Effects of Surgical Caponization on Growth Performance, Fiber Diameter and Some Physical Properties of Muscles in Taiwan Country Chicken Cockerels

  • Lin, Cheng Yung (Department of Technical and Service, Taiwan Livestock Research Institute, Council of Agriculture) ;
  • Hsu, Jenn Chung (Department of Animal Science, National Chung- Hsing University)
  • Received : 2001.07.24
  • Accepted : 2001.10.24
  • Published : 2002.03.01


An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of caponization on the growth performance, breast and thigh muscles physical properties and fiber diameter of the Pectoralis major and Gastrocnemius pars externa in Taiwan country chicken cockerels. Caponized birds were surgically altered at 10 weeks of age. Birds were fed grower and finisher diets ad libitum during an eighteen-week experimental period. The results indicated that the live weight and feed intake in the capons were significantly (p<0.05) higher and the shank length was significantly (p<0.05) longer than in intact birds. There were no significant (p>0.05) differences in feed conversion and mortality between two treatments at 28 weeks of age. Compared with intact birds, the capons had greater (p<0.05) tenderness in the breast and thigh muscles. Cohesion of the breast muscle in the capons was significantly (p<0.05) better than in the intact birds, but the thigh muscles were not significantly (p>0.05) affected. No treatment differences (p>0.05) were associated with cooking loss, muscle chewiness, and elasticity. The capons had a significantly (p<0.05) smaller fiber diameter in the Pectoralis major, but were not significantly (p>0.05) different in the fiber diameter of the Gastrocnemius pars externa. It is concluded that castration did not depress growth compared with the intact birds, but did improve muscle tenderness. This difference was most pronounced in the thigh muscles.


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