26 Jul Improving eggshell quality under heat stress
High environmental temperatures cause very serious economic losses to the egg industry each year.
There are 3 major factors contributing to these losses:
- Biochemical, hormonal and metabolic changes due to high temperatures, in example increased production of free radicals that leads to reproductive disturbances (worse laying rate) and failure of the gut barrier.
- Poor egg quality
- Impaired skeletal health.
Fast panting leads to imbalance of calcium metabolism
Fast panting is one of the main signs of heat stress, as described in this article.
Fast panting produces an excessive loss of CO2 through the lungs, resulting in a lower concentration of carbonic acid (H2CO3) and hydrogen (H+) in blood, that raises the blood pH. This condition is called respiratory alkalosis.
During respiratory alkalosis:
- There is less Ca2CO3 available for eggshell formation.
- The calcium carbonate deposits of the bone are destroyed to compensate loss of carbonic acid in blood, leading to skeletal problems.
- There is an increased elimination of HCO3¯through kidney, together with ions like calcium and potassium.
- The secretion of calcium carbonate by the shell gland is reduced, leading to eggshell defects.
Eggshell defects due to heat stress
During episodes of heat stress, layers and breeders produce a higher percentage of eggs with thinner and weaker eggshells, eggs with cracks, holes and even shell-less eggs.
- Egg weight may be reduced up to 4%
- Eggshell thickness may be reduced up to 5%
- Eggshell weight may be reduced up to 10%
The complete solution to poor eggshell quality due to heat stress
PhytoMax© is our new liquid product, especially designed for laying and breeding poultry. It contains:
- Chelated calcium with high bioavailability, that can be easily absorbed by the hen.
- Zinc: Carbonic anhydrase is an enzyme required to form calcium carbonate during eggshell synthesis. The activity of this enzyme is reduced during heat stress. Supplementation with zinc increases the activity of carbonic anhydrase.
- Manganese, that counteracts the negative effects of heat stress thanks to its antioxidant activity.
PlusBreathe© is our liquid cocktail of essential oils designed to give a refreshing effect to birds and to restore the antioxidant status of the animals. It is given by drinking water and can be also added to foggers and misters for a further refreshing effect.
SupraPlus© is a liquid mix that contains essential oils, electrolytes, rapidly absorbed sugars and vitamin E. It is helpful to restore digestive balance during heat stress. Alternatively, GrowthPlus© can be added to feed. Both products help to restore gut barrier during heat stress, as explained in this article.
Check out a previous success case of improvement of eggshell quality during heat stress.
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Certain health statements may not be applicable in your region.