Effects of breeder age and short-term temperature stimulation during incubation on performance, organ weight, and carcass yield in male and female broilers

Isabelle Naemi Kaneko, Jovanir Inês Müller Fernandes, Adrieli Braga de Cristo, Flavia Kleszcz da Cruz, Tatiana Carlesso dos Santos


Birds develop thermoregulatory control during the last days of incubation. Different temperature conditioning programs have been proposed to prepare broiler chicks for post-hatch life. This study aimed to investigate the effects of short-term temperature (STT) stimulation and breeder age on hatching performance, embryo development, yolk absorption, and post-hatch performance of male and female broilers. A 2 × 2 factorial completely randomized design was used, with two breeder ages (30 and 60 wk), two temperature incubation programs (control and STT), and 2,520 eggs per treatment. Eggs were distributed in two large-scale commercial incubators with a capacity of 120,960 eggs. The control group was subjected to a standard single-stage incubation program (37.2-37.4 °C), whereas the STT group was subjected to a temperature increment of 1 °C for 4 h on embryonic days 16, 17, 18, and 19. Embryos were analyzed at 16 and 19 days of incubation, and chicks at hatch. At 19 days of incubation, STT conditioning resulted in lower yolk sac weight in embryos from 60-wk-old breeders and higher relative weight of the gastrointestinal tract in embryos from 30-wk-old breeders. At hatch, males had lower residual yolk weight, females had greater length, and chicks from 60-wk-old breeders subjected to STT had higher body weight and relative weight of the gastrointestinal tract. Eggs from 30-wk-old breeders showed higher fertility and hatchability and lower infertility, mortality, and second-grade chick percentages. Regarding performance, it was found that males had higher body weight from 7 to 42 days of age and higher whole leg yields. Females, on the other hand, had higher fat yields. Breeder age and sex influenced gastrointestinal tract development, carcass yield, and performance. A 1 °C increase in incubation temperature for 4 h from days 16 to 19 of incubation affected yolk absorption and digestive tract development in chicks from 60-wk-old breeders without, however, influencing performance results.


Gastrointestinal tract; Hatch; Heat conditioning; Yolk.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2021v42n4p2569

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
E-mail: semina.agrarias@uel.br
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional