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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Impact of Egg Storage on Early Embryo Development in the Turkey

Author
item Bakst, Murray

Submitted to: Workshop on Fundamental Biology and Perinatal Development in Poultry
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 2003
Publication Date: September 15, 2003
Citation: Bakst, M.R. 2003. Impact of egg storage on early embryo development in the turkey. Workshop on Fundamental Biology and Perinatal Development in Poultry. Avian Poult. Biol. Rev. 15:231.

Technical Abstract: Cool egg storage (~18C) longer than 10 days has a detrimental effect on hatchability and therefore, is of considerable concern to the commercial turkey industry. A rule-of-thumb in the hatchery is that for every day after 10 days of storage, hatchability will decrease by 1%. Little is know regarding the biological basis for these losses. One should not underestimate the need to differentiate fertilized from unfertilized ova and to identify early dead turkey embryos when trying to determine the cause of poor hatchability. Upon visual examination, the blastoderm from an egg that has been stored more than 10 days is often asymmetrical and may have an attenuated appearance. Histologically, the blastoderm may contain pyknotic cells and the subgerminal cavity may be eliminated. If early embryonic mortality is not the problem and hatchability is low, fresh egg breakouts coupled with the perivitelline layer sperm-hole determination procedure provide additional important detailed information. The biological basis for embryonic mortality in eggs stored for longer than 10 d remains speculative. It is recommended that commercial turkey hatcheries set eggs after no more than 7-8 days of storage to minimize early embryonic mortality.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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