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Comparison of the gastrointestinal tract of a dual-purpose to a broiler chicken line: A qualitative and quantitative macroscopic and microscopic study

Alshamy, Z., Richardson, K.C., Hünigen, H., Hafez, H.M., Plendl, J. and Al Masri, S. (2018) Comparison of the gastrointestinal tract of a dual-purpose to a broiler chicken line: A qualitative and quantitative macroscopic and microscopic study. PLoS ONE, 13 (10). article e0204921.

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Abstract

The transition to using dual-purpose chickens is an alternative to killing male hatchlings of high performance egg-laying chickens. This study aimed to compare the gastrointestinal tract of a recently developed genetic line of dual purpose male chicken, Lohmann Dual (LD), with that of a broiler line, Ross 308. Eighty birds from each line were grown until they reached an average body weight 2000 g (5 weeks for Ross and 9 for LD birds). Six birds of each line were sampled weekly. Body weight (BW), normalized mass of gastrointestinal segments and relative length of intestine were determined. Histologically the villus height, epithelium height, crypt depth, mucosal enlargement factor and the tunica muscularis thickness were measured in jejunum and ileum. Data were regressed against body weight and genetic line. Jejunal enterocyte microvilli and junctional complexes length were measured. Normalized mass and relative length of the gastrointestinal segments were greater in LD birds than in Ross birds at all ages. After day 7 these decreased steadily over the lifetime of the birds in both genetic lines. The growth curves of the gastrointestinal segments of the LD birds were similar to those of the Ross birds. In birds of the same BW, LD birds had a significantly heavier gizzard, shorter intestine, higher jejunal villi, thicker ileal tunica muscularis and smaller ileal mucosal enlargement factor than were found in Ross birds. The large gizzard in LD chickens presumably increases the degree of food processing and enhances availability of nutrients in the orad part of the intestine leading to a lower nutrient concentration and a smaller absorption surface area in the ileum of the LD compared to the Ross chickens. The anatomical differences between the two lines are important criteria for further selection and should be considered in their feeding management.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2018 Alshamy et al.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/42539
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