Production data has showed that by 59 weeks of age or, 38 weeks from the start of the trial the average eggs per hen housed improved by 3.4 eggs. In production standpoint, a total of 60,396 more eggs were produced as seen in Figure 1.
Without management change other than adding betaine, in the US market the addition of Excential Beta-Key at 348 ppm and replacing added choline chloride was calculated to result in a ROI of at least 6:1 in a 20,000-bird production.
Influence on litter moisture and mortality
Another important parameter in management of poultry is litter moisture. Improved digestibility and intestinal cell growth have been associated with added betaine. These factors are attributed to improved water retention of the animal and thus controlling excreta.
Increased litter moisture decreases litter quality and can lead to production issues including but not limited to elevated ammonia levels, increased problems with footpad quality and dirty eggs. Improving nutrient digestibility by supplementing betaine can also impact litter moisture. During the commercial trial, litter samples throughout both houses were collected at 35, 45 and 55 weeks. Although as seen in Table 1, litter moisture was well-managed, adding betaine hydrochloride significantly reduced moisture by over 3%. Using betaine hydrochloride instead of choline chloride, especially in houses that are in need to control moisture may be a useful tool for producers. Mortality and liveability are also key attributes to a successful flock. As seen in Table 2, betaine reduced mortality of the flock by up to 1.98%.