Temperature during the last week of incubation. II. Effects on first week broiler development and performance

C.M. Maatjens, Inge Van Roovert-Reijrink, I. van den Anker-Hensen, Bastiaan Engel, C.W. van der Pol, B. Kemp, H. van den Brand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Little is known about applying various eggshell temperatures (EST) during the last week of incubation. In particular, the effect of an EST below 37.8◦C during the last week of incubation is poorly investigated. Therefore, we investigated effects of EST of 35.6, 36.7, 37.8, or 38.9◦C applied from d of incubation (E) 15, E17, or E19 on first week broiler development and performance. A total of, 850 first grade eggs of a 43 wk old Ross 308 broiler breeder flock were incubated at an EST of 37.8◦C until E15. From E15, E17, or E19 onward, eggs were incubated at an EST of 35.6, 36.7, 37.8, or 38.9◦C. Chick quality was determined at placement in the broiler house and organ development was measured at d 7. BW was determined at placement, d4, and d7. Feed intake (FI) was measured at d4 and d7 and G:F was calculated between placement and d4, and between d4 and d7. Chick quality at placement was higher at an EST of 35.6◦C compared to all other EST treatments, expressed by a longer chick length and highest prevalence of closed navels. BW d 7 was higher at an EST of 36.7◦C compared to all other EST treatments, which was not caused by a higher FI during the first week. A higher G:F between d 0 and d 7 was found at an EST of 36.7◦C compared to 35.6 and 38.9◦C. At d 7,
a higher relative heart weight was found at an EST of 35.6 compared to 38.9◦C. This study indicates that an EST of 38.9◦C applied from E15 onward negatively affected chick quality, organ development, and G:F until d 7 compared to 37.8◦C. Moreover, an EST of 36.7◦C had a clear positive effect on chick quality, organ development, G:F, and growth performance until d 7. An EST of 35.6◦C resulted in equal or higher chick quality and organ weights compared to 36.7◦C, but this was not reflected in performance parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2136-2144
JournalPoultry Science
Volume95
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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