14 commentsupdate:Sep 25, 2012

Controlling Egg Size

Ioannis Mavromichalis
Recently, I was commissioned to provide an extensive review on how to increase egg size (weight) in laying hens (commercial eggs). Graciously, my customer, allowed me to share the results, in brief form, with my readers in the WP blog.


1. Body weight
Heavier hens will produce heavier eggs. This must be balanced as increased value from heavier hens must exceed feed cost to produce and maintain heavier hens.

2. Feed intake
To some extend this is connected to the above, but as long as hens reach mature body weight, a slight increase in feed intake will result in heavier eggs without further increasing body weight.

3. Protein intake
Egg weight responds to methionine levels mostly during peak production (38-45 weeks). In late-cycle, egg numbers is the figure that responds the most to methionine levels.

4. Linoleic acid
Some studies indicated that adding extra linoleic acid may increase egg weight. This obviously is complicated by the issue of energy/feed intake and body weight.

Controlling the above parameters can not only increase egg size during peak production, but it can also help in reducing egg size in late-cycle when egg shell quality deteriorates. Obviously, the correct phase-feeding program should take into account market requirements for egg size and overall egg quality, while maintaining profitability!


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    DVM Waseem Amer Al-shible

    Dear Sir
    Thank you for your special topics
    But about the egg size there is frequent question that if the eggs' size increased it would lead to eggs' production decreased.
    Best Regards

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    Great information!

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    Direct selection for feed conversion efficiency and not feed consumption may prove useful to increase egg weight without unduly increasing body weight for economic benefit by saving extra cost incurred for higher feed requirement to improve body weight.
    Peak production in layer lines for production occurs much earlier than stated in the paper.
    Selection for Egg Masss output may be an aternative choice.

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    Alak Sarker DVM

    Dear Sir
    Thank you for this special topics. I also practiced such type of additional nutrient ingredients to increase the egg size in commercial layer. But some "Prolapse" problem arose in some light breed. But it is true to increase egg size doesn't increase the length of duration of production cycle.
    Thank you

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    olamilekan farms

    i want to commend your efforts on your research on egg size, i must confess is laudable. but i have reservations, I hope an inrease in protein and energy will not lead to polarps.

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    kausar shaikh

    sir, the topic was interesting but heavy eggs will cost more and in markets where eggs are sold in numbers(dozens)it is of no use to farmers rather it will be loss making.

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    Kewber Emmy

    You views are interesting, However increase in egg size will never come if there is not enough sufficient intake of water. Approx.65% of an egg is made up of water and it is always forgotten an an important nutrient.
    Emmy K. (BAPT,Dip PH, Dip AFTP.....)

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    Dr,Agbesola Olumide

    A good one sir.From my experience,i also noticed that increasing day length artificially by way of lighting up the pen houses also affect the size of the eggs positively.....possibly because of more eating time.

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    should buying be based on egg weight rather than size, then eggs should be sold by weight rather than by the piece. which would be more equitable to both producerfs and consumers ?

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    Mrinal Sharma

    Related to Methionine would also be betaine and choline. contrary to the direct positive effect of addition of methionine, addition of choline and or betaine may not have the same kind of effect but their deficiency (short supply in the diet) will certainly lead to methionine being used up to support their deficiencies and therefore a negative impact on egg size may be seen. Researchers welcome to debate and or prove this hypothesis

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    shashi bhushan kr

    Dear sir,
    Thanks for the controlling egg size topic. Do any corelation between breakage of egg with size during later laying cycle ?

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    Dr Atef Abou Zeid

    Dear Sir
    Thank you for your special topics

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    Dr M asif raza

    Important topic regarding egg size and weight. Marketing of eggs depends on its weight and size,farmers are interested to achieve both these during laying period .Rearing period is very important for this ,to get a standard weight of pullets according to production standards is important ,to achieve this balanced feed is important with good source of protein and energy.

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    A poultry manager

    a few years ago while running a layer site we used a variation of feed times during the day to control egg size, initially to increase size early lay and then to reduce to rate of increase during late lay, also we took this one stage on and used the technique to greatly increase the size of the small egg with minimal increase in the size of the large egg. putting an average of 1.5g per egg for only a 0.5g increase in the size of the largest eggs. unfortuantly this work was stopped by outside pressure because we also achieved a 15% reduction in feed use.

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