Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Science

Major Professor

Brynn H. Voy

Committee Members

John T. Mulliniks, Jun Lin


The broiler chicken is an attractive model for human obesity, and childhood obesity in particular, due to its ability to eat independently at hatch, put on abdominal fat post-hatch, and its similarities in lipid metabolism. Three studies are presented to investigate the potential for omega-3 fatty acids administered in ovo and in the diet at hatch to alter adiposity. Studies one and two investigated manipulating the fat source in the diet from hatch to days 14 and 24, respectively. Oils tested included corn, lard, macadamia, tuna, fish, safflower, flaxseed, and coconut. Data concerning body weight, breast weight, and abdominal fat weight were measured. In addition, basal lipolysis, PPARɣ expression, and ex vivo lipolysis and adipocyte differentiation were explored. The third study was the first known experiment to attempt in ovo injections of lipids at day 17.5 of incubation, and focused on improving the technique for fatty acids. The oils tested for in ovo injections were corn oil and fish oil, though the experiment was cut short due to neurological issues. The first two studies confirm that enriching the diet in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can be used to decrease adipocyte size and differentiation, which could potentially provide benefits to both broiler chickens and humans.

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