Apparent calcium retention and digestibility coefficients of limestone with different particle sizes in laying hens

Thiago Ferreira Diana Arele Arlindo Calderano Horácio Santiago Rostagno Maria Rita de Lima Marques Fernando de Castro Tavernari Renata Veroneze Luiz Fernando Teixeira Albino About the authors

ABSTRACT

Apparent calcium (Ca) retention and digestibility coefficients are affected by limestone particle size in the diet of laying hens. This study aimed to determine the apparent retention and digestibility coefficients of Ca in limestone of different particle sizes in laying hens. The study comprised 288 Lohmann Brown laying hens (50 weeks of age; 1,964 ± 98 g) distributed in a completely randomized experimental design with a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement [three Ca concentrations (10, 20, and 30 g kg–1) × two limestone particle sizes (480 and 1,978 µm)] with eight repetitions per treatment and six birds per experimental unit. The experiment included five days for adaptation and five days for total excreta collection. All birds were slaughtered at the end of the ten days to collect the ileal contents. The total or ileal Ca content was plotted against the Ca of diets concentration using linear regression analysis. The regression line slope represented the apparent retention (CaR) and digestibility coefficients of Ca (CaD) in limestone. There was interaction between Ca concentration in the diet and limestone granulometry on CaD (p = 0.001) and CaR (p < 0.001). The CaD and CaR of fine- and coarse-grained limestone increased linearly with increasing Ca concentrations in the diet. The apparent digestibility coefficients estimated for laying hens fed with fine-grained and coarse-grained limestone were 0.72 and 0.35, respectively. The apparent retention coefficients estimated for laying hens fed fine-grained and coarse-grained limestone were 0.96 and 0.47, respectively.

birds; gizzard; minerals; regression

Introduction

The reliable determination of retention and digestibility of calcium (Ca) sources and an adequate protocol for this process are required to measure accurately Ca utilization in laying hens. Ca is the main mineral responsible for the internal and external quality of the egg in laying hens (Sahin et al., 2018Sahin, K.; Orhan, C.; Tuzcu, M.; Hayirli, A.; Komorowski, J.R.; Sahin, N. 2018. Effects of dietary supplementation of arginine-silicate-inositol complex on absorption and metabolism of calcium of laying hens. PloS One 13: e0189329. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0189329
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.018...
). Eggshell formation directly affects Ca retention and ileal digestibility (Bar, 2009Bar, A. 2009. Calcium transport in strongly calcifying laying birds: mechanisms and regulation. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A. Molecular & Integrative Physiology 152: 447-469. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.11.020
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.11.0...
); thus, understanding their underlying mechanisms is essential. In addition, limestone is the main ingredient used as a Ca source in diets of laying hens. However, Ca digestibility can vary according to limestone particle sizes (limestone with fine vs. coarse grains) (Diana et al., 2021Diana, T.F.; Calderano, A.A.; Tavernari, F.C.; Rostagno, H.S.; Teixeira, A.O.; Albino, L.F.T. 2021. Age and calcium sources in laying hen feed affect calcium digestibility. Open Journal of Animal Sciences 11: 501-513. https://doi.org/10.4236/ojas.2021.113034
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojas.2021.113034...
). Studies show that fine-grained limestone has a higher in vitro solubility than coarser-grained limestone and that as in vitro solubility increases, in vivo solubility decreases (Cheng and Coon, 1990a; Zhang and Coon, 1997Zhang, B.; Coon, C.N. 1997. The relationship of calcium intake, source, size, solubility in vitro and in vivo, and gizzard limestone retention in laying hens. Poultry Science 76: 1702-1706. https://doi.org/10.1093/ps/76.12.1702
https://doi.org/10.1093/ps/76.12.1702...
). Anwar et al. (2016Anwar, M.N.; Ravindran, V.; Morel, P.C.H.; Ravindran, G.; Cowieson, A.J. 2016. Effect of limestone particle size and calcium to non-phytate phosphorus ratio on true ileal calcium digestibility of limestone for broiler chickens. British Poultry Science 57: 707-713. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2016.1196341
https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2016.11...
; 2017) studied the true digestibility of Ca from limestone with different particle sizes in broiler chicken and observed a lower coefficient than in fine-grained limestone. Nevertheless, it is difficult to affirm whether coarser limestone is the most indicated, as it requires evaluating the particle size limit of limestone (ideal particle size) used as Ca source for laying hens. Moreover, limestone concentration in the diet of laying hens is higher than that of broiler chicken (Adedokun et al., 2018Adedokun, S.A.; Pescatore, A.J.; Ford, M.J.; Ao, T.; Jacob, J.P. 2018. Investigating the effect of dietary calcium levels on ileal endogenous amino acid losses and standardized ileal amino acid digestibility in broilers and laying hens. Poultry Science 97: 131-139. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pex271
https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pex271...
), which may hamper the digestibility of coarse-grained limestone compared to fine-grained limestone.

