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South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589


OKUR, N.  and  ERATALAR, S.A.. Effects of ventilation programme and eggshell thickness on hatchability rate and hatching time of broiler eggs. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2021, vol.51, n.2, pp.205-211. ISSN 2221-4062.

The aim of the research was to determine whether enrichment of the atmosphere in an incubator with carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) and eggshell thickness (EST) affected embryonic death (ED), hatchability of fertile eggs (HFE) and hatching time (HT). A total of 320 Ross 308 eggs were used and the experiment was repeated twice. Eggshell thickness was classified as thin (<31 μηι), medium (31 - 32 μηι) and thick (>32 μπι). The incubators were operated with their internal atmosphere enriched with CO2 (1.57% CO2; 20.23% O2) or O2 (0.50% CO2; 22.44% O2). Embryonic death, HFE and HT data were monitored at three periods, namely early (<486 hours), middle (486 - 492 hours), and late (492 - 510 hours). Early ED, late ED and hatchability of fertile eggs were not affected by EST or by the incubator's internal atmosphere (P >0.05). Thus, O2 supplementation to the incubator was deemed unnecessary at 822 m altitude. There was a highly significant interaction between EST and HT. Eggs with shells 31 to 32 μπι thick hatched at an appreciably greater rate between 486 and 492 hours of incubation (17%) than eggs with thicker (0.6%) or thinner (0.4%) shells in both the CO2 and O2 enriched atmospheres. The hatching rate was significantly higher in the eggs with an intermediate EST than in thick-shelled eggs. A greater proportion of eggs hatched at the late HT as opposed to earlier, regardless of EST.

Keywords : broiler; eggshell thickness; hatching time; incubator ventilation programme.

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