Send to

Choose Destination
Br Poult Sci. 2002 Jul;43(3):395-403.

Influence of the microstructure on the shell strength of eggs laid by hens of different ages.

Author information

Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra-CSIC, Campus de Fuentenueva, 18002 Granada.


1. The eggshell is a bioceramic material constructed of columnar calcite crystals preferentially oriented with their c-axis perpendicular to the shell surface. 2. The influence of microstructure (crystal size, shape and crystallographic orientation of crystal grains) on the mechanical properties of eggshells (shell strength) was investigated using eggs from hens of different ages. 3. There was a strong correlation between crystallographic texture and the strength of the eggshell in the case of eggs laid by young hens. The strength of eggshells increased as the preferential orientation of the crystals constituting the eggshell decreased. 4. By comparing two age populations, the effect of hen age on eggshell properties was evaluated. In general, eggshells from aged hens had a lower breaking strength (less than half that of those laid by young hens) and showed a greater variability in their structural properties such as thickness, grain morphology and crystallographic texture. 5. Texture analysis revealed that shells from eggs laid by aged hens have two preferred crystal orientations, after (001) and (104), compared with mainly one, after (001), in eggs laid by young hens. 6. These observed changes in eggshell properties could be due to changes in the organic matrix of the eggshell associated with ageing of the hens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center