Scientists crack secret of tougher egg shells with development of new hen breed

by 5m Editor
6 September 2006, at 11:32am

UK - A new breed of hen which can produce eggs with extra-hard shells has been developed by scientists in Scotland. Experts at the Roslin Institute - where Dolly the cloned sheep was created - say they have devised a way of selectively breeding hens to produce eggs with toughened shells.

They claim the development will save the UK's poultry industry £17 million per year in damaged eggs. The scientists have been working with colleagues at Glasgow Veterinary School and Leuven University in Belgium to produce the new hens.

During the project, they discovered a genetic link between hens and the thickness of the shells of their eggs. It has allowed them to weed out hens which produce the thinnest shells and breed those which produce the hardest ones. They have even developed a test to accurately predict the likelihood of an egg cracking.

Source: The Scotsman

5m Editor