Laying, egg quality and blood profile of native hens


  • Lukáš Zita Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
  • Adam Kraus Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
  • Ondřej Krunt Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
  • Karolína Machová Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
  • Cyril Hrnčár Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources
  • Eva Chmelíková Czech University of Life Sciences Prague


cholesterol, egg-laying, Czech golden spotted hen, Oravka hen, oviposition


The objective of this study was to assess egg quality parameters for the whole laying period depending on oviposition time and breed of Czech and Slovak native breeds of laying hens. Besides, to determine the differences between selected breeds in laying pattern, related to the oviposition place. Furthermore, biochemical blood parameters were measured at the end of the study. A total of 60 pullets at the age of 20 weeks were divided according to the breed. Each treatment consisted of 3 replications of 10 laying hens. The eggs were collected every day, at 6:00, 10:00 and 14:00 and the amount of eggs was recorded for each oviposition time interval (from 14:00 to 5:59, from 6:00 to 9:59 and from 10:00 to 13:59). Moreover, the oviposition place (inside and outside the nest) and the amount of eggs in particular place were recorded. In addition, blood samples were collected. Significantly heavier eggs were laid between 10:00 and 13:59 than between 6:00 and 9:59 h (52.44 vs. 51.39 g, resp.). Haugh units were highest in eggs from Czech golden spotted hens that were laid between 6:00 and 9:59 h and in eggs from Oravka hens that were laid between 6:00 and 9:59 h and between 10:00 and 13:59 h. Significantly lower content of yolk cholesterol was found in Czech golden spotted hens compared to Oravka hens (10.64 vs. 11.22 mg/g, resp.). The Czech golden spotted hens had significantly higher level of glucose in blood serum than Oravka hens (16.47 vs. 14.03 mmol/l, resp.). The Czech golden spotted hens, gene reserve of the Czech Republic, are not yet sufficiently described in scientific literature, which highlights the importance of this study.

Author Biographies

Lukáš Zita, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague


Adam Kraus, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague


Ondřej Krunt, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague


Cyril Hrnčár, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources 0000-0002-6149-2331

Eva Chmelíková, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague



Abdalla M. A. and Ochi, E. B. (2018). Effect of laying hen’s age and oviposition time on egg cholesterol contents. Science Letters, 6(1), 42–46.

Ahmed A. M. H. et al. (2005). Changes in eggshell mechanical properties, crystallographic texture and in matrix proteins induced by moult in hens. British Poultry Science, 46(3), 268–279. doi:

Andrews Jr J. W. et al. (1968). Cholesterol metabolism in the laying fowl. American Journal of Physiology, 214(5), 1078–1083. doi:

Begli, H. E. et al. (2010). Heritability, genetic and phenotypic correlations of egg quality traits in Iranian native fowl. British Poultry Science, 51(6), 740–744. doi:

Belew, A. K. et al. (2016). The state of conservation of animal genetic resources in developing countries: A review. International Journal of Pharma Medicine and Biological Sciences, 5(1), 58–66.

Blaha, M.J. et al. (2008). The importance of non–HDL cholesterol reporting in lipid management. Journal of Clinical Lipidology, 2(4), 267–273. doi:

Brandl, H. B. et al. (2014). Composition of bacterial assemblages in different components of reed warbler nests and a possible role of egg incubation in pathogen regulation. PloS One, 9(12), 114861e. doi:

Fernandez, M. L. and Webb, D. (2008). The LDL to HDL cholesterol ratio as a valuable tool to evaluate coronary heart disease risk. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 27(1), 1–5. doi:

Hrnčár, C. et al. (2013). The effect of oviposition time on egg quality parameters in Brown Leghorn, Oravka and Brahma hens. Animal Science and Biotechnologies, 46(1), 53–57.

Iannotti, L. L. et al. (2014). Eggs: the uncracked potential for improving maternal and young child nutrition among the world's poor. Nutrition Reviews, 72(6), 355–368. doi:

Keeling, L. J. (2004). Welfare of the laying hen. CABI Publishing, Oxfordshire, 448 p.

Kibala, L. et al. (2015). Ultrasonic eggshell thickness measurement for selection of layers. Poultry Science, 94(10), 2360–2363. doi:

Koronowicz, A. A. et al. (2016). Dietary conjugated linoleic acid affects blood parameters, liver morphology and expression of selected hepatic genes in laying hens. British Poultry Science, 57(5), 663–673. doi:

Kraus, A. and Zita, L. (2019). The Effect of Age and Genotype on Quality of Eggs in Brown Egg Laying Hybrids. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, 67(2), 407–414. doi:

Kraus, A. et al. (2021). Determination of selected biochemical parameters in blood serum and egg quality of Czech and Slovak native hens depending on the housing system and hen age. Poultry Science, 100(2), 1142–1153. doi:

Krawczyk, J. et al. (2011). Effect of housing system on cholesterol, vitamin and fatty acid content of yolk and physical characteristics of eggs from Polish native hens. Archiv für Geflügelkunde, 75(3), 151–157.

