Broiler breeder nutrition affects chick quality and offspring performance: Fat or lean or in-between?
A good day-old chick quality is crucial for performance, health and welfare of broilers. Factors pre-oviposition, such as maternal nutrition, show potential to improve chick quality and broiler performance. In this thesis, the impact of broiler breeder growth curve and dietary energy-to-protein ratio on offspring was investigated. It was concluded that a higher maternal body weight resulted in higher egg weights, which is beneficial for chick weight and post-hatch performance. A lower dietary energy-to-protein ratio is beneficial for breeder performance. Maternal dietary energy-to-protein ratio affect post-hatch performance in broilers. Exact mechanisms remain unclear, but might depend on transgenerational epigenetic pathways.