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Thin-shelled eggs and shell-less eggs


Eggs with very thin shells, or no shell at all around the shell membrane, look unattractive and are highly susceptible to damage.The egg in the photograph has been placed over a bright light. This is the way it would look to a candling operator.


The incidence of these eggs varies from about 0.5 to 6%. They are commonly produced by pullets coming into lay, particularly by birds that have matured early. Some birds continue to lay this type of egg.

Cause Control
Immature shell gland Delay onset of sexual maturity 1 to 2 weeks by controlled feeding during rearing.
Defective shell gland Cull birds which persistently produce such eggs.
Disturbances causing eggs to be laid before calcifi cation of the shell is complete Minimise activities which create disturbances in and around the layer shed. Increase shed security to stop other birds and animals entering the shed.
Poor nutrition Make sure that birds’ nutrient intake is correct (particularly regarding calcium and vitamin D3). Mixed feed should be handled carefully so that the different components do not separate out. This particularly needs to be checked when augers and automatic feeding systems are used.
Saline water Desalinate, dilute or do not use drinking water containing problem levels of salts.
Diseases, e.g. infectious bronchitis and eggdrop syndrome Follow effective vaccination programmes where available.
© The State of Queensland, Australia (through its Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries) and DSM Nutritional Products Ltd., 2007. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with prior written permission of Director, Intellectual Property Commercialisation Unit, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, GPO Box 46 Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4001, and DSM Nutritional Products Ltd.
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