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item MAULDIN, J.
item Northcutt, Julie
item COLE, B.
item DARBY, M.
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/23/2005
Publication Date: 7/31/2005
Citation: Fairchild, B.D., Mauldin, J.M., Northcutt, J.K., Cole, B., Darby, M., Buhr, R.J. 2005. The effect of holding time without water on chick performance, yolk sac retention and gut integrity [abstract]. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. 84(suppl.1):33.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Providing nutrients to chicks as soon as possible can influence chick growth and development. Using a device designed to deliver water to chicks in the hatchery after removal from the hatcher, the effect of holding time without water was evaluated on chick performance, yolk sac retention and gut integrity. Two trials were conducted utilizing 1,200 male broilers. In trial one, chicks were divided into two groups based on access to water (with or without water) and held 24 h before placed in pens. Each treatment was replicated in eight pens. Body weights, feed consumption, and mortality were recorded. At the end of the trial birds were processed. Birds were opened and the presence or absence of a retained yolk sac was determined. Intestinal strength was evaluated on three intestine with and three without the retained yolk sac. In trial two, chicks were held 24 and 48 h with and without water prior to placement. After placement, each treatment was replicated in 6 pens and measurements were the same as trial 1. In both trials, body weights were greater in the birds provided water during the holding period. In both trials, no differences were observed in body weight, feed consumption, or mortality due to treatment. However in Trial 2, body weight and feed consumption for the first 3 weeks was greater in birds held for 24 hours when compared to the 48 hour birds. In trial 1, Yolk sac retention was 15% in birds with water and 19% in control birds. In trial 2, Yolk sac retention was 28% in birds provided water and 23% in control birds. No differences were noted in gut strength in either trial. The provision of water during the holding period prior to bird placement did not influence bird performance. These data suggest that retained yolk sacs at processing age do not affect gut strength and therefore would not have a greater tendency to tear during processing.