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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Slaughter Age on Muscle Characteristics and Meat Quality Traits of Da-Heng Meat Type Birds

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Farm Animal Genetic Resources Exploration and Innovation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu Campus, Chengdu 611130, China
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Sichuan Animal Science Academy, Chengdu 610066, China
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Animal Breeding and Genetics key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu 610066, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(1), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010069
Received: 2 December 2019 / Revised: 24 December 2019 / Accepted: 29 December 2019 / Published: 30 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
The current work evaluated the breast muscle performance, meat quality traits, and myofiber characteristics of Da-Heng meat type birds with 60, 90, 120, 150, 180 days of age. Older chickens often presented a higher pH, lower drip loss, higher shear force, darker, and redder breast meat. The correlation coefficients showed that myofiber characteristics played an important role in breast pH values, drip loss, and meat color.
Due to the increasing demand for producing chickens with high meat quality, there is a need to determine its mode of action on chicken meat quality traits across a wider age spectrum. In this study, five groups of 200 male Da-Heng meat type birds were reared until slaughter age of 60, 90, 120, 150, 180 days old and breast muscle performance, meat quality traits, and myofiber characteristics were evaluated. The larger body weight and breast weight of chicken are based on larger myofiber diameter and area, less myofiber density for the older birds than younger birds. There was an age effect on all meat quality traits of chicken breast muscle (p < 0.05). Older chickens often presented a higher pH, lower drip loss, higher shear force, darker, and redder breast meat. The correlation coefficients showed that myofiber characteristics played an important role in breast pH values, drip loss, and meat color (p < 0.05). Besides, significant correlations were also found between meat quality traits (p < 0.05). Further studies are needed to explore the biochemical character and potential molecular mechanism of chicken breast muscle to determine the factors that causes these age-related differences in meat quality in the current study. View Full-Text
Keywords: chicken; slaughter age; myofiber; meat quality chicken; slaughter age; myofiber; meat quality
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Li, J.; Yang, C.; Peng, H.; Yin, H.; Wang, Y.; Hu, Y.; Yu, C.; Jiang, X.; Du, H.; Li, Q.; Liu, Y. Effects of Slaughter Age on Muscle Characteristics and Meat Quality Traits of Da-Heng Meat Type Birds. Animals 2020, 10, 69.

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