Egg Industry - November 2019 - 13

EggIndustry ❙ 13

Relation between layer body weight in rearing
weeks and lifetime egg production
Flock
division

Egg number
Mid
Late

Egg weight
Mid
Late

Body weight in grams
8 weeks

Early

Feed per day Total egg mass
in grams
in kilograms

Quartile 1

1,346

34

115

111

59.9

63.4

114

22.7

Quartile 2

1,249

34

115

111

58.8

62.3

112

22.3

Quartile 3

1,182

34

116

110

58.3

61.7

109

22.1

Quartile 4

1,071

32

116

108

57.8

60.9

107

21.5

Spreading

275

-2

1

-3

-2

-2.5

-7

-1.2

Source: Preisinger, IEC 2018.

Body weight at the onset of egg production regulates egg weight during the whole laying cycle, and heavier
hens lay heavier eggs. 
the total of eggs at the end of the
laying cycle.

Nutrition
Layers face a period of heat stress
due to the impact of feed intake
and eventually reaching desired
egg size.
Any issue that modifies feed
intake affects egg weight. For
example, in a cooler environment
or in non-cage production systems,
energy requirement is increased,
and birds compensate by eating
more. The tangible implication of
feed intake is nutrient intake, especially protein (amino acids), which
has a greater influence on egg size
than energy intake. 
As the layer ages, eggshell
quality decreases due to lower
calcium absorption and larger
egg size. Eggshell weight is relatively constant over a hen's age, so
distributing a constant amount of
shell over a larger egg results in
increased egg losses, due to weaker
eggshell at late phase lay.

To some extent, decreasing
dietary crude protein, balanced
through essential amino acids
according to the ideal protein
profile, is a good tool to prevent
"extra-large" or "jumbo" eggs
during the latter part of the production cycle. The layer's requirement
decreases due to a natural drop in
egg production. Extra crude protein
in the diet when egg mass decreases
as the hen's age increases fosters
body and egg weight growth.

Do not alter methionine
Based on most of the amino acid
studies in layers, the egg weight
parameter is more sensitive to
dietary amino acids than the
number of eggs produced.
Hens reach maximal rate of lay
at much lower amino acid intake
levels than they do at maximal egg
mass. Layers need a much higher
methionine + cysteine and lysine
intake level to achieve maximal
egg weight, while threonine and
tryptophan have no significant

Carlos de la Cruz is global expert, egg production at Evonik.
November 2019 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com

effect compared to maximal rate of
lay. On the other hand, threonine
and tryptophan result in stronger
response to rate of lay versus lysine
and methionine + cysteine, which
have moderate effect.
Methionine is the first limiting
amino acid in layers, and reducing
it will not only reduce egg size,
but production will shrink as well.
Therefore, altering methionine
supplemental inclusion levels or
the recommendation level is highly
risky, especially when diets are
formulated applying the ideal
protein profile.
Ratios must be permanently
maintained, otherwise the
balancing protein concept would be
dislodged. Therefore, it is recommended when working with ideal
protein profile to adjust lysine levels
maintaining ideal amino acid ratios.
Simply reduce crude protein level in
the layer diet: Studies have shown
that a daily additional gram of
protein intake increases average egg
weight by 1.4 g. ■


http://www.WATTAgNet.com

Egg Industry - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Egg Industry - November 2019

Egg Industry - November 2019
Are cage-free egg sales hitting a ceiling?
How managing layer weight and nutrition impacts egg size
4 cage-free house issues producers may not have considered
Broad review of research presented during 2019 ESPN
Egg Industry - November 2019 - CT1
Egg Industry - November 2019 - CT2
Egg Industry - November 2019 - Egg Industry - November 2019
Egg Industry - November 2019 - Cover2
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 3
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 4
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 5
Egg Industry - November 2019 - Are cage-free egg sales hitting a ceiling?
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 7
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 8
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 9
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 10
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 11
Egg Industry - November 2019 - How managing layer weight and nutrition impacts egg size
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 13
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 4 cage-free house issues producers may not have considered
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 15
Egg Industry - November 2019 - Broad review of research presented during 2019 ESPN
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 17
Egg Industry - November 2019 - 18
Egg Industry - November 2019 - Cover3
Egg Industry - November 2019 - Cover4
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