Egg Quality - What do you think?
Small, dirty, cracked, or misshaped eggs remain a constant loss of profitability in any modern commercial facility.
Hens will always produce a number of commercially objectionable eggs, but certain nutritional intervention strategies can definitely help reducing this number or keeping it from increasing during the late laying period.
The reasons why laying hens produced problematic eggs are many, varied, and rather complex. Health and facilities design are part of the equation, with stress factors such as crowding and heat/humidity greatly aggravating the problem. In addition, certain strains are predisposed genetically in having a slightly higher number of eggs with problems, whereas increased age certainly does not help this issue.
Suboptimal nutrition is also a contributing factor, with vitamin and mineral nutrition having a prominent position in the solution of the problem when it comes to egg shell quality. Egg weight is greatly affected by protein and amino acids in the feed, whereas overall health of the digestive system is of paramount importance when it comes to dirty eggs.
Following this primer on egg quality, it remains to discuss specific nutritional intervention strategies to improve egg quality. In fact, this has been the topic of a recent discussion I participated at a client’s headquarters. My experiences will be published in World Poultry, but in the mean time, I would like to invite our readers to share their experiences and suggestions on how to improve or even maintain egg quality.
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