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Poult Sci. 2012 Jul;91(7):1536-41. doi: 10.3382/ps.2011-01978.

Comparative evaluation of air cell and eggshell temperature measurement methodologies used in broiler hatching eggs during late incubation.

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  • 1Department of Poultry Science, Mississippi State University, MS, USA.


The current study was conducted to compare and contrast the uses of 2 devices (temperature transponder or infrared thermometer) and their locations (inner air cell membrane or outer eggshell surface) in Ross × Ross 708 broiler hatching eggs. The air cells of 14 embryonated and 10 nonembryonated eggs were implanted with temperature transponders on d 13.5 of incubation. Likewise, for these same eggs, eggshell surface temperature was detected with the use of transponders and an infrared thermometer. Temperatures were recorded every 12 h between 14.5 and 18 d of incubation, and graphs and corresponding regression values were used to track the temperatures over these time periods. The temperature readings using all methods in embryonated and nonembryonated eggs were positively correlated. In nonembryonated eggs, temperatures in the air cell and on the eggshell surface using transponders were higher than those on the eggshell surface using an infrared thermometer. Mean air cell temperature readings of embryonated eggs using transponders were higher than those of the eggshell, as determined with the use of transponders or an infrared thermometer. Furthermore, the differences in air cell temperature using transponders and eggshell temperature using an infrared thermometer in embryonated eggs increased with embryonic age. These readings confirmed increased embryo heat production during the incubational period examined. It was further concluded that when compared with actual embryo body temperatures determined in previous studies, the use of transponders in the air cells of broiler hatching eggs detected a higher and closer temperature than eggshell surface temperature. It is suggested that the air cell transponders in embryonated eggs circumvented the confounding effects of the thermal barrier properties of the eggshell and the flow of air across its surface.

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