The collection and analysis of ileal digesta and total excreta are the most widely used methods to determine nutrient digestibility in birds; however, the results of these methods vary (An et al., 2020An, S.H.; Sung, J.Y.; Kong, C. 2020. Ileal digestibility and total tract retention of phosphorus in inorganic phosphates fed to broiler chickens using the direct method. Animals 10: 2167. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112167
https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112167...
). On the other hand, total excreta collection is less costly and does not require sacrificing the animals (Ravindran and Bryden, 1999Ravindran, V.; Bryden, W.L. 1999. Amino acid availability in poultry-In vitro and in vivo measurements. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 50: 889-908. https://doi.org/10.1071/AR98174
https://doi.org/10.1071/AR98174...
). Nevertheless, the elimination of Ca through urine must be taken into account to measure Ca digestibility using the total collection method, which is unnecessary for the ileal collection method. Ca elimination in urine depends on hormonal control in renal excretion, where the plasmatic amount of phosphorus (P) and Ca participate in this control. The parathyroid hormone is activated at low Ca levels in the plasma through Ca-sensitive receptors, Ca excretion in urine, and increased Ca absorption by the intestine. Calcitonin is activated at high Ca levels in the plasma, acting inversely to the parathyroid hormone (Leeson and Summers, 2001Leeson, S.; Summers, J.D. 2001. Minerals. p. 591. In: Nutrition of the chicken Guelph. University Books, Guelph, Canada.). Therefore, it is essential to adopt the most appropriate method to determine Ca digestibility in laying hens.

This study aimed to determine the apparent digestibility coefficient of Ca in calcitic limestone of different particle sizes using different sampling methods in laying hens.

Materials and Methods

This research was conducted according to the institutional committee on animal use (06/2020). The experiment was conducted in Viçosa (20°45’14” S, 42°52’53” W, altitude 648.74 m), in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Birds and experimental design

The stud comprised 288 Lohmann Brown laying hens (1,964 ± 98 g). Before the experiment, the birds were reared in cages with free access to water and fed ad libitum with a corn and soybean meal-based standard mash diet to meet their nutritional requirements (including Ca and P levels), according to Rostagno et al. (2017)Rostagno, H.S.; Albino, L.F.T.; Hannas, M.I.; Donzele, J.L.; Sakomura, N.K.; Perazzo, F.G.; Saraiva, A.; Abreu, M.L.T.; Rodrigues, P.B.; Oliveira, R.F.M.; Barreto, S.L.T.; Brito, C.O. 2017. Brazilian Tables for Poultry and Swine: Food Composition and Nutritional Requirements = Tabelas Brasileiras para Aves e Suínos: Composição de Alimentos e Exigências Nutricionais. Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil (in Portuguese)..

At 50 weeks of age, the birds were distributed, based on their body weight and egg production, in a 3 × 2 [three concentrations of total Ca in the diet × two limestone granulometries (fine and coarse)] completely randomized factorial design, with eight replicates per treatment and six birds per experimental unit.

