The effects of prestorage incubation of quail breeder eggs on hatchability and subsequent growth performance of progeny

Petek M., Dikmen S.

ANIMAL RESEARCH, vol.53, no.6, pp.527-534, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 53 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1051/animres:2004035
  • Journal Name: ANIMAL RESEARCH
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.527-534
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


A total of 1800 quail eggs were collected from two different flocks aged 20 and 37 wk. Prior to storage, half of the eggs were exposed to a prestorage incubation of 8 h (PRESI) and the other half were not (control). Eggs at 8 h PRESI were incubated at a standard dry-bulb temperature of 37.5 degreesC. After the PRESI treatment, all eggs were stored as the controls at 15 degreesC and 65% relative humidity for 5 or 15 d and were turned twice a day. All eggs were weighed prior to and after storage, then incubated in a commercial setter and hatcher for 17 d. After incubation, all unhatched eggs were opened to determine fertility, hatchability and stage of embryonic death. The PRESI treatment of 8 h significantly improved the hatchability of the total eggs (82.6%) compared to the control (79.7%). The hatchability of total eggs obtained from young breeders was significantly greater (84.7%) compared to that of old breeders (77.6%). No significant difference was observed for the hatchability due to the length of storage. Subsequent growth performance of progeny was not significantly influenced by the tested main effects, except for the storage treatment. The average body weight of 42 d-old quails hatched from eggs stored for 5 d was (191.3 g) higher than after 15 d of storage (174.4 g). PRESI (8 h) reduced mortality and feed conversion ratio (FCR) of quails issued from young breeders and not that of quails issued from old breeders. It also improved the FCR of 42 d-old quails to a larger extent when the eggs were stored for 15 d compared to 5 d (interaction, P < 0.03). It is concluded that 8 h PRESI does not have a detrimental effect on the hatchability of eggs and may even increase hatchability and subsequent performance of progeny issued from young breeders. Further research is needed to precisely determine the number of hours of PRESI required for maximum hatchability.