British poultry science vol:30 issue:3 pages:699-709
1. The high sensitivity of the immature domestic fowl to corticotrophin (ACTH) has been confirmed. The minimal effective dose was age-dependent, and decreased from 2 IU/kg BW in 1-d-old chicks to 0.4 IU/kg BW in 12-d-old chicks. 2. Increasing doses of ACTH evoked similar maximal corticosterone responses but the time to return to basal values increased with increasing dose of ACTH in both a broiler and layer strain. 3. Maximal corticosterone responses to ACTH occurred earlier in hatched chicks compared with embryos, and were delayed in embryos and young chicks of the layer strain compared to those of the broiler strain. 4. Strain differences in basal concentrations of corticosterone as well as in the response to ACTH occurred at a time when there were differences in the corticosterone content of the adrenals.