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Functional Additives
Thursday, January 11, 2007 1:37:05 PM
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New prospects for using rapeseed (canola) in layer rations

 
Roger Pottguter

 

 

Article made possible through the contribution of Lohmann Information

 

Increased demand for rapeseed oil and attractive prices relative to other crops helped to expand the cultivation considerably, especially in North-Eastern Germany, but in other regions as well.

 

Rapeseed meal (RSM) is a byproduct of processing rapeseed for oil. RSM is dark brown and still has a negative image as a potential ingredient for poultry feed since it has been associated with the occasional "fishy flavor" of some brown eggs.

 

Since consumers tend to quit eating eggs whenever they find an egg with "fishy taint", breeders of laying hens must have a direct interest to minimize this unpleasant experience to happen. Nutritionists know that RSM can cause "fishy taint" in brown-shelled eggs (seldom also in white eggs from breeds such as Brown Leghorns).

 

However, RSM is generally considered as a good component for ruminant feed. Due to the dark color of RSM, its inclusion may not please conservative egg producers who prefer the light color of a maize-soya feed, but we should focus here on questions of egg quality, adequate nutrition and production cost per egg.

 

Since the early 1980s, before it was recognized that the cause of "fishy taint" was due to the inability of some hens to metabolize trimethylamin (TMA), Lohmann Tierzucht started to screen brown-egg lines for individual hens laying tainted eggs and to eliminate them before reproduction.

 

While RSM was used in pedigreed test flocks to expose this defect, it was recommended not to use RSM in layer feeds for commercial layers. Unfortunately, many years of conventional selection did not solve the problem completely, and eggs with "fishy taint" still occurred - even if the rations were guaranteed without RSM.

 

Therefore, a more fundamental solution was sought, involving the search for a gene causing this defect. After six years of dedicated research and application of results in the breeding program, we can now take a second look at RSM as a useful component of layer feed.

 
 

For more of the article, please click here

 

Article made possible through the contribution of Lohmann Information

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