How to Improve the Quality of Chicken Eggs
Proper care, healthy conditions, and a balanced diet are all basic requirements for good quality chicken eggs.
Anyone with chickens should know that it’s perfectly possible to improve the quality of chicken eggs. Some breeds of laying hens are genetically prepared for long production periods, but keeping your chickens in the right condition is a vital factor for producing good quality eggs.
There are a variety of different factors that have an impact on the quality of chicken eggs, but proper care, healthy conditions, and a balanced diet are the most basic.
How to recognize good quality eggs
Some people might believe that ‘an egg is an egg’ and that to talk about its ‘quality’ is frankly ridiculous. But specialist businesses and anyone who uses them in the kitchen know that this is far from the case. Let’s take a look at some aspects of egg quality:
The first impression you’ll get of an egg will be the shell and its size. What we’re mainly concerned about are its color and brightness.
Sellers know that people always choose clean, neat eggs with a perfect shell. Eggs with weak or stained shells can be a sign that the bird has an illness.
Once you break the egg open, the color of the yolk is a good indicator of the quality of the egg. It’s common to find pale yellow, deep yellow, and even orange yolks.
The natural color of the yolk depends on the chicken’s diet. Generally, an intense color is associated with free-range chickens, which is why they’re preferred by consumers.
A diet based on foods like corn and alfalfa produces a strong color, though some producers use synthetic substances so that the egg has this intense color.
The main thing we’re looking for in a white is its consistency. The thicker and more jelly-like, the better the quality. A key factor will be the age of the hen, though diet is also important. Too much magnesium, for example, can damage the egg white.
Factors that influence the quality of chicken eggs
One determining factor will be the genetics of the laying hen. But there are other factors which have an influence on the quality of chicken eggs. These include nutritional, environmental, and health factors.
Here are a few things to consider when feeding your chickens:
- Calcium. For good quality eggs, you need to make sure your hens get enough calcium. Otherwise, they’ll draw calcium from their legs and bones, they’ll get weaker, and their eggs will be inferior. Their production period will also be shorter. So, adding more calcium into their diet will help to obtain good quality eggs.
- Phosphorus. Laying hens only need phosphorus at one stage of their development. Too much of this substance when they’re more than a year old damages the quality of their eggs and leads to poor distribution of calcium.
- Vitamin D. It’s important to include adequate doses of vitamin D in their diet. A vitamin D deficiency causes the shell to decalcify and the egg will be of inferior quality.
- Zinc, magnesium, and copper. These minerals play a role in the formation of the egg membrane. This makes them very important in the diet of a laying hen.
- Fat and linoleic acid. These mainly impact the size of the egg. You can add them to your chickens’ diet using vegetable oils.
Environmental and health factors
- Chickens living in a stress-free environment will produce better eggs. It’s important to make sure that they’re living in the right temperature as suffocating heat or intense cold will lead to poorer quality eggs.
- The presence of micro toxins can affect the metabolism of vitamin D and the absorption of nutrients, so it’s important to control these toxins.
- Vaccines are essential for preventing diseases. Chickens can easily get sick from infectious bronchitis and other illnesses that affect egg production. If you want good egg production, you need to keep all your hens as healthy as possible.
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to get specialist advice if you have any doubts. This way, you can better plan production and obtain much better quality eggs.