Effect of genotype, age of hens and K/k allele on eggshell quality

https://doi.org/10.17221/1429-CJASCitation:Ledvinka Z., Zita L., Hubený M., Tůmová E., Tyller M., Dobrovolný P., Hruška M. (2011): Effect of genotype, age of hens and K/k allele on eggshell quality. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 56: 242-249.
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We assessed the influence of the particular genotype, age of layers, feather growth-rate gene, and their mutual interactions on selected indicators of eggshell quality in six groups of hens of the laying type Dominant. The following genotypes were examined in the experiment: Barred Plymouth Rock, Dominant BPR 951 (K) strain, slow-feathering; Barred Plymouth Rock, Dominant BPR 901 (k) strain, fast-feathering; Blue Plymouth Rock, Dominant BLPR 954 (K) strain, slow-feathering; Blue Plymouth Rock, Dominant BLPR 894 (k) strain, fast-feathering; crossbreds of the above strains in the F1 generation Dominant D 107 blue (K), slow-feathering and Dominant D 107 blue (k), fast-feathering. The layers were fed a feed mixture NP1 (16.64 % CP) from the 20th week of age and a feed mixture NP2 (15.02% CP) from the 42nd week. Husbandry conditions met the regular requirements of laying hens. Egg production and live weight of hens were monitored for the duration of the experiment (12 months). Eggshell quality was examined at the layers' age of 27, 35 and 56 weeks. The average hen-day egg production for the duration of the experiment (12 months) was not significantly influenced by the particular genotype or the feather growth-rate gene. The varying representation of the feather growth-rate gene significantly (P ≤ 0.001) influenced the live weight; similarly, the relationship between the genotype and the representation of K/k alleles was significant. The average egg weight was influenced statistically significantly (P ≤ 0.001) by the age of hens, their genotype (P ≤ 0.05), feather growth-rate gene (P ≤ 0.001), and the relationship between the age and genotype (P ≤ 0.001). The age of hens, genotype, and the interaction of these two factors affected the egg shape index, as did the incidence of the feather growth-rate gene within the population (with a statistical significance of P ≤ 0.001). The age, genotype and the feather growth-rate gene incidence within the population also significantly affected the eggshell quality indicators. In the eggshell to egg ratio, eggshell thickness and strength, an interaction was determined between the age of hens and their particular genotype. The eggshell colour was also significantly (P ≤ 0.001) affected by hens' age, genotype (P ≤ 0.001), as well as by the feather growth-rate gene (P ≤ 0.001). No significant interaction between the age and the genotype was found for this indicator.
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