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Poult Sci. 2012 May;91(5):1269-75. doi: 10.3382/ps.2011-01951.

Interaction of hen production type, age, and temperature on laying pattern and egg quality.

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Department of Animal Husbandry, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.


The effect of production type (layer vs. broiler breeder), age (onset and end of laying cycle), and temperature (20 and 28°C) on various aspects of the egg production process and quality was evaluated. Highly significant differences were detected between laying hens and broiler breeders (P ≤ 0.001) in all production parameters. Similarly, age significantly affected rate of lay (P ≤ 0.001; 75.4% for young vs. 62.6% for old), mean sequence length (P ≤ 0.001; 7.7 d for young vs. 2.6 d for old), and time of oviposition (P ≤ 0.001). However, there was no effect of temperature on rate of lay, sequence length, or feed intake. Significant interactions between hen type and age were apparent in rate of lay (P ≤ 0.001), sequence length (P ≤ 0.001), and time of oviposition (P ≤ 0.001). A significant interaction between production type and age (P ≤ 0.015) was evident in egg weight, but egg component proportions were dependent only on hen type. Egg shape index was significantly affected by age (P ≤ 0.004), by temperature (P ≤ 0.028), and an interaction between type and age (P ≤ 0.001). Specific gravity declined with age (P ≤ 0.035) and increasing temperature (P ≤ 0.013).

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