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Single and combined effects of organic selenium and zinc on egg, fertility, hatchability, and embryonic mortality of exotic cochin hens

Stanley, V. G., Hickerson, K., Daley, M. B., Hume, M., Hinton, A.
Agrotechnology 2012 v.2 no.1 pp. 1
egg hatchability, egg production, egg weight, eggs, embryonic mortality, feed supplements, hens, males, selenium, zinc
A study was conducted to examine the effects of diets supplemented with organic selenium, (Se) and zinc, (Zn) on the performance of Cochin exotic breeder hens. Forty-two week old hens (n=120) and males (n=12) were assigned to four treatment groups of 10 females and 1 male each. Birds with no mineral supplementation (Group 1); feed supplemented with .33 ppm Se (Group 2) feed supplemented with 20 ppm Zn (Group 3), and feed supplemented with .33 ppm Se and 20 ppm Zn (Group 4). Eggs were collected for 21 days to determine egg production and egg weight. Fertility and embryonic mortality were determined by candling eggs on days 12 and 18. Hatchability was calculated on day 21 based on fertility and egg set. Results showed that egg production did not increase significantly, although birds provided feed containing Se or Se and Zn produced 4% and 6%, respectively, more eggs than the control hens Egg fertility was similar for most treatments, but fertility of hens provided the Zn-supplemented diet, was significantly lower than fertility of other treatment groups. Hatchability based on fertile eggs was 4.6% and 3.0% higher than the control and for eggs from hens provided feed supplemented with Se or Se+Zn, respectively. Early and late embryonic mortality was significantly (P