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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334987

Research Project: Antibiotic Alternatives for Controlling Foodborne Pathogens and Disease in Poultry

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Meat quality characteristics of fast growing broilers reared under different types of pasture management: Implications for organic and alternative production systems (Part II)

Author
item Woo-ming, Ann - University Of Arkansas
item Arsi, Komala - University Of Arkansas
item Moyle, Jonathan - University Of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)
item Gaunsalis, Valarie - University Of Arkansas
item Owens, Casey - University Of Arkansas
item Clark, Fred - University Of Arkansas
item Fanatico, Ann - Appalachian State University
item Upadhyay, Abhinav - University Of Arkansas
item Donoghue, Dan - University Of Arkansas
item Donoghue, Ann - Annie

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/9/2017
Publication Date: 5/1/2018
Citation: Woo-Ming, A., Arsi, K., Moyle, J.R., Gaunsalis, V.B., Owens, C.M., Clark, F.D., Fanatico, A., Upadhyay, A., Donoghue, D.J., Donoghue, A.M. 2018. Meat quality characteristics of fast growing broilers reared under different types of pasture management: Implications for organic and alternative production systems (Part II). Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 27(2):215-222. https://doi.org/10.3382/japr/pfx060.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3382/japr/pfx060

Interpretive Summary: Currently there is little scientific information regarding the effect of differing housing types and production methods on the final quality of broiler meat. The purpose of this study was to evaluate meat quality characteristics of commercial fast growing broiler chickens when raised in portable versus fixed housing, with or without access to pasture. Fast growing broilers are being grown by many small farm poultry producers due to their favorable attributes, including greater breast meat yields, a more uniform carcass and higher feed efficiency than heritage or slower growing breeds. The pasture land used in this study closely matched the lands common to this local area. It was a pasture composed of a mix of tall fescue, Bermuda grass and a lesser amount of legumes and forbs. The experiment had 4 treatment groups: (1) small, portable hoop houses with access to pasture, (2) small, portable hoop houses without access to pasture, (3) a fixed house with access to the outdoors, and (4) a fixed house without access to the outdoors. The study was conducted during spring and fall within the same year to evaluate if any seasonal effects on carcass or meat quality were present. Overall, the access to pasture did not alter meat quality parameters such as moisture, protein, fat percentage, pH, color, texture, cooking loss, shear energy when compared to birds without pasture access. Since forages contribute to the nutritive value of the meat and may help in reducing costs, the type and quality of forage choices in pastures are important considerations for these production methods and need to be explored further for pasture production systems.

Technical Abstract: Currently there is little scientific information regarding the effect of differing housing types and production methods on the final quality of broiler meat. The purpose of this study was to evaluate meat quality characteristics of commercial fast growing broiler chickens when raised in portable versus fixed housing, with or without access to pasture. Fast growing broilers are being grown by many small farm poultry producers due to their favorable attributes, including greater breast meat yields, a more uniform carcass and higher feed efficiency than heritage or slower growing breeds. The pasture land used in this study closely matched the lands common to this local area. It was a pasture composed of a mix of tall fescue, Bermuda grass and a lesser amount of legumes and forbs. The experiment had 4 treatment groups: (1) small, portable hoop houses with access to pasture, (2) small, portable hoop houses without access to pasture, (3) a fixed house with access to the outdoors, and (4) a fixed house without access to the outdoors. The study was conducted during spring and fall within the same year to evaluate if any seasonal effects on carcass or meat quality were present. Overall, the access to pasture did not alter meat quality parameters such as moisture, protein, fat percentage, pH, color, texture, cooking loss, shear energy when compared to birds without pasture access. Since forages contribute to the nutritive value of the meat and may help in reducing costs, the type and quality of forage choices in pastures are important considerations for these production methods and need to be explored further for pasture production systems.