Effect of warming profile at the onset of incubation on early embryonic mortality in long stored broiler eggs

I.A.M. van Roovert-Reijrink*, C.W. van der Pol, R. Molenaar, H. van den Brand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In 6 experiments, it was investigated whether the pattern of warming from storage temperature to incubation temperature affects early embryonic mortality in broiler eggs. The warming profile (WP) from 21°C to the final incubation temperature of 37.8°C was divided into 2 equal parts (above and below 29.4°C) and the duration of warming in both parts was varied (3 to 17 h). In all experiments, eggs were stored for 13 to 16 d at a storage temperature of 18±2°C. In experiment 1, embryo morphology was evaluated at several time points during a linear warming curve of 24 h from 21°C to an eggshell temperature (EST) of 37.8°C. Results from experiment 1 showed that during the 24 h of warming, embryos did not advance in morphological stage (P = 0.74).Results of experiment 2 and 3 showed that the duration of the WP below 29.4°C (3 to 17 h) had no effect on early embryonic mortality (P ≥ 0.77). Experiment 4 and 6 showed that in eggs from prime breeders, a slow WP (>12 h) above 29.4°C resulted in lower embryonic mortality during the first 2 d of incubation (on average 5.0%) compared to a fast WP of 3 to 6 h (on average 11.3%). In experiment 6, an interaction was found between WP and breeder flock age for embryonic mortality till day 7 of incubation (P = 0.002). Warming profile did not affect embryonic mortality during the first 7 d of incubation in eggs from the young breeder flock. However, in eggs from the prime breeder flock, a WP of 12 h in the first part of warming, followed by 17 h in the second part of warming (WP12-17) had 6.2% lower embryonic mortality in the first 7 d of incubation compared to WP12-3. It can be concluded that a slower WP above 29.4°C reduces early embryonic mortality in long stored eggs, especially those of prime breeder flocks. At this moment, it remains unclear which mechanisms are involved in this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4083-4092
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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