Evaluation of slower-growing broiler genotypes grown with and without outdoor access: Meat quality

A. C. Fanatico, L. C. Cavitt, P. B. Pillai, J. L. Emmert, C. M. Owens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consumer interest in organic and natural poultry products raised with outdoor access is growing. An experiment was conducted to assess the effects of outdoor access and genotype on meat quality. One slow-growing genotype (S), 2 medium-growing genotypes (M1 and M2), and a commercial fast-growing genotype (F) were raised (straight-run) for 81, 67, or 53 d, respectively. The placement date was staggered in order to achieve a similar final body weight. Each genotype was assigned to 3 pens of 24 birds each and raised in indoor floor pens in a naturally ventilated facility; the S and F genotypes were also assigned to 2 floor pens with outdoor access containing 36 birds each. All birds were provided with the same starter, grower, and finisher feeds, and birds were commercially processed. Pectoralis samples were collected at 6 h postmortem for proximate analysis and evaluation of meat quality. The principal effect of outdoor access was to make the meat more yellow in the case of the S genotype (P < 0.05) although not the F genotype (P > 0.05). Drip loss and cook loss (%) were affected (P < 0.05) by genotype, with the highest losses occurring with the S genotype and the lowest losses occurring with the F and M genotypes. Tenderness was affected (P < 0.05) by gender as well as production system but only in the F birds. Pectoralis dry matter (%), fat (%), and ash (%) were largely unaffected (P > 0.05) by genotype or outdoor access. These data indicate that meat quality differences exist among genotypes with very different growth rates and reared with or without outdoor access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1785-1790
Number of pages6
JournalPoultry science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Broiler
  • Free range
  • Meat quality
  • Natural
  • Organic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of slower-growing broiler genotypes grown with and without outdoor access: Meat quality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this