Shyam Sunder G.,Project on Poultry |
Kumar Ch.V.,Project on Poultry |
Panda A.K.,Project on Poultry |
Rama Rao S.V.,Project on Poultry |
Raju M.V.L.N.,Project on Poultry
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences | Year: 2010
The effects of controlled energy restriction and duration of pre-incubation egg holding on fertility, hatchability and hatch losses were evaluated in aged broiler breeders (64 wk). The energy (ME) required for maintenance, activity, growth and anticipated egg production was calculated and offered to a control group (283-471 kcal/kg) from 21-64 weeks of age. In three other groups, ME was quantitatively reduced either by 20% (SER; severe energy restriction) or 10% (MER; moderate energy restriction) and increased by10% (EEF; excess energy feeding) over the control group (CER; controlled energy restriction). Each diet was offered to 130 pullets in individual cages, and the quantity of ME increased with age. At the end of 64 weeks, fertile eggs were collected from each dietary group for 11 consecutive days and grouped under 4 holding periods based on the length of storage (2, 5, 8 or 11 d). The influence of energy regimes, egg holding intervals and their interaction was evaluated on fertility, hatch losses and hatchability. Broiler breeders maintained on SER regime (231-419 kcal/d) produced maximum number of eggs (993) followed by MER (819), CER (624) and EEF (438) during the 11-day period. The percent fertility and hatchability was significantly (p<0.05) higher in SER and MER groups compared to CER and EEF. However, energy regimes did not influence the loss in egg weight during pre-incubation storage, shell weight, shell thickness or hatch losses as dead germs and dead in shell. The improvement in hatchability in SER and MER groups appeared to be closely related to higher fertility and lower embryonic mortality. Holding of eggs for 11 days showed a linear loss in egg weight with the length of storage, but did not influence the fertility and hatch losses. The percent hatchability on eggs set was maximum when storage period was restricted to 5 days. The interaction between energy regimes and egg holding periods exhibited better hatchability results with SER regime when eggs were held for 5 days. Response to MER was not different from SER. It was obvious that energy restriction during production period had a positive influence on egg number, fertility and hatchability in aged breeders. At 64 weeks of age, holding of fertile eggs for 5 days prior to incubation was adequate for optimum hatchability in breeders.