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Impact of feed glyphosate residues on broiler breeder egg production and egg hatchability

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Glyphosate is the active substance in glyphosate-based herbicides, e.g. Roundup. Its widespread application on feed crops leaves residues in the feed. Glyphosate has antimicrobial and mineral chelating properties and we investigated whether there is an association between feed residues of glyphosate on the one side and broiler breeder egg laying percent and egg hatchability on the other side. Twenty-six feed samples from five conventional flocks producing hatching eggs were analysed for glyphosate. Data on laying percent and egg hatchability from periods following each feed sampling were then associated with feed residues of glyphosate. The average glyphosate residue level was 0.09 mg/kg, maximum was 0.19 and minimum was 0.004 mg/kg. Average laying percent over observation days was 65% (SD = 5.4%) and average hatchability was 79% (SD = 5.8%). We found a negative association between feed glyphosate residue level and hatchability (P = 0.03) when adjusted for breeder age, storage time of eggs on farm before delivery and storage time at hatchery before incubation start. No association was found with laying percent (P = 0.59) adjusted for breeder age. The range of glyphosate concentrations in feed was narrow and should be kept in mind when interpreting both significant and non-significant associations with glyphosate residue concentrations. In nine of 24 analysed conventional eggs the concentration of glyphosate in yolk was above the detection limit however below the quantification limit indicating that traces of glyphosate are common in conventional eggs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19290
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

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