Effect of broiler breeders fed with corn or sorghum diet and canthaxanthin supplementation on production and reproductive performance
This study was designed to evaluate the effect of corn or sorghum diet and canthaxanthin (CX) supplementation on performance in broiler breeders. A total of 440 females with similar body weight (BW) (3.71 ± 0.14 kg) and 60 roosters were placed in an open-sided house with 20 pens, randomly distributed in a factorial arrangement (2 × 2). There were 4 diets of 2 ingredients; corn (CO) or sorghum (SO) and 2 levels of CX; 6 mg/kg (CX) and 0 mg/kg (NCX) totaling 5 replicate pens of 22 females and 3 males each, from 42 to 65 wk, divided in 2 periods (from wk 42 to 53 and wk 54 to 65). Birds' BW was measured every 28 d and mortality rate was calculated at the end of trial. Egg production (%), egg specific gravity (g/cm3), egg weight (g), yolk weight (%), albumen weight (%), eggshell weight (%) and yolk colorimetric score were measured weekly. Incubation parameters were recorded in 12 incubations to evaluate hatching eggs, hatching (%), hatchability (%), fertility (%), weight of the chicks born and their quality. The BW, mortality, percentage of yolk and albumen weight, fertility and some incubation parameters were not affected (P > 0.05) by diets used. An increase in the egg production, hatching eggs, chicks born and first quality chick by hen at the second period were observed in CX breeder's diets (P = 0.0066; P = 0.0060; P = 0.0368; P = 0.0326). Egg specific gravity and eggshell weight were improved at the first period by SO+CX diet (P = 0.0138; P = 0.0209) and the same effect to egg weight, but at the second period (P = 0.0251). The CX was well absorbed from the diet and effectively transferred to the egg yolk, thereby increasing egg yolk pigmentation in the both periods (P < 0.0001). The CX supplementation in broiler breeder diets improved the productive and reproductive performance (laying% and hatchable eggs) at the second period, also to the both periods improved the egg yolk pigmentation.