Prairie View A and M University, Prairie View, TX 77446, USA
Receive Date: 22 July 2013,
Revise Date: 22 October 2013,
Accept Date: 30 October 2013
A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of two laying systems (floor versus cage) on egg production, egg quality, and microbial safety. One hundred and eighty 42 wk old laying hens were separated into two groups of 90 hens each, and housed in laying cages and a floor laying system. Eggs from the hens were collected for 2 weeks, and hen-day egg production, egg quality (whole egg, albumen, yolk and shell weights), saleability, and marketability were measured. Total bacteria counts on the egg shell surface were also enumerated at 0, 4 and 8 h after laying. Results indicated that hen-day egg production by hens in the cage system (95%) was significantly (P<0.05) higher than production by hens from the floor system (85%), but there was no significant differences in egg weight, albumen, yolk, or shell weights. Hens housed in the cage laying systems produced significantly (P<0.05) more marketable eggs (95%) than hens housed in the floor laying system (89%). Significantly (P<0.05) more unsaleable eggs were also produced by hens in the floor laying system (11%) than in the cage system (4%). Bacteria counts on egg shells from hens of the cage laying system were significantly (P<0.05) lower at 0 and 4 h after laying (4.02 and 5.90 log cfu/mL, respectively) than counts on shells of eggs from the floor laying system (6.58 and 7.25 log cfu/mL, respectively). There was no significant difference in contamination of eggs collected 8 h after laying. Findings indicate hens housed in cages produce more eggs with higher quality and less bacterial contamination than hens house in floors laying systems.
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