The influence of crumble and mash feed on oral lesions of white leghorn laying hens

B. Daft, D. Read, M. Manzer, A. Bickford, Hailu Kinde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of crumble and mash feed on oral lesions in laying hens was investigated. Each of two groups of white leghorn hens (group A, n = 120; group B, n = 120) was separated into crumble- and mash-fed treatments. At the start of the trial, group A chickens were free of oral lesions, whereas group B chickens had nearly 100% prevalence of oral lesions. The trials began at 17.4 and 22 wk of age and ended at 32 and 33 wk of age for groups A and B, respectively. Chickens were housed in cages indoors, fed free choice, and serologically monitored. Oral lesions were periodically evaluated by visual scoring. Lesion prevalence peaked in group A chickens at 23-25 wk of age, concurrently with an outbreak of respiratory disease, and decreased to a low level at the end of the trial. For most of the trial, crumble-fed chickens had significantly lower oral lesion prevalence than mash-fed chickens (P < 0.05). Lesion prevalence in group B chickens decreased after treatments began and maintained this trend to the end of the trial. Compared with mash-fed chickens, crumble-fed chickens in group B had significantly lower oral lesion prevalence throughout the trial (P < 0.001). Neither group had significant differences in oral lesion scores between treatments. Most lesions were on the lower palate, pinpoint to 2 mm in diameter, often multiple, and bilaterally symmetrical. Feed analyses for mycotoxins and heavy metals were within normal limits. The inciting etiology of oral lesions was not elucidated in this trial. However, this work demonstrated that once lesions were present, feed type had a strong effect on persistence of oral lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-354
Number of pages6
JournalAvian Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Laying chickens
  • Mash feed
  • Oral lesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cancer Research
  • veterinary(all)


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