American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

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Egg Shell Temperature as an Indicator for Embryonic Response

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  014034,  2001 ASAE Annual Meeting. (doi: 10.13031/2013.5532) @2001
Authors:   A. Van Brecht, J.M. Aerts, K. Janssens, A. Chedad, D. Berckmans
Keywords:   Air flow, biotechnology, chicken, convection, eggs, heat transfer, image processing, imperfectly mixing, incubators, measurement, physiology, thermocouples, thermography

In relation to the percentage of hatch out of eggs in an incubator, the maintenance of the optimum incubation temperature (37.2 – 37.8 °C) is a critical factor. The temperature around the embryo depends on three factors: (1) the air temperature of the incubator, (2) the transport of heat between egg and environment and (3) the time-variable heat production of the embryo. In commercial incubators, the transport of heat between the egg and its environment is performed by convection. The objective of this research is to use infrared thermography to quantify the egg shell temperature and analyse the resulting egg shell temperatures in relation to the micro environment in an incubator of 300 chicken eggs. Although the setpoint of air temperature is 37.7°C, the egg shell temperatures at day 17 varied from 37.15°C towards 39.06°C. Regardless of these large egg shell temperature gradients, 222 chickens hatched well out of the total number of 300 incubated eggs. Using the egg shell surface temperatures, the mean convection coefficient at the beginning and at the end of the incubation process is determined.

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