Andrew Lee

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The impact of radiation on man has become increasingly important in recent years. Since humans cannot be used as experimental subjects, the experimental work with radiation must be conducted with other species. The domestic fowl possesses pertinent advantages which make it desirable for studying some of the aspects of radiation. Chicken embryos can readily be irradiated under various conditions. The relatively short life span of the chicken hastens the acquisition of results and therefore more experiments-may be conducted within a given period of time. Each individual has a relatively low value so that animals may be sacrificed without excessive monetary cost. The capability for the production of a large number of offspring is also an asset. Studies of the effect of irradiation on poultry is not only important from the standpoint of being applicable to human beings, but vital to the poultry field itself. Irradiation speeds up the mutation process and theoretically increases genetic variability upon which selection may be practiced. This could become instrumental in the establishment of new strains of chickens which are superior in such economic traits as growth rate, width of breast, egg production, and other similar characters. The purpose of this experiment was to try to determine when and how the overall size reduction of chickens, that were irradiated during different embryonic ages, occurs.

Library of Congress Subject Headings


Gamma rays -- Physiological effect


South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University