Impact of Different Rearing Systems and Age on Bovans White Layer’s Performance, Egg Quality Traits and Synthesis of Heat Shock Protein 70 kDa

Yasin Baykalir 1  and Ulku Gulcihan Simsek 1
  • 1 Department of Animal Science, Firat University, 23119, Elazig, Turkey


This study was conducted to investigate the performance of laying hens and to determine possible age-related changes on external and internal quality traits of their eggs and synthesis of heat shock protein 70 kDa (HSP70) in the conventional cage and organic rearing systems. For this purpose, 4 different Bovans White hybrid flocks of the same age were monitored in each of these two systems for 52 weeks. While a total of 360 eggs were examined to determine the effects of rearing system and age (30 and 60 weeks) on egg quality traits, 48 liver tissue samples were examined for the analysis of HSP70. Egg production (hen-day) and dirty egg ratio were higher in the organic rearing system (P<0.05). The age at 50% yield, the age at peak of lay, and peak production rate were calculated as 156, 218.75 days and 95.98% in the conventional system, and 155.75, 201.50 days, and 96.56% in the organic system, respectively (P>0.05). While egg weight, albumen weight, yolk weight, shell weight, shape index, and yolk colour were higher in the organic system, the crude ash ratio of eggshell and shell ratio were higher in the conventional system (P<0.05). It was also found that the egg weight, albumen weight, yolk weight, shell weight, and the percentage of yolk were higher at 60 weeks of age (P<0.001). The percentage of shell and albumen, shape index, and yolk colour were higher at 30 weeks of age (P<0.001). The interactions between rearing system and age were statistically significant in terms of shell thickness, shape index, crude ash ratio, and yolk colour (P<0.001). Stress protein (HSP70) level was affected only by the rearing system and was higher in the organic system (P<0.001). As a result, the organic system can be considered as advantageous in terms of egg production and quality traits and the eggs of young hens exhibited better properties. The high level of HSP70 in the organic system could indicate that hens were affected by the environmental conditions at higher rates and/or the hens reared in the organic system had a stronger antioxidant defence system.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Ahammed M., Chae B.J., Lohakare J., Keohavong B., Lee M.H., Lee S.J., Kim D.M., Lee J.Y., Ohh S.J. (2014). Comparison of aviary, barn and conventional cage raising of chickens on laying performance and egg quality. Asian-Australas. J. Anim. Sci., 27: 1196–1203.

  • Al-Haweizy A.A., Al-Sardary S.Y. (2008). Effect of dehydrated alfalfa and age on egg weight, albumen percentage, albumen index and haugh units in Hy-line W-98 layers. Acta Fytotechnica et Zootechnica, 1: 25–28.

  • Anyaegbu B.C., Onunkwo D.N., Irebuisi D. (2016). Evaluation of hen age, body weight and egg weight on percent egg component and the internal composition of Harco hen eggs. Sci-Afric. J. Sci. Issues, 4: 943–945.

  • Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). (1995). Official methods of analysis. 923.03: 16th ed. Arlington.

  • Barzilai N., Huffman D.M., Muzumdar R.H., Bartke A. (2012). The critical role of metabolic pathways in aging. Diabetes, 61: 1315–1322.

  • Calabrese V., Mancuso C., Sapienza M., Puleo E., Calafato S., Cornelius C., Finocchiaro M., Mangiameli A., Di Mauro M., Giuffrida Stella A.M., Castellino P. (2007). Oxidative stress and cellular stress response in diabetic nephropathy. Cell Stress Chaperon., 12: 299–306.

  • Chang-Ho K., Jong-Ho S., Jae-Cheong L., Kyung-Woo L. (2014). Age-related changes in egg quality of Hy-Line Brown hens. Int. J. Poult. Sci., 13: 510–514.

  • Collins L.M., Dziak J.J., Li R. (2009). Design of experiments with multiple independent variables: a resource management perspective on complete and reduced factorial designs. Psychol. Methods, 14: 202–224.

  • Dattilo S., Mancuso C., Koverech G., Mauro P.D., Ontario M.L., Petralia C.C., Petralia A., Luigi Maiolino L., Serra A., Calabrese E.J., Calabrese V. (2015). Heat shock proteins and hormesis in the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Immun. Ageing, 12: 20.

  • Denli M., Bukun B., Tutkun M. (2016). Comparative performance and egg quality of laying hens in enriched cages and free-range systems. Sci. Pap. Ser. D Anim. Sci., LIX: 29–32.

