doi: 10.15389/agrobiology.2021.4.795eng

UDC: 636.52/.58:637.4.0:57.04



A.Sh. Kavtarashvili

Federal Scientific Center All-Russian Research and Technological Poultry Institute RAS, 10, ul. Ptitsegradskaya, Sergiev Posad, Moscow Province, 141311 Russia, e-mail (✉ corresponding author)

Kavtarashvili A.Sh.

Received May 25, 2021


Chicken eggs are valuable and chip source of the nutrients in human diets; this fact has propelled the interest toward the availability of this commodity and modification of its chemical composition in desirable directions. The morphology of the eggs is closely correlated with certain parameters of nutritive value and shelf life. The formation of eggs is a long process: the maturation of large yellow follicles in the ovarian hierarchy (until the ovulation) lasts for 7-10 days; the formation of egg in the oviduct (since ovulation to oviposition) takes 22.5-26.1 hours, depending on age and productivity level in parental hen. The quality of eggs is affected by multiple factors acting before the oviposition (breed and cross of chicken, individual physiological peculiarities, live bodyweight, laying rate, oviposition time, age, the regimes of management and nutrition, artificially induced moult, stresses, health status) and after the oviposition (conditions of collection, transportation, storage, washing and sanitary treatments, the effects of these factors being also depend on the initial egg quality formed before the oviposition. The optimization of egg quality requires the thorough knowledge on mechanisms and factors involved. In the study presented it was found out that oviposition can affect different parameters of egg quality though insignificantly with the exception of B2 content. The effects of the oviposition time on egg quality was studied on five treatments of commercial Hisex Brown layers (Hendrix Genetics BV, the Netherlands) since 210 to 450 days of age housed in cage batteries mounted in standard windowless poultry house (7 birds per cage) with constant lighting regime 14L: 10D with the onset of lighting at 5 am, setout at 7 pm. The eggs were collected during 5 periods of a day: 5-8 am (treatments 1), 8-10 am (treatment 2), 10-12 am (treatment 3). 0-2 pm Treatment 4), and 2-4 pm. Average weight of the “earliest” eggs (laid until 8 am) was significantly higher (by 2.1-2.5 g or 3.6-4.4 %, p < 0.001) as compared to later periods; absolute yolk weight was higher by 7.2-8.7 %, relative yolk weight by 1.0-1.4 % (p < 0.001); the resulting albumen/yolk ratio was lower by 4.2-8.0 % (p < 0.01-0.001). The late eggs (laid between 0 and 4 pm) featured better eggshell quality as indicated by increased average eggshell weight (by 3.2-6.7 %), eggshell thickness (by 1.8-5.7 %), and egg density (by 0.18-0.46 %). The shape index varied from 78.9 % (0-2 pm) to 77.7 % (2-4 pm). Chemical composition of the eggs was not significantly affected by oviposition time with the exception of the significantly higher concentrations of vitamin B2 in yolk at early hours (5-8 am) as compared to later hours (p < 0.05-0.001). Earlier eggs (5-12 am) featured higher percentages of cracks and crackles while “evening” eggs featured the absence of extra-heavy eggs (>75 g); other external parameters of egg quality were generally similar in all treatments; however, egg weight tended to increase with hen age. The relative weight of the albumen was similar at 420 and 450 days of age, with the minimal index shape eggs laid in the interval 0-2 pm being found (with the exception of 210 and 450 days of age; p < 0.05-0.001). The increases in the concentration of total cholesterol in yolk was found at 270 and 420 days of hens’ age (with general trend to increase with age). The age-related increase in the concentration of carotenoids in yolk was found at 360 days of age. As well as the trend to higher concentration of vitamin A in yolk.

Keywords: Gallus gallus L., laying hens, laying time, egg weight, yolk weight, shell weight, shell thickness, egg shape index, quality defects, chemical composition, vitamin B2.



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