The current study was conducted to evaluate egg quality and egg yolk fatty acids and immunoglobulin (IgY) content from laying hens fed full fat camelina or flax seed.
A total of 75, 48-week-old Lohman brown hens were randomly allocated to 3 treatments, with 5 replicates containing 5 laying hens each replicate. The hens were fed corn-soybean basal diet (Control), or Control diet with 10 % of full fat camelina (Camelina) or flax seed (Flax) for a period of 16 wk. Hen production performance egg quality, egg yolk lipids, fatty acids and IgY were determined every 28 d during the experimental period.
Egg production was higher in hens fed Camelina and Flax than in Control hens (P < 0.05). Egg weight and albumen weight was lowest in eggs from hens fed Camelina (P < 0.05). Shell weight relative to egg weight (shell weight %), and shell thickness was lowest in eggs from hens fed Flax (P < 0.05). No difference was noted in Haugh unit, yolk:albumen ratio, and yolk weight. Significant increase in α-linolenic (18:3 n-3), docosapentaenoic (22:5 n-3) and docoshexaenoic (22:6 n-3) acids were observed in egg yolk from hens fed Camelina and Flax. Total n-3 fatty acids constituted 1.19 % in Control eggs compared to 3.12 and 3.09 % in Camelina and Flax eggs, respectively (P < 0.05). Eggs from hens fed Camelina and Flax had the higher IgY concentration than those hens fed Control diet when expressed on a mg/g of yolk basis (P < 0.05). Although the egg weight was significantly lower in Camelina-fed hens, the total egg content of IgY was highest in eggs from hens fed Camelina (P < 0.05).
The egg n-3 fatty acid and IgY enhancing effect of dietary camelina seed warrants further attention into the potential of using camelina as a functional feed ingredient in poultry feeding.
Camelina seed; Egg quality; Flax seed; Immunoglobulin Y; n-3 fatty acids