Comparison of eggshell hygiene in two housing systems: Standard and furnished cages
1. The hygienic properties of eggs produced in two designs of furnished cage were investigated and compared to two standard cage designs.
2. At 28, 37, 47 and 58 weeks of age, the proportion of dirty eggs was higher in one of the furnished cage designs while, in the other, it was similar to standard cages.
3. At 27, 33 and 60 weeks, the bacterial load on the eggshell (total aerobic bacteria and enterococci) was higher in furnished cage designs. A seasonal effect was observed with lower counts at 60 weeks (winter) than at 27 weeks (summer).
4. More dirty eggs and a higher bacterial load were observed in eggs laid outside the nests, which suggests egg hygiene in furnished cages could be similar to standard cages if the equipment in furnished cages was improved to enhance nest laying.
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12 August 2010
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