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Archivos de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1885-4494Print version ISSN 0004-0592


SOGUNLE, O.M.; OLANIYI, O.A.; SHITTU, T.A.  and  ABIOLA, S.S.. Performance and meat attributes of chickens reared on deep litter and free range. Arch. zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.61, n.236, pp.569-576. ISSN 1885-4494.

This study was carried out on the performance and meat sensory attributes of 150 cockerel chickens each of Harco Black and Novogen strains reared on deep litter and free range production systems. The birds were brooded for 4 weeks and thereafter allotted to the different production systems for a period of 12 weeks. Each production system was allotted 150 chicks (75 chicks per strain) with three replicates of 25 chicks. The birds on deep litter production system were fed ad libitum while each bird on free range was fed 50 % of its daily feed requirement. On the 84th day, a total of 36 birds were randomly selected for slaughtering by neck decapitation and the sensory attributes of the meat were determined. The data generated were subjected to a two-way analysis of variance in a 2×2 factorial experimental arrangement. Novogen strain on free range consumed less feed (p<0.05) and had the best feed: gain ratio (2.72). The results showed that the production systems and strains gave similar results by factors though higher percentage mortality was recorded in birds reared on free range. Novogen strain on free range recorded the highest (p<0.05) value of 38 % in mortality while Harco Black on deep litter recorded the least value (6 %). Significant (p<0.05) differences were found in the taste and flavour of grilled cockerel meat with Novogen strain on free range having the highest values of 8.00 and 7.50, respectively. Conclusively, for better meat sensory attributes, birds should be reared on free range.

Keywords : Boiled meat; Grilled meat; Production system.

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