Embryonic heart rate measurements during artificial incubation of emu eggs.

  1. Daily changes in embryonic heart rate (HR) of emu were determined non-invasively at 36 degrees C by acoustocardiography (ACG) during the last 30% of artificial incubation (predicted incubation time is 50 d).
  2. The pattern of daily changes in mean HR of hatched embryos decreased from about 175 bpm to about 140 bpm towards the end of incubation.
  3. The mean HR at 80% of incubation (ca. 170 bpm) was close to the value predicted from an allometric equation reported previously for precocial domesticated birds.
  4. ACG could measure embryonic HR even during the external pipping period.
  5. If the artificial external pipping procedure is timed correctly after internal pipping, it might aid the embryos in hatching. However, further investigation into this aspect is needed.

Br Poult Sci. 2000 Mar;41(1):89-93.

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