Comparative Effectiveness of Various Methods of Disinfection of Hatching Eggs.

incubation-tbc

The incubator environment that is kept at high temperature and humidity is an excellent place for the microbes to multiply.

A very good indicator of how much an egg is infected externally is a scientific term known as Total Bacterial Count.

Almost everyone who incubates poultry eggs knows that before incubating, the eggs they must be sanitized.

Why?

Disinfecting reduces the population of the microbes on the surface of the egg.

This prevents fatal infections of the embryo that may kill it inside the egg. Egg sanitation also prevents in most cases the disease transmission from the breeders to the newly hatched chicks.

But which method of disinfection we should follow?

Since formaldehyde fumigation (the classical method) is not a convenient method for the back yard poultry breeder for a series of reasons, other alternatives should be taken into consideration. Some of them, as you will easily understand from  the diagram are more environment friendly, more effective and a lot more easier to apply.

This  paper states that chemical disinfectants have undesirable effects on developing chick embryos such as retarded growth reflected by malformed limbs and beaks and also muscle weakness  in a few hatched chicks.

Here is an easily understood graphic presentation of the effectiveness of various methods and compounds used for disinfecting the eggs before placing them to the incubator.


Source: This short article is based on this excellent paper.

Not all treatments may be safe, check out the source for more information on which of these should be avoided.


 

Michael J. Mavridis D.V.M
CEO / Founder of Mavridis Zootechniki Ltd.
Web: www.eggincubator.eu
Blog:https://eggincubatoreu.wordpress.com/
Mail: eggincubator.eu@gmail.com

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Incubation Problems due to Breeders’ Micro Mineral Deficiences

 

minerals

The problems of embryo mortality during incubation are not allways incubator
oriented.  The table below discusses when and how micro mineral deficiencies of the
breeder flock affect the survival possibilities of the chicken embryo in ovo.

 

Nutrient

 

Deficiency Signs

 

 

 

Manganese

 

Peak deaths prior to emergence. Chondrodystrophy, dwarfism, long bone shortening, head malformations, edema, and abnormal feathering are prominent.

 

 

Zinc

 

Deaths prior to emergence and the appearance of rumplessness, depletion of vertebral column, eyes underdeveloped, and missing limbs.

 

 

Copper

 

Deaths at early blood stage with no malformations

 

 

Iodine

 

Prolongation of hatching time, reduced thyroid size

and incomplete abdominal closure

 

 

Iron

 

Low hematocrit; low blood hemoglobin; poor extra-embryonic circulation in candled eggs.

 

 

Selenium

 

 

High incidence of dead embryos early in incubation

 

Source:Nutrient Requirements of Poultry: Ninth Revised Edition,1994

Incubation Problems due to Breeders’ Vitamin Deficiences

vitamins

The problems of embryo mortality during incubation are not allways incubator
oriented. The table below discusses when and how vitamin deficiencies of the
breeder flock affect the survival possibilities of the chicken embryo in ovo.

 

Nutrients

Deficiency Signs

 

 

Vitamin A

 

 

 

Death at about 48 hours of incubation from failure to develop the circulatory system; abnormalities of kidneys, eyes, and skeleton.
Vitamin D  

Death at about 18 or 19 days of incubation, with malpositions, soft bones, and with a defective upper mandible prominent.

 

Vitamin E  

Early death at about 84 to 96 hours of incubation, with hemorrhaging and circulatory failure (implicated with selenium).

 

 

 

Vitamin K

 

No physical deformities from a simple deficiency, nor can they be provoked by antivitamins, but mortality occurs between 18 days and hatching, with variable hemorrhaging

 

Thiamin  

High embryonic mortality during emergence but no obvious symptoms other than polyneuritis in those that survive

 

  Riboflavin  

Mortality peaks at 60 hours, 14 days, and 20 days of incubation, with peaks prominent early as deficiency becomes severe. Altered limb and mandible development, dwarfism, and clubbing of down are defects expressed by embryo.

