Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 7, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Meat-type poultry show a high incidence of leg bone deformity, including breakage during the early growth period. In contrast osteoporosis is the primary bone problem in laying hens. Poor bone quality and strength contribute to much of these problems. Bone is approximately 70 % mineral, 22% organic, and 8% water. Metabolism of bone is regulated by a variety of nutritional, physiological, and physical factors that regulate the function of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Bone strength relates not only to its physical parameters but also to its matrix properties which confer density, tensile strength, and toughness. In recent years, the role of organic matrix such as collagen crosslinks have been shown to be important because they increase bone mechanical strength. Similarly, other changes in matrix such as glycooxidative modifications of collagen can alter matrix properties changing bone microenvironment compromising bone strength. While it is likely that sheer bone volume can affect the biomechanical strength, the presence of large amounts of medullary bone in laying hens does not substantially affect bone strength. We examined age related changes in the collagen crosslinks in chickens. We found these changes to increase significantly between 5-25 weeks coincidental with the increase in bones toughness at which time bone mineral content showed only a moderate change. Bones from 5 week birds were more fragile with low crosslink content. It appears that bone maturity may relate to its cross link content. The current review will deal with different factors such as nutrition, physical activities, age, gender, genetic, and environmental factors that can affect and compromise bone strength in poultry.