Effects of egg and yolk weights on yolk antibody (IgY) production in laying chickens

Poult Sci. 1998 Feb;77(2):266-70. doi: 10.1093/ps/77.2.266.


Twenty 35-wk-old chickens, including 10 Single Comb White Leghorn (SCWL) and 10 Rhode Island Red (RIR) hens, were used to examine the effects of egg and yolk weights on egg yolk antibody (IgY) production in the two strains of chickens immunized with BSA. The SCWL chickens had a greater (P < 0.01) percentage hen-day production and greater egg and yolk weights than did the RIR chickens. However, the anti-BSA antibody activities determined by ELISA in the serum and the egg yolk were similar (P > 0.05) between the SCWL and RIR chickens. Similarities between the two strains of hens were also observed in protein and total IgY contents (expressed as the percentage of wet weight of yolk) and the percentage of BSA-specific antibody in the total IgY. It was concluded that both the SCWL and RIR chickens immunized with BSA can produce egg yolk IgY containing similar proportions of BSA-specific antibodies. Therefore, the egg yolk weight and the percentage hen-day production, both of which are greater in the SCWL hens, are considered to be important factors for the efficient production of IgY.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Chickens / immunology*
  • Deer / immunology
  • Egg Yolk / chemistry
  • Egg Yolk / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulins / biosynthesis*
  • Immunoglobulins / immunology
  • Rabbits
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / immunology*
  • Time Factors


  • IgY
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine