Effect of Age and Caponization on Blood Parameters and Bone Development of Male Native Chickens in Taiwan

  • Lin, Cheng-Yung (Taitung Animal Propagation Station, LRI, COA.) ;
  • Hsu, Jenn-Chung (Graduate Institute of Animal Science, National Chung Hsing University) ;
  • Wan, Tien-Chun (Animal Products Processing Division, Livestock Research Institute, Council of Agriculture)
  • Received : 2011.07.06
  • Accepted : 2012.05.05
  • Published : 2012.07.01


An experiment was carried out to determine the effect of age and caponization on the development blood and bone characteristics development in male country chickens in Taiwan. A total of two hundred 8-wk-old LRI native chicken cockerels, Taishi meat No.13 from LRI-COA, were used as experimental animals. Cockerels were surgically caponized at 8 wks of age. Twelve birds in each group were bled and dressed from 8 wks to 35 wks of age at 1 to 5 wk intervals. The results indicated that the plasma testosterone concentration was significantly (p<0.05) lower in capons after 12 wks of age (caponized treatment after 4 wks) than that of the intact males. The relative tibia weight, bone breaking strength, cortical thickness, bone ash, bone calcium, bone phosphorus and bone magnesium contents were significantly (p<0.05) higher in intact males, while capons had higher (p<0.05) plasma ionized calcium, inorganic phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase concentration. The plasma testosterone concentration, relative tibia weight, tibia length, breaking strength, cortical thickness, bone ash, calcium, and phosphorus contents of intact males chickens increased significantly (p<0.05) with the advance of age. In addition, the relative tibia weight of capons peaked at 18 wks of age, and declined at 35 wks of age. The bone ash, calcium and phosphorus content increased most after 14 wks of age in male native chickens in Taiwan. Also, tibia length and cortical thickness peaked at 22 wks of age. However, the peak of bone strength was found at 26 wks of age. These findings support the assertion that androgens can directly influence bone composition fluxes in male chickens. Caponization caused a significant increase in bone loss at 4 wks post treatment, which reflected bone cell damage, and demonstrated reductions in the relative tibia weight, breaking strength, cortical thickness, bone ash, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium contents, and increases in plasma ionized calcium, inorganic phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase concentration.


Supported by : Taiwan Livestock Research Institute (LRI), Council of Agriculture (COA)


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