Effects of Free-range Farming on Carcass and Meat Qualities of Black-feathered Taiwan Native Chicken

  • Cheng, F.Y. (Graduate Institute of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University) ;
  • Huang, C.W. (Graduate Institute of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University) ;
  • Wan, T.C. (Graduate Institute of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University) ;
  • Liu, Y.T. (Graduate Institute of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University) ;
  • Lin, L.C. (Graduate Institute of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University) ;
  • Lou Chyr, Chu-Ying (Graduate Institute of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University)
  • Received : 2008.01.31
  • Accepted : 2008.03.17
  • Published : 2008.08.01


The effects of free-range farming, compared to a conventional production system, on carcass and meat qualities were studied using black-feathered Taiwan native chickens. Twenty 16-week old females were purchased separately from a free-range farm and a conventional production farm and used for this study. The results showed similarities in the live weight (roughly 2.1 kg), dressing percentage (69%) and meat percentage (19%) of deboned leg quarter. Significant differences (p<0.05) found for the free-range chickens included: a higher percentage of meat for the breast, an increased crude protein content and chewiness value for the breast, but decreased crude fat content and lower hardness and fracturablility values for the leg quarter. Significantly higher L* values were found for the breast and leg meat of conventionally produced chickens, whereas no significant differences were found for WHC and purge loss between the breast and the leg, and between the two production systems as well. Results of sensory evaluation showed a significant preference for leg over breast meat (p<0.05). The scores of all the attributes including aroma, flavor, firmness, tenderness, juiciness and overall acceptability of leg meat from free-range chickens were slightly higher than for conventional chickens, while the reverse was true for breast meat, though no significant difference could be found. Free-range Taiwan native chicken appeared to yield the best of the results, with flavorful yet tender leg meat for higher sensory satisfaction, and high-protein but low-fat breast meat for healthier diet choice.


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