Osmotic minipumps containing either saline or recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II) were implanted into 4-wk-old female broiler chickens such that the treated chickens received 0.5 mg IGF-II/kg body weight per d. At the end of the trial, no differences in body weight gain or bone length were detected between the treated and control groups, Similarly, there were no differences between the two treatments with respect to heart, spleen, liver, or bursa of Fabricius weight. The relative weight bf the abdominal fat pads was greater (P < 0.05) in the birds treated with IGF-II than in the controls, whereas the weight of breast muscle was reduced (P = 0.06) in the birds treated with IGF-II. There was no effect of IGF-II treatment on feed intake or feed conversion efficiency. Plasma growth hormone (GH) levels were acutely depressed by 15 min after IGF-II administration; and also after 2 wk of IGF-II treatment. Plasma triiodothyronine (T-3) concentrations were significantly depressed by IGF-II treatment. These results suggest that IGF-II may not stimulate growth in chickens, but can act as a nutrient partitioning agent, either directly or indirectly through altering plasma GH or T-3 concentrations.