The birds were housed in cages equipped with a trough feeder and two nipple-type drinking troughs, in metabolic cages [25 cm wide, 35 cm long, and 40 cm high; two birds per cage (three cages comprised the experimental unit)] for 10 days and fed the experimental diets. The shed was kept at average maximum and minimum temperatures of 28.30 °C and 19.33 °C, respectively, under a 16 h photoperiod.

Limestone

The fine- and coarse-grained limestone used in this study were purchased from a local commercial source, from the same limestone source, to compare the particle size effects. A representative sample was used to evaluate the granulometry and in vitro solubility of each limestone (Table 1). The mean geometric diameter (MGD) and geometric standard deviation (GSD) of limestones were performed at the municipality of Concórdia, Santa Catarina State, Brazil, using conventional standard methodology (Zanotto and Bellaver, 1996Zanotto, D.L.; Bellaver, C. 1996. Method for determining the granulometry of ingredients for use in swine and poultry feed = Método de determinação da granulometria de ingredientes para uso em rações de suínos e aves. Embrapa Suínos e Aves, Concórdia, SC, Brazil (in Portuguese).; Embrapa, 2013). We also determined the contents of calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), fluor (Fl), sulfur (S), and iron (Fe) of each limestone type.

Table 1
Particle size analysis, mean geometric diameter, geometric standard deviation, in vitro solubility and contents of calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), fluor (Fl), sulfur (S), and iron (Fe) of fine and coarse limestone.

Diets

Six isoproteic and isoenergetic diets were formulated using fine and coarse limestone as the main Ca source (Table 2). The diets were prepared based on corn and soybean meal supplemented with amino acids, energy, vitamins, and minerals as recommended by Rostagno et al. (2017)Rostagno, H.S.; Albino, L.F.T.; Hannas, M.I.; Donzele, J.L.; Sakomura, N.K.; Perazzo, F.G.; Saraiva, A.; Abreu, M.L.T.; Rodrigues, P.B.; Oliveira, R.F.M.; Barreto, S.L.T.; Brito, C.O. 2017. Brazilian Tables for Poultry and Swine: Food Composition and Nutritional Requirements = Tabelas Brasileiras para Aves e Suínos: Composição de Alimentos e Exigências Nutricionais. Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil (in Portuguese)., except for the level of available P (aP) and total Ca.

Table 2
Ingredients and nutritional composition of experimental diets.

We determined the Ca and P levels in the feed based on the protocol developed by the WPSA (2013) to determine P digestibility in broiler chickens, which recommends that the higher Ca and P levels did not exceed the requirement for the birds. All feeds kept a Ca:aP ratio of 12:1, as Rostagno et al. (2017)Rostagno, H.S.; Albino, L.F.T.; Hannas, M.I.; Donzele, J.L.; Sakomura, N.K.; Perazzo, F.G.; Saraiva, A.; Abreu, M.L.T.; Rodrigues, P.B.; Oliveira, R.F.M.; Barreto, S.L.T.; Brito, C.O. 2017. Brazilian Tables for Poultry and Swine: Food Composition and Nutritional Requirements = Tabelas Brasileiras para Aves e Suínos: Composição de Alimentos e Exigências Nutricionais. Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil (in Portuguese). recommended for laying hens.

The calculated concentrations of total Ca in the diets were 10, 20, and 30 g kg1. All diets contained 10 g kg1 of celite (acid-insoluble ash – AIA) as a marker. Diets were offered ad libitum.

Collection and processing of excreta and ileal digesta

The duration of the experiment included five days for adaptation and five days for total excreta collection. The excreta of all hens were collected twice a day and stored in plastic bags at −18 ºC until the end of the collection period (five days). At the end of the 10-day period, all birds were slaughtered by cervical dislocation. The contents of part of the ileum (20 cm) near the cecal region (5 cm above the ileocecal junction) were collected and stored at −18 ºC. The excreta were homogenized, and the ileal digesta were lyophilized. The samples were subsequently ground (0.5 mm particles) and stored in plastic jars for the chemical analyses.

