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Interaction between breeder age and hatching time affects intestine development and broiler performance

, : Interaction between breeder age and hatching time affects intestine development and broiler performance. Livestock Science

This study was carried out to investigate the effects of breeder age and hatching time on hatching performance, morphological changes in jejunum and post-hatch performances until slaughter age. A total of 544 eggs were obtained from two Ross broiler breeder flocks at 32 (young, Y) and 49 (old, O) wk of age. Eggs from each breeder age were placed in 8 egg trays and incubated under standard incubation conditions. Between 480 and 504h of incubation, eggs were checked individually to record hatched chicks. According to hatching time, chicks were marked and divided into two groups as early hatched (EH, from 480 to 485h of incubation) and late hatched (LH, from 495 to 500h of incubation). Sixteen chicks from each breeder age and hatching time were randomly selected at 3h after hatching, weighed and sacrificed by cervical dislocation. Weights of residual yolk sac, heart, spleen and bursa of fabricius, lengths of digestive tract, jejunum, and villus height and width were obtained. Hatching performance was determined. Chicks from each breeder age and hatching time were reared up to 35 d. Body weight and feed intake were recorded weekly, then feed conversion ratio was calculated. Hatching distribution of the chicks from Y breeders was concentrated in the EH stage of the incubation. Chick weight was significantly influenced by hatching time, where LH chicks registered heavier weight compared to chicks on EH group. Chicks from Y breeders had the shortest villus height in compare to the other groups when hatched at EH stage of the incubation. From 7 to 21 d, O chicks hatched at LH had the heaviest body weight than the others. Feed intake of chicks from O breeders was higher than Y breeders from 1 to 21d, while feed conversion ratio was not influenced along the experimental period. We concluded that breeder age should be taken into consideration in the management of hatching eggs during incubation.


DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2013.07.012

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