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Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science

versão impressa ISSN 1516-635Xversão On-line ISSN 1806-9061


VIEIRA, SL et al. Hatching distribution of eggs varying in weight and breeder age. Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic. [online]. 2005, vol.7, n.2, pp.73-78. ISSN 1516-635X.

Broiler chicks from one incubator hatch within long periods of time, which leads to dehydration and reduction in yolk sac reserves of those chicks that have hatched earlier and potentially impairs early performance. The present research investigated the hatching distribution at intervals of incubation using eggs of different weights within one breeder age or eggs from widely different breeder ages. Eggs from breeders at 27 and 59 weeks of age (54 and 69 g) and from breeders at 40 weeks of age, which were graded as light (58 g) and heavy (73 g), were placed in a commercial incubator. There were a total of 1,184 eggs distributed in four treatments and eight replicates: eggs from 27-week-old breeders (27B), eggs from 59-week-old breeders (59B), light eggs from 40-week-old breeders (40BL) and heavy eggs from 40-week-old breeders (40BH). Replicates were comprised of 37 eggs that were placed in each incubator tray. The treatments were physically separated from each other using a plate. Eggs were transferred to a hatcher after 432 hours of incubation and the first chick hatched at 449 hours of incubation. Afterwards, the number of completely hatched chicks from each replicate was recorded at six-hour intervals until 503 hours of incubation, when the hatchings stopped. Hatched chicks were removed from the trays after each measurement. Data were submitted to an analysis of variance with repeated measures. There was a significant interaction between breeder age and incubation length. The hatching onset of eggs from the old breeders was later compared to young breeders. Hatchability (%incubated eggs) was lower for the old breeders; however, differences in hatchability as a percentage of the hatched eggs were not so evident. Complete hatchability occurred only at 503 hours of incubation; however, more than 90% eggs had hatched 18 hours earlier.

Palavras-chave : breeder age; egg weight; hatchability.

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