Hatchery Signals, A Practical Guide to Improving Hatching Results

By Sander Lourens, Jolanda Holleman and Ton van Schie

Hatchery Signals, A Practical Guide to Improving Hatching Results PDF. Good hatchability and optimal chick quality is the result of a sound basic knowledge of climate control techniques, and most of all: the biology of the avian embryo. Incubators are high-tech equipment, but the results depend highly on a well-trained team. Hatchery Signals teaches you the art of the incubation process based on the look-think-act approach. This means that it aims to provide highly visualised, practical tools and insights to further improve and optimise hatch results, chick quality and offspring performance in a commercial hatchery environment.

Hatchery Signals follows the egg from the moment it is laid at the breeder farm until the first few days at the broiler or layer farm. When the eggs arrive at the hatchery, egg quality and embryo vitality cannot improve. The task for the hatchery manager is to preserve and maintain quality and vitality during storage and all stages of development. Hatchery Signals shows how to fulfil the requirements of the embryo during the incubation process to support optimum development at all times. The power of good data collection and analysis is explained using practical examples. It provides guidelines and advice on how to further improve offspring performance. New developments and innovations in and around the hatchery like early feeding strategies and farm-hatching concepts are discussed.

Hatchery Signals has been developed for hatchery workers, breeder farm managers, broiler farmers, students, incubator companies, feed companies, breeder companies, broiler processing plants, farm equipment manufacturers, etc.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 4
Key link 5
How the chain works 6
Incubation is interaction 7
Each incubator is different 8
Hatchery management 9
The role of the hatchery manager 10
Information exchange 11
The signals concept 13
Critical batches, locations and moments 15
2. The incubation process 18
The anatomy of the hatching egg 19
Development of an embryo 20
From natural brooding to artificial incubation 22
The environment of the egg 24
Heat and temperature 25
Gas exchange of the embryo 26
The importance of uniformity 27
3. Principles of artificial incubation 28
Broilers and laying hens 28
Eggshell temperature is key 30
Incubation temperature 31
Temperature settings 32
Heat production by the embryo 33
Ventilation 34
Carbon dioxide 35
Relative humidity 36
Weight loss and machine settings 37
Measuring moisture loss 38
Purpose of ventilation 39
Water cooling 40
Air velocity 41
Multi-stage or single-stage 42
Minor differences, major implications 43
4. Egg handling and quality 44
Embryonic development during
egg formation 45
Cooling to physiological zero 46
Cooling at the breeder farm 47
Grading and on-farm traying 48
Hatching egg quality 49
Unsuitable for hatching 50
Size and uniformity 51
Hairline cracks 52
Dirty eggs 53
How should you deal with floor eggs? 55
Storage at the breeder farm 58
Humidity during storage 59
Store eggs pointed end down 60
Track and trace 61
5. Biosecurity 62
Process steps in the hatchery 63
Biosecurity zones at the hatchery 64
Routing at the hatchery 65
Clean floors and walls 67
Biosecurity measures 68
Personnel and hygiene 69
Cleaning 73
Disinfection of the hatchery 75
6. Egg transport and storage 76
Condensation point = dew point 77
Transition moments 78
Dry bulb and wet bulb thermometer 78
Climate during transport 80
Jolts and vibrations 81
Egg transport and logistics 82
Inspection of incoming eggs 83
Storage at the hatchery 84
Climate conditions during storage 85
Storage duration 86
Longer storage 87
Turning during storage 88
SPIDES 89
Disinfecting eggs 90
Dry (fumigation) and wet disinfection 91
After disinfection 92
Disinfectants for eggs 93
7. Setting 94
Do not mix 95
Origin 96
Parent stock age 97
Laying date 97
Preparing the incubator 98
Setting eggs 99
Pre-warming (single-stage) 100
Pre-warming (multi-stage) 100
Climate conditions during setting 101
Transition from warming to cooling 102
Humidification during setting 103
First few days: ventilation inlets closed 104
Day 4 to 11: regulate based on RH 105
Heat distribution in the incubator 106
Egg turning during setting 107
The importance of turning 108
Monitor turning 109
Monitoring setter conditions 110
Constantly improved measurement 111
Candling 112
8. Transfer 114
Which egg has a live embryo? 115
Infertile eggs, bangers, late mortalities,
and living embryos 116
What do key indicators tell you? 118
In-ovo vaccination 120
The optimal timing 121
Suitability of the egg 122
Hygiene is extremely important 122
In-ovo sexing 123
Transfer 126
Hygiene at transfer 128
Breakout analysis on day 18 129
Eggs in a clean hatcher 130
Hatcher baskets 131
9. Hatching 132
Air temperature in the hatcher 133
Humidity in the hatcher 134
Position in the egg 135
Internal pipping 136
External pipping 137
The hatch window 138
Variation in the hatch moment 139
Pull time 140
Unhatched eggs/dead in shell 141
Count and assess unhatched eggs 142
Hatching systems and early feeding 143
On-farm hatching 145
10. Chick quality 148
Signals from empty eggshells 149
Pipping height and pipping line 151
Infection pressure 152
Meconium 153
Chick temperature 154
Chick yield 155
Drying off or dehydrating? 156
Residual yolk 157
Absorption of residual yolk 158
Chick weight and length 159
The signals given by chick length 160
Working at the take-off table 161
Selection criteria 162
Navel and cloaca 163
Belly 164
Feathering 165
Legs 166
Beak 167
Serious abnormalities 168
Scoring systems 169
Abnormalities and their causes 171
Downgraded chicks 172
Sex determination 173
Sexing and sex-linked genetic traits 174
Vaccination at the hatchery 176
11. Chick transport and delivery 178
Chick storage 179
Preparation for chick transport 180
Cargo area climate 181
Ventilation during transport 182
International transport 183
Transport to and from airports 184
Feed and water during long transport 185
Chick delivery 186
Hygiene during delivery 187
On the poultry farm 188
House conditions inspection 189
First week mortality 190
Index 191

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