A series of experiments was conducted to test the hypothesis that vitamin D utilization may not be as efficient in chicks with tibial dyschondroplasia (TD). The basal diet contained 1.0% Ca and 0.45% available P with no supplemental cholecalciferol (D3). Chicks from low TD (LTD) and high TD (HTD) selected lines were fed diets supplemented with various levels of vitamin D compounds and examined for rickets and TD. When chicks were fed a D3-deficient diet containing only 1.25 micrograms/kg added D3, HTD chicks had a greater incidence of severe rickets than LTD chicks (P < 0.05). The LTD chicks did not exhibit TD when fed a diet containing adequate (20 micrograms/kg) D3. The LTD chicks fed a diet supplemented with 5 micrograms/kg D3, however, had 22% incidence of TD. When HTD chicks were fed diets supplemented with 5 micrograms/kg D3 [control diet that meets NRC (1994) requirement for D3], 20 micrograms/kg D3, 5 micrograms/kg 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol [1,25-(OH)2D3] or the combination of both D3 (20 micrograms/kg) and 1,25-(OH)2D3 (5 micrograms/ kg), TD incidence was highest in HTD chicks fed the control diet. When HTD chicks were fed diets with an increased dietary level of 1,25-(OH)2D3 (10 micrograms/kg) further reduction of TD incidence (P < 0.05) occurred. A potentially toxic level (Soares et al., 1983) of 1,25-(OH)2D3 (15 micrograms/kg) fed to HTD chicks resulted in still greater suppression of incidence of TD even though growth and feed intake in HTD chicks was greater than those of LTD chicks. It is concluded that the development of TD in HTD chicks is associated with subnormal ability to metabolize vitamin D.