Vitamin D includes a series of pro-hormones fat-soluble that have anti-rickets action. There are two ways to take vitamin D, through solar radiation exposition and trough nutrition, however in both possibility vitamin D has to undergo two hydroxylation to be transformed in the biologically active form.

The two primary forms of Vitamin D are Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin d3). Vitamin D2 derives from a common plant steroid, while vitamin D3, derives from cholesterol and it is only synthetized in animals.

La vitamina D3 nei mangimi degli animali

Vitamin D3 is hydroxylated at liver level into 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25-OHD3), which represents the circulating and storage form of vitamin in tissues. Finally, it reaches the kidneys where it is converted to an active form: Calcitriol 1,25 (OH)2D3.

Biological function of Vitamin D3

  1. It is responsible of Ca and P absorption by the small bowel,
  2. It mobilizes calcium from the bones,
  3. It regulates bones calcifications and egg shell of laying hens,
  4. It regulates the development of immune system cells.

Benefits of Vitamin D3 for animals

  1. It increases bone quality,
  2. It increases the growth,
  3. It increases egg production and quality,
  4. Improves meat quality,
  5. It improves the animal health and wellness.

Vitamin D3 is extremely important in laying hens farming, especially close to peak periods in high-productivity ones. Vitamin D3 deficiency, even for a short period of time, can lead to potentially serious issues for the animal.

Vitamin D3 deficiency

  1. Rickets and bone mineralization deficiency,
  2. Weak bones,
  3. Growth reduction and decrease of feed conversion rate,
  4. Decrease of egg production,
  5. Lameness.