The shell plays a vital role in safeguarding the egg’s contents from harmful pathogens and external threats. In breeding, lower eggshell quality is frequently a significant factor leading to fewer top-grade hatching eggs, lower hatchability, and diminished chick quality. Eggshell quality typically diminishes toward the end of the production period when the ratio of eggshell surface area to egg volume is at its minimum. During this phase in a hen’s life, a lack of calcium results in a decrease in both the weight and strength of the eggshell.
A study was conducted at Srinivasa Breeding Farm in Kolar district, Karnataka in southern India. They have a capacity of approximately 100,000 Cobb 430Y breeding birds. The farm owner recently approached Gosa Nutribiotec Ltd., business partner of Maxima Nutrition, Intracare’s Indian poultry distributor, to discuss their current eggshell quality issues in their 50+ week batches.
Overall eggshell quality was not satisfactory. More precisely, they saw color variation of the eggshells and an excessively high content of B-grade eggs of over 24%, which are not hatchable. Leg weakness and lameness were also noted.
Based on our advice and following the Intra Calferol protocol, they agreed to conduct a trial. In house 1 with 3,000 breeding animals (2,720 females and 280 males) at an age of 57 weeks, 1 litre of Intra Calferol per 1,000 litres of drinking water was given for 5 consecutive days. Daily feed intake was approximately 162 grammes and water intake 350 ml.
The graphs below show the development of A-grade and B-grade eggs for the 3 days before the test, the 5 days during Intra Calferol administration and the effect during the 6 days after.
The effect of 5-day Intra Calferol can be clearly observed and already started on the 4th day of dosing. The A-grade level was on average 65% and improved after the 4th day of dosing to 73%, while B-grade egg level fell accordingly from an average of 23% to 16%.
This development has a very positive effect on the profitability of the breeding business as A-grade eggs are valued at Rs20 (€0,23) per egg, while B-grade eggs are downgraded to a level of Rs4 (€0,04) per egg. In addition to the switch from B-grade to A-grade, a positive trend was also noted on the lower level of broken and cracked eggs.
The level of broken and cracked eggs gradually moved down from 4% to below 2.8%.