There is a high awareness on egg quality in our industry based on receiving a number of responses that were on target.

The first of the real-life problem situations dealt with fecal staining of shells from a white-feathered flock housed in an old facility. This defect is usually due to soiling of eggs hanging back in cages with sagging floors or alternatively contamination on dirty belts.

The immediate in-plant solutions involve:

  • Ensuring correct operation and sensitivity of the dirt detector.
  • If a candling booth is installed, removal of grossly soiled “dirties” is necessary. If throttle settings are near grader capacity an extra candler will be required to reduce the inspection load to six spindles.
  • The temperature of washers should be raised to between 120F and 125F with a pH of 11 to 12. Sanitizer concentration should be between 100 and 150 ppm chlorine with a surfactant to enhance cleaning.

The longer term approach is to adjust the slope of cage floors (if possible) to facilitate rollout or to consider re-caging of an obsolete installation at the end of its functional life.

A few respondents commented on wet droppings as a cause. Good point. If high water intake during summer leads to diuresis and diarrhea, retrofitting roof insulation and improving ventilation should be considered. Never impose water restriction in hot weather. Rarely is excess salt or limestone contaminated with magnesium responsible for wet droppings but nutrient content can be assayed as errors do occur in feed plants.

Thank you for your interest in this feature. Depending on response we will run a new problem in alternate editions with a recap the following month.