Egg production, survival, egg quality and shell characteristics in laying pullets offered honey in drinking water during hot season were determined using hens (28-week-old, n = 120) allotted to either 0 (CONTROL), 10 (10H) or 20 ml honey/L water (20H) for 16 weeks divided into 4 phases of 4 weeks each. Data on hen-day production (EP), egg weight (EW), length (EL), breadth (EB), shape index (ESI), yolk weight (YW), yolk percentage (YP), albumen height (AH), albumen weight (AW), albumen percentage (AP), Haugh unit (HU), shell weight (SW), shell percentage (SP), shell thickness (ST) and survival (SR) were subjected to ANOVA.
EP was significantly (P < 0.001) affected by treatment during phases 1-4. 20H resulted in higher EP than CONTROL in phase 1. In phase 2, EP was similar in CONTROL and 20H, but 10H was lower than the two. Higher EPs were recorded in CONTROL than in honey groups (phases 3, 4). EW was significantly (P < 0.01) affected by honey in week 1 only. Birds on 10H laid heavier eggs than CONTROL. 10H hens laid significantly longer (P < 0.001) eggs with higher (P = 0.008) ESI than control hens while 20H birds had significantly lower values of AH (P < 0.01), AP (P = 0.05) and HU (P = 0.05). Honey had no significant (P > 0.05) effect on EB, YW, YP, AW, SW, SP and SR, but improved (P < 0.05) ST in the first 2 phases. To ensure improvement in egg production and egg shell thickness in laying pullets during hot season, honey at 20 ml/L water can be offered for 4 weeks.