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Development of Solanum glaucophyllum as a Source of Vitamin D for Laying Hens

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2005-33610-15631
Agency Tracking Number: 2005-00155
Amount: $80,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2005
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
2625 N. Loop Dr., Ste. 2150
Ames, IA 50010
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 John Fuller,
 Director, Animal Research
 (515) 296-8065
Business Contact
 John Fuller,
Title: Director, Animal Research
Phone: (515) 296-8065
Research Institution

Egg breakage and cracking is a major economical problem for the US poultry industry which can affect up to 10% of the eggs produced. The resulting approximately 500 million dollars in lost revenue to producers is a cost ultimately borne by consumers. To minimize damaged eggs, producers have attempted to increase calcium in the ration but have had limited success because the hen's ability to utilize additional calcium is metabolically limited. Feeding vitamin D metabolites to increase calcium deposited in the eggshell has also been tried, but the most effective metabolite, 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D3, is currently too expensive for commercial use. This proposal will further develop a naturally occurring metabolite of vitamin D for use in laying hen diets. The metabolite is produced by the plant Solanum glaucophyllum as a vitamin D3-glycoside. This metabolite has the potential to increase the active vitamin D levels in the hen, thus improving calcium metabolism and eggshell strength.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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