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Effects of diet and gizzard muscularity on grit use in domestic chickens

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Title: Effects of diet and gizzard muscularity on grit use in domestic chickens
Authors: Takasaki, Ryuji Browse this author
Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: Gizzard
Issue Date: 12-Nov-2020
Publisher: PeerJ
Journal Title: Peerj
Volume: 8
Start Page: e10277
Publisher DOI: 10.7717/peerj.10277
Abstract: The gizzard is the only gastrointestinal organ for mechanical processing in birds. Many birds use grit in the gizzard to enhance mechanical processing efficiency. We conducted an experiment to test the factors that affect chicken grit use in 68 male layer chicks of Gallus gallus domesticus, which were divided into two different groups in gizzard muscularity (high and low). Within each muscularity group, two different diets were provided (herbivory and non-herbivory) to test whether diet and gizzard muscularity affect grit characteristics including amount, size, and shape (circularity, roundness, and solidity) at different stages of digestion (ingested grit, grit in gizzard, and excreted grit). All animals ingested more grit than they excreted, possibly because excreted grit was below the detection size limit of 0.5 mm of the present study. The amounts of grit ingested and remained in the gizzard were larger in herbivorous groups, but these groups excreted less grit. Larger, rougher grit was selectively ingested by all chicks, but size preferences were especially pronounced in the herbivorous groups. Grit in the gizzard tended to be larger in herbivorous groups, but the grit in excreta was smaller, whereas the size of excreted grit was larger in groups with less muscular gizzards. Grit in the gizzard was much smoother than the offered and ingested grit, especially in the herbivorous, muscular gizzard groups. Excreted grit in all groups was smoother than the offered grit. These results show that diet affects the characteristics of ingested grit, grit in the gizzard, and excreted grit, whereas gizzard muscularity affects the characteristics of grit in the gizzard and excreted grit. The use of larger sizes and amounts of grit by herbivorous groups may be a response to the needs of digesting hard, coarse materials. The recovered behavioral flexibility of grit use might reflect the omnivorous nature of Gallus gallus domesticus and may aid smooth dietary shifts. The results also show that the shape of grit remaining in the gizzard does not reflect the initial shape of ingested grit, in contrast to previously published ideas. Instead, the shape of grit in the gizzard more closely reflects the diet and gizzard muscularity of chicks.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:総合博物館 (The Hokkaido University Museum) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

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