The influence of extended posthatch holding time and placement density on broiler performance.


Extended posthatch holding (in the hatcher) has been reported to dehydrate chicks, reduce broiler performance, and depress immune response. Nevertheless, some commercial hatcheries are increasing incubation time in an attempt to minimize possible bacterial contamination of incompletely healed navels. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of posthatch holding on broiler performance and the effects of bird density and additive stress on performance and immune response. Twelve hundred broiler eggs (58 to 70 g) were incubated. Chicks were removed from the hatcher after 528 h of incubation, banded, and weighed. Half of the chicks were returned to the hatcher for an additional 24 h (HELD). Both hatcher treatments were placed at two densities (.07 and .12 m2 per bird). Individual BW were taken at 21 and 43 d of placement and 43 d of age. The HELD chicks weighed significantly less than controls at time of placement. At 21 d postplacement the HELD broilers were significantly heavier than controls, but were similar by 43 d. Total feed conversion was not affected in the HELD treatment, but birds in the .07 m2 per bird density were less efficient in terms of total feed conversion. Chick holding time and density seemed to affect antibody titers at 5 wk. Although holding chicks in the hatcher for 24 h did not clinically dehydrate chicks or affect performance, it decreased immune response. In addition to less efficient growth, birds in the more crowded pens had depressed immune response.

Cite this paper

@article{Casteel1994TheIO, title={The influence of extended posthatch holding time and placement density on broiler performance.}, author={E T Casteel and Jeanna L . Wilson and R . Jeffrey Buhr and J . E . Sander}, journal={Poultry science}, year={1994}, volume={73 11}, pages={1679-84} }