Chemical analyses

The in vitro solubility of limestones was determined via percentage weight loss, as described by Cheng and Coon (1990b). The experiment was carried out in triplicate. A solution of hydrochloric acid (0.1 N) was heated in water bath for 15 min at 42 ºC. Next, 100 mL of HCl solution was added to each limestone sample (2 g), and the mixture was incubated in the water bath for 10 min at 80 rpm. The mixture was then gravimetrically filtered through a paper filter (nº 41) and transferred to the greenhouse for 10 h at 60 ºC. Following incubation in the drying oven, the samples were weighed to determine the percentage of weight loss.

Representative samples of diets, excreta, and ileal digesta were analyzed for DM (method 930.15; AOAC International, 2012), Ca, P, Mg, Fl, S and Fe (method 968.08D; AOAC International, 2012), and AIA (Van Keulen and Young, 1977).

Calculations

Total Ca retention and ileal Ca digestibility of limestone were calculated for each diet and replicated according to the following equation:

Total retention or ileal Ca digestibility coefficient ( % ) = 100 [ 100 × ( AIA diet × Ca excreta or digesta ) / ( AIA excreta or digesta × Ca diet ) ] ,

where: AIAdiet was the concentration of acid-insoluble ash in the diet (g kg1 DM), Caexcreta or digesta was the Ca concentration in the excreta or digesta (g kg1 DM), AIAexcreta or digesta was the concentration of acid-insoluble ash in the excreta or digesta (g kg1 DM), and Cadiet was the Ca concentration in the diet (g kg1 DM).

The values from the first equation were used to calculate the content (g kg1 of DM) of total digestible Ca and ileal digestible Ca for each of the diets, as follows:

Total retained or ileal digestible Ca ( g kg - 1 of DM ) = total retention or ileal Ca digestibility ( % ) × Ca diet / 100

The total or ileal Ca content (g kg1 DM) of diets was plotted against the total Ca concentration (g kg1 DM) using the linear regression analysis. The slope of the regression line represented the apparent retention and digestibility coefficients of Ca in limestone.

Statistical analysis

We used a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments to investigate the effects of three Ca concentrations from two limestone particle sizes on laying hens for each collection method (total and ileal). The data statistical procedures were conducted using PROC NLIN in SAS (Statistical Analysis System, version 9.2). The differences were considered significant at an alpha level of 0.05. A linear regression model was used to assess the effects of Ca levels in the diets on the parameters evaluated.

Results

The Ca concentration analyzed in fine-grained limestone at level one was 0.03 g kg1 lower than the calculated value. At levels two and three, Ca concentrations were 0.25 and 0.38 g kg1 higher than the calculated values, respectively (Table 2). In coarse-grained limestone, the analyzed Ca concentrations at levels one, two, and three were 0.40, 0.67, and 0.97 g kg1 higher than the calculated concentrations, respectively.

The birds remained healthy and showed no leg problems or mortality throughout the trial. Retention coefficients (CaRC) and digestibility (CaDC) of Ca were estimated to calculate the values of Ca retained (CaR) and digested (CaD), respectively. There was no interaction between Ca concentrations in the diet and limestone particle size (fine and coarse), on CaDC (p = 0.062; Table 3). There was interaction between Ca concentration in the diet and limestone particle size on CaD (p = 0.001), CaRC (p < 0.001) and CaR (p < 0.001).

Table 3
Ca digestibility coefficients (CaDC), Ca digestible (CaD), Ca retention coefficients (CaRC), and Ca retained (CaR) of laying hens fed with three levels of Ca and two limestone particle sizes (fine and coarse) submitted to two sampling methodsa.

The CaD of fine- and coarse-grained limestone increased linearly with increasing Ca concentrations in the diet (Table 4). The apparent digestibility coefficients of Ca estimated for CaD were 0.72 and 0.35 for fine-grained and coarse-grained limestone, respectively.

