A method of determining bending properties of poultry long bones using beam analysis and micro-CT data


While conventional mechanical testing has been regarded as a gold standard for the evaluation of bone heath in numerous studies, with recent advances in medical imaging, virtual methods of biomechanics are rapidly evolving in the human literature. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the feasibility of determining the elastic and failure properties of poultry long bones using established methods of analysis from the human literature. In order to incorporate a large range of bone sizes and densities, a small number of specimens were utilized from an ongoing study of Regmi et al. (2016) that involved humeri and tibiae from 3 groups of animals (10 from each) including aviary, enriched, and conventional housing systems. Half the animals from each group were used for 'training' that involved the development of a regression equation relating bone density and geometry to bending properties from conventional mechanical tests. The remaining specimens from each group were used for 'testing' in which the mechanical properties from conventional tests were compared to those predicted by the regression equations. Based on the regression equations, the coefficients of determination for the 'test' set of data were 0.798 for bending bone stiffness and 0.901 for the yield (or failure) moment of the bones. All regression slopes and intercepts values for the tests versus predicted plots were not significantly different from 1 and 0, respectively. The study showed the feasibility of developing future methods of virtual biomechanics for the evaluation of poultry long bones. With further development, virtual biomechanics may have utility in future in vivo studies to assess laying hen bone health over time without the need to sacrifice large groups of animals at each time point.


© 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc. cc-by-nc-nd


beam theory, bone properties, computed tomography, housing environment, laying hens


Vaughan, P.E., Orth, M.W., Haut, R.C., & Karcher, D.M.. 2016. A method of determining bending properties of poultry long bones using beam analysis and micro-CT data. Poultry Science, 95(1). https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pev345