Adaptability of Different Poultry Genotypes to Organic Rearing Systems to Improve Sustainability, Welfare and Meat Quality

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Poultry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 22146

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CREA Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Livestock Production and Aquaculture Centre. Via Salaria 31, Monterotondo-Roma, Rome, Italy
Interests: poultry production; organic farming

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno 74, 06100 Perugia, Italy
Interests: poultry meat quality; rearing systems; welfare; sustainability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The poultry market is dominated by fast-growing genotypes that in about 42–50 days of life, are ready to be slaughtered as broilers. These genotypes are not suitable for extensive rearing methods, such as those associated with organic farming, due to several health and welfare issues. Slow-growing genotypes are clearly more suited for this purpose, but there is no standard definition for the term “slow growing” either in terms of weight or genetic line. In addition, some slow-growing genotypes are less profitable when considering the production of meat and conversion rate, so producers often choose fast-growing genotypes. Taking into account the market, farmers, and welfare of the animals, it would be better to talk about adaptability of a genotype to cope with outdoor rearing.

The aim of this Special Issue is to invite manuscripts with different views about the adaptability of poultry genotypes selected for meat production in extensive rearing in relation to sustainability and quality, without focusing only on the market niche but proposing solutions that could be economically sustainable for producers and consumers alike.

Dr. Monica Guarino Amato
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • adaptability
  • organic
  • free range
  • poultry genotypes
  • meat quality

