Productive, Qualitative, and Physiological Aspects of Layer Hens Fed with Propolis


Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic.




ABSTRACT Laying hens reared under tropical conditions are usually under heat stress. Propolis is known for its pharmaceutical properties, such as increasing cell tolerance to hyperthermia, because of its antioxidants effects. This study aimed at evaluating the influence of different dietary propolis inclusion levels on the performance, egg quality, and bird surface temperature of layers. In this experiment 120 55-wk-old Isa Brown(r) layers were distributed according to a completely randomized experimental design into four treatments (0, 1, 2 and 3% dietary propolis inclusion levels), with three replicates of ten birds each. Performance and egg quality parameters, and birds' surface temperature were evaluated. Egg production, egg mass, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio were influenced by the treatments. Bird surface temperature was not affected by propolis dietary inclusion. The egg yolk color changed with the treatment (p<0.05) when brightness and red and yellow concentration were considered. Evaluators noted a slight difference among treatments during the sensory analysis. The use of propolis in the hens' diet did not improve performance and worsened the eggs' quality.

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