Production of chickens with marginal vitamin A deficiency.

Department of Human Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands.
British Journal Of Nutrition (Impact Factor: 3.3). 08/1992; 68(1):283-91. DOI: 10.1079/BJN19920085
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Marginally vitamin A-deficient 1-d-old chickens capable of remaining healthy for at least 6 weeks were produced using a two-generation model. In this model, hens fed on diets with a limited vitamin A content were used to obtain 1-d-old chickens which were marginally deficient in vitamin A. Only hens with a narrow range of plasma retinol values (0.60-0.85 mumol/l) were satisfactory for this purpose. Above this range the 1-d-old chickens were not marginally vitamin A deficient. Below this range egg production and hatchability were affected to some extent depending on the degree of vitamin A deficiency. Even when egg production and hatchability remained at a high level in such birds, the 1-d-old chickens produced were not sufficiently strong to survive the first weeks of life. The advantages of the two-generation model for producing marginally vitamin A-deficient chickens are the increased uniformity and predictability of the chickens with respect to body-weight, general health and vitamin A status. However, it does take about 3 months to produce such chickens.

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