Five hundred and four 40-wk-old Brown Dwarf hens (1.51 +/- 0.08 kg BW) were fed corn-soybean meal diets containing 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6% conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) for 56 d to measure the effects of dietary CLA on laying hen productivity and egg quality during refrigerated storage. Four hens were placed in 1 cage, and 3 cages were grouped as 1 replicate resulting in 6 replicates per treatment. After feeding the experimental diets for 11 d, eggs were collected to determine the fatty acid composition of egg yolks. From d 12 to 18, eggs from hens fed diets containing 0, 2, 4, and 6% CLA diets were stored at 4 degrees C for up to 28 d. At designated times (1, 14, or 28 d), eggs were taken, broken, and shelled to evaluate water content, pH, and ion concentration. Firmness of hard-cooked egg yolk was also determined. With increased dietary CLA, feed intake, BW gain, rate of egg production, egg weight, and feed efficiency all decreased linearly (P < 0.01). The weight of the yolk, albumen, and shell decreased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing dietary CLA. Concentration of CLA in the yolk lipids increased quadratically (P < 0.01), with increasing dietary CLA. Concurrent increases (P < 0.01) in the concentration of myristic, palmitic, and stearic acids and decreases (P < 0.01) in oleic, linoleic, linolenic, and archidonic acids in egg yolk lipids were observed. Days of storage and CLA (P < 0.01) increased yolk firmness. Egg yolk water content and pH increased with storage and CLA content (P < 0.01). Corresponding decreases were observed in albumen pH. Regardless of dietary treatment, the concentrations of Na, K, and Mg in egg yolks increased with longer storage time. At 28 d of storage, there was a linear (P < 0.01) increase in Na, K, and Mg content in egg yolks as dietary CLA increased. In contrast to the egg yolk, the concentrations of Na, K, and Mg in egg albumen decreased with storage time. On d 28, there was a linear decrease (P < 0.01) in the Na content of albumen with increasing CLA. This study suggests that the greater firmness of CLA-fed eggs might be related to the change of pH, water content, and ion concentrations during refrigerated storage.