This study was conducted to evaluate the rate of antibody transfer on a flock basis from hens to their day-old chicks in meat-type chickens raised in a commercial setting. Fifteen randomly selected hens from a commercial broiler-breeder flock were bled at 37, 40, and 45 wk of age. At day of bleeding, the collected eggs were identified and tracked through hatching where 30 hatchlings were randomly sampled and bled from the jugular vein. Antibodies against 10 different pathogens were quantified from the collected serum samples, and the percentage of maternal antibodies transfer was calculated from the chick antibody titer divided by the hen antibody titer. The results showed a significant variation in the rate of antibody transfer among the pathogens tested for. The transfer percentages were 4.3, 19.5, 25.5, 38.6, 73.6, 6.9, 32.4, 22.4, 29.2, and 32.8 for avian encephalomyelitis virus, avian influenza virus, chicken anemia virus, infectious bronchitis virus, infectious bursal disease virus, laryngotracheitis virus, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, Mycoplasma synoviae, Newcastle disease virus, and reovirus, respectively. The results of this work may be used in commercial farms to predict the antibody titer in day-old chicks as a function of their dams' antibody titers.
- Maternal antibody
- Transfer rate