Table 4
Linear relationship between calcium (Ca) digestible (CaD) and Ca retained (CaR) vs. Ca content in the diet.

The CaRC of fine-grained limestone increased (Y = 0.012X + 0.412; r2 = 0.55), whereas the CaRC of coarse-grained limestone decreased linearly (Y = – 0.008X + 0.827; r2 = 0.18) with increasing Ca levels added to the diet of laying hens. The CaR of fine- and coarse-grained limestone increased linearly with increasing Ca concentrations in the diet. The apparent retention coefficients of Ca estimated for CaR were 0.96 and 0.47 for fine-grained and coarse-grained limestone, respectively.

Discussion

Studies on broiler chickens show that Ca digestibility is higher when using coarse-grained than fine-grained limestone (Anwar et al., 2016Anwar, M.N.; Ravindran, V.; Morel, P.C.H.; Ravindran, G.; Cowieson, A.J. 2016. Effect of limestone particle size and calcium to non-phytate phosphorus ratio on true ileal calcium digestibility of limestone for broiler chickens. British Poultry Science 57: 707-713. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2016.1196341
https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2016.11...
; 2017). The authors attribute this occurrence to the lower in vitro solubility of coarse-grained limestone because, according to Zhang and Coon (1997)Zhang, B.; Coon, C.N. 1997. The relationship of calcium intake, source, size, solubility in vitro and in vivo, and gizzard limestone retention in laying hens. Poultry Science 76: 1702-1706. https://doi.org/10.1093/ps/76.12.1702
https://doi.org/10.1093/ps/76.12.1702...
, limestone with lower in vitro solubility presents higher in vivo solubility. However, our results show that, although coarse-grained limestone displayed lower in vitro solubility than fine-grained limestone (15.52 vs. 24.49), the highest coefficient corresponded to fine-grained limestone. Roland Sr (1986), Zhang and Coon (1997)Zhang, B.; Coon, C.N. 1997. The relationship of calcium intake, source, size, solubility in vitro and in vivo, and gizzard limestone retention in laying hens. Poultry Science 76: 1702-1706. https://doi.org/10.1093/ps/76.12.1702
https://doi.org/10.1093/ps/76.12.1702...
, and Anwar et al. (2016)Anwar, M.N.; Ravindran, V.; Morel, P.C.H.; Ravindran, G.; Cowieson, A.J. 2016. Effect of limestone particle size and calcium to non-phytate phosphorus ratio on true ileal calcium digestibility of limestone for broiler chickens. British Poultry Science 57: 707-713. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2016.1196341
https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2016.11...
believed that coarser limestone particles were retained in the chicken gizzard for a longer time, which can favor slower limestone digestion and prolong Ca availability to the birds (De Witt et al., 2006De Witt, F.H.; van der Merwe, H.J.; Hayes, J.P.; Fair, M.D. 2006. Influence of particle size distribution on in vivo and in vitro limestone solubility. South African Journal of Animal Science 36 S1: 95-98.) due to its low in vitro solubility (Anwar et al., 2016Anwar, M.N.; Ravindran, V.; Morel, P.C.H.; Ravindran, G.; Cowieson, A.J. 2016. Effect of limestone particle size and calcium to non-phytate phosphorus ratio on true ileal calcium digestibility of limestone for broiler chickens. British Poultry Science 57: 707-713. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2016.1196341
https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2016.11...
). However, considering the percentage of coarse particle size distribution vs. fine particles and geometric mean diameter, we can infer that birds retain coarse particles in their gizzard for a limited time, as intact particles of coarse limestone were observed in the excreta and the digesta analyzed in this study. Zhang and Coon (1997)Zhang, B.; Coon, C.N. 1997. The relationship of calcium intake, source, size, solubility in vitro and in vivo, and gizzard limestone retention in laying hens. Poultry Science 76: 1702-1706. https://doi.org/10.1093/ps/76.12.1702
https://doi.org/10.1093/ps/76.12.1702...
attribute the differences in the results to the differences of in vitro and in vivo solubilities of limestones, as well as to the intrinsic conditions of the digestive tract for the absorption of Ca in limestones and to the accumulation of limestone in the gizzard. This condition could negatively affect in vivo solubility, since Ca could be eliminated by the amount of Ca ingested later and the dissociation of CaCO3 into ionic Ca, producing more Ca available for absorption.

