Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

What comes first…the chicken, the egg, or the bad attitude?

14.06.2005


Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered that chickens raised for meat can choose whether or not they’ll funnel the nutrients they eat towards themselves or their eggs.



That phenomenon of ’reproductive attitude’ is a headache for producers who must figure out how to deal with less productive hens that "partition" nutrients needed for egg production into their own bodies. "They like to be a little bit more selfish with their nutrients, and continue growing," said Dr. Martin Zuidhof, an Alberta Agriculture researcher who is collaborating with the University of Alberta to solve the dilemma.

"Some of the broiler breeders (parents of chickens raised for meat) are happy to shift their nutrients from the growth of their bodies to egg production, but some of them don’t do it very willingly. It is not a conscious thing the bird does, but it does express a tendency of that bird to either be generous or to be selfish with its nutrients."


Channelling food into body-building results in lower egg production, chick production and chick quality, said Dr. Frank Robinson, professor of Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta.

The University of Alberta study of 300 high-performance broiler breeder hens explores the relationship between the hen’s growth and reproductive performance, to improve our understanding of how producers can better manage the birds’ body weight during puberty, and also during the egg-laying period that comes later.

No other broiler breeders research program works as closely with individual birds. The research team has shown the importance of recognizing that large poultry populations are made up of a collection of individuals--each with their own way of balancing their growth and reproductive priorities. "Building definitions of ’reproductive attitudes’ has been an eye-opening process that challenges basic assumptions about how these birds function," said Dr. Rob Renema, a researcher in the Department of Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta.

Individual assessments have identified a small number of ’super-hens’ that have an incredible growth potential and are also capable of producing many more chicks than usual. The more typical pattern is for the hen to lose some body weight to support egg production. "The trouble with this is that these ’martyr birds’ may eventually suffer from burnout when they don’t balance their own needs well enough," Dr. Renema said.

Discovery of the exceptional "super-mom" birds that don’t fit the textbook norm has opened new doors in the research program. "If the offspring of these special hens are also more efficient, the broiler industry could move forward in leaps and bounds.

As a result of their findings, Robinson, Renema and Zuidhof have broadened their research focus to include exploration of links between hen reproductive attitude and broiler quality. Their work will contribute to the production of high-quality broilers and to the growing research focus on development of high-quality, value-added poultry products.

Bev Betkowski | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ualberta.ca

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>