Body Compositional Changes and Growth Alteration in Chicks from Hens Fed Conjugated Linoleic Acid


Effects of feeding conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) to hens on progeny chick development and composition at hatch (NHC) and three weeks of age (TWC) were assessed. CLA (0 or 0.5%, composed of mixed isomers of cis-9,trans-11 or trans-10,cis-12-CLA) was fed to hens with either safflower (SO) or olive oil (OO) (3 or 3.5%) to assure successful hatch for 2 weeks prior to collection for incubation. Maternal CLA feeding had no effect on hatchability, but improved egg fertility (p < 0.05). Maternal feeding of CLA with SO increased 21 day-old progeny growth, while CLA with OO decreased growth (oil*CLA, p < 0.05). In 25 day-old chicks (TWC), but not NHC, maternal CLA decreased the proportion of total body water (p < 0.05) and increased body ash (p < 0.05). While monounsaturated fatty acids were decreased and saturated fatty acids increased in eggs and NHC from hens fed CLA, no differences in fatty acid composition were observed in chicks at 25 days of age from hens fed CLA. Maternal CLA feeding resulted in the presence of c9,t11 and t10,c12-CLA in NHC, but only c9,t11 in the TWC. In conclusion, hens fed CLA led to improved fertility and altered body composition at 3 weeks of age.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. 1.

    Park Y, Albright KJ, Liu W, Storkson JM, Cook ME, Pariza MW (1997) Effect of conjugated linoleic acid on body composition in mice. Lipids 32:852–858

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Park Y, Storkson JM, Albright KJ, Liu W, Pariza MW (1999) Evidence that the trans-10,cis-12 isomer of conjugated linoleic acid induces body composition changes in mice. Lipids 34:235–241

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Hayman A, MacGibbon A, Pack RJ, Rutherfurd K, Green JH (2002) High intake, but not low intake, of CLA impairs weight gain in growing mice. Lipids 37:689–692

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Terpstra AH, Javadi M, Beynen AC, Kocsis S, Lankhorst AE, Lemmens AG, Mohede IC (2003) Dietary conjugated linoleic acids as free fatty acids and triacylglycerols similarly affect body composition and energy balance in mice. J Nutr 133:3181–3186

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Choi N, Kwon D, Yun SH, Jung MY, Shin HK (2004) Selectively hydrogenated soybean oil with conjugated linoleic acid modifies body composition and plasma lipids in rats. J Nutr Biochem 15:411–417

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Yamasaki M, Ikeda A, Oji M, Tanaka Y, Hirao A, Kasai M, Iwata T, Tachibana H, Yamada K (2003) Modulation of body fat and serum leptin levels by dietary conjugated linoleic acid in Sprague-Dawley rats fed various fat-level diets. Nutrition 19:30–35

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Ostrawska E, Muralitharan M, Cross RF, Bauman DE, Dunshea FR (1999) Dietary conjugated linoleic acids increase lean tissue and decrease fat deposition in growing pigs. J Nutr 129:2037–2042

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Thiel-Cooper RL, Parrish FC Jr, Sparks JC, Wiegand BR, Ewan RC (2001) Conjugated linoleic acid changes swine performance and carcass composition. J Anim Sci 79:1821–1828

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Corl BA, Mathews-Oliver SA, Lin X, Oliver WT, Ma Y, Harrell RJ, Odle J (2008) Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat accretion and lipogenic gene expression in neonatal pigs fed low- or high-fat formulas. J Nutr 138:449–454

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Javadi M, Geelen MJ, Everts H, Hovenier R, Javadi S, Kappert H, Beynen AC (2007) Effect of dietary conjugated linoleic acid on body composition and energy balance in broiler chickens. Br J Nutr 98:1152–1158

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Zhang GM, Wen J, Chen JL, Zhao GP, Zheng MQ, Li WJ (2007) Effect of conjugated linoleic acid on growth performances, carcass composition, plasma lipoprotein lipase activity and meat traits of chicken. Br Poult Sci 48:217–223

