Egg Size, Eggshell Conductance and Incubation Temperature Influences on Maturity of Commercial Turkey Poults

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Title: Egg Size, Eggshell Conductance and Incubation Temperature Influences on Maturity of Commercial Turkey Poults
Author: Funderburk, Sarah Lynn
Advisors: Mike J. Wineland, Committee Member
H. John Barnes, Committee Member
Jesse L. Grimes, Committee Member
Vern L. Christensen, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to describe characteristics of the egg and incubation conditions that may improve the viability of turkey poults at the time they are placed in brooders. In part one, the objective was to measure the size of the egg and the eggshell conductance and their effects on poult viability. After recording an initial egg weight prior to incubation, the eggshell conductance (G) of large and small eggs was determined following weighing at d25 (transfer) of incubation. Eggs were then sorted according to G group (Low, Average and High) and placed randomly into the incubator for hatching. At hatching poults were identified by treatment group and mortality was recorded until Day 7 of the brooding period. BW were taken at Day 1 and Day 4 post placement. Egg size and conductance, as well as, egg size and poult sex interacted to affect BW at Day 1 and Day 4. The best quality poult came from a large egg with Low eggshell conductance and conversely poor quality poults came from small eggs with a Low conductance. In part two, two trials determined the effects of G and incubation temperature on poult maturation. Using eggs from an induced molted flock and a first cycle flock, G of eggs incubated under two temperature profiles (high temperature profile (HP) or low temperature profile (LP)) was calculated. Poults from each treatment were followed for growth, intestinal maturation and thyroid function. The best quality poult came from an egg incubated at a HP. The overall worst quality poults came from eggs with Low G regardless of incubation profile. Among eggs from an induced molted flock and a new flock the temperature throughout incubation and the G influenced the maturity of the turkey poult during the brooding period. In part three, using two trials the effect of sex combined with G and incubation temperature profile on the ability of a poult to mature were observed. Using eggs from an induced molted flock and a first cycle flock, G of eggs incubated under two temperature profiles (HP or LP) was calculated. At hatching poults were marked according to treatment group and vent sexed. Poults from each treatment were followed for growth, intestinal maturation and thyroid function. Males were more physiologically mature with increased ability to grow during the brooding period than females. Eggs incubated under a HP provided a more viable hatchling. Regardless of sex, eggs with Average or High conductance provided a better quality poult at hatching than Low conductance eggs.
Date: 2006-06-22
Degree: MS
Discipline: Poultry Science
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/223


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