New in the research library: 'The truth about turning angle and turning frequency'
HatchTech’s research team published a new research article about turning angle and turning frequency of eggs in the setter trolley. They examined how far the turning angle can be decreased without negative effects on embryonic mortality, hatchability and chick quality, and what happens when the eggs turn more frequently.
Hatcheries constantly strive for high hatchability and excellent chick quality in an efficient production process. One way to improve production efficiency is by increasing the number of chicks that hatch in existing equipment. This may be done by increasing the egg holding capacity of the setter trolley. A consequence of increasing the capacity is that the egg trays have to be spaced more closely together. As a result, the turning angle of the trays will have to be reduced to compensate for the loss of space between them.
Various studies have looked at the effect of the turning angle, but many of them compared quite extreme angles such as 30° versus 45°. Furthermore, a lot of literature is not very recent. HatchTech’s research team experimented with different turning angles, to determine how far the angle can be decreased without negative effects on embryonic mortality, hatchability and chick quality at hatching. They discovered that reducing the turning angle of setter trays from 38° (HatchTech’s current standard) to 35° did not affect embryonic mortality, hatchability or chick quality. However, reducing the turning angle to 32° or less may result in decreased hatchability and chick quality. Therefore, care must be taken to ensure that the turning angle of setter trays does not drop below 35°.
Besides changing the turning angle, our research team also increased the turning frequency from hourly to 4 times per hour. Turning the eggs more often resulted in longer, more developed chicks - possibly as a result of improved nutrient flow through the egg. This result was independent of turning angle and may therefore prove to be a simple way to further improve chick quality at hatching.