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Fertility and hatchability in duck eggs

  • M.E. ABD EL-HACK (a1), C.B. HURTADO (a2), D.M. TORO (a3), M. ALAGAWANY (a1), E.M. ABDELFATTAH (a4) and S.S. ELNESR (a5)...

Abstract

Ducks are waterfowl belonging to the Anatidae family of cosmopolitan distribution. In duck production systems, obtaining ducklings at one-day-old is determinant for the productive chain. The egg production in some species of ducks reaches about 250 to 300 eggs per year. Obtaining one-day-old ducklings can be done by natural incubation with a broody female duck or artificially in an incubator. During artificial incubation, fertility and hatchability are the most important indicators that must be controlled, because they influence the supply of ducklings to the farm. Many factors are related to fertility and hatching, such as environmental conditions, production system, season, nutrition, management of broodstock, storage time of egg and cleaning of eggs before the incubation. According to some reports, Pekin eggs have greater hatchability than Muscovy eggs. The eggs of Muscovy have presented values lower than 22.7% of hatchability. The hatchability of Pekin duck eggs was 78.0% in the spring, while in summer it was around 46.5%. The best hatchability is observed during the winter (57.68%), as in the summer it decreases to 54.14%. The reproductive characteristics of flocks, age, external and internal quality of the egg, male female relation, and presence of lethal genes are factors that directly involve breeders. Larger sexual ratios between males and females of 1:4.3 to 1: 10 cause reduced egg fertility from 75.9% down to 49.6%. Successful production of day-old ducklings starts with the proper selection and management of breeding stock, proper post-lay handling of fertile eggs and the correct incubation process. There are different methods used to improve the hatchability such as dipping eggs in nutrients during the incubation period.

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Keywords

Fertility and hatchability in duck eggs

  • M.E. ABD EL-HACK (a1), C.B. HURTADO (a2), D.M. TORO (a3), M. ALAGAWANY (a1), E.M. ABDELFATTAH (a4) and S.S. ELNESR (a5)...

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