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Poult Sci. 1991 Feb;70(2):371-4.

Effect of exogenous corticosterone on chicken embryonic development.

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Department of Poultry Science, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802.


Embryonic corticosterone (CS) levels were altered by dipping 3-day-old fertile Leghorn eggs in 0, .01, .05, and 1% CS dissolved in absolute ethanol. Mortality was determined by candling from Day 4 through hatch. Body weights and serum CS were measured daily from Day 14 until hatch. Embryos of eggs dipped in 1% CS in ethanol solution had reduced circulating CS. Embryo weights were reduced and mortality increased as concentration of hormone increased. A CS peak was observed just before hatch for control, .01 and .05% groups, but not for the .1% group. All embryos in the .1% treatment group died before hatch. The importance of embryonic CS for normal development and hatching was indicated.

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