Egg fertility and hatchability in Avians broiler-breeder hens under humid tropical conditions
Impact of temperature and humidity in different month of lay was evaluated on fertility and hatchability in broiler breeder hens reared in Sapele, Nigeria. Six million, six hundred and nineteen thousand, seven hundred and forty six eggs from flocks of Avians broiler-breeder hens reared between 2005 and 2006 in a farm located in Sapele were used. Egg fertility and hatchability (P<0.001) were significantly affected by month of lay. The month of June recorded the highest egg fertility were the highest in hatchability of set eggs and fertile eggs was in May. However, fertility and hatchability for all months between May and October were not different from each other but significantly higher than the values obtained in January- April and November-December. Months of May-October were the rainy season in Sapele while dry spell covers November to April. Temperature had significant (P<0.05) but negative correlation with egg fertility (r = -0.31), hatchability of set eggs (r = -0.26) and fertile eggs (r = -0.12) respectively. Correlation of amount of rainfall with egg fertility (r = 0.29), hatchability of set eggs (r = 0.22) and of fertile eggs (r = 0.06) was positive (P<0.05). Relative humidity had positive (P<0.05) correlation with egg fertility (r = 0.25), hatchability of set eggs (r = 0.17) and fertile eggs (r = 0.48). Correlation of number of rainy day with egg fertility (r = 0.40), hatchability of set eggs (r = 0.34) and fertile eggs (r = 0.71) was positive and strong (P<0.05). It can be concluded that high pen temperature especially during dry season does adversely affect egg fertility and hatchability in Avians broiler-breeder hens under humid tropical conditions.
Keywords: season, egg fertility, hatchability, broiler-breeder, Sapele