Incubation and Chick Quality

Newsletter No. 93

Pars Reform, the incubator company, has an interesting document entitled “Genetic Progress Inspires Changes in Incubation Technology”.    Reading it, it is important to remember that the progress in poultry production is a direct result of the very large volumes of sales that supported and financed the technical developments.  With all we have learnt of ostrich working on a very low scale, they are capable of achieving similar levels of production when farmed using economies of scale adopting management systems appropriate for commercial levels of Ostrich production.

Variation in Broiler and Layer Embryo - Chicken

The developing embryo illustrating variation in Broiler and Layer Embryo

Quote: The developing embryo: variation between the heart structures of a layer embryo (A) and a broiler embryo (B) at 40 hours of incubation.  In studies conducted by Pas Reform, genetic selection for growth was shown not only to influence growth after hatching, but also to influence the growth patterns of embryonic heart structures. Here we see that in the broiler embryo (B) the ventricle (marked*) is dilated, compared to the ventricle in the layer embryo (A).End Quote

This comparative illustration clearly indicate variations that would be most interesting to study in greater detail.  The illustrations, combined with the supporting narrative indicate the importance of all elements of the production chain and the variables they place on production.

Assuming that these two photos are taken at exactly the same stage of embryonic development and the same magnification then the overall growth of embryo B is far greater than embryo A.   This emphasises again the importance of genetics and egg quality.

It will take several decades, once commercial levels of ostrich production are achieved, to reach the same level of sophistication that commercial poultry production enjoy....but this clearly illustrates the opportunities.

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