Global broiler breeder Aviagen has developed a new technique to improve the hatchability of eggs after longer periods of storage.
Tests in the USA, Europe and Australasia have demonstrated big gains in hatchability and chick quality when stored eggs are given short periods at incubation temperature during storage – the so-called SPIDES technique.
“The improvement we see when we use SPIDES on stored eggs is a fantastically exciting step forward in our technical knowledge and understanding,” said Aviagen hatchery development manager Dinah Nicholson.
“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 more when they are stored for over two weeks. After a series of replicated experiments, field testing is 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 work 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 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, she added.