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

12 pages, 4327 KiB  
Article
Identification of Genes Related to Squab Muscle Growth and Lipid Metabolism from Transcriptome Profiles of Breast Muscle and Liver in Domestic Pigeon (Columba livia)
by Zhaozheng Yin, Wei Zhou, Haiguang Mao, Xinyang Dong, Xuan Huang, Haiyang Zhang and Honghua Liu
Animals 2022, 12(9), 1061; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12091061 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1891
Abstract
The improvements in muscle growth rate and meat quality are the major breeding aims in pigeon industry. Liver and muscle are recognized as important sites for fatty acid metabolism; understanding the role of specific transcripts in the breast muscle and liver might lead [...] Read more.
The improvements in muscle growth rate and meat quality are the major breeding aims in pigeon industry. Liver and muscle are recognized as important sites for fatty acid metabolism; understanding the role of specific transcripts in the breast muscle and liver might lead to the elucidation of interrelated biological processes. In this study, RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq) was applied to compare the transcriptomes of breast muscle and liver tissues among pigeons at five developmental periods (0, 1, 2, 3, 4 weeks post-hatching) to identify candidate genes related to muscle growth and lipid metabolism. There were 3142 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) identified in the breast muscle libraries; 1794 genes were up-regulated while 1531 genes were down-regulated. A total of 1323 DEGs were acquired from the liver libraries, with 791 up-regulated genes and 591 down-regulated genes. By pathway enrichment analysis, a set of significantly enriched pathways were identified for the DEGs, which are potentially involved in cell proliferation and differentiation, lipid metabolism and energy metabolism in pigeon breast muscle and liver. Our results are consistent with previous partial reports from domestic animals and poultry and provide some unidentified genes involved in muscle growth and lipid metabolism. The reliability of the sequencing data was verified through qPCR analysis of 16 genes from eight comparison groups (two genes per group). The findings from this study could contribute to future investigations of muscle growth and lipid metabolism mechanisms and establish molecular approaches to improve muscle growth rate and meat quality in domestic pigeon breeding. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 346 KiB  
Article
Carcass Yields and Meat Composition of Male and Female Italian Slow-Growing Chicken Breeds: Bianca di Saluzzo and Bionda Piemontese
by Valentina Bongiorno, Achille Schiavone, Manuela Renna, Stefano Sartore, Dominga Soglia, Paola Sacchi, Marta Gariglio, Annelisse Castillo, Cecilia Mugnai, Claudio Forte, Chiara Bianchi, Silvia Mioletti, Laura Gasco, Ilaria Biasato, Alberto Brugiapaglia, Federico Sirri, Marco Zampiga, Francesco Gai, Margherita Marzoni, Silvia Cerolini and Sihem Dabbouadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Animals 2022, 12(3), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030406 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3119
Abstract
The slaughter performance and meat quality of two native Italian chicken breeds, Bionda Piemontese (BP, n = 64) and Bianca di Saluzzo (BS, n = 64), were investigated. Two-way ANOVA, considering breed, sex, and their interaction, was used to compare the properties of [...] Read more.
The slaughter performance and meat quality of two native Italian chicken breeds, Bionda Piemontese (BP, n = 64) and Bianca di Saluzzo (BS, n = 64), were investigated. Two-way ANOVA, considering breed, sex, and their interaction, was used to compare the properties of birds slaughtered at 5, 6, 7, and 8 months of age. Subsequently, data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and the Duncan test to evaluate the differences between slaughter ages. The BP breed produced a better carcass yield than BS at 5, 7, and 8 months of age (p < 0.05). Breast moisture and crude protein contents were influenced by gender, and were higher in males than in females (p < 0.05). By contrast, the crude fat content was higher in females than in males (p < 0.05). The saturated fatty acid content of breast meat increased as the birds aged in both breeds (p < 0.05). The polyunsaturated fatty acid content of both breast and thigh meat was higher in males than in females (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively). In general, slaughtering at 7 months was associated with the best slaughter and meat quality characteristics in both breeds. Moreover, from a nutritional point of view, the characteristics of the meat from male birds were preferable to those of meat from females. Full article
10 pages, 806 KiB  
Article
The Assessment of a Multifactorial Score for the Adaptability Evaluation of Six Poultry Genotypes to the Organic System
by Alice Cartoni Mancinelli, Simona Mattioli, Laura Menchetti, Alessandro Dal Bosco, Claudia Ciarelli, Monica Guarino Amato and Cesare Castellini
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102992 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
This study aimed to develop an adaptability score (AS) for chicken strains, which includes behavioral, plumage conditions, and body lesion indicators through a multifactorial approach. A total of 600 male chickens from 6 poultry genotypes—Ranger Classic (R1), Ranger Gold (R2), Rowan Ranger (R3), [...] Read more.
This study aimed to develop an adaptability score (AS) for chicken strains, which includes behavioral, plumage conditions, and body lesion indicators through a multifactorial approach. A total of 600 male chickens from 6 poultry genotypes—Ranger Classic (R1), Ranger Gold (R2), Rowan Ranger (R3), Hubbard Red JA (A), CY Gen 5 × JA87 (CY), and M22 × JA87 (M)—were reared under organic conditions, fed ad libitum, and individually weighed weekly to calculate the daily weight gain (DWG). The behavioral observations consisted of the explorative attitude (EA), recorded at 21 days, and the behavioral patterns (BPs) recorded the week before the slaughter. The AS was established by a principal component analysis, and the AS of these genotypes was compared. Moreover, the effect of DWG and genotype on the AS was evaluated by univariable and multivariable regression models. Although the DWG and genotype were strictly dependent, genotype was the most important factor affecting the AS. In fact, its effect was significant both in univariable (p < 0.001) and multivariable models (p < 0.001). Conversely, the DWG was significant only in the univariable and lost significance when the effect of genotype was introduced in the model. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 7560 KiB  
Article
Differences in Tibia Shape in Organically Reared Chicken Lines Measured by Means of Geometric Morphometrics
by Domitilla Pulcini, David Meo Zilio, Francesco Cenci, Cesare Castellini and Monica Guarino Amato
Animals 2021, 11(1), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010101 - 6 Jan 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2705
Abstract
In the present study, the conformation of the tibia of seven genetic lines of broilers was analyzed by Geometric Morphometrics and correlated to carcass weight and walking ability. The used chicken genetic lines were classified as fast, medium, or slow growing and ranked [...] Read more.
In the present study, the conformation of the tibia of seven genetic lines of broilers was analyzed by Geometric Morphometrics and correlated to carcass weight and walking ability. The used chicken genetic lines were classified as fast, medium, or slow growing and ranked for their walking ability. Six chicken types were reared in an organic farm and slaughtered at 81 days of age while one slow-growing and highly walking line (Naked Neck) was reared in a commercial farm and used as external reference for moving activity and growth speed. A mixed landmarks and semi-landmarks model was applied to the study of tibia shape. Results of this study showed that: (i) body weight gain was positively correlated to the curvature of the antero-posterior axis of the tibia; (ii) the shape of the tibia and the active walking behavior were significantly correlated; (iii) walking and not-walking genetic lines could be discriminated in relation to the overall shape of the tibia; (iv) a prevalence of static behavior was correlated to a more pronounced curvature of the antero-posterior axis of the tibia. Results of this study revealed that the walking genetic types have a more functional and natural tibia conformation. This easy morphologic method for evaluating tibia shape could help to characterize the adaptability of genotypes to organic and outdoor rearing. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

