Mycotoxin-contaminated diets and deactivating compound in laying hens: 1

Author(s): Lee JT, Jessen KA, Beltran R, Starkl V, Schatzmayr G, et al.


The current experiment was conducted to determine the effect of mycotoxin-contaminated diets with aflatoxin (AFLA) and deoxynivalenol (DON) and dietary inclusion of deactivation compound on layer hen performance during a 10-wk trial. The experimental design consisted of a 4 × 2 factorial with 4 toxin levels: control, low (0.5 mg/kg AFLA + 1.0 mg/kg DON), medium (1.5 mg/kg AFLA + 1.5 mg/kg DON), and high (2.0 mg/kg AFLA + 2.0 mg/kg DON) with or without the inclusion of deactivation compound. Three hundred eighty-four 25-wk-old laying hens were randomly assigned to 1 of the 8 treatment groups. Birds were fed contaminated diets for a 6-wk phase of toxin administration followed by a 4-wk recovery phase, when all birds were fed mycotoxin-free diets. Twelve hens from each treatment were subjected to necropsy following each phase. Relative liver and kidney weights were increased (P < 0.05) at the medium and high toxin levels following the toxin phase, but the deactivation compound reduced (P < 0.05) relative liver and kidney weights following the recovery period. The high toxin level decreased (P < 0.05) feed consumption and egg production during the toxin period, whereas the deactivation compound increased (P < 0.05) egg production during the first 2 wk of the toxin phase. Egg weights were reduced (P < 0.05) in hens fed medium and high levels of toxin. An interaction existed between toxin level and deactivation compound inclusion with regard to feed conversion (g of feed/g of egg). High inclusion level of toxins increased feed conversion compared with the control diet, whereas deactivation compound inclusion reduced feed conversion to a level comparable with the control. These data indicate that deactivation compound can reduce or eliminate adverse effects of mycotoxicoses in peak-performing laying hens.

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