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 September 2, 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 September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) 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