You should follow strict guide lines to ensure you earn more from the sale of eggs. I have listed some of the main factors that lead to loss of eggs or leading to poor pricing .
The main production factors affecting egg quality are:
Breed and age of the laying flock.The effect of breed on the egg is inherent in many aspects, including the colour, thickness and texture of the shell, the incidence of blood spots, and the amount of thick albumin.
While commercial breeders pay constant attention to these factors, there is little that farmers can do to control them.
After the first season of egg production, hens produce eggs of poorer shell quality and poorer egg white thickness, even though the eggs are larger in size.
The rate of egg production is also lower. For these reasons as well as the high meat value of the carcass of the older hen in most developing countries, it is advisable to replace the hens after 12 to 18 months of lay.
Type of feed
A balanced diet supplied to intensively housed chickens must supply sufficient nutrients to enable the hen to produce an egg with a good shell thickness and good egg yolk colour.
A high level of yellow maize, leaf or grass meal will ensure a good yolk colour. Calcium carbonate in some form (limestone or shell) must be supplied.
This is either mixed in the ration or fed as a separate supplement on a free-choice basis. It is often quite practicable to have a separate container in a pen with shell or limestone inside.
Fish meal with a high fish oil content fed in the diet can give fishy flavors to eggs produced by hens on those diets.
Incidence of disease
The diseases Infectious Bronchitis (IB) and Newcastle Disease both affect egg quality. They cause the hens to lay eggs with misshapen shells and poor quality thick white.
Infectious Bronchitis induces groove-like marks along the long axis of the eggshell.
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Management control over the laying flock
In many developing countries, there is a belief that a rooster is necessary to stimulate hens to lay. This is not true.
The presence of an active male causes the eggs to be laid as fertile eggs (containing an embryo chick), and this reduces the storage stability of the egg.
Even after the male is removed, all eggs laid are fertile for up to six weeks because sperm is stored and released from specialized cavities in the hen’s oviduct.
If fertile eggs are in demand, then cocks should be placed with the hens. Non-fertilized eggs have a much longer shelf life than fertilized eggs and are more suitable for the market.
Dirty eggs can be reduced in number. For hens in deep litter systems, the nest box litter must be clean and replaced regularly.
Frequent collection of eggs under any housing management system, and at least four times a day in the hot humid tropics, will reduce the incidence of dirty eggs.
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