Algal oil as source of polyunsaturated fatty acids in laying hens nutrition: Effect on egg performance, egg quality indices and fatty acid composition of egg yolk lipids

Sylwester Świątkiewicz 1 , Anna Arczewska-Włosek 1 , Witold Szczurek 1 , Jolanta Calik 1 , Dorota Bederska-Łojewska 1 , Sylwia Orczewska-Dudek 1 , Siemowit Muszyński 2 , Ewa Tomaszewska 3  and Damian Józefiak 4
  • 1 Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, National Research Institute of Animal Production, , 32-083, Kraków, Poland
  • 2 Department of Physics, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, 20-950, Lublin, Poland
  • 3 Department of Animal Physiology, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, 20-950, Lublin, Poland
  • 4 Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Management, Poznań University of Life Sciences, 60-637, Poznań, Poland


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of algal oil with very high level of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6n-3) used as fat source in the diet for laying hens, on egg yolk lipids fatty acid composition, as well as egg production and egg quality indices, in comparison with other dietary fat sources. The experiment was carried out on 168 ISA Brown hens (25 to 60 wks of age), allocated to 7 groups of 12 replicates (cages), with two birds in each cage. The experimental diets were supplemented with 2% of different fat sources, i.e. soybean oil (SO), coconut oil (CO), rapeseed oil (RO), linseed oil (LO), camelina oil (CAO), fish oil (FO), or algal oil (AO). Laying performance indices, i.e. egg production, mean egg weight, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, or egg and eggshell quality parameters were not affected by used fat sources (P>0.05). Dietary fat sources significantly influenced on egg yolk lipids fatty acids composition. Thus, AO addition caused some changes in the yolk lipid profile that were favorable from the dietary perspective, i.e., increased concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA (P<0.05). However, boiled eggs from hens fed a diet with AO were characterized by an inferior flavour and taste to those from other groups. In conclusion, the results of this experiment, have shown that the use of AO in the laying hens nutrition is an efficient way to increase the deposition of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) in eggs, without negative effect on egg performance, however further researches, aiming to establish optimal AO dietary level that does not adversely affect the organoleptic properties of eggs, are needed.

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