Relationship between Bone Quality, Egg Production and Eggshell Quality in Laying Hens at the End of an Extended Production Cycle (105 Weeks)
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AuthorAlfonso Carrillo, Clara; Benavides Reyes, Cristina; Domínguez Gasca, Nazaret; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Estefania; Rodríguez Navarro, Alejandro
Laying hensBone qualityOsteoporosisAgingEggshell quality
Alfonso‐Carrillo, C.; Benavides‐Reyes, C.; de los Mozos, J.; Dominguez‐Gasca, N.; Sanchez‐Rodríguez, E.; Garcia‐Ruiz, A.I.; Rodriguez‐Navarro, A.B. Relationship between Bone Quality, Egg Production and Eggshell Quality in Laying Hens at the End of an Extended Production Cycle (105 Weeks). Animals 2021, 11, 623. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030623
SponsorshipITC‐20161169/Ovofortis (MINECO/AEI/FEDER, UE); CGL2015‐64683‐P; RNM‐179 group (Junta de Andalucía); UCE PP 2016.05 (Universidad de Granada)
(1) Background: Nowadays the industry aims to improve lay persistency for extended cycles (100 weeks or longer) to make egg production more sustainable. However, intensive egg pro‐ duction challenges hen health, inducing severe osteoporosis and the incidence of bone fractures. In this study, the relationship between bone quality and egg production, and/or eggshell quality, was evaluated at the end of an extended laying cycle of 100 weeks, comparing groups of hens with dif‐ ferent production and eggshell quality parameters; (2) Methods: Quality parameters of egg (as weight, egg white height), eggshell (as thickness, weight, breaking strength, elasticity and micro‐ structure) and tibiae bone (weight, diameter, cortical thickness, ash weight, breaking strength, me‐ dullary bone) were determined; (3) Results: Hens from groups with a high egg production and good eggshell quality have poorer bone quality (lower ash weight and lesser amount of medullary bone). However, Pearson’s correlation analysis shows no clearrelationship between bone and egg/eggshell parameters. (4) Conclusions: Bone and egg production/eggshell quality are independent and can be improved separately. Medullary bone has an important contribution to bone mechanical properties, being important to accumulate enough bone medullary bone early in life to maintain skeletal integ‐ rity and eggshell quality in old hens.