Recent work has shown that hydroxylysylpyridinoline (HP), a non-reducible cross-link that stabilizes the collagen fibril network, is significantly greater (over 10-fold) in dyschondroplastic cartilage than in normal growth-plate cartilage in the tibiotarsi of chickens with homocysteine-induced tibial dyschondroplasia (TD). In the present study, broiler chicks with a genetic disposition to TD, as well as normal broiler chicks on a copper-deficient diet alone or supplemented with copper and thiram, were raised for 3 to 4 weeks (Expts. 1 and 2). Their dyschondroplastic cartilage from the proximal tibiotarsus was collected and analyzed for HP as well as lysylpyridinoline (LP) cross-links. Normal growth plate cartilage was obtained from chicks on the copper-deficient diet supplemented with copper. In a third experiment, another set of broiler chicks was raised on a corn/soybean meal-based diet with or without homocysteine, and their articular and sternal cartilage were isolated for cross-link analysis. In the first two experiments, dyschondroplastic cartilage from all birds with induced TD had higher HP and LP concentrations than growth-plate cartilage from birds without TD, although the ratios of HP to LP varied. In the third experiment, the sternal and articular cartilage from birds with homocysteine-induced TD appeared normal, having similar HP concentrations in the same types of cartilage in birds without TD.