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J Sci Food Agric. 2013 Dec;93(15):3654-61. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6301. Epub 2013 Aug 9.

Prospects of in ovo feeding and nutrient supplementation for poultry: the science and commercial applications--a review.

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Department of Poultry Science, Nagpur Veterinary College, Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Science University, Nagpur, 440 006, India; School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, 2351, Australia.


In ovo supplementation of poultry embryos was first reported several decades ago, but it is only recently that concerted research has been directed at developing the technology for this process to be routinely used by the poultry industry. Although the technology of in ovo feeding was patented more than 10 years ago, it has not been widely adopted by the poultry industry. This review examines the early development of the enteric system of the poultry embryo; defines and distinguishes between in ovo feeding and in ovo nutrient administration; highlights the importance of early feeding of the chick; and discusses the development of in ovo feeding technology and its effects on hatchability, growth, gut health and immune response of chicks. The range of possible nutrients that can be administered is also explored. The limitations associated with embryo development and nutrient metabolism are highlighted, leading to the prediction of the future role of in ovo feeding in the poultry industry.


early feeding; embryo; hatchability; nutrients; performance

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