Eggshell characteristics and cuticle deposition in three laying hen genotypes housed in enriched cages and on litter M., Tumova E. (2018): Eggshell characteristics and cuticle deposition in three laying hen genotypes housed in enriched cages and on litter. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 63: 11-16.
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The objective of the present study was to compare the eggshell characteristics and cuticle deposition of Lohmann Brown, Hy-Line Silver Brown, and Isa Brown layers kept in two different housing systems. The three laying hen genotypes were housed in enriched cages (100 hens, 750 cm2/hen, 10 hens/cage) and in littered pens (100 hens, 9 hens/m2, 10 hens/pen). The experiment was carried out in weeks 40–56 of hens age. Non-significant interactions of genotype and housing system for eggshell quality parameters and cuticle deposition were detected in this study. Egg weight was significantly affected by genotype (P ≤ 0.001) and housing system (P ≤ 0.043). The heaviest eggs were laid by Lohmann Brown, while the lightest eggs were produced by Hy-Line Silver Brown. Eggshell strength was not affected by genotype and housing system, however, genotype had a significant effect on eggshell thickness (P ≤ 0.033). Isa Brown eggs had thicker eggshells compared to Lohmann Brown and Hy-Line Silver Brown. However, a non-significant effect of housing system on eggshell thickness was observed. Eggshell percentage was significantly affected by both genotype and housing system. Genotype of laying hens had a significant effect on cuticle deposition; significantly higher cuticle deposition was observed in Lohmann Brown eggs (P ≤ 0.001). It could be concluded that genotype had a significant effect on eggshell quality parameters and cuticle deposition. However, the housing system effect was less important in these characteristics.

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