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Szymczyk B, Pisulewski P, Szczurek W, Hanczakowski P (2001) Effects of conjugated linoleic acid on growth performance, feed conversion efficiency, and subsequent carcass quality in broiler chickens. Br J Nutr 85:465–473

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Chin SF, Storkson JM, Albright KJ, Cook ME, Pariza MW (1994) Conjugated linoleic acid is a growth factor for rats as shown by enhanced weight gain and improved feed efficiency. J Nutr 124:2344–2349

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Bee G (2000) Dietary conjugated linoleic acid consumption during pregnancy and lactation influences growth and tissue composition in weaned pigs. J Nutr 130:2981–2989

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Poulos SP, Sisk M, Hausman DB, Azain MJ, Hausman GJ (2001) Pre- and postnatal dietary conjugated linoleic acid alters adipose development, body weight gain and body composition in Sprague-Dawley rats. J Nutr 131:2722–2731

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Cherian G, Ai W, Goeger MP (2005) Maternal dietary conjugated linoleic acid alters hepatic triacylglycerol and tissue fatty acids in hatched chicks. Lipids 40:131–136

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Aydin R (2000) The effects of dietary CLA on avian lipid metabolism. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  18. 18.

    Aydin R, Cook ME (2004) The effect of dietary conjugated linoleic acid on egg yolk fatty acids and hatchability in Japanese quail. Poult Sci 83:2016–2022

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Muma E, Palander M, Nasi M, Pfeiffer A-M, Keller T, Grinnari JM (2006) Modulation of conjugated linoleic acid-induced loss of chicken egg hatchability by dietary soybean oil. Poult Sci 85:712–720

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Aydin R, Pariza MW, Cook ME (2001) Olive oil prevents the adverse effects of dietary conjugated linoleic acid on chick hatchability and egg quality. J Nutr 131:800–806

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Cherian G, Holsonbake TB, Goeger MP, Bidfell R (2002) Dietary CLA alters yolk and tissue FA composition and hepatic histopathology of laying hens. Lipids 37:751–757

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Folche J, Lees M, Sloane-Stanley GH (1957) A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipids from animal tissues. J Biol Chem 226:497–507

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Kramer JK, Blackadar CB, Zhou J (2002) Evaluation of two GC columns (60-m SUPELCOWAX 10 and 100-m CP Sil 88) for analysis of milkfat with emphasis on CLA, 18:1, 18:2, and 18:3 isomers, and short- and long-chain FA. Lipids 37:823–835

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Brotz PG, Schaefer DM (1984) Nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorous determination from a single digestion of feed or feces. J Anim Sci 59:S408

    Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Broderick GA, Kang JH (1980) Automated simultaneous determination of ammonia and total amino acids in ruminal fluid and in vitro media. J Dairy Sci 63:64–75

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    National Research Council (NRC) (1994) Nutrient requirements of poultry. National Academy Press, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Watkins BA, Seifert MF (2000) Conjugated linoleic acid and bone biology. J Am Coll Nutr 19:S478–S486

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Hargrave KM, Meyer BJ, Li C, Azain MJ, Baile CA, Miner JL (2004) Influence of dietary conjugated linoleic acid and fat source on body fat and apoptosis in mice. Obes Res 12:1435–1444

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Bieri JG, Briggs GM, Fox MR, Ortiz LO, Pollard CJ (1956) Essential fatty acids in the chick. 1. Development of fat deficiency. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 93:237–240

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Hopkins DT, Nesheim MC (1967) The linoleic acid requirement of chicks. J Poult Sci 46:872–880

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Latour MA, Devitt AA, Meunier RA, Stewart JJ, Watkins BA (2000) Effects of conjugated linoleic acid. 1. Fatty acid modification of yolks and neonatal fatty acid metabolism. Poult Sci 79:817–821

