Evaluation of pH Levels or High Content of Calcium, Magnesium and Sulphate in Drinking Water on Production Performance, Egg Quality, Bone Quality and Mineral Retention of Laying Hens
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A water quality survey and 3 laying hen production trials were conducted to evaluate extremes in water pH and minerals found in Canadian egg production units. Two water mineral trials using waters with high contents of Ca, Mg and SO4 were conducted from 33-69 weeks and from 7-46 weeks of age. In the first trial, up to 487 ppm Ca, 234 ppm Mg and 1317 ppm SO4 were supplied in water. During the second trial, up to 786 ppm Ca, 562 ppm Mg and 1988 ppm SO4 concentrations were tested. High contents of Ca, Mg and SO4 did not have effects on production, egg quality, bone quality or mineral balance of Lohmann-Lite laying hens. pH treatments of 6, 6.5, 7.9 (unadjusted) and 8.2 were assessed for 4 replicates for hens at 66-69 weeks of age. PH 8.2 had negative impact on hen production performance while other pH levels did not.