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    1. Broiler chicks are frequently deprived of food up to 72 h due to uneven hatching rates, management procedures and transportation to farms. Little is known about the effect of delayed feeding due to extended hatching times on the early neonatal development of the caeca. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the developmental changes and effects of a 48-h delay in feed access immediately post-hatch (PH) on the caeca.2. After hatch, birds (Ross 708) were randomly divided into two treatment groups (n = 6 battery pen/treatment). One group (early fed; EF) received feed and water immediately after hatch, while the second group (late fed; LF) had access to water but had delayed access to feed for 48 h. Contents averaging across all regions of the caeca were collected for mRNA expression as well as for histological analysis at -48, 0, 4 h PH and then at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 days PH.3. Expression of MCT-1 (a nutrient transporter), Cox7A2 (related to mitochondrial function) IgA, pIgR, and ChIL-8 (immune function) genes was affected by delayed access to feed that was dependent by the time PH. Expression of immune and gut barrier function-related genes (LEAP2 and MUC2, respectively) was increased in LF group. There was no effect of feed delay on expression of genes related to mitochondrial functions in the caeca, although developmental changes were observed (ATP5F1B, Cox4|1). Caecal mucus and muscle thickness were affected by delayed access to feed during caeca development.4. The data suggested a limited effect of delayed feed access PH on the developmental changes in caecal functions. However, the caeca seemed to be relatively resistant to delayed access to feed early PH, with only a few genes affected.

    Citation

    Y Qu, S Kahl, K B Miska, L L Schreier, B Russell, T H Elsasser, M Proszkowiec-Weglarz. The effect of delayed feeding post-hatch on caeca development in broiler chickens. British poultry science. 2021 May 05:1-18


    PMID: 33834926

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