens
It has been demonstrated that supporting the liver during stressful periods can lead to improvement of layer performance. It was hypothesized, that Metavolin Herbal® enhances the chicken`s metabolism by supporting the hepatic system, thus leading to an increased performance and better health of the birds, which might be useful especially around peak of laying when hepatic stress factors are at its highest.
Assessing the effectiveness of Metavolin Herbal® on improving the layers performance via the following parameters: Egg laying rate, development of hen’s body weight (BW), hen’s mortality, egg characteristics (percentage of good/cracked/dirty eggs), freshness indicators (Haugh Units).
Material and methods
Metavolin Herbal® was supplemented starting in the pre-peak period being supplied via drinking water (1L in 1000 L drinking water) in one hens house (n= 36 422 birds = treatment group) compared to another hen`s house with un-supplemented drinking water (n=35 520 = control group). The trial lasted for 6 weeks and hens were kept in the same buildings as they were raised in for the first 26 weeks of life. The initial age, BW, distribution of birds per cage and population were statistically evaluated via t-test with unequal variances at 95% confidence level (p≤0.05) to determine for statistical differences.
Parameters, such as hen day performance and egg classification (size and grade), were collected daily at 15 designated sampling points. Egg quality (n=30) was measured from day 0 on weekly basis until the end of the trial, while BW measurements were done on day 0 and every 2 weeks (n=405 in total at each time point).
As it can be seen in Figure 1, the administration of Metavolin Herbal® had favorable effects on egg laying rate, although the control group started with a higher initial BW and better egg laying performance in week 1. Egg laying rate was fluctuating in the control group: first increasing for first 4 weeks, then slightly decreasing in week 5 and staying on this lower level until the end of the trial. Meanwhile, the hens consuming Metavolin Herbal® showed a constant increase of egg laying rate although starting with a much lower egg production in week 1 compared to Control. Both groups showed the highest performance at the end of the trial and there, the treatment group`s egg laying rate being 3.18% higher than control (both statistically different with p≤0.05).
As it can be seen in figure 2 below, the administration of Metavolin Herbal® was able to improve the quality of eggs laid: the average weekly percentage of cracked eggs was significantly smaller in the Metavolin Herbal® group (p≤0.05), also the percentage of eggs classified as ‘good’ was higher. This means a higher percentage of sellable eggs for the farmer, thus leading to a higher return on investment.
Haugh Unit (HU) Scores are conventionally accepted as a freshness indicator derived from egg`s weight and albumen height. As shown in figure 3, Metavolin Herbal® could also improve the freshness (shown as Haugh Unit Scores) of eggs laid – the eggs of this group constantly improved their Haugh Unit Scores over the course of the first five weeks (being significantly different with + 5.88. HU at p≤0.05 on day 35) and still being superior with + 3.11 HU to Control group at the end of trial, although Control group was starting significantly better into the trial with +13.47 HU.
The mortality rate was monitored daily in both groups. Although 174 more birds have died in the treatment group (864 vs. 1038 birds), overall mortality rate is relatively similar (0.024% in control vs. 0.028% in treatment group) due to the differences of stocking density in the two houses.
Unfortunately the initial BW between the groups differed significantly, with the control birds being 47 grams heavier than treatment group – this might be a major factor affecting the results of this trial. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that treatment group added 70 gram more weight in first 2 weeks.
It can be concluded that despite a higher population density in the stable and a smaller initial BW in the treatment group, the administration of 1 L Metavolin Herbal® per 1000 L drinking water was able to improve total egg production, freshness scores and sellable eggs in laying hens.
We would like to thank our cooperation partner from the Philippines, as well as the farm employees and zoo technicians that worked on the planning and achievement of this trials, for sharing the information with us and giving us the permission to use the information which they provided to us.
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