  • Dvořák P., Suchý P., Straková E., Koprivá V. (2012). Possibilities of enhancing the colour of egg yolk. J. Sci. Food Agric., 92: 853–856.

  • Englmaierová M., Tůmová E., Charvátová V., Skřivan M. (2014). Effects of laying hens housing system on laying performance, egg quality characteristics, and egg microbial contamination. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 59: 345–352.

  • Farooq M., Mian M.A., Durrani F.R., Syed M. (2012). Egg production performance of commercial laying hens in Chakwal district, Pakistan. Pakistan: Livestock Research for Rural Development;

  • Ferrante V., Lolli S., Vezzoli G., Cavalchini L.G. (2009). Effects of two different rearing systems (organic and barn) on production performance, animal welfare traits and egg quality characteristics in laying hens. Ital. J. Anim. Sci., 8: 165–174.

  • Gassmann M., Greminacher B., Rohde B., Vogel J. (2009). Quantifying western blots: pitfalls of densitometry. Electrophoresis, 30: 1845–1855.

  • Givisiez P.E.N., da Silva M.M., Mazzi C.M., Ferro M.I.T., Ferro J.A., Gonzales E., Macari M. (2001). Heat or cold chronic stress affects organ weights and Hsp70 levels in chicken embryos. Can. J. Anim. Sci., 82: 83–87.

  • Golden J.B., Arbona D.V., Anderson K.E. (2012). A comparative examination of rearing parameters and layer production performance for Brown egg-type pullets grown for either free-range or cage production. J. Appl. Poult. Res., 21: 95–102.

  • Gu X.H., Hao Y., Wang X.L. (2012). Overexpression of heat shock protein 70 and its relationship to intestine under acute heat stress in broilers: 2. Intestinal oxidative stress. Poultry Sci., 91: 790–799.

  • Hansen P.J. (2004). Physiological and cellular adaptations of zebu cattle to thermal stress. Anim. Reprod. Sci., 82–83: 349–360.

  • Holt P.S., Davies R.H., Dewulf J., Gast R.K., Huwe J.K., Jones D.R., Waltman D., Willian K.R. (2011). The impact of different housing systems on egg safety and quality. Poultry Sci., 90: 251–262.

  • Ismail F.S.A., Hayam M.A., Abo El-Maaty, Rabie M.H., Aswad A.Q. (2015). Productive performance of bovans white laying hens fed high nutrient density diets under Egyptian summer conditions. Asian J. Anim. Vet. Adv., 10: 865–874.

  • Ketta M., Tumova L. (2018). Relationship between eggshell thickness and other eggshell measurements in eggs from litter and cages. Ital. J. Anim. Sci., 17: 234–239.

  • Krawczyk J. (2009). Effect of layer age and egg production level on changes in quality traits of eggs from hens of conservation breeds and commercial hybrids. Ann. Anim. Sci., 9: 185–193.

  • Kucukyilmaz K., Bozkurt M., Herken E.N., Cinar M., Catli A.U., Bintas E., Coven F. (2012). Effects of rearing systems on performance, egg characteristics and immune response in two layer hen genotype. Asian-Austral. J. Anim. Sci., 25: 559–568.

  • Laemmli U.K. (1970). Cleavage of structural proteins during the assembly of the head of bacterio-phage T4. Nature, 227: 680–685.

  • Lewko L., Gornowicz E. (2011). Effect of housing system on egg quality in laying hens. Ann. Anim. Sci., 11: 607–616.

  • Minelli G., Sirri F., Folegatti E., Meluzzi A., Franchini A. (2007). Egg quality traits of laying hens reared in organic and conventional systems. Ital. J. Anim. Sci., 6: 728–730.

  • Mugnai C., Dal Bosco A., Castellini C. (2009). Effect of rearing system and season on the performance and egg characteristics of Ancona laying hens. Ital. J. Anim. Sci., 8: 175–188.

  • National Research Council (NRC). (1994). Nutrient Requirements of Poultry. 9th Rev ed. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sci., p. 19.

  • Patir H., Upadhyay R.C. (2010). Purification, characterization and expression kinetics of heat shock protein 70 from Bubalus bubalis. Res. Vet. Sci., 88: 258–262.

  • Perić L., Dukić Stojčić M., Bjedov S. (2016). Effect of production systems on quality and chemical composition of table eggs. Serbian J. Agric. Sci., 65: 27–31.

