Effects of long-term supplementation of laying hens with high concentrations of cholecalciferol on performance and egg quality
Poult. Sci. November 2013 vol. 92 no. 11 2930-2937
M. E. Persia*, mpersia at iastate.edu
D. Trample‡ and
E. A. Bobeck*
*Department of Animal Science,
†Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and
‡Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames 50011
There is current interest in increasing human vitamin D dietary intake without having to modify human eating habits. One method to increase human dietary vitamin D intake is to generate eggs with increased concentrations of vitamin D through high-concentration vitamin D feeding in the diets of laying hens. Although eggs can be produced with high concentrations of vitamin D, the consequences of these diets on hen performance and egg quality have not been validated. The objective of this research is to quantify the effects of high concentrations of cholecalciferol (D3) on laying hen performance and egg quality. Hy-Line W36 laying hens were placed on 1 of 5 experimental diets for 40 wk:
- 1) control (contained 2,200 IU of D3/kg of diet),
- 2) control + 7,500 IU of D3/kg of diet (9,700 IU of D3/kg of diet total),
- 3) control + 15,000 IU of D3/kg of diet (17,200 IU of D3/kg of diet total),
- 4) control + 22,500 IU of D3/kg of diet (24,700 IU of D3/kg of diet total), and
- 5) control + 100,000 IU of D3/kg of diet (102,200 IU of D3/kg of diet total).
Egg production and hen mortality were monitored daily. Feed intake was determined weekly. Eggs were collected at predetermined points throughout the 40-wk period (19 to 58 wk of bird age) for assessment of
- egg weight,
- egg component weights,
- Haugh unit,
- yolk color score,
- specific gravity,
- egg mass, and
- feed efficiency.
There were no consistent differences among the dietary treatments over the experimental period. Hens supplemented with up to 102,200 IU of D3/kg of diet resulted in no significant reductions in egg production, feed intake, feed efficiency, egg component weights, yolk color, Haugh units, and specific gravity in comparison with the control-fed hens (P > 0.05). These data suggest the addition of cholecalciferol to the diet of the laying hen at concentrations up to 102,200 IU of D3/kg of diet had no consistent negative effects on laying hen performance or egg quality.
Note: This is the best demonstration of adding feed to chickens to increase the vitamin D in eggs that we have seen so far.
Unfortunately virtually all governments have, so far, been against commerical fortification of food at any worthwile amounts.
They have even been opposed to shining UV lights on the chickens so as to increase the vitamin D content in eggs somewhat back to what it had been before chickens were moved indoors
Calculation by VitaminDWiki assumes a small egg yolk
30,000 IU/100 grams of egg yolk
1 egg yolk = 20-30 grams
so 1 egg yolk would have 6,000 to 10,000 IU
- 200 IU per 100 gram of egg yoke when add vitamin D to poultry feed in Europe – Aug 2011
- Free-range chicken eggs have at least 3X more vitamin D – Oct 2013
- Hens with Vitamin D were better in at least 5 ways – RCT Aug 2018
- Infant higher Vitamin D if mom took sun, took Vit D, was not obese, or ate eggs (China) – Feb 2019
- Vitamin D Fortification of Eggs for Human Health Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Oct 2013
Depending on the dietary concentrations used, it was possible to produce eggs with between 200–700 iu vitamin D