1Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, National Engineering Laboratory for Animal Breeding, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China. firstname.lastname@example.org.
The correlation between IgY levels of the serum and the yolk has been well documented in wild and domestic birds. The levels of total yolk IgY can be an index of the general health status of birds and may contribute to breeding programs when fitness of the offspring is a concern. We measured the levels of total serum IgY and yolk IgY in three different breeds (White Leghorn, Silkie and Dongxiang blue-shell) using indirect ELISA, and found that there was a significantly positive correlation between the levels of total serum IgY and total yolk IgYin all three breeds (White Leghorn: r = 0.404, P < 0.001, n = 100; Silkie: r = 0.561, P < 0.001, n = 70; Dongxiang blue-shell: r = 0.619, P < 0.001, n = 30). We also measured the total serum IgY levels in the 3-day-old offspring hatched from the Silkie hens and results were significantly correlated for serum IgY levels (r = 0.535, P < 0.001, n = 70) and the yolk IgY levels (r = 0.481, P < 0.001, n = 70). The regression analysis showed simple linear regression between IgY levels in hen serum, yolk and offspring serum. Our results suggest that total IgY level could be used as an index for chicken fitness.