Animal Science Department


First Advisor

Dr. Sheila Purdum

Date of this Version

Spring 4-19-2019


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Animal Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Sheila E. Purdum. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2019

Copyright 2019 Dani-el Ruth Hanna


Adviser: Sheila E. Purdum

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of Prophorce butyric acid on the performance of White Leghorn laying hens. Hens (180) were placed in 60 conventional cages (3 hens/cage) using a completely randomized design with 30 replicate cages per treatment allowing 722.58cm2/hen. Hens were given the control or butyric acid. The trial spanned 40 weeks (35 weeks old at the start). Water was given ad libitum and hens were fed 110g/day. Egg production and mortality were recorded daily. Egg shell strength, weight, and mass were recorded biweekly; hen weights and egg components were measured monthly; calcium (Ca) / phosphorus (P) digestibility and apparent metabolizable energy (AME) were calculated at 55 and 65 weeks of age. Villi height and crypt depth measurements were taken from the jejunum and ileum at 35 (baseline), 55, and 75 weeks of age. Data were analyzed using the Proc GLIMMIX procedure in SAS. There was no significant treatment effect on average egg production, egg weight, egg mass, mortality, feed intake, egg components or hen weights. There was a significant treatment effect on egg shell strength (p=0.0493) in favor of butyric acid. There was significant improvement in AME (pThese results show that butyric acid only improved the eggshell strength and AME.