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A simplified method for correcting contaminant concentrations in eggs for moisture loss

Authors

  • Gary H. Heinz,

    Corresponding author
    1. U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, BARC-East, Building 308, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705
    • U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, BARC-East, Building 308, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705
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  • Katherine R. Stebbins,

    1. U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, BARC-East, Building 308, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705
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  • Jon D. Klimstra,

    1. U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, BARC-East, Building 308, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705
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  • David J. Hoffman

    1. U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, BARC-East, Building 308, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705
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  • Published on the Web 2/16/2009.

Abstract

We developed a simplified and highly accurate method for correcting contaminant concentrations in eggs for the moisture that is lost from an egg during incubation. To make the correction, one injects water into the air cell of the egg until overflowing. The amount of water injected corrects almost perfectly for the amount of water lost during incubation or when an egg is left in the nest and dehydrates and deteriorates over time. To validate the new method we weighed freshly laid chicken (Gallus gallus) eggs and then incubated sets of fertile and dead eggs for either 12 or 19 d. We then injected water into the air cells of these eggs and verified that the weights after water injection were almost identical to the weights of the eggs when they were fresh. The advantages of the new method are its speed, accuracy, and simplicity: It does not require the calculation of a correction factor that has to be applied to each contaminant residue.

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