Pearl Millet in Layer Diets Enhances Egg Yolk n-3 Fatty Acids

V. P. Collins, A. H. Cantor, A. J. Pescatore, M. L. Straw, M. J. Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


A study was conducted to determine whether substitution of pearl millet for corn in layer diets could enrich egg yolks with n-3 fatty acids. Seventy-two Single Comb White Leghorn hens of a commercial strain in their second cycle of production were fed isocaloric, isonitrogeneous diets (2,860 kcal AMEn/kg and 16% CP) formulated with corn, equal amounts of corn and pearl millet, or pearl millet as the grain source. Each of the three diets was fed to eight replicate groups of three hens for 6 wk. Dietary treatments had no effect on feed intake, BW, egg production, egg weight, and yolk weight. Feeding millet in place of corn significantly decreased yolk pigmentation. The ratio of n-6 fatty acids to n-3 fatty acids in eggs was 13.1, 10.1, and 8.3 for hens fed corn, corn + pearl millet, and pearl millet, respectively. Feeding pearl millet produces eggs significantly (P < 0.05) enriched in n-3 fatty acids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-330
Number of pages5
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to David Andrews, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, 68583, John Axtell, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, and Monroe Rasnake, University of Kentucky, Princeton, KY, for providing pearl millet. We also wish to thank Hy-Line International, West Des Moines, IA, for providing animals used in this study, and Degussa Corporation, Ridgefield Park, NJ, Rhone-Poulenc Chemical Co., Atlanta, GA, Carl S. Akey Co., Lewisburg, OH, and Linco Shell, Sheppardsville, KY, for providing dietary ingredients. This work was partially supported by the Appalachian Colleges Association and the Pew Charitable Trust.


  • Layer
  • Pearl millet
  • Yolk pigmentation
  • n-3 fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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