Dr. Roni Yair
Prenatal nutrition has an effect on progeny performance, which could be long-lasting. Fetal nutrition was previously shown to change skeletal development by affecting the structure and composition of bones. The avian embryo is a good model for studying the effect of embryonic nutrition on development since it derives its nutrient supply solely from the limited nutrients deposited in the egg. It is assumed that this limited supply is insufficient for the fast growth required of today's chicken strains. Specifically, prenatally the avian embryo has limited supply of minerals important for bone development, and we hypothesize that as time progresses, bone development will "slow down". In order to examine the effect of supplementary embryonic nutrition on skeletal system properties, we study two groups of chicks: a control group and an enriched group (fed in-ovo with minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates). Tibiae and femora are harvested from embryos/chicks from each group between embryonic day (E) 19 and post-hatch (d) 54 and examined for their mechanical, structural and compositional properties. Preliminary results suggest that In-ovo enrichment affects the dynamics of bone development in the post natal period such that at hatch the enriched group has improved mechanical properties.