Sunday, May 19, 2024

How to Improve Fertile Egg Survival Rate

Egg fertilization marks the beginning of a new life but is by no means a guarantee of a long one, as the journey is full of obstacles. Stress, genetic factors, diseases or nutritional deficiencies may all kill the embryo before the egg is laid.

The newly laid egg is then exposed to another set of risks: the conditions under which it cools down from the hen’s body temperature to the ambient conditions in the nest, the time this takes, mechanical factors, chemicals, infections and even disinfection are all hurdles to overcome.

After that come storage, transport and the start of incubation, not always conducive to survival. These kinds of very early mortality are almost impossible to identify in a standard, industrial way by candling. As a consequence, the clears category contains both eggs that are truly infertile and those that contain early-dead embryos.

How to Improve Fertile Egg Survival Rate

The only way to distinguish truly infertile from early-dead eggs is by breaking them out for analysis. However, to diagnose accurately and thus choose the correct solution, it is essential to be able to distinguish between these two groups.

The presence of a tiny ring on the surface of a yolk, just 3-4 mm in diameter, visible immediately after oviposition which allows to the egg to be classified as fertilized. The embryo continues to develop as the egg cools down.

During an optimum cooling time of 6 hours, it will grow to a diameter of about 5 mm and become storage resistant. This is stage 12-13, when the ring is still small and its centre clearly yellow.

Read Also: Causes and Solutions of Egg Glut in Egg Production

How to Improve Fertile Egg Survival Rate

The color of the yolk surrounding the embryo remains unchanged. Too slow cooling, or high storage or transport temperatures cause the embryo to develop more.

Increased diameter of the ring, its centre filled up with white cells, and a pale yolk zone surrounding the embryo indicate continued development and absorption of water from the albumen.

These embryos have developed beyond the storage-resistant stage and will probably die if placed in the low temperatures used for storage.

Life continues, and the start of incubation brings further changes. After just 24 hours, the pale-yellow yolk zone surrounds the embryo.

After 48 hours, that zone has increased, and a small island of blood vessels can be seen with a magnifying glass or under the microscope.

By 60 hours, the vessels have developed and soon a blood ring can be seen with the naked eye. The development of the vessels is a reliable indication that the egg is fertile.

You need to be careful, traces of blood found in an egg that has not been incubated are not necessarily a reliable sign of life. Meat or blood spots released in the hen’s oviduct can be found even in infertile table eggs.

How to Improve Fertile Egg Survival Rate

Analysis of clears, done by candling at 7-10 days, provides reliable information. Candling earlier than this makes no sense. Changes in yolk color, or cloudy yolk in an apparently clear egg can be interpreted as an expression of very early mortality.

The more advanced phases such as blood ring or black eye leave no doubts. If a break-out is done later on, for example at transfer, indicators of very this early mortality are less visible and mistakes are easier to make, as the yolk membrane becomes weak and breaks easily.

Read Also: How to Increase Egg Production in Commercial Layers

Advice on How to Improve Fertile Egg Survival Rate

How to Improve Fertile Egg Survival Rate

1. Practice distinguishing between fertile or not on fresh eggs that have not yet been incubated.

2. Check the stage of embryo development by measuring diameter and assessing appearance when they arrive. Use this information to decide on cooling, on-farm storage and transport.

3. If the percentage of clears is cause for doubt, shift candling to days 7-10 to get a clearer picture.

Read Also: Factors that affect African Land Snails Survival


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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