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On the Use and Disuse of the Wings in Domestic Egg Laying Chickens (Gallus Gallus Domesticus)

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Title: On the Use and Disuse of the Wings in Domestic Egg Laying Chickens (Gallus Gallus Domesticus)
Author: Garant, Renée
Department: Department of Animal Biosciences
Program: Animal and Poultry Science
Advisor: Harlander, Alexandra
Abstract: Bones are a complex tissue capable of adapting to changes in muscle usage through specialized cells which respond to muscle strain. The way in which birds utilize their wings directly impacts strain production of the flight muscles and the keel bone to which the muscles anchor. Therefore, this thesis aimed to identify scenarios in which laying hens may decrease wing use (Chapter 2) and assess the effects wing disuse may have on flight muscle thickness and keel bone fracture prevalence (Chapters 3, 4). Indeed, flight feather loss resulted in a decrease in elevated resource use, and feather damage and wing immobilization produced pectoralis thickness decreases, but no changes to keel bone fracture prevalence. Altogether, results of this thesis demonstrate that flight feathers are important for elevated resource access, flight muscles of laying hens adapt to disuse, and that more research is needed to understanded the etiology of keel bone damage.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10214/26656
Date: 2021-12
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Embargoed Until: 2022-12-10


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