Sensorial quality and bone strength of female and male broiler chickens are influenced by weight and growth rate

R Erdal, R I Richardson, K Ljokjel, A Haug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


1. An experiment was conducted with 98 male and 98 female broiler chickens (Ross 308) to study the effect of growth rate, induced by different dietary means, sex and live weight (1500 g and 2000 g) at slaughter on production parameters, bone strength and sensorial characteristics of the breast meat.
2. The birds were divided into four groups and individually fed a standard commercial diet, a high energy diet or low energy diet from d 11 to slaughter at between d 28 and 39. Three groups were fed ad libitum and a further group was fed a restricted amount of the high energy feed. Half of the birds in each group were slaughtered at approximately 1500 g and the other half at 2000 g live weight.
3. The diets resulted in different growth rates. The chickens fed the high energy and the commercial diet had the highest growth rate at both live weights at slaughter. The restricted fed chickens had lower bone strength than the chickens fed the low energy diet.
4. Breast meat from male broilers was juicer, more tender and less hard than breast meat from females. Chickens slaughtered at 2000 g live weight were juicer than those slaughtered at 1500 g. Chickens given the high energy feed ad libitum and restricted had different growth rates, but the sensory parameter related to texture showed no difference.
5. It was concluded that an increased slaughter weight might improve meat quality due to improved juiciness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616
Number of pages622
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


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