NoteDifferences in serum iodohormone concentration between chick embryos with and without the bill in the air chamber at different incubation temperatures
Review articleOpen access

AbstractSerum levels of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) were measured, by RIA, in developing chick embryos of the Rhode Island Red strain incubated at different temperatures in a forced-draught laboratory incubator. A low incubation temperature resulted in a longer incubation period, whereas eggs incubated at a higher temperature hatched sooner. In all temperature groups serum levels of T3 and T4 increased during the incubation period studied. Whatever the total duration of incubation within the experimental conditions, maximal T3 and T4 serum levels were always obtained on the day of “pipping”. Embryos having perforated the air space membrane the day before pipping showed elevated serum levels of T3, but not of T4, compared with embryos that had not perforated the air space. The presence of high levels of T3 in serum, in chick embryos after perforation of the air space membrane, and the sharp increase in T3T4 ratio before the event of “pipping”, appear to suggest that T3 has an important role in the processes of “pipping” and hatching.

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