Improve The Quality Of Chicken Eggs

Improve the quality of chicken eggs

The quality of hen’s eggs is essential for the income of producers and the health of consumers,  but it also makes it possible to assess whether laying hens’ correct nutrition or not.

Chicken Egg Quality: Feeding Tips for Laying Hens

It is possible to analyze the quality of chicken eggs by looking at yolk, white and shell.

laying hen in the field

yolk quality

The quality of the yolk is revealed in its consistency, color and composition. The yolk color ranges from pale yellow to deep orange. The tone depends on the assimilation of lipid pigments that make up the diet of these birds.

Many producers use specific synthetic substances or feeds to achieve the color preferred by consumers. The preferred color will depend on each culture, but we generally associate a more intense color with a more “natural” egg.

The synthetic combination is usually composed of zeaxanthin, lutein and capsanthin  in different proportions. These supplements can be complemented by the introduction of corn or alfalfa in the chicken’s diet.

The consistency of the yolk depends mainly on the permeability of the vitelline membrane. Hens nutrition does not usually directly influence this permeability, but the following factors are decisive: storage conditions, age of the laying hen and time from laying to consumption.

yolk stains

One of the most important aspects of yolk composition is the presence of small hemorrhages. These bloodstains are formed during ovulation and appear on the surface of the yolk and, when oxidized, turn brown or white.

The cause of this phenomenon is due to genetic factors, the age of the animal and the stress in its creation. Currently, it is believed that the presence of toxic substances in commercial food can increase the frequency of stains.

egg white quality

The quality of egg white (albumin) is mainly determined by its consistency. The most important factors are the freshness of the eggs and the age of the laying hen, although  a good commercial feed is also essential and should contain adequate levels and sources of protein.

Meat or broad bean meal  improves the consistency of albumin sources, while rapeseed and sunflower meal, on the other hand, impair this characteristic. Furthermore,  specific amino acids such as lysine have a positive effect on albumin consistency.

However,  excess magnesium and other metals in the diet can impair egg quality. The same happens with vanadium contamination, which can be countered by controlled doses of ascorbic acid.

shell quality

Regarding the skinthe only aspect that can be changed with chicken feed is the thickness. Almost 95% of the eggshell is made up of calcium carbonate, a substance that, although derived primarily from the animal’s bones, can also be stimulated by the diet.

That’s why  you can give an extra dose of calcium with your laying hen feed. It is recommended to accompany calcium with inorganic phosphorus to favor bone replacement in animals.

On the other hand, it  should be noted that the diet of laying hens must necessarily contain vitamin D3, which is essential to promote bone calcification and improve shell density.

farm chickens

Egg quality: management care and preventive medicine

First of all, it is necessary to remember that  preventive veterinary medicine allows to keep the animal healthy and improve its productivity. In this sense, it is essential to respect periodic vaccination against posture drop syndrome, infectious bronchitis and Newcastle disease.

Regarding the handling of animals, the ideal is to minimize the stress in their education. To this end, sudden changes in habitat and lighting and overpopulation in the environment must be avoided, as well as  maintaining regular times and frequency for collecting eggs.

The quality of eggs is also determined by their effects on consumer health. Currently, there is a tendency to buy eggs with privileged nutritional qualities: high concentration of omega 3, vitamins and folic acid.

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