Are all eggs equal? embryonic development and nutrient metabolism in chicken eggs of different origins

A. Nangsuay

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

Abstract

Hatching eggs, supplied to hatcheries are originating from different origins varying in breed, strain, and breeder age. These hatching eggs can be different in size, composition and eggshell properties, which might influence nutrient and O2 availability and consequently could affect embryonic development and nutrient metabolism. The aim of this thesis was therefore 1) to investigate effects of egg origin on nutrient and O2 availability, 2) to investigate effects of egg origins on nutrient metabolism and embryonic development and 3) to investigate consequences of different egg origins on the incubation process and hatching characteristics. In five studies, effects of different egg origins on nutrient and O2 availability, nutrient metabolism, embryo development and hatching characteristics were investigated. The first and second study focused on breeder age and egg size. The third study on breed; broilers and layers. The fourth study on broiler strain and the fifth study on breeder age, strain and eggshell temperature (EST). The overall findings in this thesis suggest that hatching eggs from different origins are not equal in availability of nutrients and O2. Nutrient availability is altered through variation in yolk size, especially by the effects of breeder age and breed. O2 availability is altered by differences in eggshell properties, which is influenced by especially breed and broiler strain. The availability of both nutrients and O2 plays a role on nutrient metabolism measured as embryonic heat production (HP) and consequently on embryonic development. Between incubation day (E) E7 and E14, both nutrient and O2 availability might affect nutrient metabolism as shown in the results of the broiler and layer comparison. Between E14 and hatching, the availability of O2 becomes the most determinant factor for nutrient metabolism and consequently for embryonic development. An increase in EST from 37.8 to 38.9°C from E7 onward resulted in an acceleration of nutrient metabolism and embryonic development until E16, but thereafter a high EST resulted in reduced yolk free body mass development. Embryos with an accelerated metabolic speed at an early stage of incubation, caused by an increased EST, might reach limited O2 availability at a higher magnitude than the embryos at a normal EST. As a result, nutrient metabolism is restricted and embryonic development is depressed. It can be concluded that not only the HP, but also the availability of O2 is crucial to be taken into account for developing incubator temperature. The principle is to obtain an optimal EST, which could maintain the balance between O2 requirement (driven by nutrient metabolism) and O2 availability for a continuing optimal nutrient metabolism to generate sufficient energy for embryonic development throughout incubation.              

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Kemp, Bas, Promotor
  • van den Brand, Henry, Co-promotor
  • Meijerhof, R., Co-promotor, External person
Award date24 Jun 2016
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789462577749
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • eggs
  • hens
  • broilers
  • characteristics
  • strains
  • embryonic development
  • nutrients
  • metabolism
  • hatcheries
  • poultry
  • nutrition physiology

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