Diurnal and seasonal dynamics affecting egg production in meat chickens: A review of mechanisms associated with reproductive dysregulation.


Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


Chicken meat production relies on successful reproduction in broiler breeders. Challenges with feed restriction and metabolic dysregulation of reproduction in broiler breeders warrant conducting further research and developing of new management strategies in broiler production enterprises. This review, therefore, provides an overview of the underlying mechanisms of egg production and its (dys)regulation in broiler breeders and how management regimens affect these mechanisms. The review addresses the current knowledge of diurnal processes in sexually mature hens and the maturation process before the onset of diurnal cycles of reproduction. The important factors related to seasonal changes in reproduction are addressed, and two main factors involved, photorefractoriness and metabolic status, are highlighted. In addition, with this review it was ascertained that there is a lack of knowledge with relation to the current metabolic problems in broiler breeders.


Chicken,Fowl,Obesity,Seasonal reproduction,

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