University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Research - Pearl millet in poultry diets

Pearl millet in layer diets enhances egg yolk n-3 fatty acids
VP Collins, AH Cantor, AJ Pescatore, ML Straw, and MJ Ford
Poultry Science 76(2): 326-330, 1997.
A study was conducted to determine whether substitution of pearl millet for corn in layer diets could enrich egg yolks with n-3 fatty acids. Seventy-two Single Comb White Leghorn hens of a commercial strain in their second cycle of production were fed isocaloric, isonitrogeneous diets (2,860 kcal AMEn/kg and 16% CP) formulated with corn, equal amounts of corn and pearl millet, or pearl millet as the grain source. Each of the three diets was fed to eight replicate groups of three hens for 6 wk. Dietary treatments had no effect on feed intake, BW, egg production, egg weight, and yolk weight. Feeding millet in place of corn significantly decreased yolk pigmentation. The ratio of n-6 fatty acids to n-3 fatty acids in eggs was 13.1, 10.1, and 8.3 for hens fed corn, corn+pearl millet, and pearl millet, respectively. Feeding pearl millet produces eggs significantly (P < 0.05) enriched in n-3 fatty acids.