NOVOGEN participation to World Poultry Congress in Paris


Egg-laying time, a key piece of information to improve laying hen performance.

NOVOGEN was at the World Poultry Congress, held in Paris from 7 to 11 August 2022. It was an opportunity to present research results carried out in collaboration with INRAE (France’s National Research Institute for Agriculture). For this research, the NOVOGEN selection system on the floor was used. In particular, it allows the individual laying time of the hens to be measured on a daily basis, as soon as they use the nests.

The egg-laying time was studied on more than 2,000 hens, from peak to mid-lay. Different profiles were observed. Some hens laid one egg per day without a pause (hens A and B; Figure 1). Others took pauses from time to time (hen C) or regularly (hen D). Each pause was preceded by a rapid shift in egg-laying time. The study showed that about 70% of the variability in egg-laying time was genetic! The determinism of this trait was also found to be stable over time, suggesting that it could be easily predicted throughout the bird’s career.

Knowing the laying time allows us to characterise the laying rhythm in detail, and thus to select more precisely and quickly the good layers, those with a stable laying time. For floor selection, it can also be used to differentiate between hens that take breaks and those that sometimes lay off-nest (do not shift their laying time). Egg-laying time is now used in NOVOGEN’s selection programmes to improve egg-laying behavior, while maintaining high egg production and quality.


Figure 1 : Laying hours of four hens recorded over 200 days

Source: Bécot L., Bédère N., Coton J., Burlot T., Le Roy P., 2022. Genetic parameters for the oviposition time using high-throughput phenotyping from individual electronic nests in laying hens. World’s Poultry Congress. 07-11 August 2022, Paris, France.

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