An autosomal dwarfism in the domestic fowl

Poult Sci. 2000 Nov;79(11):1507-16. doi: 10.1093/ps/79.11.1507.


A mutation in the Cornell K-strain of White Leghorns, first recognized when two adult males in a pedigreed family were definitely smaller than their two other brothers, proved to be an autosomal recessive mutation and gave rise to the autosomal dwarf stock. The effect of this gene (adw) can be recognized during embryonic development and leads to a normal adult, except for a 30% reduction in body weight. Selection for small size, egg production, and egg weight over a period of 15 yr yielded an efficient layer. Production for 11 mo from first egg was at a rate of 70%, with egg weight at 56 g and body weight at 1,160 g at 10 to 11 mo of age, based on data for the last four generations. Viability of the caged hens averaged over 95% for the 13 generations involved. Sexual maturity was delayed by about 2 wk, and good incubation (85+%) required 18+/- more hours than normal. When an autosomal dwarf male is used as a sire and mated to sex-linked dwarf (dw) females, all progeny are of normal size. Compared with problems of mating normal size males with dwarf females, the use of the two types of dwarfism can yield good fertility.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology
  • Chickens / genetics*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Dwarfism / genetics
  • Dwarfism / veterinary*
  • Eggs
  • Female
  • Genes, Recessive
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Oviposition*
  • Poultry Diseases / genetics*