The quality of an egg goes beyond the shell. Still, the eggshell tells a lot about egg quality. From general eggshell quality to amount of dirty eggs: all are important factors for commercial and hatching egg producers with economic implications attached. From small to soft shell to dirty to cracked eggs, such quality defects are a bad advertisement for egg producers, downgrading marketability and directly impacting farmers’ incomes. These quality indicators count even more for hatching eggs and are strongly linked to the gut function, health and nutrition of hens.
Bad gut gives poor eggshell
But what is the secret of a high-quality egg shell? At the center of optimal animal performance lies a healthy gut and balanced gut microbiota and nutrition. The mutual interaction between microbiota, diet composition and mucosa is decisive in assessing gut health. One of the major functions of the gut is the absorption of nutrients converted to energy for growth and egg production. In the case of eggshell formation, calcium is an essential nutrient, and its absorption in the gut must be optimal when it is consumed.
Once there is a breach in the gut due to stressors, pathogens and chemical substances, the gut function is affected, causing digestive problems. The ability of the gut to absorb calcium efficiently is limited as a result, and pathogen pressure increases, causing sticky droppings. The consequence: Eggs are contaminated with sticky excreta and, in addition, the strength of the eggshell is weakened, leading to cracked eggs.
Support healthy gut to support eggshell quality
Anta®Phyt is a proven phytogenic feed additive specially developed to support the gut by improving immune response, enriching gut flora, and optimising digestive processes. The success recorded in experiments with the Anta®Phyt concept is numerous. For instance, the reduction in poor eggshell quality, linked to digestive health, is evident in egg production. Compared to layers breeders’ standard diet in an experiment, Anta®Phyt inclusion in the diet reduced dirty eggs, cracked eggs and thin shell production by 39%, 24%, and 36%, respectively (Fig 1). This is a clear indication of the gut health support provided by Anta®Phyt, leading to an enhanced calcium absorption and less incidences of sticky droppings. This benefit is not only practical but economical to both animals and egg producers. That means a gain for animal welfare and profitability.
Anta®Phyt is available for you. Get in touch with us to know how best to use Anta®Phyt.
Fig. 1. Anta®Phyt supports gut health to reduce dirty eggs, cracked eggs, and thin shell occurrences in layers breeder