Schaffelaarbos recognised early that egg shells have more in them than just calcium carbonate.
Steggcal, the basic egg shell product of Schaffelaarbos, contains 6% protein from the membrane, the dried contents of the egg and the egg white from the shell. Schaffelaarbos determined the amino acids of this egg white. A complete nutrient matrix has been drawn up. The matrix does not say anything about the health-promoting substances, however.
The most importants substances are:
At the start of this century, the protein Ovocalyxine was detected and studied. It is part of the defense mechanism of the egg to protect the embryo. Ovocalyxine is part of the protein matrix in which the calcium carbonate is deposited.
Also called muramidase, these are enzymes that damage the wall of a bacterium. It slows the growth of harmful bacteria. Approximately 0.38% Lysozyme is found in whole egg. Converted into whole egg powder, this is approximately 15 g/kg.
This is also found in the egg membrane. It has wound-healing properties. Commercially produced hyaluronan is used against skin aging and for injections into painful joints.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate are part of this group that have been found in the egg membrane. Patients with arthritis can benefit from these.
This special protein in the egg binds iron and ensures that the growing embryo does not have any iron deficiency at the cellular level. But it does more than that! It has a clearly proven inhibiting effect on bacteria and the Marek virus. Whole egg has 2 g/kg, converted into egg powder this is over 8.3 g/kg.
Schaffelaarbos had a literature study performed into the composition and properties of egg shells and egg shell membrane. You can request this via e-mail.
So as to determine that the calcium from Steggcal has good bioavailability for pets and farm animals and whether there are possible added effects from the special substances, Schaffelaarbos had various tests done with laying hens, broilers and pigs.
Laying hens long-term test (70 weeks)
Pilot studies have shown that egg shells can have positive effects on production results, besides being a good source of calcium. That is why a test was conducted with laying hens during the entire laying period in conjunction with the Animal Health Authority. The production of three groups of laying hens (total of 320 hens, 20/cage, 16 cages) was followed for 70 weeks. The treatments were: 1: Control feed, coarse-grained and fine-grained limestone, 2: Standard level, 6% Steggcal F plus coarse-grained limestone, and 3: High level Steggcal F, just Steggcal F. Both Steggcal F groups demonstrated a higher laying percentage, not significant over the entire period but from the age of 69 weeks, the difference ramped up and a trend was visible (p<0.1). Egg weights were equivalent over the entire period, and the total egg production for the Steggcal F groups were higher than they were for the control group. The shell production for the Steggcal F groups and thus also the quantity of utilised calcium from the feed was significantly higher. The conclusion was that Steggcal F is an outstanding source of calcium for laying hens. Together with the pilot studies, this test provides strong indications that better laying persistence can be achieved with Steggcal F. This means a sustainable laying hen with proven maintenance of shell quality.
Two small-scale tests with older laying hens were performed. In the first test in 2008 (64 – 73 weeks age), coarse-grained and fine-grained limestone was replaced completely by 11% Steggcal F. In the second test of 2010 (79 – 84 weeks age) fine-grained limestone and a portion of coarse-grained limestone were replaced by 6% Steggcal F. In the first test, Steggcal F yielded a higher, yet not significantly different laying percentage. In the second test, the laying percentage was significantly higher for the Steggcal F group than it was for the control group. In this test, the feed conversion was also better for the Steggcal F group. Because both tests had very positive results, but were only performed during a relatively brief period, it was decided to perform a long-term test with animals that were to receive Steggcal F in their feed during their entire productive period.
The conclusion is that Steggcal F is an excellent source of calcium for laying hens, broilers and pigs. You can also conclude from this that Steggcal F is a good source of calcium for all animals. In addition, there are strong indications that Steggcal F has a positive influence on intestinal health and that it has a positive effect on the laying percentage of older hens.