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Laying Period

Aiming at an optimal start of production

with feed intake around 90–100 g/day,

it is recommendable to use a phase 1 feed

with 11.6 ME MJ/kg for a duration of 5–6

weeks. At around 26 weeks a normal phase-

feeding programme with 11.4 ME MJ/kg

should be introduced. The basis for the feed

formulation in terms of nutrient and mineral

content in each phase is the daily nutrient

requirement and actual feed consumption.

The diet for phase 1 is designed to cover the

requirement for maximum egg mass.

The recommended nutrient allowances

shown in the tables 9–11 (phase 1–3) as-

sume a dietary energy concentration of

11.4 MJ/kg (2725 kcal) metabolisable energy,

a house temperature of 20 °C and good


Under these conditions the daily feed con-

sumption of


is expected to be 110–120g/day. The feed

formulations for phases 2–3 cater for the re-

duced requirement for organic nutrients and

the increasing requirement for calcium as

the hens age.

The time for switching diets

is determined more by the level of pro-

duction and the need for calcium rather

than by age.

Every 10 weeks throughout the laying period

the composition of the diet should be adapt-

ed to the level of production and the hens’

nutrient requirement.

Major changes in the

raw material composition of the various

phase diets or marked changes in feed

consistency should be avoided.

Nutrition and Egg Weight

Within certain limits egg weight can be

adapted to farm specific requirements by

adjusting rations. The following nutritional

factors should be noted:


Feeding for higher body weight/

frame size increases the egg weight

throughout the whole laying period.

Feed composition

crude protein and methionine

linoleic acid

Feeding technique

feed texture

feeding time

feed level in troughs

controlled feeding

frequency of feeding

By stimulating feed intake egg weight can

be increased and limited by controlled feed-

ing. In the case of appropriate house con-

struction, there’s the possibility to adjust the

house temperature in the opposite direction

of desired egg weight and feed intake.

Contact your



ists for specific programmes with recom-

mendations for nutrition and management

adjusted to your conditions and require-