Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 56
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56 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1953
Use of the synthetic estrogenic compound diethylstilbestrol for fattening
cockerels has gained considerable popularity among poultry
producers. Because this compound produces female sex hormone activity
in man, it seemed desirable to the Ohio station to determine,
if possible, the amount of the hormone that is carried over in the meat
of cockerels treated with this substance. No significant amounts were
detected in either the livers or breast muscle and abdominal fat of
chickens receiving 15 milligrams of diethylstilbestrol by fat-type
pellet and chickens receiving 15 milligrams of aqueous pasty-suspension
through subcutaneous injections in the neck at the base of the
head. The pellet residues in the necks of the chickens averaged 3,970
micrograms of diethylstilbestrol, whereas the residue from the
aqueous-type preparation averaged approximately 280 micrograms,
half of the birds having no detectable amounts present. These results
indicate that hormone implants should be placed in the bird in such
a way that upon dressing the carcass the site of implantation will be
discarded and not reach the consumer in order to avoid the possibility
of an adverse effect.
Ovulation in nonlayers
Ovulation and the subsequent laying of a normal egg, usually within
26 hours, are preceded and accompanied by certain changes in the body
of the hen. Some birds behave as though they were laying and show
appropriate changes in body condition without actually producing an
egg. The New York (Cornell) station, upon dissecting more than
200 mature but nonlaying Leghorns, found that a majority possessed
normal, fully developed, and apparently functioning reproductive
systems. No obvious cause for the failure of these birds to produce
eggs was recognized, although there was some evidence that genetic
factors were involved. In some other cases, a faulty development of
the oviduct made egg formation impossible. Nevertheless, the birds
were ovulating and nesting. Obviously, it is impossible to identify all
nonlayers by physical inspection. Neither is it correct to assume that
normal-appearing, trap-nested birds without egg records are laying
on the floor.
Temperature effect on egg size
In 1950 the Kansas station reported that egg size was depressed by
temperature in the hotter summers. If the hens were not subjected to
high summer temperatures, egg size increased throughout the entire
first laying year. It also concluded that a constant temperature of 65
F. is too high for maximum egg size.
Recent research on the same subject by the Puerto Rico station
appears to agree with these findings. The warmer temperature in
Puerto Rico as compared with that of the United States causes the
egg size to increase more slowly at the beginning of the laying year,
reaching a maximum from May to June, but with the higher summer
temperature, egg size decreases faster toward the end of the laying
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/58/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.