Comparison of performance, health and welfare aspects between commercially housed hatchery-hatched and on-farm hatched broiler flocks

I.C. de Jong*, H. Gunnink, T. van Hattum, J.W. van Riel, M.M.P. Raaijmakers, E.S. Zoet, H. van den Brand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

On-farm hatching systems for broiler chicks are increasingly used in practice. We studied whether or not performance, health and welfare aspects differed between commercial flocks hatched on-farm or in a hatchery (control). In two successive production cycles on seven farms, a total of 16 on-farm hatched flocks were paired to 16 control flocks, housed at the same farm. Paired flocks originated from the same batch of eggs and were subjected to similar on-farm management. On-farm hatched and control flocks only differed with respect to hatching conditions, with on-farm hatched flocks not being exposed to, for example, chick handling, post-hatch feed and water deprivation and transport, in contrast to control flocks that were subjected to standard hatchery procedures, subsequently transported and placed in the poultry house. Day-old chick quality (navel and hock scores), 1st week mortality, total mortality, BW at day (d) 0, d7 and at depopulation, and (total) feed conversion ratio were determined. Prevalence of footpad dermatitis, hock burn, breast discoloration/blisters and cleanliness, litter quality and gait score were determined at d21 of age and around depopulation (d39 on average). Gross pathology and gut morphology were examined at depopulation age in a sample of birds of five flocks per treatment. On-farm hatching resulted in a higher BW at d0 (=5.4 g) and d7 (=11.5 g) (P<0.001), but day-old chick quality as measured by navel (P=0.003) and hock (P=0.01) quality was worse for on-farm hatched compared to control birds. Body weight, 1st week and total mortality, and feed conversion ratio at slaughter age were similar for both on-farm hatched and control flocks. On-farm hatched flocks had less footpad dermatitis (P=0.05), which indicated a better welfare. This was likely related to a tendency for better litter quality in on-farm hatched flocks at 21 days of age in comparison to control flocks (P=0.08). No major differences in gross pathology or in intestinal morphology at depopulation age were found between treatments. In conclusion, on-farm hatching resulted in better 1st week broiler performance and better welfare compared to conventional hatching in a hatchery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1277
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal
Volume13
Issue number6
Early online date29 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Fingerprint

hatcheries
flocks
broiler chickens
farms
hatching
hock
chicks
dermatitis
litters (young animals)
feed conversion
blisters
water deprivation
feed deprivation
age at slaughter
poultry housing
bird control
farm management
gait
discoloration
breasts

Keywords

  • broiler
  • early feeding
  • on-farm hatching
  • performance
  • welfare

Cite this

@article{226a553ddd1540648c37099619210ec5,
title = "Comparison of performance, health and welfare aspects between commercially housed hatchery-hatched and on-farm hatched broiler flocks",
abstract = "On-farm hatching systems for broiler chicks are increasingly used in practice. We studied whether or not performance, health and welfare aspects differed between commercial flocks hatched on-farm or in a hatchery (control). In two successive production cycles on seven farms, a total of 16 on-farm hatched flocks were paired to 16 control flocks, housed at the same farm. Paired flocks originated from the same batch of eggs and were subjected to similar on-farm management. On-farm hatched and control flocks only differed with respect to hatching conditions, with on-farm hatched flocks not being exposed to, for example, chick handling, post-hatch feed and water deprivation and transport, in contrast to control flocks that were subjected to standard hatchery procedures, subsequently transported and placed in the poultry house. Day-old chick quality (navel and hock scores), 1st week mortality, total mortality, BW at day (d) 0, d7 and at depopulation, and (total) feed conversion ratio were determined. Prevalence of footpad dermatitis, hock burn, breast discoloration/blisters and cleanliness, litter quality and gait score were determined at d21 of age and around depopulation (d39 on average). Gross pathology and gut morphology were examined at depopulation age in a sample of birds of five flocks per treatment. On-farm hatching resulted in a higher BW at d0 (=5.4 g) and d7 (=11.5 g) (P<0.001), but day-old chick quality as measured by navel (P=0.003) and hock (P=0.01) quality was worse for on-farm hatched compared to control birds. Body weight, 1st week and total mortality, and feed conversion ratio at slaughter age were similar for both on-farm hatched and control flocks. On-farm hatched flocks had less footpad dermatitis (P=0.05), which indicated a better welfare. This was likely related to a tendency for better litter quality in on-farm hatched flocks at 21 days of age in comparison to control flocks (P=0.08). No major differences in gross pathology or in intestinal morphology at depopulation age were found between treatments. In conclusion, on-farm hatching resulted in better 1st week broiler performance and better welfare compared to conventional hatching in a hatchery.",
keywords = "broiler, early feeding, on-farm hatching, performance, welfare",
author = "{de Jong}, I.C. and H. Gunnink and {van Hattum}, T. and {van Riel}, J.W. and M.M.P. Raaijmakers and E.S. Zoet and {van den Brand}, H.",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1017/S1751731118002872",
language = "English",
volume = "13",
pages = "1269--1277",
journal = "Animal",
issn = "1751-7311",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "6",

}

Comparison of performance, health and welfare aspects between commercially housed hatchery-hatched and on-farm hatched broiler flocks. / de Jong, I.C.; Gunnink, H.; van Hattum, T.; van Riel, J.W.; Raaijmakers, M.M.P.; Zoet, E.S.; van den Brand, H.

