• Ding, S.T. (Department of Animal Husbandry, National Taiwan University) ;
  • Shen, T.F. (Department of Animal Husbandry, National Taiwan University)
  • Received : 1990.09.19
  • Accepted : 1992.01.13
  • Published : 1992.06.01


The study was undertaken to determine the effect of dietary magnesium on the eggshell quality and other performance in laying Tsaiya ducks and Leghorn hens. Twenty-five Tsaiya ducks and 25 Leghorn hens were raised in individual cages. The basal diet was mainly consisted of corn starch and isolated soybean protein. At the beginning of the experiments, birds were fed for 10 days with the basal diet supplemented with 500 mg/kg Mg (1070 mg/kg in total by analysis) in order to allow the birds adapting to the new diet. Both Tsaiya ducks and Leghorn hens were then each randomly divided into five groups and each group of five birds were fed with the experimental diets containing 690, 1070, 1690, 2150 or 2380 mg/kg Mg, respectively for 21 days. Eggs were collected in order to measure eggshell quality, Mg and Ca content of the eggshell. At the end of the experiments, blood samples of all birds were taken from their brachial veins for measuring the concentration of Mg and Ca in the plasma. Experimental results appeared that the dietary Mg content did not significantly affect egg production, egg weight, eggshell breaking strength and thickness in both Tsaiya ducks and Leghorn hens. In Tsaiya ducks, however, the plasma Mg concentration was affected by the dietary Mg content, but the plasma Mg almost reached a plateau (4.66 mg/dl) as long as the dietary Mg level was over 1070 mg/kg. In Leghorn hens, the plasma Mg level was significantly increased from 1.66 mg/dl to 4.03 mg/dl when the dietary Mg content in the diet had been increased from 690 mg/kg to 2380 mg/kg, suggesting that the plasma Mg concentration seems to be directly influenced by the Mg absorbed in the intestine. In the Tsaiya ducks, however, the dietary Mg level did not significantly affect the eggshell Mg content (from 0.113% to 0.123%). Whereas, there was a negative correlation between the eggshell thickness and eggshell Mg content (r = -0.50, p<0.01), revealing that the increase in eggshell Mg content probably associated with the impairment of eggshell quality in Tsaiya ducks. In Leghorn hens, however, there was no significant correlation between eggshell quality and eggshell Mg content, although the Mg content in the eggshell was also increased from 0.279% to 0.427% when the dietary Mg had been elevated from 690 mg/kg to 2380 mg/kg.

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