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Scientific | Abstract | Post-hatch

High Eggshell Temperatures During Incubation Decrease Growth Performance and Increase the Incidence of Ascites in Broiler Chickens

Roos Molenaar*, Mike Hulet†, Ron Meijerhof‡, Conny Maatjens*, Bas Kemp#, and Henry van den Brand#

*HatchTech Incubation Technology B.V., P.O. Box 256, 3900 AG Veenendaal, the Netherlands; †Department of Poultry Science, Penn State University, University Park 16802, USA; ‡Poultry Performance Plus, Kleine Enkweg 1, 7383 DB Voorst, the Netherlands; #Adaptation Physiology Group, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, the Netherlands.

High eggshell temperatures (EST; ≥38.9°C) during the second half of incubation are known to decrease the body and organ development of broiler hatchlings. In particular, relative heart weights are decreased by a high EST, and this may increase the incidence of metabolic disorders that are associated with cardiovascular development, such as ascites. The current study investigated the effects of a high EST on chick quality, subsequent performance, and the incidence of ascites later in life.

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