To examine the importance of albumen as a protein source during embryonic development on the posthatch performance of laying hens, 3 mL of the albumen was removed. At hatch, no difference in BW could be observed. Chicks from the albumen-deprived group had a lower residual yolk weight due to higher yolk utilization. During the rearing phase (hatch to 17 wk of age), the BW of the albumen-deprived pullets was lower compared with the control and sham pullets. The feed intake of the albumen-deprived pullets was also lower than the control pullets. However, during the laying phase (18 to 55 wk of age) these hens exceeded the control and sham hens in BW, although this was not accompanied by a higher feed intake. The albumen-deprived hens exhibited a lower egg production capacity as demonstrated by the reduced egg weight, laying rate, and egg mass and increased number of second grade eggs. In addition, the eggs laid by the albumen-deprived hens had a higher proportional yolk and lower proportional albumen weight. In conclusion, prenatal protein deprivation by albumen removal caused a long-lasting programming effect, possibly by differences in energy allocation, in favor of growth and maintenance and impairing reproductive performance.