Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, March 05, 1977, Image 33

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    Poultry seminar
[Continued from Page 11
centered around recent
studies that both had done
with egg shell problems. One
supplemented the other with
Bezpa centering on the
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causes of egg shell damage,
and Birth on the solution to
the shell breakage problem.
Basically, through recent
statistical studies including
an eight-state field study,
Bezpa has found that the
average amount of eggs
either cracked or broken in
the northeastern region of
the United States is 12.15 per
cent, with 50 per cent of the
farms having over 10 per
cent damage.
Exclaiming over the high
cost poultrymen pay for this
10 per cent damage, Bezpa
brought home his point by
breaking it down into size of
flock and dollars lost.
Using the industry
average of 240 eggs per bird
per year, and the 15 cent
spread between the cracked
egg market and the sound
shell market, the total comes
to 30 cents per bird lost per
year. In other words, if a
poultryman raises 30,000
birds, he will lose $9,000; if
he raises 60,000 birds he will
lose $18,000; and if he raises
100,000 birds, he will lose
$30,000 per year.
“These are not fabricated
figures,” claimed Bezpa,
“these are accurate.”
Another way to break
down the monetary loss due
to egg shell damage is to
compute it in dollars per
Kermit Birth
*km »
In a tlock where the
average amount produced is
53,000 eggs a day, (75,000
birds) there is an $BO - $lOO
loss daily with 10 per cent
shell damage.
Many factors influence the
cracking of the shells.
Thickness, size, shape and
condition of shell all play a
part as well as management,
equipment, egg movement,
handling, number of insults
to the shell, aging, nutrition,
and health of the bird.
Bezpa, however, was
primarily interested in how
the eggs became broken on
the way from the hen to the
carton in the first of two
studies he cited. In the field
study it was pointed out that
3.83 per cent of the breakage
occurs at point of lay. The
reasons for this could be
cage design, number of birds
per cage, the position of the
birds in the cage, the laying
behavior of the birds, and the
number of eggs on the belt.
Age is also a factor. Ac
cording to Bezpa, the per
centage of breakage in
creases each month by V 2 of
one per cent as the bird gets
Another important factor
in the high incidence of egg
shell damage is the
machinery involved, and the
conveyance of eggs from one
point to another.
“As long as the belt are
level, from one point to
another, and you have the
proper flow of eggs on that
belt, you can convey eggs
from Lancaster to Reading
and not incur any breaks,”
Bezpa pointed out. Straight
line travel under good
conditions turned out to be
relatively stress-free for the
when eggs are
one elevation to
or when the
flow of eggs is
taken from
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, March 5,1977 —
Dr. Stan Smith
changed, as at a corner, then
breakage will be higher.
“At a comer, occurrence
of breakage depends on the
quality of the shell and the
number of eggs on that belt.”
At one operation used in the
field study, the incidence of
breakage was as high as
seven per cent at the comers
of the conveyor.
Bezpa stated that through
the study, the researchers
did find out that the way to
eliminate breakage at
comers is to blend the size of
“If you’re conveying eggs
from an old flock, it’s a good
idea to mix it in with eggs
from a young flock - then you
have large and small eggs,”
Bezpa explained.
One surprising result of
the study came when the
researchers looked into the
affects of the washer on
“We thought there would
be an awful lot of breaking
occurring with the washing
of the eggs, but we found less
than 3 A of a per cent,” he
said. Thermal cracks were
found from putting 50-55
degree eggs into a washer
that is 110 degrees.
“You run into thermal
checks that way,” noted
A total summary of the
study showed that less then
five per cent of egg shell
damage occurred from the
cage to the cooler, and about
half occurred in the
Kermit Birth went on to
qualify some of the points
which Bezpa had made. He
asserted that while an egg
may crack anywhere along
the line from producer to
consumer because of stress
put on the shell, the primary
cause of that egg breaking
probably occurred at the
point of lay.
“An egg shell may get as
many as 30-plus stresses on
it,” he explained, “and
somewhere it’s got to give,
but the actual cause of the
break may not be the
principle cause. A lot of
those problems start where
it rolls out of the nest,” he
He gave a few techniques
of finding the problem in a
system that is cracking or
breaking shells. He said to
first look at the location of
the damage and the point of
impact. Also, it is important
to look for patterns. And,
when further evaluating
shell damage, make a list of
where the eggs are stressed
on the machinery. Then,
once the list is made, code
them, ard go over the
systems a few more times,
listening and looking for
more stress points. Then, if
the cracks are occurring
where they really shouldn’t,
go back to the point at which
they roll out of the nest and
check there for the problem
Poultry Nutrition
Dr. Stan Smith, Agway,
New York, spoke on the
second topic of the program.
His area of expertise was
nutrition and the importance
of the different variables in
the chicken’s diet. He
stressed that due to the
poultry now being confined
to the cage, the diets which
producers give them must
contain all the nutrients
necessary for healthy egg
production, because the
birds can no longer go
elsewhere to fend for
themselves as they once did.
And, one nutrient that Smith
stressed as being of key
importance is water.
“Just mistreating water
can knock your production
about as fast as anything,”
he asserted, bringing to
focus the point that if a
producer wants to bring a
bird down in production, he
removes the water and feed.
A bird needs about one pint
of water for every large egg
produced. Smith advocates
having a waterer on each
partition so if one is faulty,
thebird has access to another
He went on to explain other
nutritive elements and how
they affect the health of
poultry as based on his own
research and the findings of
others m the field.
Following the meeting, all
participants were invited to
talk with the speakers and
examine a candling display
which Birth provided
John Bezpa