Feed restriction ameliorates metabolic dysregulation and improves reproductive performance of meat-type country chickens. Academic Article uri icon


  • Restricted feed intake improves egg production in CornishPlymouth Rock (broiler) hens. Red-feather (RF) and Black-feather (BF) chickens are 2 local strains of non-broiler meat-type chickens whose egg production has declined with continued selection for meat yield, and which are unstudied regarding restricted feeding and egg-laying improvement. Sixteen week old RF and BF pullets were either fed ad libitum (AL) or restricted to 85% AL intake (R). At 35wk and 50wk R-hens showed improved egg production and less abnormal ovarian morphology than AL-hens. Obesity, hepatic steatosis, lipotoxic change to plasma lipids, and systemic inflammation induced by AL feeding in RF and BF hens were similar to those observed previously in AL-broiler hens. Egg production was negatively correlated to body weight, fractional abdominal fat weight and plasma NEFA concentrations in AL hens (P<0.05). AL-hen hierarchical follicles accumulated ceramide and increased interleukin-1 production (P<0.05) in conjunction with increased granulosa cell apoptosis, follicle atresia, ovarian regression, and reduced plasma 17-estradiol concentrations (P<0.05). The present outcomes from non-broiler but nevertheless meat-type country chicken strains indicate that selection for rapid growth and increased meat yield fundamentally changes energy metabolism in a way that renders hens highly susceptible to reproductive impairment from lipid dysregulation and pro-inflammatory signaling rather than impaired resource allocation per se.

published proceedings

  • Anim Reprod Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Pan, Y., Liu, Z., Chang, C., Huang, Y., Lai, C., Walzem, R. L., & Chen, S.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Pan, Yu-En||Liu, Zu-Chen||Chang, Chai-Ju||Huang, Yu-Feng||Lai, Chien-Yang||Walzem, Rosemary L||Chen, Shuen-Ei

publication date

  • December 2014