Late production (up to > 75 weeks)

Eggshell quality

Body weight at 5-6 weeks of age

The hen’s carcass develops mainly during the first 5-6 weeks of age. A loss of body weight during this period will reduce the laying hen’s longevity.

Correct use of pre-sponge feed

Incorrect use of pre-lay feed could result in damage to the medullary bone, affecting the laying hen’s ability to utilize calcium from the bone.

Development of feed intake using a developer feed

At the onset of laying, a lack of feed intake will force the laying hen to perform metabolic effort that will compromise the longevity of the hen.

Sources of calcium

60 to 70% of the calcium in the eggshell comes from the diet, and 30 to 40% from the bones, particularly the medullary bone. The availability of calcium during shell formation will improve the quality of the eggshell. Midnight snacking, particle size, and the solubility of calcium sources are strategies to enhance eggshell quality.

Balance of Ca, P, and vitamin D in the diet

Excesses or deficiencies will trigger eggshell problems.

Use of organic trace minerals

Trace minerals are part of the internal eggshell and participate in shell formation through enzymes. Their use may be justified when, with the increase in egg size, the eggshell becomes thinner.


Medullary bone in young hens
Medullary bone in the old hen

Good liver health

  • The addition of fats and oils or crude fats in laying diets is a well-known tool to reduce the incidence of “fatty liver syndrome”.
  • Adding choline chloride to laying diets to support liver metabolism.
  • Methionine and betaine are used to relieve liver metabolism.
  • Vitamins such as K3, E, B12, B6, and folic acid.
  • Control of mycotoxins is essential.

Liste des mycotoxines

AflatoxinesFatty liver, hepatic necrosis and biliary tract hyperplasia
FumonisineMultifocal hepatic necrosis; hepatocellular hyperplasia
Aflatoxine + T2Pale and enlarged liverReduce the metabolic challenges

Oxidative stress

Physiological stress in the body caused by cumulative damage from free radicals insufficiently neutralized by the antioxidant system, considered to be associated with aging.

  • Free radicals: they are produced during metabolism while generating ATP, as part of the inflammatory response, due to heat or cold, stress, high levels of ammonia, and oxidized fats in the diet.
  • Antioxidant system: it is a complex system involving enzymes, such as glutathione dependent on the availability of Cys, or like superoxide dismutase, as well as vitamins and minerals as cofactors for enzymes.
  • Symptoms: non-specific mortality as hens age and feather loss increases.

Fatigue cage

This is a decalcification of chicken bones when the diet is not balanced in Ca, P and vitamin D.
  • Ca levels should increase as birds age
  • P levels should be reduced as birds age
  • Vitamin D deficiency.

Improving intestinal health


Food hygiene

Try to reduce contamination as much as possible.
  • HACCP quality system to control the quality of raw materials and the final product
  • Addition of additives to reduce contamination in animal feeds
  • Don’t forget to check water quality.

Stimulate gizzard activity

The gizzard is the first natural barrier against contaminants in food. Increasing its activity will reduce pH, improving the barrier and nutrient digestion. This reduces the availability of nutrients used for pathogen growth in the lower intestine.

Additives for intestinal health

Find the best combination of gut health additives to reduce the growth of pathogens in the gut. The combination should be based on the zone of action, the level of pathogens in the zone and other challenges.
  • Enzymes; essential oils; organic acids; prebiotics; probiotics.
 Mash CFU log/grGranules/crusts UFC log/gr
Enterobacteriaceae<3< 1.5
Escherichia coli<1<1
Anaerobic sulfite reducers at 46°C<1<1
Mold<3< 1.5
Yeast<3< 1.5

Factors influencing egg size


Methionine is the first amino acid to limit egg weight. However, if we want to control egg size, we need to do so with the whole amino acid profile so that the ideal protein ratio is not broken.


There is a minimum requirement for of linoleic acid so that the size of the yolk is not a limitation on the size of the egg. Care should be taken when using raw materials with low linoleic acid content.


Adding vegetable or animal fats to the feed increases egg size. It improves feed efficiency and reduces the dusty appearance of the feed.


Birds with a high body weight (above the norm) at week 5 will produce larger eggs. It is not recommended to have birds underweight at week 5 (no more than 3%) to control egg weight in production, as performance will be compromised.