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Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01846

Influence of a Sustained Release Deslorelin Acetate Implant on Reproductive Physiology and Associated Traits in Laying Hens

  • 1Institut für Tierschutz und Tierhaltung, Friedrich Loeffler Institut, Germany
  • 2Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
  • 3Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

The aim of this study was to develop an animal model with non-laying hens which would allow for investigation of the relationship between egg production and common diseases in hens. A total of 40 Lohmann Selected Leghorn hens were kept for 20 weeks in a floor housing system in two groups: group “Adult” (21 weeks of age) and group “Juvenile” (14 weeks of age). In each group, 10 hens were administered a 4.7 mg sustained release deslorelin acetate implant subcutaneously; in group “Adult” after, in group “Juvenile” before the onset of lay. In both groups, the remaining hens served as control hens. An examination of each hen was performed weekly, including ultrasonography to check for ovarian follicles, analysis of estradiol-17ß plasma concentration, and assessment of comb size. Digital radiographs of the keel bone were taken in experimental weeks 7 and 15. No follicles were detected on the ovary of treated hens for a certain time period which varied between individuals (between 8 weeks and until the end of the experiment). Estradiol-17ß concentrations were significantly higher in control hens. The comb was significantly smaller in treated hens. A lower prevalence of keel bone damage (group “Adult”) and foot pad dermatitis (both groups) was found in treated compared to control hens. These results show that a model with laying and non-laying hens can be achieved by administering a deslorelin acetate implant. Furthermore, they indicate a relationship between egg production and keel bone damage as well as foot pad dermatitis.

Keywords: Laying hen, Egg (production), follicle, Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH / GnRH receptor), Deslorelin acetate, Estradiol, keel bone, Foot pad dermatitis

Received: 23 Aug 2018; Accepted: 07 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Krystyna Pierzchala-Koziec, University of Agriculture of Krakow, Poland

Reviewed by:

Marcin W. Lis, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Dep Veterinary, Animal Reproduction and Welfare
Christoph Mans, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Eusemann, Sharifi, Patt, Reinhard, Schrader, Thöne-Reineke and Petow. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Ms. Beryl Katharina Eusemann, Institut für Tierschutz und Tierhaltung, Friedrich Loeffler Institut, Celle, Germany,