R.M. Radu-Rusu

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NUTRITIONAL PECULIARITIES OF THE HEN EGGS PRODUCED WITHIN IMPROVED CAGES OR FREE RANGE ALTERNATIVE SYSTEMS

R.M. Radu-Rusu, M.G. Usturoi, Cristina Gabriela Radu-Rusu, I. Vacaru-Opriş

Abstract
Since the E.U. regulations on poultry welfare enforced egg producers to migrate from conventional husbandry systems toward the alternative ones, it was interesting to investigate certain chemical and nutritional parameters of the hen eggs produced in the new conditions. 500 Lohmann Brown hens, aged 21 weeks, were randomly allotted 250 in each of the two groups coded IC (improved cages system) and FR (free range system) and fed the same diet. The housing version became the experimental factor which differentiated the populations (800 cm2/hen in IC group, isolated hall and 9 hens/m2 in FR + access to an outer paddock). 100 eggs/group were collected, yolks and albumens separated for sampling then re-mixed to assess whole egg traits. Standardized methods were used to analyze chemical composition, caloricity and cholesterol content, then ANOVA single factor served for statistical analysis. Yolk water content was almost similar for both groups, 56.92% vs. 57.01% (IC vs. FR). Main organic compounds of yolk were higher in the eggs laid by IC hens (proteins-13.44%, lipids 25.42%) compared to FR eggs (proteins-13.28%, lipids-25.39%). Therefore, caloricity was slightly lower in free-range originated yolks (330.18 kcal vs. 330.82 kcal per 100 g yolk), as well as the cholesterol level (lower in FR-918.66 mg/100g and slightly higher in IC-921.97 mg/100 g). Per whole edible egg of 60 g, caloricity was somehow identical in groups (between 105 and 106 Kcal) and cholesterol content reached 215.72 mg in IC eggs and 213.16 mg in FR eggs.

Key words: eggs, improved cages, free range, chemical composition, cholesterol