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Study: Monitoring the hatch time of chicken embryos

The following abstract is taken from Poultry Science, affiliated authors include C. E. B. Romanini, V. Exadaktylos, Q. Tong†, I. McGonnel†, T. G. M. Demmers†, H. Bergoug‡, N. Eterradossi‡, N. Roulston§, P. Garain, C. Bahr and D. Berckmans.

This study investigated variations in eggshell temperature (Tegg) during the hatching process of broiler eggs. Temperature sensors monitored embryo temperature by registering Tegg every minute. Measurements carried out on a sample of 40 focal eggs revealed temperature drops between 2 to 6°C during the last 3 d of incubation.

Video cameras recorded the hatching process and served as the gold standard reference for manually labeling the hatch times of chicks. Comparison between Tegg drops and the hatch time of individuals revealed a time synchronization with 99% correlation coefficient and an absolute average time difference up to 25 min. Our findings suggest that attaching temperature sensors to eggshells is a precise tool for monitoring the hatch time of individual chicks. Individual hatch monitoring registers the biological age of chicks and facilitates an accurate and reliable means to count hatching results and manage the hatch window.

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