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Structure and age-dependent growth of the chicken liver together with liver fat quantification: A comparison between a dual-purpose and a broiler chicken line

Alshamy, Z., Richardson, K.C., Harash, G., Hünigen, H., Röhe, I., Hafez, H.M., Plendl, J. and Al Masri, S. (2019) Structure and age-dependent growth of the chicken liver together with liver fat quantification: A comparison between a dual-purpose and a broiler chicken line. PLoS ONE, 14 (12).

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Abstract

Rearing dual-purpose chickens is a practicable approach to avoid culling one-day-old male layer chicks. The present study examined the impact of a conventional fattening diet on the liver of a novel dual-purpose chicken line (Lohmann Dual, LD) in comparison to a broiler (Ross 308) chicken line. Age-related changes of structure and lipid content of the liver were assessed. One hundred twenty and newly hatched chicks (LD = 66, Ross = 54) were kept under the same husbandry conditions and fed a commercial diet for 5 weeks for Ross and 9 weeks for LD. Six birds of each line were examined weekly. Their body weight (BW) and liver mass were recorded. Microscopic structure and ultrastructure of the liver were investigated and the liver lipid content was measured using a pre-validated method. During the study period, liver mass increased with age, while normalized liver mass decreased. Furthermore, liver mass of Ross birds was greater than that of LD birds of the same BW. Overall, no significant differences were observed in the hepatic structure or ultrastructure between the two chicken lines. The hepatic lymphatic aggregations were without fibrous capsules and their number and area increased throughout the first week, then the values began to fluctuate with age in both chicken lines. The changes in the liver lipid content of the two chicken lines were within the normal physiological range over the term of the study. The liver lipid content correlated negatively with age and body weight in both lines. It was the highest on the first day then decreased until day 7 and thereafter did not change in both chicken lines. However, given the same body weight, the Ross chickens had a 9% greater liver lipid content than LD chickens. It is concluded that there is no apparent adverse effect of a high-energy diet on the liver of LD chickens.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2019 Alshamy et al.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/54170
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