Performance and tissue fatty acid profile of broiler chickens and laying hens fed hemp oil and HempOmegaTM

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Abstract

This study was conducted to determine the effects of hemp oil (HO) and HempOmega (HΩ), an equivalent product to HO, on performance and tissue fatty acid profile of layers and broiler chickens in two separate experiments. In the first experiment, forty 19-wk old Lohmann white laying hens were randomized to 1 of 5 dietary treatments, either a control diet or a control diet supplemented with 4 or 8% hemp oil provided by HO or HΩ, for a period of 6 wk (n = 8/diet). In experiment 2, 150-day-old mixed-sex (75 male; 75 female) Ross 308 chicks were randomly allocated into 5 dietary treatments, a control diet or a control diet supplemented with either 3 or 6% hemp oil provided by HO or HΩ, each with six replicates of 5 chicks for a 21-d feeding period. Performance of layers and broilers was not affected by dietary treatments. Animals provided with either HO or HΩ diets had greater total n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in egg yolks, thighs, and breasts compared to the control diet (P < 0.01), and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) content of egg yolks and thighs decreased (P < 0.05). The levels of total n-6 PUFAs, linoleic acid (LA), or arachidonic acid (ARA) of the egg yolk and meat were generally not affected by dietary supplementation with HO or HΩ, but gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) was notably increased (P < 0.01). The current data show that inclusion of hemp oil up to 8% in layer diets and 6% in broiler diets provided by HO or HΩ does not negatively affect overall performance of birds and results in the enrichment of n-3 PUFAs and GLA in eggs and meat.

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