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Digestive system in a chicken

Birds have a relatively simple monogastic digestive system, somewhat similar to that of
pig or man
Birds, like humans, must depend on en!yme secretions to aid in breaking down complex
molecules to simpler nutrients that can absorb
Digestive system comprises a"imentay tact#cana" and accessoy ogans (liver,
pancreas, spleen and gallbladder)
These organs serve the same functions as in mammals, i.e. intake of food, storage,
digestion, absorption and elimination of body waste
The $ie% &esci'tion o% the &igestive ogans in chicken an& thei %(nctions ae given $e"o)*
nce food is eaten, it must be broken down into its basic components. This is done through both
mechanical and chemical means!
Mechanica" action typically involves chewing, but since birds don"t have teeth other mechanical
methods are used.
+hemica" action includes the release of digestive en#ymes and fluids from the stomach, pancreas
and liver.
,- ,"imentay tact
.- Mo(th
$o lips and teeth
% horny structure called beak present (upper and lower beak)
There are a little taste buds in tongue
&alivary gland present and secrets mucous which lubricate feed particles for easy swallowing
/- Eso'hag(s
The esophagus or gullet is distinguished by its enormous expansibility
'ood passes from the mouth through the esophagus to the crop and onwards
0- +o'
The crop is an enlargement of the esophagus
Temporary storage and softening the food
'ood is gradually sent to the stomach as needed by concentration of the walls of the crop
Fig(e .- Mo&e" sho)ing the intena" ogans o% the %ema"e chicken
1- Poventic("(s
The proventriculus or glandular stomach or true stomach of a bird is a relatively small
enlargement at the end of the esophagus
(eceives food from crop and secrets an en#yme pepsin, which aids in protein digestion and )*+
which initiates the breakdown of seed coats , alter p) of the food to about -.. in chicken
Digestion of food takes place in the proventriculus (little, if any)
2- Gi!!a&#ventic("(s
/i##ard is located 0ust back of the proventriculus and called mechanical stomach or muscular
The gi##ard breaks down ingested feed into smaller digestible fraction
1robably some gastric digestion takes place in gi##ard
The chief function of the gi##ard is to grind or crush food particles
3- Sma"" intestine
2t comprise duodenum, 0e0unum, ileum
2t makes the digestive tract from the gi##ard to the caeca
2t is about . feet long in adult chicken
The digestive and absorptive processes in the small intestine are extremely rapid, a chicken can
digest and absorb a full meal in less than 3 hours
Besides its digestive function, the small intestine also acts as an organ of absorption of the feed
ingredients in simpler form
Fig(e /- La$e"e& 'hotoga'h o% the &igestive tact o% a chicken
4- D(o&en(m
1laced in the section of the small intestine which forms a fold immediately after the digestive
canal leaves the gi##ard, this loop, or folds of the duodenum, which supports the pancreas
/astric digestion, together with some pancreatic digestion, takes place in the duodenum
5- Lage intestine
2t comprises caeca, colon, rectum
Despite the name, the large intestine is actually shorter than the small intestine.
2t lies between the 0unction o the caeca and extends for a short distance up to the exterior opening
of the cloaca
The rectum of adult chicken is usually not more than 3 or 4 inches long
The cloaca is a chamber to the digestive, urinary and reproductive passages, which extends at the
The urine is discharged into the cloaca and excreted with the faces
5hite pasty materials in chicken &o''ings is largely (ic aci& that has precipitated from urine
Fig(e* Do''ings o% chicken
6- +aeca (plural form6 singular 7 caec(m)!
*aeca are two blind pouches, located at the 0unction of the lower intestine and large intestine
*aeca are usually 4 to 8 inches long and are usually filled with faecal materials
They also aid in digestion of fiber
&ome absorption may also take place in caeca
7- ,ccessoy ogans
.- Panceas
+ying between the folds of the duodenum
This organ is relatively longer in birds than in mammals
2t secrets a fluid known as pancreatic 0uice, that contains proteolytic, amylolytic and lipolytic
en#ymes which hydrolyse proteoses, peptones, starches and fats
The pancreas also secrets ins("in to regulate sugar metabolism
/- Live
This is a large, several lobed, dark red organ and largest gland in the body
The bile is produced in the liver and is conveyed to the lower end of the duodenum by two bile
The presence of food in the duodenum causes the gallbladder to contract and employ its bile into
the intestine
The main function of bile is to emulsify fats so they will enter into solution to be digested
0- S'"een
This round reddish body is found near the liver
2t is usually 9.-. to 9.. inches diameter
2ts functions is little unknown
&ome authorities believe that white corpuscles of the blood accumulated in the spleen are rebuilt
or cast from the body.