Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 14, 2005
Publication Date: July 25, 2004
Citation: Smith, D.P., Mauldin, J.M., Lawrence, K.C., Park, B., Heitschmidt, G.R. 2004. Detection of early changes in fertile eggs during incubation using a hyperspectral imaging system [abstract]. Poultry Science. 83(suppl.1):75.
Detection of fertility prior to incubation or the recognition of development during the first 3 days of incubation could benefit hatcheries, as they could remove infertile or non-developing eggs before investing significantly in incubator space and utilities, or risking contamination from 'exploding' eggs. This study was conducted to determine the feasibility of using a hyperpsectral imaging system (CCD detector, spectrograph, lens assembly, and software) to detect changes in incubated eggs related to fertility and development. For each of two replicate trials, 48 unincubated SCWL eggs were obtained from a commercial hatchery, incubated, and then 12 eggs were removed and imaged on days 0, 1, 2, and 3 (n=96). Hypercube images were collected on each egg (wavelengths from approximately 400 to 900 nm) using tungsten-halogen backlighting with a 30 millisecond exposure time. Eggs were then broken out for confirmation. A ratio of transmittance images at two different wavelengths (found to optimize detection of blood in eggs during a preliminary experiment) was used to detect blood ring formation. On day 3, 23 of 24 eggs were determined fertile by breakout; the hyperspectral imaging system accurately classified the one infertile egg and 22 of the 23 fertile eggs. The blood ring was not detected on days 0 or 1, and not consistently on day 2. Insufficient light transmission for one fertile egg prevented its classification. The hyperspectral imaging system appears capable of detecting fertile egg development based on blood ring formation on day 3 of incubation.
Key words: egg fertility, hyperspectral imaging, embryo development