Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Peebles, David E.

Committee Member

McDaniel, Christopher

Committee Member

Pharr, Todd G.

Committee Member

Ryan, Peter

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Life Science/Animal Physiology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Poultry Science


Seven experimental trials were conducted to develop and use novel techniques to examine the relationships between pre- and post-hatch physiological parameters in the progeny of young broiler breeders. Trials 1, 2 and 3 together examined the safer and effective use of transponders to determine embryonated egg air cell temperature (Temb) as an estimation of broiler embryo temperature during incubation, and to subsequently calculate eggshell water vapor conductance (GH2O), specific GH2O (gH2O) and GH2O constants (KH2O) in modern broiler strains. Trials 4 and 5 together examined the relationships of early, middle and late post-hatch growth quality parameters and tissue nutritional profiles of broilers with the corresponding Temb, GH2O, gH2O and KH2O. Furthermore, Trials 6 and 7 together examined the changes in nutritional profiles and histological structures of the broiler embryonic pipping muscle between 15 and 19 days of incubation. Based on the results from Trials 1, 2 and 3, it was concluded that transponders may be effectively implanted in the embryonated egg air cells with minimal invasion to the broiler embryo to efficiently determine Temb, and to subsequently calculate GH2O, gH2O and KH2O of modern broiler strain eggs during incubation. The results from Trials 4 and 5 also suggested that within physiological limits, an increased gH2O results in increased embryo metabolism, which subsequently increases growth and yolk sac absorption in the corresponding broiler chicks through 3 days post-hatch. Moreover, it was also observed that a higher gH2O was negatively associated with chick hydration status on day 28 post-hatch; although such effects were not observed through day 48 of the post-hatch grow out period. It was concluded that the effects of gH2O on post-hatch broiler physiology may be more pronounced during early and middle post-hatch periods and may subside as the chick reaches marketing age. Furthermore, the results from Trials 6 and 7 indicated that changes in the nutritional profiles of the pipping muscle occur in accordance with corresponding changes in liver metabolism, and that these together with associated morphological changes in the pipping muscle, as observed through histological techniques may be critical for the broiler embryo’s preparation for hatch.



broiler||eggshell water vapor conductance||embryo||pipping muscle||temperature transponder||post-hatch performance