In: Animal, Vol. 13, No. 6, 06.2019, p. 1269-1277.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Comparison of performance, health and welfare aspects between commercially housed hatchery-hatched and on-farm hatched broiler flocks

AU - de Jong, I.C.

AU - Gunnink, H.

AU - van Hattum, T.

AU - van Riel, J.W.

AU - Raaijmakers, M.M.P.

AU - Zoet, E.S.

AU - van den Brand, H.

PY - 2019/6

Y1 - 2019/6

N2 - On-farm hatching systems for broiler chicks are increasingly used in practice. We studied whether or not performance, health and welfare aspects differed between commercial flocks hatched on-farm or in a hatchery (control). In two successive production cycles on seven farms, a total of 16 on-farm hatched flocks were paired to 16 control flocks, housed at the same farm. Paired flocks originated from the same batch of eggs and were subjected to similar on-farm management. On-farm hatched and control flocks only differed with respect to hatching conditions, with on-farm hatched flocks not being exposed to, for example, chick handling, post-hatch feed and water deprivation and transport, in contrast to control flocks that were subjected to standard hatchery procedures, subsequently transported and placed in the poultry house. Day-old chick quality (navel and hock scores), 1st week mortality, total mortality, BW at day (d) 0, d7 and at depopulation, and (total) feed conversion ratio were determined. Prevalence of footpad dermatitis, hock burn, breast discoloration/blisters and cleanliness, litter quality and gait score were determined at d21 of age and around depopulation (d39 on average). Gross pathology and gut morphology were examined at depopulation age in a sample of birds of five flocks per treatment. On-farm hatching resulted in a higher BW at d0 (=5.4 g) and d7 (=11.5 g) (P<0.001), but day-old chick quality as measured by navel (P=0.003) and hock (P=0.01) quality was worse for on-farm hatched compared to control birds. Body weight, 1st week and total mortality, and feed conversion ratio at slaughter age were similar for both on-farm hatched and control flocks. On-farm hatched flocks had less footpad dermatitis (P=0.05), which indicated a better welfare. This was likely related to a tendency for better litter quality in on-farm hatched flocks at 21 days of age in comparison to control flocks (P=0.08). No major differences in gross pathology or in intestinal morphology at depopulation age were found between treatments. In conclusion, on-farm hatching resulted in better 1st week broiler performance and better welfare compared to conventional hatching in a hatchery.

AB - On-farm hatching systems for broiler chicks are increasingly used in practice. We studied whether or not performance, health and welfare aspects differed between commercial flocks hatched on-farm or in a hatchery (control). In two successive production cycles on seven farms, a total of 16 on-farm hatched flocks were paired to 16 control flocks, housed at the same farm. Paired flocks originated from the same batch of eggs and were subjected to similar on-farm management. On-farm hatched and control flocks only differed with respect to hatching conditions, with on-farm hatched flocks not being exposed to, for example, chick handling, post-hatch feed and water deprivation and transport, in contrast to control flocks that were subjected to standard hatchery procedures, subsequently transported and placed in the poultry house. Day-old chick quality (navel and hock scores), 1st week mortality, total mortality, BW at day (d) 0, d7 and at depopulation, and (total) feed conversion ratio were determined. Prevalence of footpad dermatitis, hock burn, breast discoloration/blisters and cleanliness, litter quality and gait score were determined at d21 of age and around depopulation (d39 on average). Gross pathology and gut morphology were examined at depopulation age in a sample of birds of five flocks per treatment. On-farm hatching resulted in a higher BW at d0 (=5.4 g) and d7 (=11.5 g) (P<0.001), but day-old chick quality as measured by navel (P=0.003) and hock (P=0.01) quality was worse for on-farm hatched compared to control birds. Body weight, 1st week and total mortality, and feed conversion ratio at slaughter age were similar for both on-farm hatched and control flocks. On-farm hatched flocks had less footpad dermatitis (P=0.05), which indicated a better welfare. This was likely related to a tendency for better litter quality in on-farm hatched flocks at 21 days of age in comparison to control flocks (P=0.08). No major differences in gross pathology or in intestinal morphology at depopulation age were found between treatments. In conclusion, on-farm hatching resulted in better 1st week broiler performance and better welfare compared to conventional hatching in a hatchery.

KW - broiler

KW - early feeding

KW - on-farm hatching

KW - performance

KW - welfare

U2 - 10.1017/S1751731118002872

DO - 10.1017/S1751731118002872

M3 - Article

VL - 13

SP - 1269

EP - 1277

JO - Animal

JF - Animal

SN - 1751-7311

IS - 6

ER -