Effects ofIn Ovofeeding of dextrin-iodinated casein in broilers: I. Hatch weights and early growth performance

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This study was conducted to determine the effect of in ovo feeding of dextrin (Dext) and iodinated casein (IC) on hatch and early growth in broilers. Three experiments were conducted at a commercial hatchery using a commercial Inovoject™ system with treatments occurring in conjunction with vaccination at transfer from incubator to hatcher units (18.5 to 19 d embryonic development). In all 3 experiments, approximately 15,000 eggs (2,500 eggs per group) were treated and transferred to a single hatcher unit. Treatments in Exp. 1 consisted of buffered saline solution alone (Control, Cont) or a dextrin solution (Dext, 18% maltodextrin, 10% potato starch dextrin) containing zero, 80, 240, 720, or 2,160 μg IC/mL. The results of this initial experiment indicated that broiler chicks at hatch that received 240 and 720 μg IC/mL in Dext were heavier (P < 0.05) compared to the other treatment groups; there were no differences in hatchability between groups. Based on these findings, subsequent studies used treatments of zero, 240, and 480 μg/mL IC in Dext or Cont. In Exp. 2, hatch weights in all treatment groups were higher (P < 0.05) compared to those receiving Cont. In Exp. 3, chicks given Dext alone or 240 and 480 μg/mL in saline weighed less at hatch compared to the other treatment groups. However, chicks provided Dext alone in Exp. 3 had less weight loss after a 24-hour holding period compared to the other groups. All treatment groups exhibited greater weight gain from one to 10 d compared to the Cont group. The results indicate that in ovo feeding of broiler embryos with Dext containing 240 and 480 μg IC/mL may have beneficial effects on broiler hatch weights and early growth rate.

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