The effect of eggshell temperature on malpositions, protein energy and heart weight in broiler embryos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

In practice, high incubation temperatures at the end of incubation are often observed due to cooling or air velocity problems in the incubator. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the consequences of high eggshell temperatures on viability, heart weight and protein use in broiler embryos. Embryos were incubated at normal (37.8°C) or high (38.9°C) eggshell temperature (EST) after 7 days of incubation and hatchlings were measured at 12 h after emerging from the eggshell. Death embryos in the high EST had 3.1% more ‘head over wing’ and 1.7% more ‘head between legs’ malpositions than the normal EST. The reason for these malpositions is unknown, but might be related to weakness of the embryo or lower muscle activity. Embryos in the high EST had a lower body development at hatch in terms of a lower yolk free body, a larger residual yolk and a shorter chick length. In the high EST, less protein energy was deposited in the yolk free body and more remained in the residual yolk than in the normal EST. Protein energy was used because it determines largely yolk free body mass. Efficiency in protein transfer from the egg to the hatchling was decreased in the high EST and protein energy was lost or maybe used for other purposes than body synthesis. Incubation time was 8 h shorter in the high EST and decreased the time to develop. Relative heart weight was lower in the high EST (0.60%) than in the normal EST (0.77%). This decrease in heart development might increase health problems in later life such as ascites and sudden death syndrome. In conclusion, high EST decrease heart and body development at hatch due to a lower protein synthesis and efficiency during incubation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstracts of the 4th workshop on Fundamental Physiology and Perinatal Development in Poultry, Bratislava, Slovakia, 10-12 September 2009
Pages31-31
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event4th workshop on Fundamental Physiology and Perinatal Development in Poultry, Bratislava, Slovakia -
Duration: 10 Sep 200912 Sep 2009

Workshop

Workshop4th workshop on Fundamental Physiology and Perinatal Development in Poultry, Bratislava, Slovakia
Period10/09/0912/09/09

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Molenaar, R., Meijerhof, R., Kemp, B., & van den Brand, H. (2009). The effect of eggshell temperature on malpositions, protein energy and heart weight in broiler embryos. In Abstracts of the 4th workshop on Fundamental Physiology and Perinatal Development in Poultry, Bratislava, Slovakia, 10-12 September 2009 (pp. 31-31)