In ovo feeding of carbohydrates and incubated at a high incubation temperature on hatchability and glycogen status of chicks
Eggs from a meat-type breeder flock at 29 and 35 weeks of age were used in two trials to investigate the effects of in ovo feeding of carbohydrates (CHO) and high incubation temperature (37.5 vs. 38.5 °C (HIT)) during days 16 to 21 of incubation on hatchability traits, chick weight at hatch as an absolute value or as a percentage of egg weight (CWTP), hatching time, glycogen concentration in the liver and pectoral muscle, and glycogen index of hatched chicks. The treatments were a non-injected control, a positive control where saline was injected, or saline with a CHO mixture at 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 mg/egg. The CHO mixture was maltose, sucrose and dextrin in a proportion of 1 : 1 : 8 by weight. As a result of this study, in ovo feeding of CHO increased CWTP without altering hatchability traits. Hatched chicks from eggs injected with 250 mg CHO/egg had a higher liver glycogen content and glycogen index than those of the control treatments. The high incubation temperature reduced chick weight, hatching time, liver glycogen and glycogen index of the hatched chicks. In ovo feeding of 100 and above mg CHO/egg overcame the negative effects of HIT. Hatched chicks from older hens had a lower concentration of liver glycogen and glycogen index than those of younger hens. It was concluded that in ovo feeding of CHO improved the weight and glycogen index of hatched chicks and those of the HIT treatment, and older hens negatively affected the glycogen index of hatched chicks.
Keywords: Broiler eggs, glycogen, incubation, liver, pectoral muscle