Influence of egg storage time and preincubation warming profile on embryonic development, hatchability, and chick quality

I.A.M. Reijrink, D. Berghmans, R. Meijerhof, B. Kemp, H. van den Brand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When eggs are stored beyond 7 d, hatchability and chick quality decrease. The cause of the negative effects of prolonged egg storage is not clear. The negative effects may be caused by a decrease in embryo viability due to an increase in cell death. The optimal time and curve of preincubation warming (the preincubation warming profile) may be different for eggs stored over short and long periods of time because embryo viability is dependent on egg storage time. The aim of this study was to investigate whether preincubation warming profiles affect embryonic development, hatchability, and chick quality when eggs are stored for a short or prolonged time. Two experiments were conducted. In both experiments, a 2 x 2 completely randomized design was used with 2 storage times (4 and 14 d at 17°C in experiment I and 4 and 13 d at 19°C in experiment II) and 2 preincubation warming profiles (within 4 or 24 h from storage temperature to 37.8°C). In experiment I, results suggested that the effect of preincubation warming profile on hatchability was dependent on storage time. However, because a low number of eggs were used in this experiment, these differences were not significant. In experiment II, the interaction between storage time and preincubation warming profile was observed for embryonic mortality during the first 2 d of incubation and hatchability (P = 0.006 and P = 0.01, respectively). When storage time was 13 d, embryonic mortality during the first 2 d of incubation decreased by 4.4% and hatchability increased by 5.7% when the 24-h preincubation warming profile was used instead of the 4-h preincubation warming profile. However, no effect of preincubation warming profile was observed when storage time was 4 d. In both experiments, chick quality decreased when storage time increased but was not affected by preincubation warming profile. We concluded that a slow preincubation warming profile is beneficial for hatchability when storage time is prolonged but does not affect chick quality
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1225-1238
JournalPoultry Science
Volume89
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • broiler breeder eggs
  • hatching eggs
  • prestorage incubation
  • temperature
  • age
  • weight
  • length
  • performance
  • blastoderm
  • morphology

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