Consumer interest in organic and natural poultry production is growing. An experiment was conducted to assess the impact of genotype and outdoor access on sensory attributes of broiler meat. 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 dates were staggered to achieve a similar final BW, and each genotype was processed on the same day. Each genotype was assigned to 3 pens of 24 birds each, and all birds were 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 (during daylight hours) containing 36 birds each. All birds were provided with the same starter, grower, and finisher feeds, and birds were commercially processed. Breast and thigh meat were evaluated for sensory attributes and acceptability by a consumer panel. The M1 and M2 breasts were more tender than other indoor genotypes (P < 0.05); however, all treatments scored "slightly to moderately tender." The thigh meat of the M2 birds was more flavorful than that of S birds (P < 0.05), and the flavor of the S thigh meat was less liked than other indoor genotypes (P < 0.05). Outdoor access did not impact flavor. These data indicate that differences in sensory attributes may exist among genotypes with different growth rates and reared with or without outdoor access.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology