Control of the development of the ovarian follicular hierarchy in broiler breeder pullets by food restriction during rearing

Paul Hocking, D. Waddington, M A Walker, AB Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

1. The increase in the numbers of yellow and of white ovarian follicles was studied from 10 weeks of age to sexual maturity in broiler breeder pullets fed ad libitum and on a restricted intake. The growth of follicles greater than 1 mm diameter commenced at 14 to 16 weeks of age in ad libitum birds and at 22 to 24 weeks in those which were restricted. 2. In a second experiment, groups of birds restricted from 4 d of age were transferred to ad libitum feeding at 2-week intervals and examined at first egg. The numbers of yellow follicles at first egg were not affected by restriction to 14 weeks of age but, thereafter, declined linearly with time on restriction. 3. In the second experiment there were no comparable responses in the numbers of white follicles or in the rates of atresia. 4. Food restriction to 22 weeks of age produced about half the response in numbers of yellow follicles as restriction continued to point of lay (27 to 32 weeks of age). In practical situations, the results suggest that food intake should be restricted up to the onset of lay and then increased in relation to the rise in egg production. 5. Atresia was greatest in white follicles 3.15 to 6.30 mm diameter and was less outside this range.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-73
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1989

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Chickens/physiology
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Follicular Atresia
  • Food Deprivation
  • Ovary/physiology
  • Sexual Maturation

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