Egg Formation And Structure

The egg consists of four distinct parts: shell, shell membranes, albumen or white, and yolk. A schematic drawing of an egg is shown in Figure 1. The yolk is formed in the ovary. During embryonic development of the female chick, tiny ovules appear on the ovary, that may later develop into yolks of eggs to be produced by that hen. The number of immature ovules present in the chick at the time of hatching is far in excess of the number of eggs that will be produced by the hen during her lifetime.

Approximately 14 days prior to the laying of an egg, one of the rudimentary ovules in the ovary starts to increase in size. During the next 13 days the yolk develops in its follicular membrane. A suture line forms in the membrane

Table 1. Egg Production in Selected Countries


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