The Effects of Caponization Age on Muscle Characteristics in Male Chicken

  • Chen, Kuo-Lung (Department of Animal Science, National Chia-Yi University) ;
  • Chen, Tsai-Tzu (Department of Animal Science, National Chia-Yi University) ;
  • Lin, Kou-Joong (Department of Animal Science, National Chia-Yi University) ;
  • Chiou, Peter Wen-Shyg (Department of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University)
  • Received : 2006.04.03
  • Accepted : 2006.12.17
  • Published : 2007.11.01


This study examined the caponization effects on the muscle characteristics (quality and quantity) of caponized male chickens fed before or after sexual maturity. Healthy and uniform Single Comb White Leghorn chickens were caponized at 3-week-old. Feeding was conducted until 16-week-old in trial 1 or from 12-week-old to 26-week-old in trial 2. Ten sham operated male chickens (Sham) were also assigned to each trial as the control group. Chickens used in both trials were housed in individual cages with each chicken representing one replicate. The results showed that early caponization (3-week-old) significantly increased (p<0.05) body weight and pectoral major muscle weight and percentage at 16-week-old compared to the Sham in trial 1. Caponization significantly increased (p<0.05) the protein content of the pectoral major muscle, but decreased (p<0.05) the ash content. Late caponization (12-week-old) significantly decreased (p<0.05) the ash content, myofibrillar ATPase activity and emulsification capacity of the pectoral major muscle in mature capons (26-week-old) compared to the Sham in trial 2. Early caponization (3-week-old) only increased the weight and protein content of the pectoral major muscle with decreased ash content in 16-week-old capons. Late caponization (12-week-old) showed no affects on pectoral major muscle quantity, while it decreased the ATPase activity and enhanced the emulsification capacity in mature (26-week-old) capons. Hence, the muscle quality improvement was shown as capons were fed to sexual maturity.


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