 

  Niacin  

Embryo readily synthesizes sufficient niacin from tryptophan. Various bone and beak malformations occur when certain antagonists are administered during incubation

 

 

 

Biotin

 

High death rate at 19 to 21 days of incubation, and embryos have parrot beak, chondrodystrophy, several skeletal deformities, and webbing between the toes.

 

 Pantothenic  acid  

Deaths appear around 14 days of incubation, although marginal levels may delay problems until emergence. Variable subcutaneous hemorrhaging and edema; wirey down in poults.

 

 

Pyridoxine

 

 

Early embryonic mortality based on antivitamin use

 

Folic acid  

Mortality at about 20 days of incubation. The dead generally appear normal, but many have bent tibiotarsus, syndactyly, and mandible malformations. In poults, mortality at 26 to 28 days of incubation with abnormalities of extremities and circulatory system.

 

Vitamin B12  

Mortality at about 20 days of incubation, with atrophy of legs, edema, hemorrhaging, fatty organs, and head between thighs malposition

 

Nutrient Requirements of Poultry: Ninth Revised Edition,1994

 

Michael J. Mavridis D.V.M
CEO / Founder of Mavridis Zootechniki Ltd.
Web: www.eggincubator.eu
Blog:https://eggincubatoreu.wordpress.com/
Mail: eggincubator.eu@gmail.com

Free 50 hens Poultry coop e-book

 

50coop

 

Our free e-book “A 50 Hen D.I.Y. Poultry Coop + D.I.Y. Poultry Equipment Ideas” is available for download!

Our new e-book ( in pdf form) is provided absolutely free of charge from our website www.eggincubator.eu to anyone interested regardless of race, color, ethnicity and religion.

Download link: http://www.eggincubator.eu/#freebook-read

It would not be feasible to finish it on time without the help and the support of my good friends Kostas Tsirogiannis and Mariuca Pintilie. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

In my new e-book I deal with the D.I.Y.construction of a coop for 50 layers and the poultry equipment you need to operate it.
Practically every part of it including necessary poultry appliances can be made by yourself if you decide to apply your practical building, woodworking and mechanical skills.

The particular coop design I present in this e-book is a part of my family history. This was actually “our” family hen coop. It is connected to wonderful childhood memories for me and allowed me to have the first close connection with poultry.

I consider this e-book a memorial and a tribute at the same time to my father Ioannis J. Mavridis the Veterinarian and the family man who combined his scientific knowledge and hard work for this project in order to achieve self-sufficiency and premium quality in the poultry products he needed for his family.

It is also a tribute to all family men and women who are deeply concerned about the quality and biosecurity of the poultry products that they and their children consume and they are determined to “do it “by themselves.

I consider it to be a model chicken house for the Backyard Poultry owner & family man or woman that wants to raise & keep chicken in a good environment and add a little extra income to the family budget.

Michael J. Mavridis D.V.M
CEO / Founder of Mavridis Zootechniki Ltd.
Web: www.eggincubator.eu
Blog:https://eggincubatoreu.wordpress.com/
Mail: eggincubator.eu@gmail.com

La Bresse Breed of Chicken

Origin Developement varieties & characteristics of the legendary La Bresse hen

bresse

 

Origin and development

Among the varieties of French poultry, the La Bresse fowl occupies the premier position in respect to its table qualities.

 At he district Bresse where these fowls are bred is part of the Department of Ain and Seine-et-Loire, that is, to the south of the old province of Burgundy, and in that district the poultry industry is a very important branch of agriculture. The label “Bresse” is only allowed in a well defined area and it is protected by legal rules. Out of this area the breed is named Gauloise (black, white, blue and grey)

For a long period of time Bresse poulardes and capons have had a great reputation for the quality and delicacy of their flesh.


 

Varieties

There are three varieties of this breed

Black, called La Bresse de Louhans; the black variety is very pretty, showing those metallic reflections which always add to the beauty of birds of this color.

