Zehava  Uni1*  and  Peter. R. Ferket2

Department of Animal Sciences,  Robert H. Smith  Faculty of Agricultural

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, 76100, Israel.

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*Corresponding author.


2Department of Poultry Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7608


Modern fast-growing strains of broilers are more susceptible to aberrations in early growth and development than their ancestors because their metabolic demands are much greater for growth. In modern poultry production the separation of the hatchery from the production facility means that the hatchling will spend a period of time without provision of feed and water.

Y. Piestun1,2, O. Halevy2 and S. Yahav1

1Department of Poultry and Aquaculture Sciences, ARO the Volcani Center, , P.O. Box 6, Bet-Dagan 50250, Israel ; Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. E' necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo. ; 2Dept. of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel


During recent decades there is a significant improvement in the genetic selection for growth rate of broilers coincided with dramatic increase in metabolic rate.  However, this selection lacks in comparable development of visceral systems, causing inferior thermotolerance response in broilers. The situation, where growth rate (heat production) improves on a yearly basis and the future foresees increase in global surface temperature, demands an efficient means to economically improve the acquisition of thermotolerance by broiler chickens exposed to hot climatic conditions. To develop thermotolerance three direct responses are employed by the broiler: the rapid thermal shock response, acclimation/acclimatization, and epigenetic adaptation. The last one has been successfully modulated by early-age thermal manipulations of postnatal chicks. However, uniform post-hatch temperature manipulation is difficult to adopt, whereas the use of such manipulations during incubation would probably be more efficient and uniform. alteration of the energy balance set point.

Prof. E. Decuypere

NEW QUESTIONS, DOUBTS AND FACTS that gave a new impetus to incubation research.
The increase in size of incubators has increased the variability of conditions
The tolerance zone within which measured variables may fluctuate (e.g. t°) during development without harmful effects, has become more important
Physical conditions (t°, humidity, CO2, ...) have an optimum that may differ according to the developmental or incubation stage for each of these physical parameters
New sensor developments allow finer tuning
They should be regulated independently from each other

Download the Whole presentation slides  (5.45 Megabytes)

John T. Brake, Ph.D., PAS
William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor  of Poultry Science, Physiology, and Nutrition
Department of Poultry Science, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7608 USA

Abstract: A series of experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that the feeding management applied to broiler parent stock (broiler breeders) could alter the performance of the broiler progeny. The broiler breeders were reared in typical litter floor black-out facilities and were moved to slat-litter breeder facilities and photostimulated at 21-22 weeks of age.

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