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An experiment was conducted with 168 Arbor Acre X Peterson unsexed, crossbred broiler chicks to compare methods of expressing organ-weight data and to assess changes in organ weights and physiological parameters as body weight (97 to 791 g) and age (5 to 26 days) increased. Actual wet weight of liver, heart, intestine, spleen, and pancreas and percent bone ash increased (P less than .01) as age and body weight increased. Tibia length-to-width ratio decreased (P less than .01) as age and body weight increased. Blood hemoglobin, hematocrit, and plasma protein were not affected (P greater than .1) by age or by body weight. Liver, heart, and intestinal weight decreased (P less than .01) and spleen weight increased (P less than .01) as body weight and age increased when these tissue weights were expressed as percent of body weight. Liver weight adjusted for body weight by covariance analysis, however, remained constant; adjusted heart and intestinal weights decreased (P less than .01), and adjusted spleen weights increased (P less than .01) with increasing age and body weight. The covariate, body weight, was not significant (P greater than .1) for pancreas weight, tibia length-to-width ratio, and percent bone ash. Except for spleen, adjustment by covariance analysis more effectively reduced variation due to body weight than did expression as percent of body weight.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Poultry science

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