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Book of Abstracts CUTICLE DEPOSITION ENHANCES THE EGGS NATURAL DEFENCE AND IS A TRAIT WHICH DOES NOT TEND TO DECREASE WITH BIRD AGE: CUTICLE DEPOSITION ENHANCES THE EGGS NATURAL DEFENCE AND IS A TRAIT WHICH DOES NOT TEND TO DECREASE WITH BIRD AGE

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Abstract

Cuticle deposition can be measured using staining combined with spectrophotometry and genetic parameters for this trait have been established and are favourable for selection in both egg and meat types of chicken. This study aimed to confirm the role of this trait on the trans-shell penetration of bacteria and to determine if cuticle deposition changes with bird age. Bacteriology experiments were carried out using two eggs from hens depositing either good or poor cuticle in both a broiler breeder (BB n= 73) and Rhode Island Red layer (RIR n=46) pure line. For BB eggs we found a significant effect (P=0.023) of shell penetration by the E. coli and the amount of cuticle deposition. For RIR eggs tested with Salmonella enteriditis there was a similar relationship (P<0.001). The effect of bird age on cuticle deposition was examined in the same populations by sampling individuals every 3-5 weeks from early to late lay (BB n=108; RIR n=27). Cuticle deposition varied between samples (BB P<0.001; RIR P=0.077), but it did not decrease with bird age. This finding was confirmed in another study of 1900 RIR layers where cuticle deposition at 30wks was not significantly different from that at 51wks. Cuticle deposition therefore enhances the eggs defence in both egg and meat types of chicken and does not appear to reduce in quality with age unlike many egg traits.

ID: 50117296