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Embryo development, incubation and hatching

Development of the embryo (day by day) Physical activity and metabolism Critical periods Relation between egg weight and chick weight Incubators Optimal conditions during incubation Candling of eggs Common incubation problems is given.

Day 1 of incubation
Three layers of tissue are developed. From here all organs develop
Ectoderm
Feathers, nervous system, pigmentation, hypophysis, inner ear

Mesoderm
Skeleton, muscles, tissue, heart, blood, kidneys, reproductive tract, gonads

Endoderm
Inner organs and glands

Day 2-3 of incubation


Development of the vascular system Heart, red blood cells and bone marrow are developed Blood circulation begins after 38-40 hours of incubation Critical period in embryo development

O2 consumption, CO2 prod. and heat prod. of 1000 chicken eggs during incubation
500

CO2 production ml/h O2 consumption ml/h

O2 consumption
400 200

300

Heat production

200

100

CO2 production
100

0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Day of incubation

Heat production W

Chronology of embryonic development of the chick


Incu. day 3 4 5 6 8 10 12 14 19-20 21 4.5 1.8 2.2 Size Principal major evident morphological characteristics (cm) 1 1.3 Leg and wing buds, bone marrow, red blood cells Lengthening of limb buds, prelim. head movements Partitioning of heart and movement of body Lengthening of beak, appear. of 4 distinct toes on feet Articulation of limbs, formation of external ear Formation of cranium and eyelids Appearance of down on wings and closure of eyelids Body completely covered with down Beak within the air sac, pipping and respiration w. lungs Hatching

Weight of egg and chick


(Tullett & Burton, 1982)
Weight As % of original (g) egg weight Fresh egg weight Weight loss during incubation Chick weight at hatch Shell plus residues at hatch 60.00 7.27 44.74 6.92 100.0 12.1 74.6 11.5

Hatchery
Eggs in Reception/storage Fumigation Incubator Hatcher Sexing Delivery Chicks out

Types of incubators
Natural (hens)
Table-top models vs. free-standing

Single tray vs. multiple trays


Still-air vs. forced-air Manual egg turning vs. automatic turning

Incubation temperature
Temperature is the most critical factor for incubation success. However, the effect of temperature variation depends on relative humidity and ventilation
Optimum incubation temperature is 37.8C 0.3C Greater sensitivity to increased temperature than to decreased temperature

The effect of incubation temperature on percentages of fertile eggs hatched


%
100 80 60 40 20 0 35,5 36,5 37,5 38,5 39,5 40,5 Temperature C

With relative humidity of 60%, O2= 21% and CO2 below 0.5%

The effect of turning eggs and angle of turning during incubation


Times turned daily 2 4 6 8 10 Percent hatch of fertile eggs 68.2 71.3 74.6 74.8 74.7 Angle turned Percent hatch to each side of fertile eggs vertical () 20 69.3 30 78.9 45 84.6

Candling of eggs
A simple candling device:

Candling of eggs
at day 7

A: Candling shows that the egg is not fertilised

B: The egg is fertilised. Candling shows a strong embryo


C: Candling shows a weak embryo D: A dead embryo. It is seen from the ring of blood around the embryo

Solving incubation problems 1


Indications No blood vessels at candling Many dead embryos Possible causes Eggs not fertile Embryo died very early What to do? Check flock management Check egg holding conditions Check incubation operation

Temperature too high or Check incubator and accuracy of low thermometer Improper turning Poor oxygen supply Poor nutrition Turn 3 times per day Increase ventilation Check breeder flock diet Have correct wet bulb temperature Check temperature

Pipped eggs not hatching

Low humidity

Hatch too early High temperature

Hatch too late

Low temperature

Check temperature

Solving incubation problems 2


Indications Shells stick to chick Possible causes High humidity early or low humidity late What to do? Check humidity

Cripples

Temperature problems
Humidity problems Improper turning Smooth hatching trays

Check incubator
Check incubator Correct turning Provide better traction

Large soft-bodied weak chicks


Mushy chicks, dead on tray Rough navels

Low temperature
Navel infection High temperature or wide temperature fluctuations Low moisture

Check temperature
Improve sanitation Check temperature Check wet bulb temperature

Guidelines for the first 18 days of incubation


Hygiene: Position: Humidity: Candling: clean and/or disinfected eggs broad end up, turned every hour 60% rel. after 4.-7. day

Temperature: 38C

Guidelines for the last 3 days of incubation (day 19-21)


Candling: Position: separation of eggs with dead embryos eggs lying on side no turning

Temperature: 37-37.5C

Humidity:

70-80% rel.

Day 19-20 of incubation


The embryo draws the yolk sac into the body cavity and at the end of day 20 the entire reserve will be located within the abdomen. At hatching approx. 30% of the original nutrient reserve of the yolk will still be available and will continue to be a major source of energy for the newly hatched chick during the first few days after hatching

A healthy newly hatched chick should have:


Well developed body length and depth Shiny, thick and coloured down feathers Thick shanks with spread and straight toes Big clear eyes Lively behaviour

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