Egg weight is an important parameter that influences hatchability. This study was conducted to determine the effect of egg weight on egg weight loss, fertility, embryonic mortality, hatching yield and hatchability of indigenous Venda chickens (Gallus gallusdomesticus). A total of 690 Venda chicken eggs obtained from the Agricultural Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa were classified according to three weight groups (A:>50 g, B: 45-50 g and C:<45 g). A complete randomized design of three Treatments, five replicates and each replicate having 46 eggs was used for the experiment. Egg weight loss, embryonic mortalities (total, early, medium and late), hatching yield and hatchability were significantly (p<0.001) affected. However, no differences were detected in the fertility of total egg and egg fertility rate. The medium size eggs (group B) had the least mortality (18.11 %), the highest hatching yield (76.39%) and hatchability (81.89%). This may imply that sorting indigenous Venda chickens' eggs prior to incubation might be advantageous in production operation aimed at improving the productivity of these chickens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology