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Arklow, Ireland

Salamon A.,University College Dublin | Kent J.P.,Ballyrichard House
International Journal of Poultry Science | Year: 2016

Egg turning is a vital part of the incubation process in many bird species. However, the quality and quantity of turning can differ between species. Commercial incubators with domestic fowl automatically move the eggs that are set pointed end down, 45° either side from the vertical every hour. However, goose eggs are not set pointed end down vertically, but horizontally with the long axis parallel to the horizontal plain, i.e., laid flat on wire trays and turned as described above. With this method of incubation the down side of the goose egg will not find itself facing upwards during the incubation process if the eggs do not get additional hand turning. It was suggested (Bogenfurst, 2004) that goose eggs lying flat as above but at an angle of 45-60° on the trays, do not require manual turning. This study used eggs from one year old geese that were in addition hand turned (around the short or the long axis of the egg by 180°) once per day from d 10-26 of incubation. Turning was in the opposite manner on alternative days. Their hatchability was compared with eggs that had no hand turning. Fertility was >85.42% in all egg Groups. Overall, the hatchability of fertile goose eggs in Group C (no manual turning; 44.12%) was significantly lower than those of Groups A (manual turning around long axis; 63.77%; p = 0.002) and B (manual turning around short axis; 61.94%; p = 0.005). Manual turning did increased the hatchability of goose eggs with no significant difference between the short or long axis turning Groups. © Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2016. Source

Salamon A.,University College Dublin | Kent J.P.,Ballyrichard House
International Journal of Poultry Science | Year: 2013

Egg weight increased with age (one to four years) in domestic geese and was followed by a senescent decline. However a more striking finding in adult geese was a within season decline in egg weight over the first eight weeks of lay, until baseline weight levels were achieved and were then maintained until the end of the laying season. The egg weight decline (wks 1-8) was significantly different from the baseline egg weight (wks 9-19) in adult flocks. The within season decline in egg weight is attributed to constraints on the ability of birds to acquire the necessary nutrients exogenously during the laying season, requiring the geese to utilise their limited endogenous reserves. The seasonal decline in egg weight is consistent with that in other waterfowl. However, a baseline egg weight level was found here that may be difficult to identify in wild geese, as in nature clutch completion is followed by incubation. The baseline level reflect the minimum egg weight necessary for viable gosling production. In one year old geese egg weight was lower from the genesis of egg laying through the first eight weeks and weight then steadily increased between weeks 9-19 tending towards the adult baseline levels. This is consistent with the maturation of one year old birds and shows that young geese are working towards the production of eggs with a viable egg weight. © Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2013. Source

Murphy K.J.,University College Dublin | Murphy K.J.,Kings College London | Hayden T.J.,University College Dublin | Kent J.P.,Ballyrichard House
PeerJ | Year: 2014

Chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus) learn to peck soon after hatching and then peck in rapid bursts or bouts with intervals of non-pecking activity. The food sources may be static such as seeds and chick crumb, or mobile such as a mealworm. Here, changes with age in pecking toward chick crumb and a mealwormwere measured. Chicks were reared in pairs and their pecking of crumb food was video recorded in their pair housed environment, from food presentation, every third day from day 8 (wk 2) to day 65 (wk 10). Peck rate at crumb food reached maximum levels at day 32 (wk 5), and then declined, fitting a quadratic model, with no sex, sex of cagemate, or box order effects.Within bouts the peck rate was higher and it increased to day 41 (wk 6) and then declined, and here males pecked faster than females. A change in dietary protein concentration from 22% to 18% at day 28 (wk 4) had no effect on subsequent peck rate. Pecking at and consumption of a mealwormin pair housed chicks were measured weekly from wks [5 to 12]. The latency to first worm peck and latency to swallow decreased to wk 8 and increased thereafter. The peck rate to first wormpeck and number of pecks to swallow increased to wk 8 and then declined paralleling the changes with crumb food. The increase in peck rate is coupled with an increase in efficiency in wormcatching. The results are consistent with the view that the improvement in pecking ability and accuracy compliments change in nutritional requirement best served by an invertebrate food (IF) source requiring speed to achieve feeding success, especially with live prey. When this food source is no longer crucial these associated skill levels decline. An appreciation of the role of domestic fowl in controlling insect populations, at farmlevel, that are often vectors in disease spread is lacking. © 2014 Murphy et al. Source

Salamon A.,University College Dublin | Kent J.P.,Ballyrichard House
International Journal of Poultry Science | Year: 2014

While the avian egg is formed in the oviduct, it acquires its shell membranes and shape in the isthmus and the calcified shell in the shell gland/uterus. However, in domestic species not all eggs are laid pointed end first, which led to the suggestion that egg rotation can occur in the oviduct prior to laying producing the blunt end first. However, not all studies were in agreement as to which end the pointed or the blunt-comes out first. Here, opportunistic observation of laying behaviour in domestic geese and ducks was carried out. 89.47% of the single yolked (SY) goose eggs were laid pointed end first. Goose age and dimensions did not influence the orientation of the egg, though the 12 blunt end first eggs were heavier and wider. 85.52% of the SY duck eggs were laid pointed end first. However, in double yolked (DY) duck eggs evidence was presented showing that the yolks closer to the airspace (blunt end) tend to be heavier (Salamon and Kent, 2013a) and had higher levels of fertilization (Salamon and Kent, in press) consistent with the yolk at the blunt end of the egg being ovulated first and suggests that the blunt end of these large eggs was caudal in the oviduct during egg formation. Questions remain to be answered. © Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2014. Source

Salamon A.,University College Dublin | Salamon A.,Ballyrichard House | Kent J.P.,Ballyrichard House
International Journal of Poultry Science | Year: 2014

Double-yolked (DY) and single-yolked (SY) duck eggs (n = 1318 for both) were candled and weighed on Days (d) 2, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22 and 25 of incubation and yolk/embryo position was recorded on d2, d8 and at post-mortem. From d8 only eggs with live fertile yolk(s) remained in the incubator. On d2, 99.39% of yolks in DY eggs were in the adjacent position and by d8 yolk positions changed to parallel position in DY1F (one fertile yolk) and DY2F (two fertile yolks) eggs, 14.1 and 88.62%, respectively (p<0.001). Thus yolk position is associated with yolk fertility. In eggs with two infertile yolks yolk position remained adjacent in 88.21% of the eggs. Early (d1-d8), mid (d9-d21) and late (>d22) embryonic mortality was significantly higher in DY compared to SY eggs (p<0.001). Early mortality was higher in DY1F eggs (31.58, vs. 12.03% DY2F eggs; p<0.001). Late mortality was higher in DY2F eggs (70.38, vs. 51.03% DY1F eggs; p<0.001). Hatchability of fertile SY eggs was 87.2% (1001/1148). Single ducklings hatched from 11 of 437 DY1F eggs (2.52%) and from two of 449 DY2F eggs (0.44%). The egg weight of hatched DY eggs tended towards the SY egg norm suggesting an optimal DY egg size and associated yolk volume for the successful production of viable ducklings © Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2014. Source

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