Sensory attributes of slow- and fast-growing chicken genotypes raised indoors or with outdoor access

A. C. Fanatico, P. B. Pillai, J. L. Emmert, E. E. Gbur, J. F. Meullenet, C. M. Owens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consumer interest in free-range and organic poultry is growing. An experiment was conducted to assess the impact of alternative genotype and production systems on the sensory attributes of chicken meat. Specifically, a slow-growing genotype and a fast-growing genotype were raised for 91 and 63 d. The slow-growing birds were placed before the fast-growing birds to achieve a similar final BW at processing. Each genotype was assigned to 4 pens of 20 birds each and raised in indoor floor pens in a conventional research facility; each genotype was also assigned to 4 floor pens in a small facility with outdoor access. The diet was formulated to be low in energy and protein for slow growth. Birds were commercially processed and deboned at 4 h postmortem. A descriptive analysis of breast and thigh meat was conducted on all treatments by a trained descriptive panel. A consumer analysis was also conducted on the breast and thigh meat from only 2 treatments: slow-growing birds raised with outdoor access and fast-growing birds raised indoors. A descriptive analysis indicated that the breast meat from birds with outdoor access was more cohesive than the meat from indoor birds (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences for most basic tastes; however, both the breast meat and thigh meat of the fastgrowing birds tasted saltier than that of the slow-growing birds (P < 0.05). Meat of the slow-growing birds had more dark meat fat flavor than that of the fast-growing birds (P < 0.05). Results from the consumer panel showed no significant differences in overall liking, appearance, texture, or flavor of the breast meat or thigh meat. Just-About-Right distributions of consumer responses did not vary between slow-growing birds with outdoor access and fast-growing birds raised indoors for most attributes; however, more panelists found the breast meat of slow-growing birds with outdoor access too dry (P < 0.05). Although a descriptive panel detected some differences in texture and flavor among treatments, the consumer panel did not indicate differences in liking between conventional and specialty products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2441-2449
Number of pages9
JournalPoultry science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Free range
  • Meat chicken
  • Organic
  • Sensory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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