Effect of egg composition and oxidoreductase on adaptation of Tibetan chicken to high altitude
Tibetan chickens have good adaptation to hypoxic conditions, which can be reflected by higher hatchability than lowland breeds when incubated at high altitude. The objective of this trial was to study changes in egg composition and metabolism with regards the adaptation of Tibetan chickens to high altitude. We measured the dry weight of chicken embryos, egg yolk, and egg albumen, and the activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and succinic dehydrogenase (SDH) in breast muscle, heart, and liver
... rom embryos of Tibetan chicken and Dwarf chicken (lowland breed) incubated at high (2,900 m) and low (100 m) altitude. We found that growth of chicken embryos was restricted at high altitude, especially for Dwarf chicken embryos. In Tibetan chicken, the egg weight was lighter, but the dry weight of egg yolk was heavier than that of Dwarf chicken. The LDH activities of the three tissues from the high altitude groups were respectively higher than those of the lowland groups from d 15 to hatching, except for breast muscle of Tibetan chicken embryos on d 15. In addition, under the high altitude environment, the heart tissue from Tibetan chicken had lower LDH activity than that from Dwarf chicken at d 15 and 18. The lactic acid content of blood from Tibetan chicken embryos was lower than that of Dwarf chicken at d 12 and 15 of incubation at high altitude. There was no difference in SDH activity in the three tissues between the high altitude groups and the lowland groups except in three tissues of hatchlings and at d 15 of incubation in breast muscle, nor between the two breeds at high altitude except in the heart of hatchlings. Consequently, the adaptation of Tibetan chicken to high altitude may be associated with higher quantities of yolk in the egg and a low metabolic oxygen demand in tissue, which illuminate the reasons that the Tibetan chicken have higher hatchability with lower oxygen transport ability.