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Effect of feeding cholesterol to laying hens and chicks on cholesterol metabolism in prehatch and posthatch chicks



Effect of feeding cholesterol to laying hens and chicks on cholesterol metabolism in prehatch and posthatch chicks



Poultry Science 69(10): 1694-1701



Single Comb White Leghorn laying hens were 60 wk of age were fed wheat and soybean meal diets containing either 0 or 1% cholesterol. Birds were artificially inseminated, and fertilized eggs were collected for incubation after a plateau of egg cholesterol content was reached. Posthatch chicks were raised with starter diets containing either 0 or .5% cholesterol. Samples of developing embryos and posthatch chicks at various stages were prepared for cholesterol analysis. As compared with controls, cholesterol content of eggs from hens fed 1.0% cholesterol diet was increased by approximately 70%. Embryos from the cholesterol-loaded eggs had significantly higher (P < .05) cholesterol content. The plasma total cholesterol (TC) level in chicks from cholesterol-loaded eggs, when compared with TC in controls eggs, was significantly higher at hatching but decreased to the same level by 2 wk after hatching. Cholesterol feeding to newly hatched chicks elevated plasma TC and highly density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. The TC contents of liver and heart, but not skeletal muscle, were significantly higher in chicks fed the .5% cholesterol starter diet than those fed the cholesterol-free diet. These results show that cholesterol metabolism in developing embryos and posthatch chicks is influenced by cholesterol in both maternal and chick diets.

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