Chickens respiratory system- science of breathing and lungs

Because of the energy required for flying,birds have a very high demand for oxygen. Even though chickens don’t fly much, they still maintain these characteristics.

han being a single ‘bag’ for air, they have air sacs spread around their organs, and in their bones which help keep the pressure of air in the lungs constant.

When a bird inhales, half the air passes through bronchi to the posterior (back) air sacs, and the other half goes to the anterior (front) sacs and the lungs. That in the posterior sacs is emptied into the lungs, rather than alveoli, gas exchange takes place between the blood capillaries and the air ‘capillaries’ known as para bronchi. Compared to mammalian gas exchange, that that takes place in birds is much more efficient because the partial pressure is the same as that of the environment.

Their lungs are quite different to mammal lungs, because, rather t


They have no diaphragm, and therefore air flows into the lungs and is pushed out by muscular contraction.

Located at the bottom of the trachea (windpipe) is the syrinx, the birds voice box, and as they exhale they can crow, cluck etc…

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