Research has shown that bone quality in egg-laying hens benefits from betaine as well as from traits that help their skeletons store calcium.
Betaine, a common feed supplement, has largely been used as feed additive in pigs, poultry, and fish production. The latest findings recommend betaine supplements could improve bone quality in laying hens that are at risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis, is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. It is majorly caused by inadequate supply of calcium. Low calcium intake contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures
Factors ranging from genetics, and timings in puberty determines the strength of bones in poultry.
Benefit of Betaine
Betaine has long been a known functional nutrient in broiler nutrition. In the past, it was mainly used in poultry feed as betaine anhydrous, extracted from sugar beets; but, now it is available as betaine hydrochloride, which is synthetically produced. Recent research has shown that the nutritional properties of these products are equal, unveiling a cheaper, non-hygroscopic and year-round source of betaine for the feed industry
The nutritional value of betaine can be fully realized in poultry feeds.
Adding dietary betaine improves bone strength in laying hens without affecting egg production or quality.
The related study showed that hens that lay lots of eggs don’t experience a loss of bone quality. Bone strength was measured through a bending test, X-rays and chemical composition.