Fat.

Submitted by shane on 7/18/01. ( lawhistlingwings@aol.com ) 152.163.189.134

Have any of you noticed the differant colors of the fat on birds? How some is dark yellow to almost white? Ive noticed that the white fat seems to tear the skin easier. Have yall ever noticed this and why is it that the fat is like that?

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Here goes nuttin....

This response submitted by CUR on 7/18/01. ( WILDART@prodigy.net ) 64.196.210.82

That is not an easy answer. There are several basic types of fat deposits common to most birds and mammals: The two types that probably fit this observance of yours are the subcutaneous and intermuscular deposits of adipose (fatty) tissue.

The color of adipose tissue can be fixed by a number of factors, including age, food source, condition (health) of the bird and availability of food. These conditions can also cause changes in the skin itself. The white fatty tissue is a subcutaneous layer of adipose (fat) cells that provide some storage of carbonal compounds or triglycerides, but they also have a large amount of other cells, like collagen fibers and fibroblasts. They also provide insulation. In mammals, this is actually called white fat cell matter.

The fatty tissue that contains more connective cells is a layer of the skin complex and is connected to the outer skin. The large fat pads that are located betwen the skin and the muscle are mostly triglceride and other nutrient stores. There is also a difference in fat composition between young and old birds. At times other cell types are recruited to become fat cells and this also changes the composition of adipose tissue. Confused? Me too.

Let me simplify this by saying that I believe you are talking about pads of fat cells that are used to store reserve energy. (Yellow) And insulative fat layers which contain connective tissue and are part of the skin complex. (White) The fat isn't tearing the skin, either you are when you remove it or the handling procedures in the field and en route led to deterioration of the skin.


Purdue Chickens?

This response submitted by The Taxidermologist on 7/18/01. ( stephen.rogers@home.com ) 24.4.252.5

Ever here you are what you eat? Some color in fat is determined by food item like marigold petals. Actually there is some relevance to this, as many times plumage is influenced by food items. But the primary difference is probably best determined by evolution. Each species, genus, tribe, family, and order have certain characteristics in common, and the exact fatty acid chains differ immensly across species, as well as the amount of vascularization, and connective tissue, etc. Different birds also have different melting temperature of the fat. For example, Penguin fat has a much lower melting temperature than any tropical bird, because the fat cannot "harden" when it swims in extremely cold water.
Phylogenetically speaking, fat has to my knowledge not been studied sufficiently to see its' relevance to explaining evolution. This past winter a Chemistry Professor from West Virginia visited the museum to soak off the waxes of the feathers of birds to attempt to make a stab at this character. Generally the wax coating is an extract of the ur-pygial gland but occasionally comes from the powder down feathers, or from the skin surface itself. He took a couple dozen samples of different Genera by dipping the wings from the wing collection in a solvent and extracting the complex waxes from the feathers of hawks, ostriches, hummingbirds, vultures, thrushes, gulls, etc. and then used a mass spectrometer to see the various percentages of various fatty acids within the waxes. Quite an interesting study, but it didn't address fat per se. I can give you some relevant citations if you are truely interested. Personally, mammal fat is much more interesting since some forms such as "Brown Fat" is a common site for non-shivering thermogenesis in many Rodentia.

So are you sorry you asked?


WHEWWWWW

This response submitted by shane on 7/18/01. ( lswhistlingwings@aol.com ) 152.163.189.99

Thanks guys that really helped me out.... I think lol. Seriously thanks for your input.


When the fat hits the fan!

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 7/18/01. ( ) 207.224.250.77

Wow Shane.
I think now that I'm scared of fat. If I had known it was that complicated I would have had more respect for it.
I have seen exactly what you describe, but the best I can offer are some theories that are based on SOME observation but not really enough to draw a definite conclusion.
Here goes: [speaking ONLY of ducks]
The yellower the fat, the more animal material the duck was eating. Bugs, snails, shrimp, shellfish, fish, etc.
The whiter fat results from eating vegetable matter like seeds, nuts, roots, grain, etc. I have always thought that the ones with white fat taste better too. Usually less gamy.
The fat that tears really easy is from a duck that is gaining weight. [ONLY my theory] A lot of times it's white because that's the nature of a vegetable food source. From scarce to abundant all of a sudden. Those tender-fatted ducks are living on easy street. I have seen some yellow-fatted ones like that also, though. Maybe they found the motherlode of bugs or something. I have also heard that feeding your chickens yellow corn will cause yellow fat. I haven't tried it.
When times get harder the fat cells shrink quickly but the connective tissue is still there, so the fat seems to be a lot tougher. I'm pretty sure on this point. The worst ones of all are those that died sick and have gone light. [Wasted away]
So there you have it. Unscientific, and totally unproven, but fun speculating just the same.
Nancy M.


Lol, Stephen

This response submitted by CUR on 7/19/01. ( WILDART@prodigy.net ) 64.196.210.131

One of us could have been watching TV.......Nancy, a lot of wildfowl eat very little grains or plants. According to researchers, young birds of most species, even traditional grain eaters like the mallard and the pintail require a large percentage of larvae and other insect and animal matter in their diet since they have high protein demands which stem from rapid growth and development. The percentages vary, but is usually above 60 percent when that source is available.

