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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Eggshell Colour on the Quality of Table and Hatching Eggs Derived from Japanese Quail

Institute of Biological Basis of Animal Production, University of Life Sciences in Lublin 13 Akademicka St., 20–950 Lublin, Poland
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Animals 2020, 10(2), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020264
Received: 10 January 2020 / Revised: 3 February 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 7 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
The eggshell is the first element in the assessment of both table and hatching eggs. It may be influenced by many factors, i.e., the birds’ genotype, their utility type, rearing system, environmental conditions and feed mineral additives. However, the eggshell colour may affect the shell itself as well as both the quality of eggs and their biological value. Among the standard coloured eggs of Japanese quail, the eggs with a uniform shell can be found, in white to celadon colour. Consumers have no preferences in this regard, they are satisfied with the small size and taste of the egg. However, breeders believe that these eggs may be worse in the case of internal quality, both in terms of consumption and hatching. The aim of the study was to evaluate table and hatching eggs of Japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) depending on the eggshell colour. It seems that Japanese quail eggs with uniform “blue” shells do not appear to be of poorer quality than those with brown-spotted shells if they are intended for consumption. However, in the aspect of hatching eggs, the eggshell colour may modify the hatching results and body weight of the chicks obtained.
The aim of the study was to evaluate table and hatching eggs of Japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) depending on the eggshell colour. The research was carried out in two stages, in terms of table eggs’ quality and their biological value as hatching eggs depending on the eggshell colour. In both stages, 300 Japanese quail eggs were used in each (600 in total) divided into two equal groups: with a brown-spotted shell, with a uniform shell in shades of blue. In the 1st stage, quality characteristics of the whole egg (weight, specific gravity, proportions of particular elements), yolk (weight, colour, index), albumen (weight, height) and shell (colour, strength, weight, thickness, density) were evaluated. In the 2nd stage, eggs were incubated under standard conditions and following biological characteristics were analyzed: eggs fertility, embryo mortality, hatchability of fertile and set eggs, body weight of hatchlings and their proportion in egg weight. The shell colour, “blue” or spotted, of Japanese quail eggs, does not appear to influence their quality if they are intended for consumption. However, the hatching results and body weight of obtained chicks of Japanese quail may be affected by the eggshell colour.
Keywords: egg quality; hatchability; spotted shell; blue shells; Japanese quail egg quality; hatchability; spotted shell; blue shells; Japanese quail
MDPI and ACS Style

Drabik, K.; Batkowska, J.; Vasiukov, K.; Pluta, A. The Impact of Eggshell Colour on the Quality of Table and Hatching Eggs Derived from Japanese Quail. Animals 2020, 10, 264.

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