Genotypic and Dietary Effects on Egg Quality of Local Chicken Breeds and Their Crosses Fed with Faba Beans
The quality of chicken eggs is an important criterion for food safety and the consumers’ choice at the point of sale. Several studies have shown that egg quality can be influenced by the chickens’ genotype and by the composition of the diet. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of faba beans as a substitute for soybeans in the diet of chickens originating from traditional low-performance breeds in comparison with high-performing laying type hens and their crosses on egg quality parameters. Chickens of six different genotypes were fed either with a feed mix containing 20% faba beans with high or low vicin contents or, as a control, a feed mix containing soybeans. The genotypes studied were the local breeds Vorwerkhuhn and Bresse Gauloise, as well as commercial White Rock parent hens and their crosses. Yolk weight, Haugh units, yolk and shell color, the frequency of blood and meat spots and the composition of the eggs were significantly influenced by the genotype. The feeding of faba beans had an effect on yolk and shell color, Haugh units and shell portion, while there was no significant influence on the frequency of blood and meat spots.