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Digestive tract of the chicken: structure and function
Transcript of Digestive tract of the chicken: structure and function
1. To understand the anatomy of the chickens digestive system
2. To understand the function of each organ within the digestive system
Anatomy of the chickens digestive tract
Image by Tom Mooring
Digestive tract of the chicken: anatomy and function
The gizzard is also known as the mechanical stomach
All birds have a gizzard as they do not have teeth.
Instead they have the gizzard which is a muscular grinding organ.
The function of the gizzard is to grind and mix the food with the enzymes secreted by the proventriculus
The proventriculus is the first part of the chickens stomach, and is also called the 'true stomach'
Its function is chemical digestion of food through the release of digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid
Digestive enzymes are released from cells called parietal cells.
Please fill in the work sheet provided throughout the lesson!
The small intestine
The oesophagus is a flexible muscular tube
Its function is to transport balls of food from the mouth
It first connects the mouth to the crop and then the crop to the proventriculus
The crop is a pocket that protrudes from the oesophagus
Its function is to store food and water prior to digestion
It also plays a role in cell signaling - When the crop is empty, signals are sent to the brain of the chicken which stimulate hunger pangs, causing the chicken to eat.
Evolved in birds that are subject to predation and hunting
The small intestine is made up of three parts:
The duodenum makes up the upper part of the small intestine, whilst the jejunum and ileum make up the lower part.
The large intestine
Despite its name, the large intestine is shorter than the small intestine. it is also known as the colon.
Its function is the final absorption of water from the fecal matter
It is the last site of absorption within the digestive tract
This is the name of two blind pouches found at the joining of the small and large intestine
The first function is the absorb some of the water retained in the fecal matter
The second function is fermentation of coarse matter
This fermentation produces further fatty acids however due to the location of the ceca near to the end of the digestive tract, few of these fatty acids actually get absorbed.
The duodenum and pancreas
The jejunum and ileum
The function of the duodenum is chemical further digestion
It receives enzymes from the pancreas which are primarily involved in the break down of proteins
It is useful to note that the duodenum also receives bile from the liver which aid the break down of vitamin A, D, E and K
The function of the lower small intestine is to absorb the nutrients released from digestion
This includes amino acids, fatty acids and glucose
The cloaca is the final part of the digestive tract
Its function is the excretion of waste products
The waste from both the digestive system and the urinary system are excreted from the cloaca