Acta Vet. Brno 2009, 78: 85-91

Effects of Genotype, Age and Their Interaction on Egg Quality in Brown-Egg Laying Hens

Lukáš Zita, Eva Tůmová, Ladislav Štolc

Department of Animal Husbandry, Faculty of Agrobilology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic

Received March 28, 2008
Accepted October 1, 2008

The experiment compared the effects of strain and age on egg quality characteristics in ISA Brown, Hisex Brown and Moravia BSL brown-egg laying hens. One hundred and eight ISA Brown hens, forty-five Hisex Brown and forty-five Moravia BSL 20 to 60 weeks old were housed in conventional cages (550 cm2 per hen). Feed and water were available ad libitum. Eggs were sampled at 21-day intervals, every collecting week 150 eggs per genotype in three age periods, from 20 to 26 weeks, 37 to 43 weeks and 54 to 60 weeks of age. A total of 4,050 eggs were examined. Egg quality characteristics were affected by genotype and age. Egg weight, yolk weight and percentage, Haugh Units increased with the hens’ age in all genotypes, but albumen and eggshell percentage decreased, eggshell thickness and strength improved with age. The highest egg weight (65.3 g) and yolk quality (yolk index 45.1%) were found in Moravia BSL at the end of the experiment. In contrast, the best albumen quality (albumen percentage 60.0) values were in Hisex Brown and the eggshell quality measurements (eggshell thickness 0.38 mm) were higher in ISA Brown.