  • Pištěková V., Hovorka M., Večerek V., Straková E., Suchý P. (2006). The quality comparison of eggs laid by laying hens kept in battery cages and in a deep litter system. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 51: 318–325.

  • Pourouchottamane R., Ramesh Saravana Kumar V., Venkatsubramanian V., Kataktalware M.A., Mishra A., Muzamil S., Pankaj PK. (2012). Influence of rearing system on the production performance of commercial layers. Appl. Biol. Res., 14: 000–000.

  • Rath P.K., Mishra P.K., Mallick B.K., Behura N.C. (2015). Evaluation of different egg quality traits and interpretation of their mode of inheritance in White Leghorns. Vet. World, 8: 449–452.

  • Ribeiro P.A.P., Matos Jr J.B., Lara L.J.C., Araujo L.F., Albuquerque R., Baiao N.C. (2014). Effect of dietary energy concentration on performance parameters and egg quality of white leghorn laying hens. Braz. J. Poultry Sci., 16: 381–388.

  • Rouf M.G., Ahammed M., Ahammad M.U., Rahman M.R. (2015). Effects of cage and barn rearing system on early laying performance of pullet. Bang. J. Anim. Sci., 44 :151–156.

  • Simsek U.G., Ciftci M., Ozcelik M., Azman M.A., Tonbak F., Ozhan N. (2015). Effects of cinnamon and rosemary oils on egg production, egg quality, hatchability traits and blood serum mineral contents in laying quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica). Ankara Üniv. Vet. Fak. Derg., 62: 229–236.

  • Simsek U.G., Baykalir Y., Erisir M., Benzer F. (2018). Effects of conventional and organic rearing systems and hen age on oxidative stress parameters of blood and ovarian tissues in laying hens. Ankara Üniv. Vet. Fak. Derg., 65: 85–91.

  • Singh R., Cheng K.M., Silversides F.G. (2009). Production performance and egg quality of four strains of laying hens kept in conventional cages and floor pens. Poultry Sci., 88: 256–264.

  • Stanley V.G., Nelson D., Daley M.B. (2014). Evaluation of two laying systems (floor vs. cage) on egg production, quality and safety. Iran. J. Appl. Anim. Sci., 4: 597–601.

  • Tactacan G.B., Guenter W., Lewis N.J., Rodriguez-Lecompte J.C., House J.D. (2009). Performance and welfare of laying hens in conventional and enriched cages. Poult. Sci., 88: 698–707.

  • Tamzil M.H., Noor R.R., Hardjosworo P.S., Manalu W., Sumantri C. (2013). Acute heat stress responses of three lines of chickens with different heat shock protein (HSP)-70 geno-types. Int. J. Poultry Sci., 12: 264–272.

  • Thomas D.V., Ravindran V. (2005). Comparison of layer performance in cage and barn systems. J. Anim. Vet. Adv., 4: 554–556.

  • Towbin H., Staehelin T., Gordon J. (1979). Electrophoretic transfer of proteins from poly-acrylamide gels to nitrocellulose sheets: procedure and some applications. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 76: 4350–4354.

  • Van Den Brand H., Parmentier H.K., Kemp B. (2004). Effects of housing system (outdoor vs cages) and age of laying hens on egg characteristics. Br. Poultry Sci., 45: 745–752.

  • Yenice G., Kaynar O., Ileriturk M., Hıra F., Hayırlı A. (2016). Quality of eggs in different production systems. Czech J. Food Sci., 34: 370–376.

  • Yilmaz-Dikmen B., Ipek A., Sahan U., Petek M., Sozcu A. (2016). Egg production and welfare of laying hens kept in different housing systems (conventional, enriched cage, and free range). Poultry Sci., 95: 1564–1572.

  • Yilmaz-Dikmen B., Ipek A., Sahan U., Sozcu A., Baycan S.C. (2017). Impact of different housing systems and age of layers on egg quality characteristics. Turk. J. Vet. Anim. Sci., 41: 77–84.

  • Zaghini A., Martelli G., Roncada P., Simioli M., Rizzi L. (2005). Mannanoligosaccha-rides and aflatoxin B1 in feed for laying hens: Effects on egg quality, aflatoxins B1 and M1 residues in eggs and aflatoxin B1 levels in liver. Poultry Sci., 84: 825–832.

  • Zita L., Ledvinka Z., Tumova E., Klesalova L. (2012). Technological quality of eggs in relation to the age of laying hens and Japanese quails. R. Bras. Zootec., 41: 2079–2084.


Journal + Issues