  • Plumage: Black, with a bright green luster.
  • Beak: Dark blue or dark slate, the former preferred.
  • Eyes:  Black or as dark as possible.
  • Comb: Bright red.
  • Face: especially dark around the eyes.
  • Lobe:  White or white sanded with red the former preferred.
  • Legs and Feet: The same as the beak.

Grey called La Bresse de Bourg; in the grey variety the plumage is white penciled with grey, the neck hackle being almost entirely white, except that the points are grey. In this case the beak is blue and the legs clear grey. Not a common variety.

White, called La Bresse de Beny-Marboz. In the white variety the plumage is white colored and the legs dark grey. Whites and blacks are more numerous than the grays.

In the Bresse district the Blacks are usually regarded as the better layers, but the Whites are preferred for table purposes.


 

La Bresse general characteristics

In shape the La Bresse fowls are distinctly Mediterranean, and were it not for the color of the legs many would think they were Leghorns, though they are somewhat longer in body. Few would imagine that they were so fine for table qualities, and from the appearance it might be assumed that they would be distinctly better as layers.


 Rooster

 Head

Skull: Rather thin, and of medium length.

Beak: Strong and fairly long.

Eyes: Bold.

Comb: Single, medium size, straight, and erect.

Back part: following the curve of the neck, deeply and evenly serrated

Face: Smooth and free from feathers.

Ear lobes: Well developed  white and well defined

 Neck—Fairly short hackles.

Body: Fairly broad, square, and compact.

Breast: Well rounded.

Back: Moderately short, broad at shoulders, and tapered to the tail.

Wings: 0f moderate length and close to the body.

Tail:  of medium length, and carried well back.

 Legs and Feet

 Legs: Of medium length, free from feathering.

Toes: Four on each foot, straight, and well spread.

Weight:  6-7.5 lb (2.5-3 kg)


 Hen

Except that the Comb falls gracefully over to either side of the face, the general characteristics of the hen are similar to those of the cock.

Weight: 5-6 lb.( 2-2.5 kg)

Egg production capacity

Originally a light laying breed, the Bresse can produce 250 white eggs per year.

As egg-producers they hold a very important place in France. In the La Bresse country there is no breed which touches them in egg production. They are of the best layers. They are not exceptionally good in the winter, and this might be anticipated from their appearance.

The eggs are white and of good size, as a rule weigh over 55 grams

 

bress2


 

P.S. Many thanks to my good friend Christos Zarkadas who breeds white Bresses  you can find him here .

P.P.S Many thanks also to my Facebook friend Joe Thomas who breeds white Bresses and has a genuine passion for the breed.


Michael J. Mavridis D.V.M
CEO / Founder of Mavridis Zootechniki Ltd.
Web: www.eggincubator.eu
Mail: eggincubator.eu@gmail.com

Drop in Egg Production and how to correct it.

eggdrop

What is the cause of the sudden or progressive reduction in egg production?

Let’s examine the causes and the correction measures together step by step.

Decreased egg production is a major problem in laying hens that result in a smaller profit to egg producing farms and less money in farmer’s pocket.

It is very important to have the essential knowledge to distinguish and diagnose what is really happening in each case.   If you know what is the cause (or causes) you know how to prevent or correct the factors that affect egg production.

These are:


Nutrition and feed related problems

  • Not enough drinking water: Clean and cool drinking water must be at their disposal at all times especially during the summer months to avoid heat stress. Lack of water results in reduced egg production.
  • Feed shortage or decreased feed intake: Chickens tend to eat less when the feed is not tasty or when they are stressed because of environmental temperatures, especially when it gets too hot. Feed should be available at all times.
  • Low calcium in their ration: This results in few and smaller eggs, soft shelled eggs, shell less eggs & cracked eggs. Commercial rations have calcium already included. When mixing your own ration make sure that calcium percentage in it is 3,5 %  or provide oyster shell ad libidum in a separate feeder.
  • Low salt in the feed: This results in a sharp decrease in egg production. It is also possible to develop cannibalism. Take care when mixing your own chicken ration at home. The required percentage of salt is 0, 4 %.

