Principal causes of cracked eggs
The eggshell provides mechanical protection to the content of the egg and acts as a barrier against microbial infections. It should look clean, smooth, homogeneous, and free of cracks. Cracked or broken eggs are prone to microbial contamination, posing a threat to consumer health (table eggs) or having a significantly reduced hatchability (fertile eggs). In general, 3% to 6% of the total eggs laid are discarded due to breakage. Damages to the eggshell can be classified as gross cracks, where both the shell and the shell membrane are cracked, and microcracks, where the shell is broken, but the egg membrane is not damaged.
PlusVet Animal Health, feed additives, feed additives, plant extracts, essential oils, phytobiotics, phytochemicals, phytogenics, laying hens, layers, breeders, poultry, broilers, chicks, chicken, zinc, saline water, sodium chloride, egg quality, eggshell, yolk, cracked eggs, cracks, shell, laying rate, egg production, defective eggs, fractures, selenium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, LIVER, fertility
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Principal causes of cracked eggs

The eggshell provides mechanical protection to the content of the egg and acts as a barrier against microbial infections. It should look clean, smooth, homogeneous, and free of cracks.  

Cracked or broken eggs are prone to microbial contamination, posing a threat to consumer health (table eggs) or having a significantly reduced hatchability (fertile eggs). In general, 3% to 6% of the total eggs laid are discarded due to breakage. 

Damages to the eggshell can be classified as gross cracks, where both the shell and the shell membrane are cracked, and microcracks, where the shell is broken, but the egg membrane is not damaged. 

Gross cracks

The breakages are visible to the naked eye. 

Main causes: 

  • Heat stress
  • Viral diseases 
  • Overcrowding
  • Mechanical damage caused by the hens or during washing, transportation, and storage of the eggs
  • Drinking water with high levels of salts
  • Bird age: more frequent towards the end of the life cycle
  • Poor nutrition, especially deficiencies of calcium and/or vitamin D3

Pinholes

Pinholes are gross cracks but have a particular shape: a round, small hole, sometimes with small cracks around it. 

Causes: 

  • A pimple (lump that happens in eggs laid by older hens, or when there is a calcium overdose) comes off the shell and leaves a hole 
  • Mechanical damage 
  • Certain strains of birds

Microcracks

Microcracked eggs are difficult to identify, often the damages are not visible to the naked eye, especially when the egg is fresh. As a result, microcracked eggs are often sent to the table egg market or to incubation. There are two types of microcracks: 

  • Star cracks, occasionally visible to the naked eye. 
  • Hairline cracks, more difficult to identify. Skilled candling is needed. 

Both types are caused by collisions with hard surfaces or between eggs. Any condition that makes the eggshell weaker will increase the percentage of microcracked eggs, for example: 

  • Mycotoxin contamination of feed
  • Heat stress
  • Viral diseases 
  • Drinking water with high levels of salts
  • Bird age: more frequent towards the end of the life cycle
  • Poor nutrition, especially deficiencies of calcium and/or vitamin D3

Products of choice

PlusBreathe© contains essential oils with natural antiseptic, antioxidant, expectorant and mucolytic activity. It has a refreshing taste.

It is indicated to improve the functioning of the respiratory system and to mitigate heat stress in birds, ruminants, pigs and rabbits of all ages. It can also be nebulized in the farm environment.

PhytoMax© is a combination of vitamins, chelated calcium, microminerals and essential oils to be given through drinking water. It is intended for layers and breeders to:

  • Maintain the levels of calcium and magnesium needed for optimal egg production.
  • Reinforce skeletal health.
  • Prevent cage fatigue.
  • Stimulate the hepatic metabolism and the immune system.
  • Improve the quality of the egg and the health of day-old chicks.
  • Avoid the drop of the laying rate produced by stress (management, vaccines, hot weather, etc…)
  • At the start of the laying period, to boost productivity.
  • Prolong the productive life of the hen.

 

PlusBind© is a mixture of carefully selected silicates intended for the prevention of diseases and productivity losses related to the presence of all types of mycotoxins. It is indicated in poultry, pigs, aquaculture and ruminants.

The silicates present in PlusBind© have a highly expandable molecular structure. This characteristic gives the product a wide surface available for the adsorption of mycotoxins and therefore allows a high effectiveness at lower doses (0.5-1 kg per ton of feed).

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