25 pages, 4538 KiB  
Review
Extensive Rearing Systems in Poultry Production: The Right Chicken for the Right Farming System. A Review of Twenty Years of Scientific Research in Perugia University, Italy
by Alessandro Dal Bosco, Simona Mattioli, Alice Cartoni Mancinelli, Elisa Cotozzolo and Cesare Castellini
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051281 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 8476
Abstract
The demand for poultry meat, being cheaper than red meat, will drive worldwide production of this product. Accordingly, an increase in production up to 16% is expected in 2025, most of which will occur in developing countries. Most poultry meat production is realized [...] Read more.
The demand for poultry meat, being cheaper than red meat, will drive worldwide production of this product. Accordingly, an increase in production up to 16% is expected in 2025, most of which will occur in developing countries. Most poultry meat production is realized with intensive production systems, and extensive rearing systems (ERS) of poultry (organic, free-range, and low-input) represent only a small portion of poultry production in the EU (about 5%). However, there is an increasing interest in such rearing systems to maintain the good image of product and environmental sustainability, improved animal welfare, and meat quality with an annual trend of growth of about 10%. The aims of this work were to summarize the activities and the viewpoint of the researchers of the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science of the University of Perugia (Italy). One of the most important goals of the research unit was the challenge of identifying the best poultry genotypes for ERS, which are important not only for the food industry but also for the improvement of human nutrition. Only the definition of the best genotypes adapted to ERS through the measurement of a wide panel of traits—genetic, physiologic, and behavior—and not only relying on daily weight gain will allow us to achieve this goal. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

18 pages, 2616 KiB  
Commentary
Adaptability Challenges for Organic Broiler Chickens: A Commentary
by Monica Guarino Amato and Cesare Castellini
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111354 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2929
Abstract
As organic and conventional poultry production increased in the last decade, so did consumers’ concerns, sustainability requirements, and animal welfare as well as health issues. According to Reg. EU 848/2008 on organic production, poultry must be adapted to organic outdoor systems and cope [...] Read more.
As organic and conventional poultry production increased in the last decade, so did consumers’ concerns, sustainability requirements, and animal welfare as well as health issues. According to Reg. EU 848/2008 on organic production, poultry must be adapted to organic outdoor systems and cope with all the regulatory constraints in terms of nutrition, health, and welfare. Adaptability must take into account the above challenges, constraints, and concerns. Chicken adaptability should not only mean being able to use pasture and outdoor areas, but also mean being able to overcome, or be resilient to, the challenges of organic farming without compromising welfare, performance, and product quality. This commentary identifies solutions to the new challenges that organic poultry chains must face in future productive scenarios, detects consumer viewpoints to provide a perspective on organic poultry production, and summarizes as well as defines chicken adaptability to organic production, assessing the main factors of chicken adaptability. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop