Effects of on-farm and traditional hatching on welfare, health, and performance of broiler chickens:
Ingrid C. de Jong, Theo van Hattum, Johan W. van Riel, Kris De Baere, Ine Kempen, Sofie Cardinaels, and Henk Gunnink
In on-farm hatching systems, eggs that have been incubated for 18 D are transported to the broiler farm. After hatching around day 21, the chicks have immediate access to feed and water
After hatching around day 21, the chicks have immediate access to feed and water. By contrast,
traditionally hatched chicks are in early life exposed to
dust and pathogens in the hatcher, handling procedures, and transport and remain without feed and water until they have arrived on the farm 1 to 3 D after
hatching. We compared welfare and performance of on farm hatched (OH) and traditionally hatched control (C) Ross 308 broiler chickens from day 0 to 40, housed
under semicommercial conditions. The experiment included 3 production cycles in 4 rooms, with each room containing 1 OH and 1 C pen with 1,150 chickens in each pen.