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ABSTRACT: 1. Feeding a diet supplemented with maize oil was found to elevate plasma oestradiol concentration in laying hens. 2. In a larger-scale experiment, isoenergetic and isonitrogenous diets containing 10, 20, 40 or 60 g/kg supplemental maize oil, tallow, coconut oil or fish oil were fed for 5 weeks. 3. Egg weights showed very different responses to the different fats. The responses could be described by quadratic functions that all gave optimum responses with supplemental dietary fat concentrations of about 40 g/kg. Egg weight increased the most with maize oil and was decreased with fish oil at the highest inclusion rate. 4. Measurements of egg components showed a relatively larger increase in albumen weights with maize oil than with other fats. 5. Across treatments, mean plasma oestradiol concentrations were very highly correlated (r = 0.96) with the changes in egg weights over the experimental period. 6. It is concluded that oestrogen is important in controlling egg weight and that the effect of dietary fats in influencing egg weight is mediated by an effect of the fats on oestrogen metabolism.
British Poultry Science 01/1994; 34(5):999-1010. · 1.15 Impact Factor