Thermal treatments prior to and during the beginning of incubation affects development of the broiler embryo and yolk sac membranes, and live performance and carcass characteristics
This study evaluated temperature during preincubation and embryonic day 0 (E0) E0 to E5 of incubation on broiler embryo development and subsequent live performance. Freshly laid eggs from a single 41-wk-old Ross 708 broiler breeder flock produced on a single day were weighed individually for weight matching purposes, stored overnight, and assigned to 4 treatment combinations of 2 preincubation temperatures (23.9 or 29.4°C) × 2 E0 to E5 temperatures (38.1 or 37.5°C). The 29.4°C preincubation temperature decreased (P ≤ 0.05) yolk sac membrane (YSM) vasculature at E6 and E7, and increased (P ≤ 0.05) embryo weight and length but decreased (P ≤ 0.05) yolk sac weight (YSW) at E15. No subsequent main effects were observed. The 38.1°C incubation temperature increased YSM vasculature at E7, chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) vasculature at E8 and E10, and egg weight loss, embryo weight, and embryo length at E15 and chick length at E21 in the presence of reduced BW and YSW (P ≤ 0.05). This was followed by greater male BW at 35 d, as well as improved FCR in females 0 to 14 d and in males 15 to 35 d (P ≤ 0.05). Pectoralis major and minor yields were increased (P ≤ 0.05) at 50 d of age in males and females, respectively. There were no interactions observed with regards to broiler live performance and carcass yield, which probably negated the importance of the interactions observed for preincubation temperature by E0 to E5 incubation temperature that affected YSM vasculature, CAM vasculature area, egg weight loss, embryo weight, yolk sac weight, and chick length.