Influences of Different Sources of Natural Pigments on the Color and Quality of Eggs from Hens Fed a Wheat-Based Diet

Document Type: Research Article


Department of Animal Science, Shabestar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shabestar, Iran


This experiment was conducted to evaluate effects of different sources of natural pigments on yolk color and laying hen performance. A completely randomized design with six treatments and six replicates was used.The six experimental treatments were: a control diet containing yellow corn grain, a reference diet containing wheat and barley grain instead of corn; a red pepper diet composed of reference diet and 2% red pepper; a dried carrot diet containing the reference diet and 5% dried carrot meal; a dried tomato pulp diet composed of the reference diet and 5% dried tomato pulp and an alfalfa meal diet containing the reference diet and 5% alfalfa meal. Results indicated that egg weight, daily egg mass, feed conversion ratio and egg yolk color were not affected by treatments. In conclusion, if the goal of producers is an acceptable level of egg yolk color and performance is not under consideration, then the use of a 5% alfalfa meal in a wheat-barley based diet is suggested.


Ali A., Al-Asgah N.A., Al-Ogaily S.M. and Ali S. (2003). Effect of feeding different levels of alfalfa meal on the growth performance and body composition of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fingerlings. Asian Fish. Sci. 16,59-67.
Angeles M. and Scheideler S. (1998). Effect of diet, level and source of xantophyll on hen performance and egg yolk pigmentation. Poult. Sci. 77(1),1-18.
AOAC. (1990). Official Methods of Analysis. Vol. I. 15th Ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Arlington, VA, USA.
Calislar S. and Uygur G. (2010). Effects of dry tomato pulp on egg yolk pigmentation and some egg yield characteristics of laying hens. J. Anim. Vet. Adv. 9(1), 96-98.
De-Groote G. (1970). Research on egg yolk pigmentation and its practical application. Worldۥs Poult. Sci. J. 20, 435-441.
Delgado-Vargas F. (1997). Pigments of the flower cempxuchitl (Tagetes erecta). Physiochemical characterization, processing, and pigmenting efficiency. Ph D. Thesis. National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico City, Mexico.
Dotas D., Zamanidis S. and Balios J. (1999). Effect of dried tomato pulp on the performance and egg traits of laying hens. Br. Poult. Sci. 40(5), 695-697.
El Baushly A.R. and Raterink R.V. (1989). Various aspects of egg yolk pigmentation explored. Feedstuffs. 30,41-43.
Fletcher D.L. and Halloran R.H. (1981). An evaluation of a commercially available marigold concentrate and paprika oleoresin on egg yolk pigmentation. Poult. Sci. 60,1846-1854.
Garcia E.A., Mendes A.A., Pizzolante C.C., Gonçalves H.C., Oliveira R.P. and Silva M.A. (2002). Effect of cantaxantina levels on performance and egg quality of laying hens. Br.J.Poult. Sci. 4,1-4.
Gregoriades G.I., Madzaris J.E. and Moustakas S.G. (1984). Feeding laying hens in groups on floor with diets containing dried tomato pulp. Agric. Res. 8,75-82.
Gurbuz Y., Yasar S. and Karaman M. (2003). Effects of addition of the red pepper from 4th harvest to corn or wheat based diets on egg-yolk colour and egg production in laying hens.Int. J. Poult. Sci.2(2), 107-111.
Hasin B.M., Ferdaus A.J.M., Islam M.A., Uddin M.J. and Islam M.S. (2006). Marigold and orange skin as egg yolk color promoting agents. Int. J. Poult. Sci. 5(10), 979-987.
Haugh R.R. (1937). The Haugh unit for measuring egg quality. US Egg Poult. Mag. 43,552-555.
Holder D.P. and Bradford M.V. (1979). Relationship of specific gravity of chicken eggs to number of cracked eggs and percent shell. Poult. Sci. 58,250-251.
Hoppe P.P. (1998). Pigmenting efficacy of marigold products examined in poultry. Feedstuffs. 60, 54-56.
Jafari M., Pirmohammadi R. and Bampidis V. (2006). The use of dried tomato pulp in diets of laying hens. Int. J. Poult. Sci. 5(7), 618-622.
Karunajeewa H. (1980). The deposition of synthetic oxycaroenoids in egg yolks. Worldۥs Poult. Sci. J. 36, 219-226.
Mitsuhiro F., Nakajima S., Miagawa S., Nakagawa J. and Okumura J. (1994). Feeding behavior, abdominal fat and laying performance in laying hens given diets containing red pepper. Japanize Poult. Sci. 31,45-52.
NRC. (1994). Nutrient Requirements of Poultry, 9th Rev. Ed. National Academy Press, Washington, DC., USA.
Page A.L., Miller R.H. and Keeny O.R. (1982). Methods of Soil Analysis. Soil Science Society of America, Madison.
Papa C.M., Fletcher D.L. and Halloran H.R. (1985). Utilization and yolk colouring capacity of xanthophylls from synthetic and high xanthophylls concentration. Poult. Sci. 64, 1464-1469.
Saha P.K., Chowdhury S.D., Das S.C. and Saha S.K. (1999). Replacement value of two Bangladeshi varieties of yellow corn for wheat in the diet of laying chicken. Asia-australs J. Anim. Sci. 12(5), 776-782.
Santos-Bocanegra E., Ospina-Oscario X. and Oviedo-Rondon E.O. (2004). Evaluation of xanthophylls extracted from tagetes erectus (Marigold flower) and capsicum sp. (Red pepper paprika) as a pigment for egg-yolk compare with synthetic pigments. Int. J. Poult. Sci. 3(11), 685-689.
SAS Institute. (2002). SAS®/STAT Software, Release 8.01. SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC.
Saxena P.N., Shyam M.R., Srivastava V.A., Doval H.K.P. and Sinha D. (1982). Effect of feeding sewage-grown Spirulina on yolk pigmentation of White Leghorn eggs. Avi. Res. 66, 41-46.
Skider A.C., Chowdhury S.D., Rashid M.A., Sarker A.K. and Das S.C. (1998). Use of dried carrot meal (DCM) in laying hen diet for egg yolk pigmentation. Asia-australas J. Anim. Sci. 11, 239-244.
Soto Salanova M.F. (2003). Natural pigments: practical experiences. Pp. 67-75 in Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition. P.C. Garnsworthy and J. Wiseman, Eds. Nottingham University Press. Nottingham, UK.
Vulleumier J.P. (1969). The Roche colour fan-an instrument for measuring yolk colour. Poult. Sci. 35, 226-227.
Wiseman J. (1987). Feeding of Non-ruminant Livestock. Butterworths, London, UK.
Yannakopoulos A.L., Tservenic-Gousi A.S. and Christtaki E.V. (1992). Effect of locally produced tomato meal on the performance and the egg quality of laying hens. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 36, 53-57.
Zahroojian N., Moravej H. and Shivazad M. (2011). Comparison of marine algae (Spirulina platensis) and synthetic pigment in enhancing egg yolk colour of laying hens. Br. Poult. Sci. 52(5), 584-588.