On-Farm Factors Affecting the Hatchability of Broiler Eggs in Parent Breeder Operations

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Virginia Tech

This paper discusses different on-farm factors affecting the hatchability of eggs coming from broiler breeders. Inconsistent hatchability has been an on-going issue for the poultry industry. This review brings together information from previous research studies to determine areas where hatchability may be affected. Physical eggshell properties, including eggshell thickness for embryo protection, water loss, and nutrient supply set the stage for further hatchability discussion. This paper addresses the relationship between the current genetic makeup of commercial breeders and hatchability as well as the role of animal behavior and environmental enrichments. After the egg leaves the breeder house, other factors potentially affecting hatchability are discussed. These include egg sanitation, temperature regulation, and egg storage length in conjunction with hen age. Hatchability research is conflicting, but suggestions are made for further industry attention based on the evidence provided throughout the review.