Effects of egg weight and in ovo injection of alpha-tocopherol on chick development, hatching performance, and lipid-soluble antioxidant concentrations in quail chick tissues

Babacanoğlu E., Karageçili M. R., Karadaş F.

ARCHIVES ANIMAL BREEDING, vol.61, no.2, pp.179-189, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 61 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.5194/aab-61-179-2018
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.179-189
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Lipid-soluble antioxidants can be more effective for chick development when provided via in ovo (IO) injection than when supplemented to the maternal diet. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of egg weight (EW) and JO injection of alpha-tocopherol on chick development, hatching performance and lipid-soluble antioxidant concentrations in residual yolk sac (RYS), liver and brain tissues of quail chicks. Eggs were obtained from quail breeders at days 72 and 128 of age and incubated at 37.8 degrees C and 60 % relative humidity. Each egg was numbered and weighed prior to incubation, and the average EW of all eggs was 11.76 +/- 0.05 g. The eggs were divided into light (< 11.76 EW; EWL) and heavy (> 11.76 EW; EWH) groups (148 eggs per EW). Each EW group was divided into two IO groups: the control (non-injection) group and alpha-tocopherol group, in which 3.75 mg of alpha-tocopherol per egg was injected into the yolk sac followed by a 120 h incubation period. There were 64 eggs for each EW-IO treatment combination (16 eggs per EW per tray). The chick and RYS weights were significantly lower in the EWL group than in the EWH group. A significant EW by IO interaction suggested that IO increased the eggshell temperature of light quail eggs. The non-injected light eggs had a shorter hatching time due to the interaction of EW with IO. Hatchability, embryonic mortalities, and the cumulative hatching rate were not affected by EW or IO. The chick and middle toe lengths increased following IO administration (P < 0.05), which indicated that IO administration had positive effects on chick quality. However, shank length decreased following IO administration with an unchanged relative asymmetry (RA). IO significantly affected the absolute weights of the liver and heart and the relative weight of the heart, which was lower in the alpha-tocopherol group than in the control group. IO administration had no effect on total retinol and carotenoid concentrations in the RYS, liver and brain. Vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol and delta-tocopherol concentrations in the RYS, liver and brain were significantly higher in the alpha-tocopherol-treated chicks than in the control chicks. The highest brain alpha-tocopherol concentration was found in the alpha-tocopherol-treated chicks of the EWH group, indicating a significant interaction between EW and IO. The highest total lipid-soluble antioxidant concentrations were obtained following IO alpha-tocopherol treatment (P < 0.05), in the order brain < liver < RYS, but this pattern was not observed with delta-tocopherol. In conclusion, IO injection of alpha-tocopherol into the yolk sac affected the concentrations of tissue-specific lipid-soluble antioxidants in the RYS and tissues of newly hatched quail chicks, and EW had effects on various parameters.