Differences in egg nutrient availability and embryo development in white layer breeder genotypes
Because of consumers' preferences and also due to changes in production systems, the importance of pure breeds has increased again. There are a lot of differences among breeds which have been studied extensively, however, the differences during the incubation period are not yet fully known. Therefore, the present study was conducted to evaluate the composition of the egg parts, absorption of nutrients, and development of embryos from different genotypes. A total of 354 fresh hatching eggs were obtained from one hybrid (Lohman White, LW) and two pure breeds (Denizli and Gerze). Hatching eggs from each genotype were examined on the day of setting for egg analysis and then at the beginning of the embryonic d 19 (E19) and embryonic d 21 (E21) for egg, embryo, jejunum, and tibia analysis. On d 21 of incubation, the healthy chicks were removed and weighed. Egg weight, shell thickness, percentages of albumen, and some parameters of albumen composition (dry matter, water, ash, protein, energy, Na, Ca, K, and Mg) were higher in fresh eggs obtained from LW hens. Furthermore, the relative yolk sac and embryo weight, some yolk parameters (dry matter, water, protein, fat, and energy) and some shell parameters (dry matter, ash, Na, Ca, and K) were also higher in eggs obtained from LW hens during incubation. However, tibia deformation and villus width were lower in LW embryos than the other genotypes. Relative chick weights were 68.9, 72.0, and 68.0% in LW, Denizli, and Gerze genotypes, respectively. During incubation, differences in all examined parameters were significant except thickness and weight of shell, tibia deformation, and crypt depth. Yolk sac weight, some yolk composition parameters, K level in the shell, Cu level in the tibia, and villus height were also affected by genotype and period interaction. Based on these results, LW was found advantageous in terms of egg composition, however, regarding villus development and tibia deformation in embryos during incubation, pure breeds showed better results.