Gas exchange, heat production and oxidation of fat in chicken embryos from a fast or slow growing line

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The experiment comprised 48 chicken (Gallus gallus) embryos from a modern, fast growing line, Ross 308 (RO) and 48 from a slow growing line, Labresse (LA). The O(2) consumption and CO(2) production were measured in an open-air-circuit respiration unit, and heat production (HE) from embryos was calculated at an age of 10, 13, 16 and 19 days. Gas exchange was below 10 ml/h for RO and LA by an age of 10-13 days, increasing steeply to a "peak" on day 16 and then slowing down between 16 and 19 days. The pattern of curves for gas exchange was identical for RO and LA, but on a lower level for LA. HE followed the pattern of gas exchange, with a mean around 50 J/h on day 10, increasing to 528 (RO) and 402 (LA) J/h on day 19. The main source of HE was oxidized fat. In addition to respiration experiments chemical analyses were carried out on 60 eggs from RO and 60 from LA. Prior to chemical analyses the eggs were incubated for 7, 13 and 19 days. Since fat oxidation was the main energy fuel the content of fat in the eggs decreased by 2.0 (RO) and 1.6 g (LA), while protein content was fairly constant in each line. It is remarkable that the differences in heat production between chickens from fast and slow growing lines were already manifested during their embryonic development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology A
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Research areas

  • Former LIFE faculty - Energy expenditure, Oxygen consumption, Carbon dioxide production, Fat oxidation, Embryo, Bird, Poultry

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