Application ofParacoccus marcusiias a potential feed additive for laying hens

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Carotenoids have been used for many years as an added pigment to enhance egg yolk color. One such carotenoid, astaxanthin, has a strong antioxidant activity and is produced by several microorganisms, including the bacterium Paracoccus marcusii, which has shown promise to be used as a feed additive. Therefore, this study investigated the use of P. marcusii as a possible source of pigmentation in layer hen feed to enhance egg yolk color. Paracoccus marcusii was fed to hens in a sucrose solution (10% m/v). The hens were fed daily and all eggs were collected for analysis. Dilutions of egg contents were plated onto selective media to detect the presence of known food pathogens (E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella). In the feeding trial, there was no negative effect on hen body weight, egg production, or overall egg quality. There was a significant increase (P < 0.05) in yolk color as well as an increase in whole egg and yolk weight. There were also no known food pathogens detected in any of the egg samples. This study has shown promising results in using this bacterium as an effective feed additive for laying hens.

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