Actually, if you removed all the fat from the different meats we eat, most animal protein would taste the same, since it is largely the fat content that gives each type of meat its distinct flavor. If the breeders and meat suppliers actually develop fat free beef and pork, it may have to be labeled Porf or Bork since the taste would be the same....eccchhh, bland.

When ducks begin migration, they are loaded, most years, with stores of fat retained energy. As they migrate and reach low winter food supplies, or worse, the carbonal compounds, the triglycerides are used up and the adipose tissue has a higher fiberous content by weight and volume. Fat cells are not all true adipose cells either. Sometimes a form of cellular recruiting takes place and fibroblasts and framework tissue cells are recruited to mimic adipocytic cells. there are also pre-adipocytes which are not capable of storing the carbonal compounds or triglicerides.

All of this and a buck will get ya a cup of coffee at a cheap joint...........COME BACK SHANE!


Lol, Stephen

This response submitted by CUR on 7/19/01. ( WILDART@prodigy.net ) 64.196.210.131

One of us could have been watching TV.......Nancy, a lot of wildfowl eat very little grains or plants. According to researchers, young birds of most species, even traditional grain eaters like the mallard and the pintail require a large percentage of larvae and other insect and animal matter in their diet since they have high protein demands which stem from rapid growth and development. The percentages vary, but is usually above 60 percent when that source is available.

Actually, if you removed all the fat from the different meats we eat, most animal protein would taste the same, since it is largely the fat content that gives each type of meat its distinct flavor. If the breeders and meat suppliers actually develop fat free beef and pork, it may have to be labeled Porf or Bork since the taste would be the same....eccchhh, bland.

When ducks begin migration, they are loaded, most years, with stores of fat retained energy. As they migrate and reach low winter food supplies, or worse, the carbonal compounds, the triglycerides are used up and the adipose tissue has a higher fiberous content by weight and volume. Fat cells are not all true adipose cells either. Sometimes a form of cellular recruiting takes place and fibroblasts and framework tissue cells are recruited to mimic adipocytic cells. there are also pre-adipocytes which are not capable of storing the carbonal compounds or triglicerides.

All of this and a buck will get ya a cup of coffee at a cheap joint...........COME BACK SHANE!


Shane.....

This response submitted by Lisa on 7/19/01. ( hobbiel@msn.com ) 63.14.92.237

Here I go again......any fat residue will come off the same no matter what color. A good degreaser helps, ya may want ta check the archives you poor thing! Don't mind them.......LOL


Fun with fat

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 7/19/01. ( ) 216.160.81.106

I know nothing...NOTHING, I tell you! except that the fattest ducks are very often full of grain, acorns [woodies, of course], or [the worst I EVER saw] peanuts!
I just like to poke around the innards and look at stuff, 'ya know. I haven't mounted any baby ducks ever, except for new hatchlings that didn't have hardly any fat at all.
This may or may not be related, but young geese of several species get deformed wings if they get too much protein when young. I suspect some other factors may be involved too, but can't prove it.
I need more coffee.
I think fat is too much to think about this early.

Nancy M.


Luffa?

This response submitted by CUR on 7/19/01. ( WILDART@prodigy.net ) 64.196.210.75

Nancy, I just saw a commercial on TV about luffa (sp?) sponges to remove cellulite. Maybe we have been using the wrong tools all along.

I observed mallards and black ducks feeding extensively on dead shad killed by thermal shock at power plant (warm water) outflows on the Ohio River...(Save the Valley White Paper Rebuttal of ACE/CA Environmental Impact Statement, Gaither et al, 1975, KPE)......And earthworms extensively in a newly flooded impoundment in Southern Ohio...(Feeding behaviour of Mallards at East Fork Lake, ODNR, 1972)...Both instances were during hunting season. Mallards and greenwing teal feed on dead salmon in the Ugashik drainage of Alaska, and one would assume throught the Bristol Bay region. I have observed the birds displaying this feeding behaviour on multiple occassions.

The point is, that while the wintering birds in the OVR consumed large amounts of shad, the flavor didn't seem to be different than that of corn-fed birds taken in western KY that same year. The earthworms didn't make the mallards taste like woodcock either, as one might suppose, because I am sure both diets were supplemented by corn in river bottom fields.

The Alaskan birds, on the other hand, smelled and tasted like overdue red salmon. It may have been a mind set, but I don't think so. The pintail taken in the same region did not take part in the salmon feast, and were the table fare of choice by all in the camps.

Enough fat. On to leaner and meaner things......Nancy, did you receive the sketch? I have had some trouble with my local server lately.....Please let me know..


First of all Cur.....

This response submitted by Lisa on 7/19/01. ( hobbiel@msn.com ) 63.14.92.120

You better go back to Alaska....The Last Frontier.

Can't find any other better place...Northern Lights........

And you are MORE than welcomed to wink at me in private!


Who knew fat was so interesting.

This response submitted by Shane on 7/20/01. ( lawhistlingwings@aol.com ) 152.163.189.99

Man, talk about how cool fat is. I have noticed that the divers had the dark yellow fat while the mallards had the whiter fat and were greasier.


As Emeril would say. . .

This response submitted by CHUCK on 7/21/01. ( ) 152.163.188.67

PORKFAT RULES!Kick it up a notch,BAM! and now,back to taxidermy


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