Eggshell Temperature Manipulations During Hatching Influence Hatchability, Broiler Performance and Ascites Incidence27 March 2015
Both short- and long-term periods of elevated temperatures during incubations were found in this Turkish study to affect embryo development, incubation results, broiler performance and the incidence of ascites.
The aim of this study at Uludag University in Turkey was to determine how a control temperature and acute and chronic high eggshell temperatures during the last three days of incubation, can affect hatchability, chick quality and organ development on day of hatch as well as broiler performance and ascites incidence in later life, explain A. Sozcu and A. Ipek in Poultry Science.
The eggshell temperature manipulations were applied during hatching term (days 19 to 21) as follows:
- control EST (37.3 to 38.0°C)
- acute high eggshell temperature manipulations (38.4 to 39.0°C for three hours daily) and
- chronic high eggshell temperature manipulations (38.4 to 39.0°C).
The lowest hatchability and the highest cull chick rate were in the chronic high eggshell temperature manipulations group.
Lower chick quality parameters correlated with lower chick weights and heavier residual yolk sac weights that were in the chronic high eggshell temperature manipulations group depending on hatch time.
Live weights on the first day of the growing period were higher in the control and acute high eggshell temperature manipulations groups than the chronic high eggshell temperature manipulations group.
At six weeks of of age, live weights of broilers were the highest in the control than in the acute and chronic high eggshell temperature manipulations groups.
Total mortality was 2.5, 9.2 and 13.3 per cent, the mortality due to ascites was 2.1, 8.3 and 12.9 per cent in the control, acute and chronic high eggshell temperature manipulations groups, respectively.
The right ventricular/total ventricular ratios for the control, acute and chronic high eggshell temperature manipulations groups were 0.22, 0.28, and 0.30 per cent, respectively.
Sozcu and Ipek concluded that short-term and long-term higher temperatures during the hatching term affect embryo development, incubation results, broiler performance and ascites incidence.
They added that, although the acute high eggshell temperature manipulations did not affect chick quality parameters at hatch, incubation results and broiler performance (especially mortality due to ascites) were adversely affected.
Sozcu A. and A. Ipek. 2015. Acute and chronic eggshell temperature manipulations during hatching term influence hatchability, broiler performance, and ascites incidence. Poultry Science. 94:319-327. doi: 10.3382/ps/peu080