Effect of in ovo feeding egg white protein, β-hydroxy-β- methylbutyrate, and carbohydrates on glycogen status and neonatal growth of turkeys

O. T. Foye, Z. Uni, P. R. Ferket*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


In ovo feeding (IOF), injecting dietary components into the amnion about 1 d prior to internal pipping, may enhance growth by altering glycogen status. This hypothesis was evaluated with 5 IOF solutions containing protein, β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB), and carbohydrate. Four IOF treatments were arranged as a factorial of 2 levels of egg white protein (EWP; 0 and 18%) and 2 levels of HMB (0 and 0.1%). An IOF solution of carbohydrates (S; 20% dextrin and 3% maltose) was evaluated for contrast purposes. At 23 d of incubation, 1.5 mL of IOF solution was injected into the amnion of 100 eggs per treatment. At hatch, feed and water were provided ad libitum. At hatch and 3 and 7 d of age, BW were determined, and 10 poults per treatment were sampled to determine liver (LG) and pectoralis muscle (PC) glycogen content. Poults on IOF treatments A (18% EWP), B (18% EWP + HMB), and D (HMB) weighed 6.0, 2.7, and 3.3% more than the controls at hatch, respectively (P < 0.05) with an EWP x HMB interaction (P < 0.05) sustained to 3 and 7 d only in treatment D (P < 0.005). At hatch, A and D poults had greater percentages of PC (P < 0.05) than controls, and the percentage of PC in treatment D was sustained until 7 d. Total LG was enhanced by A and B at 7 d (P < 0.05) over the controls, whereas total PC glycogen was enhanced at 7 d by IOF treatment D(P < 0.05). The IOFA and S poults had greater BW than the controls at hatch only (P < 0.05). The IOF treatment A had greater LG at hatch (P < 0.05), but by 7 d, A and S had greater LG than controls (P < 0.05). Poults fed S in ovo had enhanced total PC glycogen over controls, whereas poults on treatment A had less total PC glycogen than controls (P < 0.05). The results of this experiment demonstrate that IOF of A or S poults may enhance hatch BW and glycogen status of poults during the neonatal period by inclusion of HMB.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1185-1192
Number of pages8
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Prestage Farms, Inc. (Clinton, NC), the Institute of Nutrition, North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, the Bilateral Agricultural Research and Development (BARD) Foundation, and the US Poultry and Egg Foundation. Additionally, the authors thank Annette Israel, Carole Morris, Elad Tako, Dan Moore, Renee Plunske, Anael Santos, Fernanda Santos, and Lizza Macalintal (North Carolina State University, Raleigh) for their technical assistance during this trial.


  • Body weight
  • In ovo feeding
  • Liver glycogen
  • Pectoralis muscle glycogen
  • Turkey


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