Trusted information & resources for animal nutrition.

Technical Resources

Evaluation of dietary nutrient reduction on broiler chicken growth performance, carcass characteristics, and breast meat quality defects

Wall, B., C. Gregg, J. Flees, C. Almendares, O. Fiallos, C.Starkey and J. Starkey

Numerous nutritional intervention strategies have been investigated with the aim of eliminating the breast meat quality defects, Wooden Breast (WB) and White Striping (WS). Yet, the etiology of these defects is still unknown. Previously, feeding diets in meal form with a 30% reduction in metabolizable energy (ME), digestible Lys (dLys), and digestible Met (dMet) during the starter diet phase decreased WB incidence, BW, BWG in birds fed to d 21. Thus, the objective here was to develop a feeding model resulting in market-weight broilers with a variety of WB and WS scores. A corn and soybean meal-based commercial diet served as the control (C) and the second diet was formulated with a 30% reduction in ME, dLys, and dMet (R). The C diets were fed as crumbles in the starter (d 0 to 15) and grower (d 16 to 29) phases and were pelleted for the finisher (d 29 to 40) phase, whereas R diets were fed in meal form in all feeding phases. Feeding the C and R diets during the 3 feeding phases produced the following 4 treatments: CCC, RCC, RRC, and RRR. Male, Ross 708  ́ Yield Plus chicks (n = 1,440) were randomly allotted to 1 of 4 treatments, blocked by location, and reared in floor pens (30 birds per pen) until processing on d 42 when carcass weights and part yields, and incidence and severity of WB and WS were assessed. Data were analyzed as a 1-way ANOVA using SAS PROC GLIMMIX and a complete pairwise mean comparison analysis was done using the PDIFF option at P ≤ 0.05. As expected, BWG and FCR worsened the more phases the broilers were fed the R diet (P < 0.0001). Carcass, breast, tender, wing, thigh, and drum weights and yields were lowest in the RRR-fed broilers, highest in CCC-fed broilers, with the RRC and RCC-fed broilers being intermediate (P < 0.0001). The incidence and severity of both WB and WS were lowest in the RRR-fed broilers compared with all other treatments (P < 0.0001); however, it is important to note that this feeding strategy did not eliminate either breast meat quality defect.

Overall, the feeding strategy employed in this experiment using the R diet with 30% targeted reductions in ME, dLys, and dMet successfully produced a population of market-weight broilers with breast filets exhibiting a variety of WB and WS severities.