J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2015 Nov 28
One hundred and twenty eight, 28-weeks-old Lohmann LSL hybrid layers were used in this experiment, which lasted 12 weeks to investigate the effect of propolis supplementation on the productive performance, egg quality traits and haematological variables of laying hens. All hens were randomly classified into four equal experimental groups, eight replicates (4 birds/each). Hens in group 1 were fed on a commercial diet and considered as control group, while those in groups 2, 3 and 4 were fed on the same commercial diet and supplemented with 250, 500 and 1000 mg propolis/kg diet.
The obtained results revealed that daily feed consumption/hen increased insignificantly with increasing propolis level than that of the control group. Regarding the means of egg mass and egg production rate, it was observed that the laying hens fed diets containing 250 and 1000 mg propolis/kg significantly (p < 0.05) produced more and heaver egg in comparison with control group. External egg quality traits have not affected with increasing the level of propolis, while eggshell weight was significantly (p < 0.05) increased. The internal egg quality traits except albumen and yolk percentages increased significantly (p < 0.05) with increasing propolis level for treated hens as compared to those in the control.
Concerning the haematological parameters, the results showed that the levels of total protein and globulin increased significantly with increasing propolis level, while cholesterol and liver enzymes were significantly decreased (p < 0.05). Heterophils count of hens in the treated groups significantly decreased, whereas the lymphocyte count significantly increased, resulting in a decreased H/L ratio than that of the control group.
Thus, it could be concluded that the supplementation of 250 mg propolis/kg diet is highly recommended to improving egg production, blood constituent and haematological parameters of the commercial laying hens.