» Go back (Press Articles)

June 6, 2013

Omega three Shown to Have Big Benefits in Layer Hens

The benefits of dietary omega three supplementation may be more important in poultry than previously realised. Elanco™ Poultry Tonic HD Plus has long contained omega three but now new research confirms that it can have huge benefits for layer hens in terms of egg production, health and welfare.

Standard chicken diets are rich in omega six polyunsaturated fatty acids which are thought to promote inflammation and bone resorption (thinning). In contrast, dietary omega-three polyunsaturated fatty acids help promote good immunity and strengthen bones. A recent three year study undertaken by Bristol University demonstrated that omega- three fatty acids added to the to the diet of laying hens, produced a huge reduction (40-50%) in keel bone breakages, and a big increase in overall bone strength. These health enhancing effects can potentially improve egg production and welfare across the board, from commercial flocks to backyard pets.

Bone fragility is one of the major economic and welfare issues with laying hens, it’s estimated that up to 95% of free range hens suffer breaks during laying in some housing systems. Based on these study results the investigators suggested that diet supplementation with omega three could lead to 68 million fewer hens suffering from keel fractures in the EU each year, which is a tremendous improvement in health standards.

The latest evidence shows that a relatively simple dietary modification such as the use of Elanco™ Poultry Tonic HD Plus in drinking water to provide additional omega three, can potentially improve not only the health and welfare of millions of layer hens but also productivity.

Reference: Tarlton JF et al. Reduced
bone breakage and increased bone strength in free range laying hens fed omega-three polyunsaturated fatty acid supplemented diets. Bone 2013;52(2):578-586

Elanco Poultry Tonic HD Plus is a concentrated liquid supplement


For further information contact Elanco Animal Health, Lilly House, Priestley Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NL, Tel 01256 353131, Fax 01256 779510 Email elancouk@lilly.com