Development of the small intestine in heavy and light strain chicks before and after hatching

Z. Uni*, Y. Noy, D. Sklan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


1. Intestinal development was examined in Arbor Acres and Lohmann chicks from one week before hatching until one week after. Changes in morphology and concentrations of DNA, RNA and protein in the duodenal tissue were determined. 2. Villus height and perimeter increased 9 to 11 fold from day 14 of incubation until 7 d after hatching. Arbor Acres chicks had values which were consistently higher than Lohmann chicks. 3. DNA concentration of duodenal tissue increased with age in parallel to the increase in the number of enterocytes per villus. In the pre-hatch period tissue activity as indicated by RNA/DNA, and ribosomal capacity as shown by the RNA/protein ratios, were high for both strains; values for Arbor Acres embryos and chicks were greater than for Lohmann. 4. DNA concentrations, RNA/DNA, RNA/protein and protein/DNA ratios correlate with morphological measurements and can be used as additional criteria for evaluating development in chick intestine. 5. In the last week of incubation and immediately after hatching, intestinal growth appears to arise mainly from cellular hyperplasia and not from cellular hypertrophy. Intestinal development patterns were similar for both strains but growth was more rapid in Arbor Acres chicks.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1996


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