Aviagen's specialist hatchery team supports customers to get better results from their hatcheries. Part of the team's remit is to investigate and evaluate better ways of handling, storing and incubating eggs.
One of the challenges many GP customers face is how to achieve the best possible hatch and chick quality from stored eggs. Tests in the USA, Europe and Australasia have demonstrated big improvements in hatchability and chick quality when stored eggs are given short periods at incubation temperature during storage (SPIDES).
“The improvement in hatchability we see when we use SPIDES on stored eggs is a fantastically exciting step forward in our technical knowledge and understanding”, said Dr Dinah Nicholson, Aviagen Global Manager - Hatchery Development and Support.
“When market conditions are poor, or when order sizes are variable, longer periods of egg storage become unavoidable. Extended egg storage invariably causes lower hatchability, and higher cull rates. SPIDES offers a solution to these issues.
“To date, the SPIDES technique has been found to give 2-3% better hatch in eggs stored for 7-14 days and much, much more when they are stored for over two weeks. After a series of replicated experiments, field testing is currently being undertaken in Aviagen hatcheries around the world.
“The investigation was initiated by members of the hatchery support team, but has involved a huge amount of hard work and commitment from staff at our product development centre in Alabama and in our PS hatcheries all over the world. We are now focusing on how the SPIDES technique can be applied on a commercial scale.”
The SPIDES technique will not completely prevent the decline in hatch due to long egg storage, but it can limit the loss and give much more predictability. Aviagen believes it will be of considerable interest to the poultry industry.