Krunt, O. et al. (2021). Guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) eggs and free range housing: A convenient alternative to laying hens’ eggs in terms of food safety?. Poultry Science, 100(4), 101006. doi:

Lesnierowski, G. and Stangierski, J. (2018). What's new in chicken egg research and technology for human health promotion? A review. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 71, 46–51. doi:

Moller, A. P. et al. (2000). Carotenoid-dependent signals: indicators of foraging efficiency, immunocompetence or detoxification ability?. Avian and Poultry Biology Reviews, 11(3), 137–160.

Oliveira, J. L. et al. (2019). Effects of litter floor access and inclusion of experienced hens in aviary housing on floor eggs, litter condition, air quality, and hen welfare. Poultry Science, 98(4), 1664–1677. doi:

Packard, C. J. and Saito, Y. (2004). Non−HDL cholesterol as a measure of atherosclerotic risk. Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis, 11(1), 6–14. doi:

Pavlík, A. et al. (2007). Effects of housing systems on biochemical indicators of blood plasma in laying hens. Acta Veterinaria Brno, 76(3), 339–347.

Reynard, M. and Savory, C. J. (1999). Stress-induced oviposition delays in laying hens: duration and consequences for eggshell quality. British Poultry Science, 40(5), 585–591. doi:

Riber, A. B. (2012). Gregarious nesting - An anti-predator response in laying hens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 138(1-2), 70–78. doi:

Rizzi, C. and Chiericato, G. M. (2010). Chemical composition of meat and egg yolk of hybrid and Italian breed hens reared using an organic production system. Poultry Science, 89(6), 1239–1251. doi:

Salma, U. et al. (2007). Effect of dietary Rhodobacter capsulatus on egg-yolk cholesterol and laying hen performance. Poultry Science, 86(4), 714–719. doi:

Samiullah, S. et al. (2016). Oviposition time, flock age, and egg position in clutch in relation to brown eggshell color in laying hens. Poultry Science, 95(9), 2052–2057. doi:

Shaker, A. S. et al. (2019). Effect of hen oviposition time on some egg characteristics. Journal of Animal and Poultry Production, 10(6), 171–174. doi:

Shin, J. Y. et al. (2013). Egg consumption in relation to risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98(1), 146–159. doi:

Sparks, N. H. C. (2006). The hen's egg-is its role in human nutrition changing?. Worlds Poultry Science Journal, 62(2), 308–315. doi:

Tang, S. G. H. et al. (2015). Chemical compositions of egg yolks and egg quality of laying hens fed prebiotic, probiotic, and synbiotic diets. Journal of Food Science, 80(8), 1686–1695. doi:

Tůmová, E. and Ebeid, T. (2005). Effect of time of oviposition on egg quality characteristics in cages and in a litter housing system. Czech Journal of Animal Science, 50(3), 129–134.

Tůmová, E. and Ledvinka, Z. (2009). The effect of time of oviposition and age on egg weight, egg components weight and eggshell quality. Archiv für Geflügelkunde, 73 (2), 110–115.

Tůmová, E. et al. (2017). Differences in oviposition and egg quality of various genotypes of laying hens. Czech Journal of Animal Science, 62(9), 377–383. doi:

Tyler, C. and Geake, F. H. (1961). Studies on egg shells. XV. - critical appraisal of various methods of assessing shell thickness. Journal of the Science of Food Agriculture, 12(4), 281–289. doi:

van Deventer, H. E. et al. (2011). Non–HDL cholesterol shows improved accuracy for cardiovascular risk score classification compared to direct or calculated LDL cholesterol in a dyslipidemic population. Clinical Chemistry, 57(3), 490–501. doi:

Villanueva, S. et al. (2017). Nest use and patterns of egg laying and damage by 4 strains of laying hens in an aviary system. Poultry Science, 96(9), 3011–3020. doi:

Vlčková, J. et al. (2019). Changes in the quality of eggs during storage depending on the housing system and the age of hens. Poultry Science, 98(11), 6187–6193. doi:

Yang, P. K. et al. (2013). Deposition rule of yolk cholesterol in two different breeds of laying hens. Genetics and Molecular Research, 12(4), 5786–5792. doi:

Zaheer, K. (2015). An updated review on chicken eggs: production, consumption, management aspects and nutritional benefits to human health. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 6(13), 1208–1220. doi:

Zhuang, P. et al. (2021). Egg and cholesterol consumption and mortality from cardiovascular and different causes in the United States: A population-based cohort study. PLoS Medicine, 18(2), e1003508. doi:

Zita, L. et al. (2018). Effect of housing system on egg quality and the concentration of cholesterol in egg yolk and blood of hens of native resources of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Journal of Applied Poultry Research, 27(3), 380–388. doi:






Animal Science