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Lipids in maternal diet influence yolk hormone levels and post-hatch neophobia in the domestic chick

Abstract : We assessed whether the ratio of dietary n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) during egg formation engenders transgenerational maternal effects in domestic chicks. We analyzed yolk lipid and hormone concentrations, and HPA-axis activity in hens fed a control diet (high n-6/n-3 ratio) or a diet enriched in n-3 PUFAs (low n-6/n-3 ratio) for 6 consecutive weeks. Their chicks were tested for neophobia during the first week of life. We found higher corticosterone metabolites in droppings of hens fed the diet enriched in n-3 and significantly higher concentrations of yolk progesterone, androstenedione, and estradiol in their eggs compared to controls. Chicks of hens fed the n-3 enriched diet showed a lower body mass at hatch than controls and expressed higher neophobia when exposed to a novel object. These results add support to the hypothesis that the nutritional state of female birds produces variation in yolk hormone levels and engender maternal effects.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 6, 2017 - 1:13:12 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 4, 2020 - 9:48:02 AM

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Elske N. de Haas, Ludovic Calandreau, Elisabeth Baéza, Pascal Chartrin, Rupert Palme, et al.. Lipids in maternal diet influence yolk hormone levels and post-hatch neophobia in the domestic chick. Developmental Psychobiology, Wiley, 2017, 9999 (3), pp.1-10. ⟨10.1002/dev.21504⟩. ⟨hal-01483726⟩

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