Impact of Rotten Eggs on Hatchery Performances: A Multicentric Study
Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health (MAPS), University of Padua, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
Ceva Santé Animale, 33500 Libourne, France
Department of Poultry Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Thessaly, 43100 Karditsa, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 September 2020 / Revised: 20 September 2020 / Accepted: 22 September 2020 / Published: 23 September 2020
Improving day-old chick quality is essential for the overall profitability of the broiler productive cycle and has been associated with a decreased feed conversion rate, increased growth performance, resistance to infectious diseases, and welfare parameters. The hatchery practices are fundamental, since adequate hygiene and handling are crucial in reducing egg contamination and cross-contamination. Particularly, the efficient removal of rotten eggs has been suggested to reduce the overall bacterial burden contaminating the needle used for in-ovo vaccination, the nearby eggs, and the whole incubator/hatching room when broken. In the present multicentric study, including 11 European countries, a remarkable impact of the rotten egg percentage on hatchery productive parameters, such as the hatchability, embryo mortality, and level of contamination, was demonstrated. Efficient rotten egg removal and the application of new generation technologies for appropriate detection and removal tools should thus provide remarkable benefits for hatchery performances and indirectly for downstream poultry production.