As determined by Anwar et al. (2017)Anwar, M.N.; Ravindran, V.; Morel, P.C.H.; Ravindran, G.; Cowieson, A.J. 2017. Effect of calcium source and particle size on the true ileal digestibility and total tract retention of calcium in broiler chickens. Animal Feed Science and Technology 224: 39-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2016.12.002
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.201...
, particle size distribution was 27 % for particles from 1,000 to 2,000 µm and 25 % for particles < 500 µm, considered as coarse and fine limestone, respectively. Moreover, the average geometric diameter was 526 µm, considering both limestone sizes. Conversely, our study showed higher values of particle size distribution of limestone (%) and geometric mean diameter [coarse-grained limestone = 1,190 µm (22 %) and 2,000 µm (77 %), with a geometric mean diameter of 1,978 µm; fine-grained limestone = < 595 µm (46 %), with a geometric mean diameter of 480 µm]. These results reinforce the hypothesis that laying hens have less Ca retention in diets with coarse-grained limestone in relation to broilers. Furthermore, we can infer that perhaps the digestion process of limestone particles in laying hens is different from that in broilers, considering the higher proportion of limestone in the diet of laying hens.

The total excreta collection method can present an obstacle in measuring nutrient retention, as the increased risk of sample contamination (Mutucumarana et al., 2014Mutucumarana, R.K.; Ravindran, V.; Ravindran, G.; Cowieson, A.J. 2014. Measurement of true ileal digestibility and total tract retention of phosphorus in corn and canola meal for broiler chickens. Poultry Science 93: 412-419. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps.2013-03419
https://doi.org/10.3382/ps.2013-03419...
) could underestimate the actual retention coefficient. However, this did not apply to our study, as the apparent retention coefficient from the total collection method was 24 % for fine-grained limestone and 12 % for coarse-grained limestone, higher than that obtained from the ileal collection method. Undigested oligosaccharides in the upper gastrointestinal tract (Abdelqader et al., 2013Abdelqader, A.; Al-Fataftah, A-R.; Daş, G. 2013. Effects of dietary Bacillus subtilis and inulin supplementation on performance, eggshell quality, intestinal morphology and microflora composition of laying hens in the late phase of production. Animal Feed Science and Technology 179: 103-111. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2012.11.003
https://doi.org/...
) were potentially exploited by the microflora in the ceca of chickens. These oligosaccharides decrease the pH due to their microbial fermentation, favoring Ca solubility in water and its absorption (Rémésy et al., 1993Rémésy, C.; Levrat, M.A.; Gamet, L.; Demigné, C. 1993. Cecal fermentations in rats fed oligosaccharides (inulin) are modulated by dietary calcium level. American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 264: G855-G862. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpgi.1993.264.5.G855
https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpgi.1993.264.5...
) in response to the production of short-chain carboxylic acids (Roberfroid, 2000Roberfroid, M.B. 2000. Prebiotics and probiotics: are they functional foods? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71: 1682S-1687S. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/71.6.1682S
https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/71.6.1682S...
). Furthermore, Ngunjiri et al. (2019)Ngunjiri, J.M.; Taylor, K.J.M.; Abundo, M.C.; Jang, H.; Elaish, M.; Mahesh, K.C.; Ghorbani, A.; Wijeratne, S.; Weber, B.P.; Johnson, T.J.; Lee, C.W. 2019. Farm stage, bird age, and body site dominantly affect the quantity, taxonomic composition, and dynamics of respiratory and gut microbiota of commercial layer chickens. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 85: e03137-18. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.03137-18
https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.03137-18...