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Choi Y, Kim Y, Han Y, Park Y, Pariza MW, Ntambi JM (2000) The trans-10, cis-12 isomer of conjugated linoleic acid downregulates Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 gene expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. J Nutr 130:1920–1924

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Park Y, Storkson JM, Ntambi JM, Cook ME, Sih CJ, Pariza MW (2000) Inhibition of hepatic Stearoyl-CoA desaturase activity by trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid and its derivatives. Biochim Biophys Acta 1486:285–292

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Choi YJ, Park Y, Pariza MW, Ntambi JM (2001) Regulation of Stearoyl-CoA desaturase activity by the trans-10, cis-12 isomer of conjugated linoleic acid in HepG2 cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 284:689–693

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Park Y, Albright KJ, Storkson JM, Liu W, Cook ME, Pariza MW (1999) Changes in body composition in mice during feeding and withdrawal of conjugated linoleic acid. Lipids 34:243–248

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Bauman DE, Castaneda-Gutierrez E, Butler WR, de Veth M, Pfeiffer A (2007) Method of enhancing reproductive function of mammals by feeding of conjugated linoleic acids. US Patent Application 2007/0191483 A1

  37. 37.

    Halle I (1999) The effect of palm oil and safflower oil in the feed of parent fattening hens on fertility, hatchability and growth of progeny. Arch Tierernahr 52:371–390

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Latour MA, Peebles ED, Doyle SM, Pansky T, Smith TW, Boyle CR (1998) Broiler breeder age and dietary fat influence the yolk fatty acid profiles of fresh eggs and newly hatched chicks. Poult Sci 77:47–53

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Vilchez C, Touchburn SP, Chavez ER, Chan CW (1991) Effect of feeding palmitic, oleic, and linoleic acids to Japanese quail hens (Coturnix coturnix japonica). 1. Reproductive performance and tissue fatty acids. Poult Sci 70:2484–2493

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    Noble RC, Cocchi M (1990) Lipid metabolism and the neonatal chicken. Prog Lipid Res 29:107–140

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Nobel RC (1987) Lipid metabolism in the chick embryo: some recent ideas. J Exp Zool 1:S65–S73

    Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Sessler AM, Kaur N, Palta JP, Ntambi JM (1996) Regulation of Stearoyl-CoA desaturase mRNA stability by polyunsaturated fatty acids in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. J Biol Chem 271:29854–29858

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    Park Y, Albright KJ, Cai ZY, Pariza MW (2001) Comparison of methylation procedures for conjugated linoleic acid and artifact formation by commercial (trimethylsilyl) diazomethane. J Agric Food Chem 49:1158–1164

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Yurawecz MP, Kramer JKG, Ku Y (1999) Methylation procedures for conjugated linoleic acid. In: Yurawecz MP, Mossoba MM, Kramer JKG, Pariza MW, Nelson GJ (eds) Advances in conjugated linoleic acid research, vol 1. AOCS Press, Champaign, pp 64–82

    Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors express their gratitude to S&R Farms (Whitewater, WI) for providing laying hens and to the staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Poultry Research Lab (Dawn Irish, George Bradley, and Angel Gutierrez) for support of research. The authors would like to thank Shane Huebner for his assistance in fatty acid analysis, Debra Schneider for her assistance in body composition analysis, and David Trott for assistance in certain aspects of this project. Research was supported through royalties received from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), as one of the authors (MEC) is an inventor on CLA patents assigned to WARF.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mark E. Cook.

About this article

Cite this article

Leone, V.A., Worzalla, S.P. & Cook, M.E. Body Compositional Changes and Growth Alteration in Chicks from Hens Fed Conjugated Linoleic Acid. Lipids 44, 437–447 (2009).

Download citation


  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
  • Fatty acid modifications
  • Saturated fatty acids
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids
  • Desaturases
  • Dietary fat
  • Lipid absorption