Influence of air composition during egg storage on egg characteristics, embryonic development, hatchability, and chick quality

I.A.M. Reijrink, L.A.G. van Duijvendijk, R. Meijerhof, B. Kemp, H. van den Brand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Egg storage beyond 7 d is associated with an increase in incubation duration and a decrease in hatchability and chick quality. Negative effects of prolonged egg storage may be caused by changes in the embryo, by changes in egg characteristics, or by both. An adjustment in storage air composition may reduce negative effects of prolonged egg storage because it may prevent changes in the embryo and in egg characteristics. An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of high CO(2) concentrations or a low O(2) concentration in the storage air on egg characteristics, embryonic development, hatchability, and chick quality. Eggs were stored for 14 d in 4 different storage air compositions: normal air (control; 20.9% O(2), 0.05% CO(2), 78.1% N(2)), 0.74% CO(2) treatment (20.8% O(2), 0.74% CO(2), 77.5% N(2)), 1.5% CO(2) treatment (20.6% O(2), 1.5% CO(2), 77.0% N(2))(,) or 3.0% O(2) treatment (3.0% O(2), 0.04% CO(2), 96.0% N(2)). The storage temperature was 16 degrees C and the RH was 75%. Results showed that the change in albumen pH and albumen height between oviposition and the end of storage was less in the 0.74 and 1.5% CO(2) treatments than in the control and 3.0% O(2) treatments (P <0.001 and P <0.001, respectively). None of the treatments affected the stage of embryonic development on d 4 of incubation, hatchability, or chick quality on the day of hatch in terms of BW, chick length, and yolk-free body mass. Although high CO(2) concentrations in the storage air had a positive effect on albumen height and albumen pH, it is concluded that the storage air compositions, studied in the current study, do not affect embryonic development, hatchability, or chick quality when eggs are stored for 14 d at a storage temperature of 16 degrees C
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1992-2000
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • stored hatching eggs
  • plastic bags
  • carbon-dioxide
  • albumin characteristics
  • prestorage incubation
  • broiler breeders
  • weight-loss
  • age
  • temperature
  • growth

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