1. bookVolume 18 (2018): Issue 2 (May 2018)
Journal Details
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

The Effect of the Type of Alternative Housing System, Genotype and Age of Laying Hens on Egg Quality

Published Online: 11 May 2018
Volume & Issue: Volume 18 (2018) - Issue 2 (May 2018)
Page range: 541 - 556
Received: 26 Sep 2017
Accepted: 10 Jan 2018
Journal Details
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

The present study investigated the effect of the type of alternative housing system, and genotype and age of laying hens on physical traits of egg shell and contents. It was demonstrated that alternative housing system type influenced egg weight and shape, and eggshell color and yolk color intensity. Eggs from free-range system were heavier and were characterized by more intense yolk color. No effect of alternative housing system type on albumen height, value of Haugh units (HU value) and presence of meat and blood spots was noted. Hen genotype had a significant effect on egg weight and eggshell color intensity in each of the alternative housing systems tested in this study. Hy-line Brown hens laid heavier eggs than hens of native breeds. Genotype was also observed to affect egg content traits (albumen height, HU values and presence of meat and blood spots). Independently of the type of alternative housing system, most blood and meat spots were noted in eggs of hens laying brown-shelled eggs, i.e. R-11 and Hy-line Brown layers. Laying hen age significantly impacted on egg weight, yolk percentage, eggshell traits (color intensity, weight, thickness and strength) and egg content traits (HU value, yolk weight and color intensity, presence of meat and blood spots). Older hens laid heavier eggs with a greater yolk percentage but with thinner eggshell.


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