stated that the diversity of the microbial population of the caecum is more significant than in the ileum. Besides, the birds in our study had the same oviposition cycle. Hens take approximately 24–25 h for complete egg formation, with the last 21 h responsible for shell formation (Johnson, 2015Johnson, A.L. 2015. Reproduction in the female. p. 635–665. In: Johnson, A.L. Sturkie’s avian physiology. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-407160-5.00028-2
https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-407160...
). During the night period, when there is a greater need for Ca, the birds do not feed and keep the intestinal lumen practically empty of Ca; thus, the use of serum Ca is more significant during this period (Bar, 2009Bar, A. 2009. Calcium transport in strongly calcifying laying birds: mechanisms and regulation. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A. Molecular & Integrative Physiology 152: 447-469. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.11.020
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.11.0...
). In addition, chickens show lower serum Ca levels between 18h00 and 20h00 and higher Ca levels from 8h00 to 12h00 (Sloan et al., 1974Sloan, D.R.; Roland Sr, D.A.; Harms, R.H. 1974. Circadian rhythms of serum calcium in hens and the relationship of serum calcium to shell quality. Poultry Science 53: 2003–2009. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps.0532003
https://doi.org/10.3382/ps.0532003...
; Lin et al., 2018Lin, X.; Liu, Y.; Xie, C.; Wu, X.; Yin, Y. 2018. Circadian rhythms and dynamic dietary calcium feeding affect laying performance, calcium and phosphorus levels in laying hens. Biological Rhythm Research 49: 227-236. https://doi.org/10.1080/09291016.2017.1350445
https://doi.org/10.1080/09291016.2017.13...
). According to Roland Sr et al. (1972), serum Ca levels have an inverse effect on Ca excretion. These statements may explain the different results found in our study for Ca absorption and retention values. David et al. (2021)David, L.S.; Abdollahi, M.R.; Bedford, M.R.; Ravindran, V. 2021. Comparison of the apparent ileal calcium digestibility of limestone in broilers and layers. British Poultry Science 62: 852-857. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2021.1943313
https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2021.19...
suggest that the ileal and total digesta timing collection may affect the calculated coefficient results. Similarly, in our study, the ileal content samples were collected in the morning period (8h00 to 11h00), when serum Ca levels are higher, and, according to Sloan et al. (1974)Sloan, D.R.; Roland Sr, D.A.; Harms, R.H. 1974. Circadian rhythms of serum calcium in hens and the relationship of serum calcium to shell quality. Poultry Science 53: 2003–2009. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps.0532003
https://doi.org/10.3382/ps.0532003...
and Lin et al. (2018)Lin, X.; Liu, Y.; Xie, C.; Wu, X.; Yin, Y. 2018. Circadian rhythms and dynamic dietary calcium feeding affect laying performance, calcium and phosphorus levels in laying hens. Biological Rhythm Research 49: 227-236. https://doi.org/10.1080/09291016.2017.1350445
https://doi.org/10.1080/09291016.2017.13...
, this time range shows higher serum Ca levels. This elevation of serum Ca levels may have influenced the decrease in Ca uptake. David et al. (2021)David, L.S.; Abdollahi, M.R.; Bedford, M.R.; Ravindran, V. 2021. Comparison of the apparent ileal calcium digestibility of limestone in broilers and layers. British Poultry Science 62: 852-857. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2021.1943313
https://doi.org/10.1080/00071668.2021.19...
also suggest that the collection of total excreta content may occur at both egg formation cycles, favoring the dilution of the effects in the results, corroborating our study. This reinforces the hypothesis that laying hens display a higher retention coefficient of Ca when analyzing the total content of the extract.

Conclusion

The coefficients of retention and apparent digestibility estimated for laying hens fed with fine-grained limestone were higher concerning birds fed with coarse-grained limestone.

Acknowledgments

To the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level Personnel (CAPES) for financial support (code 001).

References

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    24 June 2022
  • Date of issue
    2023

History

  • Received
    03 Nov 2021
  • Accepted
    28 Mar 2022
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