Revista Brasileira de Ciência Avícola
Print version ISSN 1516-635X
TRALDI, AB et al. What determines hatchling weight: breeder age or incubated egg weight?. Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic. [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.4, pp.283-285. ISSN 1516-635X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-635X2011000400011.
Two experiments were carried out to determine which factor influences weight at hatch of broiler chicks: breeder age or incubated egg weight. In Experiment 1, 2340 eggs produced by 29- and 55-week-old Ross® broiler breeders were incubated. The eggs selected for incubation weighed one standard deviation below and above average egg weight. In Experiment 2, 2160 eggs weighing 62 g produced by breeders of both ages were incubated. In both experiments, 50 additional eggs within the weight interval determined for each breeder age were weighed, broken, and their components were separated and weighed. At hatch, hatchlings were sexed and weighed, determining the average initial weight of the progeny of each breeder age. Data were analyzed using the Analyst program of SAS® software package. In Experiment 1, the weight difference between eggs produced by young and mature breeders was 10.92 g, and the component that mostly influenced this difference was the yolk (7.51 g heavier in mature breeders, compared with 4.23 g difference in albumen and 0.8 g in eggshell weights). Hatchling weight difference was 9.4 g higher in eggs from mature breeders. In Experiment 2, egg weight difference was only 0.74 g, but yolk weight was 4.59 g higher in the eggs of mature breeders. The results obtained in the present study indicate that hatchling weight is influenced by egg weight, and not by breeder age.
Keywords : Albumen; eggshell; hatchling weight; incubation; yolk.