Feed Strategy - July 2018 - 9
FeedStrategy ❙ 9
eggs on average 1.4 grams heavier.
Amino acids, in particular methionine, and linoleic acid levels also
increase egg size. If average egg
size is increased by 1 gram, then the
total number of eggs produced is
reduced by five. Therefore, adapting
nutritional specifications can help to
control the increase in egg size and
hence improve eggshell quality in
the later part of the cycle.
Role of micronutrients
A whole article could be dedicated to the influence of micronutrients on eggshells, so just key points
for each are given below. Calcium,
being perhaps the most important
influencer of egg quality, is given its
■ Copper: Essential for normal
bone formation, and if lacking
in the diet, egg production and
shell structure will be negatively
■ Zinc: A cofactor in the enzyme
that is involved in the formation
of calcium carbonate; shell defects and pigments irregularities
are seen if deficient.
■ Manganese: Activates enzymes
that synthesis some of the components of the eggshell's organic
matrix; deficiency can result in
defects and even shell-less eggs.
Supplying the above nutrients in
organic forms improves availability
and prevents negative interactions
with other nutrients - improvements in both internal and external
egg quality are reported.
■ Selenium: A powerful antioxidant that when supplied in organic
form has been shown to increase
the viscosity of egg whites and
influence egg production. Its influence on ultrastructure development is also reported to improve
shell thickness and strength.
■ Vitamin D: Controls calcium metabolism and intestinal absorption
of calcium. It is therefore essential
for egg production and ensuring
eggshell quality. Greater bioavail-
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