Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Chick quality scoring system

Chick quality scoring is a tool for the industrial assessment of chick quality. A scoring method was developed and applied to assess day-old chick quality under several major genetic and environmental conditions. A good quality chick was defined as being clean, dry, and free from deformities (no skin lesions, well-formed beak, normal conformation of legs), with a completely sealed navel, clean, and no yolk sac or residual membrane protruding from the navel area. Chick quality was expressed as either % of chicks with maximal score of 100 (i.e. anomaly-free: classified as high quality) and those with scores less than 100 (i.e. carrying one or more anomalies and therefore of sub-optimal quality) or as average score of all chicks in the flock as a measure for homogeneity.

Within genotypes, differences in growth rate until slaughter age were related to one-day old chick quality as defined precisely by the BBP project. A link was established between chick quality and embryonic physiological parameters such as heat production. Eggs from broiler breeders that give rise to rapidly growing broilers have a different embryonic development that may need modified incubation conditions. Within genotypes, better chick quality resulted in better liveability and faster growth in broilers. Low score in chick quality can induce as much as two days’ growth retardation in broiler production. However, if the method of scoring is simplified the results are less significant. The scoring method will have to be adapted to the practical constraints in hatcheries. When applied at practical level in hatcheries, it should provide an improvement in the quality of the poultry industry in general and in incubation and pre incubation technologies in particular.

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Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Research and Development
3 Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Belgium
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