Trace minerals play specific roles in avian metabolism, all of which are relevant to the laying hen (Table 1). Their role becomes apparent when diets deficient in these micro nutrients are fed to high-performing laying hens.
The OTM that most improves the tissue supply of the key trace minerals zinc, copper and manganese has the greatest direct effect on connective tissue and bone development, in addition to improving immune response in poultry. Studies in broilers (Richards et al., 2007; Manangi et al., 2012a; Yuan et al., 2011) have shown improvements in intestinal breaking strength, foot pad quality and bone strength when HMTBa chelates are included in the diet. Recent research with layers provides further evidence that inclusion of HMTBa chelates of zinc, copper and manganese improves bird health and performance