Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chickens with bigger gizzards are more efficient

Date:
April 11, 2013
Source:
American Society of Animal Science
Summary:
According to animal scientists, farmers could further protect the environment by breeding chickens with larger digestive organs. This research could solve a major problem in poultry production.

According to animal scientists, farmers could further protect the environment by breeding chickens with larger digestive organs. This research, published in the February issue of the Journal of Animal Science, could solve a major problem in poultry production.

In some areas, large poultry operations release nitrogen and phosphorus into the environment. These pollutants come from chicken waste, and they can cause ecological problems like algal blooms in rivers and lakes.

"These result in a loss of plant and animal species and have negative impacts on the use of water for human consumption," said study co-author Dr. Agnes Narcy in an interview.

Narcy, along with and fellow researchers from the French National Institute For Agricultural Research (INRA) and France's Center of Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), bred chickens to test whether selecting for larger digestive organ size could reduce the amount of waste that the chicken excreted.

The key organs were the proventriculus and the gizzard. The proventriculus is a stomach-like organ that softens food using acids and digestive enzymes. The gizzard is a compartment with thick, muscular walls that grinds food. Together, these organs prepare foods for digestion in the small intestine.

Narcy and fellow researchers hypothesized that chickens with larger, better functioning digestive organs would absorb more nutrients from their feed and therefore produce less waste. To test this hypothesis, the researchers selected chickens and raised three lines with differing abilities to digest feed.

After rearing nine generations of each line, the researchers found that chickens with larger digestive organs ate less feed and produced less waste. The researchers concluded that selecting for this trait could make poultry production more environmentally and economically sustainable. They say that a farmer raising 20,000 chickens could save 9.76 tons of feed per hatch.

"Furthermore, such selection would not affect body composition and meat and bone quality traits at slaughter age," said Narcy.

Narcy said the next step is for animal scientists to identify the genes that control digestive efficiency in chickens. By pinpointing the right genes, researchers could help farmers select the most efficient chickens for breeding.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Animal Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H. de Verdal, S. Mignon-Grasteau, D. Bastianelli, N. Meme, E. Le Bihan-Duval, A. Narcy. Reducing the environmental impact of poultry breeding by genetic selection. Journal of Animal Science, 2012; 91 (2): 613 DOI: 10.2527/jas.2012-5572

Cite This Page:

American Society of Animal Science. "Chickens with bigger gizzards are more efficient." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411110255.htm>.
American Society of Animal Science. (2013, April 11). Chickens with bigger gizzards are more efficient. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411110255.htm
American Society of Animal Science. "Chickens with bigger gizzards are more efficient." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411110255.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) — Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) — With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins