A. G. Bobbo, S. Garba, A. A. Barkindo


The study was undertaken to determine the effect of egg size on hatchability and quality characteristics on natural incubation at Tripod Agro-Vet farm Gombi, between April-July 2014. A total of 120 turkey eggs comprising of three different size groups that is small (> 60g), medium (60-69g) and large (>70g) were used in the study. The eggs were product of natural mating from 40 turkey layers reared in deep litter system. Eight broody turkey hens were trained and used as biological incubators. All the data obtained were analysed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) software version 13.0 in a complete randomized design (CRD). Hatching eggs had a significant (p<0.01) effect with egg size being 50.98, 64.77 and 76.21 for small, medium and large size eggs respectively. Hatchability of set eggs also differ (P<0.05) significantly with 47.50, 62.50 and 77.50 respectively for small, medium and large size eggs. Dead in shell and poult hatch weight also differ (P<0.01) significantly being 30.41, 7.50 and 0.00: 33.98, 45.24 and 56.39 for small, medium and large size eggs respectively (Table 1). The average egg weight, egg width and egg length differ significantly (p<0.001)  with 51.620, 64.813 and 76.231; 3.958,4.248 and 4.545 and  5.513cm, 6.035cm and 6.325cm for small, medium and large size eggs respectively. Similarly the mean egg shape index had significant (p<0.01) effect with 72.254, 70.137 and 71.989 for small, medium and large size eggs respectively. It could therefore be concluded that turkey eggs that weighed above 70g would be suitable for setting in order to get better reproductive performance and best quality poults, followed by medium sized turkey egg (60-69g). It could therefore be recommended that in order to obtain higher hatchability and better Day-old poults quality on natural incubation, large eggs size should be used and also biological incubators could replace mini modern incubators with minimum cost.

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