Changes in the midshaft cross-sectional area of the ulna were measured in egg-laying turkeys on a diet insufficient in calcium. Left: right comparisons were used to assess the bone loss over a six-week period due to 1) calcium insufficiency, 2) calcium insufficiency plus disuse, and 3) calcium insufficiency and disuse interrupted by a short daily period of intermittent loading applied from an external device. Calcium insufficiency alone in the intact ulna resulted in a 15% reduction in cross-sectional area. In the functionally deprived bones this loss was increased to 32%. In bones where the disuse was interrupted by a single short daily period of loading, the degree of bone loss was significantly modified (P<0.006) to 25%. No significant difference in the modulating effect of loading was achieved by varying the peak strain from 0.0015 to 0.003, the strain rate from 0.01 to 0.05, or the duration of the single loading period from 100 sec per day to 25 minutes. All the loading regimes employed had been demonstrated to be osteogenic in mature male birds on a diet sufficient in calcium.