مقالات تخصصی صنعت شترمرغ

L-carnitine improves : Part 4

Although studies on the effect of L-carnitine on ostriches are limited, there are studies

which have been conducted on other bird species. Golzar Adabi et al. (2006) found that

L-carnitine had a significant effect on the egg production of broiler breeders in the fifth and

sixth weeks of a 6-week trial. They concluded that since L-carnitine plays a well-established

role in the metabolism of lipids, so it may induce some favourable modification in poultry

products, particularly eggs and meat. Çelik et al. (2004) found that L-carnitine had no

effect on liveweight gain, feed intake, egg mass, egg weight, yolk weight, shell weight, yolk

index, egg shape index, yolk colour score and shell thickness. Suchy et al. (2008) studied

the effect of a diet supplemented with L-carnitine on egg weight and laying rate in hens of

pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). The experimental hens were supplemented with L-carnitine

at a level of 0.01%. The results of this study showed that L-carnitine increased egg weight

and laying rate. However, the result of egg production in other birds in the present study

corresponds with the results from Suchy et al. (2008) and part of a study conducted by

Golzar Adabi et al. (2006). But some researchers suggest that dietary L-carnitine does not

influence laying performance. Rabie et al. (1997a, 1997b) found that L-carnitine had no

effect on the external quality of the egg (i.e. egg weight, eggshell index, shell breaking,

breaking strength, shell weight, and shell thickness). Yalcin et al. (2006) indicated that

feeding ostriches diets supplemented with L-carnitine and humic substances did not

significantly affect egg traits (daily feed intake, daily metabolisable energy intake, egg

production, egg weight, feed efficiency, mortality, egg shape index, egg breaking strength,

eggshell thickness, egg albumen index, egg yolk index, egg Haugh unit and the

percentage of eggshell, albumen and yolk). The evidence would suggest that these

different expressions in animals’ response to the dietary carnitine are mainly related to

species differences, age, sex, nutrition, the situation and environment in which the animals

are breeding, and the nutrient composition of their diets (Rabie et al. 1997a, 1997b).


Kita et al. (2005) studied the effect of L-carnitine supplementation (0, 25, 50 and 200

mg/kg) on egg weight, albumen height, Haugh unit, yolk weight and albumen weight of

eggs from laying hens. Overall, egg weight was not affected by dietary L-carnitine

supplementation. The present study showed that different levels of L-carnitine had no

effect on egg weight or the numbers of defective eggshells produced during the trial period.

This coincides with findings by Çelik et al. (2004), Kita et al. (2005) and Rabie et al. (1997a,

1997b). Further research is necessary to study the full impact of L-carnitine on egg

production of ostrich breeders.



We gratefully acknowledge the Iran Ostrich Research International company for financial

help, the construction of facilities and maintenance support. We also thank Dr H. Vahedi for

veterinary support, M. Mazaheri for translation, Dr M. Taleb Shoshtari for editing and M.

Khojasteh Kia,

M. Gaderi, A. Pirozfar, M. Ansari and G. Porgolam for help with bird care and facility



Aganga AA, Aganga AO, Omphile UJ (2003) Ostrich feeding and nutrition.

Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 2(2), 60–67. Çelik LB, Tekeli A, Öztürkcan O (2004) Effects of supplemental L-carnitine

in drinking water on performance and egg quality of laying hens

exposed to a high ambient temperature. Journal of Animal Physiology

and Animal Nutrition 88(5–6), 229–233. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0396.

2004.00477.x Davis HJ, Ganzevoort B, Blum R, Naude R, Mienie J (1997) The effect of

L-carnitine and magnesium supplement on egg production and fertility

of ostrich. Australian Ostrich Journal (June), 39–40. Duncan DB (1955) Multiple range and multiple F tests. Biometrics 11,

1–42. doi:10.2307/3001478


Golzar Adabi Sh, Moghaddam Gh, Taghizadeh A, Nematollahi A, Farahvash T (2006) Effect of L-carnitine and vegetable fat on broiler breeder fertility, hatchability, egg yolk and serum cholesterol and triglyceride. International Journal of Poultry Science 10, 970–974.

Harmeyer J (2002) The physiological role of L-carnitine Lohman Information 27, 15–21.

Kita K, Nakajima Sh, Nakagawa J (2005) Dietary L-carnitine supplementation improves albumen quality of laying hens. Japanese Poultry Science 42, 79–83. doi:10.2141/jpsa.42.79

Leibetseder J (1995) Studies on effects of L-carnitine in poultry. Archives of Animal Nutrition 48, 97–108.

Neuman SL, Lin T, Hester PY (2000) The effect of dietary carnitine on semen traits of white leghorn roosters. Poultry Science 81, 495–503.

North MO, Bell DD (1990) ‘Commercial chicken production manual.’ (Van Nostrand Reinhold: New York)

Rabie MH, Szilagyi M, Gippert T (1997a) Effect of dietary L-carnitine on the performance and egg quality of laying hens from 65–73 weeks of age. The British Journal of Nutrition 78, 615–623. doi:10.1079/ BJN19970178

Rabie MH, Szilagyi M, Gippert T (1997b) Influence of supplemental dietary L-carnitine on performance and egg quality of pullets during the early laying period. Allattenyesztes es Takarmanyozas 46, 457–468.

SAS Institute (1986) ‘SAS user’s guide: statistics.’ (SAS Institute: Cary, NC)

Suchy P, Strakova E, Vitula F (2008) The effect of a diet supplemented with L-carnitine on egg production in pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). Czech Journal of Animal Science 53, 31–35.

Tizler R (1993) Study effects of L-carnitine on hatching rate of chickens. Veterinary Medicine 80, 10.

Yalcin S, Ergiin A, Özsoy B, Yalcin S, Erol H, Onbasilar I (2006) The effects of dietary supplementation of L-carnitine and humic substances on performance, egg traits and blood parameters in laying hens.Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 19, 1478–1483.

Manuscript received 11 April 2008, accepted 17 July 2008


Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture      A. Hajibabaei et al. 

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