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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Incubation behaviour expression in turkey hens and its control in commercial flocks

INRA Prod. Anim., 14(3), 147-160.


1 INRA, Station de Recherches Avicoles, 37380 Nouzilly

2 Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Azabu University, Japon
3 Department of Animal Science, McGill U. St Anne de Bellevue, H9X-3V9, P-Q, Canada


Broodiness expression still occurs in breeding flocksof different domestic bird species, especially in turkeybreeding flocks, although is no longer of practicalinterest since artificial incubation is now exclusivelyused in the poultry industry. Moreover, as it is negativelycorrelated with egg production, it remains a sourceof economic loss for the poultry industry. The geneticbackground is a key compound for the rate ofexpression; however differents exogenous and endogenousfactors are well known for their stimulatory properties.Taking into account these factors in additionto genetic selection allows to elaborate different strategiesto control incubation behaviour expression. Atpresent, control is based on the use of specific rearingmethods and physical treatments which take time.Thus, the practical interest of pharmacological treatmentsis unquestionable. Recent studies have shownthat immunological approachs could be effective to preventits expression in turkey hens. However, althoughthese approaches are promising, commercial applicationsare not yet available. For various reasons, selectiveprograms were not effective to fully eradicate broodinessoccurence. Preliminary data suggest the presenceof specific molecular markers which could be used inorder to select against broody behaviour in the future.

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