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For Immediate Release

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association
Tucker, GA - November 15, 2023
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Kris Early, 678.514.1979,

Researchers Address Early Incubation Temperature Effects on the Development of Wooden Breast in Broilers

USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project by researchers at Auburn University that address early incubation temperature effects on the development of wooden breast in broilers. The research was made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Koch Foods. The research is part of the Association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing. In total, more than $36,000,000 has been invested in research by the Association and Foundation. A summary of the completed project is below.

Project #725: Role of Early Incubation Temperature Variation in the Development of the Wooden Breast Myopathy in Broiler Chickens

(Jessica D. Starkey, Ph.D., Department of Poultry Science, Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.)

Dr. Jessica D. Starkey and colleagues with Auburn University recently completed a research project with the objectives of providing information currently unavailable in the scientific literature for use by industry professionals in optimizing incubation methods and operational parameters to maximize hatchability, chick quality, growth performance and meat yield, as well as to determine the impact on the incidence and severity of the breast meat quality defects, wooden breast and white striping, in modern commercial broiler chickens. Overall, the results of the project highlight the importance of careful hatching egg incubator management. The data indicates that the cost of incubating broiler hatching eggs at sub-optimal temperatures during early state incubation may lead to major economic losses down the line.

The research summary can be found on the USPOULTRY website. Information on other Association research may also be obtained by visiting the USPOULTRY website,

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is the All Feather Association progressively serving its poultry and egg members through research, education, communications and technical services.Founded in 1947, USPOULTRY is based in Tucker, Georgia.

About USPOULTRY Foundation
The USPOULTRY Foundation's mission is to support the recruitment and training of the brightest students, seek and fund scientific research, foster student scientists and promote careers in the poultry and egg industry.