British Poultry Science Volume 48, Number 2 (April 2007), pp. 145—153
Effects of electrical field on hatchability performance of eggs from a layer-type breeder
T.M. SHAFEY, H.A. AL-BATSHAN AND M.M. GHANNAM1
Department of Animal Production and 1Department of Physics, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Abstract 1. Eggs from a layer-type breeder flock (Baladi, King Saud University) between 50 and 63 weeks of age were used in three trials to study the effects of electrical field (EF) during incubation on albumen and yolk heights, incubation temperature, egg weight loss and hatchability traits. The effects of egg size and eggshell characteristics on hatchability traits of eggs incubated under EF were investigated.
2. Eggs were weighed and graded into three weight classes (small, medium, and large). The physical dimensions, eggshell characteristics, and conductance of eggs were examined. The incubator was divided into two compartments for the control and EF treatments. Two aluminium plates were fitted on the inside walls of the EF compartment, face to face, and connected to a step up electric transformer. Eggs were exposed constantly to the EF during the first 18 d of incubation at the level of 30 kV/m, 60 Hz.
3. Egg size influenced the physical dimensions and eggshell characteristics of eggs. Large eggs had higher egg weight, egg surface area, egg volume, eggshell conductance, and eggshell weight and lower yolk weight percentage than medium or small size eggs. Small eggs had lower egg length and higher egg density than large or medium size eggs. Large eggs had higher eggshell thickness than small size eggs.
4. EF incubation of eggs raised incubation temperature by 0.06 C, and increased the percentage of egg weight loss, hatchability, and weight of hatching chicks and reduced the early embryo deaths, and length of incubation by approximately 9.8, 19.6, 1.7, 62.1 and 2.1%, respectively.
5. There was no significant difference between the two incubation treatments in the heights of albumen and yolk of incubated eggs, percentages of late embryo deaths, and pips with live and dead embryos. Hatchability traits were not significantly influenced by egg size.
6. It was concluded that EF incubation of eggs increased hatchability, chick-hatching weight, and reduced the length of incubation of Baladi eggs. Differences in the physical dimensions and eggshell characteristics of eggs did not influence hatchability traits of eggs under EF incubation.