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    The effects of hatch window and hatching basket nutrient availability on organ weights, performance, and processing yield of broilers were investigated. Eggs were hatched in illuminated hatchers. At the end of each hatch window period (HWP), hatched chicks were placed into control (CTL) hatching baskets with no nutrients or baskets providing access to feed and water (FAW). This resulted in 6 treatments in a factorial arrangement of 3 HWP (early, middle, or late) and 2 basket types (CTL or FAW). Chicks remained in experimental baskets until 504 h and were then subjected to a 4 h holding period at the hatchery without nutrient access. Subsequently, 1,500 hatched chicks were reared in floor pens for 42 d with 5 replicate pens per treatment. Common diets and water were provided ad libitum. Bird weights and feed consumption were recorded weekly. Individual bird weights were taken at 21 and 42 d. At 43 d, 14 males from each pen were processed. There was an interaction between HWP and basket type on placement BW (P = 0.028) and BW change in the hatcher (P < 0.001). The HWP influenced BW at hatch (P = 0.007), 7 d (P < 0.001), and 14 d (P < 0.001) and FI at 7 d (P < 0.001) and 14 d (P = 0.002). Chicks from FAW baskets were heavier (P < 0.001) than those from CTL baskets at 7 d; afterward, they were similar (P > 0.05) in BW. Yolk and liver weights were similar (P > 0.05) between basket treatments at 3 d posthatch. No differences (P > 0.05) in FCR, mortality, or processing were observed between basket treatments. Interestingly, early hatching chicks were lightest at hatch but subsequently had higher FI and BWG. These findings indicate that hatcher nutrient access may reduce weight loss in the hatcher, especially for early hatching chicks, but had no influence on subsequent performance or processing yields beyond 7 d. Published by Elsevier Inc.


    Joshua R Deines, F Dustan Clark, Doug E Yoho, R Keith Bramwell, Samuel J Rochell. Effects of hatch window and nutrient access in the hatcher on performance and processing yield of broiler chicks reared according to time of hatch. Poultry science. 2021 Sep;100(9):101295

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    PMID: 34332224

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