Diseases

  • Newcastle disease (NCD): NCD is a viral infection that can result in a mortality rate of 100 % in acute form in chickens. But sometimes the subclinical form of the disease leads to a drop in egg production and egg quality. Prevention: only by regular vaccination of the flock.
  • Infectious bronchitis (IB): IB is a rapidly spreading viral infection of the chickens characterized by respiratory signs. It also causes drop in egg production (up to 50 %) and egg quality reduction. Egg shells are deformed. Prevention:  by vaccination.
  • Egg drop syndrome (EDS): This is a viral infection that affects the reproductive organs of the chickens. The symptoms are a drop in egg production, thin shells, soft shells and shell less eggs. Prevention: by vaccination of the layers on the sixteenth week of age. The vaccine is given intramuscularly
  • Other diseases: causing a drop in egg production are salmonelosis, mycoplasmosis, infectious laryngotracheitis as well as internal parasites.

Environmental factors

  • Lighting: Chickens should be exposed to light for a minimum of 14 hours and a maximum of 17 hours per day in order for the egg to be formed. Exposure to light for less than the minimum time required, results in a drop in egg production. Lights should be checked regularly and cleaned so that they do not get dimmer.Bulbs should be changed when necessary.
  • Freezing: layers stop laying when environmental temperature drops below 5 degrees Celsius
  • Heat Stress On very hot and humid summer days, egg production can decrease this is mainly due to declined consumption of feed. That’s why the summer ration should have at least 18% protein.

prd

Chicken related factors

  • Molting:  layers are usually kept for 52 weeks. After this period, they undergo a stage called molting where they lose their feathers and stop producing eggs. Egg production will start again about 4-6 months later in the second laying period after molting, but the eggs will be bigger, shells thinner and production lower. Older birds usually produce eggs with thin shells.
  • Broodiness: Once a hen goes broody, her focus is on hatching her eggs and raising her chicks and stops laying eggs.

Always contact your Veterinarian when there is a drop in egg production in your flock.


Michael J. Mavridis D.V.M
CEO / Founder of Mavridis Zootechniki Ltd.
Web: www.eggincubator.eu
Mail: eggincubator.eu@gmail.com

 

Free Poultry Book Announcement

50coop

Dear friends,

My beloved father Ioannis M. Mavridis a graduate of Veterinary Faculty of Bologna University in Italy and practicing veterinarian from 1958 till 1996 passed this May at the age of 91 years.

He was my first real teacher in life.

In my new e-book I deal with the D.I.Y.construction of a coop for 50 layers and the poultry equipment you need to operate it.

Practically every part of it including necessary poultry appliances can be made by yourself if you decide to practice your practical building, woodworking and mechanical skills.

The particular coop design I present in this e-book is a part of my family history. This was actually “our” family hen coop. It is connected to wonderful childhood memories for me and allowed me to have the first close connection with poultry.

Our new e-book ( in pdf form) will be provided absolutely free of charge from www.eggincubator.eu to anyone interested regardless of race, color, ethnicity and religion.

Starting Date for free downloads will be around 15th of September 2016 from our website www.eggincubator.eu

I consider this e-book a memorial and a tribute at the same time to my father the Veterinarian and the family man who combined his scientific knowledge and hard work for this project in order to achieve self-sufficiency and premium quality in the poultry products he needed for his family.

It is also a tribute to all family men and women who are deeply concerned about the quality and biosecurity of the poultry products that they and their children consume and they are determined to “do it “by themselves.

I consider it to be a model chicken house for the Backyard Poultry owner & family man or woman that wants to raise & keep chicken in a good environment and add a little extra income to the family budget.

So stay tuned…

Michael J. Mavridis D.V.M
CEO / Founder of Mavridis Zootechniki Ltd.
Web: www.eggincubator.eu
Mail: eggincubator.eu@gmail.com