- This trial was conducted in collaboration with North Carolina State University at the Piedmont Research Station to determine the effect of Orego-Stim® Powder (OSP) on egg production and quality of laying hens in a free-range production system.
Hens supplemented with OSP at 300 g/t had higher egg production, a 6-point improvement in feed conversion ratio and produced a larger proportion of USDA Grade A eggs.
Use of OSP in free range poultry systems provides a sustainable solution to help maintain hen performance.
- Free-range poultry systems carry more health risks that can impact the intestinal health of the bird, such as greater exposure to parasites (Permin et al., 1999) and parasitic worms (helminths).
There are challenges associated with preventing and treating intestinal helminth infections, so finding effective, natural solutions for their mitigation is important for production efficiency and hen welfare.
Orego-Stim® Powder (OSP) is a high quality eubiotic composed of 100% natural oregano essential oil (OEO). In previous trials it has been shown to improve feed efficiency, egg production and egg quality characteristics.
A trial was conducted in collaboration with North Carolina State University at the Piedmont Research Station in 2019, to determine the effect of OSP on egg production and egg quality characteristics in a free-range egg production system. 540 Bovans Brown hens were randomly assigned to one of three dietary groups; basal diet only during rear and lay (CC), OSP 300 g/t during lay only (CO) and OSP 300 g/t during rear and lay (OO). Each dietary group had 3 replicates with 60 hens/replicate. Pullets were brooded and reared on floor/slats to 12 weeks of age, then allowed on range through to 16 weeks of age. From 17-41 weeks of age, hens were in the laying phase on range.
- Hens supplemented with OSP had higher egg production (Figure 1).
4 extra eggs were produced by hens supplemented with OSP.
A larger proportion of USDA grade A eggs were produced when hens were supplemented with OSP during rear and lay (Figure 2).
- Overall feed conversion ratio was improved by 6 points for hens supplemented with OSP (Figure 3).
This improved FCR may be associated with a feed cost saving of 4%.
The inclusion of Orego-Stim® Powder in feed at 300 g/t in free range systems helps to support egg production, whilst improving feed efficiency and egg quality.