Egg shell a natural protection of life & Role of egg shell in chick embryology

Muhammad Farrukh Hafeez MFH


Inner Shell Membrane

Outer Shell Membrane

Mammillary Layer


Palisade Layer


Pores MFH

Basic biological functions of the eggshell is to provide an incubation environment

Conserving the valuable nutrients

Protecting the contents of the egg from the bacterial penetration Protection from Physical environment

Exchange gases

Antimicrobial Activity MFH

Egg shell matrix proteins Lysozyme Hydrolyse 1,4-beta-linkages peptidoglycans of Gram-positive bacteria . (Nau et al. 2002)

Ovotransferrin P H Y S I C A L

Iron binding protein Low Moisture Solid structure Preventing growth of Gram-negative spoilage bacteria by reducing iron. (Garibaldi 1970)


8000 pores on the eggshell These microscopic pores are essential for the exchange of respiratory gases to fertile egg and during Embryo development.

Inner and outer shell membrane, which are of different thickness and are in close contact except at the broad end, where they separate to form the air cell.

Functions Prevention of excessive water loss. (Peebles & Brake, 1986) Protection from microbial infection. ( Roussel et al.,1988) MFH

Calcium is maximum in the egg shell Other minerals are: Magnesium Phosphorus Copper Zinc Manganese Iron (Richards, 1997)

The amount of calcium contained in the yolk of the chicken's egg is insufficient for the needs of the developing embryo.


During the second half of development Embryo obtain calcium from the egg-shell

The dissolution of minerals from the shell to be used by the embryo seems to be facilitated by the acid produced by the cells of the chorioallantoic membrane.

Absorption of calcium from the shell occurs through the chorionic epithelium which is in direct contact with the shell membranes.

At the time when the absorption of large quantities of calcium begins, very specialized cells known as 'calciumabsorbing cells appear in the chorion. MFH

Copper Copper in the shell is essential for the chick embryo metabolism, as it was shown that shell-less cultures led to a failure in accumulation of normal amounts of hepatic copper during the latter half of incubation . (Richards et al.,1984)

Zinc and iron has their effect on the metabolism of of embryo. (Richards et al.,1984)



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