1. Plasma concentrations of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I(IGF-I) were determined in individually caged broiler breeder females from 17 to 30 weeks of age. The birds were fed ad libitum or restricted during rearing in a randomised block design. Restricted birds were fed ad libitum after laying an egg and egg production was recorded to 54 weeks. 2. GH concentrations were higher in restricted compared with ad libitum-fed birds at 17 to 21 weeks of age and were similar thereafter. Plasma IGF-I concentrations were higher in restricted compared with ad libitum-fed birds throughout the sampling period of the experiment. 3. The age at first egg was delayed by about two weeks in restricted birds. At 54 weeks of age they had laid 114 compared with 67 eggs in birds fed ad libitum throughout and had produced less than half the number of eggs with defective shells. 4. It was suggested that differences in egg production between ad libitum and restricted broiler breeder females could be related to changes in the pattern of GH and/or IGF-I secretion.
- Growth Hormone/blood
- Insulin-Like Growth Factor I/metabolism
- Random Allocation