Blood Characteristics for High Altitude Adaptation in Tibetan Chickens

Poult Sci. 2007 Jul;86(7):1384-9. doi: 10.1093/ps/86.7.1384.


Tibetan chickens, a unique chicken breed native to high altitude, have good adaptation to hypoxia. The experiment was conducted to determine the adaptive blood characteristics in Tibetan chickens. Fertile eggs from Tibetan and Dwarf Recessive White chickens were incubated, and the chicks were reared until 10 wk of age at low altitude (100 m) and high altitude (2,900 m). At 1 d and 2, 6, and 10 wk of age, the hematological characteristics, blood gas value, and blood volume were measured. Tibetan chickens had more red blood cells (RBC), smaller mean cell volume, lower pH and partial pressure of oxygen, and higher partial pressure of carbon dioxide at high altitude and had lower blood volume, erythrocyte volume, and plasma volume at low and high altitude than Dwarf Recessive White chickens. Tibetan chickens reared at high altitude retained a high level of RBC and a stable level of hematocrit from younger to older, but Dwarf Recessive White chickens reared at high altitude presented an increase in RBC and hematocrit values. It was concluded the adaptation was achieved in Tibetan chickens by increase in RBC and blood oxygen affinity, decrease in mean cell volume, and reducing susceptivity to hypocapnia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Altitude*
  • Animals
  • Blood Gas Analysis / veterinary
  • Chickens / blood*
  • Chickens / genetics
  • Female
  • Male
  • Tibet