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Study Shows Hatch Window Impacts Chick Development

11 April 2013

BRAZIL - Research shows that incubation time impacts intestinal and organ development of broiler chicks.

Prematurely hatched chicks remaining inside the hatchery for longer periods presented improved koilin membrane development in the gizzard, and smaller presence of CD3+ cells in thymus, spleen and ileum than those birds that hatched close to the standard time for hatchery opening.

Different periods of hatching, called hatch windows, occur inside the same hatchery and birds' development could be affected by this.

In Journal of Applied Poultry Research, R.M. Hayashi and colleagues at the Federal University of Parana report a study evaluating morphology of the intestinal mucosa and gizzard, and the presence of CD3+ cells in thymus, spleen and intestinal mucosa in broiler chicks hatched from different egg weights and in different hatch windows.

Eggs from breeders at 38 weeks of age were evaluated in a factorial 3×2 experimental design, with three hatch windows (hatching before 472 hours of incubation, between 472 and 488 hours of incubation, and between 488 and 504 hours of incubation) and two egg weights (lightweight and heavyweight).


Hayashi R.M., L.N. Kuritza, M.C. Lourenço, L.B. Miglino, L. Pickler, C. Rocha, A. Maiorka and E. Santin. 2013. Hatch window on development of intestinal mucosa and presence of CD3-positive cells in thymus and spleen of broiler chicks. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 22(1):9-18. doi: 10.3382/japr.2012-00488

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

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