Webinar: Broiler Breeder, improving and sustaining day-old chick quality

This session will look at maintaining breeder flock uniformity results in uniform egg weight and chick quality.

May 12th, 2021
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In broiler breeder egg production, it is key to develop a proactive strategy to maintain hatching egg production, hatchability, day-old chick quality, and maintaining broiler performance on a high level. Broiler breeders use a significant portion of their body reserves to lay an egg. It is therefore important for the body reserves to be sufficiently built up and to be in proper balance, otherwise, this can have adverse effects on chick quality. A lot of effort is required to prevent contaminated hatching eggs from entering the hatchery. Day-old chick quality not only BI webinar logodepends on the degree of bacterial contamination but also on the embryonic development and hatch window during the incubation process. For these main factors, both outside and inside egg quality are essential and need to be maintained high during the production cycle. Featured speakers include Dr. Dinah Nicholson, Global Manager, Hatchery Development and Support, Aviagen, and Dr. Jeanna Wilson, professor and extension specialist, Poultry Science Department, University of Georgia.


  1. Maintaining breeder flock uniformity results in uniform egg weight and chick quality.
  2. Even with the most stringent biosecurity program, the performance of hatcheries strongly depends on the quality of the hatching eggs.
  3. A good hatching egg is the basis for the production chain for poultry meat and eggs.
  4. Optimization of the process is of critical importance from the breeding farm to the point the day-old chick leaves the hatchery and heads to the broiler farm.

This webinar is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and presented by WATTPoultry and WATT Global Media.

Speaker Info:

Dinah NicholsonDr. Dinah Nicholson, Global Manager, Hatchery Development and Support, Aviagen

Dinah Nicholson started working for Aviagen (then Ross Breeders) in 1985, after completing a degree in Agriculture at Reading University and a PhD in Agricultural Science at Nottingham University. Between degrees, she had two research assistant posts. The first, at Reading was investigating ahemeral lighting for caged layers. The second, at Nottingham, was a meta-analysis of published experiments exploring growth responses of broiler chickens to graded levels of amino acids. Dinah started her career with Aviagen managing parent stock and broiler trials investigating the interaction between genetics and environment of Aviagen and competitor lines. An early project was to develop ways of controlling nutrient intake by diet dilution to control ascites in broilers, then a problem. She then spent some time working with Aviagen GP production staff to improve egg handling, disinfection and storage in the UK production operation. From this came changes in how Aviagen looked after hatching eggs, new techniques for disinfecting eggs and new methods for selecting for egg quality and hatch. Moving on to customer technical service in 1995, Dinah supplied specialist hatchery and broiler management support to Aviagen customers in the UK and Western Europe. In 2002 she took on a position where she directed and co-ordinated the Aviagen technical teams operating across Europe. In 2008 Dinah took on her current role as Global Manager, Hatchery Development and Support, with the remit of enhancing the specialist support Aviagen offers for incubation and hatcheries.  With a strong team of hatchery specialists the group delivers customer support, hatchery technical literature, incubation trials and hatchery training for customers and Aviagen production bases all over the world. She is particularly proud of building a team of hatchery specialists who are in great demand to support Aviagen’s customers all over the world, and of developing a technique for heating eggs for short periods during storage (SPIDES) to improve hatchability and chick quality in stored eggs.


Jenna WilsonDr. Jeanna Wilson, professor and extension specialist, Poultry Science Department, University of Georgia

Dr. Wilson is a professor and extension specialist in the Poultry Science Department at the University of Georgia. Jeanna received her B.S. and M.S. in poultry science from Virginia Tech and graduated from Auburn University with a Ph.D. in avian physiology. Her work focuses on reproductive performance of meat type breeders and the incubation requirements of these strains. She works closely with the poultry industry to improve fertility and hatchability, and is seeking innovative feed ingredients and feeding methods to improve breeder welfare.


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