Water restriction practices in broiler breeder hens: effect on egg albumen composition

This honours project aims to determine the effects of maternal water restriction on egg development by investigating key proteins in the albumen of fertile chicken eggs which are vital for the survival and growth of the chicken embryo.

Chicken laying

In broiler breeder production systems, feed and water restriction are common management practices implemented to maintain the reproductive performance of the birds.

While the physiological and subsequent transgenerational effects of feed restriction (considered a chronic stress) in the hens has received attention, the transgenerational effects of water restriction remains largely unexplored in poultry.

Evidence in other oviparous species suggests that maternal water restriction alters progeny behaviour, egg quality and microbial composition in-ovo, which we hypothesise may also be occurring in poultry, resulting in negative effects on egg development.

This project incorporates two current challenges to maintain sustainable poultry production; the potential to review and increase water efficiency, and, alternative strategies for intestinal microbial modulation as sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics is discontinued.


Tagged in Honours projects - Animal science, Honours projects - Agricultural science, Honours projects - Molecular and biomedical science: Other, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Animal and veterinary bioscience, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Production animal health, Honours projects - Rebecca Forder