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Age, body weight and body composition requirements for the onset of sexual maturity of dwarf and normal chickens


British Poultry Science 25(2): 245-252
Age, body weight and body composition requirements for the onset of sexual maturity of dwarf and normal chickens
The lines used in the experiment were obtained by long-term mass selection for high (H) and low (L) body weight at 56 days of age, comparisons being made between dwarf (D) and normal (N) birds in each line after slaughter on the day they laid their 1st egg. For HN, HD, LN and LD birds resp., age at 1st egg averaged 153+or-9, 167+or-9, 173+or-10 and 173+or-12 days, body weight at slaughter 2370+or-180, 1971+or-240, 1363+or-182 and 764+or-127 g, and shank length 10.9+or-0.4, 8.8+or-0.4, 9.4+or-0.4 and 6.7+or-0.6 cm. In a comparison of birds of all 4 lines slaughtered at 1st egg and age-matched, non-laying controls, body weight at slaughter averaged 1836 and 1401 g resp., and shank length 9.2 and 8.7 cm. At the same age, the carcasses of birds which had started to lay had significantly more abdominal fat (51 vs. 30 g) and carcass fat (293 vs. 212 g) than those which were not laying. For HN, HD, LN and LD birds resp., body weights at the onset of sexual maturity were 184, 211, 364 and 202% of 56-day body weight. This shows that the rate of gain of the LN birds was disproportionately large. Food consumption on a metabolic body weight basis was generally greater for the normal pullets than for the dwarfs from the same line, while there was no consistent pattern for rate of gain. Neither was there evidence of greater food consumption or rate of gain for the birds which had reached sexual maturity compared with those which had not.


Accession: 001158741

PMID: 6733556

DOI: 10.1080/00071668408454863



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