As chickens grow larger and produce more eggs, growth-related issues in laying hens and broilers have become more common. Researchers at the University of Georgia are finding ways to combat these issues, which can affect animal welfare and lead to production losses.
A recent journal article published in Poultry Science studied the effect of 20(S)-hydroxycholesterol, a naturally occurring bioactive compound, on satellite cell proliferation and differentiation of broilers and laying hens. Satellite cells are muscle-specific stem cells that are responsible for the post-hatch growth of skeletal muscles by increasing protein synthesis levels in muscle cells and resulting in muscle growth.
Led by Woo Kim and Yuguo Tompkins with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with Sandra Velleman, professor at The Ohio State University, the study examined the use of the compound to potentially improve both bone health and muscle growth. The study found that 20S has a positive effect on bone health in birds.