Submitted to: Southern Poultry Science Society Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 4, 2000
Publication Date: January 15, 2001
Citation: BUHR, R.J., DICKENS, J.A., WILSON, J.L. FILLING AND EMPTYING OF THE ALIMENTARY TRACT OF MEAL FED BROILER BREEDER HENS. SOUTHERN POULTRY SCIENCE SOCIETY MEETING ABSTRACT. 2001.
To evaluate the rate of alimentary tract filling and emptying following a single meal feeding, broiler breeder hens were processed successively over a two day period. Breeder hens from the same flock at 45 and 67 wk-of-age (3.4 and 3.9 kg body weight) were fed 133 g/hen at 06:00 and then cooped and processed after 0, 2, 4 and 6 h. A duplicate set of hens remained in coops overnight and were processed the following morning at 08:00. The tracts were separated and weighed in three segments; the crop, proventriculus and gizzard, and the intestines (duodenum to vent; n = 6 / cooping time / age). On the day of feeding, peak crop weight was attained at 4 h (145 g) for the young hens and at 6 h (108 g) for the older hens. Peak weight for the proventriculus and gizzard was attained at 6 h for both age hens (76 and 81 g). Peak intestine weight was attained sooner at 2 h (173 g) for the younger hens and at 4 h for the older hens (209 g). The following morning tract segment weights did not differ among hens at any cooping time for the crop (12 g), proventriculus and gizzard (66 g), or intestines (152 g young and 200 g older hens). Clearance of the crop and proventriculus readily occurred overnight while hens were held in coops without access to water. However, not until after 50 h off feed had the intestines appeared to have attained a minimum value (125 g young 162 g older hens). These results demonstrate that cooping breeder hens at 2, 4, or 6 h after feeding resulted in comparable alimentary tract clearance when processed the following morning. In addition, an average crop weight of 12 g was attained for hens in all groups when held in coops overnight.