Effects of fenfluramine on body weight, feed intake, and reproductive activities of broiler breeder hens

Israel Rozenboim*, Ewa Kapkowska, Boaz Robinzon, Zehava Uni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Inherited overfeeding and fattiness reduce laying performance in broiler breeder pullets. Although feed restriction is used to compensate for overeating and weight gain, this management practice leads to increases in BW variation, labor cost, and bird stress. Dietary supplementation of anorectic agents, such as fenfluramine, may be an alternative. Anak female prebreeder hens (19 wk of age; n = 10 per group) were treated as follows: daily oral administration of 5, 10, 20, or 40 mg DL-fenfluramine/kg BW or saline with food provided for ad libitum intake or administration of saline and feed restriction. Daily feed intake (FI), laying rate, egg composition, and BW were measured. At 40 wk of age, adipose tissue and ovary weights were measured. Fenfluramine depressed (P < 0.05) BW and FI in a dose-dependent manner, but was less effective in reducing BW than feed restriction. Suppression of FI occurred in two phases: a dynamic phase, coinciding with the rapid growth phase, during which FI declined progressively and a static phase during which FI reached a plateau at a significantly low level until the end of the experimental period. Egg production peaked first in saline-treated hens fed for ad libitum intake, but soon after started to decline. In all fenfluramine-treated and feed-restricted hens, egg production peaked 3 to 4 wk later and remained high until the end of the experiment. There were no differences in egg and egg component weights among the experimental groups. Abdominal adipose tissue weight was reduced by fenfluramine in a dose-related manner, and its weight in the group treated with the highest dose was similar to that of feed-restricted hens. In these two groups, ovarian weight was significantly higher than in the saline-treated hens fed for ad libitum intake, and a small, nonsignificant increase in ovary size was observed in groups treated with the two median doses of fenfluramine. The effect of fenfluramine on egg production was similar to that of feed restriction, but it was not dose-dependent and, thus, not directly related to its leaning effect. In broiler breeder hens, oral fenfluramine may be used for chemical feed restriction and diminution of fattiness without reducing egg production relative to manually feed-restricted hens.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1768-1772
Number of pages5
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Body weight
  • Broiler breeder
  • Feed consumption
  • Fenfluramine


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