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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 403072
Title Energy partitioning during incubation and consequences for embryo temperature: A theoretical approach
Author(s) Lourens, A.; Meijerhof, R.; Kemp, B.; Brand, H. van den
Source Poultry Science 90 (2011). - ISSN 0032-5791 - p. 516 - 523.
Department(s) LR - Backoffice
Adaptation Physiology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) heat-production - eggshell temperature - lipid-metabolism - chick quality - egg size - broiler - growth - hatchability - consumption - exchange
Abstract In practice, many hatchability and chick quality problems have been related to the control of embryo temperature (ET) during incubation. Within an incubator, set at a constant machine temperature (MT), ET can vary substantially. Embryo temperature is the result of the balance between heat transfer to and from the embryo and heat production (HP) of the embryo. We investigated which factors theoretically could account for the variation in ET within an incubator. First, the effects egg weight, MT, and oxygen availability on HP of embryos were quantified. Differences in HP could be due only to differences in the amount of energy utilized from the egg or to differences in the efficiency of the conversion of energy in the egg to energy in the chicken, indicated as EYFB. Results of these analyses showed that differences in HP attributable to egg weight or oxygen availability were mainly a result of the amount of energy used from the egg constituents and not of a change in EYFB. However, at a given MT, this variation in HP could account for a maximum increase in ET of only 1.21°C, suggesting that other factors played a role because in practice within an incubator, larger differences in ET have been found. The most important factor was probably the difference in air velocity within an incubator, resulting in differences in heat transfer. Because of this variation, ET varied within an incubator and with increasing ET, EYFB decreased, resulting in an even higher HP and consequently ET. We concluded that this theoretical approach could explain the wide variation in ET, and consequently could explain the negative effects of high ET on hatchability and chick quality found in the literature. This indicates that, in both practice and in incubation experiments, it is of great importance to realize that any factor affecting HP or heat transfer influences ET. We strongly suggest that ET (or eggshell temperature) be controlled in any incubation experiment involving hatchability or energy utilization.
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