Subsequent productive performance and breast muscle development in fasted neonatal broiler chicks injected with calcium gluconate

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Former Graduate Student, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Lorestan

2 Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Lorestan


This study was carried out to examine the effect of post hatch fasting (PHF) period with and without subcutaneous injection of 0.6 ml Ca-gluconate (Ca-g) on productive performance and breast muscle development in broiler chicks up to day 28 of age. Weight gain (WG) and feed intake (FI) were significantly reduced and FCR was increased as PHF lasted for 36 h. Injection of Ca-G did not improve WG and FI of the chicks compared to the control group (without injection). Post hath fasting through 36 h of age suppressed WG, FI and FCR and increased mortality rate up to day 28 of age (P>0.05). Economic efficiency factor was decreased in coordinate with increase in PHF periods and it was lower in Ca-G injected birds compared to the control birds. Breast weight, breast muscles weight, breast external dimensions and breast muscle histology was not affected by extended PHF up to 48 h and Ca-G injection. Breast bone weight was decreased in the chicks experienced PHF for 48 h. It was concluded that PHF greater than 24 h has negative impact on productive performance in broiler chicks at 28 d of age. Administration of Ca-g to the neonate broiler chicks did not improve performance and showed an adverse effect on viability of the birds.


  1. Asgari, M. (2006). The effect of early feeding on blood, Immune system, gastrointestinal track parameters and intsstinal morphology broiler chicks. MSc Thesis. Department of Animal Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. (in Farsi).
  2. Batal, A.B. & Parsons, C. M. (2002). Effect of fasting versus feeding oasis after hatching on nutrient utilization in chicks. Poultry Science, 81, 853-859.
  3. Christensen, V. L., Biellier, H. V. & Forward, J. F. (1982). Physiology of turkey embryos during piping and hatching II. Selected blood parameters. Poultry Science, 61, 143-149.
  4. de Oliveira, J. E., Druyan, S., Uni, Z., Ashwell, C. M. & Ferket, P. R. (2009). Pre-hatch intestinal maturation of turkey embryos demonstrated through gene expression patterns. Poultry Science, 88, 2600-2609.
  5. Dibner, J.J., Knight, C.D., Kitchell, M.L., Atwell, C.A., Downs, A.C. & Ivey, F.J. (1998). Early feeding and development of the immune system in neonatal poultry. Journal of Poultry Research, 7, 425-436.
  6. Foye, O. T., Uni, Z. & Ferket, P. R. (2006). Effect of in ovo feeding egg white protein, β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate, and carbohydrates on glycogen status and neonatal growth of turkeys. Poultry Science, 85, 1185-1192.
  7. Foye, O. T., Ferket, P. R. & Uni, Z. (2007). The effects of in ovo feeding arginine, beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl-butyrate, and protein on jejunal digestive and absorptive activity in embryonic and neonatal turkey poults. Poultry Science, 86, 2343-2349.
  8. Gonzales, E., Kondo, N., Saldanha, E. S. P. B., Loddy, M. M., Careghi, C. & Decuypere, E. (2003a). Performance and physiological parameters of broiler chickens subjected to fasting on the neonatal period. Poultry Science, 82, 1250-1256.
  9. Gonzales, E., Oliveira, A. S., Cruz, C. P., Leandro, N. S. M., Stringhini, J. H. & Brito, A. B. (2003b). In ovo administration of butyric acid to broiler chickens subjected to fasting on the neonatal period. Poultry Science, 83, 1345-1352.
  10. Halevy, O., Geyra, A., Barak, M., Uni, Z. & Sklan, D. (1999). Department of Animal Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.
  11. Halevy, O., Geyra, A., Barak, M., Uni, Z. & Sklan, D. (2000). Early post-hatch starvation decreases satellite cell proliferation and skeletal muscle growth in chicks. Journal of Nutrition, 130, 858-864.
  12. 12.      Halevy, O., Nadel, Y., Barak, M., Rozenboim, I. & Sklan, D. (2003). Early post-hatch feeding stimulates satellite cell proliferation and skeletal muscle growth in turkey pullets. Journal of Nutrition, 133, 1376-1382.
  13. Khosravinia, H. (2010). The effect of transport stress on blood biochemical parameters of 1-day old broiler chicks. Directorate of Research, Lorestan University, Research Project no. 8560325. (in Farsi)
  14. Kornasio. R., Halevy, O., Kedar, O. & Uni, Z. (2011). Effect of in ovo feeding and its interaction with timing of first feed on glycogen reserves, muscle growth, and body weight. Poultry Science, 90, 1467-1477.
  15. Lu, J. W., McMurtry, J. P. & Coon, C. N. (2007). Developmental changes of plasma insulin, glucagon, insulin-like growth factors, thyroid hormones, and glucose concentrations in chick embryos and hatched chicks. Poultry Science, 86, 673-683.
  16. Lup, F., Dan, D. & Daniel, M. (2010). Economic Efficiency and European Efficiency factor in modifying of some raw materials proportion in chicken broiler feeding. Journal analele universitatji din Oradea fascicula:Ecotoxicologie, Zootehnie şi Tehnologii de Industrie Alimentară. Pp, 569-574
  17. Moran, E. T. Jr. (2007). Nutrition of the developing embryo and hatchling. Poultry Science. 86:1043–1049.
  18. Pedroso, A.A., Chaves, L. S., Lopes, K. L. A. M., Leandro, N. S. M., Café, M. B. & Stringhini, J.H. (2006). Nutrient inoculation in eggs from heavy breeders. Brazil Journal of Animal Science, 35, 2018-2026.
  19. Roberson, K. (2003). Early Post-hatch Nutrition for Poultry. Pages 20-22 in proc. Multi-State Poultry Meeting.
  20. Saki, A. A. (2005). Effect of post-hatch feeding on broiler performance. International Journal of Poultry Science, 4(1), 4-6.
  21. Saki, A. A., Totonchi, A. A., Ahmadi, A., Abasinezhad, M. & Kazemi fard, M. (2012). Broiler chickens performance in response to early feeding. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 7(8), 1296-1301, 26 February.
  22. SAS Institute. (2003). SAS/STAT® Guide for personal computers. Version 9.1 Edition. SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC.
  23. Schaefer, A. L., Jones, S. D. M. & Stanley, R. W. (1997). The use of electrolyte solutions for reducing transport stress. Journal of Animal Science, 75, 249-272.
  24. Sklan, D., Heifetz, S. & Halevy, O. (2003). Heavier chicks at hatch improve marketing body weight by enhancing skeletal muscular growth. Poultry Science, 82, 1778-1786.
  25. Van de van, L. J. F. & Wagenberg A. V. V. (2009). Effects of combined hatching and brooding system on hatchability, chick weight and mortality in broilers. Poultry Science, 88, 2273-2279.
  26. Vieira, S. L. & Moran, E. T. (1999a). Effect of egg origin and chick post-hatch nutrition on broiler live performance and meat yields. World’s Poultry Science Journal, 56, 125-142.
  27. Vieira, S. L. & Moran, E. T. (1999b). Effects of delayed placement and used litter on broiler yields. Journal Applied Poultry Research, 8, 75-81.
  28. Winich, M. & Noble, A. (1966). Cellular response in rats during malnutrition at various ages. Journal of Nutrition, 89, 300-306.