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Optimize your value chain (3) – Are your temperature conditions still in great shape?

Last month, we discussed how nature set out the guidelines to optimize incubation results. Today we describe how temperature influences the growth rate and health of embryos during incubation. We check if your hatchery practices are still in great shape.

Temperature influences growth rate and health

Accurate temperature management is vital for incubation results. If the embryos in the eggs develop with a temperature lower than 100°F, their growth rate will reduce. If the temperature rises to 102°F, the embryos show an accelerated growth at the first instance, but later these chicks grow more slowly than the others. At a temperature that exceeds 104°F, the risk of killing the embryos is imminent. What is more, if the temperature during the late period of incubation is not correct, you hinder the withdrawal of yolk sac, resulting in unhealed navels. Keeping a good temperature results in chicks that have well healed navels and an optimal growth rate. Therefore, measuring and adjusting egg shell temperature is extremely important.

During the natural breeding process, the hen makes sure the egg shells have a constant temperature of 100°F (37.8°C) by brooding more intensively or less intensively. To maintain a stable egg shell temperature in an incubator, Embryo-Response Incubation™ technologies measure the egg shell temperature and on-line control the heating and cooling systems, in response to the heat production of the embryo, just like a hen would heat and cool the eggs when needed.

Now, are your hatchery and hatchery practices still in great shape? Use the checklist for optimal temperature regulation.

Checklist for optimum temperature conditions

  • Do you use the correct loading pattern as recommended by your hatchery equipment provider? Use the correct loading pattern to ensure that the requirement of cooling water throughout the hatchery is evenly distributed. This avoids a high requirement of cooling water on one specific place that may lead to a shortage of the cooling water.

  • Do your eggs all have the same size? Make sure you load the incubator as evenly as possible. Try not to load your incubator with eggs that differ more than ten weeks in flock age to avoid a large variance in egg size, because a large variance in egg size will lead to a variance in heat production of the eggs, which leads in turn to a more difficult temperature control.
  • Do your eggs have a constant temperature of 100°F? The best way to ensure this, is to use technology that constantly monitors and controls the temperature of the eggs, for example Petersime’s OvoScan™ Embryo-Response Incubation™ technology
  • Check if the flow of your chilling water did not alter due to a changed pump or setting.
  • Check if your cooling water is of good quality and not soiled with hard or dirty water to avoid clogging of the cooling coils and losing cooling capacity.
  • Are all incubators getting the same temperature of air? Make sure they are.
  • Are all heating elements working at the same rate or are some broken? All heating elements should produce the same amount of heat.
  • Check if the belt of the pulsator has enough tension.

Next month in the Petersime e-news: why and when should CO2 levels be raised or lowered?

Read the other articles in the series “Optimize your value chain”

  1. The growing concern to deliver quality
  2. Nature’s guidance to maximizing the genetic potential of the egg