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Influence of graded levels of calcium and vitamin K in the diets of laying hens during the growing phase and their effects on the laying phase.

  • Souza, C1
  • Santos, T C1
  • Murakami, A E1
  • Iwaki, L C V2
  • Mello, J F1
  • 1 Department of Animal Science, State University of Maringá, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 2 Department of Odontology, State University of Maringá, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil. , (Brazil)
Published Article
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2017
DOI: 10.1111/jpn.12533
PMID: 27436519


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation of vitamin K (vit K) and Ca in the diets of laying hens on bone and blood parameters and performance during the growing phase and the effects on the laying phase up to 32 weeks. The study utilized 120 Hy-Line W-36 pullets in the growing phase (13-18 weeks), 80 laying hens in the production phase (20-32 weeks), distributed in a completely randomized design in a 2 × 5 factorial arrangement, two levels of Ca (0.8 and 1.4%) and five levels of vit K supplementation (0, 2, 8, 16 and 32 mg/kg) with four experimental units. An experimental diet was fed during the growing phase, and the commercial diet was fed during the production phase and were analysed for biochemistry and bone variables at 18 and 32 weeks. In pullets, a significant interaction of levels of vit K and Ca was observed for total serum calcium (mg/dl), Seedor index, Ca in the bones (%) and medullary bone (%). Pullets at 18 weeks of age, receiving diets with 1.4% Ca, displayed a quadratic effect of vit K with better results for these variables with 17.86, 14.59, 14.48 and 16.80 mg/kg of vit K, respectively. For level 0.8% Ca no effect of vit K was observed. The treatments during the growing phase had no effect on egg production, performance and biochemistry serum until 32 weeks. Medullary bone (%), there was a significant interaction for 1.4% Ca and a quadratic effect for vit K, with greater medullary bone areas observed with 6.09 mg/kg vit K in the diet. Supplementation with vit K in a diet with 1.4% Ca during the growing phase allowed for an increase in the area of medullary bone at 18 weeks, which was maintained until 32 weeks.

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