Any approach which aims to improve the quality and safety of eggs is of limited value unless it can relate to the incidence of breakages in the field. The incidence of thin and broken shelled eggs increases as the laying cycle progresses. The thin shell eggs are liable to break before collection at the farm and break during the transportation and handling process. The economic loss to the commercial layer industry is estimated to be about 5-7% loss of eggs at the farm and about 10% during transportation and handling.
Poor eggshell quality is a huge hidden cost to the egg producer. Estimates are that more than 10% of eggs produced in the hen house are uncollectible or break before intended use. The first 2-5 percent is lost simply, due to form which may be shell-less, cracked, or broken to the extent that they are not suitable for collection. Another 3- 8 percent is lost during collection, moving through the belts, cleaning, packing, and transportation to the end-user.
EGGSHELL FACTS: WHAT DO WE KNOW?
Improved understanding of the factors that affect the performance and quality of the eggshells produced by commercial laying hens is essential to produce the highest quality eggs.
Trace minerals are essential in the diet of laying hens because they participate in the biochemical processes necessary for normal growth and development, including bone and eggshell formation. Zinc is a cofactor of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase inhibitors that are involved in the formation of the eggshell. Manganese acts as an activator of the enzymes that are involved in the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans and glycoproteins, which contribute to the formation of the organic matrix of the shell. Copper is an integral part of the lysyl oxidase enzyme that is important in the formation of collagen present in the eggshell membrane.
Large-sized eggs will usually break more easily than small ones. The main reason for this is that the hen is generally capable of placing only a finite amount of calcium in the shell. As the hen ages and the eggs get bigger a similar amount of calcium must be spread over a larger surface. Therefore, controlling the rate of egg weight change can influence eggshell quality as the hen ages.
Sometimes a thinner eggshell is stronger than a thicker eggshell. The reason for this is due to the shape and organization of the organic and inorganic components of the shell. This organic material has calcium-binding properties and its organization during shell formation influences the strength of the shell. The organic material must be deposited so that the size and organization of the crystalline components (calcium carbonate mostly) are ideal, thus leading to a strong shell.
There is a significant improvement in eggshell breaking strength is molting. Interestingly, neither the eggshell thickness nor the amount of organic matter varies significantly are molting. However, a decrease in grain size, as measured by optical microscopy (from about 72 to 58 μm), was responsible for the observed improvement in mechanical properties.
HOW TO GET STRONGER EGGSHELLS?
Presently, dietary manipulation is the primary means of trying to correct eggshell quality problems. Many factors influence eggshell breakage and it is directly related to the quality of the shell. Realizing the importance of shell strength, many researchers have considered the connection between the feed and shell formation. The major player in the equation is calcium. The calcium metabolism in hens, and especially its absorption in the intense, calcium transport to the oviduct for the shell synthesis in the uterus and calcium deposition in medullary bones decides the egg production and quality. The laying hen is also not 100% efficient in extracting calcium from the available sources in the diet. The calcium availability values are sometimes not known, and hence higher daily intakes are needed when the availability values are known to below. Therefore, many times the diet must furnish in excess of 4 grams of calcium to the hen daily. Most good quality eggshells from commercial layers contain approximately 2.2 grams of calcium in the form of calcium carbonate.
ROLE OF SHELLVIN
Apart from overcoming the deficiencies of affecting eggshell quality, SHELLVIN positively influences the formation of the shell ultrastructure. SHELLVIN triggers the organic constituents (proteins) of the eggshell matrix to modify the morphology of calcite crystals which eventually improves the texture and mechanical properties of the eggshell. Recent studies have established the relationship between textural structure and the mechanical properties and also helped to correlate the variations in the eggshell strength even when the parameters (shell weight, percentage, and thickness) are good.
• Optimizer egg production & size
• Increases hatchability percentage
• Improves eggshell quality and decreases egg breakage