(1) Distribution of water in chickens: Water exists in every cell of chickens. The water content of eggs is about 65%, that of newly hatched chickens is about 85%, and that of adult chickens is about 55%. Hence, the water content in chickens ranges from 55% to 85%. The water content in chickens is the highest in the first chicks, and the water content in chickens decreases at a very fast rate with the increase of age, then slows down gradually until adulthood, and the water content in chickens is relatively stable.
Water in chickens mainly exists in intracellular and extracellular fluids, while water in extracellular fluids is in interstitial and plasma respectively. In the total amount of water in chicken, the water in intracellular fluid accounted for 50%, in interstitial fluid accounted for skillfully, and in plasma only accounted for about 5%.
(2) The role of water: water plays an extremely important role in the metabolism of chickens. Most of the water in the body binds with protein to form a liquid, which makes the tissue and cell fluid present a certain shape. Therefore, water is necessary to ensure the normal shape of organs.
Water is the solvent of nutrients. Absorption, metabolism and waste excretion of chicken nutrients, as well as transport of nutrients between tissues and organs in the body, must be dissolved in water to complete. Water also participates in chemical reactions in vivo and is the medium of chemical reactions in the process of metabolism. Water has the characteristics of large heat capacity and high evaporation heat. Therefore, water has important significance in regulating body fluid and maintaining body fluid balance. In addition, water can also be used as a lubricant to keep the joints of bones lubricated and moving freely.
(3) Source of water: There are three ways for chickens to get water, namely drinking water, metabolic water and feed water.
Drinking water: That is, chickens drink water freely in the human body every day, accounting for about 75% of the total intake.
Metabolic water: also known as oxidized water, it refers to the water produced by the oxidation of nutrients in the body.
Feed water: that is, the water intake by animals along with the feed. The feed water content of cage chickens varies greatly with different kinds of feed. The water content of normal air-dried feed is between 8% and 15%. Under intensive feeding conditions, the water intake of chicken feed can meet about 6% of its total water requirement.
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