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Type: Journal article
Title: Developmental programming: a new frontier for the poultry industry?
Author: Hynd, P.
Weaver, S.
Edwards, N.
Heberle, N.
Bowling, M.
Citation: Animal Production Science, 2016; 56(8):1233-1238
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1836-0939
Statement of
P. I. Hynd, S. Weaver, N. M. Edwards, N. D. Heberle and M. Bowling
Abstract: Increasing evidence that the maternal environment influences the programming of developing embryos and fetuses through epigenetic mechanisms has significant potential application in the broiler industry. The broiler breeder hen is subjected to restricted-feeding regimes to maximise egg quantity and quality, but the genetically high-intake potential of these birds makes this regime a stressful one. We propose that this stress is signalled to the developing embryo via changes in yolk composition as an evolutionary adaptation to changing environments, and that exposure to high levels of corticosteroids in ovo is associated with developmental reprogramming, which has effects on the behaviour, health and growth of the progeny. The present paper describes some preliminary results from a series of trials designed to elucidate the relationship between breeder hen diet and egg composition, and the growth, behaviour and immune function of the progeny. We conclude that manipulation of the breeder hen diet is an untapped opportunity to maintain the competitiveness of the chicken meat industry and further, that achieving improved productivity by this means may be compatible with improved animal welfare outcomes for the hen and her progeny.
Keywords: epigenetics; environment; maternal; yolk
Description: Published online 25 February 2016
Rights: Journal compilation © CSIRO 2016
DOI: 10.1071/AN15373
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Appears in Collections:Animal and Veterinary Sciences publications
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