Effects of Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) root extract on egg production performance and egg quality of laying hens
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This study was conducted to determine the effect of Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) root extract (PGRE) on egg production and egg quality characteristics of hens at the beginning of their laying period (20 weeks old). Four groups of commercial hens (Atak-S; Turkish native hybrid) were fed with diets containing 0 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg and 150 mg PGRE/kg. Experimental results indicated that dietary PGRE had no effect on feed intake, feed efficiency, egg mass (EM) or egg production parameters. Over 12 weeks, hen-day egg production (HDP) of the groups was 73.5%, 74.8%, 69.2% and 79.0%, respectively. The effect of different levels of PGRE on egg weight, shape index (SI), specific gravity, shell thickness, Haugh Unit (HU), yolk index (YI) and albumen index (AI) was not statistically significant during the entire experiment. Egg yolk colour was conspicuously lower in the 100 mg and 150 mg PGRE/kg groups than in the control. The L*, a* and b*, hue (H) and chroma (C*) values for eggshell colour were not significantly different among the groups, except for the colour difference (?E*, (L2+a2+b2)1/2), where values in PGRE groups were higher than in the control group. The trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and total phenolics concentration of PGRE were 598 ± 1.841 mmol trolox/kg, 15.45 ± 0.457 mmol TEAC/kg and 1.02 ± 0.03 g gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/kg, respectively. Serum glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride concentration were similar in the PGRE supplemented groups and the control. In conclusion, the dietary supplementation with PGRE did not affect the productivity performance traits and egg quality of hens at the beginning of the laying period. © South African Journal of Animal Science.